Jack and Jill Adopt

A Mommy Daddy Blog

July 12, 2007

Pink Slip!

Yay! We got our pink slip today. Our embassy appointment is Monday the 23rd. I can't wait to get our Kit home! I haven't posted in a while because (who knew) having an almost 1-year-old is exhausting! I'm thinking over a post on attachment which I will try to get to before too long. For now, I'll just say that we are all doing well, and very happy to be with our baby and an end in sight!

July 04, 2007

We finally have our son!

The reality of Kit is overwhelming. Jack says it’s like taking care of a tiny drunk man. I knew the reality would be different and I didn’t even try to imagine much because I knew I would be wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super happy and I’m overjoyed with Kit. He is a real little person with a will of his own. He’s very mobile. He likes to crawl and creep and he walks holding on to our hands. He doesn’t have much balance yet (hence the drunk man comment), but I think he’ll be walking on his own soon. Hopefully we’ll be home before that happens. He also likes to babble, quite loudly. He’s found that the bathroom of the hotel has especially good acoustics.

We are in Antigua right now (if anyone reading this is in Antigua, I’d love to meet up!). Antigua is a beautiful town, very friendly to tourists and fostering parents. We’ve seen tons of couples with babies they are adopting. We’ve visited the supermarket and the main plaza, but it’s hard to get around too much with a 20 pound baby and a diaper bag that weighs almost as much. Today it started raining as we were coming home (as it does every day, it’s the rainy season), and all of the sudden we saw a huge deluge of muddy water running down the street. The street basically became a river. When we got to the corner, we saw we were trapped, unless we decided to walk through 5 inches of water. So we turned around (I was getting pretty tired by then) and when we saw one of the tiny 3-wheeled taxis we flagged it down. It got us back to the hotel safely.

The hotel is a bit of a challenge. It’s beautiful, an old colonial house with lovely old wooden furniture. Unfortunately, it’s not particularly baby-friendly. There is no bathtub, only a shower which has to run for several minutes to get warm water. We’ve bathed Kit in a couple of inches of water in the bottom of the shower. We had to rearrange the furniture to hide all the outlets and get the changing table away from a heavy old mirror he seemed to want to pull onto himself. We’re managing though.

Well, I’m tired, so I’ll leave it at that. I’ll post more later.

Oh by the way, Happy Fourth of July! Jack and I forgot what day it was.

June 29, 2007

Babies are hard work...

...and ours isn't even home yet. Today Jack and I struggled with installing the car seat for an hour. We decided to buy one of those convertible models because we figured Kit wouldn't need a rear facing one for very long. Our car seat changes from rear facing to forward facing to booster seat. The only problem with it is that I think it was made with a giant SUV in mind. We have a petite Toyota Corolla. A lovely, fuel-efficient car, but not really big enough for our giant car seat. After much fooling around and despairing, we finally got it installed with less than an inch of wiggle. Whoever sits in the passenger seat will have to be short (Jack and I both are) and willing to sit quite upright. Still, Kit will be safe, and that's all that matters.

After that, I decided to tackle some babyproofing. I put in outlet plugs and installed bumpers on the corners of the coffee table, and then I decided to try cabinet latches. Well, I guess I'm just not that good at screwing things in. We have a saying in our family, evige umgang. It's German and it means going around forever. That's what the screws were doing. Not tightening, not boring farther into the wood, just spinning eternally. I finally got two latches installed below the kitchen sink and moved on to the bathroom. There, I found even harder wood! As I was trying to tighten a screw, the screwdriver slipped and I cut myself on the thumb. With a screwdriver! So tightening the screws by hand isn't going to work apparently, so it's time to break out the power tools. Let's see what kind of damage I can do with them!

June 27, 2007

The Black Pickup Truck

Jack and I went to get our fingerprints done yesterday. It went fine and so we're all set if we don't get our embassy appointment before August 4th. After fingerprinting we went to Target to buy some stuff for our trip including a super cute little sun hat for Kit. It was on our way home that we had a bit of an adventure.

The drive home was about 2 hours. We could have done the whole thing on the interstate, but we decided to take a deserted, meandering back road. Besides not having any traffic, there are abandoned houses and defunct motels lining this route. As we drove along, I noticed a black pickup truck following us. They were a little close, but I didn't think anything of it. We drove by a restaurant where we had eaten once before, on the trip where I had my job interview for my current job (incidentally, this is the restaurant where I had my first ever hot turkey sandwich at the age of 25. Bliss!). On the spur of the moment we decided to stop for dinner. We had already passed the parking lot so we pulled into another parking lot to turn around. The black pickup turned in behind us. We drove back to the restaurant and parked. A few seconds later, here came the black pickup following us. It pulled up next to us and the driver stared at me. Then they pulled out and drove away. Over dinner, Jack's explanation was that maybe we had a taillight out an they were going to warn us. Mine was that they were serial killers and we had saved ourselves by pulling in at the restaurant. When we got out after dinner, we checked the lights and they all worked (insert scary horror movie music here)! This proves beyond any possibility of doubt that the people in the pickup were crazed killers.

June 25, 2007

Catastrophe Averted

Jack and I just had a moment of blind panic. We realized that our fingerprints expire on August 4th, and there is a possibility that we won't have our embassy appointment by then. We need to renew our fingerprints or we won't get to take Kit home. We were afraid that we would have to mail out a refingerprint request and then wait for an appointment. I thought we wouldn't be able to go to Guatemala on Sunday and have to change our tickets again and pay huge $ for that. After digging around on the USCIS website and then Jack spending what felt like 2 hours working the automated maze of the USCIS phone system, we finally got a phone number for our local (that is only 2 hours away) USCIS office. I spoke to a nice woman who told us we could make an appointment online for tomorrow! So we will be driving two hours to get fingerprinted again tomorrow and we get to pay another $140 for the privilege! Still, we'll do anything we need to in order to make sure Kit gets home.

June 22, 2007

Last day of school!

Today was my last day of school. I'm so excited! Four months until I have to start up again. Hopefully by then I'll be totally ready to go back. I have to go to graduation tonight which promises to be hot and tiring. The senior class makes a video where each student gets five minutes. Of course this stretches to much more than five minutes each. Thankfully we only have 32 seniors. It will still be verrrrry long though. I'm going to take my knitting. I'm making Kit a little sweater with cables. Go me! Cables! They're actully a lot easier than I feared.

10 days until Guatemala! I don't know how I'll survive.

June 21, 2007

Going to Guatemala!

We have our tickets and will be on our way July 1st! I can't wait. Now we only have to get a hotel. Apparently something is going on in Guatemala City and all the hotels are booked. We're trying for one in Antigua right now.

Our lovely lawyer fixed the mistake PGN made, so now we are about a month away from our Embassy appointment. Keep in mind that this estimate is from our lawyer who told us at Christmas that we might be home by Valentine's Day. Still, it won't be long now. We also worked out the problem with our homestudy addendum. They will send it to us in Guatemala if it is not finished before we leave.

So now I just need to worry about getting my library cleaned up for the end of the year and writing lesson plans for my sub. I will be out until October 29th. That gives me a nice long time to be with Kit! Things are finally looking up!

June 15, 2007

Kit is crawling!

Since we are going down to be with Kit soon, I asked my agency about his development. This is the reply I got:

You had asked me if your baby was crawling, eating solids, etc. He is crawling, he is standing in his crib too. He eats all types of mashed foods but mostly baby foods and cereals. He also uses a walker to get around.

What a naughty boy, standing in his crib! I can't wait to see him. I bet it won't take him long to start walking.

June 14, 2007

Nothing can be simple

Apparently, nothing can go smoothly with our adoption. The only piece that went smoothly and quickly was our pre-approval. Our homestudy took months, we waited 3 months to get into PGN, PGN took 5 months and now our travel has to be delayed. Since the adoption is taking so long our stupid homestudy expired and needs to be updated. We had planned to travel to Guatemala the week of the 25th, but our social worker is on vacation next week and needs to wait for some of our clearances to come in. Why do they need our DMV records anyway??? So I don't know when our homestudy will be updated and we need that for the Embassy. In other news of delays, apparently PGN MADE A MISTAKE WITH OUR PAPERWORK. If that's not irony, I don't know what is. Our lawyer is getting it fixed but it needs to be corrected before we can get the amended birth certificate (which takes 3-4 weeks). No word yet on how long that will take. Still, I'm not nearly as discouraged as I was a few weeks ago. I know we will be with Kit soon.

To combat my depression after our meeting with our social worker, Jack and I went shopping. Our big purchase was a laptop. This will allow us to email people and keep up with blogging while we're in Guatemala. We bought a Toshiba. This is the first time I've owned a PC and I feel a bit of a traitor to Apple. My family has always been an Apple family since the first blocky Macintosh. However, the Toshiba was cheaper and will be compatible with the computers at work. I'm using it right now! So far I'm quite satisfied.

I also bought 2 dresses, 2 skirts and 2 cute shirts that I can wear when we're down in Guatemala. Were all the purchases necessary? No, but they made me happy! I wore a new outfit today and got some compliments. Amazing how such a shallow thing can make us feel good.

June 07, 2007

We're Out!!!!!

We got out of PGN yesterday! I still can't believe it. I was really starting to think that it would never happen, that our adoption would drag on and on forever.

The phone rang at work between two of my classes. The secretary told me that my husband was on the line. I had a faint suspicion that it might be PGN, but I was pretty firmly convinced in my mind that our agency would call me, and I would be the one to break the news to Jack. So Jack says, "I was wondering... what would you think if we got out of PGN today?" So I started jumping up and down saying "Oh my god, oh my god, did we?" And he told me that we were out. So then I had to get off the phone quickly because my class was coming in. And then I was a little bit afraid that I had hallucinated the whole conversation, because it just didn't seem like it could be true!

One nice thing about working in an almost exclusively female workplace is that your coworkers get very excited about this kind of thing. I emailed everyone and I got lots of hugs and congratulations yesterday and today. I was walking on air, and feeling a little shaky.

I happen to be the kind of person that had trouble staying happy for long. I thought about Kit's mother and how she has now irrevocably signed away her right to raise her son. This must be a very hard time for her. I also started thinking about the logistical stuff we still have to do. We've got some forms to fill out and get notarized (does the paperwork ever end?), we've got to change our plane tickets and get a hotel, we need to pack. I'm also having brief moments of panic when I realize that an actual baby will soon be living in our house, under our sole care!

We intended to fly to Guatemala right after my last day of school, but we might have to put it off a little bit. Since the adoption has taken so long, our homestudy has expired and we need to meet with our social worker to update it. She does not have any time available for a few weeks. So frustrating! Our homestudy took forever in the beginning because that agency was so busy. We have time though, because we still have stuff to wait for on the Guatemala end.

First they amend Kit's birth certificate. They change it so that Jack and I appear as the parents. Personally, I do not agree with this idea. I don't like erasing his first parents. This is what Guatemala does, though, and we have to respect their practices. We have a copy of his original birth certificate which we will certainly keep in his life book. Getting the new birth certificate will take 3-4 weeks. Then Kit will get a passport which takes 3-4 business days. Finally, we will get an appointment at the US embassy in Guatemala which will be 1-2 weeks from then. This is the fabled "pink slip" because it's printed on pink paper (who knows why). So, we should be able to bring Kit home 4-7 weeks from now. He might be home for his birthday! Even if he's not, we'll be with him! We plan to fly down there as soon as we possibly can and then we will stay with him until we can come home!