Thursday, December 13, 2007

First Voss Family Picture!

Here is our first shot together as a family on our flight back to the US taken courtesy of our Spirit Air flight attendant, Bill.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Well, the Voss family is now complete. We touched down yesterday in Ft. Lauderdale at 11:20am EST. We cannot be happier about finally having our son home and in time for Christmas. He truly is a dream come true and the best Christmas present EVER. I will upload more pictures once we are back in Jacksonville next week. But I will post this one of Gabriel at the Westin pool on Wednesday.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us during this long journey. We truly appreciate them from the bottom of our hearts. And now the true adventure begins - PARENTHOOD. And we simply cannot wait!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Update from Guate City!

I just wanted to update everyone that we made it safely to Guatemala City and picked up Gabriel on Monday morning - for good! We are elated to have him with us and that tomorrow we don't have to give him back as we had done two times before. It still seems very much unreal to us that he will be coming home with us tomorrow. God indeed is very good. We went for Embassy day yesterday and everything went very smoothly. Today, his visa is being delivered to the hotel and tomorrow, we are off to the good ole' USA. Gabriel automatically becomes a US citizen once we touch down.

We will be in Miami for a couple of days, but as soon as I get back to Jax, I will upload his pictures.

Thank you for everything! Without you guys, this would not have been possible.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

GC Bound!

Well, everyone, we are Guate City bound today!! I will try and blog a little bit while we are there. But don't worry, there will be a ton of pictures once we get back! I simply cannot believe we are on our way to picking up our son and bringing him home - for good!

Thank you for all your prayers, thoughts, well wishes, emails, and calls during this journey. They have absolutely meant the world to me.

Next time you see pictures, Gabriel will be in our arms!

Monday, November 26, 2007

We Got Pink!!!

That's right! At 3:13pm EST, I received the email from the American Embassy in Guate informing us that Gabriel received pink! Next week, we will he will be placed in our arms forever and we will be bringing our sweet, little boy HOME!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

DNA 1 and DNA 2

I thought it would be cute to show a picture of what Gabriel looked like when he had his DNA taken out at the beginning of our adoption journey vs how he looks for his 2nd DNA test this past Tuesday. In the first picture he was a day shy of 1 month; in the second picture he was 6 months (and 7 days) old.

Friday, November 16, 2007

And The Countdown For Pink Begins.......

We found out today that Gabriel had his 2nd DNA test done on Tuesday, the 14th. From that point on we begin the two week countdown to PINK! So most likely we will receive pink the final week in November! Pink, for those that don't recall, is the US Embassy's notice to adoptive parents of their Embassy appointment to finalize the adoption paperwork and get the baby's passport and visa to travel home!

This 2nd DNA test began recently in August to aid in eliminating any issues with regards to switching babies. Our agency is incredibly reputable so we never feared that problem, but every baby adopted from Guatemala now has to have this test done. This is a good procedure to have in place - to be able to compare the baby's 1st DNA test with his 2nd DNA test.

Can we say we are the LEAST bit EXCITED?????????

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Please Watch This

Please watch this video.

Two families from my agency ( were interviewed regarding their personal adoption journeys and they bravely told their story. We continue to pray that a grandfather clause is enacted for in process families to be able to finish the adoptions they began.

In the meantime, we keep Baby Nora and Baby Isabella in our prayers; that they may be reunited with their forever families very, very soon.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Good News x Two!

Today we found out that Gabriel's birth certificate has been issued with our last name! Funny enough they added my maiden name as his 2nd last name, but that is very traditional in the Latin culture. Now we can add him to our health insurance policy.

On another good note, I was checking my credit card statement online and noticed that we were charged for his 2nd DNA test today!! So hopefully his DNA will be taken soon and the results can be sent to the US Embassy in Guatemala quickly so that they can issue pink!!!

Steps left:

* The new birth certificate and the entire adoption file of documents are sent for translation from Spanish to English.
*After translation, the final file is submitted to the Embassy for pink slip and the lawyer is given a second DNA authorization slip (US office processes payment with US Lab and faxes confirmations to Guatemala lab).
*The child is brought into the Guatemala lab for a second DNA test. The Guatemala lab sends samples that same day to the US lab.
*When the Embassy receives the results from the lab in the U.S. indicating a match with the first DNA test, it issues the pink slip (probably within 14 days of the second test).
* Pink slip is picked up at 3:30pm - embassy appointment day and time will be printed on the slip. FTC sends Pink Slip to you by email and you book your flights.

*After receiving pink slip and before Embassy Day, Guatemala office will prepare the package for Embassy Doctor visit and make the appointment based on availability of the Embassy Doctor.
*You come for Embassy interview appointment (M, T, W, or Fri, currently one to two weeks after pink)
*Next business day – Visa is ready (3:00 pm M-Th; 11:00 am Fri. – FTC will pick this up for you)
*Next Day – you can fly home

Monday, November 12, 2007

New Pair of Kicks

As you all know, I love baby shoes and my mom found these and well, she just had to get them for lil' G. Aren't they *just* adorable?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

November Doctor's Visit

Gabriel went for his doctor's visit on Wednesday. He is up to 14lbs, 1oz.

I picked up that cutie out for him at Target. I think it looks just adorable on him.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Oh how I love baby shoes! I adore baby clothes too, but shoes always get me! Check out the three pairs I bought for little G. I can't decide which are the cutest, but when I saw the black ones, I had to get them because they are just like his daddy's.


Oh what a bittersweet moment I experienced this afternoon.

We found out today at 5:07pm EST that Gabriel's birth mother signed off for the fourth and final time. Upon finding out, I started sobbing uncontrollably. I am beyond elated that he is officially our son, but my heart hurts for her tonight. She will never be far from my thoughts and one day I will tell Gabriel what an ultimate sacrifice she did for him ~ to have a better life. I knew this journey would not be easy for me. I have experienced a myriad of emotions on this rollercoaster ride especially since my birth mother gave me the same gift almost thirty years ago. I don't expect a lot of people to understand my feelings, but that is quite alright. My son and I already have things in common ~ a birth mother that loved us enough to make this sacrifice and adoptive parents to carry that journey out with unconditional love.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Happy 6 - Month - a - Birthday!!

Our little guy turns 6 months old today!!! We miss him terribly, but know that we will be on our pick up trip very, very soon!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Guatemalan Elections

Here's an interesting article on today's elections in Guatemala that my friend Beth sent me.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What Needs To Happen Next?

Ok, for those wondering the order of things that still need to take place - here you go:

  • Birthmother signs final decree (final time she signs off)

  • Birth certificate issued (From Maza for those wondering - with our last name!)

  • Passport issued

  • Orange (request for DNA to be done)

  • DNA taken

  • Results to US Embassy

  • Pink (Embassy appointment is issued)

  • Buy plane tickets and pack our bags to go pick him up!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Surprise Visit Pictures!

Well, today we received my favorite pictures - surprise visit ones. Isn't he just adorable!? I can't wait to bring him home for good. My sweet little man...

Here are the rest of the pictures:

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Almost 24 hours ago...

It has been almost 24 hours since we got THE CALL and I am still having a hard time believing we are truly OUT of PGN. Thankfully I have my caller id to rely on that reminds me, YES, this did actually happen.

For those concerned as to why I would put my agency's number on my blog, need not worry. This is their main number that can be found on any internet search or their main home page. Besides, why not spread the word that we have the world's best agency???

Hmmm....need I say anything else?

Well, the reality hasn't sunk in just yet that our son is coming home soon. Considering I went to sleep at around 11pm and woke up at 4am, I am simply running on pure adrenaline right now. I still have so many people left to call and emails to answer.

I had seen this adorable onesie at Kohl's a couple weeks back, but didn't want to purchase it just yet. At 9am this morning, I was at Kohl's buying the last one left. I can't wait to see Gabriel wearing it.

My BEST Christmas present EVER.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

7:12pm EST

At 7:12pm EST, our lives changed FOREVER. We got THE CALL. THE CALL that told us we ARE OUT OF PGN. That's right, we are officially Gabriel's parents. We are still in complete disbelief that in 7 weeks and 5 days our file was approved. Utter disbelief.

Thank you, Lord. We are in awe of you and the mercy you have bestowed on us.

What does this mean?

That in about 5 - 6 weeks, our sweet little boy IS COMING HOME!

October Social Pictures!

This morning we received Gabriel's October social visit pictures. Thankfully we got these to help us through our wait in PGN. Thank you for continuously keeping us in your prayers. We greatly appreciate them.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Call for More Help - Pressure On UNICEF

We still have not received any sort of uncanned response from UNICEF as to their stance on everything that is going on. Our agency has asked us to spread the word and continue to pressure UNICEF until they quit sending us canned email responses that are so vague that no one understands which side they stand on and start to tell us where THEY REALLY STAND.

Here is the contact information so that you can begin emailing them.

Anne Veneman
Patrick McCormick
Manuel Manrique
Kate Donovan
Max Gebhardt
Corina Peralta
Ben Amich

Here is the letter to cut and paste.

Dear Mr. Gebhardt:

Why won’t UNICEF just say precisely what it is doing in Guatemala right now and what it has done in the past few months?

(1) UNICEF purports to disavow responsibility for Guatemalan adoption policy by claiming that it is up to the Guatemalan government to decide what “in process” means. Yet, it is UNICEF's involvement that raised the issue. Guatemalan law has always been clear that an adoption is “in process” upon registration of a power of attorney with the appropriate Guatemalan ministry. It was only after UNICEF and the Hague Permanent Bureau and the U.S. Department of State got involved with “advising Guatemala on Hague compliance” that the meaning of “in process” became unclear. UNICEF may not make the final call, but UNICEF certainly bears responsibility for this even being an issue.

(2) UNICEF's definition of “due process” begs several questions: What does “verification of the origin of the child” mean? Aren’t two DNA tests, one near the beginning of the process and one at the end, sufficient to “verify” the “origin” of a child? What does “informed consent of the biological mother” mean? Aren’t at least four opportunities during the process for the birth mother to declare her intent to parent the child sufficient to establish consent? Isn’t a report by a family court social worker, prepared after a birth mother is interviewed about the adoption process and the meaning of her decision to relinquish, enough to establish informed consent? Most of all, how is it "due process" for the rules to change midstream?

(3) I believe, after educating myself on the adoption process and on Guatemala generally, that the Ortega bill is a disaster and that bill #3635 is better. Why does UNICEF refuse to even acknowledge 3635? What is the basis for the claim that 3635 is not Hague compliant? Which provisions fall short? What is missing that must be there? Until this is explained by those who claim it (UNICEF, the Hague Permanent Bureau, the Department of State), I am persuaded by Focus on Adoption's analysis of this matter - see FOA has published what the treaty requires, what 3635 does, and how 3635 complies with the treaty. UNICEF, on the other hand, is choosing to refuse to state publicly what it is doing in Guatemala and why it thinks only 3217 is Hague compliant but not 3635.

(4) Please explain the following remark and what UNICEF believe it means, precisely, for in-process cases: “UNICEF believes that the current legislation includes not only the law which allows private notarial adoptions, but also includes the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Integrated Protection Law of Guatemala.”

[Insert your signature]


Thursday, October 25, 2007

7 Weeks Today

Today marks seven weeks that our file entered PGN. I pray we get our OUT call very soon! We just want to hear the very good news that our file has been approved and we are officially Gabriel's parents.

I greatly appreciate everyone's prayers and thoughts during this time. We thank you for your continued support during this difficult time. It's all a waiting game...

Could this be the week we get the call???

Friday, October 19, 2007

Everyone Rejoices A Little More!

Three more families from my agency found out today they got out at 7 weeks and x days, previo free!!! This is amazing! That makes it 6 seven-weekers in one week!!!! We are truly rejoicing with them!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Everyone Rejoices!

We learned today that three families from within our agency exited PGN at 7 weeks without any whammies/previos! This is very good news and hopefully a sign of good things to come!!

Dear Lord

I pray everyday and ask that you guide us through this difficult time right now as we wait for our file to exit PGN. I ask that you bless the reviewers in PGN and Sr. Barrios as he looks over everyone's files. I cannot imagine they have an easy job. We are frightened with the upcoming 12/31/07 deadline looming in the not so far distance, but we put all our faith in you and know that in your time, our file will be approved and little Gabriel will be coming home to his forever family.

I pray that everyone who reads distorted stories regarding adoptions in Guatemala realize that what they are reporting is not the truth. We are not bringing Gabriel home to do him harm; we did not steal him from his birthmother, we are not going to harvest his organs - we are going to give him a loving home; watch and guide him as he grows into a strong, Christian man. That is all we want for our son. He will learn one day that his birth mother made the ultimate sacrifice and I pray for her peace everyday.

I lift all those on the adoption journey in Guatemala up in prayer. If this journey wasn't for the weak of heart before, it is definitely much less right now. We lean on you Lord, for your guidance, peace and mercy. We acknowledge that everything good comes from you Lord and that you are watching over us - every step of the way.

In Jesus' name, I raise these prayers up to you, Oh Lord.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

6 weeks in PGN

Today marks 6 weeks that we are in PGN. Most files begin to exit around week 8 or 9 - some before that mark, others after. Please pray our file exits PGN soon, so we can bring our sweet little boy home.

Thank you to all those who signed the petition yesterday. Please continue to sign it. Our voices need to be heard!

Please sign this petition!

We continue with our efforts in getting the word out about everything that is happening. I ask that you please read this petition and sign it.

Thank you!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Weekend Call to Action!

1. Phone Call. Since UNICEF has been protecting Director Veneman and not transferring calls to her or to her voicemail from the switchboard, then here may be a way to get through while they are closed.

Maybe this should be passed around the adoption community for the weekend while Unicef is closed?

The issue is that Unicef needs to clarify clearly is:- does UNICEF support the grandfathering of all cases in process as of the effective date of any new law in Guatemala (cases would be processed under the current adoption system)?; and- what do they mean by "due process" in their statement? Due process has a very different meaning than grandfathering.

To leave a message on the voice mail of the Executive Director (Veneman) you should:

1. dial the switchboard 212-326-7000
2. Listen to the recording, and choose 1 to use the "dial a name feature"
3. Type in 8363626# (which are the numbers for the letters Veneman)
4. You should hear a voice mail outgoing message for the office of the Executive Director.
5. Leave your message at the beep.

2. Fax. Ask the same questions, in your own words, by fax.

Unicef's fax number is 212 326 7758.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Yet Another News Story!!

It is great to see these stories hit the news! It means our work is paying off!

Please watch the clip below:

Watch this news clip!!!

Another positive media clip! Turn the volume up.

If the picture doesn't come through, click on the article titled Couple Fights to Bring Adopted Daughter Home from Guatemala

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

True stories are finally hitting the media!!

Please read the story below.

It's just another story that we hear on this side that the media DOES NOT PUBLISH until now! There are thousands of these stories that never get heard. Unfortunately if a grandfather clause is not enacted soon, many of these children will end up in foster care until they are 18. What a travesty and injustice this is.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

October Doctor's Visit

Well, in the midst of all this blahness, we got pictures of out little man today! He only gets cuter! He is now up to 13lbs, 70z.

Monday, October 8, 2007

First Lady Contact information

For those who have asked for the First Lady's contact information.

Phone: (202) 456-1414
Fax: (202) 456-2461


While I recognize there are a lot of posts on my blog regarding this pressing issue, please refer to this post here for the most information:

I don't want all these other additional posts to get in the way of the one that has the most information.

Thank you again for all your hard work! I know it will pay off and we will bring Gabriel home. Your prayers and good thoughts are always appreciated.

What ELSE can you do?

What else can you do? In addition to your primary calls to U.S. Congress and UNICEF, you can contact the following:

SOSEP (Guatemala)
Director Teresa Echeverría de Bastarrechea
Office Phone - 011-502-2383-8400·
Assistant Director - Edin Palma - Same office phone
Office Phone - 011-502-2383-8400
Jaime Tecu
Office Phone - 011-502-2239-0000 ext 2766
Please note that calls and faxes to Guatemala are international calls

Guatemala Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Minister Gerth Rosenthal
Office Phone 011-502-2410-0000, 2410-0010
Vice Minister - Marta Altoaguirre
Office Phone 011-502-2410-0020

PGN (Guatemala)
Carlos Victor Hugo Barrios Barahona
Office Phone 011-502-2248-3200 Ext. 207/208

Procuraduria of Human Rights
Dr. Sergio Morales
Office Phone 011-502-2424-1717

Embassy of Guatemala in the U.S.
2220 R Street N.W.Washington, DC 20008
Office Phone 1-202-745-4952
Office Fax 1-202-745-1908

More information on what to say (if you need guidance)

Below are some suggestions on what to say when you contact the US Congress and UNICEF to help you out. This can be a bit confusing, but the general idea is very straightforward and all they need to do is help pass a grandfather clause amendment to the Ortega Law. That will help all in process parents bring their much loved babies home.


What should you say or write to a member of the U.S. Congress? Speak from your heart and give them the following information:·

Inform them that you are calling regarding the Guatemala 5000.· Ask them to sign the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) sponsored letter to President Oscar Berger· Ask them to sign the Joint Council sponsored letter to UNICEF· Inform them that the Guatemalan government has announced that all intercountry adoptions with the United States will be suspended on January 1, 2008.· Inform them that President Berger's announcement also indicated that there will be no 'grandfathering' of adoptions already in process.· Inform them that if children referred to families are not allowed to be adopted, they will languish in institutions or foster care.· Ask that their office get involved and sign the sponsored letters to the President of Guatemala and UNICEF. These letters ask that all adoptions in-process as of January 1, 2008 be allowed to process to completion under the existing notorial laws.

What should you say or write to UNICEF?
Speak from your heart and give them the following information·

Inform them that you are calling regarding the Guatemala 5000.· Ask them to support the right’s of children and lend their considerable influence to ensuring that intercountry adoptions currently in-process be allowed to process to completion under the existing notorial laws.· Inform them that the Guatemalan government has announced that all adoptions with the U.S. will be suspended on January 1, 2008.· Inform them that President Berger’s announcement also indicated that there will be no ‘grandfathering’ of adoptions already in process.· Inform them that if children referred to families are not allowed to be adopted, they will languish in institutions or foster care.· Ask them again for their support of the Guatemala 5000 Initiative.

Can you explain the problem behind the pending crisis? Here is some additional information…

Guatemalan President Oscar Berger has announced plans to effectively stop all adoptions into the United States including those children who have already been referred to adoptive parents· Over 5,000 children have been referred· The birthparents for these children have already relinquished their parental rights. As a result, they currently have no family and the Berger suspension will result in these children having no prospect for a permanent, safe and loving family· The government of Guatemala currently does not have the finances or facilities to even provide housing for these 5,000 children· The Berger plan is a crisis waiting to happen.

More information on how you can help!

Thank you to everyone who has sent/fax/emailed letters on our behalf! We are incredibly grateful to you for doing this.

For those that did not know this - UNICEF is very much against international adoptions. Yes, you read the correctly. Four months ago they attempted to halt all adoptions in Guatemala and now they are refusing to back us on implementing a grandfather clause for all those who are in process. Needless to say, now we are going to begin contacting the corporations that give UNICEF money to let them know EXACTLY what is going on. More to follow on that once we have the contact information. Check back for details....

Below is how you can participate in the Guatemala 5000 Initiative. Make six simple phone calls and one email. Some of you have already begun doing this and for that we thank you GREATLY. Everyone is calling/faxing/emailing in the next 72 hours beginning tomorrow morning since today is a holiday (for some). This will maximize our push to get our point across.

Make six simple phone calls and one email.

1. Call your U.S. Senator.· You can find your Senators’ phone numbers at· Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff

2. Call your second U.S. Senator.

3. Call your representative to the U.S. House of Representative.· You can find your representative at· Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff

4. Call or fax UNICEF Headquarters· Ask to speak with Ann Veneman, Executive Director· Their number is 212-326-7000· Their fax number is 212-326-7758

5. Call or fax UNICEF Guatemala· Ask to speak with Manuel Manrique· Their number is 011-502-2327-6373· Their fax number is 011-502-2327.6366 Please note that calls and faxes to Guatemala are international calls.

6. Send and email supporting Intercountry Adoption to· Write briefly or at length· Joint Council will use the cumulative email petition in our advocacy for Intercountry Adoption

Sunday, October 7, 2007


I am asking that all of you that read my blog (and I know there is a number of you) to please read the posts below very carefully and TAKE ACTION. We, and 5000 other in process families are in danger of not being able to bring our babies home if our adoption goes past 12/31/07. I have cut and paste (with her permission) a post by another fellow adoptive mom who clearly explains everything that is going on and what we can do:

Here is her post: READ THIS

This is her post about what action needs to be taken: READ THIS

We all want Gabriel to come home and we simply cannot face the reality that he will not. The issue at hand is that once his birthmother relinquishes her rights to her son and we have not fully become his parents by law, that means, YES, he has NO LEGAL PARENTS. What happens then you might ask? HE GOES INTO THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM. We cannot allow that to happen. It is simply not an option. Guatemala is too poor of a country to even be able to take care of 5000 babies in their foster care system. It is not a reality and what is so saddening is that here you have all these parents that are going through the grueling adoption process only to be told that after all their work, they will not be grandfathered in under the countries old laws. This is simply unacceptable and we need to have our voices heard.

Greg and I will die trying to get that little boy home. He is our son and belongs with us here.

Please do what you can. We implore this of you.

Thank you.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Happy 5 - Month - a - Birthday!!

Guess who turns five months old today??? I can't believe how fast time flies!! Next Tuesday will mark five months since our lives were changed forever and we received Gabriel's referral. What a day that was!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Hey everyone!

Sorry I haven't been blogging much in the last week or so, but there isn't much to share. Tomorrow will be four weeks that we have been submitted to PGN. So far, we have been very blessed and have not received any previos. We continue to pray that we stay the course as is. This is normally around the time where previos are prevalent.

Gabriel will be five months old on Friday! How time certainly flies by! And we should be receiving his doctor's update around the 8th or 9th! I can't wait to see how much weight he has gained!

Also, some friends of ours from our agency got out of PGN unscathed and previo free yesterday after being in for 9 weeks!! We are elated for them and hope to see many more PGN outs in the weeks to come!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

September Surprise Pix!

I was thrilled to receive our September social pictures only to see that we also received our surprise pix a couple hours later!!

Here is the link to the rest of the pix:

September Social Pictures!

Well tonight we received the social pictures! Check out our little guy! He only gets cuter!

Two weeks into PGN

Today marks two weeks that our file entered PGN. So far so good, but we know of two other families that received previos. Thankfully they have been fixed and resubmitted back into PGN. We continue to pray for no whammies!

Thank you for all your prayers! We should be receiving social pictures soon of our little guy. Can't wait to see them!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Gabriel went to the doctor - September visit

Gabriel went to the doctor today and here is the report we received. As you can imagine, seeing his pictures make it very bittersweet for us. It is extremely difficult to watch your son grow in pictures. But we hold on to the notion that he will be home with us forever - very soon.



I do hope you are doing fine. This morning I had the opportunity to evaluate little Gabriel. He has now reached 4 months of age and has been doing well in the time since he was seen for the last time here in my office. He continues to be a very bright little boy who shows interest in all that goes on around him will turn to sound and to the different tones of voices he hears. He is also quite vocal himself and plays with the sounds he can produce, varying the tone and producing short bouts of laugh and vocalizes high feeling of pleasure.

He now shows better control of his neck muscles and will keep the head pretty straight in the midline when pulled to the sitting position. Also when on his stomach he is able to lift the head clear from the bed. Will attempt to reach out and grab whatever is nearby to put into his mouth. I am told that he takes well his formula and is also receiving his ordered vitamin supplement. Upon evaluation today I found this little one in good health with no obvious physical or neurological abnormalities, his weight is 12 lbs5 oz, length of 59.1 cms and head circumference of 39.2 cms. Please find some pictures attached.

Best Regards
Dr. M.

Here is the link to his pictures:

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Need opinions

Ok, so now that we are in PGN, I am starting to gather ideas for 0ur nursery and register for our baby showers. I would like your opinion on the crib that I like.

Post a comment and let me know what you think.


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Baby, We Are In PGN!!!!

Today we received an update that our file was submitted to PGN on Thursday, September 6th!!!! This is *awesome* news! Now we must pray that we get OUT in 8 weeks or less. Even nine weeks would be fine. With all that is going on in Guatemala, we continue to pray that we are able to bring Gabriel home by Christmas. You might hear of a lot of turmoil with the upcoming elections and possible implementation of the Hague Treaty, but we put our faith in God and know that He will not let us down. Greg and I wait to receive updates on all Guatemala situations from our agency because they have our best interest in mind and a lot of information you hear out there only suits to scare you. If you are the praying kind, we ask for your prayers during our stay in PGN. This is truly the last hurdle before we can bring little G home.

We have been told to expect a previo during our stay in PGN. A previo is when a reviewer requests more information or doesn't approve of a particular document and wants a do-over. During this time, you are kicked out from PGN while you wait for the file/document to be rectified. This basically adds more time onto your stay at PGN. So we pray for a previo-free stay in PGN. We also call them whammies. So no whammy, no whammy, no whammy!

Thank you to all our blog readers. We greatly appreciate you all keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. I truly believe deep in my heart that all our prayers will bring little Gabriel home.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Happy Four Month - a - Birthday!

Little Gabriel turns four months old today! Happy Four Month - a - Birthday, sweetheart! Everyday is one day closer to your father and I bringing you home for good.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

August Surprise Visit pix

Yesterday, we received our August surprise visit pictures. We were delighted to see our little man again. He looks a bit hacked off that they woke up him to take these pictures.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What is PGN??

For those wondering what PGN is, here is an explanation from the Department of State:

Prospective adoptive parents must receive receipt of “pre-approval” from the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (DHS/USCIS) office in Guatemala before their attorney can submit their dossier to the Guatemalan authorities. After obtaining clearance from a social worker under the supervision of a family court to proceed with a potential adoption case, the attorney submits the case to the Guatemalan Solicitor General’s Office (Procuradoría General de la Nación, PGN) for review.

The PGN reviews the adoption case for signs of fraud or irregularities before providing its approval for the adoption to proceed. Once the PGN approves the case, the Guatemalan attorney (the notary) authorizes the adoption deed and registers it at the Civil Registrar where the child’s birth was registered. The Guatemalan birth mother needs to provide final approval for the adoption at the time of the adoption deed. Upon registration of the adoption deed with the Civil Registrar, the adoptive parents in the U.S. are legally responsible for their child(ren). Finally, the Guatemalan attorney requests a birth certificate listing the adoptive parents as the parents of the adopted child. Following issuance of the new birth certificate, the attorney then requests and receives, normally on the same day, the child’s Guatemalan passport. With these final documents, the attorney submits the complete case file, including the I-600 orphan visa petition, to DHS/USCIS in Guatemala.

Slow and steady wins this race.

WE GOT PRE-APPROVAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today is a VERY good day! It took us exactly 13 weeks and 2 days to receive Pre-approval, but we got it! PGN here we come!!! It will most likely take a couple weeks (around 2 or so) to get into PGN, which is the final phase of the adoption progess and the most unpredictable. We hope to be in there for about two months without any kickouts. So please continue to pray for us. We greatly appreciate them. I am confident that everyone's prayers will bring our sweet little boy home.

No update...yet

We are still waiting on pre-approval. We continue to ask for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult wait.

~Thank you.

As soon as we have PA, I will let you all know.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

August Social Visit Pictures

Here are the pictures of our little Gabriel. His Grandmama (my mom) picked out this snazzy outfit for him!

My heart hurts today

We got Gabriel's social visit pictures today and I am just so sad without him. It is great to see him doing so well. But our hearts ache without him. My sadness today is inconsolable. That little boy is our world and right now someone else is watching him grow up. I just want him here with us with his forever family where he belongs.

Please pray we receive pre-approval today.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Waiting for PA Is Not Easy

12 weeks have gone by. That's one whole trimester for a pregnant woman. You can learn a new language in 12 weeks. Build a new addition onto your house in 12 weeks. Lose 15 lbs in 12 weeks. Or just wait for the American Embassy to process your paperwork and grant you pre-approval. We are hoping to hear something very soon. Today is 61 days since our dna results for Gabriel were notarized. I was hoping to hear something either Friday or Saturday. I even learned that the USE was open yesterday and catching up on PAs they are backed up on. But we haven't heard yet. To make myself feel better, I looked up images that make me happy and put a smile on my face. Need I say more??

Friday, August 17, 2007

Baby Bargains

Greg promised me that as soon as we get into PGN we can start planning the nursery! So as soon as we have PA, shortly after that we move into PGN. Now you can see my other reason for being so excited and anxious to receive Pre-Approval. To aid us in finding what we need and not buy what we do not need, I purchased this book called Baby Bargains (latest version is the 7th edition) that has come highly recommended to me from all my friends. I am also planning on registering. I just need to narrow down the stores to maybe my top 3 so it doesn't get very confusing. It is a little strange to register AFTER your baby is born, but that's alright. I don't mind doing things differently that others.

More Good News for PA Waiters

Update: I just found out that another family who had their DNA done on 5/22 received PA today!!! Yeah!!!!!

I learned that two more families from my agency received pre-approval between Tuesday and yesterday. One family had their DNA collected on 5/31 and the other on 6/1. Gabriel has his DNA collected on 6/4. So we are getting closer and closer!

The Wait Goes On....

Ok, so I am praying we hear something about PA either today or tomorrow. Monday will begin week 12 of this l-o-n-g wait. If you read this post and can offer up a prayer or positive thoughts, we would greatly appreciate it. Especially Gabriel. Doesn't his face just say "Hey Mr. Pre Approval Man, can we speed things up a bit??"

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Great news for a friend!!!

Their family received Pre-approval yesterday!!! I am so happy for them! Their DNA was collected four days before us. Now their case can enter PGN! She was part of the second batch of families waiting for PA - same group as us. We hope to be behind them very soon. If you wish to read more about their journey, click here.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Week #11

UPDATE: Two families from our agency received Pre-approval (PA) today! That's 9 more to go before they reach our week of June 4th.

Ok, so today begins week #11 since Gabriel had his DNA done. The wait for Pre-approval from the American Embassy is running about 11-12 weeks. We learned yesterday that there are 11 other families that had their babies' DNA done the week before ours that are still waiting for PA. So hopefully they will receive word soon. Then we should hear something shortly after that. This wait is endless. This is what we need to be able to enter PGN. But without it, all we do is wait some more.

11 weeks since DNA was done on June 4th also equivalent to 71 calendar days, 55 calendar days since DNA was notarized on June 20th or 41 working days since DNA was notarized. Confused much?

I will continue to pray that we receive PA really soon. Oh and we also found out that in the entire American Embassy in Guatemala, there is only one person that issues PA. Makes a lot of sense.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


I went shopping this weekend with a friend and scored a great deal on some clothes for little Gabriel. I was able to get him 23 onesies for $18.00! Not bad, ehhh? Saturday was the last day of tax free week here in FL and I got an additional 20% off of the clothes, so I really scored!

Now for getting it to Guatemala is another story! Sending anything but documents to Guatemala can be very costly due to taxation. Thankfully, our agency has a private message board that allows clients to interact with one another and form friendships with other families that are also adopting. A very kind couple has agreed to take our zippies and deliver them to our foster mother manager. They leave for Guate on Friday, so tomorrow I will FedEx them out to make sure they arrive in time for their trip on Friday.

Zippies are ziplock bags that we fill with anything we would like to send down for our babies and or foster mothers. We brought down clothes with us in July but because we most likely will not visit again until October, I wanted to send down some more stuff so that our foster mother had it readily available. I am also fortunate that I have four other friends going down in the next couple weeks that have also offered to take zippies down for me.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Gabriel's Three Month Doctor Visit

So we got the report early this morning! Little G is up to 11lbs, 6oz! He is definitely gaining weight and fitting comfortably into his new nickname (thanks Aunt Holly!) "chunk-a-wunka"!

Here are the additional pictures:

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Sadness hits suddenly

I miss my son so much today. I miss him everyday, but some days the sorrow is so much deeper. I just want him here - where he belongs with his forever mommy and daddy. Some days the emptiness is so deep that I can't breathe. That's how I feel right now. I miss his little hands, his tiny fingers, his toes and his smile. I know one day I will forget all this pain, but right now it is here and I'm sad.

Will someone hold my hand and help me through this?


"We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall" Prov. 16:33

As we wait for news regarding pre-approval, I need to remind myself of this verse. I put all my faith in the Lord and I know He will see us through these times.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Week #10

Today begins week #10 of waiting for Pre-approval from the American Embassy. I pray it comes this week. The sooner we receive this email from them, the sooner we can enter PGN, the final stage in the adoption aside from "pink". It's all a waiting game. Pink is the notification you receive from the Embassy letting you know that you can come down to Guatemala to pick up your baby and go home. But we first have to get into PGN to even worry about getting pink. For those wondering, the stay in PGN can be as short as 7 weeks or as long as indefinite. We are praying for a short two month or so stay in PGN. Less would be ideal.
Please join me in prayer this week that we receive Pre-approval.