Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dossier steps in Haiti

I have had many people ask me where our dossier goes now that it is in Haiti. Since I don't completely understand the process myself enough to explain it I have copied the following off of another blog.

Minister of Foreign Affairs (MFA)-

First Legalization (1st Legal). This is where all of the papers are authenticated.

File prepared for IBESR (Concurrent with MFA-

When the paperwork is at Foreign Affairs, your lawyer must prepare your file for IBESR. IBESR requires that the paperwork be in a certain order. The social history and psychological examination required by IBESR for your child must be made during this period. It involves putting the child's social information into a home study format with your home study information.


Your child's paperwork is put together with your documents and the file is then presented to IBESR (Haiti's Social Service Department) where a social worker will look over all of your documents and decide whether to approve your adoption request.The director of IBESR, the IBESR lawyer, the head of adoption services at IBESR, and the IBESR social worker must all sign off on your dossier. This is four stages of approval.

**Because we already have biological children we have to get a special presidential waver that grants us permission to adopt. This happens during the IBESR process.


This step involves one person(?) releasing the child(ren)'s file(s). Parquet is the head commissioner. He is intertwined with court. He asks all of the birth parents to come for interviews to make sure that they understand that there children are being adopted. Apparently there was some fraudulent activity going on and he wants to protect the birth parents interests. i.e. make sure they are in agreement.

Civil Court Legalization-

The adoption is finalized. After this point, the children are legally yours. (2nd Legal)

Minister of Interior Affairs (MOI)/Haitian Immigration-

The file is submitted into the passport process. The passports are printed in the adopting parents last name.

DHS Processing (U.S. Parents)-

I-600 is filed by adopting parents. File is reviewed and approved by DHS

Consulate/Visa Appointment-

Child receives visa in preparation for travel to their new home

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hippolite's wedding

One of the main reasons of this trip Andy went on (besides loving on little girls & doing preparations for the May & June trip) is that Hippolite is getting married today. Hippolite right now lives at the pastor's house in the city and always helps on the trips that we go on. I got to know him much better in February because Odette adores him. I told Andy Odette's top favorite people are 1- her daddy, 2- her mommy 3- Hippolite & I think Brian & Kevin are tied for 4th. On the tap-tap one night Odette & Hippolite were talking back and forth in Creole & laughing and he looked at me & said "Odette, she loves me" I told him that I know & he said "she loves me because when she comes to the city for her doctor's appointments I take her and I take care of her". Whenever the girls have to anything to be done in the city for the adoption (court or doctor's appointments) they usually stay in the city at Pastor' house all week so Odette gets to spend a lot of time with Hippolite. Sometime soon Hippolite & his new wife will be living at the orphanage and helping with the girl. I am very excited about this because the girls all love him he will be a great help to the Gaspards. He is also helping with the girls English classes each week.

A few of the guys going are going to speak at his wedding today. Angie, Gina & I went shopping and bought Odette, Valancia & Benita new dresses and shoes for the wedding because they are going too. I can't wait to see the video & pictures from the wedding.

Odette & Hippolite

Hippolite & his fiancee

Pictures- Haiti Feb 2008

Sweet picture

Allyson & Guerline

Wousamy & Mike

Odette & Niddie

Odette's first painting

Paige & Saintemene

Glady's baptism

Al & Dieula


Marie Michelle

Odette loved her things from Jennifer & Judy!

Benson, Gina & Stevenson

Samantha & Steve

Kurt & Madestine

Malange & Ben


Merline & Rachel

Lauren & Atanie

Kelley & Yalanda

Lauren & Islande


Jennifer & Gladys


Pastor & Madame Gaspard

Mark, Angie & Valancia

Benita, Gina & Kevin

February team

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

February trip wrap-up

Since Andy is on his way to Haiti as I am typing I figured that I better finish up the February trip before he gets home & we start writing about his trip.

This was one of the best weeks of my life. It was one of those weeks that I cried harder & also laughed harder than I ever have. It felt great and completely right to be "home" again after nine long months. I had a wonderful time with the girls and enjoyed getting to know the Gaspard boys better. God also used this week to confirm so many things for me. Although I know with everything in me that He wants Odette to be our daughter. I sometimes think what we are doing is crazy & doesn't make sense (which it won't to most people) but I know in my heart it is what we are supposed to do. I think I saw many of the things that we will have to deal with when she gets here like the language barrier and I realized that though having her here will be wonderful- life will also be harder or at least very different for our family. But on a ride to the orphanage one morning God clearly showed me what Odette being a part of our family means for her future. Most days as we rode to the orphanage we would pass people on the street but this one day which was market day (I think it was Thursday or Friday) there were much more people out either trying to sell goods or buy supplies for their family. I looked into their faces and saw what Odette's future would look like if we weren't obedient to God's call for our life. I know things will be different here for her and many times hard and frustrating but God showed me clearly that morning that she will not have to fight with everything in her just to survive and put food in her babies bellies. She will also never be in the position where she will have to give up her little girl so she will have a better chance at having three meals a day and an education. I will be forever grateful for the sacrifices that her parents made not only for her but for us & and am so glad that Odette will not have to make the same sacrifice one day. God showed me clearly that day that no matter how hard life may be in the future that she is our little girl that he has entrusted us with & that is all that matters.

Saying good-bye this week was so hard but very different than my May trip. When she was so upset in May, Eddy promised her that I would be back to see her & I knew that someday I would fulfill that promise to her. I just didn't have a clue that the next time I saw her she would be my daughter. I tried not to think too much about leaving her because I just wanted to enjoy every second of my week with her & the other girls. I did ok until Friday when she started getting sad. The girl that I had to slow down from running to get on the tap-tap every morning all of a sudden had to be talked into getting on it to head to the orphanage. In the past beach day was always the day before we left & the girls started to figure out that when beach day was over it was time to say good-bye soon. But this trip we went to the beach a day early. I made sure that she knew that we were not leaving that day but it didn't seem to make a difference. So we climbed on the tap-tap & I gave her the ipod & the window seat and then I just cried most of the way to the orphanage. I thought I was going to be big until closer to time to leave but seeing that she was already getting sad was too much for me. I was a wreck all morning. Finally I asked for the phone & called Andy because I just couldn't do it on my own at the moment. I finally pulled it together & we had a great rest of the day. The girls were exhausted and went to bed early which worked out great because we ended the night washing our Haitian friends' feet and praying over them. I had not been a part of anything like that before and it was such a special time. Then we headed for the roof to spend some time under the stars reflecting on our week & spent time in worship. There is nothing like worship on a roof in Haiti under the prettiest night sky you will ever see.

The next morning we finished packing our things at Kamatin & headed back to the orphanage. Because our flight didn't leave until late that afternoon we got to stay with the girls until a little before noon. We had no agenda that day except for loving on girls that we wouldn't see again for a while. When we pulled up at Coq Chante that day Pastor Gaspard was standing by the steps with tears flowing down his face. I haven't seen him cry like that before & it was so hard to watch. Since they were not there the night before we took time to wash Pastor & Madame's feet & pray for them that morning. I love that family more than I can say and am so thankful for the parents they are to our girls on a daily basis.

Odette was sad on & off all morning. She would get upset and cry and then we would have more fun together and laugh. She was ok until I told her that I loved her and would be back soon to see her. She got really upset and then ran off. I found her crying quietly in her room so I spent some more time loving on her. She began to withdraw and when I asked her to walk me out she wouldn't. After a few more hugs and kisses and promises to be back I ran to the front of the orphanage and lost it. She eventually came out to the front balcony but she wouldn't make eye contact with me. It was so hard saying good-bye and I just pray that there will not be many more good-byes before she gets to climb on the truck with us to come home.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dossier complete & in our hands

I woke up to a big surprise on Friday morning. I checked to see if our paperwork had been sent out by the Haitian Consulate in Chicago & when I went on the FedEx website it said it had been delivered a few minutes earlier and was sitting on our front porch along with some other paperwork from our lady in WA. For those that don't know what a dossier is (I didn't before this process) it is a collection of all of the documents required by a country for international adoption. I was amazed at how everything had come together that week. Our paperwork arrived in WA on Monday morning. She got the translations all back and copied and overnighted to the Haitian Consulate on Wednesday night. The paperwork got to Chicago on Thursday morning & then stamped all of our papers and then overnighted them too us the same night. God is good! Now when Andy gets on a plane to go to Haiti tonight he will have a backpack full of paperwork that he will get to hand-deliver to the lawyer on Wednesday. We are so excited because our paperwork will finally be in the Haitian system which gets us one step closer to bringing Odette home. Please be praying that all our our paperwork is correct and we won't have to make any changes that could set us back time-wise.

Also be praying for Andy, Mark, Kevin, Jacob, & Brian as they travel to Haiti this week. I know there are 18 excited girls that will be standing on the front porch of the orphanage all day tomorrow awaiting their arrival.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Push of a button

Thursday morning on the way to school Molly said "I wish that we could just push a button and make it be another day." I knew she was excited about getting her & Abby getting their gold medal on Friday for learning all their kindergarten words so I figured that was the day she wanted to skip to. I asked her what day she wanted it to be and she said Christmas. When I asked "why Christmas" thinking I was going to get the answer of what new toy she wanted she said, "I want it to be Christmas so Odette will be here with us."

Needless to say I lost it in the car that morning which became the theme for the day. I think I cried more than I didn't. It was just one of those days that not having her here really hurt. So like Molly most days I wish we could push a button & make it happen. My prayer is that Molly is right and she will be here by Christmas.

Paperwork FINISHED!!!

I am going to take a break in finishing up my trip update to share with everyone our big news. We are finally finished with paperwork.
We had our 2nd and 3rd homestudy visit these last two months and we got the call Thursday night, April 2nd that all of our homestudy paperwork was finished. We have spent the majority of this week finishing up last minute paperwork details and the finished homestudy was all we were waiting for. So after a trip to the Knox Co. and Anderson Co. Clerks office on Friday morning to get the last of our paperwork certified, Andy and I drove to Nashville and back on Friday afternoon. We had to take the last of our paperwork to get authenticated by the state. We made it back to the shop after 6:00 and had to rush to finish scanning every paper to send off for translations, and got everything loaded in a Fed-ex box to drop off in Halls by 7:30 which was the last pick-up for the night. We are having all our papers overnighted to the lady in Washington that is helping us get our dossier finished and ready to send to Haiti. I have to say I was a little emotional dropping off our paperwork. Andy made fun of me because not only did I take a picture of him dropping the box in the Fed-ex mailbox but I got teary as we drove off. I think it was a combination of the relief of finally being finished and knowing that we just dropped off 4 months of work and a box full of priceless original documents into a mailbox that is now completely out of our hands.
The thing we are praying for now is that everything moves quickly with our paperwork so Andy can hand deliver our dossier to Haiti when he goes on April 14th. For that to happen all of the translations will have to be finished by the lady in Indiana, she will then send them to our lady in Washington who will put everything together and check to make sure everything is there and correct, she will send it overnight to the Haitian Consulate in Chicago where all of our paperwork will get another stamp proving that our paperwork is valid and can be accepted by the Haitian government as a legal document and then that paperwork will be overnighted to us with the hope that it will be in our hands on the afternoon of April 14th before Andy leaves for Haiti. That is a lot to get done in little more than a week but we know that God is in control and we have to trust in His timing. But for today we can breathe a sigh of relief that we made a big step yesterday in the process of bringing our little girl home!