Sunday, September 30, 2007

Guatemala 5000

I haven't said much about what's going on with Guatemala adoptions as a whole. It's a complicated mess wrapped up in power, politics and money. The rumors and even official memos from the U.S. government change on a weekly basis. It's very volatile and this time around I was almost numb too it. And though I may get flamed for this in the adoption world, I'm not sure that we should be looking to the U.S government to solve all of our problems.

International adoption is tricky. You are entering into a contract with international parties where U.S. law does not prevail. So what do I think the role of the U.S. government should be in this situation? To support it's citizens in the contracts they entered into and encourage all parties to abide by the laws governing the process when it was initiated - no retroactive enforcements. That's basically what is being threatened - Guatemala is in the process of changing it's adoption laws and made a statement this week that in-process cases that did not complete by 12/31 would not be honored under their current laws. The U.S. Department of State issued a statement warning in-process parents that they and their children may just be out of luck. They then updated their statement to say that they would encourage Guatemalan officials to abide by the laws that were in place when the in-process families started. And that's all we're asking for...

There are issues with the Guatemalan adoption process. In my mind there is no question about that. There is the potential for bad things to happen. This is what lead me to my agency - while they may not get Dominic home the quickest, they are one of the most ethical agencies that I found while researching.

It is a possibility that if this is not resolved, our case may take even longer to process or could come to a halt. What happens to Dominic if adoptions stop completely? No one really knows. Guatemala does not have the infrastructure we do here in the States such as foster care and welfare. I am paying for his foster care, formula, diapers and medical visits through my lawyer. He would most likely be removed from his foster family and placed in a private institution.

What can you do?
Sign the online petition

and support the Guatemala 5000 initiative from the Joint Council on International Children's Services.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

2 taxis. 2 women. 1 child.

As I was taking a taxi to the airport to fly home from Charlotte, North Carolina, dreaming of my future with Dominic... Dominic's birthmother was taking a taxi to family court in Guatemela City dreaming of a future for her son.

The DNA test and interview in family court have been completed.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Thank you, SBP!

"Secret Blog Pals" are like "Secret Santas" or "Secret Pen Pals". It's a wonderful way to pass the time while we're waiting in the adoption world and there are even some that continue to participate once their little ones come home.

Guess what I got today......

3 outfits

Handprint kit

Thank you, SBP! This is perfect for my trip next week. I can't wait to capture Dominic's paw prints! ;)

DNA on Wednesday?

I talked to Dominic's foster family on Friday. He was already asleep when I called - he was in bed by 6:30 pm! I think he's saving up his energy for our visit trip... :)

He's up to 6 ounces every 3 hours and has been sleeping through the night. All is well there. The foster family has a 7 year old daughter and 16 year old son and they're just getting out of school for the year. It sounds like their school year runs from January - September. The whole family will be joining my sister and I for dinner while we're visiting. The relationship we've formed has made me feel so comfortable about where Dominic is. It is clear how much they love him.

AND..... it sounds like DNA and the family court interview are both scheduled for this Wednesday!

New Measurements

Measurements taken around 8/20.

Weight: 14 lbs
Head cir: 41 cm
Length: 24"

Watch me grow!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Happy 4 months, Dominic!

Here's wishing you the bluest sky...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Not for the faint of heart

I knew this process wouldn't be easy, but I had no idea it would be so draining.

Today was a perfect example of some of the highs and lows - my blog friend S. found out they have another 2-3 months to tack on to their process because of an issue with their son's birth certificate. Hang in there, S.

On the other hand - my blog friend J. just got her much anticipated referral of her beautiful baby girl and my friend I travelled to Guate with in August just got word today that they are out of PGN and if all goes well her son will be home just days before his 1st birthday! Congratulations, K.! Constant ups and downs.....

The process is unpredictable and as my friend D. pointed out this week, this does not work well for a control-freak like me. So on to other things to worry about -

Did you guys see Oprah this week with Jenny McCarthy? I'm so glad I DVRd it. She discussed autism and the possible link to the MMR vaccination. I have heard of people having issues with vaccinations, but always thought they were just over-protective and probably fed their kids bee pollen every day and kept them on those child leash contraptions when they went to the amusement parks. But the correlation between the MMR vaccine and the onset of autism was eye-opening for me. The statistics quoted included things like 1 in 150 children are now being diagnosed compared to numbers like 1 in 3000 a few years ago. I'll definitely be doing some more research on this as all Dominic's vaccines administered in Guatemala will have to be evaluated when he gets home to determine if he needs to have any re-done.

You'd think that would keep me busy enough to quit worrying about DNA testing, right? Nope, it hasn't.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I couldn't wait any longer.

I scheduled my next trip. My sister and I will be heading down in a few weeks. Because of some family scheduling issues, there was only one weekend we could go in October so I had to go ahead and book it.

I got an e-mail from Dominic's foster mother on Friday. He is doing well but the DNA test still has not been scheduled. Hopefully we'll hear something before my next trip!

This weekend my Mom started laying out his quilt. I can't wait to see how it turns out!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

ALREADY 6 months? or ONLY 6 months?

6 months ago today I submitted my application to my agency and started this journey. At that time I had so many doubts and couldn't even imagine what it would feel like to have a referral, to travel to Guatemela, to meet my future son, etc.

Some days it feels like I've been working on this process for so long and then other days it seems that it was just yesterday that one of my very dear friends and I turned an informational adoption meeting into a girls weekend and started plotting my future...

While the fate of the adoption is still up for grabs, if it continues as it has, I may be halfway through the process. I hate to even write those words - I don't want to get my hopes up as it may be much longer than that.

But on days like today when my house is tidy and clean, my work assignments are all caught up and it's a perfect fall-like 75 degrees outside, I'm feeling a little optimistic.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Where were you 1 month ago today?

Dominic and I were enjoying some "tummy time".... :)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

A lucky find and a little inspiration...

A friend let me know about a wonderful consignment sale her mothers group was having this weekend and look what I found:

This was the book my dad added to Dominic's book list! Thank you all for contributing your favorite books! This will be my project for the next few weeks while waiting. If you think of any additional titles, please add them!

While I'm still not ready to unpack all the boxes and start setting up Dominic's room, the news of entering Family Court did inspire me to organize the mess that used to be my office. All of his things are now neatly organized and stacked in the closet!

I didn't talk to his foster mom this week - my translator wasn't feeling well, so hopefully we'll call later this week if she's feeling up to it.

Election Day in Guatemala

Guatemalans are voting for their next president today.

It's been tragic for those involved - at least 50 deaths of candidates and their families have been documented over the last few months.

There is expected to be an additional run-off in early November.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Double Trouble

Measurements taken around 7/20.

Weight: 12 lbs 8 oz
Head cir: 39.5 cm
Length: 22.8"

That's exactly double his birth weight! My foster mom is doing a wonderful job with him - I believe he's already up to about 14 lbs. Stay tuned for August measurements...

An email from Dominic's FM!

She said all is well. Dominic is getting big! No damage from Hurricane Felix, just lots of rain! I'll give her a call this weekend...

I'm not the only one anxious to go to Guate...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Good news!

I got an update today! I was entered into Family Court yesterday.

What does that mean? My lawyer usually does not do DNA testing before FC. So DNA can at least be scheduled now. No indication of when it will be completed, but it may as soon as a few weeks or may take a few months...

I'm hoping to have results the first few weeks of October and then we'll start planning the next visit trip!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The weekend recap will have to wait...

I have something better. :)

The close-up shot it a little blury, but it's definately the best smile! These photos were taken on August 21 - 1 week after I came home.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Ok. My mom said she's going to quit reading my blog because it's too sad. The entire weekend wasn't bad, just Friday. I'll post some pics from the good parts later! :)

Monday, September 3, 2007

Friday was rough....

Waiting for DNA updates look like this at my house -

Anticipating "THE DAY" for updates from my lawyer. This takes all the fun out of Fridays when you don't get any news....

A computer induced injury from hitting refresh on my agency status page too many times. OK, so this is really a pre-existing condition but I had to get out the Bengay and brace this week from the ridiculous amount of time I've been on the computer...

A room full of boxes I'm scared to unpack. It would just break my heart to have to pack all this stuff back up. In the meantime, my office looks like hell.

Many tears... OK, so it was more of a big fat ugly cry that looked something like this...

but luckily I have friends to pick my pitiful butt up even though they are faced with their own struggles! :)

Thank you for the phone call A.! You've been so sure about this journey even before I was, myself. And L., your positive e-mail was just what I needed Friday night!

These tears I've cried,

I've cried 1000 oceans...

And I would cry 1000 more

if that's what it takes to sail you home

- Tori Amos