Many have been asking Johanna and I how our adoption process is going. We love that people are thinking and praying for us as we go through this exciting, boring, tedious, convoluted process. We have just completed our dossier which will be on its way down to an unknown desk in Haiti. Now we wait.
We also learned that Haiti changed some of its requirements. Some of the changes increase costs and some of them add hoops to jump through. One significant change was that our adoption agency can no longer decide which orphanages to work with in Haiti. Our agency, All Blessings, has worked with 4 out of the 63. Now Haiti is saying that we have to accept any placement from any of the 63 orphanages. Because of the difference in the quality of the care children receive in these orphanages we have a greater risk of adopting a child with unknown needs or trauma at the outset.
This does not deter us, and I thank God to be married to a wife that is willing to engage in risky love. Jesus’ love that adopted us into the family of God was risky to the point of death. Because of that we can discard prudence and take this risk of love and be obedient to Him. Below is an update that Johanna wrote at her blog (www.jomegs.wordpress.com) that gives more detail as to where we are at and where we are going, Lord willing.
June – ready to tackle our dossier!
July, August, September – dossier document collecting. Setbacks, mistakes, delays. 😛
October – sent dossier to our agency.
Currently – redoing a couple documents for the dossier.
- Dossier approved, translated into French and submitted to Haitian social services or IBESR.
- Wait. Wait some more. Wait covered waiting with wait filling. Our file will sit on a desk, in a file drawer or in a box (I have no idea how they file dossiers when they arrive – just making this part up) for as long as it takes for it to reach the top of the stack. The front of the queue. The interesting thing is there seems to be no rhyme or reason to who’s file is chosen first, second or third. No centralized, standardized system. So we wait and pray and wait. Probably somewhere between 9-20 months.
Also in this waiting time, we’re going to learn some basic Creole (the language most commonly spoken in Haiti) and work toward meeting Haitians living here in MN and more families with Haitian children.
- MATCH! At some undetermined date, our dossier will be reviewed and chosen to be matched. A child will be chosen for us! The much anticipated, long-awaited and most definitely loved child who will become a Puelston. 🙂
- Travel to Haiti to meet our child. Once we are matched, we will make a two-week trip to Haiti to meet and get to know our child. We will be able to take any or all of our kids with us to meet their brother or sister – we’ll decide if that’s a good plan or not when the time comes. This will be an exciting and nerve-wracking trip, hopefully full of good opportunities to love and get to know this little person. Then we have to leave them in Haiti and return to the U.S.A. while their adoption processes through the Haitian legal system. Sad/hard/really tough.
- More waiting. We wait again, for an undetermined amount of time, for the court system and social services to go through the necessary steps to make the adoption legal. Hopefully, in this time period we’ll be able to send our child lots of reminders of our love, our family and how excited we are for the day we will be together again. There are LOTS of steps in this process, and it can take anywhere from 9-18 months.
- Visa appointment! This is the last step in the long process and once our child has been issued a visa from the U.S., we will travel back to Haiti to bring him or her home.
- Home. Hallelujah and pass the bonding/attachment phase. Lots of love, family time and learning how our family works with another, amazing person in it.
So that’s it in a nutshell – we hope and pray that the time frames are shorter, rather than longer, but Haiti is in a time of transition with adoptions and things are slow right now. They could get faster, they could stay slow, they could get slower. We will have ample opportunity to exercise that lesser known beatitude: “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall never be bent out of shape.” And ample opportunity to trust a loving Father with His perfect plan and timing.
Thanks for being part of this journey with your love, thoughts and prayers! We are so grateful for the support, financially/emotionally/prayerfully. This is a bumpy, winding road and we’re so thankful for those who are cheering us on!