Sunday, December 23, 2012

It is December 23rd, 2012...time flies when you are having fun!! Mateo has been home for 2 1/2 years!! Hard to believe!! He turns 6 in March and is half way through with his kindergarten year. We plan to have him repeat kindergarten again next year at Holy Trinity School where my girls also went to school. Ady will be in 8t grade at the same time he is starting so that will be fun to have them in school the same time!! We went on a mission trip to Guatemala in June of 2012 and took abotu 15 people with us including our family of 5. This next June we will be going again with 21 of us!! Very exciting! We have been able to get montly sponsorships for Hogar Luz De Maria as well as help support them throughout the year by purchasing bunk beds for the kids, as well as provide them with money to use for Christmas for the kids. I started a charity called For the Love of Mateo which the primary focus is to use this charity to go towards supporting the orphanage Mateo grew up in, although it will also be used to organize the yearly mission trips, as well as give back to children in our community. This is just the beginning, but exciting all the same!! Life is great, we have so much to be thankful for and not a day goes by that i dont realize how blessed we are to have Mateo in our lives!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Planning a trip back to Guatemala!!

I am soooooooooooo excited!! This summer i will be traveling back to Guatemala and with quite a few others!! We are planning a mission trip to Guatemala this summer!! I am currently working out all of the details and as of now we have 20 people who have said they want to come with me!! Most of them are on my Arbonne team and some of them are my Arbonne sidelines.

I will keep you all updated with details of our trip! We are hoping to work in multiple orphanages in Guatemala as well as do some community outreach. I will be bringing my girls with me this time and hopefully Doug & Mateo will be coming as well!! I know Mateo will be excited to see some of his nannies and they will be excited to see him!!

Mateo is doing sooo well!! He is in his 2nd year or preschool and is writting his name and speaks English so well. He has been speaking in complete sentences for awhile now. He plays soccer and will be playing flag football & tee-ball next year in addition to soccer. He is a BUSY little boy and keeps us on our toes! We are enjoying every moment of it!!

He says some of the funniest things and some of the sweetest things. He is always saying how beautiful i am. He likes it when i get dressed up. He told me today how he wanted to go "to the city" to go see dolphins. We were watching a show today about dolphins and he thinks we can just drive up to "the city" to go see them. He hears us say we are going to "the city--meaning Kansas City" all of the time, so he must think its the go to place for everything "fun to do! " LOL

His best friend is his cousin Max. Those two are CRAZY together!! They love wrestling, and actually got put in time out at preschool last week for wrestling!! If we end up sending him to Kindergarden next August we are going to have to warn the teacher to put them in different sides of the

He has has a little growth spurt recently and i have had to go buy him new jeans, he is a little snacker and loves to snack on something all day long! He loves it when i read to him and loves the songs i sing to him at night.... Today he was singing "B-I-B-L-E, yes thats the book for me..." Soooo sweet!!

We are so blessed to have him home and continue to keep the families still waiting in our prayers!! Blessings to you all!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Can you believe it has been a year???!!!

Its hard to believe that tomorrow marks the 1 year anniversary of Mateo's Homecoming! This past year was filled with many firsts and we are so thankful to have experienced each and everyone of them. Its such an amazing feeling to have our family complete. For so long i carryed on in a constant state of panic, not knowing when and what was going to happen next.

God has blessed our family so much and my faith has grown so strong this past year because of the blessings that have been poured out on my family!

Mateo is doing amazing! He starts his 1st day of 4 year old preschool this week and is VERY excited to get back and see his teachers and friends. He will be starting his 2nd season of soccer this next month and loves to play any kind of ball. He likes to be silly and repeats things that his sisters have taught crazy dances, and funny sayings.Lately he says "ohh, laa, laa" alot. Not sure that its the best thing for him to be saying! LOL

He loves to "nuggle" and is a total Mama's Boy. He still talks about his frfriends in Guatemala and wants to go there to see them. He is speaking so great; in full sentences and in English. We have him in Spanish still 1 day a week; he really loves that. His best friend is his cousin Max and they are two peas in a pod!

He asks a gazillion questions and still sleeps with the monkey that i would bring on each visit trip to Guatemala. He calls it his "Elmo." He loves for me to read to him when he goes to bed and to sing him 3 songs. We go to the library where he picks out 10 books each time and LOVES to be read to.

About a few weeks ago he started writing his name. He didnt put the letters in order, but wrote each letter : Mteao . Very cute, and that was all on his own doing.

He LOVES music and he loves to dance! He loves to jump on the trampoline and play with his dog Lila. He named her after a cute girl in his preschool class last year.

He loves going to Papa & Nana's farm and likes helping Daddy brush the cows. In May we went to Disneyworld for the first time and he LOVED it!! You should have seen his face light up! It was a magical experience!!

He has brought so much joy to our lives, i have to pinch myself each day to realize he is actually here!

Here is to many more memories to come and we are all looking forward to them! Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support over the past few years! Blessings, Valerie

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Update ...9 months later

Its been awhile since I have been on here to update everyone on Mateo's progress. He has more than adjusted, and has found his own little personality & style. Mateo will be finishing his first year of preschool in about a week and 1/2. He loves going and has his cousin Max in the same class as he is. Everyday before we even get out of the car, if he doesnt see my sisters car there he says "Oh no, Max isnt here today." He has a little girl in his preschool class that he says is his girlfriend because she is "bootiful." He has been working with a speech pathologist for the last few months to help with some of his enunciations. She said that he has to learn how to move his mouth and his tongue when saying words with multiple syllables. Unless prompted to say it correctly, he will leave off the "s" sound when saying something that should be a plural. He also was leaving the "s" sound off when saying words that started with an s, like school or smile. So everytime he says "cool" for school, we stop him and say "you mean sckoool". So we are trying to really spend sometime with him to sound the words out so he understands the right way to say it. His speech pathologist says that his brain is working faster than his mouth can say it, so he talks so fast and leaves off some of the sounds that he needs to say the words clearly. My hopes are that he will get this all down before he will start kindergarden in August of 2012.

He has been talking in full sentences for probably about 5 months. It really does amaze me that he was only speaking Spanish when he got here at 3 1/2, just 9 months ago and now he is speaking all English. We did put him in an 8 week session Spanish class. One of the parents that was taking the same adoption class that Doug & I did at the beginning of the process has a daughter just a little older than Mateo. She is also in his Spanish class. She was also adopted from Guatemala, and just happened to get her home in 2007 before the Guatemalan shut down. There is actually another little boy also from Guatemala in his class as well. He would always want me to go in the room with him, and I did for about 2 classes. Although I finally told him that he needed to go in by himself and I would be sitting out in the lobby with all of the other mommys and daddys. He is always worried that I would leave. That is one thing that I have found to be hard. I think he remembers the times that I would visit him in Guatemala and then leave after visiting him for a week. I guess when I was there I was more in the moment of being so happy to see him that I really didnt understand the full experience from his perspective. Whenever I leave to go somewhere he always ask where I am going. He wants to know am I going on a train, a plane, is Mateo going too? He is attached at my hip. Very sweet though.

In the mornings, when he isnt going to preschool or his Spanish class, he goes with his daddy to feed the cows. He really likes going to the farm and he brushes the cows, and plays around. He has his little cowboy boots that he wears and he thinks he is pretty cool. He played soccer for the first time. His Aunt Cherie was his soccer coach and he loved it. He was on the same team as his cousins; Max & Hayden. Its funny because Hayden is older than Max, but he always refers to them as Max & Hayden. Whenever we go somewhere he always wants to know if Max & Hayden will be going too. When we pray at night, he always is sure to pray for Max & Hayden. His first soccer game was cute, he is about a head shorter than everyone else on his team. He is the youngest on his team. He is pretty fast though and got exposed to soccer from his first week home when he attended multiple soccer games with Rylie & Adyson. He would kinda just push his way into "the pack" and maybe get a kick here and there. By his 2nd game he was doing much better and really would go for the ball. He scored 3 goals at his 2nd game. Although the 3rd goal would have happened naturally, he just picked the ball up right before it went into the goal, and positioned it in front of the goal so he could get a straight shot in! lol

He loves to read and to be read to. We typically read before his naps. Everyday when we get ready to go to nap, without fail he asks " I just take a pequeñito ( meaning small) nap?" I always say "no Mateo, you need to take about an hour and 1/2 nap." He literally would let me read to him all day. He loves the book "No David" and has it memorized and will just read it to himself.

He loves Thomas the Tank Engine and plays with his trains everyday. His 4th birthday party was the Thomas the Tank Engine theme. His Uncle Greg made him an amazing Thomas the Tank Engine cake and when Mateo saw it, he wanted to take it outside to play. He had a family birthday party and a friend birthday party. I think the two parties were a bit much, although we have a big family and I knew there was no way I could try to combine the two. By the 2nd party he was exhausted and partied out.

I have taken him with me on two business trips, so he has been on an Amtrak and also on a plane. He loves going with me. Obviously, everyone loves seeing him too. We will be going to Disneyworld in a few weeks and he is so excited. This will be our families first vacation there, so we are actually all very excited.

There are still so many children still in Guatemala waiting to come home. I think that is the hard part about experiencing so much happiness myself. I have met so many other familes that have become friends and even though we are elated that he is home and we realize how lucky we were to get him out even after 3 1/2 years of waiting, you still feel this anxiety over the other families. Its hard to totally breathe a sigh of relief because I know that there are so many other families that are not able to experience all of these things. I also know that their children are about Mateo's age and I know how much we have had to catch up with him being 3 1/2 when he got here, I cannot imagine bringing home a 4 or 5 year old. Who knows what the outcome will be, but I do pray for the children and families waiting for them to come home forever.

I will try to do a better job on keeping this updated with all of the milestones and with some newer pictures of him.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Update on Mateo adjusting to his new family & this Kansas weather!! LOL

Mateo has been home now for over 3 1/2 months. Its amazing how much he has changed since he has been here! He has gained about a pound and 1/2 & has grown over an inch. He has been in preschool two days a week for 2 1.2 hours since the first week he got here and has really adjusted to the kids well! It helps that his cousin Max is in his class. Mateo is ALL boy!! I am not sure if we were ready for the "difference" between our girls and a boy!! He keeps us on our toes that is for sure!

The loves to LOVE on Mateo as much as they love to PICK on Mateo! Every night he wants to sleep with one of his sisters. He prefers to sleep with Adyson because she has a "Grande" bed. He has been going to his share of both soccer & basketball games and has really enjoyed getting to know all of the players & the other parents on the girls teams.

Mateo LOVES his chocolate " chocolate milk"; although we have had to start giving him just white milk because we think he is a little too "busy" and that extra sugar just puts in over the edge... He loves to jump, wrestle, run around, jump off things, play trains, airplanes, cars, dinosaurs, & anything that boys typically like. He does like to read. We just recently got him his library card and have been going to the library to check books out a few times a week. He will sit in my lap and let me read to him for 30 minutes or more.

He can sing his ABCs, and most of the nursery rhyme songs. He counts in both Spanish and English. He understands everything we say in English and responds in what I call "Spanglish"...he mixes most English nouns and verbs but instead of using ( he, she, they, me, here, there, etc...he uses the Spanish word for it.". We will be starting him in a Spanish class every week in January so he can keep up on his Spanish. He loves going to our local Mexican Restaurant as they SPOIL him when he is there!! He loves the owners who are also good friends of ours. They typically take him back to the kitchen so he can say "Hi" to all of the cooks in the back. He likes it when they speak Spanish to him.

Kind of a funny story...Mateo went upstairs to go to the bathroom one evening and came back downstairs and said "me go pee pee outside!" with a big smile on his face!! So Rylie went upstairs and opened the backdoor and saw a little "trail" of his pee-pee on the I guess he thought it was okay to do outside because he was probably at the farm sometime with his daddy when he got to go outside there! So we had to explain to him the difference between being on the farm and being outside at our house in town...

Mateo still talks about some of the nannies at the orphanage..he talks about a Mama Tooley & a Mama Kata...they must have made a pretty big impression on him! He also talks about his friends Eduardo & Christian. I try to pull out their pictures regularly so he doesn't forget them.

Mateo got to meet Santa for the first time a few weeks ago and jumped right up on his lap and told him he wanted a train for Christmas. HE even pulled on his beard to see if it was real! Then we went on a little horse carriage ride around our town square.

I still cannot believe he is home with us and this year we will actually ALL be together for Christmas!! Doug & I went Christmas shopping on Friday and we were able to buy for all 3 kids

Mateo has special relationships with all of his Aunts & Uncles. He has little names he calls them & knows all of their kids. He talks about his "Guncle Paul" who cleans carpets and even got Adys tooth brush and was "demonstrating" how Guncle Paul uses the floor cleaner..with Adys tooth brush.

He likes talking with his Grandpas and Grandmas and has his little routine when he goes to Papa Forest & Nana Kaye's house..he always get a cookie and sometimes Papa will cut him up an apple.

We got a new dog names Lila, Mateo liked the name because there is a girl in his class that he likes that's named Lila. We have had to teach Mateo to not kick or hit the dog. I don't think he is trying to be mean, but I think he is trying to see what he can get away with. We have had to do timeouts off and on the last few weeks.

I have to say we have been VERY blessed that there haven't been HUGE issues we have had to deal with since he got home..just the basic adjustment to a 3 year old boy entering a home that has primarily been run by girls. Of course he doesn't LOVE to take naps, but Daddy always has a way with getting him to go to sleep where I tend to take forever getting him to go to sleep. I think Daddy is a little firmer with that than I am.. LOL

Thank you again for all of your prayers the last year and I will keep you updated on Mateo's first experience with snow, Santa, Christmas, etc.....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

17 days since Mateo has been home...

Well I thought that I should update everyone on how things have been going at the Edwards home since Mateo has arrived home!! Its been wonderful! I still cant believe he is here! I think back to how many times I would walk past his bedroom and peak in his room wondering when there would be a time when he would actually be sleeping in there. Now to know that he is actually there!! So awesome!! He is talking soooooooooo much! He says the alphabet, counts to ten, has a vocabulary of about 100 words in English. He of course still speaks Spanish primarily, but has picked up on English so well. When he says something in Spanish I repeat it in English. If I dont know what he is saying then I find a way to figure out what he wants and then I repeat it back in English. He is sooooooooooo funny! When he hears music he holds up his hand to his mouth like he is singing in a microphone and closes his eyes and mouths the words to a song ( well acts like he knows). He has learned all kinds of dance moves from his sisters and some I know he has taught them. He has some serious rhythm. He has really bonded with his sisters, and calls them by name when he wants them.

The girls take turns sleeping with him at night, and they also want to give him a bath every night. He loves to brush his teeth, and he is so laid back when it comes to letting me clip his nails, do his hair, seriously just a perfect little guy. Now he does know the word NO, and doesn't like hearing it come from us! Although what 3 1.2 year old likes hearing the word no. LOL

Adyson has had a little bit of a hard time adjusting to not being the official baby anymore. We have had to give her a little extra attention to help her get through this time. Mateo has been going to the soccer and basketball games with us for the girls and so far has really liked going. Although after all day at games he gets a little restless. He goes to the bathroom quite often and that is always fun in the middle of a game! LOL At least he is out of diapers and totally potty trained!

He started preschool 2 weeks ago and goes 2 days a week for 2 1.2 hours. Today the teachers said it was a breakthrough day!! YEAH!!! So glad to hear that!! He raised it hand at circle time, was the line leader, and participated with the other kids!! So that is great and exactly why I decided to go ahead and put him in preschool! It also gives me a bit of time to work!!

I have gotten use to the block/tower building, Barney movies, etc... He loves Mickey Mouse, cars, trains, he is ALL boy!!

We are so happy & so blessed!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mateo's Homecoming Video at the KC Airport

Mateo's Homecoming from valerie edwards on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Life is soooooooooooooo Good!

I cant believe he is home! It is sooo surreal! Mateo has just really taken to the girls & his Papa!! He loves him room, he loves taking baths, he loves his shoes, his baseball hats, he loves reading, he loves playing with his trains & cars, he loves hammering everything, he is just a little LOVE BUG!!!!!!!!!!!!

Every morning I wake up and smile knowing my baby boy is up in his room! Every night I go to bed knowing that I dont have to worry about whether or not "it" will really happen, because it has and we are living it!!

He is just precious, we couldnt be more thrilled! He is now combining like 3 words in English " Mateo go potty", " Mateo bath" , "Mateo's Casa", "Love you", "Love you more". I always say "I love you" and then when he says it back I say "I love you more" he is saying " I love you more!"

He had a little playdate with my best friends little boy today and they had a blast! We ate lunch, played with all of his little musical intruments, played with his little view finder ( he loved that!). We also went to the gym today, he loved the ladies!! He even blew one of my friends a kiss!! Too cute!

We are so thankful to have our little man home!! Thank you all for all of your prayers!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mateo on his way home to Kansas at

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mateo is home & tucked in his bed...Rylie ( his oldest BIG SISTER) is sleeping with him tonight!!

Mateo is home & tucked into his bed. Rylie & Adyson worked out a will sleep with him tonight and the other tomorrow.

Wow, what a wonderful day this has been for all of us!! Mateo was a little overwhelmed to say the least at the airport...he was VERY shy, kind looked down the whole time..but once we got in the car and he saw his car seat..he was like WOOOOO!!! He loved it!! Then he & his sister laughed the whole way home!! I have the most BEAUTIFUL pix of them when we went to check the cows tonight...sooo cute!! Words cannot describe how amazing it felt to look back in the car and see each spot taken!! Our family of five looks pretty amazing!! He saw his room & WOW..was he excited!! he played a little bit with everything in his room! He saw his Spiderman bike in the garage when he got out of the car and RAN straight to it! The girls gave him a bubble bath in the jacuzzi tub in THEIR swimsuits...too cute, the played with the soccer ball, danced, jumped on the trampoline, played trains, got on his bouncy horse thing in his room...just to name a few things!! LOL They are all three tuckered out!! Adyson said
" Well I guess I am not the baby anymore.I am the middle child".
I told her I was the middle child of 6, so we high five'd it for being the "Middles." Then in the evening I was holding Mateo trying to get him to go to sleep and she looked at Mateo and said "Mateo you are laying in my place", it made me remember when I brought Adyson home and Rylie was 21 months old....Rylie told me to "Put Ady Away Mom" so I could spend time with her...

I will have to do my best to show the girls that Mama has enough love to be split 3 ways. I told them that today was one of the 4th most favorite day in my life; my wedding day, When I had Rylie & then Ady, and then of course when Mateo was officially home forever!!

The "moment" at the airport was pretty amazing, just what I had expected!! As we walked off the plane we saw all of these little faces holding all of these BEAUTIFUL signs Welcoming Mateo home. I saw my incredible husband standing there with tears in his eyes, and his sisters with HUGE smiles on their faces. I knew then that they understood why Mommy has been so "preoccupied" over the years, just to be able to bring him home to them. That moment is what kept me going when things would seem so far away.

Mateo is most defiantly ALL boy, but I didn't think he would be so outgoing with all of those people. He didn't cry, but he wanted me to hold him the whole time. We had family, Godparents, friends...AMAZING! There were a TON of tears, laughs, and a HUGE sense of Peace & Thankfulness! Rylie was concerned for Mateo and wanted us to leave so he wouldn't be scared. I know it was alot to take in, but I am so glad they were all there...I know he may not understand it now, but when he is older he will be able to look back at the posters, videos, & pix and know how much he was loved!!!

God has blessed my family so immensely and has taken such great care of us over the years. While I may not have always understood his timing, the past 3 1/2 years have "God Winks" all over them!!

All day I kept thinking off and on about my "Mom Warrior Friends" and praying for them to be just as blessed as we have been to be able to experience this. I ask all of my friends & family to please PRAY everyday for the rest of the Guatemalan 900 children to have the doors open & their cases processed swiftly. They have become like family to me. We have become each others shoulders to lean on during our tough days. When one of us hurts, we all do...when one of us experiences JOY, we all do! May GOD keep his hands on all of you, may he keep your children safe, warm, & healthy until they are in your loving homes!!

I have had trouble getting my pix to load today, so I may have to wait till tomorrow and try to get it figured out...I will promise to post pix tomorrow... I didnt get to take any airport pix myself, but my sisters all did & Christy tool a when I get everything from everyone else I will pass them onto you all!!

Thank you all again for your prayers!! I cant wait to wake up in the morning to pitter pattering of feet!!! xo

Thursday, August 26, 2010

We got our Visa yesterday!!!

We picked up our Visa yeterday for Mateo!!!!!!!!! Yeah!!!!! It has been such a relief to have that done & now we just have two more days in Guatemala to spend relaxing at the pool, maybe doing a little more shopping ( although my bags cant handle much more), and just enjoying the beauty of this country as it will be awhile before we come back...

Mel & I went to the Central Market yesterday morning with Claudia & Mateo.That is quite an experience I have to say!! LOL The colors everywhere are just beautiful & everyone was willing to give you a "special price". LOL We bought some beautiful pieces to bring home to our families & some special request gifts for our kiddos. I have had a great time here with my sister. I love seeing her with Mateo!! He just loves her.

It is almost unreal that this is all over for us. I told Mel yesterday at breakfast that I had been walking around for 3 1/2 years in this constant state of anxiety with a heavy heart, and that feeling was gone yesterday morning. At that point I didnt even have our Visa yet....I just knew that it would be done that afternoon.

I will load some of the pix we have take here.... So we are on for flying home on Saturday bright and early at 7:15AM!! Mateo will be an official US citizen when we arrive in Houston, TX!! Because Doug & I had traveled to Guatemala before we are coming over on an IR3 Visa. After an hour or so layover in Houston we will be flying home to KC at 3:41PM!! There will be MANY tears shed, and they will most definitely be tears of happiness!!!!!!!!!

Thank you all for your many prayers over the last few years!! Our baby boy is coming home!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

We have Visa approval and will pick up Mateo's Visa tomorrow at 3:30PM!

Just got back from an incredible day!! Got up early this morning for breakfast and then went to the Embassy at 8:30AM. They called us in about 8:45PM to submit our papers, then we sat back down for another 10 minutes or so..then they called us back to the room for the interview. They interviewed us for like 30 minutes or so. She just basically went through the paperwork making sure everything was there, asked if Doug & I had both traveled to Guatemala prior, etc... After that she said just go back out and wait for about 25 minutes and then they will call you back to give you details on your Visa pickup. So about an hour 1/2 later I was getting nervous because they hadnt called me back yet, so I talked with a guy there that spoke English and he asked them how much longer it would be. I then took Mateo outside to be with Claudia because he was being so good in there, but it was getting late and he was bored, I knew he was hungry. I wish I would have brought in something to eat & drink for him...but I didnt think I could. Luckily I did have some toys for him to play with! So finally about 15 minutes later they called me back to the window, but they needed Mateo to be with me, so I went back outside, got Mateo and then came back in & they had me raise my right hand and swear that my answers to these questions were the truth. They just asked about Doug & I coming to Guatemala together before ( so they can for sure know that we would be coming over on an Ir3 he will be an automatic US citizen when we enter Houston on our connecting flight.) Then she said they had approved me and that they were going to try to get Mateo's Visa printed off today so we could come back at 3:30PM today to get it, but they couldnt promise I could come and then they could have said it wasnt we just told them I would just get it tomorrow at 3:30PM. This was we could go ahead with our plans for going to Antigua and then we would just get it tomorrow..

So we went to Antigua, had a great day! I got some cool things to bring back for the girls, Doug, Mateo, & grandparents..

So tomorrow will be a big day, cant wait to have the Visa in my hands!!
I will keep you posted after tomorrows pickup of Visa.

Blessings, Val

Monday, August 23, 2010

We have PINK!! Our Visa appointment is at 8:30AM tomorrow morning!! Whooo!!

I got up SUPER early this morning..about 5:45AM to get ready to be at the Embassy at 7AM to get an appointment. I didn't sleep good because Mateo literally was moving all over the bed all night long!! I will be interested to see how long Rylie & Adyson can actually sleep in bed with him and actually get sleep. I was up EVERY hour. He slept through the night, but not mommy!! :)

We finally got a number about 7:45AM and they said to come back at 9:00AM. So we went back to the hotel and had breakfast with Mateo & Melaine, & Claudia. Then we went back to the Embassy appointment. I took Mateo back with me to meet with them & while I was there they were very nice! Susan Olson who has been a blessing the whole time was the one that was in the room with the lady that had initially given us the number to come at 9AM that morning. I didn't realize it was Susan though until after...otherwise I would have begged to have her come out from behind the window and give me a HUG! She has been incredible to me the last few months! Always answering calls, etc... While I was in there they showed me the request for evidence on the document that they said they were missing. They asked me if I had the document to present. It was the resolution from Family Court. When i handed it to her , she looked in the file and saw that they actually already had the authenticated version ( which is all we needed to have) so they said, you dont need to give this to I got it back. They said that they had already talked with the Consular section and they would have time to get us into the Visa appointment tomorrow ( Tuesday) so they would be emailing me the time later in the afternoon. So after that I was sooooo excited!

We decided to go get the photo copy of the passport for Mateo that we would need to give to the doctor at the doctors appointment along with getting his picture taken for the VIsa appointment as well as the doctors appointment. So we did all of that. It took quite a long time for the pictures to be developed because the computer took like 45 minutes to warm up from the night before...then we waited in the lobby at the doctors for like 30 minutes then we were in to see the doctor for only about 15 minutes. That is when the doctor said that Mateo was in the 5th percentile for his height and weight. He also said that he heard a slight heart murmur...but that most likely he would just grow out of it. He suggested we check on it when we get home. He said all 3 of his own daughters have one..and it can be perfectly harmless. After we got through at the doctors we went back to the hotel & got the gifts to give to the nannies at the hogar as well as the directors, etc... then we bought pizza, pop, & cookies at the store to bring to the kids at the hogar for Mateo's going away party. We had a great time!

The nannies were crying it was sooo sad!! Mateo was so happy though the whole time. I think he was excited to be going home for good! He loves them all though and you can tell they love him!!

So I will update again tomorrow after the Visa appointment! We should be picking up the VIsa on Wednesday... YEAH!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

We are in Guatemala!!

Well we are here!! We got in earlier this afternoon. After unpacking our bags we went down to the lobby to wait for Mateo to get here. While we were waiting I was asking about directions, etc ...and then I saw him standing there with a little red rose in his hands. He looked at me with recognition, and then saw the little monkey that I bring everytime and got a HUGE smile on his face. He hugged me & smiled. He has been wonderful since we got him! He ate a big dinner & then came back to the room to get a bath. While he took his bath I ran to the business desk to get copies made for Dinora and Mel stayed up in the room with him. When he got out of the bathtub he asked Mel where I was. He was looking everywhere for me, in the closet, behind the curtain, so cute... I loved that he knew I was missing.. LOL

When I came back up Aunt Mel & Mateo were snuggling in bed watching Cars. It was in I am sure Aunt Mel really understood most of it!! LOL We have been living by our Spanish book!! When I got back he smiled really big and held his arms out for me. We laid in bed and snuggled & watched a little more cars & then I turned it off and read him some books. He was so sleepy, and just kinda turned over and went to sleep..

I am getting up early in the morning to have Claudia pick me up to take me to the Embassy to get an appointment. We will get there at 7AM!! Bright and Early! Then hopefully we can give them the original document that they were needing ( they had emailed me on Friday at 3:30PM stating that they were requesting evidence of an original I think Dinora got it all covered). We are hopefully going to give them what they need and HOPING that they will give up PINK tomorrow so we can go to the doctors on Tuesday..then Visa appointment on Thursday & home on Saturday.

If we dont get pink tomorrow we will have to wait till Tuesday, hopefully we get it then so we can then take him to the drs, and then we can do VIsa still. The last day we really have to do it is Wed so we can take it to the VIsa appointment on Thursday.. If we dont have pink by then, most likely we will have to wait till next Tuesday for Visa appointment..which would delay the return home to be Visa on Tues, pickup VIsa on Wed, and home next Thursday. So please PRAY that we get it tomorrow, but no later than Wed so we can have Visa on Thursday!!

Dinora thought we would be fine once they have what they want. I will also call Susan Olson at Embassy and beg her to PLEASE allow us to speedup through Consular section so we can get pink and then so on....

I will update whats happening after appointment tomorrow. I have to say I love this country. Maybe because my son is here, but when I landed I just felt like I was at my 2nd home. Obviously I know the danger here but knowing that a piece of me is here, just feels like my 2nd home for now. I will most definitely want to come back to bring Mateo here to visit his home country.

On the plane ride from Houston to Guatemala I sat by this young man, 26 years old. He lives in Chicago so he can make money to support his family but he sends money back to Guatemala to take care of his wife & two daughters. His 3 year old daughter has Leukemia. She has a 5 year treatment plan. He said that she goes to a hospital here that is alot like St Judes in the states. He was traveling back because his brother who was just 21 was killed in a motorcycle accident last week. It just broke my heart. He was so sweet. To think that a young man could be going through so much. I was traveling to GC for a trip I have dreamed of for 3 1/2 years...bringing my son home. He was traveling for a whole other set of circumstances... Its amazing how you can be consumed with your own life & sitautions, and then you stop and breathe and realize that there are so many problems all over & everyone has their own circumstances to deal with. I wish him & his family peace & his daughter full & complete health.

Being here also makes me appreciate the fact that I am healthy to be here. On Feb. 23rd of this year I suffered a subarchnoid hemorrhage which caused a stroke. My life could have been forever changed. I realize how blessed I am to have my health back and to have fully recovered. I was only down for about 2 1/2 months, and luckily recovered. A local Paolan Grant Haley suffered an aneurysm which also caused a stroke on Feb 4th. He is 6 months into his rehabilitation & I also wish him full restored health. He is in my prayers daily & I look forward to the day that he can once again be free of pain & able to get up and live his life the way he use to. I had the opportunity to hear a video of him singing at his cadence concerts, WOW...he has an incredible voice!! Please pray for Grant Haley & his family, as well as Jimmy ( the man on the plane) and his daughter & his family to find the strength they need to get through their tough times..

God is so good. I am so thankful that I could have my sister be here with me to experience this. I have wonderful friends, beautiful & loving daughters, an AMAZING extended family and I couldnt be more happy right now.. I cant wait to introduce my precous son to his Grandma's & Papa's, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc... slowly we will get to all of them. I know they are biting at the bit to see him!

Bless you all & I will keep you all updated!! val

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Its offical, our paperwork was submitted to the Embassy for Visa appointment!

YEAH, just got an email from Dinora. Our file was submitted to the Embassy today!! We should have Visa appointment date scheduled for either next Tuesday or Thursday! I should know by Friday!! I am planning to fly to Guatemala on Sunday!! YEAH!!!!!!!! I will keep you posted on things as they progress!! Blessings, Valerie

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Birth Certificate..Check! Passport for Mateo..Check!!

Well we received pictures of Mateo's new passport on Monday!! Our file & all of the List B documents are suppose to be submitted to the Embassy today. I am praying that it happens!! Apparently in order to submit the documents you have to get there at 7:15AM & set up an appointment to officially submit the documents. So hopefully today I will receive an email saying that it was done!! If that is the case, then we should have a Visa appointment by next week! It could be next Thursday or most likely will be the following that means that we would be traveling to Guatemala by next weekend!!

I have learned a long time ago to not expect things to happen when you expect them I am trying to be as patient as I can.

I bought Mateo's bedding yesterday..just cant wait to have him home in it!!
Thank you so much for all of your support & prayers!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

OMG!!!! Its legal & official!! We have our new Birth Certificate with us as parents!!

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its official!! I just got an email from Guatemala & I saw Mateo's birth certificate with our last name on it!! It has our names on it as his parents!!!!! His last name is ours!!! They are just working now on getting everything together for our passport!! I cant stop crying!!! I am so happy!! We are just weeks away!!!!!!

I just received an email with copies of Mateo's new birth certificate!! They are working on the passport now & then off to the Embassy & will just be waiting for the Visa appointment to be scheduled. I am so excited!!! My head hurts from the excitement, my heart is completely full, my face hurts from smiling so much, & my eyes are red with tears...Can you imagine what will happen when we land in the Kansas City Airport with him!!!???


Saturday, July 31, 2010

I am getting sooooo excited!!!

Wow, I cant believe how close we are getting to FINALLY bringing Mateo home!! I got an email today from Claudia who works with our adoption agency & she said that she has our file from Guatemala City Renap! They approved us for our birth certificate!! So it will be taken to Amatitlan Renap this next week to get the new birth certificate printed with our last name on it!! Then they are going to get our passport done before I even fly in as well as take Mateo to the doctors appointment, so it looks like I will just be flying in for the Visa appointment & then pickup. I will mostly like plan to stay for like 5 days or so..i want to be there beforehand just in case anything comes up. Once we have the birth certificate Dinora will be taking our file to the Embassy where they will schedule our Visa appointment..typically its like 5 days to a week out before we fly out.. I am ready now though if need be!! LOL

I am painting Doug's old twin bed this week for Mateo & have to get a twin mattress for his bed. We had a crib in his room with beautiful custom made bedding but he is now 3 1/2 & he is too big to be in a crib, plus we will want to lay down with him to read at night, we cant really do that in a crib! LOL

The fair in Paola is finally over as of today so we can have a little more of a normal schedule starting next week. Doug has to sign his POA & get it notarized & then get his passport copied & notarized so I can take those with me to the Visa appointment since he isn't coming on the pickup trip.

I am planning to go online today to get an idea of what flight are running, etc...

I cant believe its actually happening!!! Thank you God!!! Thank you all for your prayers!! val

Monday, July 12, 2010

Entering Guatemala City Renap on Tuesday of this week!!

We got word o Friday that our file was done at Amatitlan Renap & we had gotten the approval notice we needed to be able to move onto GC Renap Process. You can only submit files on Tuesday's, so tomorrow our file will be brought in. When i had called a few months back & spoke with Gaby at Renap, she said that it typically takes 2 to 3 weeks. I am anticipating the full 3 weeks, as the longer has been what we most often get. Typically GC REnap is the one that actually prints off the new birth certificate with our last name on it, but because Mateo was born in Amatitlan..once GC Renap has looked over our file & has approved it; they will send the file back to Amatitlan Renap & it will be there for 8 days..and that is when we will OFFICALLY get the NEW birth certificate with our last name on it. It will say David Manuel Edwards. Once we have him home we will legally change his name to Mateo Douglas Earl Edwards.

After we get the BC from Amatitlan Dinora said there are a few things she will have to fill out & then she can submit our file to the Embassy in Guatemala. They will then look over our file for a week or so, & schedule our Visa Appointment. This is whats known as "getting the PINK slip". We will also get an email with the VIsa appointment date. My sister Melaine is coming to Guatemala with me to pick up Mateo & we will most likely leave for Guatemala about 4 days or so before the VIsa appointment. While we are there we will get his passport ( you apply for it in the morning & pick it up that late afternoon), get a doctors appointment..and then we will be able to bring him home. It is looking like it will be mid August for pick up!

Please continue to keep all of us in your prayers. We pray that there are no more delays & that the Renap process in both GC & Amatitlan goes quickly & smoothly.

I got update pictures of Mateo, he is getting so big. He is 3 years 4 months old. I cant believe how much time has flown by. I miss him so much, the girls talk about him more & more each day. With each sporting event we attend I get anxious to have our son there with us to root his sisters on!! Rylie & Adyson said they are wanting to sleep with him at night, so I have a feeling that will be a little bit of an issue..Who gets to sleep with him, etc.. LOL

I am looking forward to getting up in the mornings & making breakfast for him, snuggling up with him & the girls to watch cartoons in the morning, going on walks, pushing him on the swing set, laying in the hammock with him, so many things to look forward to!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Update since Friday

I received an email from Dinora. Our file was taken back to Amatitlan Renap on Friday. They had fixed the typo on the notification at family court & now we are just waiting to get the approval notice that we need from Renap in Amatitlan so we can move into Renap in Guatemalan City!! I pray that there is a miracle & its done today or even tomorrow morning so it can be submitted to GC Renap by tomorrow. You can only submit files to GC Renap on a Tuesday. Dinora knows people at Renap...although I am not sure that would make a difference on getting our file accepted anyday but on a Tuesday. As of now , the way things are will most likely be an end of July pickup for us!!

The last week of July is fair week in Paola. Rylie shows her steer & heifer, I was hoping to have Mateo home in time to get to go to his first fair. Either way, he is coming home soon!!

I did enroll Mateo in preschool already, to start in the fall. As of now I am still planning to have him go. His cousin Max will be in his class & its only for 2 days a week for 2 1/2 hours at a time. I think it will be good for him to interact with other children & hear more English modeled. Its hard because to me preschool is such a big milestone & its the first one we will get to experience, and I am not sure I am ready for that already!!

My friends have children coming home from Guatemala each month. I just saw pictures of another friend that just brought her son home & I saw their family & friends waiting at the airport. I was in tears. That is the moment that I have been praying for, for over 3 1/2 years!! My sister Melaine will be going to Guatemala with me to pick up Mateo. It will be her first time out of the country & of course her first time meeting Mateo in person! I cant wait!! We are sooo close!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Newest Update

Last week we found out that Amatitlan Renap found a typo on the notification that family court gave them, so they rejected our file. The attorney had it fixed & then brought it back today to Dinora ..she is bringing it to Amatitlan Renap today. I am PRAYING that we can get the approval notice that they give, so we can go into Guatemala City Renap by Tuesday of next week. If you don't make it by the Tuesday day, you cant get entered in until the following Tuesday. Please pray that everything going smoothly for the rest of this!

We have had 2 volcano eruptions & a tropical storm delay things for a few weeks, so it would be great if for once everything goes quickly & smoothly!! Would love to have Mateo home in July, just in time for the Paola Fair!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

After 5 weeks of being in famly court we got out yesterday!!

Yesterday was such a crazy day!! I was frustrated in the morning because I was told there wasnt any updates on our status at fmaily court. So I decided to call Guatemala Renap office to see if they could give me an idea of how long the process would take to get Mateo's birth certificate done...well needless to say I found out my "week" thinking was more like 15 to 25 days!! So that part was not good. :(

Although I did find out that process... Apparently because Mateo was born in Amatitlan we will have to go there first and then get an "approval notice", this could day a few days to get. Then we take that approval notice to Central Renap in Guatemala City where they will have to go through our file for about 15 days...she said it could be 25. I am praying for the 15 days!!! Then when they are done making sure everything in our paperwork is okay, they will give us a notice that we then take to Amatitlan Renap, which is where we will have them print off the actual birth certificate for Mateo with our last name on it. Once we have that we can have all of our documents translated from Spanish into English. Once that is done our entire file, including the birth certificate will be presented to Embassy where they will assign us a Visa appointment, we will have about a weeks notice to fly out & then get his passport & Visa & then bring him home. :)

So Dinora said that we got out of family court yesterday, but that they wouldnt be bringing our file to the CNA until Monday. Monday will start our 3 day wait period..then HOPEFULLY on Thursday Dinora can take our file to Amatitlan to start the process of getting Mateo's birth certificate done!! Please PRAY that there are no complications!!!

We are on the final stretch!! Will most likely be beginning of July before we have Mateo home, but at least we will have part of the summer with him!!

So far here is our whole timeline:

Oct 2006- started the paperwork to apply for adoption
March 3, 2007- Mateo was born

May 2007- we are assigned to Mateo & accepted referral

June 07- we signed the POA

July 07- we were entered into family court

August 07- we entered PGN

Oct 07- while file was with 3rd reviewer at PGN ( so close to bringing home) they kicked out our file to investigate it in minors court section of PGN. Aparently the Birth mother had a falsified birth certificate for herself because she had lost hers & then has used that same birth certificate with a previous adoption a few years prior, and it went through...but because things are more strict they caught it..and started an investigation of the Birth mother, orphanage, & attorney.

Dec 31st, 2007- Guatemala CLOSED ALL ADOPTIONS

Mar 08- Doug & I met Mateo for the 1st time on a trip to visit him for his 1st birthday. While we were there we fired our attorney that was assigned to us through Semillas & hired another attorney that represented us up until around August of 2009. We were told by PGN official that we would not be able to complete our adoption of Mateo with how things were then...she suggested that we cut ties with orphanage & attorney and start process all over again. It was a scary decision, but we did it.

July 2008- Doug & I flew to Guatemala for a court hearing to let them know that we did want to pursue the adoption of Mateo. This is when we met Mateo's birth mother for the first time. She was still lying about where she was born so they requested another DNA test. We had Mateo pulled from Semillas & he was put into the orphanage he is in now, Hogar Luz de Maria. He was 15 months old. Mateo was pulled out by PGN officials the Friday before there was a raid at Semillas. We got lucky there! For a month we had no idea what orphanage Mateo was at....we found out later he had cried for the first 2 weeks most of the time.

August 2008- Mateo's birth mom did a DNA test & that is when she finally admitted that she had lied about her birth certificate and that she was really born in Nicaragua. Minors Court finally closed the investigation. We were able to immediately order her a new birth certificate which only took 2 weeks!! Although it took another 11 months before we finally go the piece of paper called the "final resolution" that said the case was dismissed.

March 2009- I flew to Guatemala for Mateo's 2nd birthday by myself.

July 2009- Our file was submitted to CNA in Guatemala.

Nov 2009- Doug & I flew to Guatemala to do our empathy study for CNA. We were with Mateo for 2 weeks. It was wonderful, but bittersweet leaving him!

May 2010- We got notice that our file was signed off by the director of CNA.

April 13th 2010- We were entered into family court

May 20, 2010- We got word that we are approved by family court!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Still waiting....the story of our lives the last few years

Well its Thursday morning & I just got an email from Dinora. She said that our paperwork is at the Embassy awaiting preapproval & our file is still at family court #7. Apparently they are working slow. I am not sure why. I think I just had gotten it in my head that we would only be in family court for a week or two, because that is how long my friends were in family court. Although, you would think after 3 1/2 years of doing this I would realize that nothing ever goes the way you think it would.

I am thankful that Mateo is in a home that has people who love him, if it wasn't for that, I think I would have had to move to Guatemala my now. I see pictures of him, and he is just growing up before my eyes. With each picture update I see how much time I have missed with him.

I am looking forward to the trips to the pool, the zoo, snuggling in the mornings in bed with the whole family, reading him books before bed, okay, so I am getting a lump n my throat just thinking of all of these things. I try to get through each day by leaning on my faith. I know God has a bigger plan, and most of the time we don't understand what his plan is, but I KNOW he will be home soon. I keep picturing the moment we land at the KC airport & Rylie & Adyson get to see their brother walking off that plane & they get to hug him for the first time. My heart breaks for all that he & they have missed out on.

As I am writing this and my heart is breaking for my own situation, I realize that I am one of the lucky ones included in the Guatemalan 900. So many of my friends that I have met along the way are so much farther behind us. Many have no direction on who to talk with, where to go. The CNA is no longer accepting any applications for transition cases. So if you didn't have your paperwork submitted before a few months ago, they apparently sent everything back to Embassy?? So its now apparently in the US hands, although no one is willing to step up and make it a priority & get these children home. One of my friends Audra has been waiting 8 years!!!! Another one of my friends & her husband have no other children at home, they have been to Guatemala like 7 times to see their daughter, but because their daughter was born Dec 22, 2007..they didn't get their POA in time before they officially shut down adoptions Dec 31st, 2007. So they cant be grandfathered in with the old law, they don't fit into the transition cases, so who is their advocate?? Who helps them?? My heart breaks every time I talk with them because I can feel the hurt & pain in their voices. Financially this has put a burden on so many of us, we are at over $60,000 out of our own pocket. Most people cannot afford to pay that kind of money & we aren't even done yet!! I think of the families that couldn't afford to keep fighting & hiring one attorney after the other, so they had to give up. I wonder if that was Gods plan for that family & that child, or if that child was really meant to be in their home.

Why can our government find a past president of the US to go to Korea & work with a country that has no relations with us, to bring home 2 reporters that were stuck in a prison with a 12 year hard labor sentence ( even though they should have never been in prison & I am so glad they are home), but they cant help the 900 children that are STUCK in Guatemala that have US families that have been in process for years!!???? If anyone has a phone # to the President, Oprah, to a Vice President, or ANYONE that can really help our children & these families...PLEASE let me know! In the meantime I pray, that is all I can do.

I dream of our life and what it will be like when Mateo is home where he belongs. I have been nesting for over 3 years, there isnt more to decorate at my home. LOL

Please continue to pray for us & please say extra prayers that we get out of family court in the next week! We need Mateo home, we need him & he needs us!

Thank you!! Blessings, Valerie

Monday, May 3, 2010

Newest Updates

So we were officially entered in Family Court on April 13th!!! WHooooooooooooooo!! I was so excited!! It looks as if we will be getting out this week! We have submitted the paperwork neccessary to the Embassy for Preapproval ( what they require when you are a transition case). Once we are out of Family Court we will legally be Mateo's parents by Guatemalan law! After its out of Family Court we have a 3 day notification period for PGN, CNA, and RENAP to be notified that we are officially Mateo's parents, and they have 3 days to say they want to object ( although that doesn't typically happen). Once we have the notifications done, we order Mateo a new Birth Certificate from Renap ( it goes in on a Tues and we get it on Friday!) We will also be translating all of our documents from Spanish to English while we are waiting for the Birth certificate from Renap, then our file that has been translated back to English along with the NEW birth certificate with our last name on it will be taken to the Embassy for them to schedule our Visa Appointment. This appointment will come to us in an email. Typically you get a weeks notice before you fly out for the Visa appointment. Once you fly out there you are really only there for 3 to 4 days before we can take him home for good! While we are there waiting for the Visa appointment we will be getting him his passport & taking him to a mandatory doctors appointment, then we go on the Visa appointment to get VIsa, and then its done!!

I cant tell you how much I am looking forward to landing at the KCI Airport , walking off the plane, & walking out to our family & Rylie & Adyson meeting their little brother for the first time! Just thinking about that bringing tears to my eyes!

I know its all in Gods timing and have turned this all over to him. He has not forgotten us yet, and always has opened doors for us when we needed them open! The timing will be great because the girls will have just gotten out of school and they will be able to be with their brother full time over the summer! I am looking forward to the little things: snuggling at night reading books before bed, snuggling on Saturday & Sunday mornings with the kids in our bed, taking him to the swimming pool, going to the zoo, seeing a cow for the first time, getting our family picture taken, seeing him with his daddy, I could go on and one..but I am so excited and know that we are so close to FINALLY bringing home our son!

Thank you Prayer Warriors for all that you have done for us! Many Blessings to you all and I will keep you posted on further updates!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Still waiting, please pray for movement this week!!

We are currently still at the CNA, although we are apparently with the attorney group there awaiting their signature and for them to take our file along with a memo they have to type up, to family court. From what I have heard family court has been taking about 2 to 4 weeks to get through. Most of my friends that are ahead of me in the process were only in family court for about 2 weeks. Once we are out of family court that will officially mean we are Mateo's parents by Guatemalan law. Then after we are "out" our documents have to be translated from Spanish to English and then we have to get a birth certificate with our last name on it and then we will fly out to go pick up Mateo.

I need everyone to pray for us that our file will be moved this week into family court and that we we will be able to move out quickly this month so we can go pick up Mateo next month. We are so ready to bring him home.

I will keep you posted on what I hear next, thank you for all of your prayers!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Almost ready to move into family court!!!!!

Just wanted to send a quick update, we got word that we are almost ready to be moved into family court!! Yeah!! They are just waiting for one of the head guys at CNA to bring the notification to our new attorney tomorrow, and then hopefully by next week we will be officially there! Depending on what court we get will depend on the time frame..the fastest I have heard it happening was 2 weeks, but typically its a month or so. Once famly court is done, that is when its offical...we will legally be his parent, by Guatemalan law!!! Then after they get the final sign off at family court, it takes about a week or so for them to officially have our file out and that is when we will fly out to get the birth certificate, visa, passport, etc...and BRING HIM HOME!!! Once they have their final sign off, it takes 3 days for all notifications to go out to PGN, CNA, & someone else to say its offical, and that is when we will come out.

Luckily we are past the holidays and so we wont have any delays with the holiday vacations. Please PRAY lots of prayers for a speedy court, and that everything goes VERY smoothly! Its been over 3 years and I still cant believe he isnt with us, but we are sooooooooooooo close! When you all meet Mateo personally, you will fall in love with him too!

We are so blessed to have our orphanage director helping us with everything, she has really moved things along for us! We were able to raise money with friends, & family to purchase the hogar a playset for the kids to play on for Christmas, they all loved it!!!!!!!!! Mateo's birthday is March 3rd, so I am praying for him to be home by then!!!!!!!!! If Mateo isnt home by his birthday I will probably send money to the hogar to have a little birthday party for him with his friends and then when he is home I will have a big welcome home, 3rd birthday party for him!!! We will wait and get him accustomed to life here and my HUGE family, and then we will have it.

I am currently in the works of setting up a foundation to help support Mateo's hogar as well as various families in need in my community. If anyone is interested in hearing more about his and how they can help, please email me and let me know! I am hoping to have it all set up by the end of the month! How awesome will it be to be able to make sure Luz de Maria will be able to have all of their needs met and the kids will always be able to have loving, and caring people to help raise them until they end up in their forever homes! I know that they are needing funding to help pay their monthly bills; paying the nannies, food, supplies, I want to do what I can to make that happen! So many times over the years I have said, why did this have to all happen to us? Why did we have to be one of those cases...but I now know why! If we hadn't experienced so many problems we wouldn't have ended up meeting Dinora and the staff at Luz de Maria, Mateo wouldn't have such a wonderful place to take care of him, I wouldn't have realized the need to support this specific hogar as the one for my foundation to support, this journey has been a HUGE growing process for us. I know that our process to bring Mateo home has been one of those many God Winks!!!

Seriously I feel like doing back flips!!! Mateo, mama's coming!! Blessings to you and your families!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Here is the scoop on what we have left..

So we just finished our empathy study..and below is an outline of the process that we have left. We are looking at Feb or March to bring Mateo home. We needs all the prayers we can get to have people pray for a speedy process through the CNA to family court and then that we get entered into family court #4..please pray for us to not get entered into Family Court #2!!! Thank you all for all of your support and help! xo, valerie

Process to Completion
Starting with the Empathy Study

1) After the empathy study; the social worker and the psychologist do a report and give to the legal department, after visiting you during your empathy study.
2) The legal department creates a document that is signed by the sub-director. The head attorney is Lorana Ramirez, she will prepare the documents for the director. Juan Carlos works with Lorana on national adoptions & speaks English.
3) Once director signs off on papers they go back to the legal department.
4) After that the file is submitted to the family court. ( Pray for family court #4- Judge Gonzalez, rumor has it that Family Court #2 is more difficult)
5) Once you have gotten sign off from Judge at family court, the child is legally yours. ( It could take a week to 2 weeks after the final signature of the judge before your case ACTUALLY gets out of family court)
6) IMPORTANT****- Once you get notification that the family court judge has released and signed off- go ahead and submit documents to Embassy for preapproval & include all items on List A.
7) After signed off from family court judge, notifications will be sent out to PGN, RENAP, & C N A. Once those have been sent out there is a 3 day waiting period.
8) If there are no objections than C N A will request certification of ruling & C N A produces the final documents to go to RENAP (the local Renap where your child was born..Amatitlan in our case). They will need the C N A & family court ruling & then the RENAP will register it in the system.
9) Once it is registered in the system from local RENAP, it then goes to Central Renap. (It goes in on Tuesday and out on Friday.) Gaby from RENAP speaks English, call her is you are waiting or there are any problems ( 2416-1914). She can tell us what we need to get together to get the birth certificate if they don’t already have it all.
10) At the central RENAP they will give you the birth certificate with your last name.
11) Then go to the passport office to get child’s passport.
12) Once you have the passport, go to the embassy & prepare documents for List B. ( New BC, C N A ruling, Family Court Ruling, Copy of passports- you will need all pages of passport)
13) Submit List B to Embassy
14) Once you get approval or notification from USCIS on List B, you will get orange slip & that will give you permission to get final physical for child. ( Can use Dr Sidney Hagan- 12th St- 1-25 Zone 10, Inside a mall, Torre Norte, Suite 402; Spanish only, and the phone # is 2335-3431) You will get an HIV test for child which cost $60 US, and final physical. ( Make sure you have all shot records from hogar or foster family to bring to final physical or they will charge you and do them all over which can be very expensive.)
15) Final Interview will be scheduled when you get orange slip at Window 10- Embassy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A gift of the Lord....

Mateo- Gift of the Lord. I had no idea that our life would lead us to the adoption of our son. I had no idea that the name we picked out for our son wouldnt be just a name reccomended by my best friend Laura, but that it was a divine intervention. Mateo IS truly a gift from the Lord. We had prayed God and thanked him for more than we ever have before. This process has opened my eyes to what is really important. This process showed me how lucky we are to have been blessed to have Mateo placed with us to be his forever parents.

Mateo has experienced so much in his short little life, more than he will ever be able to express to us but enough that we know just how strong he is. He has such a loving heart & spirit. He freely gives kisses and love to us, and he trusts us. The nannies at his hogar love him because he has this special something about him that just makes you fall in love with him from the moment you meet him.

In May of 2002 when we were first assigned to Mateo and received his pictures in our email was one month that I will never forget. I prayed for God to let me love him just like I do my biological daughters, I prayed to the process to work out. God has blessed our broken road many of times, and I know that we will see Mateo come home to us in 2010! He will be able to experience all the love that his family & friends have for him. When I looked at his pictures for the first time it was love at first sight. He melted me right then. I had no idea i would still be waiting to bring him home almost 3 years later. Although God designs a plan for us and we are his servants and have to have faith and follow his lead. My faith has been tested, but I always realized how much we have been blessed with, and I am reminded that it is the broken road that led us straight to Mateo. That song melts my heart when I hear it because it describes our journey to the "t".

In October when I found out that we wouldnt be bringing you home that year it was one of the hardest days I had ever had. We were only 1 signature from bringing you home! ALthough, again...GOd had a plan. Then in February of 2003 when we received a phone call saying that because of the documents that were falsified from the birth mother that we would more than likely not be able to complete our adoption, we decided to go ahead and fly out to see you for your 1st birthday. We took a flight of faith and believed that even if we only have you for 5 days , that for 5 days we would love all over you and you would know you were wanted. I think DOug was nervous to go because he was afraid if something happened and we werent able to complete our adoption that I wouldnt get back to normal....but I had faith, enough for both of us. DOug fell in love with Mateo the moment he laid eyes on him in person. Doug instantly cried and of course I melted....

In May of 2003 I had spent 1 day scrapebooking all of the pictures from our trip to visit you in March, and then I got home and receceived an email from Nancy Bailey at Semillas de Amor saying that because we cancelled the POA that we had signed for her attorney that she assigned to us, and hired another due to advice we took from PGN Minors Court, that we would no longer be able to adopt Mateo. She said he wasnt our son and that we did this to ourselves. I was sick, I remember being in a fetal position crying myself to sleep. I remember not wanting to wake up and get out of bed and get on with the days....but then I realized that this is one part of our journey to bring Mateo home to us, and I needed to be strong for him and for Rylie and Adyson who needed me. Doug didnt know what to do with me he knew that I was taking it hard. Very shortly after that nasty email from Nancy, we decided that we would do whatever it took to bring Mateo home and so we worked with our attorney and did what was needed to get out of the MP & Minors Court. We were there from Oct of 2007 to August of 2008. Then it took from AUgust of 2008 to July of 2009 before we recieved a paper saying that the investigation was dimissed and we could offically enter the CNA and start the process to be linked to Mateo.

Now here we are in Guatemala with Mateo on our empathy study, about 5 months from having him home with, stregth, prayer, faithful friends & family, prayer warriors have gotten us through and we thank all of you for being there for us during this very difficult time but also this very special time in our lives.

Mateo is a gift from God . He placed Mateo with us and we are his forever family.

SO as I sign off for the night I will sign off with a poem...

The Adoption Creed

Not flesh of my flesh, not bone of my bone- but still miraculously my own. Never forget not for a minute-you werent born under my heart but in it.

Mateo my love, we are getting closer and we love you! Blessings, Valerie

Monday, November 23, 2009

This is our last full day with Mateo in Guatemala....

Today is our last full day with Mateo before we have to bring him back to the CNA tomorrow. We have to bring him back at noon on Tuesday. We have had a great time with him. Its been fun getting to know him better and he us. He has had a hard time taking naps and going to bed at night, not sure why but he lays there for quite awhile before he goes to bed, I am hoping that he is okay when we leave and adjusts back to his schedule at the hogar.

We are ready to go home, its been hard to be cooped up in 1 hotel room for 13 days. We miss Rylie & Adyson like crazy, and cant wait to jump off the plane and hug them both. This is the longest we have gone without being with them. They have been busy with their grandma's, aunts, and they have had fun but I think they are ready too.

Yesterday we spent the day in Amatitlan. It is the city where Mateo was born. We tried to give him a little pony ride there although he wanted nothing to do with it. Then we went up a cable car..VERY HIGH i might add..and looked at the view of the lake at the city. That was fun. At the top we stopped and got Mateo a chocolate banana...he loved it of course, as did I! Then we decided to drive to Port San Jose, which was about another hour from Amatitlan..and went to the beach. THey have black sand beaches, so it was beautiful. IT was Mateo's first time being at the beach. He LOVED it! We hadnt planned to go so we went in just a ways in our clothes and quickly got them soaked, so we stripped Mateo down to his superman undies and let him play..he was in HEAVEN. That was an awesome experinece. The lake is called Lake Amatitlan. Then afterwards we stopped at a resort and ate at a hotel. Doug started feeling sick so he got a bit grumpy, and then ended up sleeping awhile on the way back to the hotel. We say beautiful views the whole way home. GUatemala is a beautiful country. We saw Pacaya ..which is a famous volcano in Guatemala. We saw smoke coming out as well as lava flows, which was awesome.

Got back to our room and gave Mateo & I a we both has sand all over us, and then ate some pizza for dinner, and off to bed. It took about 45 min or more to get Mateo to sleep. Doug seems to do the best job getting him to fall asleep. If you hold him or rock him he just lays there quite, but awake. If you lay next to him, he will lay there for hours if has to be very dark, no noise, and you cant talk with him or try to soothe him..or he will stay awake, so we had to let him cry it out...that was hard as a mom.

Today we are planning to just really enjoy our time with Mateo. We are staying at the hotel and doing the pool thing again. We have dinner plans with another parent coming to visit her daughter tonight and then that is it. Tomorrow we have to have Mateo back to the CNA by noon and then we will go with CLaudia to do last minute shopping for CHristmas presents. We are looking to buy a large little tykes play area for Christmas for the hogar. This was it can stay out and the kids can play with it. They seem to keep the little toys put away most of the time so I dont want to bring any little toys. THe little tykes are too big to put away they will have to be put together and then left in the courtyard for the kids to play with all day.

Thank you all for your prayers. DOug and I fly out on Wed morning at 7AM, so pray for a safe return flight home. Blessings...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Good Morning

SO we are on day #10...time has flown by on one hand and then went so slow on the other. We LOVE being with Mateo! He is an absolute doll, and I cant imagine leaving him at the CNA on Tuesday. That will be a VERY hard day! He has progressed so much since he was been with us; speaking english, talking also in spanish ( basic words like por favor, gracias papa, agua, mama...and words I am sure he is saying that I dont know), he has been able to say both of his sisters names and when he talks with them on the phone each night he smiles...he loves hearing their voices.

He loves to play ball ( throwing and kicking) he LOVES the pool NOW, yeah!! THe other day we were at the pool with friends for about 3 hours and he had plenty of time to get acclimated to it and didnt want to leave. HE was so cute , when we were in teh hot tub he would grab ahold of my hands and say 1,2,3 in spanish and then dunk himself under the water...he loves that! I have been able to have some extra pool time to lay out while Mateo and Doug go up to nap. Which is great because I get to listen to my IPOD, listen to some of my favorite songs and think & pray. I have downloaded alot of HIllsong and Mercy Me songs, so they really lift my spirits when I think about having to leave him again. I just dont want him to be confused with why we are leaving again. I think we will definately have to start doing webcam weekly.

I am so thankful that he is in a hogar that cares for him and loves him...that is obvious. I just want his sisters and family to be able to get to know him and his sweet personality. He likes to push the button on the elevator when we go to the lobby, he likes to read books...especially the ones that he can feel different materials on the books. He loves to color, and play playdough. At first he would be nervous in various situations when we would go out, etc...but now he is quite comfortable. He does pout when we tell him he has to go to sleep...we have had a harder and harder time getting him to take naps and go to bed. He will lay there forever until finally he will just get too tired and go to sleep. They go to bed early at the hogar so I am hoping that he gets back into a routine and doesnt give them too much trouble with his naps when he gets there. They hae va great schedule for them and we havent had as good of a schedule with us beig here...appointments, etc....

I am so thankful that my girls get to be with their grandparents and my sister during the time we are gone, it has really made the time go by quickly for them. I am looking forward to going home and seeing Rylie & Adyson....although its bittersweet because I am missing Mateo then.... I look forward to the day we are all together.

Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

We just finished our emapthy study appointment today

About 2:45 we went downstairs to the lobby and met with Lily from CNA..she is in charge of the adoptive childrens unit, and then with Maria Los...she is in charge of the adoptive families unit. She was a little more stern but not too bad...maybe because Lily is so overly friendly. We also had CLaudia who is our adoption agency in country contact that has helped us so much be there to translate for us.

They asked us questions like: what do your girls think of Mateo? What do your grandparents think of Mateo? What are your plans for MAteo for the future; school ( will he go to the same school that the girls go to?), college, activities he will be involved in once home ( sports, cow shows with the girls, etc..?) They asked us if we would tell Mateo that he was adopted, as well as asked us if we plan to travel back to GUatemala to have Mateo visit his country of orgin. They asked us if MAteo was closer to DOug or I and of course we said both of us equally. They asked if Mateo remembered us when we came. They asked why we named him Mateo. They asked if he was speaking english as well as spanish. SO basic questions that were pretty easy for us to answer.

We went shopping this morning for CHristmas presents for mom, dad, Grandpa & Granma Raley, and the neices and nephews that we were suppose to buy for. Then we had lunch at an authentic Guatemalan resturant, but couldnt read the menu so we told them to surprise they did, adn it was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We dont have many plans tonight so just planning to hang around here and maybe meet up with another adoptive parent to have dinner.

So we are planning to go to Amatalian..which is where Mateo was born probably tomrrow so we can get a picture of the hospital where he was born and get some items from his birth place...'

We miss our girls like crazy and look forward to the day that all of our kiddos are together!!

THank you for your prayers!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Update over the last few days

On Sunday we went to Antigua for the day. We had a great time and did some shopping, which of course I love!! We were able to tour some beautiful cathedrals, and buildings. We went to the pool yesterday again and Mateo liked it this time because daddy played with him in the hot tub which apparently he loves! I am sure the ball had something to do with it! :)

Today we went to the childrens museum and Mateo had a great time! We came back to the hotel and I laid out while Doug and Mateo took a nap. We decided to just hang out in the room tonight after DOug had a massage and I went to take a nap and Mateo decided to dive in too! So funny! He loved it!

Tomorrow we are planning to do shopping and then hang out again at the pool! Its beautiful here! Our emapthy study appointment is tomorrow, so I am looking forward to getting that done. I will update you later with how that goes!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Yesterday was a great day

We went to the pool at the hotel yesterday and Mateo didnt love the water so much. He kinda whined/cried most of the time. Hopefully with us being here for 2 weeks he will get use to it. We had a great dinner last night at this authentic Guatemalan resturant, it was wonderful! The waiter was very helpful and taught me a little spanish, so hopefully after being here for 2 weeks this time I will learn a little more. Mateo had ice cream last night after dinner, he loved it. Although last night he was so gassy..his tummy was hurting him. Literally he had gas all night! He is such a doll baby! Literally I am sooo excited for when you all get to meet him in person! I cant wait for Rylie and Adyson to get to hug their little brother! They are going to fall in love!!!

Well we are headed to Antigua today, I cant wait! It is my favorite place so far in Guatemala! I am looking for some gifts to buy my mom & dad and in-laws...they have been such a HUGE support system! My sister Cherie is watching my girls this week and has been a HUGE help as well! I know the girls are excited to spend the week with her boys.

Well that is it for now, thank you all for all of your prayers! Hugs!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

1st Offical Empathy Day with Mateo-Nov 13th

Today has been so much fun! We picked Mateo up at the CNA this morning. We met with Lily Guzman from the CNA for about 45 minutes and she just talked with us about what the process will be like this next few weeks as well as the rest of the time until we get to take him home. It seems that it will take a few months after the emapthy study before we will be entered into family court. They said this because they go through all of the papers in our file with a fine tooth comb to make sure there are no mistakes so when the file goes into the family court there are no problems and we wont be pushed back anymore. I also asked if the fact that the holiday season would push us back and she said no because we will still be in the CNA and they dont take much time off. She said if you are in family court you may experince a slight wait but not much. SO since we will still be in the CNA before moving into family court during NOV, and looks like we should be fine to move along. It sounds like it will be February before we go into family court and then from there it may take a month to 7 weeks or so, and that is when they offically make us his parents. Then the file goes back to the CNA for them finalize everything for a week or so and then it goes to RENAP to get a birth certificate, and then you will be scheduled for pickup where they do immnigration and a VISA appointment. Then we come home. SO it sounds like it could be April at the earliest but probably May. Although I am never know!

We had to run to the grocery store to get lunch food and Mateo was a bit nervous being out and about. I dont think he is use to be around other people other then the nannies at the hogar and the kiddos there. HE had to go to the bathroom and didnt know how to tell us so he did have an accident and we had to take a bath as soon as we got to the hotel. He loved the water, just like before. He took a nap with me for about 30 minutes and then with Doug for another hour . After the nap we played with playdough, colored, and played with cars. Then it was time for dinner and we walked down the block to a Guatemalan resturant that was very good. Mateo liked their food. When we got back from dinner we were changing him into his pjs and he started running around and kicking the ball and dancing to the music I had playing. He loves dancing music like his mama!! He is so funny! He has done a great job the rest of the day going to the bathroom on his own. He just kinda grabs down there and we know...he hasnt said pee-pee yet, but he goes both. :)

We got some great video of him dancing and laughing. Doug and him are laying on the bed snuggling now...seriously I am sooooooooooo happy!! I wish Rylie and Adyson could be here with us! I think we are planning to hang out at the pool tomorrow here and then go to Antigua on Sunday. SO I will take lots of pix at the pool to post! Good Night!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

We are in Guatemala!

We arrived today about 12:30 and found out DOug was missing his suitcase, so it took awhile for us to get to our hotel. Then when we got there they couldnt find out reservation, and we had to wait about 30 minutes while they made calls to find it. BUT, THEN....we got to go to see Mateo! We spent about 2 1/2 hours with him and the kids at the hogar. We bought pizza and pop, and spent the time playing with the kids and Mateo. Doug fell in love with him all over again! He is such a great dad to the girls, but WOW...he is so going to spoil Mateo! He was in heaven! We have an appointment at the CNA in the morning at 9AM and that is when we can offically take custody of Mateo. We will have a better idea of what is going on with us while we are here, meaning any traveling and sight seeing we will do, etc, depending on when they schedule the actual emapthy study. It is where they will watch us with Mateo and see how we interact with each other. My room looks like BOrders Books and Toys R Us had a party in it! Lots of toys, clothes, little superman undies, ..I am so happy I cant even tell you ! DInora has been so wonderful for us and has helped us tremendously!!! THe kids there just melt your heart and you cant help but want to take them all home with you! I am so looking forward to spending the next few weeks with little Mateo!! We love him soooooooooooooo much! I am posting some of my favorite pix from today! Thank you for your prayers!

Friday, October 30, 2009

We got our emapthy study scheduled!!!

We are so excited because we finally got our empathy study scheduled!! We will be flying into Guatemala on Nov 12th and staying through the 25th of November. Doug is nervous that we are having to fly home the day before Thanksgiving....but I am just so thankful to be going that I am good with whatever!! We initially had thought we would just be there the 12th through the 19th and had even booked our flight and hotels online just to find out about 30 minutes later that we had to actually be there for 8 actual business days, so that works out because of weekends to being 13 days. I am so excited to see Mateo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Our empathy study is Nov 13th and we will be going to CNA on the 13th at 9AM to get Mateo and meet with the psychologist and whomever else we need to talk with. This is when we will be able to actually take custody of Mateo! We will then have Mateo the rest of the time. They also meet with us for a closing appointment during the empathy study the day before we leave. We are looking at rebooking flights and hotels right now, just trying to find a good place because the one we want to stay at will cost over $2000 just to be there for 13 nights...CRAZY!! We are looking at renting a place while we are there or finding a place that has a kitchen type area...

Dinora, our orphanage director is sooooo helpful! SHe has really been helping us a ton and I am so thankful for all she has done. We are working directly with the CNA and DInora and their attorney to complete our adoption. The only reason we were finally able to get our empathy study scheduled is because of Dinora. She has been in and out of CNA everyday this week and the end of last week.

I am 100% focuses on bringing my son home and cannot wait to see him! Keep us in your prayers! valerie

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Newest Update or News

I emailed our attorney a few days ago asking him if he had heard anything and he said that the C N A had called him and said they needed a few more pix of Doug, Mateo, and the girls so he had a few and sent those to them. He also had a fill out a form that hadn't been done, that is finished and they have now scheduled the medical report for Mateo, so as soon as that has been done, we should be getting some kind of an update on them scheduling our empathy study which should now be in Nov. I was going to go by myself to visit Mateo and now it looks like I will just get to go with Doug. So that is it for now, hopefully I will hear good news that the medical report was actually finished this week! Till next time, keep us in your prayers! val

Monday, September 28, 2009

So its getting harder and harder to wait...

Its amazing how you can have good days and bad days and sometimes a great day can still end up finding you thinking about why its taking so long, and then get down. Had a great day at home with the girls today. Although as I am getting ready for bed I realize that once again I am finding myself missing Mateo. I think about all of the nights I am missing tucking him in, reading to him. We went to the Cider Mill today. We always go there to get pumpkins in the fall, and of course have to sample the donuts & cider...I realize that that was a moment that Mateo would have enjoyed. The girls had already been there many of times before they were 2 1/2. God grant me patience, strength, and please keep your hands on anyone that is in charge of our file at CNA. Please encourage them, and let them work with their hearts and hurry to move our cases along. Another Halloween, another Thanksgiving, and another Christmas that will be without my son, & the girls brother. I found his little monkey that I always bring with me on my trips to Guatemala, and then his little blankey that he sleeps with when I am with him. I was drawn to just hold them, as those were things that he slept with the last time I was with him.

I just want to cry sometimes and scream because I am so mad that this has taken so long. How one false document that we knew nothing about, that really didnt have anything to do with Mateo and us bringing him home could cost us over a year and 1/2 with our son, so far. So I go to bed again tonight praying for Mateo to come home soon!! Please keep us in your prayers!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Most recent update on our status at CNA

I received an email from our Guatemalan contact that works for our agency. She went to the CNA and was able to get information on our case as we signed a POA so she has the ability to do that for us. My attorney is a little slow getting back to me through emails, etc. Actually I have emailed him 3 times and no answer in 3 weeks...isn't that nice??

Claudia from Gladney went to CNA on Friday Sept 4th , this is the update as of then:
- The office that is now in charge of our case is the Unidad de Familia Adoptiva ( Adoptive Family Unit) and they just received our file more or less 10 days prior to the 4th of Sept. Previously it had been with the legal department and before that Mr Tecu . Apparently the file can go back and fourth between people at CNA multiple times before they schedule the empathy. This office will have to review our file and will make sure they have everything they need in it and then will let my attorney know if its complete or if we need to add anything to it. I am pretty sure it is fine though. They said that it will be another 15 days before we will get any kind of an that puts us at the week of Sept 21st.
- Our case was reviewed first by the Direccio'n del Consejo.

So once again we wait. This has become the norm with our adoption. We don't put much merit to anything until we actually see it being done. So when we get the call to schedule our empathy, I will believe that we are moving forward. So far there is alot of information going around with other adoptive parents that things at the CNA are slowing down due to too many files and not enough workers. I am told that they are no longer taking transition cases...I dont know if this is temporary while they get through the files that have been approved to be transition cases and are just being reviewed throughout the offices/processes of CNA OR if they are putting a hold on things because of all that has been going on in Guatemala over the last few months. Apparently there have been more raids on orphanages and it has caused quite an uproar. There are so many political things going on right now that its always so frustrated because there is always uncertainty. I have been told that we are officially a transition case. I have also been told that I am one of the 30 cases that are currently being reviewed by CNA as a transition case. I hope this is true. Again, until they call us to schedule the empathy we cant believe anything 100%.

My heart breaks for all of the families caught in the middle of this nightmare. I know that it is hard on everyone, not just us. Its so sad that my son has been forced to spend 2 1/2 years of his life in an orphanage when he had a loving family awaiting him since he was a month and 1/2 old. I know I cant turn back time, and I am okay with trusting 100% in Gods will....I still have my days. Not a day goes by that I don't wonder what he is doing that day. Not a day goes by that I don't think about what he is missing out on. I don't want him to ever think we didn't try hard enough, or wonder why we have to leave him all the time. I so look forward to the day that he is home forever! SO for now I wait. I look forward to the pictures I get monthly of him, and the progress report I receive. I haven't received videos for the last 3 months and think they have taken I am planning to email my agency to see where those are?

Please continue to pray for Mateo & his well being. Pray that the leaders in Guatemala that make decisions regarding the 800 children left in Guatemala will make decisions based on the best interest of the children, and that they do it quickly. Please pray for our patience & strength over the next few months while we wait for updates. Pray that we are able to get to Guatemala to see Mateo by mid October. It looks like a Christmas homecoming will not happen, right now I pray for a 3rd birthday homecoming.

Thank you all for your support & prayers! Many Blessings! valerie

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Got Updated Pix of My Little Man!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I got an email from Dinora at the orphanage. This email was sent to me last Friday July 24th:

I want to tell you that yesterday came the CNA psychology and she just ask the Mateo`s history and everything is o.k., we told everything that we remember. and also came a doctor and he said he is in excellent condition. so I hope he can go home soon.

So CNA came last Thursday on the 23rd of July, we should be going to Guatemala soon for our empathy!! Cant wait!

Keep us in your prayers! val

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Got pictures sent to me today of Mateo

I just received a bunch of updated pix of Mateo today, so I will be posting those! Got an email yesterday from Marco, an attorney in Guatemala that has helped us...and he finished the last few documents we needed to have translated and legalized and was bringing them to the C N A today, so I should be receiving notification that our file is complete sometime soon, and then hopefully will heard news of us going into the legal department so we can have them look over our home study, pysch eval, and have an eval done on Mateo; so they can schedule our emapthy! We are hoping to get that done in August!! After empathy its family court...they do a report after the empathy ad then our file goes to family court where it could be a few weeks to a few months depending on what court we get. So keep us in your prayers!! I cant wait to hold my little man!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Latest update..July 13th, 2009

I had to run to Topeka, KS today to have our required Hague Training Certificate certified at the state capitol, so I could them take it to the UPS Store and have it over-nighted to Houston to the Guatemalan consulate to have it authenticated, and then prepaid to have it sent from there directly to Guatemala. This document had been in our file since March , when I was there the last time. Although my attorney didnt think to check ahead of time to see what exactly I needed in the file before we submitted it, ect...I could have done that along time ago. I have been to Topeka probably 5 times now in the last few months, and it would be nice to be done with that drive!

I got an email from Roberto last week saying that our file was officially taken to the C N A. The reason it took so long to get there was because from the time I left in March...they had still be waiting to get the certificate of adaptability from the minors court ( a document which is a final resolution of the investigation they did because of the falsified birth certificate from the birth mom.), my attorney just received it the beginnig of June. Then once we had that he could go to Renap to have them get a corrected copy of Mateo's birth certificate , as since the birth moms own birth place was listed wrong on his birth certificate, as hers was falsified, they had to correct the info on his. So once that was done, we were able to have everything we needed to get into the C N A. Roberto did have to go last week to get Mateo's footprints and handprints as part of what was needed for C N A.

Many of you ask me why has it taken so long. Because of all of the corporation in Guatemalan Adoptions for years, US finally said become Hague Complaint or you are out, basically..and so until they could get their process to be right, they haven't been able to open up yet. Although all of the cases like mine that started with the old law, before the closed adoptions back in Dec 2007, the would still be able to be grandfathered in. Although because our document was falsified by the BM, and she finally admitted that the paper was fraudulent, it made the file as was null and void. Soooo..we had to become an abandonment case through the Minors Court, although no one told me that until I was so confused by what we were, where we were, that finally another attorney that has helped me this whole time understand the process, said "because you are not able to go old law and you have to go through the CNA you will be an abandonment case." The paper that we needed from Minors Court stated that Mateo was adoptable. The paperwork that we have been doing recently to give to the CNA, is part of their dossier. So not only could we not do old law and use the grandfathered in laws, there isn't an adoption process in Guatemala, so now new official rules yet. So, we like many other families are being whats called a "transition Case", cant do old law, but new law wasn't open and we had already been linked to a child...and can prove a bond and a link ( travel, pix, etc.) that we would officially be completing our adoption through the CNA. They have just recently really streamlines their process. This is all new to them. They have a low staff, and is sounds like files coming in all the time, so they are swamped. Supposedly as of now from the time you get into the CNA and the time you pick up your child should be around 4 months or so. We will be VERY close to Christmas time when we bring Mateo home! Many families are farther along than I am so they have really helped me understand what comes next and what I need to do to be prepared, ect...some families have recently brought their babies home in the last few weeks. So I know it is REALLY going to happen this time!

So as I understand it here is our process that we have left:
1) file goes to Mr Tecu in the CNA for his approval of all of the documents being exactly what is needed in our file.
2) Mr Tecu then sends the file to the legal department
3) The legal department then goes through each document page by page, and then approves it ( could take a couple of weeks or so)
4) Then the psychological evaluation & home study that we did will go to the psychologist for review..which takes about a week to a week and a 1/2.
5) Once those have been reviewed the psychologist goes on a visit to see Mateo at his orphanage to check on him and his well being, ect..than she does a report on her findings.
6) Then they schedule the empathy study ( we will have to go to Guatemala for 7 days) more than likely it will be a last minute . this is when you have to be here trip. we will be able to take custody of Mateo then, and then keep him with us during the time we are there. The psychologist will come visit us to see how he interacts with us..I think just for like 30 minutes or so sometime during that week.
7) It could take a few weeks to a month once the empathy is done before it will be signed off by the director of CNA to go to family court.
8) Depending on what court you get into, it could be anywhere from a week to 8 weeks or so... family court is where they officially make us his parents
9)Then the file goes to Renap to order a birth certificate with our last name on it, and then
10) It goes through immigration, and they schedule our Visa appointment, which is when we get to pick up Mateo!

So please keep us in your prayers!! We are getting so close , I am praying that he will be a Christmas baby!! xoox, val