Saturday, March 31, 2012

We Meet Our Children On April 10!

PANI moved Evelyn and Jose from their current orphanage in San Ramon to another one in Puntarenas.  At first, we assumed that they did this to prepare the children for the transition, but this wasn't the case for our cousins when they adopted.  They met their daughters at the orphanage where the girls had lived.  

But, here's what we do know will happen...

We land in San Jose on April 9.  On April 10, we drive to Puntarenas with our attorney and the children's social worker. We meet the kids!  We are observed...we guess. We spend the day with the Evelyn and Jose. 

At the end of the day, many different scenerios can unfold.

We may be able to bring the children back to San Jose with us if the social worker will let us.  Or, we may have to go back to SJ and visit them the next day, and possibly next, until the social worker lets us bring them back to San Jose.  Or, we can choose to stay in Puntarenas until they let us bring kids back to SJ (very expensive option).   Since the drive to Puntarenas is just an hour away from SJ, we will probably go to and fro until we can bring them back. 

Now, back to the delightful chaos of getting everything ready!

Friday, March 23, 2012

We're off to Costa Rica!

Our caseworker called early this afternoon to tell us that we have our court and travel dates. We fly to San Jose on April 9 and appear before the judge on April 25.  After the court date, we begin the "consular" process -- but we really have no idea what that means. Our agency's information is limited because we are the first family to adopt from Costa Rica.  We are all, happily, learning as we go.  We will continue to post information about the process every step of the way.

And now, we're off to purchase our plane tickets ...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Slowly We Move Forward ...

It has been a tense, few weeks   We thought that we would be in Costa Rica by now.  After all, we were told by PANI when they first matched us with our children that they wanted our adoption process to be completed by the end of April! 

Alas, the judicial process has been as slow as a tortuga (turtle). First the judge received our dossier.  Then the judge asked for clarification with some of the translation.  Our attorney then worked with the Court translator and Clerk to redo certain sections or sentences. (We don't even know what she clarified! All we do know is that our attorney has been extraordinary in trying to smooth out any bumps quickly and smoothly to avoid long delays). Changes were made.  Our dossier went back onto the court calendar. Our attorney was hopeful and said that it looked good. 

Then we waited to get our travel date.  First one week went by.  Then another.  Then we panicked. Our caseworker was magnificent. Very responsive.  Very compassionate.  (We highly recommend Gladney Center for Adoption -- but more about that another time).  It turned out that while it looked good, we were not exactly approved.   The judge still had to issue a "resolution"  (not sure if this is the right word or if it got lost in translation).  Until we had a resolution in hand saying that we were A-OK, the judicial process could not move forward.  Double, triple, quadruple sighs.

We skyped with our cousin.  She talked with us at length about the judicial process in Costa Rica (not as efficient as we would like) and the Costa Rican culture ( Pura Vida; everyone is agreeable; and it'll all work out in the end -- all lovely, but clearly not working for us in the absense of facts).  

Then, thankfully, at 5:05 pm yesterday, our caseworker called to say that the court officially accepted our dossier.  We are approved to adopt Evelyn and Jose.  So, I guess we have that "resolution."  Now, we still need to wait for a date to travel to CR, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel!  From what we understand, we will need to be there 2 weeks before our court appearance. Our attorney believes that we will have our court date at the end of April, so we will travel to CR right after Easter. 

So, while we are anxious to pick up and go to CR right now, we keep reminding ourselves that slow and steady gets the results. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Evelyn and Jose have been told that they are about to become part of our family!

A few weeks ago, our paperwork finally found its way before a Family Court Judge in Costa Rica.  We then tried to stay calm and positive while we waited.  (Easier said than done.)

Today, the Judge almost gave our attorney a thumbs-up -- just a few fixes in the translation of the official document.   We should get word next week about our travel date.  

Afterward, our attorney met with the PANI social worker who is working with our children.   Apparently, they were recently told about us and are very happy.  Evelyn has been showing our photo to the other children and her caregivers. Little Josito is drawing pictures for us.  Needless to say, we are overcome with emotion. 

A very happy day.