I just don’t know where to begin. Should I make this one long blog post or break it up into separate posts. I guess I’ll just begin and see where it goes.
For those families interested in what has been going on with Guatemala adoptions, JCICS just posted the following announcement:
December 4, 2009 – U.S. Dept of State submits letter of intent
Joint Council can confirm that the U.S. Department of State has submitted a letter of interest to the Guatemalan government regarding participation in the pilot program announced by the Central Authority of Guatemala.
Related to the pilot program and the letter of intent, we bring you attention to the following:
Neither the pilot program nor the letter of interest should be construed as the ‘reopening’ of a Guatemalan intercountry adoption program with the U.S.
While potential adoptive parents may initiate a Hague adoption by submitting an I-800A with the National Benefits Center for a Guatemalan adoption, it is our understanding the application cannot be processed through to a completed adoption.
It is Joint Council’s understanding, that no country, which is a party to the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, has indicated that Guatemala is compliant with the Convention.
It is Joint Council’s understanding is that eight (8) countries have submitted a letter of interest. Currently Guatemala has not selected any countries for participation in the pilot program and has not accredited any Adoption Service Providers.
The Government of Guatemala has not published a time-line for country selection nor initiation of the pilot program.
The Government of Guatemala has not provided assurances that the pilot program will actually be initiated.
The Government of Guatemala has not published the criteria by which they intend to accredit foreign adoption service providers. Based on the announcement published on the Guatemalan Central Authority’s website, only one (1) adoption service provider will be selected per country for participation in the pilot program.
Additionally, over the past two-year period, the Guatemalan Central Authority has made little if any progress in developing a Hague compliant process or implementing programs to support, process and finalize domestic adoption. This combined with continued delays in providing sufficient shelter and nutrition to children living outside of parental care all point to an indefinite period before the announced pilot program will be initiated and if the pilot program will actually be initiated.
It is therefore the recommendation of Joint Council that potential adoptive parents refrain from submitting an I800A application for a Guatemalan adoption at this time. We also encourage all to limit their enthusiasm for an imminent “reopening” of Guatemalan intercountry adoption.
Quite honestly, I’m shocked but very pleased that the U.S. sent in their letter of intent. Of course there is no way of knowing which countries will be chosen to participate and the process seems to be up in the air, but at least it’s a start.
Dave, Lili and I went to the Santa breakfast hosted by our home study agency this morning. We weren’t able to attend last year because we were in Naperville, IL getting our USCIS fingerprints done. There were about 20-25 families in attendance. We had a nice breakfast, followed by some craft time and then Santa came in and read “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Afterwards, it was time for pictures with Santa. Lili wasn’t interested in sitting on Santa’s lap, but she was excited to see him and was all for getting the candy cane.
What was really disappointing is that I left the house without my camera. Yes folks, Lili’s first time seeing Santa and I didn’t have my camera. I suppose it really didn’t matter since she didn’t want to get close enough for a picture with him, but seriously, how can I forget to take my camera? At least I remembered to take Lili 🙂
Lili loved the craft tables. This is part of the arts though, so why wouldn’t she love it. She colored some pictures, while waiting on breakfast, then made a couple cards and decorated a bag. I think it’s time to start putting together a craft box for home.
I have more I would like to share, but I think I’ll hold off and save that for tomorrow. I don’t want to overwhelm my readers today. Instead I’ll share a few pictures taken after we got back home from the Santa breakfast.
Lili’s decorated craft bag.
All the tables at the Santa breakfast had balloons on them and of course Lili had to bring one home. I couldn’t get her to pose with her balloon, but thought it was really funny to try and hit the camera with her balloon. Somehow I managed to get some good photos while quickly moving backwards to avoid getting only a shot of the balloon.