Saturday, January 31, 2015

New entry

I updated the pictures on the wall in our entry a couple weeks ago and just realized I should post pictures of it here!

New entry photos as we enter this new part of our family's story.
We're all very excited to watch things unfold.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Out of the mouth of babes.

Out of the blue while looking at our family picture hanging in the front room.

Noah: "Mom...I like this picture, but sometimes I look at it and it just feels like someone is missing."

Me: (after choking back a little emotion) "I know what you mean, buddy.  I know what you mean."

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hesitant to share

After being so open about our adoption from Ethiopia and then having it fail has made me hesitant to share our feelings about being drawn to adopt from Haiti now.  Maybe I fear seeing apathy from friends or family that aren't sure that this adoption will go through either.  Maybe I want to wait until things are a little further down the road so that the already insanely long wait is a little shorter (I don't want people to get sick of hearing me talk about another pending adoption when there's not really much information to tell).  So, I've made this blog private again so I have somewhere to put down my feelings and I'll share the blog again when the time is right.  Maybe that will be sooner than I think, or maybe it won't.  In the meantime, here's where we are...

After reviewing every option out there for us (including considering that our family could be complete...which we didn't feel was the case) we narrowed things down to another domestic adoption or an adoption from Haiti.  As we continued to interview people, track down references, research things, pray, attend the temple, and just talk about it - it became clearer and clearer to us that Haiti was right for our family.

At first the idea of starting over was daunting especially considering the state of adoption in Haiti (they recently joined the Hague convention and last year instated all new adoption laws which are being enforced in varying degrees).  Plus there is the unstable political atmosphere of Haiti in general.  At one point I made a list of all the reasons why adopting from Haiti was risky, or would be stressful...and somehow those things couldn't outweigh the feeling that it was still right for us.  So, we are consigned to a path of unknown length with the only sure thing being that there will be unexpected delays and frustrating hoops to jump...but that in the end we will understand why this whole crazy adoption journey happened the way it did.

I like this quote.  When I get discouraged about the wait for our family to start over, I think of it...

Now, there was also the dilemma of selecting an agency.  We feel really good about using Wasatch International Adoptions.  Originally we looked into them simply because we used them to prepare our home study for our Ethiopian adoption (our agency was in Oregon and you have to have a home study prepared in the state you reside).  Once I started doing research more in depth on agencies I was impressed with the ethics and experience they have - particularly their director Chareyl.  WIAA is one of the agencies that has been facilitating adoptions in Haiti for a very long time, and Chareyl for a decade.  Many agencies opened sometime after the earthquake (which happened in 2010).  Chareyl has a good handle not only on the legal proceedings, but also the culture there and has adopted from Haiti herself.  She is self admittedly not into providing "fluffy" emails during the adoption process, but she will be the one to make things happen when the rubber meets the road.  I feel cautious optimism about the whole process we're embarking upon and feel that we've found the right partner to join up with in WIA as we jump into the unknown.

The process in Haiti is ever changing and inconsistent.  There is no waitlist number and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to what agency or family is given the next referral.  Everything is processed by hand (no computers), with so many required steps to complete that means each step can take a frustratingly long time or be difficult to complete.  I believe that Haiti is doing the best it can with the resources it has to protect its children and monitor a system that can be so prone to corruption.  New laws and Hague accreditation is a great step in that direction.

So!  We are as aware as one can be at this stage of the process about what we are jumping into and how challenging it will be, but we are excited.  And I have already begun to fall in love with what I know about the colorful resilient country that is Haiti!  We have also begun the process of selecting a child to sponsor for an education.  We would like to choose a child with an intact family that cannot afford to provide their child an education.  We have always felt strongly that when adopting a child from another country that you don't only adopt a child, but their country also.  We feel like that is one small step that we can take to tie ourselves to that country, and to start the process of helping make  fundamental change to a country so riddled with poverty (poorest country in the western hemisphere).    Adopting a child will help that child (and bless our family), but adoption isn't the solution to the country's struggle with poverty.  I believe that a huge solution is access to education.  The government does not provide education and private education (even a just a few hundred dollars a year) is more than most families' annual salaries.

Anyway!  As you can see we have already begun to bond with another country :)  More to come soon...