Friday, December 28, 2007

Still no decree...

Yep, that's right - 3 weeks out and no decree. Average turnaround time on this step with my lawyer is generally 1 business day. I was hoping that it was just a miscommunication, but they spoke with his assistant to confirm.

The response from my agency? "Your lawyer is just so busy."


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Our "virtual" Christmas

Dominic's stocking hung on my tv stand with care:

The 3 story Christmas tree in Mira Flores mall we saw over Thanksgiving:

Dominic's foster family's Christmas tree:

I called with my entire family on speakerphone to wish them "Feliz Navidad" on Christmas Eve.

I have a feeling he was wearing this Christmas day and had the same wonderful smile on his face as he shared the holiday with his foster family:

I got to open some really cool gifts from my niece on Christmas Day:

I know he's going to love them!

And also received a charm with Dominic's birthstone (Emerald) from my parents:

A friend from Guatemala sent me an e-mail today some pictures of the Gallo tree on the square in Guatemala City:

And I received a wonderful email from Dominic's foster mom last night:

Hola Nicole le escribimos para desearle una feliz navidad y un prospero año nuevo a usted y toda su familia. Dominic esta muy bien creciendo mucho mas, todavia no lo he llevado pasaporte , espero que ya comenzando el mes de enero me digan que lo lleve en la oficina.
Espero de todo corazon que usted este muy bien junto al lado de toda su familia, gracias a Dios ya va a recibir a su bebe Dominic la extraña y la quiere mucho. Hasta pronto Besos y Abrazos. Dominic, I*, S*, W*, R*

Put all these pieces together and we had a pretty good Christmas. The only thing better would have been having him home...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas, Dominic.

Dominic and I celebrated Christmas on my last visit trip...

Watch him open his first Christmas gift -

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holiday Card

Thanks, SBP!

Christmas seemed so far away when I received this...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ho, Ho, Ho

I almost used the last pic for my holiday cards this year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Only 1 week until Christmas?

"Don't open 'til Dec 25th"

Is it already Christmas? Where did the last month go? I must say, the next few weeks can't go quick enough for me.

In the meantime I have some more pics to post and perhaps an update on Friday....

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Weekend update

I was hoping to hear something on the the weekly report from my lawyer, but nothing. The decree was probably signed this week. Hopefully we'll hear something Monday.

I've been putting off setting up a registry for awhile, but I finally did it this weekend and had a great time! Preparation is somewhat tricky. It would be so hard to get everything ready and then have a delay in the process, so I waited until I was out of PGN and close to the end. I also waited until this weekend to decide on a crib! Of course the one I wanted had to be ordered so it won't be in until around New Year. Now I have to find a new project for my dad over the holiday week. ;) My mom has hers - she's still working on Dominic's bedding.

It still hasn't really sunk in that he's coming home. I have been so fortunate to have a smooth process so far. That final sigh of relief will come when we land back here in the States...

I haven't been able to get in touch with his foster family yet, but she was right on track with her estimate on when we would finish the process. I can only imagine how difficult it will be for them when Dominic comes home.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Still speechless from the Monday news... :)

Monday, December 10, 2007


This event is worthy of our black tie apparel! :)

So now the next question - When is he coming home??

Probably 5 - 8 weeks. Here's what is left and a very high level timeline:

Final Adoption Decree signed - makes it all legal. Sometime this week

Birth Certificate issued - Dominic was born in Guatemala City so this will take 2 -3 weeks.

Guatemalan Passport - He's still a citizen of Guatemala until we arrive home, so he'll need this to travel. Maybe the 1st week of Jan?

Submit to US Embassy - Request approval to enter United States. Maybe 1st week of Jan?

2nd DNA Authorization (ORANGE) - Sample compared to 1st DNA from Sept to confirm he was not switched with another child. 2nd week of Jan?

2nd DNA Test - 2nd week of Jan?

Final Medical Exam - Exam by Embassy doctor 2nd week of Jan?

PINK slip issued - Notice that Visa appt has been scheduled at US Embassy in GC. This is my indication to pack my bag and GET ON THE PLANE!! 3rd week of Jan?

Embassy Appointment - Dominic and I will go to US Embassy in GC for our visa interview. 4th week of Jan?


We're out!!

If you happened to be in Cincinnati near 4th street and saw some crazy woman trying to figure out how to answer her first incoming call on that %(!*ing (read: wonderful) bluetooth headset while jumping up and down screaming - THAT WAS ME!!!

More details to come...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Our holiday tradition - Downtown Dazzle

The last few years my niece and nephew have joined me for our new holiday tradition. This (along with our Christmas Eve ritual) has become my favorite part of the holiday. There are no gifts to buy, presents to wrap, traffic to navigate, long hours spent in the kitchen preparing, etc. Just a day of spending time together and enjoying the season.

We start with a photo shoot for my sister's Christmas cards, lunch somewhere downtown (this year was Skyline), a visit to the train display at Cinergy, dessert at Auntie Ann's, crafts and games at the Dazzle Workshop, ice skating on Fountain Square and finally a visit from Santa and FIREWORKS! We always run out of time and never seem to make it to the free carriage ride. Guess who'll be joining us next year.... :)

We love spending time downtown and hope they'll continue to have these type of activities for us to enjoy!

Friday, December 7, 2007

4 weeks in PGN.

We're still in.

Which means we're not out.....

but also means we haven't received a kick-out yet!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Our first snow

We had our first snow here in Ohio today. It will be cold when Dominic comes home, so we practiced on the last visit trip and tried on our coordinating cold weather gear -

He enjoyed eatting the mittens....

and the socks.


I've been tagged by Stephanie. I normally blow these off, but since Stephanie is my blogfriend-in-shining-armor who rescued me from a rude blog commenter last week it's the least I can do to participate. Thanks again, Steph.

A little bit about me...

4 jobs I have had:

  • KMart ("Attention KMart shoppers the bluelight is now flashing in our footwear department...")

  • Hostess at restaurant

  • Computer Geek

I found my calling pretty early in life, so only 3 jobs

4 movies I've watched more than once:

  • Shopgirl

  • Pretty Woman

  • Dirty Dancing

  • Cinderella

See a theme here? No prince for me... ;)

4 places I have vacationed:

  • Santorini, Greece

  • Rome, Italy

  • Cairo, Egypt

  • Cozumel, Mexico

4 Favorite Foods:

  • French Fries

  • Cheeseburgers

  • Ranch Dressing (a food group of it's own)

  • Roast Beef

4 Places I'd rather be:

  • Guatemala

  • Anywhere with good snorkeling

  • Santorini, Greece

  • India - still on my list of places to visit...

4 Hobbies I have:

  • Photography

  • Travelling

  • Snorkeling

  • Is stalking adoption message boards a hobby?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Updated Pics

I'm a little late in posting my monthly pics from my agency... We had a make-up Thanksgiving dinner this weekend at my parent's for my brother and I who weren't able to be home this year and I've had my usual post-visit trip sickness/blues.

These were taken about a week or so before my last visit trip.

After talking more with my foster mom, these photos are starting to make more sense. I always thought he looked extremely tired in his update photos. The pictures are actually taken at my lawyer's office. This means she loads Dominic up in his carrier which he LOVES, but he ALWAYS falls asleep in it! Once they get there, they have to wake him up to take the pictures. :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Called PGN...

"Thank you, 1st reviewer!"

"Now come on 2nd reviewer... Give us some good news!"

I couldn't wait any longer. I called PGN today!

We went to the 2nd reviewer on 11/26. There are a total of 3 reviewers. 90% of the kickouts I've seen come from the 2nd reviewer. So let's hope that everything is in order in our file and the 2nd reviewer looks upon us favorably!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Goodbye again

These 5 days passed so quickly. I had a nice dinner with my foster family. Dominic was up 3 hours past his bedtime, so he was quite fussy, but so glad to see them. Here are some pics from after dinner.

There is a fountain in the middle of the food court that resembles Tikal and they stuck a Christmas tree on top of it! :)

We've been on the lookout for Santa this week. We saw one in front of Hyper Paiz on Thursday, but he was gone by the time we finished our shopping. I believe this is Chef Santa? Close enough..

The bracelets I have on my right arm are gifts from Dominic's 7 year old foster sister.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Peek-a-Boo from Guatemala

PattyCake and Peek-a-Boo... 2 of our new favorite games. :)

Dominic really doesn't like to spend much time in the room. Perhaps it's too quiet? He loves to sit in the lobby or walk around the mall area. We spent 2 hours in the lobby this morning and another hour or 2 this afternoon.

So we've established that I love a good bargain... Guess what I found in Gutemala City? A dollar store! Well everything's not exactly $1, but most of it was less than $5 and they have the same cheap stuff as in the States. This is a great place for children's games, flashcard/puzzle sets and baby books in Spanish. I've got to find something to fill those suitcases for the way home. ;)

Tomorrow we'll meet Dominic's foster family for dinner and say goodbye again.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A room with a view

Posting this photo especially from my niece since this was the topic in school in October...

We have a wonderful view of El McDonalds from our room. Oh yeah, and 2 VOLCANOS! :)

Hola from Guatemala!

What a busy day we've had!

Breakfast around 8am and then off to the Marriott to visit with some agency friends and do some shopping. I love the shops behind the Marriott and seem to find the best bargains there. Back to the Grand Tikal to visit with friends from another forum, a quick nap and then down to the food court for dinner. We took half of our dinner back to a friend's room to finish, chit-chat and have Chocolate Churros for dessert! They also come in vanilla and strawberry, so we'll have to check those out before we leave.... :)

It was 9pm when we got back. No major plans for Saturday or Sunday. Just lots of relaxing and bonding (and photo shoots, of course).

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I'm here!

The internet connection here is awful though, so I'm not sure if we'll get any photos posted today.

Dominic is doing wonderful! He's talking and playing and even after an awful night of travel delays and a few hotel issues, we're still going strong on the 3 hours of sleep I've had.

We had an amazing morning with my foster family and have another dinner scheduled before I leave.

For our first Thanksgiving dinner we had Pollo Campero, the Guatemalana KFC, but MUCH better! :)

I have so much to be thankful for this year and although I dearly miss my family at home, I am glad to be spending this day here with Dominic.

Eat some turkey for me! :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

In Houston and I'm tired

I'm sure friends and family wonder what the hell is wrong with me when they have asked me if I'm excited about going to see Dominic and I can only manage to give a half hearted "Yeah". But the truth is I'm not excited. I'm tired.

I'm tired of packing 150 pounds of outfits and toys and bottles for a life for Dominic that I'm not yet able to share with him.

I'm tired of the stress of planning and coordinating with my agency and foster family and translators and drivers and hotels and airlines.

I'm tired of washing bottles in the bathroom sink and boiling nipples in a coffee pot.

I'm tired of taking hundreds of pictures to try to make them "last" between trips.

I am so tired of terminal E in the Houston airport.

I'm tired of deciding what to leave and what to bring back home.

I'm tired of him adjusting to the hotel and not knowing where he is when he wakes up.

I'm tired of the unpredictability of the process.

Most of all I'm tired of saying goodbye and coming home without him.

I know everyone in this process is going through the same thing. I am very fortunate to be able to visit as often as I have and I'll always be grateful for the time that we've been able to spend together in his early months.

I also know that all of this stress and bitterness will melt away the moment I see his face tomorrow... :) but right now, I'm tired.

6 months already?

Happy 6 months, Dominic!

This is the last of the pictures from our last trip. More coming soon - next post from Guatemala! :)