the homepage of gregory and ann kline

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Garage Sale Part 2

Do you think I could make a career out of having garage sales? We had another one. I didn't bother to make a huge announcement because it wasn't going to be nearly the scale that the last one was. My sister's neighborhood was having a neighborhood yard sale. I decided to borrow her yard. I didn't think I would take too much, just whatever I could fit into the back of Greg's Matrix. I fit way more things in there than I could have imagined! I didn't take any clothes, books, very little electronics, and no Christmas tree. I also decided to close up shop a little early because the crowd was dying down. I still came home with $65 (minus the gas I had to put in the car).

My mom was quit impressed with my efficiency. She said she never saw anyone set up and tear down a garage sale as quickly as I did. I am turning into a pro. After the last sale we mostly just put things in boxes. For this one, I just put those boxes in the car. It was really quite simple since everything was already priced. Maybe I should take my garage sale on the road! I like to think of it as my instant garage sale.

Hmm... Look at that. Only one more name left to sell. It sure would be nice to sell that off so we can announce a winner and tell everyone what we are naming our son...



Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I have read on message boards about pregnant women taking a "babymoon" with their husbands. Basically it is a last little vacation prior to their baby making his or her arrival. In a way, that is what the last few days have been for us, although I am hoping that we get in at least one more little babymoon prior to our son coming home.

Greg and I took a 4 day trip to the DC area. We did some site-seeing, visited with my family in the area, and caught a concert. Although I did notice that we were both slightly distracted from the sites the entire time. We spent a lot of time checking out everyone's babies, particularly how they were transporting their babies. We made a game of pointing out babies in Baby Bjorn (we just bought one on eBay) and scoping out the strollers of innocent bystanders. We were quiet excited when we got on the Metro at the end of a long day of touring only to be standing next to a couple who had their baby in the exact stroller that we are thinking of purchasing/registering for. The couple was probably rather freaked out by us staring at their child, but really it was all the features of the stroller that we were most interested in. Greg and I dared each other to ask the couple if we could take their stroller for a spin when we got off at our stop but neither of us was up to the challenge.

I was also distracted from our trip enough to check my email for any further updates. My obsessive behavior was rewarded yesterday morning when I received a short email from our case worker. She said that she put in another request (I was unaware of a first request) for updated pictures and medical information on our child. It seems that the Guatemalan Program Director is having difficulties obtaining the information from the pediatrician since we are not the only family waiting for this information. We were told that we would get medical updates every 6-8 weeks and sometimes we would have pictures with those. The last medical update we got was from April 4, three days after our son was born and exactly 11 weeks ago. Our son doesn't look anything like the pictures that we have of him from April 15th, and we have no idea what he looks like. That is more aggravating than anything.



Wednesday, June 14, 2006

My Evil Plan Worked - Sorta

My evil plan was to post on here about how sad and upset I was that I hadn't heard anything from our case worker concerning our case. I figured as soon as I did that, I would hear from her and get an update. I heard from her today! However, still no news. She said that updates are running late, as sometimes happens. I am feeling much better though. I mainly had this fear that information was being lost between our case worker and Greg and I since none of my emails had be answered. Even though I still do not know anything about our bundle of joy [I could use his name here if only we sold those last five squares...], at least I know there is nothing to be known at this point.

One of the questions that did get answered was about sending things to the foster family that is taking care of our son. Particularly, we would like to send a disposable camera so we can get pictures not only of our little boy, but also of where he is staying, who is caring for him, and his general environment. Not only would I like to see, but I think it would fantastic to get to show him those pictures when he is older so he gets some idea of the life that he had before he was placed in our arms forever. Our case worker gave us information on a courier who could deliver things for us. (understandably, they don't just give out the address of the foster family.) Now we have one more thing that we can do!



Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Where 'O Where...

Where is our update?? I have really taken pride in being rather relaxed. I get excited about things, sure, but I havent been too crazy just because I know that it will be months before our little one will get to come home. I am teetering on the edge of craziness.

Our case worker said that we should be getting an update at the end of next week or beginning of this week. So here it is Tuesday. Nothing. I almost wish that she wouldnt have said anything. But she did. And now I am crazy. I even emailed her yesterday with a couple of questions and she hasnt gotten back to me. I know people have lives outside of my anxieties, but I also think that she should be checking her email every 30 seconds like I do. Our case worker should be bringing her daughter home from Guatemala soon and I try to remember that, but really all I can think about is me and our little boy.

I want more pictures. Our son is now 2.5 months old and the only pictures we have is of him at 2 weeks. Sometimes you get pictures with your updates, sometimes not. Since we have only had one little update, I dont know if we are to expect pictures or not. One of the questions I asked in my email that I havent gotten a response to was if we could send a disposable camera to the foster family so we could get some pictures of him in this young quickly changing phase that he is in now.

I also want to know about our DNA test. I want to hear that the date has been set and we just need to pay for it and it will be done. We cant go visit until the test is done and I want to meet my son.

On a happier note, we have almost sold all of our squares on our name game. We have just 5 more to sell. I also really want to tell everyone the name that we picked but we cant do that until we sell all the squares. So what are you waiting for?? Hurry!! Buy your square!! You have a two chances to win!! You could win $200!! You could use $200 couldnt you??



Wednesday, June 07, 2006

What's Next?

I finally looked to see what part of the adoption process we are in now. I checked out the flow chart that our agency provided us. Unfortunately, the step that we are in now is described only as "Wait for the process to run its course in Guatemala". That might be enough information for some people, but not me. I want to know what is involved in that course that our process is running. I did a little internet research and found a little more. Below are the steps that I believe we have left to complete.

Currently we are in the following steps:
1. The lawyer submits all the documents in the case to Family Court, and petitions the Family Court to assign a social worker to investigate the case.

2. 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.

Next we will have to do the following:
3. Family Court 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.

4. Meanwhile the DNA test should have been performed, cleared, and submitted to the Embassy with your dossier for review and approval by the Embassy. The case cannot take the next step after Family Court until the Embassy DNA approval has been issued. This is a safeguard to prevent a situation in which a child is legally adopted under Guatemalan law, but not eligible for immigration under US law. A third consent by the birth mother is signed during the DNA process.

5. 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 Nación or PGN). (A Notary in Guatemala is an attorney with additional powers, not simply someone who certifies signatures as in the US.)

6. 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.

7. PGN issues its approval for the adoption to proceed.

8. The lawyer then meets the birth mother for the4thh and final sign-off.

9. The adoption decree is then written and issued by the lawyer and the child is legally now the child of the adoptive family.

10. 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).

11. 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).

12. All documents are translated into English by certified translators, as required by US INS regulations.

It looks like so much! I think a lot of it will move pretty fast though, so it probablyisn'tt too bad. I also emailed our case worker yesterday. She said that case updates should come out around the end of this week or beginning of next week so hopefully I will have lots of good news to report then.



Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Family Court

So I have a confession. I have been a bad mom. I was being so good. I was so up to date on everything that was happening in the process. I knew what needed to be done and what was done and what was coming up next. Now that we got the picture of our little angel, I end up thinking about him way more than I think about the process. I dont know what is next! I keep meaning to look at our flow chart that our agency gave us but then I get distracted and forget again. I just know that at this point there really isnt anything for us to do but wait, so in a way I dont want to see all the list of steps that other people need to take care before our son gets home. Here is where we are this far though:

Our POA (Power of Attorny) was received by the agency and sent to Guatemala. Our file has been submitted to Family Court. And our attorney is also preparing the DNA file to submit to the US Embassy for DNA authorization. The DNA test must take place to ensure that the woman giving our baby up for adoption has that right. This can take up to a month, although I am slightly nervous since it has been a week and we havent heard anything yet. It is probably nothing but I worry anyway. The good news is that while we are waiting for the DNA test and results, our file is also moving through Family Court at the same time.