Friday, June 29, 2007

Just hanging in there....

Well, we are leaving tomorrow for our annual fishing trip to Canada. I talked to my agency yesterday and still no news. I didn't really expect anything yet, but.......

I was a little bummed after the phone call. I just have this feeling that we are not going to get down there as quickly as I was hoping. I am still trying to be optimistic that we will get our embassy appointment next week, but who knows. It depends a lot on where Annie's birth certificate is from. I know her birth city and I have heard varying things of how long new birth certificates take from there. They use to take just a day or two but apparently the person in charge of that changed and for a while they took weeks. Now it doesn't apparently take that long (thank goodness), but I have no clu how long to expect. Once we get that we have to be submitted to the US Embassy to get our pink slip. Once submitted, it takes 4 days to get an appointment. Our agency coordinator just got her pink (for her little girl) on Wednesday and her appt isn't until like July 11th (but there are 2 holidays in there). So, I think realistically it will be a good 3 more weeks.

I guess I am never happy...... I have been pretty patient thus far, but this part is much harder than I expected. It is like I am so close, but just not there. Enough already! Let's get this girl home.

Still no news on Gideon. I have heard that if you are in past 6 weeks there's a pretty good chance of getting out with no knock outs (or at least no more knock outs in Gideon's case). This was true for Annie. Gideon has been in for almost 6 and 1/2 weeks, so I am really hoping for the best. I saw 2 PGN outs today on my adoption board with a May 2 submit date. So, maybe Barrios will be signing off on Gideon's in a couple weeks????

I was able to send packages down to the kids again. That is always fun! We get to fill 1 ziploc bag (per child) to Guatemala every time our agency goes (like once every couple months). Those suckers fill up fast. I never have enough room!

We have really done a great job at getting ready. We have totally finished switching the rooms around and the nursery is pretty much ready. Also, Logan is loving his new army room!

I have gathered most things I need for Annie (Gideon is a whole 'nuther story). Thank you to everyone that has been so generous! It helps clothing-wise that Annie and Maddie are so close in age. I have had to buy very little clothing, which is nice.

Oh, I wanted to add that we figured out that my good friend Jen is going to be traveling to Guatemala with me for pick up. Jen adopted with us from Russia and is so selflessly leaving her little pumkin to help me with Annie and Maddie. Jen is well traveled and we have a great time together, so I am am sure this will be a great trip. Leah really wants to travel with us and I would love to take her. I think it would be really cool for her to experience bringing her sister home and the culture her sister is from. Also, she would be a great help to us. But, airfare is expensive and we just aren't sure we can afford it.

So, I guess I will sign off. Hopefully we will get good news on vacation and I can update with that when I get back!

Please keep your prayers coming! I know I ask that all the time, but I really feel like we can use them!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Busy Times!

Well, we've been pretty busy around our house lately. There's been a lot to do around here and and Annie getting out of PGN has been just the motivation we need. We've moved a lot of furniture (thanks Adam and Jason) and done a little bit of shopping (thanks Mary Jo!). I feel like I am pretty much going all day long, but that's ok, busy isn't necessarily a bad thing.

As for the house.... I still have lots of organizing and cleaning to do. Moving furniture leaves a lot of messes! I need to paint Logan's new room (for some reason he's not loving the pink that is in there now) which I may start tomorrow. Once his room is done I can move him out of the nursery. My good friend is coming Monday to help me get the nursery ready. She is also letting me borrow her extra crib, which will be really great.

We leave for our vacation in Canada a week from today, so I have a lot to do to get ready for that also. I would love to have everything done before we go. I am anticipating traveling to get Annie shortly after we get back and the less I have to do the better.

I feel very blessed by how the baby items we need seem to be just falling together. Right now I am just trying to focus on getting what we need for Annie. When Gideon comes home a few more purchases will have to be made. My aunt is giving me/letting me borrow a car seat, two pack n play's and a big play yard. My sister is letting us borrow a dresser. I have two friends letting me borrow cribs. Those are some pretty major items that I do not have to buy. So, I am pretty ready, purchase wise, for Annie to come home. Before Gideon gets here, I would like to find 2 more car seats, we need another high chair (I'd like to find one that clips to the table oris portable) and we are really going to need to buy our double/triple stroller. The stroller is going to be by far the most major purchase because it is expensive and I have yet to see it used anywhere.

Ok, so I have rambled quite a bit so I will go. Oh, and there's no additional adoption news. We really don't expect to hear much until we have our embassy date, which will be like a week or so before we travel. Here's what's going on in Guatemala for Annie over the next few weeks:


Here’s the information about the stages that follow PGN approval.

1. Final Decree.

On PGN’s approval, your Notary in charge has to issue the Final Decree. The Final Decree has to be signed by the Birth Mother or the minor’s Representative, the Mandatory and the Notary in charge of the process.

2. Civil Registry.

After the Final Decree is signed, the Notary in charge has to put a file together to send to the Civil Registry where your child’s birth is registered.Civil Registry will issue a new Birth Certificate in which will appear the name of your child and your last name.

3. US Embassy

The new Birth Certificate, along with the Final Decree, PGN resolution and POA have to be translated by a sworn translator and submitted to US Embassy from Monday to Thursday between 9:00am to 9:30am. US Embassy will issue pink slip in 48 hours.

4. Passport

In order to pick up Pink Slip, your Notary has to put together a file for Immigration in Guatemala in order to get the passport.Your Mandatory can get passport in 30 minutes.

5. Pink slip and Visa Appointment.

48 hours after the submission of documents to the USE, Pink Slip can be picked up passport in hand.That same day you will be notified of your visa appointment.

6. Visa Appointment.

The attorney in charge of the case will let you know when your visa appointment will take place, so you can make arrangements to be in Guatemala.


Monday, June 18, 2007


I am so happy to announce that Anna Maria Cole is officially OUT of PGN!!! I just found out today!! We are so amazed and just giving God all the glory for getting our baby girl out in a little over 7 weeks with no knock outs. Many people are not so fortunate!

So, Annie is done with everything on the Guatemalan side and now it is up to the US Embassy to get her ready to come home. We are told that pick will be in 3 to 4 weeks!! Annie will be issued a new birth certificate with her new last name and the Embassy will issue her a pink slip with an Embassy date for us.

So, I could not be more unprepared, but I will sure have fun the next few weeks getting ready for her!

We have not heard any additional news on Gideon. We are still praying he comes home soon too!

I would love if you all could continue to pray for us. If I could be so bold, here are a few requests:

1. That Annie gets her pink slip quickly (sometimes our Embassy gets in a funk).
2. That God will give Ryan and I stamina and wisdom over the next few weeks. Since I am so unprepared, I really need every day to get fully ready. Well, we have a vacation planned in 12 days. Also, I had minor surgery last Friday and it does not seem to be healing properly (I am going to the Dr. tomorrow), I may need to be "taking it easy," that is so completely far from where I need and want to be right now.
3. That our finances won't take to big of beating..... I hate to bring this up, but adoption is indeed expensive and we are seriously feeling the crunch.
4. That Gideon will be able to join his forever family soon!

Thank you to all you who read this (and comment) and especially to you who pray for us. I know we have some warriors out there and we couldn't be more blessed.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Earthquake in Guatemala

I just wanted everyong to know that Annie and Gideon are fine and were not affected by the earthquake (which was like 70 miles from where they are at in Guatemala City). Praise God for keeping them safe!


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Finally, updated pictures and a small progress update.

I have had these pictures for over 3 weeks now, but I've just been able to upload them. First I didn't have my laptop, then I didn't have the disk, then I didn't have my friend to help me, finally everything has pulled together! (Thanks for your help Maureen) So, here are the pictures and I will add an update at the end!

Gideon, still putting everything in his mouth!

Gideon and hid foster mom.


Annie loving on Sondra. Sondra is our attorney's wife. They do a wonderful job running Annie's hogar. Our attorney and his wife seem like really great people with a lot of love for the children of Guatemala!

Annie and a couple of hogar buddies!

O, those eyes!

They are both getting sooooo big!!
Annie: In her video she was walking all by herself! (The video was taken just a few days before her 1st birthday). The video is so great! She is laughing and giving Sondra kisses. She smiles a lot. It was just fun to see. According to her report, as of 5-5-07, Annie was 19 lbs, does not sleep through the night (although she did when we visited her) and is happy and content. She eats baby food and drinks whole milk (she also likes mashed potatoes and ice cream :)).
Gideon: In his video he was all smiles (big suprise!). He is crawling and sitting by himself. He even pulled himself to a standing position, not bad for 9 months! His report says drinks Nan 2 Formula and eats baby food (and taters!). He has no teeth yet and he sleeps through the night. He weighs 18 lbs 2 oz.
Status wise.... Annie is still in PGN and the longer she is there, the more hopeful I get that she will get out without a knock out. Gideon was put into PGN May 15th.
Please pray our stay in PGN is short. 6 to 10 weeks is standard and that is with no knock outs. If we get a knock out, we have to fix it and essentially start again.
Thanks for letting me share!!

Birthday Pictures Finally

I finally have some pictures from Annie's cupcake celebration. Only like a month late......*sigh.*
Well, here they are......



Uncle Adam......

Uncle Jason.....

Aunt Esther......

Mama and Papa.......

Uncle John........

Uncle Tim, cousins Bryce and Tyler........

Great Grandma Dobbins..........

DeeDee (Grandma Tolley).......

Aunt Susie.....

I took more of some friends and our notary, but the family pictures were the only ones I didn't care to shamelessly plaster all over the interent. (Don't you wish you were related to me!)
Anyways, everyone enjoyed the cupcakes (or so they told me :)). I so wish Annie could have been here for her first birthday. But, we'll just throw her a big bash for birthday #2!