Thursday, September 29, 2011

So close!

Today I found a new computer desktop background that I wanted to share because I think it's so perfect.  What a great prayer/verse... Psalm 10:12
I also found another cool saying/look.

Tonight I scanned in all of our documents for our "2nd Mailer" or Dossier to e-mail to CAN, our international agency, so that they could check them over via e-mail before we physically put them in the mail to send to them in Texas.  This way if there are any changes that need to be made we're not snail mailing documents back and forth. There are 30 check marks we've made for this round of paperwork and pending the final letter from our Psychologist visit on Monday night we'll be done!!!!!!!!  Praise the Lord!

As soon as we hear back from Erin, our Int'l Social Worker, that everything is good to go, we'll have it all in the mail!

Included in the mailing we were required to include pictures that we've had printed of our family and house that will be sent to the orphanage for the kids to have... how cool!  They are below.  Have a great night!  Craig
Bio kids

"The boys' room"  (it now has a bunk bed, but that's OK)

Dining Room

Downstairs living area

"The girls' room"

Upstairs living area

Monday, September 26, 2011

Getting Even Closer!!!

Today was the scheduled day for our psychological assessment. Craig and I met with the psychologist one at a time tonight starting at 5:30pm. Thankfully he did not come up with any huge indicators that we would not be qualified to meet the needs of an adopted child...or children. So...we are just waiting to have him complete his letters of recommendation and get them notarized and to us! He has already begun his letter and has sent us a draft already!! I think that indicates that it will be completed in the near future.

Over the last few days, we have also received the final copy of the recommendation from our Pastor, my employer and from the Lutheran Social Service representative. That means that once this psych recommendation is received...all we need to do is print 4-6 photos and write out a check.


We are going to make copies of all of the paperwork and also scan it and send the scanned copies off to the CAN International Agency to make sure that we have everything perfect! Once that final look over is completed, we will be able to send it off in the mail! 

We are so excited. There is something special about reaching this stage. I know that the referral could come relatively there is an anticipation that is growing minute by minute, it seems. We have been praying frequently for the children that we will be adopting. That the Lord would protect them. That they would feel loved and as a part of the orphanage family. That they would be learning some English and more importantly about the love of the Lord. That they would be healthy and safe. Please join us in praying for them! As soon as we know more...we will be sure to update all of you! 

We are SO CLOSE now! We know the waiting will continue...but our paper chase will be completed!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Just Six Items Left!!!

Last night, right before turning toward bed, Craig and I sat at the kitchen counter and figured out exactly where we stand on the adoption journey. We have been working so hard to put all of the paperwork in order...and we are finally seeing everything begin to come together. We officially have just six items left on the list! Praise God!!

Amazingly, the most difficult thing left on the list is scheduled to be completed next week on Monday. We will be going in to have a psychological evaluation. Hopefully we will pass with flying colors! I don't think that we are any more dysfunctional than any other married couple! Thankfully.

The rest of the items on the list are basically on their way...or very easy to complete. My employer has a referral letter in the mail and it should arrive any day now. Our Pastor has a referral letter completed and we are going to have a notary meet with him tomorrow to finish that! That is two more items to check off the list.

Another thing we need to do is decide on 4 to 6, 4x6 photos that are a good representation of our immediate family. Hmmm.....thank goodness Craig began the process of going through our thousands upon thousands of pictures to find some good ones. It shouldn't take long now to decide on 4-6 of them and get them printed.

We also had to request some additional copies of LSS's license to be notarized for the Dossier.  Today's email from them said that the notarized copies were in the mail. Woo-hoo!

The last item on the list is to have the final international agency payment (for the Dossier process) prepared and sent off along with the Dossier materials. I just called to clarify on that today and was a bit shocked by the amount. I don't know how I missed the fact that this payment was just around the corner...but life has a way of becoming busy. We know that the Lord will provide and it will come together beautifully.

We fully believe that if the psychologist prepares the documents about our appropriateness for adoption in a timely manner....we could be ready to send in our Dossier as early as the end of next week! I really hope that this will be the case. We have been working on this process since January and it will be wonderful to have our portion of the preparation completed!!!

Thank you again, all of you who have been praying. It has been an incredible journey. It will only become MORE incredible as we move closer to knowing who the Lord is going to add into our forever family. I know that He has the specific children already in mind. I know that they will bless our family in endless ways! Craig and I can't wait to share our hearts with them...and Aftyn, Haley and Aiden talk about how excited they are daily!

Let's hope that my next blog is a celebration that all of the pieces have fallen into place and we have moved onto the next phase of the adoption process... waiting. :)

By God's Grace!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Productive Day!!!

I am weary because it is already past my bedtime, but I know that I really should update the blog about the excitement of the day. We were able to arrange a meeting between our medical doctor and a notary today to get some of our paperwork signed. We got our medical reports signed by the MD and notary and also had the notary finish up several other items!

We finished the tax forms, four G-28 forms, power of attorney, release of information and the letter to the IBESR! I know that that means very little to most people...but to us, it means checking off several items on our Dossier "To Do List". We also stopped and got our 6 passport photos completed for the International Agency. They must use them on our documentation. We already have our regular passports.

I will look at the actual list in the next couple of days and update the number of items that we have remaining. The last large item to be completed is the psych exam that we are having completed next Tuesday. After that, the difficult things are all completed and we just have to tie up some loose ends!

I really can't believe that we have moved through this process so quickly. Some days it feels like forever, but for the most part, I am filled with a patience and understanding. I trust that the timing is perfect and that the Lord is providing for two little ones already that will before long be a beautiful part of our family. I can't wait to see/meet them!

Thank you for all of the prayers and support!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

New Information on the Dossier Process

This Thursday I had the opportunity to talk with Claire, our social worker with CAN (Children of All Nations) International Adoption Agency to discuss the Dossier (our 2nd packet of information that we're busily gathering) process a bit more. We had the general gist of the process but it was nice to get a few of the gaps filled in so we can tell where we are on the timeline a little bit better.

First off, I learned that Kiki was the individual from the orphanage that was the liaison with the IBESR (Haitian Government body for adoption). So the orphanage is quickly trying to restructure their team to fulfill these duties. Pray that Pierre Alexis, who is going to transition into this role, will make a smooth transition.

I also learned about the sequence of events that will take place with our Dossier once we have it complete. We will send the Dossier off to CAN and they will review the documents. They will then break apart the Dossier and send the pieces of the Dossier to the respective states for the Secretary of State of each state to authenticate the documents. We will have documents going to Minnesota and South Dakota. This can take from a week to a month to get the paperwork back to CAN.

Once this paperwork is sent off, we can get a referral at any time. The people at CAN will work with the orphanage to find two children that would match up with our specifications. This process could take a while if there are not children that are appropriate waiting for a family placement.

When CAN receives the paperwork back from Minnesota and South Dakota, the Dossier will be compiled again and then sent to "translation." It will then be translated into Haitian Creole. This process also is varying in time frame but could be a month or more.

The next step in the process occurs when the Dossier, now translated, is sent to the Haitian Consulate. This is an office in the United States. There are a few Haitian Consulates around the country. Claire says that they vary in the length of time that they take....could be weeks...or months.

The Dossier will be approved and then sent on to the orphanage in Haiti, For His Glory or Maison des Enfants. They will review the documents and then it will be brought to the IBESR or Haitian government for approval. This process has also varied in length of time. It has taken families every where from 4 months to 24 months! Thankfully the process has been on the shorter side recently. We hope this trend will continue now that the new government is in place in Haiti.

Once the Dossier is approved by the IBESR, we will be in the home stretch. We will be able to travel to Haiti two times to complete this process. I am still a bit unclear in the timing of these trips and I am aware that it varies because the time of referral is different for each adoptive family. We will be required to take two trips to Haiti but are allowed to take more if we would like. We will go on the first trip to fill out preliminary paperwork over there and to meet the children.

The final visit will be when we travel there to bring the children home with us. We will be united with the children and will have some bonding time before leaving the country and heading home with our forever family complete. We are so excited for this part of the process. It will be such an adventure.

There is an opportunity to travel to be with the kids between the first and last trip. It is also possible for other family members to come along so they can meet the other kids and to see the orphanage. This would be a wonderful opportunity to learn about the culture for the rest of the family as well.

I spoke with Claire about an overall timeline and she was hesitant to even give me a ball park because it varies so much...but after talking for a while, it sounds like once our paperwork makes it into the hands of the IBESR, it will likely still take about one year or so. I am estimating that the rest of the process will at least take 18 months from now.

We are still feeling very patient. We are just looking forward to finishing with our part of the process. When the paperwork is sitting at our house, it feels like we are the ones holding it up. It is still in our control. Once the Dossier leaves our home, we will be no longer the ones holding it up and we will just have to wait patiently as the Lord guides the process. We are excited to have everything come together, but we know that the Lord's timing is perfect and we are willing to be patient.

We are so thankful for all of the people that show support of our decision to move forward with the adoption. I think that this process and these children will be a blessing to all people that they come into contact with! I can't wait to see how many ways people will be blessed.

Well, that about wraps up the new information that I have received. We continue to work on the Dossier and are excited as the pieces are coming together. Blessings to all.


International Agency's Response to Kiki's Passing

This is the letter that our International Adoption Agency has sent out regarding Kiki's passing away. He truly was an amazing man. Please pray that everything will fall into place quickly for the restructuring process and that the children and staff will be comforted in this time of loss.

Dear Families,

We are very sad to inform you of a great loss for Haitian child advocacy and adoptions.  Jean Kuislen “Kiki” Alexis, who has dedicated his life to the orphan children in Haiti passed away late last week.  It is hard to see how his great shoes will be filled as we look back on and are so grateful for the dedication and support he gave to the children and staff of Maison des Enfants de Dieu

While they are understandably dealing with great grief and sadness over the loss of their friend, support staff, and leader, the staff at Maison and For His Glory are working to pick up where Kiki left off and continue to complete the same important work he has been a part of for many years.  We know the care and dedication to the children will not be compromised and they will continue to work towards their mission of providing support and love to the children in the orphanage as well as assisting in the forming of forever families for as many children as possible.

Many of our CAN families have expressed concern over how this will affect your adoption.  Please be patient and allow the Maison and For His Glory staff to begin the restructuring that must occur due to this unexpected loss.  Adoptions from Maison and Haiti will not be stopped due to Kiki’s passing.  We are certain that the staff will remain dedicated to the important causes that Kiki held so close to his heart. Children of All Nations is awaiting more information on any changes and we will certainly keep families informed as we find out more.

We appreciate every heartfelt and kind word we have received about Kiki and the amazing work being done at the Maison.