Our Journey to Anaya began during the summer of 2006. We went to an adoption meeting held by AGCI, and our daughter was conceived in our hearts that night. We knew we were being called to adopt a baby girl from the country of Guatemala. So on September 22, 2006 we sent in our formal application, and on October 1, we started the mountain of paper work called a "dossier!" By November 22 we finished our dossier and were placed on the girl waiting list as #35! Each month we anxiously awaited "the call" which let us know what our new number was. On May 1, 2007 we were #6 on the girls list. We figured sometime in June we would get our call that our daughter was born. So we were a little surprised when on May 22 I got the call that would change our lives forever!
Ryan had just left with the boys to get ready for a t-ball game, and I was cleaning up after dinner when the phone rang and I saw that it was AGCI my heart skipped a beat! I answered and when she said she had a baby for me, I started crying! She explained that her name was Jackelin Anai, and that she weighed 4lbs. 14ozs and was born on May 5, 2007 was about a month premature, but healthy! She said her birth moms name was Candelaria and that she had chosen us to raise her daughter! We were emailed pictures and info so I quickly went to the t-ball game to show Ryan and the boys and everyone else who cared to know!! We fell in love with her picture, and the following day we received a DVD! We popped it in and to our surprise, the baby on the DVD was definitely NOT the baby in the picture! So we called our case worker and she explained that she had just gotten off the phone with another family wondering the same thing"which baby is ours?" We had gotten each others baby's DVDs! OOPS! Well within the week we were making arrangements to go down and see our baby which we named Anaya Jackelin.
On May 30 we flew down and for the next 2 days we were able to spend time with our beautiful daughter! We were able to meet and spend time talking with Candelaria. Although it was hard emotionally, it was a great meeting and made us feel more confident that she was going to go through with her plans. In Guatemala the birth mom can change her mind at any time until the final decree is signed off. That was a blessing to be able to share with her and hear her heart. We laughed and cried with each other and are forever grateful to her for making such a difficult and painful decision. We were also able to meet the "other family" who we had the DVD mix up with! We spent 2 wonderful days getting to know Anaya and Craig and Stacy Robbins and their daughter Emily~whom we saw in the DVD! We were also able to meet Kenny and Heather and their daughter Wendy who was 5 years old. Cherished memories! Then came the time to leave Anaya at Hannah's Hope~that was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. Ryan and I went to Antigua and spent the night and flew home on June 3. It was so emotional and I felt as though I had left a huge part of me there in Guatemala.
So began our journey, each month we would get an update, several pictures, and a DVD. I anxiously awaited for those each month as they helped me through, but I really missed my baby. We were updated regularly on which step of the process we were at and they all went very smoothly and fairly quickly, things were right on track! On November 9, 2007 we exited PGN(part of the Guatemalan government that processes adoptions) with NO prevos(where they kick you out for whatever reason and make you "fix" something and start over again) and we were so excited!! We were told she would be home in 6 to 8 weeks. We were planning on celebrating her first Christmas together, but unfortunately that was not the way it turned out...
Here is a photo album of some of the pictures we received while we waited for Anaya.
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Instead of celebrating Christmas together, we got stuck waiting for a birth certificate. What should have taken one week, turned into 5 months 2 weeks and 3 days of pure frustration!! The Mixco office that was responsible for printing off our birth certificate was full of corrupt people who wanted us to pay more money in order to get it and having an ethical agency, they would not pay! While I would have done anything to have her home, I knew that we were doing the right thing by just waiting it out. During that time we received very little information and we had no idea when or if they would release our birth certificate. She was legally our daughter, we just couldn't bring her into the USA. In Jan. they started releasing some birth certificates, and we were anxiously awaiting ours when we were informed that we had been given a prevo. They wanted something "fixed"(nothing was wrong) and then said it would be another 30 business days before we would get it! So we waited. Then in March when we should have gotten it, we got another prevo! I was so incredibly sick of waiting! Our baby was getting older and we realized she would not be home for her 1st birthday. We began praying about the possibility of going down to Guatemala, and God paved the way for an adventure we will never forget!
On April 28 we (Stacy, Dylan, Jayden, Spencer and my sister Jen) headed to Guatemala to pick up Anaya! We lived in a condo in Antigua for nearly 2 months until we were able to bring Anaya home! Here are some photos of our trip to Guatemala.
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*To read more about our time spent in Guatemala, scroll down to the Labels section and click on Our Trip to Guatemala.