Thursday, July 27, 2006

Entry for July 14, 2006
More drama,
So I told my agency that we were going back down aug 7-14, Here was my response.

I have talked to the director, who in turn has talked with the lawyer, about multiple visit trips. Many families are requesting to visit a second and even third time right now.

At present, we cannot authorize multiple visits because doing so would strain staff resources. At any time of the year, many children do become ill during or shortly after a visit, due to exposure to the air conditioning they are unaccustomed to, to new germs, and to the stress of being with different caregivers, different language, different environment, etc. Because it is presently the rainy season (winter) in Guatemala, there are more illnesses for children to be exposed to, especially in areas such as the hotels where the children and families congregate. Finally, multiple visits can be disruptive to the children's care routine.

At this time we have chosen to hold off on authorizing multiple visits. While I realize this is disappointing news I am thankful that your case is moving along at a great timeframe and you are already in PGN. Please feel free to call me tomorrow if you would like to discuss further.

Take care,

I read this email and just had to take deep breath. I then forwarded it to vinay. Finally I called my coordinator and left a composed message.
I got in the car and immediatly started to cry. After I found out we were in PGN I was finally able to unpack her suitecase. I washed everything happily thinking we would see her again. Now there saying we can't go down. It's so unfair.
I spoke to the agency and she said to put all my points in an email and she would pass it on.
Here it is.
Thank you so much for your quick response. Everyday I thank my lucky stars that I found such an honest, hardworking, ethical team to guide us through this adoption.

I really wish you would reconsider it's decision on multiple visits. With the current situation in PGN, and the uncertainty of pick up time I can see why parents need to see their children more than once.
Had we known that we were only allowed one visit we defiantly would have not scheduled our visit back in June. At that time we were not even in family court. Because of my school schedual, we booked our trip for the first day I was off from school, and for only 4 days, because of my husbands work, thinking, we'll be back in a month or so to visit longer. We would have waited till we were further along in the process, and we would have stayed longer.

I am currently requesting a visit in August. I understand that many families wish to visit during that month. However because school starts back up in September, and I plan to work until the baby comes home, pushing back our trip is not possible for us. Perhaps we were wrong for booking this trip, we assumed that a second visit was possible, and I do apologize.

Of course we would never want to jeopardize our babies health in any way. I assure you that we did not use air conditioning in the room, and we fortunately stayed at the Westin where there were fewer children. Olivia did wonderful with us. She was happy, content, and easily soothed by my voice( Isabel must be playing the tape I made).

Please reconsider our request. Thank you again for your time and consideration on this matter.

So now I'm waiting to hear back. What a crappy day. And it was our Indian anniversary, Vinay took me out but It was hard for me to be happy.
I woke up today feeling more positive, we are seeing Vaish tonight and I'll finally get to see her ring. I got her some bride magazines and a card. I'm so excited for her, and I don't want to cloud the good mood. Besides I should be happy, we Have been in PGN for a week, and I have so much to be thankfull for.
Friday July 14, 2006 - 01:00pm (EDT) Edit Delete Permanent Link 0 Comments

Entry for July 11, 2006
From ho hum to hip hip hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Today was same old stuff. I was out searching for cribs, not much luck. I also searched for paint colors and preped the room for painting, just taping and removing the outlet covers. Vinay was not home for dinner so I was lonely, but I was trying to keep busy.
Then the phone rang, it was my coordinator. I picked up on the first ring. I thought she was just calling to update me on family court, since I asked about how long that part would take. She said she called to tell us we were out of family court. OUT we were OUT. we only went in on June 21, we were out last week and we entered PGN on July 7. So in 3 weeks the court reviewed our homestudy, interviewed the foster mom, the bithmom, and wrote up a report. That is efficent. Go back a day or two if your unsure of the process steps. I was speechless. I thanked her 20 times for the call and hung up the phone. I knew Vinay was at a dinner meeting, but I had to call. Here is the message I left.
Ring Ring
(Vinay's message- You have reached Vinay at @#%^$@$ I can't come to the phone but if you'll leave a message, I'll return your call as soon as possible. Thanks and have a great day.)
Me: Hi hun, I'm so sorry to call when I know your on a meeting, but I just thought you'd like to know that we're out of family court, and we entered... PGN... last week.
I hung up and just started to cry. It was like every emotion came out. My sadness, the anxiety, and yes the relief that we are getting closer to bringing her home.
I am so happy to finally be in PGN but I am also frightened that we will be stuck in this limbo like everyone else. I heard that there are 700 cases in PGN right now.
But tonight is a night for celebration, and please say a prayer that our case does not get lost in the PGN hole.

Tuesday July 11, 2006 - 09:49pm (EDT) Edit Delete Permanent Link 0 Comments

Entry for July 10, 2006
Today we got our video.
It came in the mail. I'd been waiting for over a month. The video was taken back in June around the 10th right before we went. Of course it's cute, but we took better footage on our own. If we had'nt visited I would have thought what a cranky baby. Liv was fussing for most of the video. she is in a bouncy seat and she looks tired. She did somethimes have an attitude while we were there but she was mostly content. Thank God we visited so I know she is a generally happy baby. Maybe she is just happy with us. Still no movement on the adoption front. Not interview date, however or coordinator said we might not know about the interview date until after it was completed. I'll keep posting to fill my time. This summer off is killing me!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday July 10, 2006 - 05:51pm (EDT) Edit Delete Permanent Link 0 Comments

Entry for July 05, 2006
Happy 2 month birthday Olivia!
Today was very sad for me. I just keep thing about Liv, what she's doing? How she is sleeping? I miss her so much my body aches. i'm also obsessed with the slowdown in PGN. The final stage that we are not even at yet. I keep reading articels, searching on the web and looking at other peoples timelines. For those of you who are not sure of the process here is a crash course.

Dossier is sent to Guatemala to be translated. Ours was in April
Child is born. Olivia born May 5 Birth is registered at Civil Registry and a birth certificate is issued.
Birth mother signs over custody to a lawyer and authorizes the lawyer to pursue adoption plans for the child; child enters foster care May 7
Child is taken to a pediatrician for basic physical and (for newborns) usually for first immunizations, if these steps were not done prior to relinquishment. May 10
Birthmother also sees a doctor to make sure she is fine and may have blood tests done at this time, if they haven't been done prior to the birth of the child.
You receive a referral with child's and birth mother?s names, basic physical info, and usually a photo and results of screening blood tests for syphilis, hepatitis and HIV. May 16
You accept referral and sign a Power of Attorney (POA) to authorize the lawyer in Guatemala to act on your behalf during the adoption process. Under Guatemalan law the same lawyer may represent the birth mother's and child's interests and your interests during the adoption. May 17
1. The lawyer requests authorization from the US Embassy to have DNA testing performed on the birth mother and child to confirm that they are indeed biologically mother and child. DNA testing is done with supervision and a photo of the birth mother with the child is taken at the testing site to ascertain their identities. May 20
Case is entered into Family Court, a social worker reviews your dossier, interviews the birth mother, sees the child in foster care or orphanage, and (almost always) approves the adoption. The social worker writes a several page report summarizing the facts of the case and attesting to the reasons that the birth mother cannot care for the child. The birth mother signs consent for adoption for second time. In court June 21, waiting for interview date.
2.The lawyer then submits a petition for approval of the adoption case to a notarial officer of the Attorney General?s office (Procuraduria General de la NaciĆ³n or PGN). (A Notary in Guatemala is an attorney with additional powers, not simply someone who certifies signatures as in the US.)
Notary in PGN reviews all the documents (often requesting that some be re-done because of minor spelling errors, expired notary seals, etc.) and almost always approves the adoption. The PGN may at their discretion investigate aspects of the case if they wish and as a result of that and other variations, time in this step (as in many steps) can vary widely. This is where people are getting stuck, if you have a good lawyer it should only take a month, some people have been in since april. I am so scared and we are not even up here yet.
PGN issues its approval for the adoption to proceed.
The lawyer then meets the birth mother for the 4th and final sign-off.
The adoption decree is then written and issued by the lawyer and the child is legally now the child of the adoptive family.
A new birth certificate is then issued by the Civil Registry with the child?s first and middle names unchanged, but with the names of the adoptive parent(s).
Lawyer takes new birth certificate and applies for a Guatemalan passport (although the child is adopted by US parents, he or she is still a Guatemalan citizen).
All documents are translated and the child may come to the US. Olivia is our forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday July 7, 2006 - 05:17pm (EDT) Edit Delete Permanent Link 0 Comments

Entry for July 04, 2006

Well Happy 4th of July.
The party was fun. All the hard work was worth it, however I have to give a shout out to my clean up crew. I really appreciate it girls for all your help.
Monday we went on a friend's boat, which was fun plus we really needed to get out of the house.
Today we went to register at Babies R Us, of course I was the only one in there without a big belly. I wound up telling the lady helping us that we were adopting when she asked for my due date. Regestering was fun. Imagining Liv in a the cute carriages and toys. But it was also bittersweet. Not really knowing when we could bring her home. We can guess, but we don't know exactly we just keep wishing that everything goes smoothly and that nothing get held up in the courts.
On a happier note Vaishu got engaged. She was away with Jake in Jamica, and she just called to say that he had popped the question. I am so excited for them and I can't wait till they get home so we can celebrate and start planning the next Nayak wedding.

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