I am clearly making a very delayed post here. Maya came home on March 12, 2008. Our Guatemalan embassy date was March 10, 2008. I got the call just about 2 weeks before that, which was 1 week more than they said I should expect.
The trip was a blur. It all happened so quickly, and now the time has passed just as quickly. On Sunday, Maya will have been home for 7 months. I just wanted to wrap up this blog with this post. Maya is a wonderful, happy, well-adjusted little girl who is loving, mischievous, flirty, snugly, adorable, feisty, and wonderful! She is fully integrated into our family and feels like she has always been with us.
Our Guatemalan adoption experience was fantastic and I highly recommend adoptions from Guatemala. Right now there are still Hauge compliance issues between the US and Guatemala and there are hundreds of babies who need homes and are being made to wait because of this. We consider ourselves extremely lucky to have been able to successfully complete our adoption before the compliance issues affected us.
Good luck to those of you who are/want to adopt. Speaking as someone who has both a biological child and an adopted child, both are wonderful but neither experience was more or less rewarding or wonderful than the other. Becoming a parent is becoming a parent and loving a child has nothing to do with biology. Cherish your children!
It’s almost done! Paperwork, tests, fingerprints, DNA matches, everything but the embassy date. The last step was a final DNA result sent to the US Embassy in Guatemala and that was done this week. The Embassy will be issuing me a date any day now and I’ll have to be in Guatemala on that day. Right now we’re guessing I’ll be going the first week in March so I’ll be able to bring Maya home before her first birthday (March 21) but I may miss my son’s 6th birthday (March 4). We’ll just have to have a really big birthday celebration when we get home.
The nursery is ready, the paperwork is ready… and I am too (I think!). As soon as I am issued a date I will have to make flight reservations to arrive in Guatemala 2 days before my embassy date. The first day is for travel, the second day I get my daughter, the third day is my embassy date, the fourth day I get her visa, and the next day we come home — together! Woo hoo!
There are some crazy restrictions about traveling to Guatemala, most of them safety-related so we’re advised not to leave the hotel unless we’re escorted. So I’ll be spending most of my time in the Clarion Hotel in Guatemala City while I get to know my little girl. She’s so beautiful, wish I could upload some photos but I signed paperwork saying I wouldn’t. Once she’s home I can share her photo.
The countdown begins!
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, and since then I have accepted a referral (in June) which means I have been getting photos of my little girl! I would post them here but that has been an issue in the past and I had to agree not to post them online. She was born last March and is living with a foster family in Guatemala.
My case has been through both Family Court and PGN in Guatemala, and all my paperwork was approved. DNA tests and signatures have all been completed and I am now waiting for them to issue my daughter a new birth certificate in my last name, and a passport so she can come into the US with me. It is estimated that I will be going to get her this March, right around her first birthday.
I will have to re-adopt her once we get back to the US so she can get a SS#. That’s when I can officially change her first name to the name I’ve chosen. I am not sure if I am allowed to post her birth name so I will err on the side of caution until she is home.
Anyone out there still embroiled in adoption paperwork, hang in there! I have about 7 weeks until I bring home my little girl, at which point it will have been 18 months since I started the process. A little longer than expected but it was well worth the wait! She’s coming home soon!
Just a minor setback this past week… I was sure I had completed my dossier (those of you who have adopted are familiar with this) which included many documents that have been notarized, county certified and then state certified (long process) and then submitted to my adoption agency who prepares it for Guatemala. A truly exciting day the day I submitted my last piece of paperwork to the agency because after that I just wait for my referral! (A referral is paperwork about a child before you choose to accept.)
Well, after sitting back and preparing to wait for my referral, a call came from the adoption agency. Although I did order certified copies of my original birth certificate (back in January), apparently I needed a DIFFERENT type of certified copy of my original birth certificate that they had NOT told me about at the time I ordered them (I think they should have been aware of this and should have made me aware, don’t you?). Now, those original copies I had ordered and paid for are useless, and I had to figure out how to get LONG FORM certified copies of my original birth certifite WITH a special Letter of Exemplification (they couldn’t tell me how to get this, just that I had to get it). Had I known this back in January (as I feel I should have been informed) I would be well on my way to receiving my referral. Instead I am now waiting for these new special forms to arrive, I had to order them by mail. Once they arrive I then have to send them around for various certifications, first BACK to NYC for New York County certification (I was born in Manhattan), then up to Albany for State certification. THEN I send them to Ohio where my adoption agency headquarters is and they can finalize my dossier.
This sets me back several weeks. The never-ending paperwork is grating on me just a bit now but I know I’ll feel better once this last part is cleared up. At this point my major goal is to have my adoption completed before the end of 2007. It’s not a unique situation I guess. Everyone I know who has adopted has encountered a delay or two (or more) on their road to parenthood. I know it will be worth the wait. =]
Maya, I’m still coming, just a little bit later than planned.
Thanks so much to everyone who helped with my Comedy Night Fundraiser! We had so much fun (even though one of the commedians had a mental break down on stage! No joke!). Thank you also to everyone who bought tickets but was not able to attend. I was able to raise $600 toward my goal of $30,000. Every little bit helps!
Stay tuned for more fundraisers planned for this summer!
I am finally able to accept donations through my blog! (Thank you Chuck! )
Simply click here to donate securely through PayPal. You don’t need your own PayPal account to do it.
Thanks for visiting my blog and Help Me Adopt!
Have a great day!
Well, I thought I was done. On Tuesday I got my passport in the mail… woo hoo! But then I got a phone call from my adoption agency saying my witness statement forms weren’t quite right. Uh, oh. Had to ask my friends to redo their forms. (Thank you Kristi and Joanne!) Which they did in record time.
Now I need to have them county certified out in Riverhead. Once that is complete I send them to Albany for a state certification. THEN my paperwork is complete. Whew!
Meanwhile, my fundraiser is next week and I am woefully undersold. If you or anyone you know might be interested in an evening of laughs at Governor’s in Levittown, please let me know so I can get you some tickets! Tickets must be purchased through me. If you buy them at the door the proceeds don’t make it to me.
Thank you for reading!
Yesterday I got my LAST piece of paperwork in the mail! Wooo hoooo!!! I was waiting for my letter of good conduct from the local police headquarters. It’s finally here so my next step is to have all of my dossier paperwork reviewed by the adoption agency. Once they say it all looks good, I take my paperwork packet (which makes up my dossier) to get county certified. Once that is done I have to send it away to be state certified! (Whew!) Then I have to write some large checks and all my info gets sent to Guatemala. Progress!!!!
For some reason I have to go and have yet another set of fingerprints taken. After having 3 fingerprint cards filled out and sent to various locations, I got a letter from the dept. of Homeland Sec. that says I have an appointment in Hempstead next week to have another set of fingerprints taken. It’s not a big deal, just unexpected. They can have a dozen copies of my fingerprints if they really want them. But that ink is so sticky and greasy.
There is truly an enormous amount of paperwork to coordinate, collect and produce to complete an adoption. I have described it to some as “a strip search you need to get notarized”. And even once you complete the adoption, it’s not the end of the paperwork, you’re required to submit quarterly, and then yearly, reports on how the child is doing and developing. Sometimes it seems like a test of endurance to see how serious you really are.
But the reality is, someone is GIVING you their child. I can’t even imagine what that must be like, but I’m grateful nonetheless. And if I have to submit thousands of pieces of paperwork to prove that I will take the best possible care of that child, then it really seems like the easier thing to do.
This is the 7th month of this process for me, I submitted my first application for adoption last September. If I am able to get Maya this September, that will be just a year from start to finish. And September will be here before I know it! Although we have not been matched yet, Maya is being cared for in foster care in Guatemala right now, just waiting for her Mama to come and get her…. Maya, I’m omw!!!
Like comedy? Want to laugh for a good cause? Join us at Governor’s in Levittown on April 19 for my “Help Me Adopt” fundraiser!
Call or email me for details. You have to buy the tickets from me. They’re $20 each and Governor’s will have a 2-drink minimum. (You must be 21 to attend, sorry.)
We’ll have raffles! I am working now to secure some interesting raffle items and will have raffle tickets for sale the night of the event. I will have at least one pottery item for raffle, and it will be a nice one! I’ll also probably have a wine basket as another raffle. Governor’s doesn’t allow raffles during the event because they sometimes have two fundraising events going on at the same time, so I will have a tailgate set up for the raffles and possibly a 50/50.
So call me or email me for more information and I’ll see you there! It’s sure to be a good time!
Well it’s March and I’ve made great progress! My homestudy, which was completed in January, has been submitted to CIS and is awaiting approval. My dossier needs just one more document, a local police clearance, which has been requested and should arrive this week! Once my CIS clearance comes back it gets sent with my dossier to Guatemala. When that is accepted I get my referral! (A referral is the child they match me with based on my application and paperwork.)
When I get my referral I will be allowed to go to Guatemala for a visit trip. At first I was not planning to do this, but the closer it gets, the more I think I will not be able to resist going to visit my daughter once I know who she is. I plan to start crocheting a blanket for her, just like the one Logan has but in a different color.
As it stands now it looks as if I could be going to Guatemala in September to get Maya. It seems like forever, but it will have been just a year from when I started with my application. In adoption terms I suppose that is pretty fast. So I have the entire summer to raise the money I’ll need to do this. My friends and colleagues have given me all kinds of great fundrasing ideas! Time to get moving!
Only 6 months ’till Maya comes home!