Tuesday, July 31, 2007

It's not all about the DNA.....

My sister is very crafty. She makes the cutest scrapbooks and stamps anything that doesn't move. She's stamped candles and clipboards and flower pots. Last week when I was over at her house she showed me how she turned a manila folder into a cute little photo album.


My mom is very crafty. She sews and quilts and embroiders and stamps and all that other stuff. She made lots of our clothes and toys when we were growing up (I'll save those stories for another day...). Along with my grandmother, she made my prom dress. She is even making Dominic's bedding!


My grandmother is very talented. She is an accomplished artist and is also excellent when it comes to creating patterns, sewing, quilting, etc. I received 2 beautiful blankets for Dominic that she made. One has some personal significance - it's based on a quilt pattern I loved as a child. The other is one I haven't seen before, but it's beautiful... A reversible afghan -


And me? Well, I guess I missed out on the gene.... but I sure do enjoy the things they create!

Monday, July 30, 2007

At 2 months old, he's even learning sign language ;)



A lot of new mothers think their kid is smarter than everyone elses... What kind of prospective mother would I be if I didn't think the same? ;)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Guess what I got today??? :)

UPDATED PICS!




He's saying, "2 more weeks.... Just 2 more weeks!"


I don't know how most people feel about getting updated pictures. For me it is bittersweet. The difference between these pictures at 2 months are considerably different from his 1 day old pictures. He has gotten so big already! It's a reminder of how much I'm missing out on while this process drags along....

Thursday, July 26, 2007

One Small Step....

I received DNA authorization today!

This means that my attorney has received authorization from the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City to proceed with the DNA testing.

I'm such a geek - anytime my case gets updated by my agency, I have it configured to page me. When I heard my cell going off this morning, I KNEW it had to be the DNA message!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Don't try this at home

I love the idea of baby carriers, in theory at least. I'm just not sure they're for me.

The backpack ones seem so practical to me, like hands-free on your cell - Bluetooth, but for a baby.

And the sling type seem so motherly and nurturing. So I got both for my visit trip. I'm not sure that Dominic will be interested in a carrier, especially if I don't know how to get him in it.

So I tested it out on the cat tonight.....


As you can see by his expression, it took a little getting used to.


But in the end he likes it! In fact, he is still in it as I sit here at the computer. Hopefully Dominic will love it just as much!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Dossier reviewed and approved!

It will be on it's way to Guate tomorrow....

No word on DNA authorization....

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

YEAH!

It looks like they made it back from Chicago!

Label/Receipt Number: EB26 ****U S
Detailed Results:
Delivered, July 18, 2007, 1:25 pm, EVANSVILLE, IN 47715
Enroute, July 18, 2007, 7:54 am, LOUISVILLE, KY 40231
Arrival at Unit, July 16, 2007, 9:12 pm, CHICAGO, IL 60699


Hopefully I'll be able to update my timeline this week to note when my dossier has been approved.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Thank you, Momma.

I have a confession to make. I'm awful when it comes to receiving gifts.

I love to give them, but I'm a mess when I'm the one on the receiving end. Don't get me wrong - I'm extremely grateful, but I always feel bad when someone goes out of their way for me or spends money on me that they could have spent on themselves. "Thank you" never feels like enough. Yeah, I know - add it to my shrink list...

Anyway, my mom loves shopping for me and Dominic maybe even more than I do.

Tonight she got me the most beautiful poem and frame -




I said "Thank you" and put it back in the bag. When I got back home, I sat down and read it again, cried my eyes out and called her to blubber another "Thank you".

Thank you, Momma. It's perfect.




The Chosen Heart

Longing for a child to love, I'd wish upon the stars above.
In my heart I always knew A part of me was meant for you.

I think how happy we will be,
Once I adopt you, and you adopt me.

I dream of all the joy you'll bring, Imagining even the littlest things.
The way it will feel to hold you tight, And tuck you in every night.

The drawing on the refrigerator door, And childhood toys across the floor.
The favorite stories read again and again, And hours of games with make-believe friends.

The day you took my outstretched hand, A journey ended, but our lives began.
Still mesmerized by your sweet face, Still warmed inside by our first embrace.

I promised to give you a happy home, And a loving family all your own.
A house you've now made complete, With laughter, smiles, and tiny feet.

A parent is one who guides the way, Know I will be there everyday.
Rest easy as each night you sleep, A lifetime of love is yours to keep.

Longing for a child to love, I'd wish upon the stars above.
In my heart I always knew, A part of me belonged to you.

(c) 1997 Teri Harrison


Dominic was in a yellow outfit in his referral picture, so I'll have to make sure he has something yellow to come home in. The clothes have to match the frame, of course.

Maybe there's still hope for this week

It looks like my docs were at least picked up and scanned into the USPS tracking system.


Label/Receipt Number: EB26 ****U S
Arrival at Unit-->

Status: Arrival at UnitYour item arrived at 9:12 PM on July 16, 2007 in CHICAGO, IL 60699.
Information, if available, is updated every evening. Please check again later.


Their tracking leaves a lot to be desired when compared to FedEx. That info is almost 24 hours old. How did we ever live without real-time package tracking?

Monday, July 16, 2007

And I thought the paperchasing worries were over....

It's not looking good for my Chicago docs. Rumor has it that Mr. Authentication is having computer issues and that no authentications will go out this week. No tracking information on USPS yet, so I still don't know if they made it out Friday...

An unexpected surprise

I received an e-mail from Dominic's foster mom today!

Just a short note to say she received my email and that she "promises to take perfect care of him". Only a few more weeks until I visit!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Not much good to post about this week...

* My docs are still stuck in Chicago. I couldn't get anyone to answer on Tuesday. On Thursday I *somehow* managed to call both before Mr. Authentication came in to the office AND while Mr. Authentication was out to lunch. I've talked to Mr. Authentication before and he's actually a really nice guy, but the people who answer the phone aren't always as friendly. I finally got in touch with him today and he said my docs were shipping out today. I kind of feel bad for him - I'm sure he's been overwhelmed with calls this week and will be glad when the courier returns since it sounds like most of the adoption community utilizes her services.

* My atm card and pin were stolen from my mail this week and my new checking account was emptied. Luckily it was just the minimum you need for opening an account. I setup a separate account last week to start saving the 2nd half of my adoption fees. I thought it was odd when I received the oh-so-mysterious mailing from my agency on Thursday half opened and taped shut. (It was an announcement about a new charity program and fundraiser.) I didn't think too much about it - mail delivery here is sketchy, at best. But when I saw that my bank account had been emptied with an ATM card I never received, I knew something was up. Anyway, some annoying paperwork and phone calls and I should have my money back in a few weeks.


* No news on DNA authorization. This is to be expected though... It actually could take up to 8 weeks, but most people (which comparing timelines is nothing but trouble in the adoption world) have theirs in 3 - 4 weeks. My lawyer seems to have a pretty good track record. He seems to start out slow, but picks up towards the end. The family that currently share the same foster mother and attorney as me are travelling soon to pick up their son and are very pleased with their process so far. My lawyer is also known for making progress, but not updating you right away. Right now, I'm feeling ok about that. Ask me in 3 months....


* My Spanish books are still gathering dust on the coffee table. Nothing more to say about that. I have been testing out the few words I do know on the cat. He is not impressed.


On a positive note, I got the most wonderful and unexpected gift from my friend J. tonight:



Isn't it precious? He even included the picture! Thank you, J.!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

I had a great conversations with the foster mom via the translator. Dominic was up to 9lbs 12 oz in only 1 month (his last doctor's visit was the 20th)!

He was sleeping when I called. She said he sleeps and eats very well. :)

It was a very good conversation and the translator was wonderful. The only bad thing - it makes me sad that I'm not down there now. He's already growing up....

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Intentaré otra vez mañana.

I'll try again tomorrow.

The good news - I spoke to Dominic's foster mother!

The bad news - I speak 6 words in Spanish and she doesn't speak English!

The first attempt with the translator - no one was home.

The second attempt without the translator - I made out enough to learn that she should be home at 7.

The third attempt without the translator - I spoke to her and introduced myself, asked how she was, asked how Dominic was, asked her if they were going to church tomorrow and told her I would call her back tomorrow evening with the translator.

At least that's what I think was said each time. We'll see what she thinks happened tomorrow! ;)

Friday, July 6, 2007

First phone call to Guatemala...

Ok. It wasn't too exciting - I called the Westin. But it was technically a phone call to Guate!

I'm all set for my first visit trip! Airfare and hotel all taken care of. Between my clothes, all the things I'm taking for Dominic and his foster family and a few packages for other families in my agency, I'll be taking the maximum luggage allowed and it will be STUFFED.

I've scheduled a translator for tomorrow afternoon and I'll try to contact Dominic's foster mom to check in and see how they're doing. I'm not sure what her schedule is like so hopefully they'll be home. I'm so nervous! I've been in touch with 2 other families who've had children placed with her and they had wonderful things to say about her. That makes a huge difference in this process.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Some of our treasures from last weekend....

I found the cutest little mini-me rocking chair.
















Kitty Jack doesn't think the napping potential is as great for this chair as the larger one. He's quite the fat cat, so he doesn't fit here and there's no cushion for him to leave his hair on.















I got quite a few outfits for my visit trip and some in the next larger size so I can leave those with his foster mother.


Tio Billy says these clothes are "crispy" - which apparently is the new "cool" word for clothes that are new and fashionable.



Abuela Nanny and Tio Billy just HAD to get some Reds gear for Dominic -


Here's the back - that's a baseball on the butt! :)


If he's not a baseball fan he can just enjoy the dogs and beer with me....

And yes, I did pick up some blankets, burp cloths and extra bibs. I was kidding in my earlier post when I said he wouldn't be a puker.

I can't wait to be with him, puke and all! :)

Step 4 - DNA and Family Court

Once my acceptance papers and Power of Attorney (POA) are received and processed in Guatemala (sent 6/29), the DNA process begins.

DNA is taken from both the child and birthmother to ensure that it is her child and she has the right to undergo this process. This is typically done in Guatemala at the same time the birthmother interview is completed in Family Court. A social worker will discuss the process with the birthmother and confirm that this is what she wants to do. She does have the option of changing her mind at that point. While that would be heartbreaking, I have to think that that would ultimately be the best thing for Dominic if that is her choice.

The DNA authorizations with my lawyer have been coming about 1 month after accepting the referral, with testing scheduled 1 month after the authorization.

The results will be sent back to the States and I will receive pre-approval (PA) to proceed with the adoption after about 8 weeks after that.

While waiting on PA, Family Court will continue with the social worker writing her report and then we'll proceed to the next step....

The Paperchasing gods are smiling upon me this week...

Yesterday I got all 3 documents redone, notarized, county certified and state apostilled. They're now on their way to Chicago for authentication at the Consulate. The courier I've used in Chicago is on vacation, so the documents are in the hands of USPS until they return back to my agency next week.

My doctor was able to get me in within 24 hours of contacting his office, S. came down for lunch to sign her doc in Ohio (I bribed her with a reuben at Izzy's), and the 3rd doc was my own.

What a relief to have those on there way....

Monday, July 2, 2007

Girls day...

I had a good weekend. A great "ghouls" day (as my nephew would say) with my mom and sister - lots of baby bargains and laughing until our stomachs hurt. Pics of our new treasures to come...

They are definitely going to be my resident baby experts. My sister can't wait to hear the stories of me on my own with Dominic on my visit trip. She'll teach me the 'ropes' and of course I'll be there to respond with, "but that's not what the book says." They're claiming that I will need to own more than 3 bibs. I told them that no child of mine would be a puker.... ;) D. even stopped by to add her wisdom on "projectile vomiting". Like I said, they can't wait.....

My parents brought the family rocking chair up to me this weekend. This was used to rock myself, my brother and my niece. It still has the same creaks and squeaks. Like all the other new baby stuff in the house, Jack thinks this belongs to him: