Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Here Comes Mary Isabela!!!

We got the incredible news today... on March 11 we are to be at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala for sweet Izzie's Visa appointment. One day later, we'll have her U.S. Visa. We're flying to Guatemala City on March 9, and will return on March 16.
On March 16, 2008, Mary Isabela Bacheldor will become a U.S. citizen, and be with her forever family. We are so excited. Beyond words. I will write more in the next few days; plans about our trip, thoughts for Izzie's foster family and for her birthmother. And my promise to this sweet baby girl, my daughter.
For now I leave you with this photo: Mary Isabela's mommy and brother toasting her sweetness. We love you Izzie!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

I'm Coming Home Soon!

More good news... the DNA sample was taken, and I expect that the lab will begin processing the test next week!!!! I'm hoping it only takes a week (the test can take anywhere from a few days to 10 days, from what I understand), and that the results are back in the hands of the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala by early in the week of Feb. 25. I also got new pictures today of sweet Izzie. She is the cutest ever, even when she is looking wistful and perhaps even a bit sad, as in this little picture. I still am pinching myself over and over that this wonderfully sweet-natured, beautiful baby girl is my daughter!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


More exciting news to report. As of now, I am officially, legally, wonderfully, and HAPPILY Mary Isabela's mommy!!!! I got a call from my agency last night and Izzie now has a modified birth certificate and Guatemalan passport with my last name on it. The final adoption decree has been issued. And the U.S. Embassy has authorized the final DNA test, a test that will compare Izzie's DNA with the sample that was taken when she was just a few months old. The sample (using a cotton swab on her cheek) will be taken by a U.S.-approved embassy doctor, likely by week's end. Then the sample will be sent to a U.S. lab for testing, and the results will be overnighted back to the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala. From there, embassy officials review the results and then make an appointment for me and Izzie to be at the embassy, so she can receive her U.S. Visa to travel into the U.S.!!!! We really are on the home stretch. Hallelujah! We still won't know when we'll travel (until we get the e-mail from the U.S. Embassy telling us when our appointment is) but it could very well be the week of March 10!!!

Oh, and anaranjado is "orange" which is what is referred to for DNA Authorization. When we get our embassy appointment, that's rosado "pink."

It is really time to get all the last-minute stuff done on my list. Izzie will be home soon!

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Did You Hear The Good News?

We're OUT!

Finally, after about 125 days, PGN put its stamp of approval on Izzie's adoption. Her family -- mommy, Griffin, Papa, Grams, Uncle Todd, and Gabby the Pup -- are overjoyed.

In about six to eight weeks (maybe a tad longer, maybe a tad less), we'll be traveling to Guatemala to bring our sweet Mary Isabela home!!!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

International adpotion according to...

John Stossel. And he's GOT IT RIGHT!

Okay, in full disclosure, I don't always ultimately agree with Mr. Stossel, but I generally do find myself impressed with the arguments he makes. He often offers up a compelling case on a variety of topics.

But here, with regards to international adoption and in particular, adoption in Guatemala, Mr. Stossel hit the proverbial nail on the head. Here are just a few pointed snippets from his op-ed:

... a UNICEF representative who huffed to The New York Times that adoption "has become a business instead of a social service."
Oh, yes, everyone loves "social service." But when adoption was a government-run social service in Guatemala, the results were disastrous.

and this:

Guatemala is one of the more corrupt nations in the world, 111th out of 179 countries, says Transparency International.
Even if the new bureaucracy isn't corrupt, there's little chance it will process adoptions as quickly as the brokers did because without profit, it has no incentive to move the kids through the cumbersome adoption process. When other countries have put adoption in government hands, adoptions slowed or stopped. Paraguay went from sending more than 400 kids to the U.S. in 1996 to sending zero in 2006.
That's a tragedy.

To read the op-ed in its entirety, go here.

Take that, Unicef!!!!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Small Joys

I've said before that life with my dear sweet Griffin is what's shored up my fragile sanity during this adoption process. Here are just two small examples of how:

Last week, I suggested we go to Bowling Night, which was being sponsored at the local bowling alley by his school. Now Griffin has never been bowling in his life, but that didn't curb his enthusiasm. After numerous yelps of joy, my son hopped up and down in a circle, blowing kisses over and over and over. I asked, "What are you doing?" His response: "I'm kissing my life!"

Fast foward to today, when I picked him up from school. Here's a snippet of our conversation about our puppy, Gabby, the mixed-up black lab who we think has a lot of cocker spaniel in her blood.
Griffin: "Why doesn't Gabby look like us?"
Me: "Because she's a puppy and puppies don't look like people."
Griffin: "Why didn't God make puppies look like people?"
Me: "God made us all look different. That's what makes life interesting. Imagine if everyone and everything looked the same. Or there was only one color. What if everything was the same color? Wouldn't that be boring?"
Griffin: "Yeah. What if everything was black."
Me: "Yeah, that would be boring. And dark. Our house would be black, the grass would be black. The flowers, our car, the sky. Everything."
Griffin: "Yeah. That wouldn't be good. EVEN IF BLACK IS SO TRENDY."