Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Details. You all want Details.

Warning, those prone to tears may want tissues close at hand.

At 4pm yesterday, my cell phone rang.

I didn't recognize the number, so I ignored it.

Then our home phone rang. This time the caller ID showed the name of GAL (Guatemala Agency Lady, for those just tuning in).

My heart crawled to a stop.

In my last email exchange with her, she had told us to hurry up with the documents we had to redo, that the boy list was moving fast.

On Monday, I emailed her a scanned copy of our I-171H (authorization from Homeland Insecurity to adopt from Guatemala).

On Tuesday, the phone rang.

She said she had a referral for us. I squealed, very loudly, rendering her temporarily deaf. She said that he was a cutie, healthy, and a Big Boy. She gave me the relevant details and said that she was emailing me photos. She told me his given name. His first name is the Spanish equivalent to my dad's name, and his middle name is the Spanish equivalent to Pili's brother's name (he will, however, remain Guatebaby on the internet, until I come up with a more clever psuedonym). A shiver went down my spine when I heard the name. I stammered out a few questions and then said I would look at the photos and talk to Pili and call her back.

I got off the phone. The lights flickered. Our power went off. And stayed off.

I was just about to go in search of an internet connection so that I COULD SEE THE DAMN PICTURES ALREADY when it came back on, about an hour later. Or maybe it just felt like an hour. The internet was cranky because the power had gone out and I had to restart my computer. Finally, I downloaded the pictures and stared at them, intensely.

I would be lying if I said it was total love at first sight. I looked at him, trying to feel a connection. I emailed the pictures to my parents, saying "He's kinda funny looking. But I guess that's to be expected." I tried to do some work, but I kept coming back to the pictures. Then all of a sudden, I looked at his little hands, and I could picture them in mine. And something clicked.

I started trying to call Pili. I knew that she was presenting at a really important meeting, and I didn't want to distract her before that. But afterwards, she was planning to go out to dinner with some friends. I called. And called. And called some more. I called a friend and asked her to drive around to check the restaurants where they might be eating, so that she could tell her to call me, NOW. No luck. In the meantime, I called my parents, and had my mom, who does early intervention work, look at the pictures and measurements. She pronounced him perfect.

(Actually, she said he was a genius, because he already has his hand open in one picture. I allow as how she might be slightly biased, given that she also said she was kissing the computer screen.)

I called Pili again. And again.

I walked around the house a bit and ate some ice cream for dinner. I called Pili. Again.

At 8:15, Pili called. She was driving home from work and wanted to know why I had called eighteen times when her phone was on vibrate (usually this means I am having a meltdown and need hand-holding).

I said, because I want you to come home and see pictures of your son.

What? You mean? Oh my... already?

She came home, and pronounced him beautiful, over and over again.

I fell in love with her even more, watching her fall in love with him.

We called GAL and accepted the referral.

Next Steps, greatly condensed: Pili completes more paperwork. GB and his mom have DNA testing done to make sure that they match. That's also the second time she signs off that she wants to relinquish him. While our hearts would be broken if she changed her mind, we would also be happy that something had changed to allow her to feel like she was able to parent. It's pretty unlikely, but it has happened in our agency, and that's part of why we chose them.

Then the mom is interviewed by a family court social worker. That interview and the DNA results go to the U.S. embassy so that the case can be pre-approved - i.e. the US govt agrees that this is an adoptable child. Then the file goes to PGN (the Guatemalan Attorney General's Office) where various bureaucrats scrutinize it for typos - I mean, signs of fraud. Depending on what happens - PGN can take from a month to a year or longer (we seriously hope this will not happen).

Once we have a DNA match, we can go visit - the agency has a guest house and the baby comes and stays with us there. In the meantime, we will get monthly photo and pediatrician updates, as well as photos taken by any other parents who are there for a visit/pick-up trip.

So hopefully, we'll go visit in Jan/Feb, and then pick-up sometime in March/April/May... We can't wait.

Any further questions?


Blogger afrindiemum said...

it's so exciting! we looked at guatemala, but it was at the beginning of the slow down and would have dragged on forever.

i hope your process goes swiftly and you can travel to bring him home soon.

1:33 AM  
Blogger George said...

A-S I am so happy for you two and guatebaby. This is so excited.

I know you warned me but I did not grab tissues!

2:43 AM  
Blogger justme said...

sniff - i cried. this is so beautiful. i am so happy for you both. you are going to be wonderful parents!

2:52 AM  
Blogger Bernard said...


I'm very excited for you. It sounds as if things are going very smoothly.

The power going off reminded me that in our three adoptions there were always a few things that happened which at the time seemed terrible, and unendurable. But that after each was all over, those 'terrible' things were often the best part of the whole story.

I hope the intervening months and steps just FLY BY!

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

Wow--March or April.

Never mind fingernails, I'd have my fingers chewed right off by then.

I am so happy for you guys. I can't wait for your first snot post. :D

7:24 AM  
Blogger Cat, Galloping said...

damn, i should have heeded your tissue warning.

i'm so freakin' happy for you. YIPPPEEEEEEEE!!!!!! wishing your family is all together as soon as possible.

7:30 AM  
Blogger Val said...

Wow - I too and very happy for you two. Here's hoping everything goes smoothly and the time flies by until your visit!

7:33 AM  
Blogger b. said...

I'm completely vaklempt for the both of you. Here's hoping the rest of the bureaucratic crap goes smoothly & quickly; can't wait to hear about your first visit!!

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

Art and Pili...he is beautiful and we are soooooo very happy for the three of you!

8:41 AM  
Blogger Blondie said...

Yeah, you got me. *sniffle*

He's beautiful. Guateboy! (What a boy!)

Keep these entries, A-S. Will be part of his "story" as he grows older.

9:05 AM  
Blogger lagiulia said...

Oh, how wonderful. I love your story. I hope with all my heart that the process goes smoothly and quickly. Your mom is right- he clearly IS a genius!

9:10 AM  
Blogger Minnesota Nice said...

He looks like an old soul.
Don't you just want to smother those chubby cheeks with kisses?
Let's hope the next stage of processing flys by.

9:39 AM  
Blogger hope said...

How exciting and wonderful!

9:47 AM  
Blogger Trista said...

Whooo hoooo!!!

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Liza said...

Hoo-ray, Hoo-ray, HOORAY!!!

My fingers are crossed that all is well for you guys and guatebaby and that everything continues to go surprisingly quickly!

10:39 AM  
Anonymous bri said...

I hope the rest of the details go as quickly as this bit did. Wonderful news!

11:47 AM  
Blogger julia said...

I'm so happy for you guys. I have tears running down my face and a sniffly nose because someone stole my tissues, the bastids.

I'm going to be a nervous wreck on your behalf, just so you know.

11:48 AM  
Blogger trillwing said...

Woohoo! I hope you have him in your arms and back and home very soon.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Yayayay! So excited for you!

(So when I got home yesterday, practically the first thing Cait and I said to each other was, "Did you see that Art-Sweet got a referral!?!")

12:16 PM  
Blogger Grrlscout said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the details. How very very exciting. Fingers crossed that all goes smoothly- it just has to.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Carrie said...

Excellent! How exciting! I've got some tears coming out of my eyes now and I totally didn't expect that because I'm not sentimental at all.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Gandksmom said...

Yeah, can you hurry up please? I have a 3 year old making a mobile and writing a book for your son.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Kerri. said...

"Guata" cute baby he is and I am so happy for your beautiful family.

Congratulations and I'll be thinking of you guys!

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Melody said...

Ack. Crying at work. Again. So happy for you. Congratulations!

3:55 PM  
Blogger Shelli said...


5:30 PM  
Blogger In Search Of Balance said...

Congratulations. What a lucky boy; you two will be amazing mothers. Congratulations, Congratulations, I cannot say it enough!!!

5:52 PM  
Blogger Lilymane said...

Oh - the best of the best to all three of you! How lovely and exciting! He's beautiful. I will be sending you good, good mojo for things to go smoothly and QUICKLY! Peace.

6:20 PM  
Anonymous oz said...

I was watching Cold Pizza this morning (ESPN's version of a morning show) and there was this couple who was selling their tickets to the (really, really, really big) Ohio State/Michigan game in order to raise the money to adopt a baby from Guatemala. Small world, eh?

6:40 PM  
Blogger The Town Criers said...

I seriously have chills--I have goosebumps on my arms. I am so happy for you! Congratulations!

7:49 PM  
Blogger susan said...

Oh, I love these stories! May time fly by!

8:08 PM  
Blogger mermaidgrrrl said...

OMFG! I am so excited for you girls. So excited! Do you feel different now that you are mummies, or is it still sinking in? Your son is beautiful!

9:33 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Personally, I like "guatebaby"- I think you should keep it.

What a wonderful story. I am so happy for you both!

9:58 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I just tuned in and tuned in a tear. Awesome. Good luck with everything to come.!

10:46 PM  
Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

What a neat "coincidence" as far as the names go. I don't believe in "coincidences" - know what I'm saying?

I'm sure you were just going NUTS with the power off. What torture!

I'm also sure it will feel like a very long time in some aspects of waiting, and in others it will FLY by.

Has the reality of it all set in yet? I bet that will take a while.

Again - I'm really happy for you guys. I've so enjoyed the journey so far.

11:17 PM  
Blogger Third Mom said...

All the very, very best to you all - he is an absolute doll. And thanks so much for your comment about my kids - live every single moment of your life with Guatebaby joyfully, because it flies by. I type this with tears in my eyes, happy, nostalgic tears.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Estelle said...

Yay! I can't believe he could be home so soon!
What day was he born?

9:15 AM  
Blogger cat said...

He's beautiful. May this go quickly, smoothly and he be in your arms soon.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous KimN said...

Great and beautiful story! How exciting about the names. I can't wait to read about your visit trip as well.

Don't feel bad about not falling in love at first sight. I didn't fall in love with Gabe until at least a month after he came home. I was fiercely, maternally protective over him, but not yet in love (we didn't even know each other).

12:04 PM  
Blogger Katie (WannaBeMom) said...

Oh, you said get the tissue and I didn't do it and I'm sorry now. I'm so excited for you. I'm so so so so so excited I can hardly stand it and I'm crying and can't stop. Hurrah!

3:08 PM  
Blogger Thalia said...

Oh so exciting. Congratulations! I can't wait to hear more about him.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Calliope said...

here's my question: why the fuck has blogger been so slow so that I couldn't SQUEAL with you earlier?!?!

Just the idea of you picturing your son's hand inside of yours...sigh. It just makes my heart zing.

so thrilled for you and Pili!!!!

6:10 PM  
Blogger Violet said...

Art, I'm weighing in late cause I just saw your news.

There aren't words. So I'm not only late, I'm speechless.

Holy holy holy happiness.

And how richly deserved. My heart is bursting for you and Pili and G-boy. He's perfect.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Lyrehca said...

geez, I go out of town for a week and big news happens. How very exciting and wonderful for all of you. Congratulations!

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Leggy said...

Wow- I'm so excited for you. That is so great. Can't wait to hear more!

10:14 PM  
Blogger pithydithy said...

Oh my freaking GAWD! I have been away from the internet for a bit over a week and look at what y'all go and do-- get so close to motherhood that I can practically taste it....oh, that's my one salty tear that I cried for you. Seriously. This is incredible. Congrats!

I guess that I should and keep reading now. What if you've told us something else I must know now.....

1:02 PM  
Blogger witchtrivets said...

wow, congratulations!

9:24 PM  
Blogger deanna said...

So very, very happy and excited for you!!!! HOW WONDERFUL!

(and so BEAUTIFUL!!! He's truly lovely!)

11:05 PM  
Blogger mopsa said...

HOLY CRAP. I go away for a few days and LOOK WHAT HAPPENS!!! YAY! I am thrilled for you two and can't wait to watch this unfold.

12:22 AM  

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