Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Embassy Visit

Yesterday morning we prayed as a family, before Cory and I headed to the truck at 4:30 a.m.

We arrived at the Embassy without any problems shortly after 6 a.m. and joined the line by 6:30 a.m. Far better to be early and not stressing than to arrive late in our opinions.

As we waited, we looked around now and then expecting a worker from the orphanage to come up and introduce himself, but this did not happen. I prayed for him not knowing where he was.

With our appointment letter, we smoothly entered through the security check points and did not wait more than 10 minutes before being called up to the widow to turn in our documents.

The lady who accepted the papers told us with a smile that she was from Port Margot! And she knew the Wesleyan campus and hospital. She helped us complete our I-600 form by answering the few questions we had about our situation.

Then we sat for a longer wait, before being called up again to a window for our interview. Smiles greeted us from this employee as well as she learned how long we'd lived in Haiti, and that we could converse in Creole. Soon we received our paperwork and were on our way.

As soon as we exited the Embassy, we noticed a young man waiting beyond the barrier. He had been told our appointment was at 10 a.m. not 7 a.m.

We talked a bit and noted a couple of things that needed to be looked into or changed. He plans to turn in some of his paperwork today at the Embassy.

On June 30th, F and his mom or aunt have an appointment at the Embassy for his visa. By August 25, if possible, 15 different documents need to be submitted on F's behalf. This includes the paperwork proving that we've adopted F in Haiti.

 If the adoption is not yet complete, then we will need to file an extension. Easy to do we're told, most often several extension periods are needed due to the slowness of the process, but we're praying that F can come home as soon as possible.

At the top of this page under the tab labeled 'Steps' you can find the process as we understand it. Now both phase two [Haitian adoption] and phase three [USA visa] are in progress.

How long?? Only the Lord knows. The very fastest we've heard from someone in the Facebook group is 3 months from socialization to visa...but most people continue to exit IBESR for many months before even starting the adoption process in Haitian courts, so it is possible that we may wait for another year or more.

Keep praying!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Praising the Lord!

On Thursday, May 7, we received an E-mail from our agency asking us to please make a 'quick call'.

Our hopes soared while we tried to hold them back not wanting to be disappointed if the call happened to be about paperwork and not a referral.

PRAISE the Lord! Our referral paperwork was signed on May 5th. While the translation of the letter would take another day, we could read the French, learning our son's name and age.

We do not feel at liberty to share details at this time over the computer, will refer to him as F for now.

We will share that the details came together rapidly and after a phone conversation Friday afternoon with the mission director, we excitedly packed and traveled for our required socialization trip on Saturday.

So in less than 48 hours we received our referral and met him in person!

Very exciting. We stayed on the same campus as the crèche and were able to spend some time in the mornings and afternoons with F and his foster family. 

Cory and I reviewed his paperwork on Monday and then traveled to a notary in Cap Haitian on Tuesday to sign our acceptance letters. The letters were scanned that same day and sent to the agencies. 

During our time, the staff person from Haiti's social services came twice. The first time he watched us interact on the playground with F and some of his friends and the second time he asked us a few questions.

See the normal family blog for other activities during our visit. 

We enjoyed getting to know F, seeing him in various parts of his day, interacting with his foster family and the people on the compound. We learned about his personality from stories and pictures, as well as spending time with him. 

F will not be directly told we're his new family until the adoption is near completion. Then his house parents will start sharing pictures close to when we return to pick him up.  However, he's very observant and smart, so he may have an idea.

Because of this, we tried to act as visitors and play with the other children in the home as well, but our attachment started and grew with every encounter. 

His eyes sparkle with intelligence and mischief many times during the day, so watch out world!

We ask for an Embassy visa appointment the day-after missionary retreat so we would not need to travel again down to Port. [The missionary retreat will be held about 1 hour from the Embassy and over four hours from our home.] 

So we plan to be in line at the USA Embassy by 6:30 a.m. on May 26th. This will be to start the process of obtaining F's visa to travel to the USA and for him to become a US citizen. 

At the same time, our paperwork now along with F's will need to negotiate the various and complicated steps of a Haitian adoption. Only the Lord knows how long this may take, but we heard of a recent case moving very fast from the bonding trip to visa in three months....on the other extreme, some people may still be waiting to exit IBESR and get into the courts for over a  year.

Lord knows. Still praying for His timing.

  • Translation French to English of F's paperwork this week for Embassy appointment
  • Timely Exit IBESR
  • Courts/ Haitian adoption
  • I-600 Visa appointment-next week
  • Translation of home study update and other steps.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Update

Sorry for not blogging.

Late last week we learned of a trip we needed to make and it fit best in our schedule to travel the next day.

So on Saturday we headed out. Anna played on two volleyball teams (15-16 year olds and 17-18 year olds, younger kids can play on the older kids teams, they won one and lost one) in Cap Haitian and then we continued on our trip.

Everyone is doing wonderful and making memories.

Some down time, some scheduled time as we interact with other missionaries as well as have a chance to help by teaching some Haitian staff and neighbors.

Internet is slow.

Becca, Global Partner's member care person for missionary children, will be joining us on Thursday.

On  Monday we plan to return home. Depending on an appointment we're trying to set up in Port-au-Prince we will either travel on Wed. or Thursday. [Wed. if we get a Thursday appointment]

The area retreat will be starting Thursday night as we join all the current Wesleyan missionaries living in Haiti as well as 4 new couples/families working on their support to come.

Thank you for your prayers. Will update when we can but may not be until next week.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

God can.

As Watchman Nee put it in The Normal Christian Life:
“It is not a case of trying but of trusting; not of struggling but of resting in him.”

God knows. God cares. God can.

These words came today in a devotional e-mail from the Christian Medical and Dental Association.

I needed to hear them. I know I can't try to rest. I can't work at trusting....not really. I need to rest in Him.

Ask Him to help me trust more, rest more, increase my faith and peace.

As our time in Haiti winds down, I need to focus more and more on the Lord.

Surrounding myself with encouraging music helps to keep away the negative thoughts.

Never dreamed we would be in a race to fit in a bonding trip in the final days of this term...but maybe we are not.

Only the Lord knows if we will get the referral in time to fit in the trip.

Can He? YES, He can.

Will He?? Time will tell. We still want His plan, His timing, His way.

The last couple of weeks a few small issues came to light...with our paperwork, a missing staple delayed our home-study update paperwork, one number off by one means redoing a page, filling an empty spot on a template letter raised false hopes.

Nothing big.

Small frustrations.

Not road blocks, just detours.

Thank you for your prayers.