Monday, August 27, 2007

WOW - KEEP PRAYING! - Exited Family Court

Great News! We exited Family court. Your file usually stays in Family court at least 4 weeks and usually 6 weeks. We exited in less than 2 weeks. Now we wait on the US Embassy for Peapproval before we can make any more movement. The US grants preapproval so when Lucia comes to the US she can get her Visa. Please pray for extra help and efficiency in the US Embassy so we can get Lucia home before Christmas. Thanks again for all the prayers and support. We are off to an amazing start with our case. This process is confusing and extensive so I have it clearly written out step by step in the blog archive under May then click on "Guatemalan adoption process" post. I go back to that post periodically to review the process and update the "WE ARE HERE IN THE PROCESS!" ( Look for these big red letters to see how far along we are and how far we have to go.) Here is the e-mail we got last night about exiting Family Court!

Dear Darcy,

I just received an update and wanted to let you know that your file exited family court approved on August 16. We are now just waiting on your preapproval from the US Embassy which should come to both of us by email.

Preapproval processing is delayed right now. We just started receiving preapprovals for cases with DNA collection dates at the very end of May and one from the first of June.

I am advising people to expect preapprovals to take 11-12 weeks from collection of DNA. I am also asking people to please not email the Embassy and ask about their preapproval as it only slows the one person down from processing preapprovals. I monitor all the cases and if any one case seems like it is going longer than the others as far as wait time, I will ask you to send an email. Please feel free to ask me or your case manager about this at any time. We know it is hard to wait. As soon as you have preapproval, your file can be prepared for PGN.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

August picture updates

Cheeks are getting chubbier! I was so happy to find an email today from our agency. I really needed a Lucia fix. I have really been missing her and wondering how she is changing. This picture was taken August 16th so she would have been 7 weeks old. We also got an email from her Foster mom almost exactly the same time and she reported that she weighed 8lbs 2 oz. now.

You might notice she is all bundled up. Even though we think it is really warm in Guatemala right now. It is their culture to really bundle up their babies. In the e-mail her Foster Mom sent to us it said she is doing great. She also mentioned that she plays our voices everyday from the MP3 recorder and the stuffed animal we made. It was above and beyond of her to email because usually all communication comes from the agency.

Surprise visit picture. There is a Foster Mom Case Manager who oversees all the Foster moms to ensure quality care. She does all the training and every six weeks stops by each home un-announced for a surprise visit. When she is there she takes pictures and sends them out to us. She also counts the cans of formula, checks the home for cleanliness, and just simply checks in to make sure everything is well with the baby and Foster Mom.

This picture was taken at her 1 month doctor's visit. She will have a visit every month until she comes home. The doctor said she is in good health and weighed at this point 7 lbs. 14oz.
She was 5 weeks old. We should be getting another Doctor Visit report and more pictures shortly for her 2 month visit.
Sometimes it is so hard that her life is ticking away and we are missing it.
Please pray that the process is miraculously fast and she can come home. I again thank God for her Birth mother who made an amazing sacrifice, and for such a committed tender Foster Mom to care for her until she can be with us.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Movement on our Case!

Lucy Jane showing off her big dimples and sweet smile!
New picture our agency sent us of holding her for the first time!

Another pic from the agency meeting Lucia!

Summer Fun with the Armstrong Boys. . .

Hoopfest 2007. . .
Isaac and Keagan at Hoopfest.

Fun with Haily and Hannah.

Our cute - messy - summer boys!

We have had some movement in our Case and new info on Lucia!

1. Lucia had her one month check up at the doctors and weighs a whopping 6lbs 14oz. She has gained at least a pound and a half. He said she is alert and sleeping long stretches at night.

2. We are waiting for Pre-Approval from the US Government.
If you remember Lucia's DNA and her Birth mother's DNA were collected when we were in Guatemala. This was for Pre-Approval. The DNA process is actually not part of
the legal adoption process, but part of the United States Immigration process. In
order for Lucia to qualify for an orphans’ visa and travel home with us to the
United States after the adoption is final, the US Embassy will conduct an
investigation to determine that your child meets the eligibility requirements contained
in Section 101(b)(1)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The end result of the investigation is preapproval. Currently the US Immigration offices are bogged down and taking longer than normal, they gave us an estimate of 10 weeks. Pray that this is quick.

3. We heard from our agency that Lucia's file entered Family court on August 3rd. This is usually concurrent with the preapproval process.
Guatemalan adoption cases really begin here. Our case is assigned a social worker and she/he will conduct an investigation and interviews (including the birth mother). She will see Lucia and her foster mother to ensure that the baby is doing well and receiving good care. She will also review our home study. Once she concludes her investigation, she will write a report
recommending approval of the adoption. The report will then be submitted to a
Family Court judge for final approval and our file will exit family court approved.

4. We have to have Pre-Approval and Exit Family Court before we can enter PGN!

5. The next Visit trip is officially booked! My mom and I are going for a long weekend at the end of September to see her at 3 months old. I am counting down the weeks. I can't wait to hold her again, and see how much she has changed.
Please pray for Family Court and Pre-Approval to be as quick as possible. We are dying to get her home with us. We miss her so much. It would be so awesome if she were home by Christmas. Keep checking back we will add any updates we get and new pictures from our agency. Thanks for all your continued prayers and support.