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Friday, October 27, 2006

New pics of Soli

Look at my pretty little girl! But where's her smiley face? We just got these pics from our agency. They were taken October 16, at Soli's 5 month check-up. She looks bigger than when I saw her the week before! She weighs 14 lbs. and 10 oz. I was so glad to hear that they had a recent medical for her when her case was submitted to PGN. Her hair is so cute pulled back in the clip I left for her! She looks like such a big girl!! And I was glad to see that she was still wearing the bracelet that Evie gave her. I can't wait to see her and kiss all over those cheeks!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Our little Casita!

Just a quick post and a pic of the little cottage that we'll be renting in December. Isn't it so cute!? I'm so excited! I had to start renting it on November 1 to secure it, but I think I've already found someone who will sublet it for the month. Thanks for checking in! ~H

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Rest of Us!

Just thought I'd post a quick pic of the rest of the family! This was taken at my sister's wedding in July. From left to right Coleman-9 1/2, Dave, Evie-3 1/2, Me, and Emerson-6.

The Good News and the Bad News

The good news is that we finally heard today that we are in PGN. The bad news is that we just barely went in yesterday- October 23. When I had met with Hilda, our attorney, in Guatemala City, she told me she would be submitting our case to PGN the following day-October 10. So here I thought we had 2 weeks under our belts when really we only have 1 day. It was disappointing news, but I'm trying to keep perspective. At least now we know for sure we are on the home stretch. And, really, with how unpredictable PGN timing can be, I have no way of knowing whether this is an actual set back at all. For all I know, our case would have been assigned to a slow reviewer two weeks ago and now we're with a quick one. There's really no rhyme or reason...We'll never really know. I would be interested to know what has been going on these last two weeks. Has our paperwork been sitting on our attorney's desk forgotten? Or was she waiting for the final social worker report? Was she waiting for an updated medical on Soli? (Not having an updated medical report can be reason for a kick out from PGN.) Of course, had I known we still had two weeks I would have overnighted my new improved name affidavit. I've heard of a couple of cases that were kicked out of PGN for not specifying the mother's maiden name on the name affidavit. I had mine redone just in case, but I would have sent it to be included if I'd known there was time. I thought it was too late...OK, now I'm just rambling. Like I said, I have to believe that this "delay" will somehow benefit our progess overall.
On a more positive note, I think we may have found a place to rent. The down side is that I'll have to rent it starting immediately to secure it for December and January. Then I'll have to try and sublet it for the next 6 weeks. Anyone need a place to stay? But it is really perfect for us. It has 3 bedrooms, a full kitchen, washer and dryer, internet access, 24 hour security, a huge enclosed yard with grass and fruit trees for the kids to play, and lots of other fostering families (mostly moms and kids) in the same situation as me. So we have 2 days to decide for sure and then we need to let him know, but I think that's what we'll do. I visited the complex while I was there 2 weeks ago and it was lovely. We would be very comfortable and safe there. And there's a preschool just down the block! How fun would that be? Anyway, thanks for checking in on us. I hope everyone is healthy and happy. ~Heather
P.S. I couldn't visit Soli in October without taking a Halloween costume! So, yes, that is Soli borrowing Sister's Tinker Bell costume.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Home from our Visit with Soli

Evie and I are home safely from visiting with our darling baby girl. We had a great time and I'm so thankful to have been able to make a second visit trip. I'm also glad that Evie had the chance to ease into big sisterhood. Soli was just precious. She's such an easy going baby girl. She loved cruising around in the sling and going for walks around the hotel. At five months old I could tell that she has become accustomed to the way her foster mother does certain things. For example, Mary gives her a bottle propped on a pillow while Soli's lying on her back on the bed. So when I would try to hold her in a nursing position to give her a bottle she would squirm and fuss. In this sense she was a little trickier for me to take care of than when she was 3 months old. The same was also true for nursing. She much preferred nursing while lying next to me in bed as opposed to being held in a traditional nursing position. Although, by the end of the week she was getting the hang of it. We'll see if we can figure it out again in December when we go back.
We spent one day in Antigua looking at potential rental homes and apartments for when the kids and I go back in December, but we're still undecided. My first choice is over $1000/month, but it has internet, great security, and lots of room for the kids to play. My second choice is also over $1000/ month, but it's quite a hike from town and doesn't have internet. The house I thought that I would like wasn't quite right for us. I was mostly concerned about the lack of security with the open courtyard and the common roofs with the neighboring homes. So we're still looking. Any suggestions?
On the adoption front...I was able to meet with our attorney, Hilda, while we were in Guatemala City. I invited her to lunch at the hotel on Monday, and she came with her husband, Juan Luis. I was so glad to meet her, and I was rather surprised at how unlawyery she was in appearance and demeanor (see above photo). She didn't speak a word of English and she was rather shy. I had been so nervous to meet her, and I was relieved to see that she was just an ordinary person doing her job. She told me right away that she was planning on submitting our case into PGN the following day (Oct. 10). This was great news! I had to fight back a little tear. I asked my agency to confirm this for me last week, and I'm waiting to hear back. She also told me that I could contact her directly with any questions or concerns that I have. That'll be nice. Anyway, I was so glad to establish a relationship with her. I gave her a little box of See's candy and a thank you note and a picture of our family. She thanked me over and over for the invitation, and she told me she was very happy to know that Soli was going to a good family.
So, assuming we're in PGN now, we're in the final stretch. Our agency says to expect 12 weeks for PGN, but there have been lots of other families out in about 6-8 weeks. It's just a waiting game now...Thanks for checking in! ~Heather and family

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Hola from Guatemala!

Hi everyone! I thought I'd just write a quick post while my girls are sleeping! We arrived safely in Guatemala City on Wednesday and received our baby Thursday. She is absolutely beautiful and such a joy! She is five months today and smiles all the time. She is nursing well although not as much as when we were here in August. Evie has taken to big sisterhood smashingly! They adore each other, and it's very sweet to watch them interact. We've been calling our baby Soli, short for Soleil, which seems to suite her perfectly. We went to the market today and we are going to the children's museum tomorrow. We are getting splendidly spoiled by the Marriott, and it will be painful to start making my own bed again! I've met so may great families here...lots of them taking their babies home. So exciting! I meet with our attorney on Monday, and I'm very much looking forward to establishing a relationship with her. We return Soli to her foster mother, Mary, on Monday evening and then we're on our way home Tuesday. I'll post new pics when I get home. We'll keep you all posted on PGN...Thanks for checking in! ~Heather, Evie, and Soli

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Pre-Approval Baby!!!!!!

I'm so excited!!!! We got the email from the embassy today...we have pre-approval! Hopefully, if everything else is in order (social worker report, family court, etc.) then we'll be able to go into the final court, PGN, in the next couple of weeks. Evie and I leave for Guatemala tomorrow and we are both so excited. Evie told me the other day that when she sees her "baby sisto" she's going to scream! I told her that I might just scream myself. I think we've found a house to rent for Dec. and Jan. It's on the north-east side of Antigua, near the Casa Santo Domingo, on a quiet cul-de-sac with lots of other local families and kids. The house has a colonial style courtyard with "climbing trees". The family that rents it out has two kids (12 and 7) so the house is set up for kids. It comes fully furnished with a housekeeper and even a cat! It really seems perfect for us. I'm very excited! I'm going to Antigua on Friday to check it out and decide for sure.
I'm a little nervous about seeing our baby. At 5 months old she might know that I'm a complete stranger! At 3 months she didn't realize, and as long as I fed her she was happy. Hopefully, she'll still love me.
Anyway, thanks for checking in on us. I'll try to update this site with new pics while I'm in GC.