Monday, April 29, 2013

Dossier Prayer Requests

So after the big dossier push early last week we slowed down a bit.

The letters arrived to our references so we know they will be going out soon. [Thank you!]

I organized the next to-do list and wrote E-mails looking for information. We continue to fill out some of the papers that will need to be notarized and read the required books.

Things to pray about for this next stage:
  1. We find a way to have our home study done soon. We located a social worker recently moved to Haiti who's willing to come up and do it but would require an agency to approve her and be OK with giving us a copy of their license. Or maybe a Haitian social worker or psychologist? Or the expensive way of flying in someone from the USA. Some one in Haiti would be nice because of the limited travel and then they could also do the post-adoption visits later. 
  2. Getting our medical labs done-looking for a spot in Cap Haitian so we can do them soon.
  3. Getting our background checks. Have an E-mail into the US embassy looking for information for an appointment. Think it would be nice if it could fit in with Cory's short planned trip to LaGonave late next week.
  4. That we find someone who knows if/how one gets a certificate of authenticity for a Haitian notary.
  5. That we find out how to do the local police letter in Haiti. 
Praises: How much we did get done last week and for the information that is starting to come back from my E-mail inquires. That our agency will do one step for us at cost, saving us extra weeks needed mailing letters back and forth from the USA as well as the increased risk of something getting lost. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Paper Work Sprint

After Friday's surprise arrival of our level II application and dossier paperwork I let the agency know by e-mail and then sat down and read through the papers.

On Saturday I divided the paper stack into 4 colored folders: blue-information, green-papers we could deal with now, yellow-deal with later, and red-need additional information.

Then I read closely each paper while constructing a large organizational chart to help us keep track of the paperwork, document tracking process.

Cory then read through the papers with the chart in hand to correct or add any information I missed.

Now the instructions acknowledge that the paperwork can be 'overwhelming' and advised breaking it into 'manageable' pieces. We read it, understood it, throughout about it and buckled down to get a big piece done in only two days.

Why the rush? Why the sprint? Well because Scott our visitor would be leaving on Wednesday [today] and he was willing to carry our documents to the USA, and send them registered mail on to the agency.

As the paperwork included financial records, birth certificates, copies of passports and driver's licenses we decided to work hard to complete as much as we could of the paperwork that did not require a notary. 

By the end of the day on Tuesday [yes, we did stay up past our normal bed time] we had prepared over two pounds of mail for Scott to bring to the USA.

Now we will slow down a bit and take things one step, one document, one page at a time while we wait to hear from the agency how to produce in a couple of areas. 

We will also read the two required books and set up a time to do our on-line studies.

Please continue to pray that we can find the answers we need to complete our dossier in a timely fashion. Pray that the mail does not get lost or delayed. [18 documents to our agency and 8 letters for references or information.]


Friday, April 19, 2013

Surprise!!

Today a large white envelope appeared at our front door containing our second level application and dossier paperwork.

Do not know when it arrived in Haiti as today is not a flight day and our mail normally comes to Haiti on Tuesdays or why really John Pierre decided to check for additional mail in Cap other than he knows I was waiting for this one but it arrived.

Anyone who's been through the adoption process knows it consists of lots of paperwork. We now need to gather together 25 different sets of documents covering: agreements, applications, health, family, finances, background checks, photos, homework...

Prayer Request:  That we can figure out starting next week with the help of our agency, the US embassy how to get the paperwork done correctly [the first time] and in a timely fashion. At this point not sure what can be done here vs. having to return to the USA.

This 'step' can take 4 weeks to 6 months+ for folks in the USA.

Most missionaries prior to the recent changes to the adoption process in Haiti adopted independently while their children lived with them. We pray that someone knows how the process will work now for Americans who are residents of Haiti. Someone needs to go first right?

On Monday we will start to try to figure out with the agency and the US embassy how we can complete the mountain of required paperwork.

Can we do the home study in Haiti? Who, when, where, how??
Fingerprints. Here or not?

Just one more example: "Local police clearance letter."  Well that could be interesting as the local police station burnt down last week during the protests.

Step 1-Make sure that this can be done in Haiti and not the USA.
2. Appointment.
3. Go
4. Assuming the letter from our local police wouldn't be in English. So translated.
5. Would likely have to travel with the police chief to Cap Haitian to have it signed in front of a notary.
6. All the paperwork needs to be notarized.
 7. Certification. Then a paper from the 'State' that says the notary is in good standing.  Then how do we get the certification that the notary is in good standing if we do this in Haiti?
8. After that the whole thing needs to be translated into French if the first copy was not in French.
9. Then needs to be legalized by the Haitian Consulate/Embassy.
10. Copies made- most 4 each.
11. Mailed.

Repeat 25 times. Likely we'll need notaries in at least 2 States and maybe in Haiti as well and the certification process can be different for each location.

The paperwork needs to be done in a 'timely' fashion as adoptions in Haiti can take years which means different parts of this paperwork can expire and need to be updated during the process.

YES we need your prayers. We know the Lord asked us to start this journey. Now we need the knowledge, help, hope, strength and patience to take this step one paper at a time.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

First Application

Once we agreed on an American agency the paperwork started.

While still in the USA we actually started collecting some of the needed documentation but cannot start our dossier until we connect officially with an agency.

We then read all about the agency on line and printed out the primary application along with the extra pages needed to adopt from Haiti.

We noted that the application needed to be notarized and started to inquire about where the nearest notary would be located.

Wait a minute! The very next week a team due to visit us contained a dear friend who we knew worked in a bank. Could she possibly be an notary?

One quick E-mail confirmed she would be delighted to bring along the needed items to notarize our application.

We continued to pray and discuss the various questions as a family.

So in our home after filling in the needed information, completing the notarization, we completed our first small step.

The team left for the USA on March 13, papers in the mail on the 14th and arrived on the 15th.

I e-mailed on the 20th confirming the arrival and it was being reviewed.

March 26th an E-mail came to confirm our mailing address for our Level II application.

We receive our mail from the USA on Tuesdays however the application did not arrive yesterday [as of early Monday afternoon not yet to MFI]. Will wait one more week and if we do not receive the application the agency will resend.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Research

In October after traveling to the USA and completing a big trip to Pennsylvanian and New York I started to research on-line and read library books.

At the airport leaving Haiti in mid September we learned of the possibility of a two year old boy being raised by missionaries who might be available for adoption. I'd met him at least once before.

We prayed, corresponded and then learned that he would not be available. My research then revealed that Haiti's adoption policies would be changing. No longer would independent adoptions be allowed.

The procedure would need to occur though an adoption agency. Pre-identified children would be harder to adopt.

We also learned that Haiti would be choosing and approving only certain agencies to handle Haitian adoptions. The list originally due out in November finally became public in mid-January.

Twenty agencies in the USA now handle the adoptions from Haiti.

While still in the USA I read about different crèches, orphanages, agencies. I learned some of the vocabulary. I called a few of the agencies, learning that at least one large agency no longer handled adoptions for Americans living overseas.

We narrowed the list to two. We corresponded with them by E-mails. We waited.

The end of January Haiti announced a quota for applications. Each agency can only submit one dossier a month at this time.

Middle of February we learned that one of the agencies we were corresponding with would not be accepting any new families in 2013 because of the number of their completed, waiting dossiers.

Prayed. Waited. End of February the choice became clear.

The Beginning

During my family's two years of living on LaGonave, for about 6 months, our family grew to number 6 as we took care of and loved twin Haitian boys who's mother died at birth.

Then the Haitian lawyer informed us that because my parents already had two biological children they did not qualify for adoption under the 1974 law.  Painfully the twins moved out of our home, into a cousin's who raised them.

After Anna joined our family we discussed being open to adding onto our family though adoption. We did not discuss it much or pray regularly having told the Lord that we were open to His leading. But waited for Him to put a child on our doorstep.

Part of not earnestly pursuing adoption was knowing that the law had not changed and with biological children in the home we would not qualify.

Following the quake we learned about the Presidential dispensation that allowed parents to still adopt. But we continued to wait while praying more often for the Lord to show us His will and His timing.

July 2012 for the first time in our 14 years in Haiti a lady appeared on our step with a child. We quickly asked Eli and Anna their thoughts and finding unanimous positive reactions felt the Lord open the door.

 Under the advice of our Haitian friends and neighbors we made arrangements for her to return in 3 days, giving us time to research what it would take for us to legally accept the care of this baby.

We talked to our families and field director. We emailed a few people for prayers. We waited. She never returned.

But the door remained open in our hearts....the journey begun

Introduction & Request.

Welcome to the story of our family's journey to graft a couple of Haitian treasures to our family tree.

I knew as soon as the Lord opened the door to this journey that I wanted to create a second blog.


I've been humbled by how many people faithfully follow our Thede Connection and support our family while we minister in Haiti.

This blog will chronicle our adoption journey and allow those who are interested to keep up-to date with the process and prayer requests.

The adoption process in Haiti remains very unpredictable. Full of twists and turns, ups and downs, uncertainty and tears.

Tears of frustration, pain and joy. I know each will play a role in this journey and we know that only the Lord can open the multitude of doors, orchestrate the many steps, direct all the people who will ultimately be involved, and ultimately unite our family.

We know too that a strong support team of faithful prayer partners will be our comfort and strength during this journey. We request that you join our team.


Walk this journey beside us hand and hand through the years.

Updates may not be frequent as many weeks may pass without any news as we wait through the various stages. Please feel free to ask us questions. Ask us how you can pray. Ask us how we're doing.

We will be relying on you our friends, our supporters to help us through this journey. While we know in the end it will be totally worth every bit I cannot say we look forward to the hard parts and the waiting.

But our God is faithful. He will walk this journey with us. Leading us forward. Teaching us the lessons we need to learn. Thank you, Lord.