During one of my favorite past times, reading adoption blogs, I came across this blog: Do They Have Salsa In China? The author of this blog introduced me to bentos. I was not aware of this Japanese phenomena until reading her blog. If you go to the main page, and click on Bentos you will see some her photos of her incredible bentos. I thought Maya might enjoy bentos as well. You can read a definition of bentoshere. The bento above includes fishsticks, penguin container with ketchup inside, rice and veggies, apple, grape, and mandarin orange skewers, and cheese hearts.
Two years ago today, I found out I was out of PGN. In the world of Guatemalan adoption, that was the biggest deal! PGN (Procuraduria General de la Nacion) was the attorney general/court system that Guatemalan adoptions had to go through. (I will talk about this in the past tense because the Guatemala adoption process is changing. Guatemala is currently shut down to the US for adoptions, and when/if it ever reopens the process will be different from what it was in the past).
Anyway, you could be in PGN for months, and kicked out for various reasons and then had to go in again and wait for more time. I was kicked out three times. Each time you had to redo a document and then be resubmitted. Depending on how long it took you to redo the document, get it notarized, authenticated, state certified, stamped by the Guatemalan Embassy in DC, translated to Spanish, and resubmitted, months or more could be added to your wait. Here is an example of a kick out reason: I was once kicked out because the person assigned my case said the police clearance letter was not in my file. The thing was: it was in the file! So I was kicked out just because they did not "see" the document that was in there! Some times the kick outs were for crazy things! And this is typical of the process at the time. This was one of the reasons I got so paranoid about my documents as I explained in this post.
March 13, 2007 I got the email stating that I was out of PGN. My adoption was out of court. There were a few more steps before it was final. (For example: The birth mom had to sign off for the final time. In Guatemala, the birth moms had to sign off on the process 4 times, and could change their mind up until the last time!) But the PGN out was most important because that was what was holding up the whole process and that was the step that could be 4 months for some people and years for others. After your PGN out, everything else happened in a more step by step order.
I have to say that I did lose faith during my long wait. At one point, my agency had assured me that Maya would be home before Christmas (something they had no way of knowing, I realized later). That fact was what got me through a lot of the wait. Once it was clear that was not going to happen, and then January, February, her first birthday, March started to go by, I started to worry it was never going to happen. Buzz on the Internet was that Guatemala was close to closing to adoptions and who knows what would happened to people in the process. You can believe that the email telling me I was out, was the best email I ever got! I jumped around the room, cried, said prayers of thanks, and blared Richard Smallwood's song "Thank You" so loud I am sure the neighbors had to have heard. Below is this incredible praise song. It is perfect for moments in life when your heart is just so full of thanks there is no better way than to express it through song (and loudly too) It's also inspirational for every morning. I'm thankful each day that I was given the gift of my beautiful daughter! All those parents out there know what I am talking about, especially those touched by the incredible gift of adoption!
The song is divided into two parts. This video is from You Tube. I am not the videographer, and I have no connection to the person who posted it.
We went to see Dora the Explorer Live yesterday at the Hippodrome in Baltimore. I wasn't sure what to expect, but the show was really well done. It was very colorful. The sets were great and oversize and Boots flew through the air hanging from a vine a la Cirque du Soleil. The music was catchy and the show was very interactive to keep the little ones entertained. Maya had a great time waving her star when asked to do so, singing along, and saying "Swiper, No Swiping!" repeatedly every time he would appear. Diego even made a guest appearance. For fans of the Dora show, I would recommend it!
My Peanut Butter and Jelly is a nickname I use for my daughter. First, I called her Sweet Pea, and that ended up shortened to Pea. And then I began to call her Peanut, and then Peanut Butter, and then Peanut Butter and Jelly. It is a constantly evolving nickname, I guess. I am starting this blog after reading blogs about my friends' kids. They have been capturing all those fleeting childhood moments that are gone so quickly and then forgotten. I love the idea of having a record of these moments for my daughter and myself in the future.