Wednesday, October 31, 2007



Previo Progress

Okay, another quick update! Our attorney thinks that the birth certificate is just a bad copy. So, one of his staff is going to the civil registry on Friday to get a new copy. Geez, let's hope it is that simple! Let's also hope that he gets us resubmitted to PGN on Friday because PGN is closed on Monday due to the presidential elections. COME ON!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Previo Update

We finally received an answer today! Apparently, our file was kicked out of PGN because there is a signature missing on the birth mother's birth certificate. I looked at the copy we have and there are two lines for signatures. There is a definite signature on one line and a questionable signature on the second line. I'm not sure why this matters, but....PGN has the power to ask for a new one. Our attorney said this should be a quick fix, but he did not specify when he expects our file to be resubmitted to PGN. We hope to get that answer by the end of the week. So, what do we do? You guessed it!! Wait.........

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fav Foto Friday

Hee hee!! These are a couple of photos from the first disposable camera we got back from Eli's foster mom when we were in Guatemala. Notice the adorable couple in the picture Eli is holding?!?! Ha!! We sent that picture with our care package back in June. Too funny!! Oh, a special note to the Westsylvanian's lurking...we did not, I repeat, did not send down the outfit he is wearing. :)

Eli's foster mom is playing dress-up with with some of the items we sent in our care package!! The hat, shoes, snuggly blanket, and of course the picture of that adorable couple. Hee hee

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Budding Artist

Eli's first refrigerator art!! This card was included with our disposable camera. Isn't this the cutest thing??!! We love it!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bonus pictures!!

Lookee what we got today!! Woohoo!! Just in time to soften the blow of our previo. Funny how that works!! The family of Eli's foster sister were down visiting last week and brought back one of the disposable cameras we left with his foster mom. These pics were taken about 2 weeks ago.

Look mommy and daddy, I can hold up my own bottle!!

Ahhhh.....toy heaven

Babe in toyland

(yes, these are all things we left for him after our visit)


We called PGN today and found out our file was issued a previo (kicked out) on 10/18/07. This means that the reviewer found something in our file that needs corrected. At this point, we don't know what needs corrected, but we hope to get an update from our attorney soon. Most cases are issued at least one previo so this is not unexpected. But, let's just hope the problem is a QUICK and EASY fix and something our attorney can handle on his end. And, I hope our attorney has already picked up our file and is working on it. The really sucky part is that once we are resubmitted to PGN we start from the beginning of the review process all over again. Oh well. We just have to keep waiting.......

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock

Waiting is hard!! But, that's what we have to do...wait...and wait...and wait...

Luckily, we have been very busy the last few weeks and that does help, a little. So, here are some brief updates from the past couple of weeks.

President Berger issued a statement indicating he supported the grandfather clause, but it was vague and noncommittal. Even so, our agency and many other involved parties feel confident that it will be approved by the Guatemalan congress. Congress is set to vote sometime after the presidential election (11/4). At this point, it is unclear how "in process" cases will be defined and how the grandfather clause will be implemented. US congressman are currently being asked to sign letters to President Berger, UNICEF headquarters in NYC, and UNICEF headquarters in Guatemala urging support for the grandfather clause. The deadline for congressman to sign these letters is tomorrow. I will be calling ours today to see if they have signed or plan to sign. All of this uncertainty has obviously been stressful and we are emotionally drained right now! But, Eli will come home. We don't know when, but he will come home.

A couple of weeks ago, I called PGN and found out that we are with the second reviewer. There are 3 levels of review in PGN and the second review seems to take the longest. The woman I spoke with told me to call back in 2 weeks for an update so that is what I will be doing in a couple of days. Hopefully, it will be good news!

We spoke with Eli's foster mom last week! One of the teachers in Jason's carpool just happens to be the Spanish teacher at the high school. How awesome is that?!?! His foster mom informed us that he is now sitting up and ready to start cereal. Before we went on our visit trip in August, we tape recorded ourselves reading stories and then left the tapes/recorder with the foster mom. She said that Eli smiles whenever she plays the tapes. Isn't that sweet of her to tell us that? Regardless of whether or not it is true!

And, we are finally feeling ready to tackle the nursery. We are quickly realizing that we have a lot to do to get ready for Our Little Pea!

Updated measurements

We received updated measurements last Friday and Eli is definitely a little pea!! We don't know exactly when these measurements were taken, but most likely the end of September/beginning of October.

Weight: 14 lbs
Length: 25.5"
Head cir: 16.5"

I looked at the CDC growth charts and he is in the 10th percentile for weight, 50th percentile for length, and 25th percentile for head circumference. So, I guess this means he is skinny, average height, and has a small head! His growth has been very consistent and he is healthy. Those are the most important factors.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Dear daddy

Happy Birthday!!!!

I hope you are having a good birthday, daddy. I miss you!! I can't wait until you can read me stories every night, play with me, and kiss me goodnight. But, don't worry...I will be home soon and then we will have lots of fun together. I love you to the moon and back.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A reason to celebrate

My friend, B, and her husband are meeting their daughter for the first time today in Guatemala! I am sooo excited for them. It is moments like these that make all the hard stuff worth the fight. She will be posting an update on her blog in the next day or two. Check it out and send her a BIG CONGRATS!! It has been a rough few weeks in the adoption world so this is a great reason to celebrate and a reminder of why we are fighting so hard to bring our babies home.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


Some good news!! Thursday was an exciting day for us! We received notice on Thursday that Eli's birth certificate was corrected before we were submitted to PGN. YEA!!! This is wonderful news!! We continue to hold onto hope that our adoption will be approved by PGN before the end of the year.

In addition, we are local celebrities. Ha! We were interviewed by one of the Toledo news stations, 13 Action News, regarding the potential shutdown of Guatemalan adoptions. The night before, CNN had a story on Guatemalan adoptions (which was HORRIBLE and misleading) and I think that may have hit the local station radar. My brother-in-law works with a woman who adopted her son from Guatemala and she has a friend, who has a friend that works for the news station. Funny how that works, huh?! This woman received our Call to Action letter through a web of e-mails and mentioned our names to the news reporter. He interviewed her family as well. The interview was very short, we didn't get to say everything that we wanted to say, and most of what we did say was edited. But....we think it turned out okay. I think they were more interested in filling some dead air time than in Guatemalan adoptions. If anything, we put a face to adoption. Jason is trying to figure out how to post the interview here so hang tight. :) The news station did not post it on their website so our technology skills are really being challenged!

To top it all off, we watched the Indians kick some Yankee butt. GO TRIBE!!! We're going for a sweep!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

We're making a difference!!

We are getting numerous reports from congress people and others that all the campaigns are being noticed. So keep up the good work! -Kevin from Guatadopt
Thank you to everyone who has sent letters, e-mails, faxes, and made phone calls. IT IS WORKING! The "powers that be," including our agency feel very confident that a grandfather clause will be added as an amendment to the new adoption bill. This is wonderful news for in-process families, like us. The Guatemalan congress is scheduled to review the law and all amendments on Tuesday, but the final vote will not be held until after the presidential election in November. So, nothing is final yet, but it looks promising. The US Department of State and the Hague Permanent Bureau have made official announcements that they are supporting a grandfather clause. UNICEF, unfortunately, has not made this commitment. Please continue to make some noise, especially to UNICEF. It is simply SHAMEFUL that an organization claiming to be an advocate for children is not taking a stand for what is right.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Political Update

We found out yesterday that the Guatemalan congress approved the "Ortega Law." I won't go into details about this law, but this is a tragedy to the future of Guatemala adoptions. There is still work to be done on this bill and congress is meeting on 10/9 to review all of the amendments. One of the amendments on the table is a grandfather clause for all current cases. This would allow current cases to proceed under the current laws. Our agency and other groups feel confident that this amendment will be approved, but it is still up in the air. If this amendment is not approved, there are potentially 5000+ children that will be left in limbo and the Guatemala government has no plan for these children. It would be devastating.

Focus on Adoption, a major advocacy group, is urging all of us touched by adoption in some way (that includes friends/family) to contact our congressmen, the Department of State, and UNICEF to urge them to support this amendment and place pressure on the Guatemalan government. We need to make these contacts today and tomorrow since the Guatemalan congress will be reviewing the amendments on 10/9.

We thank you for all of our support and your efforts to send these letters can make a tremendous difference in the loves of 1000's of children, including our son.

Jason and I will be faxing letters to the Department of State and UNICEF. If you want to e-mail us your letters, we can fax them all at once. Just e-mail them to us by tomorrow afternoon.

Thank you, thank you, thank you

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Look what we got today!!

The sweet face we needed to see today.

It does matter

The past week has been extremely difficult trying to balance hope while also being faced with the unthinkable. The situation with Guatemala adoptions is extremely serious right now and we are at risk of losing Eli. I have debated all day how to address this in the blog or to even address it at all, but this is part of our journey. No Pollyanna today. The fact is we are scared to death because we have no idea what is going to happen. We have fallen madly in love with our son , he is imprinted on our hearts forever, and the possibility of him not coming home is simply unbearable.

There are many, many people and agencies fighting for our children and a difference has already been made with the US Government. They are now stating they are pressuring Guatemala to allow in-process cases to continue under current laws. However, the US government is still supporting Guatemalan legislation that would basically make international adoption impossible. The US not only needs to pressure Guatemala to allow current cases to proceed under the current system, it also needs to support legislation that promotes the future of adoptions and Guatemalan children. Obviously, Guatemala is a sovereign nation and will do as it chooses, but nobody can argue that the US exhibits significant influence (history reveals a great deal).

There are two pieces of legislation before the Guatemalan government right now regarding adoption reform: one that is supported by the President of Guatemala, the US, and UNICEF and one that is supported by the adoption community both in the US and Guatemala, attorneys, and many Guatemalan officials. One of the major power players in this "game" is UNICEF. UNICEF is dangling a $28 million dollar check in the face of President Berger if he basically stops international adoption. Do not be fooled by UNICEF. They are not advocates for children.

Read more about this:

So, President Berger can choose to stop all adoptions, but....what happens to the 5000+ children who have already been referred to their adoptive parents and have already been relinquished by their birth mothers?? Guatemala has NO social welfare system and NO money to support these children. The government has no plan for these children. Some will end up in orphanages that are terribly overcrowded and understaffed with very little resources. This is no place for any child.

Now, I am certainly NO expert on all of the politics involved in this situation and it is much more complicated than I have presented. But, the fact still remains that this is a very serious situation. We could choose to set back and think "it will all be okay," but we would be sticking our heads in the sand. I hope that it will all okay. I hope that Eli comes home to us very soon. I hope all of the children currently matched with their families come home soon. I hope that the US Government, UNICEF, and, most importantly, the Guatemala Government puts the children first.

I know not everyone is an activist. But, if you want to help in any way. There are several things you can do. We ask that you please sign the petition I referenced in an earlier post. I added a link to the petition at the top of the blog. It literally takes a minute. You can also e-mail/fax your Senators and Representatives. I listed a couple of links for form letters that you can use. All you have to do is type in your information. It is very easy and it will take maybe 10-15 minutes of your time. If you are inspired to do more, click on the links above.

It may not seem like it it will make it difference or that it matters. To 5000+ children and to those not yet born, it does matter.

Okay, I will step down from my soapbox.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
-Margaret Mead