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. But...in 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!