October 27, 2007

My 1st Halloween!

Where's my candy?

What I can't have any this year? When can I get out of this ridiculous pumpkin?!

Get me out of this!! :-)

Happy Halloween!

October 25, 2007

The Weather is a Changin' !

Cold nights and damp days- fall is definitely in the air. While I love the inevitable changing of the seasons- I absolutely dread the cold weather (and this is coming from a Vermonter!). When I got home from work tonight, the house was really cold and I bundled up to stay warm. Hope we're in for a mild winter! Nate prefers to be bundled and swaddled....he's in for a real treat when we welcome him to what winter is in PA. In Guatemala, winter means 60 degrees. In Pennsylvania, winter means 20 degrees. Ahh, what I'd give to have a 60 degree winter....

Just perfect for a cold night- a warm bath!

Then, time to snuggle in!

October 24, 2007

We're still in...

Well, no surprise here....I called PGN yesterday as it had been 2 weeks. I spoke with Laura and she said- "you are still with the 2nd reviewer". She said we will probably be with the 2nd reviewer for 3 more weeks before we are sent for a possible approval to Barrios. Of course, that's if we do not receive a previo. We were only with the 1st reviewer for 4 days- so we have progressed pretty well. So, the good news...we haven't received a previo yet...the bad news, I'm impatient and want out today!!

I'm going to be calling the end of next week for another update. Keep your fingers crossed. :-)

October 20, 2007

Grateful for the little things...

I took some time today and reflected on all that I have to be thankful for. So many things of course....but I noticed it's the little things that always mean the most. I am thankful to everyone who has supported us on our journey -- all the emails, notes, and acts of kindness have meant so much to us. Our journey wouldn't be complete without our family and friends.

I am also particularly endebted to my husband. I am fortunate to have a partner in life who shares so many of the same beliefs and values....and who has joined me in this journey every step of the way. I give him so much credit because I know how big of a pain in the *$% I have been throughout this process- and he always puts up with me. I would not want to be walking these miles without him. :-)

I'm thankful for the little things too. A walk tonight with my neighbor in the brisk autumn dusk with my dog on his 3rd birthday. Last night when I was talking with Maria- she mentioned that Nathan only liked to play with the toys that make noises, and that he would simply ignore the other ones. It made me laugh- and it made me happy....that he can choose what he likes. All of this got me thinking back to when I used to hear people say it's the simple things in life that make you happy. I'm not sure I really grasped it then....but I'm thankful I do now.

October 16, 2007

What is PGN, anyway?

Of course, many of the abbreviations used in adoption sound like "code" to those not familiar with the process. PGN or Procuradoria General del Nacion is essentially the solicitor general's office. They have an adoption unit which reviews and approves or rejects adoptions. When a file is submitted, it will be reviewed by reviewer # 1 to ensure that all the information required is present. This generally takes 1-2 weeks. Once you pass the 1st reviewers approval, you move on to the 2nd reviewers desk. The 2nd reviewer will review your file to ensure that it is in compliance with Guatemalan law. If they don't like what they see, they can issue you a "previo" or "kick out" and ask that corrections be made. The length of time to correct a previo ranges from 1 day to several months. Generally, a file is approved or kicked out by the second reviewer within 6 weeks. There are three 2nd reviewers for all of the cases in PGN. Once you are approved by the 2nd reviewer, your case moves to Senor Barrios who approves your adoption as final through the PGN. Typically, Senor Barrios will take 1-2 weeks to sign off and approve. He can also issue a kick out for corrections but that is rare. Once you've made it to him, there is a good chance you will be approved soon. At any point during this process, if you receive a previo, you start back at the 8 week timeframe again. We are 2 weeks now into our PGN wait-- so the longer we go with staying on the 2nd reviewer's desk without a previo- the better likelihood we have of being approved through PGN in 8 weeks. We are praying that we will be approved sometime before the 1st of December. Keep your fingers crossed for us! I'll be calling again the end of next week to get an update from PGN.

In case you're wondering....here's a little glimpse into what PGN looks like:

Welcome to PGN....(or should I say- LET US ALL OUT!!)

Where our file was submitted...

Up these stairs and to the right is where our file currently sits....hopefully just waiting for approval!

Anyway, I just wanted to share a little more insight into this *crazy* part of the process we all call PGN.

In other news, we got all Nathaniel's room furniture this weekend! We had a great time picking it out. His room is painted and we just need to put the finishing touches on it. It will be done before November. Can't wait to get him in it. :-)

October 13, 2007

October 10, 2007

We're in - We're in-

We're IN PGN!!!

I am so excited to share this news. I just found out this morning. I spoke with the reputable english speaking woman named Laura at PGN. She confirmed that our file was submitted on Friday the 5th and she gave us our file number. She said we were already with the 2nd reviewer and that I should call back in 2 weeks to get an update. My understanding is that it typically takes a week or more with the first reviewer before you move on to the 2nd reviewer. Our file was reviewed by an experienced attorney before being submitted so I am hoping and praying this will make a difference. If the 2nd reviewer finds something he doesn't like he can issue you a "previo" or a kick out basically requiring you to fix a piece of your dossier. This can delay your process a week to several months depending on the severity. Some families get previos and others do not. Once the 2nd reviewer approves your file, your file gets sent to "Senor Barrios" who is essentially the final signature on the file that approves it through PGN. We are optimistic that we can be out of PGN before Christmas-- though we know anything can happen in this process. Once out of PGN- it is typically about 8 weeks until we can bring Nate home.

I'll be calling PGN in 2 weeks to get an update! Hope MR. Barrios is feeling generous as the holidays approach!

This has really made our week and so good to know we almost have a week in PGN down. All the closer to bringing our little guy home! :-)

October 9, 2007

A Bittersweet Goodbye. . .

It was really tough yesterday leaving Nathan behind. It doesn't seem to get easier either. While I know he is in good hands with Maria. . . I still am weighted down by the sadness of having to leave him. The time we spend together is priceless and I wouldn't trade it for the world. My mom really enjoyed getting to know the little guy. He's getting big but he is still a tiny peanut! He just turned 5 months old yesterday. We are always so sad to leave but optimistic that the process is moving along swiftly. We should be receiving word of PGN any day now. . . we're hopeful. We were told last week by our agency that our attorney had hired an independent experienced attorney in Guatemala to review his files before entering the PGN-- or the final court in Guatemala. They said it would take a week for this to occur-so we should be in. We are confident that this will help us to move more smoothly through the final process of PGN. Also, our attorney has also had many PGN outs in the last few weeks which is very encouraging.

Here are a few more pics. I will post some of our Antigua trip later this week. I also have some really great pics that Maria gave us from the disposable cameras. . . it seems as though they play "dress up" with him when they take his pics. His outfits are always strewn across the couch or bed! HA!

October 5, 2007

Guess Who??!!

Guess who....Nathan, Mom, and Grandma all in Guatemala! We arrived safely and uneventfully and are enjoying every minute of our time together. Yesterday we met Maria for lunch and Grandma got to hold Nathan for the first time-it was great. We had an early dinner and then.... tried to go to bed. Well, let's just say it was a LONG night. However, we did get a few hours of sleep and we had a great day today. We spent time at the pool and around the hotel. We went to the Market with an FTIA pal too. . . the weather was perfect-- very little humidity and clear skies around 80 degrees. We went to the most wonderful restaurant for dinner tonight. The shuttle from the restaurant came and picked us up. The restaurant is Porta Del Angel and it overlooks the entire city from a mountain! Incredible views. The food was excellent- Nate slept through the whole event. :-)

The little guy just fell asleep and I think I'm going to take advantage of it and get some rest myself. I have a feeling he will do much better tonight- the first night is always tough. He's just perfect for us- I really noticed a difference in him this time- he's getting bigger and his features are developing more now... he is adorable! I know, I'm bragging-- but I can't help it. :-)

Tomorrow we go to Antigua for the afternoon and I'm looking forward to it. No word if we've entered PGN yet but I suspect we'll be in by next week. I can't wait to get in so we can get out!

The little guy is so fun to be around- just love spending time with him. Better sign off before I get too delirious....goodnight from Guate.


October 3, 2007

So thankful to be visiting our little guy!

I'm very thankful to be leaving in about 8 hours to see the sweet little guy. It's only been 4 weeks since we visited but it feels like an eternity. We'll have him in our arms at 4pm ET tomorrow! As usual- I'll be sure to get lots of pics.

****There is updated news on the Guatemalan Adoption front. Please check out all the links under the Hague Update Section at the top of my blog. The Congress in Guatemala met today and approved the Ortega Law. There is another meeting next Tuesday to discuss possible ammendments including the grandfather clause which is so important to all the families who are in the process of adopting from Guatemala. Please check out all the Hague Information if you are intersted in learning more about what it is and how you can help. Thanks!

I didn't hear an update on PGN this week but sometimes it takes a while to hear (1-3 weeks) after PA notice. I've noticed from timelines that our attorney is very good about submitting to PGN within a few days of PA. Since we are already out of FC, we should be in no later than early next week. I'm hoping we're already in and just haven't heard. I'll post as soon as I hear the good news. Adios for now!

October 2, 2007

Only one more day...

This picture was taken on 9/21....he's really growing...