Saturday, June 13, 2009

Here's What Happened at Wednesday's Hearing

First of all, it wasn't until last night (Friday about 11:30 p.m.) that we got the story on Wed.'s hearing. Lymaris had sent us an email she had gotten from Beyla on Wed. evening explaining what took place, but unfortunately for us, the email was in Spanish and Lymaris had to run and didn't have time to translate just then, but said she would do it over the phone the next day. (Mind you, this was the biggest event in our case to date, and we were chomping at the bit to find out...) fast forward to Friday night, that's when we finally connected with her and got the lowdown.

The news is mostly good, praise the Lord. The Judge officially made Beyla our Mandatory attorney after our previous attorney Gallo asked to be taken off the case. The Judge however would not exclude Mr. Gallo completely.

We were also officially accepted as part of the process as the "Prospective Adoptive Parents" (PAP). I wasn't aware that this was part of what was going to be discussed, but it was, we were accepted by the Court, and that's a very good thing!

The Court has ordered their own "search" for M., the birth mother, and now it is just a matter of time until the police in her local area bring her in for the DNA test.

The Judge adjourned the hearing until November 16th! That is unless M. has been brought in before that date and cooperates. We're definitely praying that takes place much, much sooner than Nov. 16th! Olivia turns 4 on Nov. 15th, for crying out loud!!!

Lymaris also told us however, that we will have to redo most or all of our dossier all... over... again! There goes my summer! Apparently, the lovely Mr. Gallo says he doesn't have our original dossier and another person who has worked on our case in the past says she doesn't have our original dossier and the two of them aren't on speaking terms, so instead of waiting for them to stop blaming each other and find it, we have to go through getting all the documents together again. Most of everything is going to expire within the next several months anyway, so I guess it's a good idea to get it all updated. Oy!

What this all boils down to is that, we need M. to come in and take the DNA, plain and simple. Beyla and Lymaris believe that once she knows she's "wanted" by the police, she'll have no choice but to come in. We're hoping that the process of her local Court issuing an order for the police to contact her is already under way and that it'll be a short time before they bring her in. That's what our prayer is now.

Meanwhile, I'm off on the paper chase once again..... whatever it takes to bring Olivia home.

I'll post again, when we learn something new.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Regarding Wednesday's Court Hearing

Well, we had planned on being in Guatemala this week, but as it turns out, we won't be going after all. We have been waiting for weeks to find out whether or not we would be allowed to attend Olivia's abandonment hearing this Wednesday. Just this past Friday, we received an email from our attorney Beyla. This is what she said: "For me its preferable that you do not travel right now. We are representing you and do not know if this hearing will be definitive. I still do not have the judge's written consent, (to allow us into the hearing) but I can still attend without it, as I am already a part to the process."

As for the hearing itself she says: " As a matter of fact, the Judge cannot take the abandonment route now, since he has been notified the birth mom is alive and has family and where to find them. He can suspend the hearing for another date, but I doubt he will consider abandonment now. The advantage is that if the Judge forces her to come, she will have no choice but to submit herself for DNA testing and I do believe she is the birth mom."

I asked if the birth mom, M. could still be located and what the strategy was for getting her to comply and she wrote: "M. can be reached, the only problem is that since the judicial system in Guatemala is so bureaucratic, the process requires the judge seek assistance of the Court in Guanaga*apa, since this is the nearest location to the family's residence, and then that Court notifies the police, so it is definitely slow and bureaucratic. However, I believe it is possible that the court date may be suspended for another date. The advantage is that with the news of M.'s location, they will consider she is alive and can be located . . . I think come the judicial citation she will fear getting in trouble and will decide to step forward and come."

She ends by saying: "To all the above we add the hand of our powerful God who is watching and attempting to restore her (Olivia's) rights as an orphan and the Lord will straighten matters and give us the victory."

So even though we won't be able to see Olivia right now (and spend Emily's 9th birthday in Guatemala) like we'd hoped, it sounds like things are turning in a positive direction for our case. The last thing we really wanted was for our case to become an abandonment case and have it drag on for a year or more longer. But now with the Judge concentrating on getting M. to come forward, that is very good. We pray now that this can happen soon. Once she submits to the DNA test and it is positive, the ball can officially get rolling and we'll be on track for getting Olivia home hopefully much sooner.

We ask for prayer for Wednesday's hearing, that the Judge would make positive decisions for our case and that the process of getting M. to collaborate with authorities would happen quickly and smoothly. Also we pray for peace, strength and safety for M., I can only imagine how difficult this situation is for her.

We will post again once we find out what happens on Wed. Meanwhile, here are a couple of pictures of Olivia that we received last week. She's playing with the bilingual laptop toy we gave her when we visited.