July 12, 2007

Embassy Appointment

With an 8:00 am appointment, we arrived about 45 minutes earlier than we should have. For some reason I didn't remember the "wait" outside to be so long. We lined up around 7:15, but weren't let in until 8:00 am. It had been a long time since our last Embassy appointment, So I couldn't remember exactly how it worked. Once in the Embassy, we squeezed next to the other 30+ families already present. Since we didn't have anyone handling this stage of the process, we tried to figure out exactly how it all worked. Basically you wait for windows 5, 6, and 7 to collect your adoption packet based on the number on your pink slip. Our number was 26, which happened to be the same number as another agency "rep" had, so we both went to window 6 at the same time to clear up the problem. Fortunately for us, ours was correct. When someone requests a change of their Embassy appointment, their attorney must take the issued pink slip back to the Embassy and have the change recorded on it.

At window #6, we were taken through the Embassy process step-by-step by a wonderful lady named Melody Santa Maria. I informed her that we were doing this on our own, so she may have to repeat instructions from time to time. She was absolutely cordial and helpful from the very beginning to the end. We thanked her profusely for her patience and kindness. Sometimes the Embassy staff doesn't always get a "fair shake,' but in her case she was exceptional. We received our "bill" for $380 and slid over to window #4 to press the little buzzer for assistance. We paid our bill and returned to our seat for the infamous call the to the "closet" for our interview, which by the way, did not amount to a whole lot - took all of about 3 minutes and we were back to our seats.

Called to window #9 for our final document check (health report of child, etc.) and we were out of there in about two hours! 8) I didn't get the fellows number who handled this part of the process, but he too was exceptional (reddish hair and beard, with glasses). He did tell us he didn't see many families come through that did not use an agency. I gave him a brief statement regarding my feeling about most agencies. He gave us the "most important" document in the entire process, the receipt for the visa the following day, and we were on our way back to the Marriott.

I wanted to mention a couple things that didn't have a lot to do with this adoption, but did with our first child's. I didn't mention any names in my introduction because of some legal issues I didn't want to get anyone else involved with. But, as we entered the Embassy, we ran into an old friend from Amaya's adoption. Colleen Fluery, prior to partnering with Traci Orr and starting the agency For This Child, was instrumental in our first adoption. She helped get us established in Antigua to foster and played a crucial role in getting Amaya home. We were together nearly everyday for the first few weeks of my stay in Guatemala. She translated for me, made phone calls, asked tough questions, and drove me to Guatemala City day in and day out. She was with me in nearly every stage of trying to identify Amaya when her identity was unknown. It was her contacting Rudy Rivera that ultimately helped us verify that we did NOT have the child we were referred. She is the consumate professional in everything she does, and we could not thank her enough for all she did for our family.


Posted by Troy at July 12, 2007 09:28 PM

Troy, do you know how long it is taking for one to receive PINK after exiting PGN? --she has been out for 16 days now. So, anxious to get word of PINK! Just wondered if anyone could give us an idea of length of time.

Posted by: b at July 13, 2007 09:56 AM

Thank you for this wonderful amount of detail! I'm a first-timer, and your descriptions are so helpful to help demystify the process.

Posted by: Mara at July 13, 2007 10:46 AM

What took place in the interview in the "closet"? What questions did they ask you?

Posted by: Angela at July 13, 2007 05:10 PM

Thanks for this!! Anxiously waiting our PINK and this clear play by play is like prozac!

Posted by: Sri at July 16, 2007 03:46 PM

This was a great read. I'm so anxious about traveling even though we have a way to go. It's nice to read these details.

Posted by: Kathy at July 17, 2007 12:51 PM

Congratulations Troy and Family!

I am so glad that things went so well for you! Enjoy your trip home and the rest of your summer. I am a teacher like you, and know how precious that summer time is, because when the school year begins, we work hard!

Please keep us posted on your other little darling.

Proud Mama to Anarosa since 5-26-07
Waiting for Migdalia, born November 2006

Posted by: eb at July 18, 2007 11:59 AM

If I remember correctly our "closet" questions in 1/05 were something like "Will you re-adopt if your state requires, Verify how many years you have been married, Is this your current address and Will he see a doctor after he is in the USA?" We had a previous visit so we did not need to re-adopt but did anyway for a clean birth cert. I have never heard the term closet but it fits. You are so worried until they ask you questions you could answer in your sleep. I hope it is the same when our second adoption closes. We are in PGN right now(in since 4/30).

Posted by: Jennifer at July 18, 2007 02:12 PM

Troy, I too am not using an agency, although this is my first adoption so your step by step discription was a major help to me! THANK YOU!!

Posted by: Beth at July 25, 2007 07:45 AM

Troy, I too am not using an agency and your discription of what to expect has helped me so much! THANK YOU!!

Posted by: Beth at July 25, 2007 07:46 AM

We just got a neagative DNA test result. Help! We are just heartbroken. We are going to wait it out for little Gaby. ALthough I have heard tha tit can take years for her to be deemed "adoptable" now. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Posted by: Jennifer Zairi at August 26, 2007 06:38 PM