Thursday, November 15, 2012

Happy 7th Birthday to Our Sweet Olivia! ¡Feliz cumpleaƱos!

                  Picture from her 4th birthday in 2009, the only one we were able to spend with her.

Today is Olivia's 7th birthday. We miss her very much and wish we could be celebrating with her today.

As for our case, we have found out that there will be a hearing with a new judge on January 11, 2013. Since the most recent DNA test done to determine whether the Guatemalan family in question, is biologically related to her, came back with an "inconclusive" result this past June, we're not sure whether the new judge will want to do another one or not. It's been 2 1/2 years since the first test was done and we're still no closer to an answer.

There has been some positive movement with many of the remaining transition cases in Guatemala and a few children have come home in the past few months! That's definitely an answer to prayer!

We continue to be prayerful and faithful that God will bring all the remaining children home to their waiting families very soon. We want this birthday to be her last without us.

¡Feliz cumpleaƱos Olivia! ♥ ♥ 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

No Hearing Monday.

Monday's hearing will not be happening. We don't know when there might be another one scheduled, but I'll post again when we know something.

Please continue to pray for Olivia and all the remaining children and their parents. Things for all of us are pretty tough right now.

Thank you.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hearing 2 Weeks from Today

There will be another hearing on our case on Monday, September 3rd, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. CT.

We are asking for your prayers. This hearing may be the one that potentially decides Olivia's future. Please pray for her. For continued strength and protection of her heart, mind and emotions. Pray for us. For wisdom, strength and peace. Also pray for the authorities making decisions that their hearts would be softened and they would put Olivia's best interest first.

...behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.  ~Revelation 3:8

Thank you and God bless.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Our Olivia & 350+ Children Need Your Help on Tuesday 7/10/12

Dear Family & Friends,

Last week we, (the parents waiting for their children to come home from Guatemala) delivered a letter to Secretary of State Clinton asking for her help in bringing our kids home. (Visit our group's blog to see the letter and find out more about our fight -- ). Please join us by contacting the Secretary on behalf of our children and ask for her support. She has side-stepped this issue in the past but now it has gone on too long and she can't ignore it anymore. Take a look at the 8 second video below the letter on the link above and you'll see what this is doing to our kids, to our families.  PLEASE help us.  You can do so by picking up your phone on Tuesday, July 10th.

Call Secretary Clinton's office at (202)-647-5291 and use this script below (or something similar):

I am an adoptive parent (friend of/grandparent) to a child who is still waiting in Guatemala for 5+ years. A letter was delivered last week to Secretary Clinton asking for her involvement in ending this humanitarian disaster and bringing these kids safely home. The previous two Guatemalan administrations promised to resolve these cases but that was proven to be simply rhetoric followed by inaction. Four + years is long enough for these children to wait to have a family. This child is 6 1/2 years old, living in an orphanage while her room at home is empty.

I would like Secretary Clinton to please read this letter and take it seriously.  A simple adoption process has turned into a crisis as these children spend their formative years in institutions when a forever family waits for them.  I believe Secretary Clinton can help.  We need her. These children need her.

Also, if you could forward this email to your email contacts, Facebook friends, Twitter, blogs or any social media tonight and tomorrow, it would be greatly appreciated.

We're praying that Sec. Clinton will get the message tomorrow when her phone lines are flooded with people supporting our children.

Thank you so much!
God bless,
Sue & Bryan

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

No Hearing Today

We have been informed that today's Court hearing has been postponed because the DNA results are not in yet.

It really doesn't surprise me, it seems almost predictable. The price of airline tickets being so high in the past several weeks was a huge clue that we weren't supposed to go. And now we have confirmation.

I have no idea when it will be rescheduled. Stay tuned...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

We received an email 5 years ago today and when we opened it, this is what we saw. The face of our daughter. She was 17 months old, sad, scared and alone. We knew however, that this was the child God had chosen to be our daughter. We fell in love, right then and there. What we didn't know then, was how difficult and endless the journey to bring her home would be.

Our next Court hearing is scheduled for May 8th. 12 days from now. We won't be traveling to Guatemala this time. We're going to stay home and wait for the DNA results and the judge's decision. The main reason being that airfare is out of control! I have been checking the prices consistently since our last trip 9 weeks ago and they have been in the $545.- $550. per ticket range over the last month. That's actually pretty good. However, we had been waiting to book our flights until we heard from our folks in Guatemala that everything was still on, but the weeks passed and we just weren't getting any answers. One day last week, I checked the ticket prices in the morning and they were still at $545., then later that day, I checked again. The price per ticket had jumped to $822. a piece!!! Multiply that times 3! Really?! Oh, and today? Today, they're at $862. each. Need I say more?

We are waiting for a conference call with Senator Landrieu about her recent trip to Guatemala. As you can imagine, all the waiting families are anxiously anticipating what progress was made to get our kids home. No date on when that's supposed to happen though.

Anyway, I just wanted to mark yet another milestone of this process.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Boots On The Ground

This week, a delegation of U.S. Congressional representatives led by Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, are in Guatemala meeting with the adoption entities there to once again advocate for our children.

Sen. Landrieu met with Guatemala's new president, President Otto Perez Molina yesterday to discuss the need to resolve these adoptions as soon as possible. Here is a press release regarding the meeting: 

Guatemala President to Proceed on 350 Adoptions for US Parents Stuck in Limbo After Ban

By Associated Press, Published: April 11
GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemala’s president says he’s willing to speed up 350 adoptions by U.S. couples that were in process before his Central American nation suspended adoptions by foreigners in 2007 following allegations of fraud and baby theft.

President Otto Perez Molina said Wednesday he hopes to resolve those cases after meeting with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who has been traveling to Guatemala to push for the adoptions to go through.

The government issued a decree last August approving adoptions that had been fully arranged before the ban, but it applied to only 44 cases.

Guatemala was once a top source of adopted children for U.S. couples, with more than 4,000 a year. The U.N.-created International Commission Against Impunity studied 3,000 adoptions and found irregularities such as falsified paperwork and fake birth certificates.

We are anxious to find out what this means and will remain cautiously optimistic that he means what he says.

We are T-minus 26 days until our next Court hearing on May 8th. Since we were in Guatemala in February, many, many negative and potentially damaging things have taken place there that could possibly affect our case. At this point, we have no way of knowing. Hopefully the meetings taking place this week with the U.S. delegation will negate all the negative activities and insure forward movement for all the cases.

We're asking for specific prayer for Sen. Landrieu, her delegation and all the Guatemalan adoption representatives. Please pray that this visit will make a definite impact that will insure a direct path to let our children come home. Soon.

                               Olivia is waiting.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hearing Was a "GO"

Yes, today's hearing did take place. And yes, we saw Olivia. She is beautiful, but looked very sad. This whole thing is so confusing for her.

Everyone who was supposed to, showed up. We are very thankful for that.

The doctor who was there to draw blood for the DNA samples, determined that they could get a result if they got samples from Olivia and the boy (her potential bio. brother), by testing for a sibling relation. So "grandma" wasn't needed after all.

The samples were taken, and handled very carefully so there would be no question about mis-handling.

The judge set the next and dare I say "final" hearing where we will have the results and his decision, for May 8th, 10 weeks from today. And of course, we will be here for that. We won't be able to see Olivia again till then.

So, that's pretty much it. We were able to give her, her Valentine's gift we weren't able to give her 2 weeks ago, and took 2 pictures before she rode off in the hogar's van. Praying for a negative DNA result and for the next 10 weeks to fly by.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Today We Hit the 5-Year Mark

Today is the 5th anniversary of the day we started Olivia's adoption. This week we received some very good news regarding all the pending Guatemala adoption cases. Here's a summary from our Guatemala900 group: 

February 25, 2012
The Guatemala900 met with the Guatemalan Minister of Foreign Affairs Harold Caballeros in Washington, DC yesterday.  The Minister outlined a general plan for implementing a new, transparent process for the pending adoptions within the next 100 days.  The Minister asked for G900 support in helping him as he works to draft legislation within the next two weeks for the Guatemalan Congress will then begin to consider and hopefully pass.  Many thanks to G900 executive board member Tracey Hoehn, Guatemalan Waiting Parents Support Group Co-Founder Christina Watson, and Joint Council President and ally Tom DiFilipo, who all passionately represented the campaign.  Also the G900 would like to thank Guatemalan Minister Counselor Fernando de la Cerda, who has always been a champion to the children with pending adoptions in Guatemala and was instrumental in making the meeting come to be yesterday.
Basically, by the beginning of June, there will be a law implemented that will allow a definite path for our children's adoptions to be completed. Of course we don't know what the law will entail, but hopefully it will eliminate all of the problems and roadblocks that have plagued our processes for well over 4 years. The Guatemalan government has said they are committed to making this happen.
Meanwhile, we head back to Guatemala for our rescheduled hearing. If all goes according to plan, and everyone who needs to, shows up, and DNA samples are taken, and the RIGHT tests are done at the lab, and the results come back negative.....we should be on track so that when the 100 days in early June are up, we'll be ready to follow the path that the new law will put in place to lead Olivia home.
As always, prayers are appreciated! We'll update again soon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gearing Up For Rescheduled Hearing

Okay, so last week's hearing didn't happen, but we were there. It has been rescheduled for next Tuesday the 28th and we will be there. This week, at home, we are trying to rest and re-group.

The TV interview we did last Tuesday did not air while we were down there due to the prison fire in Honduras. I've been told that it will air tonight on Telecentro 13 in Guatemala and Directv channel 428 (I think) here in the U.S. (8:30 - 10:00pm CST or 9:30 - 11:00pm EST). If anyone sees it, please let me know.

We didn't get the opportunity to see Olivia at all last week, but should see her at this next hearing. We're hoping and praying that all parties will show up. This hearing will still not be a determining one, but will hopefully result in finally getting DNA samples from those in question so that we may once and for all know (probably in 3 months) if we have a shot at adopting our little girl.

Once again, we're asking for your prayers. It's no small feat to travel to Guatemala twice in two weeks. We hope that God brings all things together this time so we can truly see some forward movement in our case. We also hope that the TV interview will air and that it will open eyes of people who may have some influence in getting the 350+ children home to the families that have waited so long for them.

We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Today's Hearing Was Postponed, But........

We are here in Guatemala and even though hours after our arrival yesterday, we found out that the hearing we came down for was postponed by PGN, we have had a VERY productive day! 

Not only did we go to the Court in Escuintla and speak with the judge, but we were interviewed for this evening's news program on Telecentro 13! 

Brief history; we have been waiting since June 2010 to determine whether a lady found by PGN is the bio. grandmother of Olivia. She showed up at the hearing in 2010, and after the wrong test was run, has not come back to Court to provide more blood samples (we found out today that was because PGN never informed them of the hearing dates). Here we are 20 months later and PGN postpones the hearing which we thought was because they couldn't find this lady to bring her in. We showed up to Court and guess who was there? The woman and her grandson came to give samples. PGN of course couldn't come because they said they were understaffed and had other hearings today. Uh huh.....

So...after we met with the judge and were interviewed by the reporters, we drove over to PGN and with cameras rolling convinced them that they needed to show up for the next hearing two weeks from today. Funny, at first one guy our attorney spoke with said they couldn't say one way or the other whether they would be able to come. Once our attorney demanded to talk to the guy in charge and we all were standing in front of him in his office with the news crew there, he suddenly cleared his calendar and agreed to be there!

We are so thankful to our attorney who's husband, (who just happens to be the general manager of the TV station) came up with the whole interview idea! They said this could be very big for all the waiting families. 

We didn't see Olivia today, maybe we'll get a chance tomorrow.

Tomorrow morning, we have a meeting at the U.S. Embassy. We'll see what we can do there.

Prayers are appreciated!