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.