Friday, October 30, 2015

Renewal


During the last couple of weeks, I misplaced our small monthly planner, but did not think too much about it.

Today I unexpectedly found it and turned to this week, only to notice that we needed to request our second three-month extension on our USA visa paperwork.

In a few minutes, I copied the last e-mail, changed the date, and sent it zipping off to the proper authorities to start the renewal process.

I prayed as I did it that it would be the final extension we need before exiting IBESR.

Know that my last post contained mixed emotions, that remains our reality.

We are specifically praying that the Lord will grant a Thanksgiving miracle.

The Lord renewed our hope.

Please let us know if you are joining us in intensely praying, if you have not already done so.

We are talking about what would need to happen to prepare for F's homecoming and asking our agency what the transition may look like for our family.

Praying we can exit IBESR soon and that the court steps go very fast so F can come home before long.

Trusting that the Lord will open the doors in His timing. Thank you Lord.

Today marks 3 years, 3 months, and 3 days [according to my widget counter]  since the Lord opened the door on our adoption journey.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Sudden Intensity.

During the 15 1/2 months we waited for our match after entering IBESR, the intensity slowly built.

After we passed the one-year mark, the intensity built faster as the time grew short for Eli to be able to attend our socialization visit with us before college.

Those last days before the match were very hard and most of my waking hours, I brought our adoption before the Lord, as the remaining weeks turned into days.

My sporadic journaling shows just three days before our match, that my emotions were intense as I asked the Lord to help me, to let go of my plans and 'to be delivered from the "what ifs"' begging for His will not mine. I asked that He help me be thankful. That entry ends with 'I will provide, yes Lord.'

This time the intensity hit in a moment. We are very thankful for a few hours with F and the information we learned during our recent visit.  We are indebted to the folks pouring love into his life, caring for him physically, spiritually, and mentally.

Nevertheless, he's hurting. Change and transition are hard on all people even when we understand a bit of 'whys', but harder for a child I think.

I'm tired from the transitions in our lives this summer, but ready in mind/body/spirit to start to transition F to our family.

IBESR workers have been working on an issue with wording 'simple vs. plenary' All Blessings International in Haiti  explains if you want more information.

This did not directly involve our case other than using up work time from the IBESR staff.

We did get a chance to talk with the adoption worker from the crèche face-to-face. He told us we did get our approval after our socialization visit.

Now our records need to be looked at and signed by five people, the last being director Mme. Arielle Villedrouin.      

We do not know if any of the five have signed our file. We do know that Mme. Villedrouin took a vacation month in August.

So without August, our count to exit IBESR after our socialization visit is at four months [total time in IBESR at 21 months].

Thankful for staff checking regularly on our chart at IBESR.

Thankful for the knowledge that when we enter courts, it will be in the North, not PAP and should be a much faster step.

Thankful for all the people praying.

Please join us in intensely praying for the thousands of cases in IBESR.
That the Lord will intercede on each child's behalf, and protect them during the wait.
Please pray specifically for F as well.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"The Adoption System in Haiti is a Broken System"

"The Adoption System in Haiti is a Broken System" 

 God's Littlest Angels blog 

 [Blue wording comes from my heart. The black is the latest blog from God's Littlest Angels.]
There are people at IBESR in Haiti who I truly enjoy sitting down with them and talking about adoptions.  They work hard at their jobs and they want to see the system work.  But unfortunately, these few are outnumbered by those who don't care and who never get out of the office and actually see the children on the streets or in the orphanages.  They do not see the benefits to the child and so take their time matching the children and working on their files.  They lose files of the children every day because they don't have a proper filing system in place.
Praying for the staff at IBESR to learn to care, to see the faces of the waiting children, to take pride in work done well and in a timely fashion. May those who work hard and are trying to make the system work be blessed and teach the others.
I may get my hands slapped for giving my opinion here, but I have watched this system for 20 years and truly think the children being adopted are worse off then they were 20 years ago.  Yes, we have less trafficking of children and yes, biological families are more informed about what adoption means for their child, but the children placed for adoption used to stay in an orphanage for 3 months to a year at the longest and now they average 3 years in an orphanage setting and many of them stay longer! Thankful for the positives of less trafficking and more informed biological families but 3 years is to long. F will reach his 3 year mark at the orphanage in November. 
My fastest adoption was in 2001 and took 6 weeks!  Today, we feel blessed if we get a child to their adoptive family in 2 years.  That is just crazy!  It truly should not take that long to declare a child adoptable and then approve their match in IBESR, but unfortunately, it is. Praying for improved timelines, and fewer errors. 
Foreign OAA's or Adoption Agencies, as we call them in the USA, keep sending files of adoptive families to IBESR.  IBESR receives money for each of these dossiers.  Right now, they receive approximately $300 US for each dossier.  We are assuming that there are thousands of dossiers waiting in IBESR for matches.  Maybe, 2,000 to 3,000!  That is a lot of money that has come in to IBESR and very few matches have been made through the adoption office. Praying for those thousands of charts. Praying that ours does not get lost. 
There is not enough trained staff in IBESR to keep the files moving along in the system.  We get some proposals and then nothing for months because the staff is working on other things!  We take biological families for interviews and then they do not do interviews for weeks because the staff is working on something else!  They truly need to get this organized.  There is staff there but not enough are trained in adoptions and the process. Praying for the current staff to receive more training and motivation! Praying for additional well trained staff to join the IBESR. Praying for them to get organized!!!
If agencies would not send dossiers and funds to IBESR, it might be an incentive to get things organized and running smoother.  If creches and orphanages did not take in any children for adoption for a couple of months, then that might also be an incentive to get the children already in orphanages matched!  We have children who have been here since 2010. That is an awfully long time for a child to wait for an adoptive family! Praying for the Lord to provide the answers, how to motivate, how to provide the resources and staff needed. Praying for those who wait. 
This is all so difficult because the creches/orphanages and the agencies all need funds to run their programs.  We must feed the children.  But, the broken system must also be fixed and we have to step back and say fix the system before we send you more money!   Praying for the creches/orphanages and agencies who all need funding to support the waiting children, and to do it well not just get by. 
Help encourage the creches/orphanages to stand firm and not continue to feed into this broken system of adoption. Support all of the creches/orphanages financially so that adoptions are not the major part of what keeps them running and the children fed. Praying that the system can improve.
I do not know what the answer is for the adoption system to improve, but what we are doing now is not the answer.  We were made to believe that adopting the Hague Convention was going to make everything run smoother and be for the benefit of the children.  There were knowledgeable people telling us that this wasn't true and they have turned out to be right.  A child having to sit in an orphanage setting for 5 years or more while there is an adoptive family waiting for them is not okay.  I won't even get started on the US Consulate and USCIS (Immigration) problems that just make adoptions even more difficult.
Please pray for the children, the Haitian Social Service system, IBESR staff, and the orphanages' staff who care for the children.  And let us especially pray that the broken adoption system will be repaired! Lord intercede for these children. Lord, you CAN move mountains. You CAN do miracles. Touch each part of this broken system and redeem the good. Purify and let the truth be known. May the lost charts, paperwork, and people be found. Strengthen the weak. Bring Your children home. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Waiting and praying

 As my parents and Eli look into booking tickets to visit for Christmas, I cannot help but pray that F will be with our family by then.

Hearing the voices of children daily outside our home reminds me to continue to pray for all the Haitian children waiting for adoption paperwork to join their new families.

I am tired of not hearing anything about our adoption, week after week.

I find it hard to put into new words the same requests in an attempt to keep the hope fresh.

As the days of the year continue to add up, I find my hopes for Christmas dimming while I continue to
pray for the Lord to work miracles.

Sadly some families who thought they were nearing the end of their long adoption journeys learned that they may need to return several steps backward and redo some of the paperwork.

This concerns the wording on their adoptions and the USA visa situation so people who did 'simple' adoptions starting back before Nov. 2013, and paperwork does not read 'plenary'.

Any bump in the road that causes cases to have to be resubmitted can provoke delays for the rest of the cases waiting to be dealt with by the same staff.

Thankfully, a few cases continue to move forward, and we rejoice with each family home coming and each family moving up a step in the process.

We continue to pray to exit IBESR and enter the court system. We continue to dream of Christmas as a complete family, knowing the charts, process, timing and each one of us remain in the Lord's Hand.

We pray for the staff and system.

We praise the Lord for allowing us to start this journey, to have met F and his foster families and friends. Praise the Lord for His love and promise to be with us and keep us.