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.


Stacie said...

I will be keeping my fingers crossed for a successful court date Wednesday! So sorry you can't be with Olivia on her 9th birthday, but once she is home you will have many more birthdays to celebrate as a family together.
Praying Olivia home!

Terri Fisher said...

I have been checking almost daily for updates...I know how frustrating the wait can be! I will be praying that all goes well tomorrow, and will be looking for good news here!

Greg and Felicia Huff said...

We continue to pray for all of you. Olivia is so beautiful!