Monday, January 28, 2008

DNA is a match and on it’s way to the US Embassy in Guatemala!!!

These are 2 of the latest pics we have of Emeline taken Dec 1oth....she is so precious!

Well, folks we are getting closer and closer! Emeline’s DNA was tested, and she is indeed the same baby we visited---not that I even doubted it. I KNOW what my own baby looks like, but I am glad there will never be any doubt for everyone else.
Remember, when we were ORANGE, we got clearance from the US Embassy on 1/17 to have the DNA test done. The DNA test was done in Guatemala, sent to South Carolina for processing at a lab. It is now on its way back to Guatemala to the US Embassy. I had emailed the lab on Monday, and they said they did not have her DNA. However, there is the nicest lady, Pat, who answers emails for the lab who told me she would keep me posted. She was so nice as to send me emails and let me know when they got Emeline’s DNA and all the progress we were making being tested. Today, she sent me 2 emails, and the last one said our DNA has been mailed back to Embassy. I sent her a big thank you email with one of my favorite pictures of Emeline. She said she printed the picture off to display on her “wall of angels.” So, thank you, Pat.
What now??? Well, after the DNA gets to the Embassy (maybe tomorrow) we should get our PINK slip within 48 hours with our Embassy appointment date for Emeline’s VISA. This means we will be free to travel. However, our appointment will be 10-14 days out from when we get our pink slip. We will be notified through email that we are pink, and then we will buy our plane tickets and go to Guatemala ASAP!!! I am hoping we can fly around Feb 10th. Hopefully, our appointment will be the week of Emeline's birthday.
Please continue to pray for Emeline’s adjustment and for a smooth Embassy appointment!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Emeline's Foster Family

Korina shows us how Emeline likes to sleep.

Me, Emeline and Korina

Our Foster family at the end of our visit trip after being reunited with Emeline.

Maria, Emeline's foster sister, holding the other little baby the family is fostering.

Another picture of the Foster family with Emeline at the end of our visit trip.

Flora, our oldest foster sister, holding Emeline in October.

Korina holding Emeline in October..Emeline around 8 months old.

When we tell people about Emeline, they always want to know who has been taking care of her all this time. Emeline has been with a wonderful Christian foster family since she was 6 hours old. Emeline’s foster mother’s name is Korina. Korina is the proud mother of 5. She has a daughter, Flora, who is 21 years old and in college. She sometimes sends us emails--which has been so wonderful. I think she is one of the first in her family to go to college. There is another daughter, Maria Jose, who is is fifteen. There is another daughter named Fernanda who is eleven. Then, their youngest son, Jefferson, is around 8 years old. I see his sweet hand sometimes in pictures I get of Emeline. I think Emeline really likes him! The oldest son was Jose Luiz, who was named after our Foster Dad, Jose, died at 17 of cancer a couple of years ago. We were told that he was an amazing young man, who was telling others about the Lord in the hospital until he passed away. The family is very proud of him and even showed us pictures and talked about how he loved music. Our foster family has been fostering a baby boy along with Emeline who they were able to name, and they gave him the name of their son, Jose Luiz. Jose, the Foster Dad, drives a bus in Guatemala City. So, now you know a bit about our amazing foster family!

Even though we are working through a Christian adoption agency, there is no guarantee that your foster family is a Christian family. We were thrilled to find out that they were taking our baby girl to church every Sunday, and that they wanted permission to dedicate her in their church. They have also mentioned that Emeline really loves Praise Music. (She might be a little disappointed with the more subdued Music at the Church we attend in Germany!!)

Once when we got to see video of Emeline, she was crying because she could not see her foster brother. She was also diving between the foster sisters and Korina! In that same moment, Korina, says that now Emeline refuses to sleep in her crib. So, I guess Chris will be sleeping with 2 Musselman ladies here in a month or so!!!

On many a day I have cried out to God about why we have not yet been able to bring our baby home, and on many occasions God has reminded me of how He put Emeline into this loving, Christian family to take care of her until it was time to bring her home. I could not have picked a better foster family, and we will always keep in touch with them and send them pictures of our girl. I know they are so excited that we will soon be reunited with Emeline, but I am sure there hearts are breaking thinking of saying goodbye.

Please pray that we will be able to arrange a translator and have a time of celebration with our foster family when we pick up Emeline in Guatemala. We can never thank them for doing all that we could not do for our daughter as we waited, and for doing it in love. Thank you, Lord, for this good gift!!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

It’s official…Emeline is a M*****man!

Another picture of Emeline from the first day we met. (age 11 weeks)

On the hammock with Daddy in Guatemala.

Emeline with a toy her Mimi sent her in October--around 8 months old.
Emeline at her November doctor's appointment--around 9 months old.

It seems like months since we found out we are out of PGN, but is has only been 2 weeks! We have been very busy getting ready for baby. Chris is also preaching his first real sermon in German next week, so he has been busy preparing for that among other things. I have been putting together baby furniture and working on Emeline’s room.

We got some very good news yesterday…sooner than expected. Emeline’s new birthcertificate is done and so is her passport. This means her birthmother signed for us to be able to adopt her for the fourth and final time. It also means that she is officially a M*****man as she now has our last name on her birthcertificate and passport. She is in every legal way our daughter. WE HAVE A DAUGHTER!!!

What next? Now, her final DNA test has been taken and sent to a lab to make sure it matches the original DNA taken when she was a couple of months old at the beginning of this process. To all Guatemala parents out there that means we are ORANGE! (The US Embassy gives our attorney permission to do the second DNA test on an orange piece of paper, which why it is now as known as being ORANGE). Her DNA has been sent to a lab somewhere now to be processed. In the next week or so, her DNA results will be sent to the US Embassy in Guatemala. At that point the US Embassy will give us a date for our final appointment to get our VISA to bring Emeline into the USA. That is known as getting PINK, because it is given on a pink slip of paper. When we get this appointment, we will go to Guatemala to get Emeline. We can’t believe it is finally happening! So, we are now waiting to be PINK. Confused yet? Good. So far we have not had to meet any new requirments because of new laws, and this part of the process is going smoothly. Our prayers are working!

Please keep praying Emeline HOME!

Monday, January 7, 2008

OUT of PGN!!!!!!!!!

The above picture is of my very first moments with Emeline....Hang on sweet girl, we are coming back to bring you home for good!!!!!!!!!!!!

On January 3, 2008 we got the news we have been waiting for....we are OUT of PGN. This means Guatemala has approved our case. We had been waiting on this approval and for one man to sign off on our file for over 6 months. We are praising God. We are so thankful to those of you who have been praying for Emeline. Please keep praying Emeline HOME!!!

If everything goes well, we will be picking Emeline up in 4-8 weeks. I am hoping we might have her by her birthday on Feb. 12th.

What is left in the process? Emeline's birth mother will sign the last and final time. Then, our lawyer will file for a new birth certificate that has Chris and me named as Emeline's parents. After that we are submitted to the US embassy and they will order a DNA test for Emeline. This is to make sure she is the same baby we applied to adopt. (The US Embassy ordered an initial DNA when Emeline was just a couple of months old.) After the US Embassy gets the results of this last DNA test, we will be given an appointment to get Emeline a VISA to enter the US. At this time we will make our travel arrangements and arrive in Guatemala a few days before this appointment.

PLEASE, PLEASE pray that the above steps go quickly and without complication. At the moment, everything is going crazy in Guatemala because of the uncertainty about the new adoption law that has taken effect as of January 1st. Please pray we do not face additional unexpected delays and requirements.

Also, please pray for all of the babies and families still in process in Guatemala. These babies need to get home to their families. Please especially pray for a wonderful Christian family I have come to know as we have been waiting together. They have been waiting for their daughter, Isa , to come home even longer than we have waited for Emeline. Please pray they too get out of PGN and that they are able to pick up their daughter soon.