Sunday, January 27, 2008

Here is what we know at this point

We received an update from our agency regarding our previos.

Previo #1: PGN reviewer said the birth mother's birth certificate was missing the witness signature. Our attorney took a witness to verify the birth mother's BC, and that person signed/verified with a digital thumbprint. It is very common in Guatemala to sign with thumbprint due to high illiteracy rate.

Previo #2: PGN reviewer did not accept the birth mother's BC with the digital print. The reviewer questioned how that person could verify something he/she couldn't read. Our attorney simply resubmitted our file stating the law that allows a digital print to be used in lieu of a signature.

Previo #3: PGN reviewer said the digital print is not clear. Our attorney obtained a new birth certificate, but we are not sure how it was corrected.

Still, questions remain. Based on the reason for previo #3, do we assume that the PGN reviewer accepted the thumbprint signature and just wanted a clearer one? Why did the reviewer not point this out on previo #2? Now, my understanding is that the PGN reviewers are attorneys and it is their responsibility to make sure our file is in accordance with Guatemalan law. So...WHY DIDN'T THE REVIEWER KNOW A THUMBPRINT IS LEGAL???????

Now, we are stuck in limbo because of these ridiculous previos. Our file is ready, but we can't be resubmitted to PGN until we are registered with the new Central Authority. Seems like it should be pretty simple, huh? Our attorney is supposed to fill out a 7 or so page report that has all of the same information as another form in our file (but this form can't be used) and submit it to the Central Authority. Our attorney will get a "received" stamp and then he has to come back 8 days later to get the "official" registration certificate. Well, there are already many issues with this process. I won't bore you with the details, but you can read a little about it on Guatadopt if you are interested. What it comes down to is more delays. And, in my opinion, it is the direct result of Guatemala being pressured to approve a law it was not ready to implement. The politics of the situation are very complicated and there are many parties to carry the blame. the midst of all this politic-ing are children waiting to come home.

So, how do we get through, yet, another delay?? Well, the best we know how. Friday was just an ugly day for me. It took every ounce of my being just to get through the workday without having a complete breakdown. Now, complete breakdowns are okay and sometimes necessary in this process! But, not at work! I felt so incredibly angry, but I didn't know who to be angry at. I was feeling so angry that we are going to miss our baby boy's first birthday, most likely his first steps, and that we have to wait even longer to start our life together as a family. In between all of that is the feeling of complete helplessness. There is nothing we can do to change this situation or to help bring our boy home any faster. Nothing. We really have no reason to doubt that our attorney is doing everything he can to remedy this problem and our agency has been very proactive in communicating with our attorney and getting information to us. Our attorney has absolutely no control over what happens in PGN and very limited, if any, contact with the PGN reviewers. The reviewers are often very vague in what they request so it is like a guessing game for our attorney to figure out what is needed. I know it sounds crazy and backwards. IT IS. It's hard for me to understand why our attorney can't just meet with the reviewer over a nice cup of coffee and get this figured out so our case can be approved. That makes sense to me. That is the social worker in me saying "can't we just all talk about it as a team to resolve this issue?" Ha!

So, where does that leave us? Waiting.........we hope to get confirmation this week that our paperwork has been submitted for registration. It will probably be a couple of weeks, at best, before we will be resubmitted to PGN. And....I know everyone is wondering...when will Eli be coming home? We have absolutely no idea. I am not even going to venture a guess anymore.

I knew this process was going to be difficult. I knew there would be bumps in the road...but, wow, I had no idea. One of the many e-mails of support we received after our previo news was from a woman who brought her son home last year. She wrote:

I do believe we are the most blessed and lucky people to have an opportunity to experience every emotion given to humanity during our long journey to parenthood. Once you go through this you will come out to be a very strong woman and your marriage will only get stronger. Eli will have two parents who stuck with him to the end. There will be a happy end to this journey. You will not go completely insane. Just a little nutty;)

This made me cry, smile, laugh, and remember that there is a purpose for all of this. I know that sounds so cliche, but I have to believe that or I will drive myself crazy. Despite all of the pain and heartache we experienced this week, I still cannot allow myself to be consumed with the anger and the resentment. Yes, I was definitely angry, bitter, and resentful and I needed to be. I had every right to be. But, I can't harbor that all the time when there is nothing I can do about the situation. If I knew there was something I could do, I would certainly use that anger to move me to action, but that is not the case right now. It's too painful to hold onto it and it will not help bring our little pea home any faster. It will just eat me up inside. So now I have to focus on getting back to that place of hope, faith, and anticipation of the day when we can finally be a family, together because that day will come and because I need to make it to that day in one piece!


Nicole said...

Your strength continues to amaze me. :)

Anonymous said...

Steph, You are an amazing person. Eli is lucky to have you...not because you are saving him...but because you will mold him to be an incredible man! YOu are going to be an awesome momma and I can't wait to hear all about your adventures with little pea!

Bobbi said...

Where you get your courage and strength I will never know. You are a strong woman. Never let yourself think anything different.

Know I am thinking of you.

Eli, you have one amazing Mama!! Now, if PGN would just let her prove that the world would be a better place.

Guatemama said...

Good for you!! Getting to the end in one piece. If only that were easy but you are doing it and when the day comes we are going to have a blog celebration!!

Jennifer & Derek said...

That was an awesome post filled with words that inspire. I'm so glad to see that you are continuing to look for the positive of all this and not let it get you down and out for good. Thanks for your support, you are one awesome gal!!!

Here's to a good week for all!

Frances said...


I have been following your blog for quite a while. My heart goes out to you...I really appreciate your raw honesty and admire your strength in the face of frustrating obstacles. I, too, received a ridiculous previo in early January after being in PGN for the second time for 5 I am right here with you feeling the anger, sadness, fear and frustration! Hang in there...we will bring our babies home soon...just got to wade through the mud a little more!

Waiting on Rosalie

Shelly said...

Although my heart aches to watch you go through this, I KNOW who you are and that you WILL come out on the other side a stronger and more amazing person than you already are. As much as this has brought more questions than answers and plagued my heart with doubt-I will continue to hold onto what I know to be true; God is in control and He has blessed you with a beautiful and precious son. All of us (family, friends, strangers) will continue to support you along this amazing and agonizing journey. With love to you, Jason, and Eli.

Emily said...

I'm so glad you are able to put this in perspective. This blog will serve as an amazing memory of your journey for Eli to read when he gets older. He's a lucky little pea!


Jess said...

Ugh! That makes me so mad at PGN! We had a thumb print and there was never any question raised. But what is a digital print? That may be the difference.

Well, anyway, I hurt for you. I want Eli to be with you. I am so, so sorry.

I admire your honesty and insight on your emotions. I also admire your willingness to go a little nutty! ;)

Eli will be home someday and then you won't be have bitterness, only joy in everyday!

Becca said...

I did not like it when people said this to me, but HANG IN THERE. You will bring your pea home in God's time. Not PGN's time, not the Embassy's time - not anyone's time but His. And He has perfect timing.

Peace and Hugs,

The gFamily said...

You are staying strong for your little pea! You are a WONDERFUL mom! You are brave and courageous! I truly admire you!!

I pray for you and think about you everyday!!

Jennifer & Craig said...

That was a great post Steph...let out some tears I've been storing up about this whole thing. I'll have to re-read it when I'm feeling down & out.

Hang in,

Donna said...

Steph - I want to send you an e-mail, but I can't find it on your blog. Can you visit my website and send me one so I can reply to you. Love ya!

Gretchen said...

Steph, I am amazed at your strength and courage. You have a great outlook. Continue that. Yes, some things just don't make sense in this process and sometimes they just seem plain wrong. But take care of yourself...keep yourself strong...because ELI WILL COME HOME!! We are praying for you during this very frustrating time.

Deb said...


I just wanted to say that I am sorry to hear of this delay- yet another one. It sucks, but there is a plan- just an unclear plan to us. Knowing that there is a plan, does not make it easier or better, it just is.
I will say that having a breakdown at work is OK- do nto beat yourself up over something that is real, that you expressed your emotions, this is OK. I can not tell you how many times I lost it at work while I was in the dark cave of investigations- jut becuase each week I was told there was no update. People express joy and happiness at work all the time, why do we have such a problem expressing sadness and grief?
grieve for the lost of time with Eli, grieve for the hardship that this process is causing you- it is OK, you are just human.
Everyday bring new hope that this will move forward- each day also brings the discouragement of not hearing, not knowing. While you think you are alone in this walk, we are all here walking with you- carrying you along when you can not walk for yourself. At the end of the journey, is a little boy who is waiting to call you Momma and daddy. Don't focus on what is being lost right now, focus on what is coming- what is the end. Focus on being honest and truthful, that this process is about becoming a family and in that process there is grief- not just Eli's grief, or the foster family's grief, or the birth mother's grief, but there is grief as you wait- becuase you know what will be the end and you know what you are missing - but one day you will be at the end of your journey to Eli and Eli will just be at teh beginning of his journey to you. Going through this now will help you console and love on Eli as he grieves for his loss.

You are in my thoughts and prayers- let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

love to you,
Deb AKA Momma Bug