Saturday, August 26, 2006
We are so excited!! We found out Wednesday that we finally received authorization from the US Embassy in Guatemala City to do the DNA test on baby Damaris and her birth mother. This test verifies the relationship between baby and birth mother and insures that babies are not being stolen and put up for adoption illegally. Then, last night (Friday), we got an email from our agency letting us know that the test was performed yesterday on both our baby and her birth mother!!! We are so excited!! We figured that once we had authorization it could take a month or so to get the birth mother into the city for the test. After waiting for authorization for over two months, I feel like maybe we're back on track with our timing. I'm so happy! Now we just need to get a positive DNA match which should come in 7-10 days. Of course, I'm constantly reminding myself that the birth mother could change her mind at any point. The DNA testing time is a common time for that to happen because the birth mother sees the baby and takes a picture with her. Although we would have a grieving process if that were to happen, we would find consolation in that our baby would surely have a very rich life with her birth family in beautiful Guatemala. But we would miss her terribly! We'll just have to trust that everything will work out exactly as it's supposed to. The next steps after the DNA results are the birth mother has an interview with a social worker and then Family Court. I'm still rather fuzzy on what exactly is involved in Family Court, but I'll learn. Then our paperwork is submitted again to the US Embassy (Ugh!) where we will likely wait up to a month for preapproval to enter the final court, PGN. My understanding is that in PGN all of our paperwork is scrutinized and gone through with a fine toothed comb. If any errors are found we'll receive a "previo" at which point our paperwork will be returned to our lawyer to be fixed. Once ammended it can be resubmitted to be looked over again. This part of the process can be rather exhausting and take anywhere from 3 weeks (very rare) all the way up to 6 months (also very rare). Currently PGN is taking 6-8 weeks. After that we wait 3-4 weeks for a new birth certificate (with our names!) to be issued and for our final appointment at the Embassy to be scheduled. Then we can bring her home!!! At this point we are just so happy to see any sign of forward progress, and the DNA test is a major check mark. I just hope that we can keep up some of this momentum.
I'm looking into taking the kids down to live in Antigua and foster our baby for a couple of months once we are in PGN. I think it would be an amazing once in a lifetime opportunity for all of us. We'll keep you posted! Thanks for checking in. ~Heather