Friday, April 11, 2008

Greatest gift of all

We celebrated Eli's birthday today by calling him and his foster mother and then spending the evening with family. We got home and found out that the final adoption decree was signed by Eli's birth mother on 4/8/08. Our hearts are so full of gratitude for this amazing gift. This means that we are legally Eli's parents!!!!! IT IS OFFICIAL!!!!!! OMG!!!!!

So, what happens next?

Birth Certificate: The adoption is registered at the Civil Registry. Since we are legally Eli's parents, our attorney requests a new birth certificate that will list us as parents and Eli will officially be a SHANK!! Eli's birth certificate is coming from Guatemala City so it may take anywhere from 1-4 weeks.

Passport: Once the birth certificate is issued, Eli gets a passport so he can come home. This is typically completed within a day.

DNA Authorization: Our attorney then submits our file to the US Embassy and requests authorization to complete the 2nd DNA test. This test simply verifies that Eli is the same baby we fell in love with 11 months ago today. This is typically issued within a couple of days.

DNA test: Eli gets swabbed for the DNA test and also undergoes a final medical exam by the embassy approved doctor. The DNA sample gets shipped to a lab in the US for processing. Once the DNA sample is processed, the results are shipped back to the US embassy in Guatemala. This step can take anywhere from 5-10 days on average.

PINK: Once the embassy receives the DNA results, they notify us of our final embassy appointment for Eli's visa. The embassy typically issues the pink slip within 3-5 days of receiving the DNA test. The pink slip will tell us when we need to be at the embassy and it may be scheduled within 1-2 weeks.

Embassy appointment: We will receive Eli's visa the day after our embassy appointment. Once we have his visa, we are free to come HOME!!!!!!

We are ready to go!!! We leave on 4/27 and are staying in an apartment in Antigua until it is time for our embassy appointment. We are deliriously happy!!!!

THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING!!!!!

13 comments:

Heidi said...

So glad you can breathe the final sigh of relief! And thank goodness those last steps come pretty fast. I'm so excited for you!

Pam L said...

I know you're just over the moon with joy! After PGN there's nothing better than to hear the decree has been signed and "it's official", he's really yours! We're all celebrating with you! Hope the BC comes quickly!

Bobbi said...

OH, what a wonderful gift. So glad you could wish him a happy birthday.

Finally, you can breathe and be happy. Lots to do before you leave. Oh, what a day that is going to be.

So happy for you. Again, I am bawling!!

Beth said...

How long have you dreamt of writing this post??!?

April 27, forever a family... it has a nice ring to it.

I truly could not be happier for you. I still remember the endless joy when we were planning our trip... this is REALLY happening.

I can't seem to come to your blog w/o getting a giant knot in my throat and tears pouring!!! Such happiness.

Donna said...

What a special gift - to be able to call Eli and the foster family on such a big day!
04/27! That's so wonderful. I tear up just thinkin' about it. You guys are going to get Eli and NOT have to say good-bye anymore.
Yay!!!
I know you have so much to do to get ready, it's going to seem like forever away and it's going to seem like a blink of the eye.
BUT IT IS HAPPENING!!!!
Yippee!!!
Happy packing and preparing!!

Kim said...

It really is happening! Eli will be the greatest gift of all! This has been such a wonderful week for you guys!

Nicole said...

Wonderful news! And I'm so excited to hear that you've scheduled your trip.

I'm so glad you were able to celebrate his birthday with high spirits. Your family has a had a tough journey, but you continue to handle it with grace.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!
Happy Birthday, Eli!

Jennifer & Filipe said...

Yeah!!! One more step down, just a few more to go! He will be home before you know it!

Guatemama said...

YEA!!!!!!! Congratulations MOM AND DAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So happy you are getting so close to FOREVER! The 27th!! How exciting.
Tracy

www.evanportwood.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Evan said...

Congrats! I'm so happy for the THREE of you! I can't wait for Sam and I to come and meet him.
Congratulations!

Frances said...

What a relief to know Eli is officially yours...CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Frances said...

Steph,

Would you email me...email address is on my blog.

Thanks.

Frances