the homepage of gregory and ann kline

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bursting Your Bubble

I like to keep secrets. I am not very good at it so it is sort of a challenge for me. I like to keep secrets so I can surprise people with something much bigger and better in the future than telling the secret at that point would do. Contrary to the suspicions of my mother-in-law, I am not keeping a secret this time. I wish I was. My mother-in-law had this idea that perhaps Greg and I weren't telling anyone that when we went down to Guatemala on our trip to visit Marcus, that we would be bringing him back home with us. I really wish this was the case. Unfortunately, not going to happen.

Our file should be going into PGN any minute (it might already be there). If, God willing, we get our file approved quickly, it will still be another month before we can travel to get Marcus forever. Hypothetically in a perfect world with a perfect system that works the way it is supposed to, our final trip could be as soon as early October. I am expecting a much longer wait than that.

I am sorry to report that I am not keeping any secrets right now. Our trip will just be a visit. I still haven't figured out exactly how I am going to be able to fall in love with this little boy during our eight day stay and be able to hand him back over to the wonderful woman who has been caring for him. I have no doubt he is being loved very much and is getting wonderful care. Greg is still going to have to drag me to the airport kicking and screaming when we have to come home.



Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I got tears of joy just reading the subject line of the email I got yesterday. USCIS emailed me to let me know that our pre-approval has finally been issued and was ready to be picked up my our attorney in Guatemala. Finally after 3 months of waiting and praying for the DNA process to be complete, the day has finally come. Our file will now need to be resubmitted to PGN and hopefully be accepted.

However, our file may not be complete. I got an email from our agency this morning informing us that PGN has been kicking files out for not having the home study agency's license included. We don't have this in our file because it is not a requirement. Unfortunately, PGN seems to make up requirements and rules on their own schedule. Our agency is going to send us the license. Then we have to get it notarized, send it to a courier in Harrisburg to have her take it to be state certified, then have it forwarded on to a courier in NYC so they can take it to be authenticated by the Guatemalan Embassy there, and then have them return it to us. Then I will need to take this to my agency just in case our file would get kicked out of PGN for this particular previo so we have it available to resubmit quickly. This whole process will cost us another $200, all because we may or may not need it.



Saturday, August 26, 2006

Letter to a Senator

We have been waiting ever so patiently to get our pre-approval. It is the last thing we need to make our file complete (and hopefully correct). Today I got an email from our case worker suggesting that I write a letter to the Senator inquiring as to what the possible delay could be for the issue of our pre-approval. Really our pre-approval isn't severely overdue. The pre-approval can't be issued until after the US Embassy receives their copy of the DNA results. The DNA test was completed 3 weeks ago. Our agency informed us that it can take 6 weeks before the pre-approval is issued but we should contact our Senator to move things along for us if we haven't received it after 4 weeks. Not really sure why our case worker told us to contact our Senator now, only 3 weeks after the DNA test was completed. I figured if it would help move things along, why not. So bright and early this morning I wrote to our Senator.

My sister and her family stopped by today with some things for us. We are now the proud owners (or borrowers at least) of a baby swing, a high chair, and a crib! For the moment they are just shoved in Marcus's room unassembled. At some point we will need to get the full bed out of there to make some space. We should probably get a crib mattress too. One thing at a time!


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Spoke too Soon

Actually, posting a pissy post was really my plan. My case worker emailed back and said that the program director got our certified/authenticated DNA results today. According the USPS website, it hasnt been picked up yet but USPS only updates their tracking info in the evening. So my bitching paid off. I got it off my chest and our forms ended up where they needed to be.


What's the Deal?

We got our tracking slips from the DNA results that we had to send to North Carolina to be state certified and then to Georgia to be authenticated by the Guatemalan Consulate and then on to our program director in Florida. So where is it now? At the post office. According to the our tracking slip, a notice was left on Saturday for the program director that the package is there, but no one has picked it up yet! I can understand that no one was around the agency on Saturday. But what about Monday? What about Tuesday? Why couldn't someone go and pick it up then? We should have had this DNA stuff taken care of two months ago so I think I have every right to be a little ticked off that it has sat in a Florida post office for two days. I wrote an email to my case worker today and nicely informed her that I am irritated. Unfortunately, a lot of my email to her has been going to her spam folder so who knows if she will even get that for several days.

24 day until I meet my son!


Monday, August 21, 2006

Waiting for One More Check Mark

We are so close! We got the copy of our DNA results in the mail that the attorney is using and sent that on to get state certified and authenticated by the Guatemalan Consulate. I was kicking myself because I forgot to write down the tracking numbers of the packages that would be forwarded to the consulate and then back to our agency. Today I got the packing slips in the mail and it looks like everything is in order! Our agency received a notice on Saturday that our package containing the certified/authenticated DNA results can be picked up. Hopefully they did that today! Now all we need is our pre-approval which should come at any time. Then our file will be back in PGN and ready to be approved. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we have not more previos (errors with our file) and that we fly in and out of PGN. We have already had such a hold up getting the pre-approval and I have had about enough of waiting.

Our trip has been booked to visit our son and meet him for the first time! I was a little depressed this last week. It has been so hard waiting and waiting and waiting with not the slightest bit of information about when the waiting will be over. Now that we have a date for when we will at least get to meet him, the waiting is almost harder. How can I make it through the next 26 days??


Monday, August 14, 2006

Information Overload

We had information overload this weekend. At least I did. Found out last week that the DNA test had been done and have been waiting for the results, know they weren't supposed to show up for another week. Stupid me forgot to get the mail on Saturday but checked Sunday. And there it was!

Everything is good to go! The lab confirmed that they are 99.74% sure that the woman who gave our little boy up for adoption is his biological mother. We also got some information on the bio mother, including a photo of her holding Marcus. I cant even begin to imagine how difficult that moment was for her, to be holding this little boy of her's in her arms that didn't even know who she was, and knowing it was the last time she would ever see him. I cant interpret the look on her face but it is clear that there is not even a twinge of happiness or joy present. I look at that picture and look right past Marcus and right to this woman whose life, culture, history... everything... is so different than mine. I want to thank her or make her promises but even if she could understand my words, my words would never be enough. She is making the most incredible sacrifice. Her biggest loss is my biggest gain.

Looking at this woman, even more prominent than her brightly colored patterned blouse, is her long face and high cheek bones. After combing the DNA forms farther I was able to locate in what area of Guatemala she is from. The area is a concentration of all people and all things of Mayan decent. I spent all Sunday morning reading and reading about the place, the people, the giant market days they have there, and how rooted everyone is in their beliefs and culture.

I minored in Anthropology when I was in college. I have always been interested in the different ways that people live, particularly in cultures and beliefs that are so different from what I am submerged in. Most of my cultural studies in college were focused on tribes in Africa, a secret passion of mine that life has distracted me from. I feel like suddenly I have this free pass to learn all about a whole new culture now. Most importantly, I feel like everything I learn about this place and its people is something I learn about my son and who he is deep inside.

But enough of my being philosophical, on to me being insanely excited! The DNA test results mean that we can move full speed ahead in our plans to visit. I'm not sure if I ever made this clear, but during our trip we will get to spend 24 hours a day with our son. When we arrive he will be brought to us at our hotel. We will feed, clothe, play, and love him. Just Greg and I. Then when our trip is coming to an end his foster mother will come back and have to pry him from our arms. We have hotel reservations already made for mid-September and tonight we will be making our plane reservations! I tried all weekend to imagine what it will be like when I get to hold my son for the first time. I cant do it. I have no clue what to expect on this next leg of our journey.



Friday, August 11, 2006

Our Little Man

If you have a child already, stop reading right now. Why are you still reading? Just don't say I never warned you. It is just that we got updated pictures of Marcus and he is absolutely the cutest child ever. So don't even think about leaving a comment or emailing me and telling me that now you feel so guilty because you think Marcus is cuter than your own child. It is just a fact of life. He cant help being so cute. This kid is adorable. You don't believe me? Check him out yourself by
clicking here

Just as my friend suggested (you know who you are and I know you read my blog) I just want to crawl into my computer and scoop him up and squeeze those cheeks. When I think of babies I always think of these tiny little people with bald heads. Marcus is neither tiny nor bald. He looks just like a little man, very distinguished. The pictures are from last month. I hate having to put up with getting all the updates so after the fact, but so is the world of adoption.

In other news, it is looking as if it wont be long until I get to scoop him up and squeeze those cheeks. Greg and I started doing a little planning for a trip to meet him in September! Nothing is official yet but the wheels are starting to turn. Greg was thinking of a trip from Saturday to Saturday so we would have a day to recover before having to go to work on Monday. I know it is the logical thing to do but tell me one mother you know who always acts logically as far as their child is concerned. Why not stay that extra day? We have been trying to have a child for so long and then to think that we would not spend every minute possible with him pains me. Just one more day, 24 hours, 1440 minutes, 86,000 seconds (let me double check that... 86,400 seconds!). I am thinking we can recover when we are dead. While we are here we'll hang with our little man.



Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Marcus has DNA!

We got an update yesterday. The DNA test was completed on July 31st! Of course, since this is a never ending process, there is still so much more to do to finish the whole DNA portion. We don't have the results of the test yet, so technically we don't know if Marcus has DNA yet or not. The lab that performs the test is located in North Carolina. Once we get the results we have to send them to be state certified in Guatemala. Then we have to get them authenticated by the Guatemalan Embassy in Georgia. Then we have to get it back to Guatemala so we can get our pre-approval (a form saying that our DNA has been done). We have been waiting FOREVER to get the DNA test done so Greg and I can finally travel to meet our little boy.

The other news is that our file was in PGN and got kicked out again on August 5th. In the meeting just last week that the US Embassy had with PGN, PGN agreed to issue all previos (errors with files) at once. We are hoping that PGN continues to uphold their end of the agreement. Our file was kicked out only because we are missing the pre-approval. Hypothetically this means that once we get our pre-approval (which we will get once this DNA stuff is through) and our file is back in PGN, it will get approved.

We are still waiting to get our next medical report and updated pictures. Marcus should have had a doctor's appointment in July that we should receive information from.

Beyond that, Greg and I have been nesting. Over the weekend we rearranged the furniture in the family room in hopes that there will be more room for all the toys and baby stuff that we will surely accumulate. Last night Greg and I headed to Target to pick up a few things that we will need when we eventually travel to Guatemala. We are both feeling the anxiety and impatience to get him home soon. Next in the plans is to get the crib and changing table that my sister is lending us.



Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Process Improvement in Guatemala?

We got an email from our case worker yesterday with news about the adoption process in Guatemala. The US Embassy recently met with PGN, which is the court that reviews adoption cases and clears them to be finalized. Many families have been very frustrated with the operations of PGN, because their case may be kicked out many times for different reasons (called previos), some of which seem to be made up on the spot.

The good news is that PGN has promised to issue all previos during a single submission. Instead of immediately kicking out a file as soon as one error is discovered, they'll continue to review the case to find any other shortcomings. This should make a big difference, since each resubmission can take several weeks. Now, few families should ever need to re-submit more than once.

This should hopefully speed up the process for all families. PGN is understaffed to handle the case load they are currently facing. By reducing the number of times each case must be re-submitted and re-reviewed, PGN will be reducing its workload and the amount of time needed to get results should decrease.

That's all for now. We're still waiting for updates on our specific case, as well as the results and photos from Marcus' July doctor's appointment.

-- Greg