Today I was just sitting down to the computer to put a few final touches on the life books that I have created for our boys...and I decided that the information that I was including in their books could be so helpful to the many of people still waiting and contemplating adoption. I finished up the boys' adoption timeline. It is such a blessing to just be able to write those words!!! It is finally finished!!! The process of getting them here was such a struggle and brought so much strife and hidden blessing. Here is their overall adoption timeline!
- 1997—Started sponsoring 3-year-old Wichelanda Bazil in Haiti through Compassion
- Summer 2009—Connected with Mission-Haiti for a short term mission trip to Haiti
- 12.09.10—Received the dates (June 2010) our family would go to Haiti in the evening and an earthquake hit 12/10– 3:53pm CST
- 03.13.10—Craig went to Haiti with Mission-Haiti and began praying about how our lives would change after having been to Haiti
- 10.03.10—Rebecca went to Haiti with Mission-Haiti and we began praying together about God’s will for our lives
- 01.15.11—E-mailed Kiki (Alexis Jean Kuislin) at Maison des Enfants de Dieu
- 01.23.11—Sent an e-mail to family and close friends asking for prayer as we began considering adoption
- 02.01.11—Interviewed LSS about being our South Dakota Home Study agency
- 03.01.11—Emailed Kiki at For His Glory Outreach (The US side of Maison) and Dede at LSS saying we’d be going through them
- 05.26.11—Started the adoption blog
- 06.19.11—First paperwork sent to CAN
- 08.21.11—Home study completed and Dossier process started
- 08.25.11—Kiki, director of Maison, passed away
- 10.05.11–-Twins born
- 10.13.11—I-600A document done
- 10.17.11—Dossier completed
- 10.20.11—Dossier mailed to CAN
- 11.01.11—Dossier approved by Secretary of State and sent to translation
- 12.12.11—Translation completed
- 12.19.11—Chicago Haitian Consulate approves paperwork
- 12.20.11—Dossier heads to Haiti and arrived seven days later
- 01.10.12—Twins arrived at the orphanage
- 01.19.12—Informal referral regarding 3 month old twins
- 01.25.12—Twins’ birth mother passed away
- 03.09.12—Received 8 photos of the boys, names, general medical information and USCIS approval in the form of I171-H
- 03.27.12—Formal referral received at 2:45 pm, medical/social history received
- 04.03.12—Accepted referral
- 04.27.12—Dossier submitted to IBESR three days prior to an adoption freeze
- 04.30.12—Invited to meet the twins
- 05.03.12—Decided to take entire family to Haiti to meet the boys
- 06.10.12—First Bonding Trip, met them on 6/11, US Embassy appointment 6/12, Haitian Court appointment 6/14 and returned on 6/16
- 06.27.12—Birth dad misses his US Embassy appointment-then misses a second appointment on 8/7 and a third on 10/1
- 08.13.12—Card shower for support
- 08.14.12—Elijah took his first steps and the Scranton house sold
- 09.04.12—Adoption file waiting for Dispensation in the President’s Office, Judah walking too
- 10.23.12—Dispensation received
- 11.01.12—Exited IBESR, transition to Parquet
- 12.03.12—Birth dad attends the USCIS appointment-signs off on the boys
- 01.16.13—1st legalization of the Adoption Decree by Parquet Court-Judgment Granted
- 01.18.13—Notification from CAN regarding not receiving accreditation from Haiti to process adoptions
- 01.25.13—Adoption Decree Granted!!! Notified 1/29. (2nd Legalization of the Adoption Decree by Ministry of Justice. 3rd Legalization of the Adoption Decree by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- 02.27.13 thru 3/8—Second Bonding Trip
- 03.19.13—Entered Ministry of the Interior
- 04.17.13—Adoption Decree is reviewed by the Ministry of the Interior and 4/26 submits request for Passport
- 08.17.13—Passport issued by Haitian Immigrations (notified 8/20 and scanned copies 9/13)
- 09.17.13–-Attestation from the National Archives
- 11.20.13—Judah submitted to USCIS-Elijah submitted to USCIS-date unknown
- 5.22.14–-Notified CAN that we’re done paying monthly care fees until we’re in country picking up the twins
- 6.13.14–-Submitted to USCIS
- 6.13.14–-Unofficial USCIS approval
- 6.20.14–-Official USCIS approval
- 6.24.14–-Visa appointment date set for 7/8 and boys get their physical exam
- 7.8.14–-Visa appointment date
- 7.10.14–-Visa issued by US Immigrations
- 7.15.14 —Exit letter printed by IBESR
- 7.22.14–-Flight from PAP to Miami to bring Elijah and Judah to the US
- 7.22.14–-Elijah and Judah become US Citizens as soon as they got off the plane!
- 7.23.14–-Flight Miami to Sioux Falls-5:20pm
- 8.24.15–-Re-Adoption Completed
- 9.1.15 –-SD Birth Certificate issued
It is such a blessing to know that the boys are home and all of the paperwork is final. The crazy thing is though...that this journey has just begun! We literally have a whole lifetime to pour ourselves into these precious boys and it is such a blessing that the Lord has given us this time with them and trusts us to share Him with them!!!
Please continue to pray with us as we continue on the journey of life with these boys. We continue to work through many aspects of life together and prayer is such a gift and help in times of struggle.
I have also decided to include a copy of our annual Christmas Letter as an update and glimpse into our life together. Over the last year, we have deepened our bonds and have gone on several adventures together. This beautiful family that only God could have mended together is such a creative and precious blessing!
All my love,
2015 has been filled with blessings and thankfully we have been able to find many moments to breathe and focus on what an incredible thing it is to be a family of seven! This year we were blessed to be able to travel a bunch and made many new memories. In March, the twins had an extended stay with Craig’s brother and sister-in-law, Jaron and Heather, while we took the “bigs” to Phoenix to visit our friends, the Petersons and also Craig’s extended DeWit family. We took in Sedona and the Grand Canyon, and also hiked to the top of Camelback Mountain. It was so much fun! Then in July, we loaded the entire family into the van and headed to Northern Minnesota and the North Shore for an incredible adventure of visiting family, hiking, kayaking on Lake Superior and exploring God’s beautiful creation! On the way home we spent a few days in the Twin Cities enjoying time with friends and visiting Valleyfair. This summer we enjoyed multiple camping trips with family and friends. Over Labor Day, we soaked up the sun and music at Lifelight Music Festival. As always, it was fantastic. This year we also had the blessing of taking in multiple other great concerts, as well as a weekend with friends and the zoo in Omaha. This fall we got to spend a fun-filled weekend at the Ramada Inn in Sioux Falls for our annual DeWit Christmas celebration. The “bigs” also had the opportunity to travel to Florida to visit Grandpa and Grandma Skalsky in November. They had an awesome time!
Our oldest, Aftyn (13), officially became a teenager this summer and it has been incredible watching her mature. She has a great passion for piano and is now playing keyboard and vibes with the Jazz Band at school. She continues to love percussion as well and is in Whittier Winds, a special band ensemble, again this year. Last summer, her Gators softball team won the championship title! She was a speaker at the Whittier Honor’s Night and did a beautiful job. Her favorite past time is spending time with her great group of friends!
Both Haley (11) and Aiden took part in Shrek the musical at Eugene Field Elementary last spring. They had a wonderful time being a part of the production. Haley too spent a big portion of her summer playing softball. She continues to love to read and play the piano. Last fall, Haley headed off to middle school and has made many new friends and in October was honored as Student of the Month. Along with big sister, she too plays percussion in Whittier Winds. She has a witty sense of humor, and it is precious in combination with her sweet spirit.
Aiden (9) still loves to spend most of his spare time either making elaborate Lego creations or attached to
some form of technology. He is quite a daredevil when on a bike or scooter and loves to spend time outside (when asked to get off of technology). He played baseball for the second year with several of his friends and just finished his first Lego League season where his team was awarded the “Up and Coming Stars” award. This fall, he composed, performed and recorded his own piano piece and submitted it for the Reflections PTA competition, and has now moved on to the City level of the competition.
Elijah (4) and Judah (4) have both grown leaps and bounds! They continue to go to Jenna’s daycare where they have many friends and have been working on their vocab, language, counting and letters skills. They are doing well in their first year of Sunday School and Wednesday night church classes. We just got them registered for next fall’s preschool! They love playing outside, biking, hiking, kayaking and generally being silly. Elijah is intense and competitive and Judah is quiet and happy-go-lucky…most of the time…but both of them are adorable and sweet. We simply can’t imagine life without them!
Craig is now in his 13th year at Midcontinent and this year had the privilege of traveling to Las Vegas and New York City on business. (I happily joined him for the Vegas trip!!) He took the three oldest kiddos snow skiing, found time to fly kites with all of the kids and even built the kids a treehouse with our neighbor. Craig is an incredible father! In June, Craig led a team of missionaries from Sioux Falls (including his brother, Jaron!) to Toussaint, Haiti. They led Vacation Bible School and Youth Group, made home visits and continued building deeper relationships in Haiti. His annual guys’ biking trip was spent at Cuyuna State Recreation Area exploring more of MN and working on their technical biking skills.
I, Rebecca, am still happily employed at Goodcare LLC., however, in May I began working at a new location (Dow Rummel Village in Sioux Falls) so I no longer have to travel each day. I love my new position and have enjoyed meeting many new people. I continue to treasure my scrapbooking time with girlfriends and had a great time gardening this last summer. I also had a fabulous vacation to Florida to visit my dad and Barb. It was a wonderful, and much needed relaxing time.
We would like to wish all of our friends and family a blessed 2016! May God richly bless each of you and may the gift of Christ be ever in your thoughts and hearts as you navigate the journey ahead!
Craig, Rebecca, Aftyn, Haley,
Aiden, Elijah and Judah DeWit