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.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Happy Three Month - a - Birthday!!!

Our little guy turns three months today! I can't believe how fast these three months have gone by already! It seems like we just received the referral yesterday, but that he has been in our lives forever already. Gabriel has a doctor's appointment this week (8/8). I am looking forward to see how much weight he has gained and how his skills are developing. I'll be sure to post those pix/results when I receive them.

Friday, August 3, 2007


Blessed: highly favored or fortunate (as e.g. by divine grace).

Luck: The chance happening of fortunate or adverse events; fortune. To gain success or something desirable by chance.

That's right, Greg and I are very much blessed to have little Gabriel in our lives. Whenever someone says we are lucky, I always respond with, yes, we are blessed and very fortunate. I don't believe in luck or chance happenings. I don't carry a rabbit's foot. I don't look for four leaf clovers. I don't cross my fingers and toes in hopes that something goes well. Instead, I send up prayers to God and thank Him every single day for blessing me with health, amazing parents, a loving and understanding husband and now our beautiful baby boy, Gabriel. I am an incredibly blessed woman.

For me personally, if I'm going into a battle of the spirit or the mind, I bring prayer with me because God *always* sees us through even when we think He won't. He knows what is best for us, even if we cannot see it at the time. Gabriel was not referred to us by chance or by fortune. God blessed us with an incredible gift that is our son. He is our precious little gift from God. He picked him out for Greg and I long before we knew we were ever going to adopt.

I am incredibly blessed. We are incredibly blessed.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Seriously, could I be any cuter??

Today we received July surprise visit pix! Gabriel will be three months on August 5th. Isn' t he just adorable? Oh my goodness! It totally made my day to receive these pictures and see that he is doing well.