I have had several people ask me recently how the adoption is progressing. The answer I keep giving is: slowly.
I was prepared for the lengthy wait time for a match. I was prepared for the amount of paperwork to fill out. I was not prepared for the wait times necessary to prepare those documents. We have completed our home study. We are currently trying to gather and prepare all documents for the dossier. The dossier is what we officially submit to Haiti to ask permission to adopt and be put on the waiting list for a child. Jordan and I had sat down and made a game plan for getting all the paperwork done. So far, we have accomplished one item on that list. Our goal was to have it completed by the first of the year. Every time we make progress, we get stuck again waiting on something or someone.
For example, we had to submit an application to be approved for adopting a child internationally. Then we needed documents to support the application which we had to wait for. We also needed to attach a copy of our home study however it is illegal to have a copy of our HS in Colorado. Because our agency is in North Carolina, we had a company in Colorado do it. So CAS needed a copy, we then had to send the application along with supporting documents and a check (which we also had to wait for because we were out) to our agency so they could submit the application. We got all that done! Several documents are time sensitive notarized- they cannot be older than 6 months when the dossier is submitted to the country. Once, CAS told me that immigration received the application, I could start on those. Then, the government shut down. Now, CAS has advised me to wait to get those documents (medical, psychological evaluations – which is a whole other hiccup in this process, etc.) Normal turn-around time for the I800A application is 30-90 days. We have no idea how the shut-down will affect this. It could be 6 months before we can start gathering the next set of documents.
To say this is frustrating is an understatement. Just trying to gather the notarized documents has been difficult. After I get those (all must be notarized) we send them to the state to be apostilled, which is more waiting, then they go to DC Department of state to be approved, then taken over to the Haitian embassy to be approved there as well. Then they go to be translated. It is step, wait, step, wait process. It feels endless and daunting. It feels discouraging.
I feel like everyone I spoke to about adoption told me that it is a long process. The agencies all gave me an idea of the timeline and waiting, specifically waiting for a match after the dossier has been submitted to the country. They gave me ideas of how long gathering and completing the home study takes and how long the dossier usually takes (some families are able to do it in 6 weeks). I thought, sure, we can do that. I had people tell me that at times we are going to struggle with the process, we may even want to give up. You hear warnings like this but until you are in it, it doesn’t resonate. How could I ever want to give up on this? I have been called to this. I know this is my path. But as I gather try to gather the necessary documents for the dossier, I have felt that urge to stop pursuing the adoption in those moments.
We are discouraged and upset with the red tape and hoops the government requires us to jump through. As we understand the reason for most of these, we also see the blocks that continue to impede our progress. All we want is to give a parentless child a loving home and a family.
We went to church today and sang a song during worship I haven’t heard before called “Not Afraid”. It spoke to me in a way that I desperately needed to hear today.
“You keep the promises You make
There isn’t one that is delayed
So I will not lose heart
When I walk through the waters, I won’t be overcome
When I go through the rivers, I will not be drowned
My God will make a way, so I am not afraid
When I am in the fire, I will not feel the flames
I’ll stand before the giant, declaring victory
My God will make a way, so I am not afraid”
We keep coming up against situations that we cannot control. It is so difficult to wait. But this song has given me hope and encouraged me in our pursuit. God will keep his promise. We will follow him through deep waters, raging rivers, fire and against giants and not fear.
I will try to keep you updated as we progress through this process. Unfortunately, we are not in a very fast-moving process and most of the time I don’t have much to report. But keep asking, keep praying, keep encouraging and keep our Haitian baby in your prayers. If you have been through this process, I would love to talk to you.
Thank you for being a part of our story.