Thursday, June 18, 2015

Newsletter update

Chareyl sent out a general update to Haiti families about a week ago.  She does that periodically just to touch bases and update on anything going on relevant to Haitian adoptions.  In that update Chareyl mentioned that she was nominated and elected the Joint Council Haitian caucus co-chair.  Most Hague accredited agencies and most if not all agencies working in Haiti are members of the Joint Council.  Their annual meeting is this month and Mr. Guillaume (second in command with IBESR, who issues official adoption referrals in Haiti) has agreed to attend.  Chareyl will be one of the people able to attend and address a list of questions and concerns regarding adoptions in Haiti.  Any time something like this can happen it is very encouraging and there is hope for progress to be made from this type of direct communication.  Additionally, I believe that the Council will benefit greatly from Chareyl's insight and lengthy experience regarding Haiti and Haitian adoptions.  Thumbs up all around!

Also!  Chareyl confirmed a rumor that I heard that IBESR recently hired and are training 10 new staff members!  That is a really big deal as one of the biggest hold-ups with processing Haitian adoptions is the sheer amount of work that has to be done to process the paperwork and the lack of staff!  They may be adding an additional fee to cover the cost of these staff members, but that is well worth it in my opinion!  Very encouraging news!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Haitian Roots

In case I haven't ever mentioned this amazing organization, I figured now was a good time.   A couple weeks ago I volunteered at a yard sale benefitting Haitian Roots.  The yard sale brought in a couple thousand dollars, but would have been a lot more if it hadn't been so cold and pouring rain the whole time.  So!  They stored all the leftover items and did a second yard sale last Saturday and I enjoyed volunteering at that as well.  Here are a couple pictures of those of us running the yard sale:

The goal set for the yard sale was $5,000 and with proceeds and donations (from both tries at the yard sale) that goal was met, and exceeded.  One hundred percent of these funds go to Haitian Roots which provides education for children in Haiti who would otherwise receive no education.  I absolutely believe that this is the most effective long term solution for making change in Haiti, and it was satisfying to play a tiny role in helping an organization that is focused on this role.  Haitian Roots also sponsors an orphanage in Haiti as well, and the children in that orphanage are able to receive education as well while they are waiting to be adopted.  Please take a look at Haitian Roots website to learn more about the organization and how you can help...whether it's with time, donations, or sponsorship of a child!

Also a huge shout out to Towne Storage who stored all the yard sale items until the sale, hosted the sale, and will even auction off the remainder of the items as a unit.  Hopefully joining up with them can be an annual partnership!

Chareyl (our adoption worker with WIAA) also happens to be on the board of directors for Haitian Roots (she is in the photos above wearing yellow).  She, like everyone else I met volunteering here, has a passion for the people of Haiti.  While volunteering at the yard sale Chareyl introduced me to another adoptive parent there who is waiting to bring her daughter home.  When asked what point of the process we were at with adopting, Chareyl chimed in that our papers were completely finished, copied and ready to send off to Haiti (fun to hear!) and that she has "two maybes" from orphanages that may be able to take our file.  Now, I'm not sure exactly what that means (and I refrained from asking)...I don't know if that means they have children that could potentially be a match for us, or that they're confident that they will at some point.  Either way, I'll be excited to hear what happens and things sound promising :)

It has been fun to re-connect with Brianne (Bri), that I grew up with, over Haiti.  She has been involved with Haitian Roots for some time, including a trip down there when the school was officially opened. They also hope to adopt from Haiti someday.  She is the one in the photos with the long, dark hair.  She grew up in my ward, just down the street from me, and we also played soccer together.  It was fun to see her and her mom and sister...and fun that they have the same enthusiasm about Haiti that I feel.  I may not have traveled there yet, but I already feel such a connection to this country that will be the heritage and birthplace of our child.

I have to mention that the other adoptive parent that Chareyl introduced me to is Jaimi.  She is married to Ryan who grew up in Morgan (and therefor knows Mark's family).  Ryan and Mark's parents both are in a group of couples that get together regularly and it came up that they are both expecting little Haitian grandkids someday, so we got in touch and were able to see all of Ryan & Jaimi's pictures (in a private online album) from their socialization visit to Haiti to meet their daughter.  So!  It was fun to meet them both in person at the yard sale!  I was even able to go through all the clothes that didn't sell at the yard sale and pick out clothing for kids at the orphanage (that's run by Haitian Roots) that Jaimi will take back with her next time she goes to visit her daughter while waiting for paperwork to clear to bring her home.  It made me want to get on a plane and go to Haiti right now.  Not yet.  Someday...

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Name suggestion

Today out of the blue Max looked at me and said, "Someday when our baby girl comes home I think we should name her Wheat."


Figured I better write that one down for later ;)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Not in our hands anymore (as if it ever really was)...

So, last Friday I mailed off a copy of our updated USCIS approval to our agency.  Our agency is very close by so they would have received it Saturday or will get it today.

That means that as far as we are concerned we are done with the freakin' paper chase! - Until updates start rolling around I guess...

I have mixed feelings about being done with this part.  It's nice to know that I don't have anything nagging at me that I need to be getting done or following up on, but it's also strange to totally turn over control of the process.  Especially since we've done that once already and that crashed and burned.  BUT then I remember that although I was processing paperwork and felt the weight of things on me...I was still never the one really in control.  I know that He is watching over this whole process and will guide things at the right time.  I'm trying to remember that at this stage while our papers get ready to be sent off to Haiti (to start the whole legalization process there now).

I feel such a mixed bag of emotions at all of this.  Relief, excitement, nervousness, anxiousness, worry (for baby girl and her birth family), curiosity, dependency (on decisions our adoption worker is making prior to sending paperwork off as well as on the officials in Haiti upon receiving our paperwork), faith, longing to have her soon and worry that I'm not ready. we go!