Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hearing Date Set

We just received news that the next (and hopefully last) hearing date has been set for our case.

It is scheduled for February 14th, 2012, two months from now. The new judge has decided to try for DNA from the alleged family members one more time.....

Please pray for our attorney, the judge and all the folks associated with our case and that this hearing will result in us being able to move forward, out of the Court system and on to the next step. 

Olivia needs to come home.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Prayer and Thanksgiving

We've been waiting since August for our case to be registered in the new Court with the new judge. We received word this week that perhaps by this Friday, the judge will set the date for the "next and final" hearing.  

As with all things in this process, we're not holding our breath, but our attorney has asked for prayer. We ask specifically that the hearing would be scheduled soon and that God would touch the heart of this new judge so that he/she would see by the history of the case, that in the best interest of Olivia, it needs to move forward. Now. That we could be done with the Court process and move on to the next step, which would be the CNA. And most importantly, that Olivia be allowed to stay right where she is.

We know that we have a lot of prayer warriors out there who have been diligently praying for Olivia and our family all along this journey. We want you to know just how grateful we are. It is such a blessing knowing so many people care and are petitioning the Lord on our behalf.

Thank you.

May God bless you and your families this Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Happy 6th Birthday To Our Little Girl

Photo taken in June 2010

Today is Olivia's 6th birthday, and even though we're not able to be with her.....again, we were able to send some gifts down to her this year. Hopefully, she will know how much we love and miss her and that we are still here fighting for her.

As far as our case is concerned, as of last week, we were waiting for it to be registered in the new Court, (I might add, some 2+ months after the former judge washed her hands of it). That was supposed to have happened last Friday. We haven't heard yet if it has. Please pray that once the new judge has our case, that he/she will allow us to move forward. To get out of the Court system and on the road to completing this adoption. It was exactly two years ago, that this whole business with the "grandmother" began. Looking back, it is unbelievable that so much time has been allowed to pass without a resolution to that. Two precious years of a little girl's life gone.....for what?

I have no doubt that Olivia will have a fun birthday with the wonderful folks that are taking care of her. We feel extremely blessed that she's with such loving, godly people. We're hoping and praying that this is the last birthday that we will have to be separated.

Feliz Cumpleanos, Olivia! ♥♥♥

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Latest.

This past weekend, we received news that the judge on our case decided she couldn't do any more with our case, so she sent it to another Court nearer to where 'our family in question' lives. This is approximately 30 miles southwest of Guatemala City (where everything in our case has taken place up to this point).

It has been two years now that they have been trying to determine whether or not this "grandmother" and her family are related to Olivia. More specifically during this last year, these folks have not shown one bit of interest in her. Not. One. Bit. Instead of granting us our Certificate of Adoptibility so that our case could simply move forward and alleviate any more delays and hardship on Olivia, the Court feels the need to cater to this family and give them every opportunity to take her away from us. We just don't get it.

The most difficult part of this is that there is a good possibility that Olivia would be moved to an orphanage in this new town. Olivia is still in the home where she's been for the last 16 months and right now, we're doing whatever we can to assure she stays there. Moving her and once again taking her away from everyone and everything she knows would be devastating.

We are asking for your prayers. Please pray that Olivia will be able to stay where she is until such a time that she would be allowed back with her foster family or until she would come home to us. Any more disruption in her life would surely do long-lasting harm.

Also please keep our attorney in prayer as she will have much more to contend with during this new Court situation and the uncertainty of the ever-changing rules and requirements of the process as it stands now.

Don't misunderstand, God is in control and we are still very hopeful that Olivia will come home to us and we know that even though things in Guatemala seem to have taken a turn towards resolving the remaining cases, we understand we've still got a long row to hoe. We just don't want any more unnecessary, inconsiderate things to happen to Olivia while we're waiting for resolution. We have to do everything we can to protect her.

Thanks again for your prayers, concern and support! It is appreciated so much!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Renewed Hope.

I know it seems the only time I update this blog is when we have a failed Court hearing or there's an anniversary. Well, this update commemorates an anniversary, 4 1/2 years since the start of this process as well as some very encouraging news about the remaining cases left to be resolved in Guatemala.

A week ago, the Guatemalan government sent out a decree stating that they would be resolving the cases. Here's the article that was released to the news agencies:

Guatemala to renew adoptions halted midway by ban
August 21, 2011

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Guatemala has issued a decree that could speed up dozens of adoptions by U.S. couples that have been stuck in limbo since the Central American country suspended adoptions in 2007 amid allegations of fraud and even baby theft.

The decree says that parents whose adoptions were halted midway by the ban can complete the process if they prove a "prolonged" relationship with the child and that they were not responsible for any fraud, among other requirements. The possibility of a domestic adoption must also be ruled out.

But it might not go far enough to solve all pending cases, says Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who will visit Guatemala this week to, among other things, push to expand the program to more U.S. adoptive parents.

One goal of the trip "is to establish that there are approximately 400 families still in transition, and to work out a process so that each of those cases can be resolved, and that includes the 44 that are subject to this immediate accord," Sen. Landrieu told The Associated Press on Sunday.

She said that the decree may include more than 44 cases, although those are certain to be resolved, and perhaps even in the next few weeks. The decree, which was issued Friday, states that it will remain in effect for one year.

The senator added that 900 unresolved cases in 2007 have already been reduced to about 395.
The U.S. State Department is also sending its Special Advisor for Children's Issues to Guatemala this week, where she will consult with the government on the decree.

"We are pleased to see progress toward the resolution of these pending cases," said State Department spokesperson Beth Gosselin......

Now, to be clear, our case is not one of the 44 mentioned that may be resolved very soon. But this decision opens the door for the rest of us. The encouraging thing is that we now have an end in sight. The decree states that the attorneys, etc. have a year from last Friday, August 19th, to get cases like ours, to a specific point (I need to be vague here and not discuss those specifics). That said, we now have renewed hope of bringing Olivia home.

Our last two Court hearings, on June 21st and on August 8th, were both postponed because the "grandmother" and her family, once again did not show up for DNA testing. We're now waiting to see what the judge will do. Once we get a direction from her, we'll know more about what will need to take place next.

We're also still waiting for a report from Senator Landrieu on her visit to Guatemala this week. Hopefully, she and her delegation will have made more progress in their advocacy for the children and waiting families. We sincerely thank all of them for being our voice.

It's so nice to have a spark of hope. We remain cautiously optimistic, but we do see a little light and the end of the proverbial tunnel and pray as we move forward, it gets brighter and brighter! We thank God for showing us that light!

Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support for us during these past 4 1/2 years, it means so much and believe me, it's wonderful to finally have a little good news to report!

We ask for continued prayers for Olivia, for our case, for all the other families that are waiting, and for all the officials in Guatemala and the U.S. that are working on these cases.

I will update again when I have more news.

Friday, July 15, 2011

We Finally Have Some Info

Well it's been 3 1/2 weeks since the last hearing on our case and we finally had a conference call with our attorney last night.

She told us that at the June 21st hearing, the "grandmother" and her family members who were required to show up to provide blood samples for the DNA testing, were once again a no-show. This has been the pattern since last October, that's 8 extra months we've been waiting to get this DNA ball rolling again. Apparently the sense of urgency is exclusive to our end of things.....

The new judge on our case set the next hearing for August 8th. She ordered that the PGN locate and bring the "grandmother" and her family members to the hearing. We're praying that they show this time.

Our attorney saw Olivia at the hearing. She said she's gotten bigger and that Olivia spoke to her about her foster family and us. She said she looked very pretty, but sad.

We have heard so many different things from other families going through this nightmare, about how they're hearing these cases are being processed, that we just have no idea at this point which way our case will go once we get a DNA result. We flip back and forth about what the best case scenario would be for the results. If it's a match.....the family has shown they're not interested so, will they relinquish their rights? If it's not a match, then we could get a Certificate of Adoptability, but will that mean that the authorities will try to find yet another Guatemalan family to take Olivia before they settle on us? There are so many different possibilities at this point, we just don't know what specifically to pray for. The rules and procedures seem to change with the wind.

I guess the only thing we can do is ask God to open whatever doors necessary so she can come home to us. To really work in the hearts of all the adoption entities in Guatemala who don't seem to see or care what all this waiting and lackadaisical attitude are doing to the children and their families. There are still so many families waiting, just like us, and all our babies need to come home, now.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Emily! June 9th Then & Now

Olivia & Emily ~ 2010

Happy 11th birthday to our Emily! June 9th this year has been much better than June 9th of 2010.

This picture was taken last year in Guatemala just a few days before our Court hearing on the 9th where Olivia was taken to the orphanage. We were heartbroken, it was a very bad day. Here we are one year later and no closer to a resolution in our case than we were then. The DNA situation has been at a standstill since October last year. Our next Court hearing is on June 21st. We have a new judge, a lady this time. We've heard that she wants to get these remaining cases resolved, so we're hoping she can do something to get ours moving again.

I'll post again once we have word of how the hearing went. Prayers would be appreciated!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's Been 4 Years.

If you look to the left at the "We've Been Waiting" ticker, you'll notice that today it simply reads '4 years'. February 26th, 2007 we embarked on this adoption journey, never imagining that this much time would pass without having our baby home.

The progress that we had hoped our case would make since we last saw Olivia almost 9 months ago, has not materialized and we've had no indication that things will be moving any time soon. But we are not the only ones going through this. There are approx. 382 active adoption cases still left to be resolved in Guatemala and those families have formed a group called the Guatemala 900 and we are fighting to get our children home.

This month the Guatemala 900 has asked each of the waiting families to write a Valentine letter to their child. They are hoping to bring a new awareness to our struggle to bring our children home. Today our letter to Olivia is featured. Once you've read our letter, please feel free to make a comment at the bottom of the letter, then click on the links to the right to read the many other Valentine's from the other families to their children.
(copy & paste)

We are weary, but we are not broken.
With God all things are possible.