We got matched with a little boy! His name is Enrique Quino Pablo and hopefully in a few (very very short) months he will officially be our son.
Here's how it "went down":
I posted about having a secret on Monday, May 1st. The secret was not that we had our match. The original secret was that I contacted our case manager that told us that she would review our paperwork and forward it on to the head of the Guatemalan Program to review. If the head of the Guatemalan Program saw no problems with it then we could be put on the waiting list even though we would still have 4-6 more weeks to wait for our I-171H. The waiting list for referrals was 2-3 weeks long so there was a good chance that our referral and our I-171H would come at the same time.
On Thursday, May 4th, I was home sick from work with a cold. I wondered a lot of the day, in between blowing my nose, if the head of the Guatemalan Program had gotten our paperwork yet and had a chance to review it. I wondered exactly when we would be put on the waiting list. The dog and I went to get the mail and like I have been doing almost every day, before I opened the mailbox I said a silent prayer that our I-171H would be in there. I flipped through the mail finding nothing but phone bills, store ads, a credit card application, and a rather plain envelope. I stared at the envelope trying to figure out if it was just the cold medicine that was making me see the word "Immigration" in the return address. I ripped that puppy open and when I saw that inside really was our favorable approval for international adoption, I-171H, I forgot about my congestion and stuffy nose and ran around the yard screaming to the pooch. I am sure it must have been quite a sight for the neighbors since it was late afternoon and I was wearing a bright yellow/green work safety t-shirt and my purple plaid pajama pants.
I ran into the house and took a deep breath, holding back tears of joy since we were one step closer to getting our little boy. Then I headed to the computer to fire off an email to our case worker telling her that we had gotten our I-171H. At 3:00 I got in the car with a box of Kleenex and headed to my office to make a couple copies and fax one to our case worker. Then I went to the post office to mail a good copy to the agency. I got home a few minutes before Greg.
Greg got home and we laid around for awhile talking excitedly about how quickly everything was going and how we really needed to start getting ready for our referral. In mid-conversation, the phone rang. It was our case worker and I was expecting her to tell us that she got the fax that we sent, that everything looked good, and the head of the Guatemalan Program was putting our name on the waiting list. That is pretty much what she said. Then she went on to say that we happened to be the only people on the waiting list AND there was a little boy that they were waiting to match with someone. My response was "Are you serious?" It didn't help when she told me that Enrique was born on April 1st. While we were still on the phone she clicked "send" on an email to us and sent us pictures and some medical information on Enrique.
Greg and I waited for the pictures to load. My hands were freezing and my palms were sweaty. I kept forgetting to breathe and my heart was pounding double time. Then our hearts melted when we saw that cute sleeping baby face. After looking through all the pictures, I held Greg and cried. It was a huge sense of joy, excitement, and reality all at once.
We went out to Toys R Us that night and bought him a present to celebrate that day forever - a big camouflage stuffed frog.
There was so much to do! There is a doctor in the area, Dr. Sarah Springer, who is an expert on all things international adoption. I had to email her all of our referral information, pictures, and medical information that we got. It was going to take her 1-3 business days to review everything but we needed to know by Monday that there was nothing of concern with Enrique. Plus, in order to confirm that we wanted to accept this referral, we had to play a large chunk of the adoption costs. We had all the money but in several different places so we had to write checks and deposit them and hope that they cleared before our time limit was up to confirm the referral. By Monday morning we had received a phone call from Dr. Sarah Springer saying that everything looked fine and I took that cashier's check that we got (since all our checks had thankfully cleared by then) up to the agency. And finally on Monday, May 8th, it was official. Enrique Quino Pablo would be our son.
With Mother's Day less than a week away, we decided to try to hold off on telling our families. It was a rough week and I was certain that I would accidentally say something. Today was the big reveal.
Greg and I found picture frames with a little heart opening and on the frame it said "My Heart Belongs to Grandma". We put one of the pictures of Enrique in there and wrapped them up for our Mother's Day presents. They were so excited when they opened their gifts and realized that they were looking at their grandson. If you would like to see their reaction go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q29tf0uETY4
Then it was time for the next question. What will we name him? We are going to use some form of Enrique Quino Pablo as his middle name but we are going to choose the first name. We have picked a name but all I can tell you at this time is that it will be one of these 50 http://gkline.com/names.html If you would like to play our name game just contact Greg or me and we will tell you how.
And now we are on to the hard part. Mostly, all we do from this point on is wait. Much of the process is out of our hands. It is a very hard position to be in knowing that we really have no control how long it will be until our son gets to come home with us. I have heard that this is the hardest part. I couldn't understand how that was possible since getting our dossier together was so stressful - waiting for things to come back, wondering if there would be mistakes, etc. Now I understand. Every day that passes and there is no progress is one day less that we get to spend with our son.