Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Birth Parent Interview

I am happy to share a much belated message to let you all know that on December 3rd, 2012 Eli and Judah's birth dad was able to attend his USCIS appointment!! This appointment basically is the formal visit with the US Embassy in Haiti where the birth dad gives over his rights to the boys. From what we were told, there were no additional pieces of information that the birth dad needs to share with them at this time. We are hoping that there will be no further testing or hiccups with this portion of the process.

Since then, we have received an update that we are still in Parquet which is the Civil Court portion of the Haitian process. We are learning more and more all of the time about the process and the various stages that we are moving through. We still have several stages left yet but are hopeful that those stages will continue to move along steadily. I have to admit that we are hoping that the twins would be home with us this Christmas...but now I am realizing the unrealistic nature of that hope. Obviously God's plans were different. We settled into our new home in October of this year and now are busily preparing our home so when the twins do arrive, our home will be completely settled. That will enable us to focus on them entirely. I have to admit that I had some tough spots over the Christmas week because I was so hoping they would be home...but now the more realistic me is still calculating that it could take another 6-12 months more. For the most part, we have found peace in our must be all of the prayers of those that love us. We can surely feel your prayers! (However, if the twins are not home by NEXT Christmas, I might need some counseling.)

We received our December updates on the boys and the message says that Judah is busy with walking, running and climbing! Not bad for 14 months old! She says this about Eli, "Wow! So active, likes to use his screeching voice while climbing!" I think that he will get along well with Aiden! The other information we received has to do with their measurements and I am compiling a list for weights and heights and head circumferences at these various stages. It is a little comical because the numbers fluctuate somewhat. They have different people measuring them each the results are not always consistent...but overall...we see growth. I will convert them into pounds and inches to help me have a better picture of their size as well. This will be fun to look back on!

Here are the stats in kg and cm:

JUDAH            Weight (#-kg)                           Height (in-cm)                      Head Circumference (in-cm)
January                14.1-6.4                                  24.4-62                                      16.1-41
April                    14.1-6.4                                  24.6-62.5                                   16.3-41.5
May                     14.8-6.7                                 ---------                                      ---------
June                     18.7-8.5                                  24.8-63                                      16.9-43
July                      ---------                                  ---------                                      ---------
August                 18.5-8.4                                  26-66                                          17.7-45
Sept                     19.6-8.9                                  27-68.5                                       17.5-44.5
Oct                      20.5-9.3                                  26.4-67                                       18.1-46
Nov                     20.3-9.2                                  26.2-66.5                                    18.1-46
Dec                      21.8-9.9                                  29.5-75                                      19.1-48.5

ELIJAH            Weight (#-kg)                           Height (in-cm)                       Head Circumference (in-cm)
January              13.2-6                                      23.4-59.5                                      16.3-41.5
April                  14.3-6.5                                   23.2-59                                         16.3-41.5
May                   16.1-7.3                                  ---------                                         ---------
June                   17.6-8.                                    24.6-62.5                                       16.9-43
July                     ---------                                   ---------                                       ----------
August                19.4-8.8                                 26.2-66.5                                       17.7-45
Sept                    19.4-8.8                                 27.2-69                                          17.5-44.5
Oct                     18.7-8.5                                  26-66                                            18.1-46
Nov                    20.3-9.2                                  26.4-67                                         18.3-46.5
Dec                     22.0-10                                   29.1-74                                         18.9-48

We learned a bit about the Haitian Christmas traditions in our last newsletter from the orphanage. It is a tradition in Haiti to share Christmas cards with friends and family...many of which are hand made. They also use pine branches to serve as Christmas trees. They decorate them with lights and bright ornaments. They usually have a large nativity placed at the base of the tree. An endearing tradition of Christmas in Haiti is that on Christmas Eve, the children place their cleaned up shoes filled with straw on the porch or under the Christmas tree for Papa Noel (Santa Claus) to fill with presents. People often go to midnight mass and sing Christmas carols.

I do think that it helped us to move through the Christmas season knowing that we have a Haiti trip in the near future. A few months ago, we were approached by our pastor, and he was arranging for a mission trip for our church to take and he requested that we join the group. We struggled for a short while trying to figure out the funding and if we should have Craig go along with the church and I separately travel down to see the boys on my own or with a friend. I just didn't have peace about this and after much prayer, we have been able to arrange for both of us to travel down to Haiti with our church group from Abiding. We will be with Mission Haiti for one week and then will travel back to Port-au-Prince where we will stay a short distance from the orphanage and be able to go spend the day with the boys for three consecutive days.

We won't be able to take the boys home with us to the hotel as we did last time because the timing of our trip does not coincide with a bonding trip, but we are excited to be able to spend more time at the orphanage and to see them in their normal environment. It will be special to get to know some of the nannies more and to see the boys interact with the other little ones in their baby room. I think that it will give us the opportunity to chronicle their early lives a bit better than the short snippets we saw at the orphanage the first time we traveled to see them.

By the time we get down there to see the boys, it will have been 8 months since the last visit. I can't believe how much time has passed and how much my heart longs to cuddle with my sweet boys. Please pray that we would have an incredible time bonding with the boys despite being unable to take them home with us to the hotel each evening. Please pray for patience as we continue to move forward with the Civil Court portion of the adoption. Please pray for health for the twins, the other kids at the orphanage, the staff at the orphanage and for us as we travel to and from Haiti. We have heard more reports of Dengue Fever and Cholera and know that they are very real and affecting many in this area. Please also pray for protection spiritually as we prepare to travel for missions. It is amazing how those who travel to do the work of the Lord find themselves under attack spiritually.

I cannot begin to tell you all how much we are relying on your prayers and words of encouragement. We are so thankful for our supportive friends and family.

Humbly in His service,

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