We are in the beautiful Hotel San Carlos, and we just met Carlota, our lovely attorney. Today at 3pm, we will meet David Carlos for the first time. Right now I am just going with the flow. The only prayer I have at the moment is that I do not go into labor here!
We arrived around 10pm last night on our Continental flight. Jeff arrived from Mexico City around midnight. He had fun on his trip to Cabo San Lucas, except he caught a cold. Bummer. But he and Dennis did a lot in just a few days. They went deep-sea fishing, and Jeff caught a 100-pound Marlin. Thankfully he threw the big buddy back into the sea. Jeff and Dennis also went cruising on some wave runners. Of course, Jeff was running his at full speed while jumping the thing, so he crashed and hurt his ribs. Ouch. I may as well get used to the injuries now that I will be living with two new little boys in addition to the one I already have. 🙂
Adios for now!
This Sunday, November 18, my mom and I board a plane in Denver, and 6.5 hours later arrive in Guatemala City. Jeff is already halfway there; our nephew Dennis won a free trip for himself and a guest to Cabo San Lucas, and invited Jeff as the guest of honor.
Jeff will meet us in Guatemala City late Sunday or early Monday morning. Monday is the big day – we will meet David for the very first time, along with our adoption attorney and the foster mother who has cared for David all of these months.
Our U.S. Embassy appointment is scheduled for November 20th, and we return to the Embassy on November 21 to pick up David’s Visa.
We leave Guatemala early in the morning on Thanksgiving Day, and arrive in Denver early afternoon. Frank, my step-dad, will pick us up from the airport. After a 1.5 hour drive, David sees his new home and meets his pets for the very first time.
I’m not sure if all of this is sinking in quite yet! Whoa.
Check out this email:
Subject: FedEx Shipment 937402207061 Delivered
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2007 15:59:25 -0600 (CST)
Our records indicate that the following shipment has been delivered:
Ship (P/U) date: Nov 5, 2007
Delivery date: Nov 7, 2007 3:54 PM
Sign for by: O.GALINDO
Delivered to: Receptionist/Front Desk
Service type: FedEx International Priority
Packaging type: FedEx Envelope
Number of pieces: 1
Weight: 1.50 lb.
Special handling/Services: Deliver Weekday
DNA Results are at the Embassy!
Wow! We may know by tomorrow the exact dates of our travel. If we don’t get Pink tomorrow, we’ll have to wait until Tuesday, since the Embassy does not issue Pinks on Friday, and Monday is a U.S. holiday. Either way, we are just a step away!
Part 1 – DNA is done!
Almost time to start thinking about air fares to Guatemala! We found out today that the 2nd DNA test is officially done, and the results are on their way from LabCorp in North Carolina to the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City. Pat, the nice lady at LabCorp, even supplied us with a handy-dandy FedEx tracking number so we know the exact minute the results are delivered to the Embassy. (No detail is too much when you are going through the adoption process!) I’m thinking there’s a very good chance we’ll have PINK by the end of this week. Once we get the Pink slip, it’s, “Guatemala, here we come!”
The excitement (and sheer terror) of being so close to finally being a mom is hitting me now, although it’s all still a bit unbelievable. We’ve been involved in this beautiful mess of a process since August 2006. You pretty much go with the flow, not really ever fully realizing you’ll actually get to BE a parent one day. And here we are – so very, very close right now.
Whoa. It’s all just a tad bit surreal.
Part 2 – David Carlos’ Rainforest Jumperoo!
We’ve gotten some great deals on used toys, books and clothes from Craig’s List (gotta love it!), but we splurged and bought this item brand new for little David. He should be at the perfect age to enjoy this when we bring him home, and then of course Little Dude can use it in a few months. Fun!!
It is so hard to believe that our little David Carlos may be home for Thanksgiving, or at least shortly thereafter. Many people are wondering what’s the hold up now, since he’s legally our child. Why can’t we just go to Guatemala and bring him home? There are still a few more steps that need to be completed before we can make the exciting pick-up trip:
Steps After PGN:
1. The birthmother signs off on the adoption for the fourth and final time. In our case, Maria signed off last Friday, October 12.
2. Lawyer applies with the Civil Registry for David’s new Birth Certificate with Jeff and me listed as the parents. We found out that the Birth Certificate was issued this past Wednesday, October 17. Wow! That was super fast! We were expecting this little step to possibly take up to 3 weeks. On to the next step!
3. Lawyer translates the dossier and other adoption-related documents into English. The folks at the U.S. Embassy need to be able to read them for their final review. The translation usually takes a couple of days.
4. Lawyer applies for David’s passport. Although he is legally our child, David is still a Guatemalan citizen, so he needs a Guatemalan passport to travel into the United States. Our lawyer will apply for the passport this Monday, October 22. From what I understand, it’s just a one-day thing.
5. Lawyer submits all the paperwork to the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala.
6. U.S. Embassy submits an authorization for the 2nd DNA test to be drawn on the child. This is a new step since the beginning of August 2007. The DNA sample is compared with the first sample drawn several months ago, and it assures the authorities that the baby has not been switched with another. The DNA authorization is known as ‘ORANGE’, since it’s written on an orange slip of paper.
7. Our credit card is charged for the 2nd DNA test, the DNA is drawn, and the bloodwork is sent to the lab (in our case, it’s LabCorp) for comparison with the first DNA sample.
8. LabCorp sends its analysis of the DNA comparison back to the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala.
9. The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala reviews the adoption package, and issues ‘PINK’ (the pink slip). I believe I read somewhere that the Embassy issues PINK within 48 hours of receiving the 2nd DNA results, although this may not be written in stone. The pink slip is the papa step of all the steps in the process. It basically means we get to start packing our bags!
10. We are given an appointment with the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, which is usually about 1-2 weeks after PINK is issued. If by some strange chance we can’t make it to the U.S. Embassy on that day, we can change our appointment for a better day.
11. We buy our plane tickets to Guatemala, and start frantically running around trying to get last-minute details taken care of before our trip. (You know how it is when you are preparing for for a trip – packing your bags, trying to make sure the house is in order, making sure all the pets will be properly cared for while you are away…)
12. Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy completes an exit medical exam on David, just to make sure he is healthy for travel.
13. We travel to Guatemala, meet little David, our lawyer, and the foster mother for the first time!
14. We go to the U.S. Embassy for our scheduled appointment.
15. On the following day, we pick up David’s passport with the Visa attached.
16. We travel home with our little boy, and our new lives begin.
I’m pretty sure these are all of the main remaining steps. Yep, we still have a few more things to do, but we’re definitely in the home stretch now!
Yesterday evening, on the official first day of my last trimester, we received the long-anticipated news:
Subject: Update from Guatemala!
Date: Friday, October 12, 2007 7:19:22 PM
To: Jeff…; Laura…
Dear Laura and Jeff,
I have some great news for you on your case! David Carlos’ case has exited PGN and his biological mother signed the Protocol (final adoption decree) today. Also, Carlota was able to get the case to the Civil Registry today. This is where a new birth certificate will be drawn up with the two of you listed as parents.
I will continue to keep you updated as the case progresses through the final steps of the process. I would like to meet with you sometime in the near future for your travel training. Please look at your calendar and see what might work. I was thinking we might be able to meet somewhere between Fountain and Ft. Collins.
Congratulations on being a few steps closer to bringing your cute little guy home!!
We are so very relieved. Carlos is legally now our little boy.
Thank you, Maria, for allowing us to love and care for your beautiful boy. With all of our hearts, we promise to do so for the rest of our lives!