I thought it might be a good idea to bring some of you up-to-date on our adoption progress and the history of our adventure.
People have asked me why we decided to adopt again after 8 years and it is an easy answer. I was watching a TV show that discussed older, black boys waiting for adoption here in the States. That night, I mentioned to Marc what I had seen and in true Marc fashion, he said, "Why don't you call Heritage and see what they can do." Heritage of course, was our adoption agency in Portland, Oregon, and I phoned our dear friend Sue there and told her we were interested in adopting again...this time, older kids, not newborns. Sue referred us the the Haiti program, then run by a wonderful gal, Vivian, and after discussing the program and requirements we jumped in with both feet and started the LONG process. That was February of 2007.
We gathered the numerous documents needed, had our psych evaluation and medical exams and sent the entire packet to Heritage in May of 2007. Now I would like to openly share that both Marc's medical testing and mine, proved us to be clear of TB, syphyllis and HIV. WHEW! When I called my doctor's office to see if my tests results were ready to be picked up, the nurse told me she had good news for me and my tests were all negative. I told here I was kind of thinking they would be, and her reply made me laugh. She said, "Well good for you." Although the adoption papertrail is endless, there are still some laughs along the way.
While in Portland in May of 2007, we visited Heritage, and were presented with 4 boys to choose from. I will spare everyone the exact reasons why we chose Richnightder and Jerome, but it came down to the fact that each boys' bio's resonated within our hearts. We knew these two boys were meant for us. Our acceptance of the boys' referrals and our translated dossier arrived in Haiti in August and we finally entered Hatitian Social Services, (IBESR) on Sept. 28, 2007.
A typical stay in IBESR is 4-6 months. For some unknown reason, we languished there for 8 months and 1 week, but who's counting. Now we are in Parquet which may be shutting down the processing of adoption dossiers until October. This is yet another effect that UNICEF has had on Haitian adoptions. It is not a good effect, and is causing many kids to linger in orphanages and others to die waiting to get into an orphanage.
After Parquet, we have Second Legal, Ministry of the Interior, and then our documents head back to the USCIS. One would think you are free and clear at that point, but oh, no! USCIS is viewing adoptions as if they are fraudulent and in some cases, it is taking USCIS 6 months to approve the adopted childs documents and allow that child entry into the USA.
It is an extremely frustrating process and Marc, Madison, Thomas and I anxiously wait for our two missing members, Richnightder and Jerome, to come home to us. Their bedroom is ready and waiting for them, the closets are full of now, outgrown new clothes, and the toys are gathering dust. Madison is taking French so that she will be able to communicate with the boys....but the French tutor is a whole other story. Just in case he reads this, lets just say he is a good looking guy, and I feel a little "Stella" like with him.
So now most of you are current on our status. Our boys continue to live in a wonderful facility in Ti Mache, just outside Port-au-Prince, but albeit wonderful, it is an orphanage. We have visited our boys twice and realize we will probably have another visit or two before the adoption is done. Please keep our boys and their progress thru the Haitian system in your thoughts. We want them home tomorrow, but realize it could realistically, be another year. By that time they will both be almost 7 years old.
Let's hope the boys come home to us in the warm summer months or our frigid North Dakota winters will come as a severe shock. I just don't think they would have fun dressed like Ralphie's little brother in "A Christmas Story." But man, those pictures would be funny.