We celebrated Eli's birthday today by calling him and his foster mother and then spending the evening with family. We got home and found out that the final adoption decree was signed by Eli's birth mother on 4/8/08. Our hearts are so full of gratitude for this amazing gift. This means that we are legally Eli's parents!!!!! IT IS OFFICIAL!!!!!! OMG!!!!!
So, what happens next?
Birth Certificate: The adoption is registered at the Civil Registry. Since we are legally Eli's parents, our attorney requests a new birth certificate that will list us as parents and Eli will officially be a SHANK!! Eli's birth certificate is coming from Guatemala City so it may take anywhere from 1-4 weeks.
Passport: Once the birth certificate is issued, Eli gets a passport so he can come home. This is typically completed within a day.
DNA Authorization: Our attorney then submits our file to the US Embassy and requests authorization to complete the 2nd DNA test. This test simply verifies that Eli is the same baby we fell in love with 11 months ago today. This is typically issued within a couple of days.
DNA test: Eli gets swabbed for the DNA test and also undergoes a final medical exam by the embassy approved doctor. The DNA sample gets shipped to a lab in the US for processing. Once the DNA sample is processed, the results are shipped back to the US embassy in Guatemala. This step can take anywhere from 5-10 days on average.
PINK: Once the embassy receives the DNA results, they notify us of our final embassy appointment for Eli's visa. The embassy typically issues the pink slip within 3-5 days of receiving the DNA test. The pink slip will tell us when we need to be at the embassy and it may be scheduled within 1-2 weeks.
Embassy appointment: We will receive Eli's visa the day after our embassy appointment. Once we have his visa, we are free to come HOME!!!!!!
We are ready to go!!! We leave on 4/27 and are staying in an apartment in Antigua until it is time for our embassy appointment. We are deliriously happy!!!!
THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING!!!!!