Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Waiting Begins...

Early last week we were able to send off our paperwork and now the waiting process has begun. I have a few more specifics to help us understand the process from here on. I spoke with Erin and she explained to me the steps to come.

The paperwork is currently at CAN being reviewed by Erin. So far nothing new has come up, but she is reviewing it just in case we missed something when we emailed scanned copies to her.

After she is done with this process, she will send the documents to the states where they were originated. Most of the documents will go to South Dakota but a couple of documents will head to Minnesota. They will be reviewed by the secretary of state in each of these states and will then be "authenticated". It is like a government notarization process. She anticipated that this will take approximately 10 days once the documents arrive there.

The documents will be sent back to CAN and will be put back together again and then sent off to be translated. Once the documents reach translation, the process of converting English to Haitian Creole or French will begin. This is estimated to take approximately 10 days. (I guess they got a new translator and it is going much faster recently.)

The documents will then be sent to the Haitian Consulate in Chicago. Four of the documents will be sent to them for review and approval. They will review the Application Letter, Psychological Study, Home Study and the Power of Attorney. This process is also going faster lately and will likely take 1-2 weeks.

5 Then the documents will head back to CAN again and be put again into the Dossier form to be sent to Haiti. I really am not sure of all of the steps once the documentation reaches Haiti but will update the process in our blog as I learn more.

I have to say that we are especially excited right now as we know that we could receive the referral at any time. Erin says that as soon as she receives the referral, she will contact us within 2 hours. We will then receive information on the children's description, medical information and a photo. We will then be given some time to pray and consider the referral. She said that sometimes people are able to accept the referral by the end of the same day!

We have already received the travel schedule to the orphanage for 2012. If anyone is ever interested in traveling to the orphanage to meet our children or to do a mission trip...please give us a call. We will see what we can arrange for you! It would be wonderful if more of our family/friends could experience the Haitian culture prior to the adoption but we will be sure to share it with the family even if they aren't able to travel there. We will be taking two trips to Haiti but are hoping for three so we can take Aftyn, Haley and Aiden to meet their siblings and to experience Haiti as well.

We will be sure to provide updates as the process moves forward.

Waiting in prayerful anticipation!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Awaiting Confirmation...

I am happy to say that tonight we finally have the last document in our hands and fully believe that everything is correct. It has truly been a scavenger hunt gathering up all of these documents. The last two have been the biggest struggle.

One of the documents is in its second draft...but was completed by a couple that rarely has time off of work together during business hours and the notarization had to take place at the same time. Life for them of course has been extra busy with visitors to their home and other issues that have arose to make it difficult for them to complete the document.

The other document is literally in its fifth draft and has had so many blunders it is to the point of being comical! On Friday I wrote in the blog that we received this document and that we were one step closer to being complete...only to find out that the notary signed the document as 10-11-2012....and it is only 2011!!! So it had to be redone. After completing the fifth draft and getting it notarized, the document was being transported in a car and LITERALLY BLEW OUT THE WINDOW!!!!  It is a bit crumpled...but intact...and I just can't believe how many obstacles have come up.

Tonight the last document arrived at our house and we double checked the notarization and all of the other dates and information only to find out that the notary dated everything perfectly...BUT FORGOT TO SIGN IT!!! (I think that the devil is trying every way to keep us from getting the paperwork completed because he knows that we will be sharing the Lord with these beautiful Haitian children.)

Thankfully we have been able to keep a sense of humor about it all. Craig grabbed the last document and hurried across Sioux Falls to reach the bank in time to have the notary sign the document. He has now scanned it in the computer and has sent a copy off to the international agency for approval. We gathered up the kiddos and took some pictures of the documents (photos below) and then held hands and prayed over the documents and for our future forever family. We are ready to place them into the mail as soon as confirmation arrives. Usually Erin is able to review the documents early in the day and we might even be able to get them in the mail tomorrow.

Once they are mailed...this process switches gears and we will begin to wait for our referrals. We are so excited for all of the pieces to fall into place.

Please continue to pray for us in this process. Pray for the Lord to guide the referral process and to prepare our hearts for the referrals that will come. Pray for patience for the remaining part of the adoption and for the trips to Haiti in the future. We are so excited!

We are thrilled to share this journey with all of you and can't wait to share our first photo and information about the kids when we are able!!!

Dancing with joy,

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Homesick for Haiti

This is Craig.

This morning I've been going through my Haiti photos from March 2010 to Photoshop them and format them for Rebecca to scrapbook.  In the process I've really made myself homesick for Haiti, the people and the kids!

This song also popped up on my iTunes (set to random) while I've been working on my photos:

You lived among the least of these
The weary and the weak
And it would be a tragedy for me to turn away.

All my needs you have supplied.
When I was dead you gave me life.
How could I not give it away so freely?

And I'll follow you into the homes that are broken.
Follow you into the world.
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God.
Follow you into the World.

Use my hands, use my feet
To make your kingdom come
Through the corners of the earth
Until your work is done
'Cause Faith without works is dead
And on the cross your blood was she'd
So how could I not give it away so freely?

And I'll follow you into the homes that are broken.
Follow you into the world.
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God.
Follow you into the World.

I give all myself.
I give all myself
I give all myself... to you.

And I give all myself.
Yes, I give all myself.
And I give all myself... to you.

And I'll follow you into the homes that are broken
Follow you into the world.
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God.
Follow you into the World.

While doing this I've also had a Facebook messaging conversation with a couple guys from Sioux Falls who have moved to Haiti and are with the kids at the orphanage in Ti-Rivier (not our adopting orphanage, but the one that Rebecca and I each went to). Hearing them talk about the kids and a couple of the guys in the village that I know and the landmarks that I know is really hard. It's been a year and a half since I was there (which is way too long) and I so want to go today to be in Ti-Rivier, but am saving all of the PTO I can so that once we get the call to go and meet our new kids in Port-au-Prince I'll not have to worry about having enough PTO. We'll get to go down twice for the adoption (first to meet our new kids and then back home to wait for our paperwork to bounce around within the Haitian government, then we get to go back to pick up the kids!) and we are praying about going a 3rd time in between the two official visits. The 3rd trip would be to see our kids in Port, but also to bring our three bio-kids to Haiti to meet their new siblings and to introduce them to the country. These visits and the desire to stay home for a little while once our new kids get home will take all of my PTO and then some and so I'm holding myself back from going down there soon.  Which stinks.  Anyway, that's my longing for today.  Below are the pictures I formatted to get as many photos into Rebecca's scrapbook from my trip as possible.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I-600A Document Completed!

Today I got a text message from Craig informing me that he had been able to contact our social worker at CAN and found out that it was perfect timing to send off our paperwork for the I-600A. This is a document that travels to the Department of Homeland Security to allow the United States government to get started on their portion of giving us approval to move forward with the adoption. It went out in FedEx's hands today to be over-nighted to them. It will likely take two months for us to get the approval from them...but could take up to three months. 

Simultaneously...our Dossier will move out of our hands (hopefully soon) and begin the process of receiving the Haitian government's blessing as well. After arriving home today, Aiden got the mail and we had received the employment letter from my company with the newly corrected notarization! So, we are officially only missing one document and when that arrives...the whole packet will be kissed, photographed, prayed over and placed in the mail!

It feels good to be so close to having the next stage of the adoption begin. This has been a long process...but honestly...it has not been stressful. I think that God has given us a spirit of contentedness. Each step in the process moves us one step closer and we truly believe that this will only occur in God's timing...so why not wait patiently. I pray that the patience will continue. I am sure that there will be anxious moments in the future after we have been paired up with our adoptive children and have to wait to bring them home...but I am already praying for patience for that portion of the adoption.

Please continue to pray for us and more importantly for our adopted children. Also pray for Aftyn, Haley and Aiden as they try to be patient with the process. Pray for wisdom that we will know when to bring our children with us to travel to Haiti to meet their brother(s) and/or sister. Pray that the paperwork processing would go smoothly and that there would be no further unrest in the government of Haiti that would delay its processing. Pray for the Lord to bless all those we come in contact with along the way!

Thank you for your faithfulness and constant prayer!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Almost There!

Erin at CAN was able to go through our Dossier items late last week. We heard back from her on Thursday and found out that everything looked good, but we still needed the final version of our psych assessment and two of our reference letters needed to be re-done because of errors that the notaries made. I  guess that we were happy that there were only three items to be reworked. We contacted the three different people to address these issues...and we are beginning to make some headway. Thankfully the psychiatrist was able to finish a new version of our reference letter on Thursday because he left on another mission trip on Friday! Today we received confirmation that the psych assessment letter was acceptable! Hooray! We are looking forward to receiving the last two reference letters so we can send the information in...but it is a blessing to know that we are so close!

It was actually a bit hard to ask for the other two reference letters to be re-done. We so treasure the people that we are asking to do this and know that their lives are incredibly busy. They are graciously working on this for us. 

We are so excited for the Dossier to be put into the envelope and mailed off!!! At the same time we send off the Dossier, we have to send in the US Federal paperwork (I-600A). Then we will be finished with all of the prep work. It has only taken us nine months for this portion of the process!!!

Then the waiting game will begin. We could receive a referral for particular children any time after that point. We continue to pray for our adoptive children multiple times daily. Aftyn, Haley and Aiden are so excited for their new siblings to become a part of our family and they continue to lift them up in prayer as well. It has been such a blessing watching the Lord work in their hearts as they prepare for the changes ahead!

We will be sure to put in an update when the packet is sealed and sent!!!