Monday, December 26, 2011


...... Not with our babies, but exciting all the same! On Christmas Eve, a mommy & daddy left Haiti, with their new children, to take them to their forever home in the US. I can't think of a more special Christmas gift!! There have also been a handful of passports issued this week, which means more children are on their way!! It also means things are moving along. We have not heard anything and I'm really not expecting to anytime soon. Just knowing that things are moving along for other families who have been at this longer than we have makes it a lot easier for us to wait. For a while it seemed like nobody was hearing any news and things were at a standstill. Hoping and praying that the new year brings LOTS of movement in the system and LOTS of children HOME!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas at The Creche

We are so lucky to have a support group of other adoptive parents who are in our same situation. We belong to a Yahoo group made up of all parents adopting from the same orphanage as us. One of the girls posted this message. It just really made me so happy to picture this and know that our children are celebrating Christmas and having a very special day at the creche while we are home wishing they were with us.

I am sure I am not the only one who finds it hard to know that while we are celebrating Christmas here our children are so far away in Haiti. However, I don't want anyone to picture them alone or sad. My husband and I spent last Christmas Eve and Christmas with the Bernards and at the creche, and it was very sweet and special (you can see some photos in my album-- I think it's called Christmas 2010).

First, there are some simple Christmas decorations-- so it does look festive in the creche. Then, on Christmas day, the nannies spent hours in the morning washing and doing hair and dressing up all the kids in their nicest clothes (and themselves-- I was amazed at the formal dresses the nannies wore!). A little after noon, all the kids gathered in the big room by the pool, sitting on their little colored chairs, and Dr. Bernard and Claudette came down for the Christmas performance. Last year, all the little kids were wearing Santa hats made out of construction paper. The kids are out of school for two weeks at the holidays, but the nannies work with them during that time and from about 3-years-old up, all the kids put on the Christmas program-- they sing, recite the Christmas story and do dances to music. Then, there is a big meal (about 2 p.m. Haitian time). Finally, Dr. B passes out little gifts to every child by name and they all go up and say Joyeax Noel and he hugs them and gives them their gift. There are huge smiles and lots of laughing and squealing and checking out each other's presents. It was so sweet.

Anyway, those happy pictures in my head from last year really help me in preparing for a holiday spent apart, and I hope it might help some others too. =)

December update from Haiti

We got our monthly update from NLL today.

Good morning Mr, Mrs. Whitaker,
We hope this email finds you well and are excited to share with you this month's updates and picture of your precious kids. Starting with Jovanika, her weight is 30 and her height is 37. As for James, his weight is 22 and his height is 34. They are both doing well.
The New Life Link crew wishes you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Attached were these 2 pictures:

First of all, I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that the Christmas tree is in a big ole can! How resourceful is that, I just love it! Second, my sweet little Jovanika is clearly in that 3 year old little prissy pants stage!! Every picture of her that I have seen lately has her posing with her little hands on her hips. How cute is she!! I am still waiting on my handsome little guy to smile for me. I think he is camera shy. Pretty sure he is just holding out to show off his little smile til I come see him and his sister in 3 weeks!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

New pics!

When I was in Haiti this past June, we met the sweetest couple, Seth and Jamie. They are photographers and took some amazing pictures. Since then, they have started the adoption process and are adopting a sweet baby boy from our same orphanage. They went there over Thanksgiving and brought back some fantastic pictures of all the kiddos at the creche. I would have to say my favorite are these:

Jovanika and her friend Janika
My friend Marilee & Jovanika

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NLL update: November

I look forward to the day every month that I get the official update from NLL. Last month we didn't get a picture. So today I was surprised our update came with a pic.

Our email said:

Good morning,
We feel excited to share this month's updates of kids with you. Starting with James, his weight is 26 and his height is 34. As for Jovanika, her weight is 28 and her height is 37 and a half. They are OK. Have a nice day!

This sure did make my day nicer :)

I love how Jovanika has that hip popped out and is posing for the camera! Those big girls are teaching her a thing or two! LOL I think James is getting more comfortable with having his picture taken. For a while, each picture I got of him had him crying, like someone was holding him down forcing him to take a picture. He has worked his way up to tolerating a picture. One of these days I will get a pic of him smiling!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

New pictures!

I love, love, love that so many friends were in Haiti this past week!! That means lots of love for our babies and new pictures, which is always a plus!!

On another happy note, it looks like Jovanika's hair has grown back enough for them to "do" her hair. It does still look like she has a patch where the hair has not grown back yet. Me being nosy instructed one of my friends to get nosy as well and see if she could find out what was going on with all of that and what the cause of the "spot" on her head was. I can't wait to see if she got any info! That has to be one of the hardest parts of all this, not knowing what is going on with your kiddos. AND not being able to do anything about it. You feel so helpless. The important thing is she looks very happy! In every picture of her she is smiling and looking happy. James, on the other hand, is another story. I have yet to see him smiling. Breaks my heart.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving in Haiti

A group of people from our church went to Haiti this week for Thanksgiving. I wanted to go soooo bad. But since I already have a trip planned in January, it wasn't possible. Luckily, they are sweet enough to take pics of the kids and send them to me throughout the week.



Jovanika swinging with her friends

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday Jovanika!!

Our sweet girl is 3 today! It has been 5 months since we met this little angel and oh how I miss her sweet face!! Can't wait to see her soon!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

We are in IBESR!

We got an email from Haiti on Friday that our paperwork has gone to IBESR. According to the website, now that the paperwork is in IBESR:

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. It can take anywhere from 2-6 months.

What does that mean exactly? Who knows. But it does mean we are moving through the system. Any news is good news at this point!

This next week is an exciting week.... Jovanika is turning 3.

I wish we could be there to celebrate her! Although I can't be there, there is a group from church going over Thanksgiving week. I have given strict instructions to each of my friends going to love on my babies and get some pictures for me. It makes me so happy to know that there will be a group there to love on them and play with them. I am excited to see some updated pics of the kids, too. This last month we got an update from the orphanage but there were no pictures. I was so disappointed. But then again, I know they are so busy with all of the children and trying to get photos of every single child must be a daunting task. During this month of giving thanks, I am so very thankful for all of the people working to make these adoptions possible. Also for all of the nannies who take care of these precious children while they wait for their forever families.

In less than 2 months, I will get to go spend a week with the kids!! I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

And I can't wait to meet this sweet boy for the first time!

Why does it take so long?

I found this on another adoption blog. I found it very helpful to help understand what is going on over there while we are here waiting.

The Hatian Adoption Process

Haitian adoptions are highly complex and challenging to complete. Under Haitian law, they can be completed by an attorney or a director of one of the 67 creches licensed by IBESR - the equivalent of Haitian social services. Most Haitian adoptions are accomplished by creche directors acting as facilitators. Very few attorneys have the extensive amount of time and dedication required to process an adoption case.

The many steps listed below must be followed for each and every adoption. Add to their number the extreme difficulty of accomplishing each one: every step must be accomplished in person and by hand. Most of the offices listed do not have computers. There will be no communications by fax or email or even by official phone calls. Facilitators must visit each office personally to check on the status of each case, and carry it by hand through the traffic of Port-au-Prince to the next stage of the process.

Before an adoption case can be presented to IBESR the adoption facilitator must gather all of the following documents:

1. Passport pictures of the child
2. Birth Certificate
3. Attestation of signature on Birth Certificate or extract from the National Archives
4. Legal relinquishment of custody from the biological family to the orphanage from the local judge
5. Psychological evaluation
6. Medical evaluation
7. Laboratory tests
8. Social history
9. Proces Verbal (A court process in which the biological family grants the creche the right to place their child with your family specifically for international adoption. Can only be completed after your dossier is in Haiti.)

IBESR and Dispensation
Your dossier can now be submitted to IBESR. If your family does not meet the criteria of the law of 1974, your dossier can be pre-approved for Presidential Dispensation and delivered to the Presidential Palace by IBESR. Dispensations are published in the Haitian legal journal Le Moniteur. Following Dispensation, IBESR will sign off on your dossier and grant an Authorization of Adoption.

Parquet Court
The 'step' we refer to as Parquet court is actually a very complex series of steps and processes involving multiple offices and repeated trips between them.

1. Attorney addresses a Request for Judgment to the Chief Justice of Parquet Court
2. Birth parents are interviewed in Parquet Court
3. Parquet Court signs off on "approval judgement for adoption
4. Facilitator takes approval to DGI for stamp of authorization
5. Back to Parquet for enforcement of the approval judgement
6. Authorization and redaction from the Civil Registrar Officer for legal Adoption Decree
7. Verification in Parquet of the adoption documents by the Civil Registrar before signing the adoption decree
8. First Legalization of the Adoption Decree, in Parquet Court
9. Second Legalization of the Adoption Decree, at the Ministry of Justice
10. Third Legalization of the Adoption Decree, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
11. Obtain attestation of Adoption Decree from the National Archives

Ministry of the Interior
All international adoption cases are reviewed by the Ministry of Interior. In order to obtain authorization to request a passport, the following documents must be submitted for each child:

1. Four passport sized pictures
2. Birth Certificate
3. Attestation for the Birth Certificate
4. Extract from the National Archives for the Birth Certificate
5. Relinquishment
6. Proces Verbal of adoption
7. Adoption approval judgement
8. Adoption Decree
9. Attestation of the Adoption Decree
10. Power of Attorney for creche director and/or attorney
11. Stamp from DGI
12. Notary letter for the passport
13. Identification card of facilitator and/or attorney on the case
14. Biological parents' identification cards
15. Adoptive parents' MOI form, identification, and passport photos

The Ministry of Interior will grant authorization to submit the dossier to Haitian Immigrations for a passport.

Haitian Immigrations
The facilitator will submit authorization to apply for a passport to Haitian Immigrations. This is generally a quick process - one to two weeks, if all equipment is working properly.

US Immigrations
Note to international readers - US Immigrations performs the most rigorous investigation of international adoptions. Other nations' Immigrations process are different. Please check with your agency to learn about the process for your home country.)

Parts of the US Immigrations process can occur concurrently with the Haitian process, however USCIS cannot sign off on the case until they have verified the final Adoption Decree and the child's passport. DNA may be requested at any time.

American families are advised to work closely with their agencies to ensure a smooth and efficient US Immigrations process for their child.

Approximately three to four weeks following completion of all USCIS investigations and adjudication of the I600 for the child, the case will be forwarded to the Department of State for issuance of a Visa. The Department of State also has the right to request DNA testing for birth parent and child. Adoptive parents need not be present for the Visa appointment.

Parents who can prove that they visited their child prior to the issuance of the Adoption Decree by Parquet Court will be issued an IR-3 Visa. Their children will be automatically granted full US Citizenship upon arrival in the US.

Families who did not visit their children prior to the date of the Adoption Decree must file for citizenship for their children. Failure to file for citizenship will leave the child as a legal immigrant and unprotected by the rights of full citizenship. Please refer to the USCIS website for form N-600 and instructions on how to file.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I feel like Nancy Grace saying that!

Last week, one of the adoptive moms from our group visited Haiti. She was kind enough to send me these pictures of the kids:

I was SO THRILLED to get these pictures!! I love that we have this supportive group of adopting parents who get pictures and love on each other's kiddos when they are there and we aren't! This is the first picture I have seen of Jovanika's head. In the pictures the orphanage have sent me, her head is covered up with a hat. Needless to say, I am very concerned! Everyone I have talked to about it assures me it is probably a fungal thing. I was just surprised to see THAT. That looks worse than just a little ringworm or something, you know what I mean?

Speaking of surprises....

One of the adoptive parents who was visiting in Haiti sent me an email. Whenever something starts with "I don't know if I should tell you this, but..." you know it can't be good. Last week while she was in Haiti, she was at Dr. Bernard's (the man who runs the orphanage) office after going to court. While they were getting ready to head back to the guest house, a woman showed up with an infant. She was giving it up. So they all got in the car together to take the baby to the orphanage. They all started conversing. The woman said the baby was 6 months old, however, my friend said the baby girl was the size of a newborn, just tiny. The lady told her that she had 2 younger children already there who are being adopted out. When asked who her children are, she responded with:


It doesn't stop there. She also said something about there being another kid who is older than J & J. The language barrier was a bit of an issue, so it is a possibility that there was some confusion or misunderstanding going on. But it was made pretty clear that this little baby is the little sister of our kids.

My first response when I read the email was tears. The first though that ran through my mind was "what if we get a phone call that says we HAVE to take this baby if we want to take the other two".... since they don't split up siblings. Then I kind of began questioning things, because if they don't split up siblings (which is what we were told when they told us we had to adopt James if we wanted Jovanika)than where is this older sibling she mentioned? Then I wanted details.... what did the parents look like? Were they excited their kids are being adopted? How did they know the kids were being adopted? Lots of things ran through my mind. But most of all, I worried about getting that phone call. Don't get me wrong, I would love to be able to take all of them. But we do not have the means to take care of all of them. If I had Angelina Jolie's resources (and nannies) then I would love to be able to do that. But we don't. It was a stretch for us to agree to take both children. I also feel guilty about splitting up these kids. I have to remind myself that they don't know each other. But still... I kind of wish I didn't even know. I would have saved myself the stress and guilt of playing the "what if" game. With all that being said, I am so glad that this mama told me what was going on and gave me a "head's up" regarding the situation. I know it must have been stressful on her deciding if she should say something or not.

The shock has worn off. We haven't decided if we are going to call and inquire about all of this. Part of me wants to take the "maybe if you ignore it, it won't happen" approach. Part of me also thinks that the baby has been there over a week now and we haven't heard anything, so maybe that is a good thing. So please pray that things stay on track and none of this new information hinders our progress.

Dossier sent to Haiti!

This is the stack of paperwork being delivered to NLL in Haiti tomorrow!! I whole-heartedly believe that if we required prospective parents to jump through these kinds of hoops to be approved to procreate, we would have a lot less issues in this world!

Tonight we dropped off our paperwork with our friend who is headed to Haiti in the morning. SOOOOO glad to have this part done! And very thankful to know someone to take it for us. Now to sit back and wait......

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dossier complete!

Just as I was losing hope that we were going to get the forms back in time from the Haitian Consulate, we had a surprise waiting on the front doorstep this afternoon!!!

Perfect timing.... tomorrow we can make copies of everything and take it to our friends tomorrow night. They will be hand delivering it to NLL in Haiti on Thursday morning!!!!

This also means we are officially finished with the paperwork portion of this process. We can finally breathe a sigh of relief. The last 3 months has been consumed with making sure we have every document notarized, authenticated, mailed to the right people, etc. etc. etc...... It feels so good to be able to sit back and wait on everybody else to do their part for a while.

Speaking of.... I read online today that Haiti was supposed to appoint a new prime minister today. They have been waiting on this because the prime minister appoints all of the people in government office, like the people who sign off on adoptions. Things have been on hold or moving very slowly over there because there have not been people in place to do these jobs. Hopefully with someone in place, they can get things moving and the process will speed up.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

September update from NLL

We received our monthly update on the kiddos. They are healthy and doing well :))))))

Yesterday we got our appointment card in the mail from USCIS to go get our fingerprints. We will go a week from Tuesday. This means not only are we one step closer, I also get an unexpected day off.... they assign you an appointment and you make it. I guess they figure if you can afford to adopt, you can afford to take a day off to make your appointment.

Unfortunately we have not heard anything back from the Haitian Consulate. These are the people who we are waiting on to mail us back some forms we need. We have to have the forms to send with our paperwork. We are hoping to have it in time to send it with our friend, who is leaving for Haiti on Thursday. Please pray, keep your fingers crossed, think good thoughts.... whatever it is you do. We REALLY need to get this form by Wednesday so that we can send all of our paperwork to Haiti on Thursday morning. It will be very costly for us if we can't send it with our friend and we have to end up Fed-Exing it.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday James!

Our little guy is turning 2 today! While he is in an orphanage in Haiti, not knowing that today is any different from any other, we are wishing he was here with us. We celebrated by having a bunch of friends over to watch the Cowboys game. We hope and pray that by this time next year, we can have a REAL birthday party with the birthday boy home to celebrate with us!! Happy birthday James!! And may you get through the terrible two's super fast.........

Friday, September 16, 2011

Waiting on the Haitian Consulate

We are SO so so close to be done with all of this paperwork! Yesterday we received our translated dossier back from the lady in France. Today, Brandon mailed off the four documents that need authentication from the Haitian Consulate in Miami. Once we receive those back, we will be ready to send everything off to Haiti!!!! A friend from church is leaving October 6th to go to the orphanage and is on standby to deliver our dossier to Dr. Bernard. Please please please pray we have our documents back in time. Otherwise we will have to mail everything there. That will not only be very costly, but also not as reliable. I would feel much better knowing it is being hand delivered, rather than sitting in a mailbox.

I will be so relieved once this part is done. It has been very stressful going through the home study process and gathering all the documents, going from appointment to appointment and writing letter after letter. Making sure documents get to the right place and that you send the right amount of money. Getting things notarized and having friends write letters on your behalf. UGH! I, for one, never knew there were so many governmental agencies with so many different purposes. Or that one agency could have several different addresses in the same city... really?!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Secretary of State

On Friday, Brandon drove down to Austin and got some of the documents authenticated by the Secretary of State. 3 hours there, 20 minutes getting the documents stamped, and 3 hours back.

Yesterday, we mailed off our I-600 A application, along with a hefty check to the USCIS office in Dallas. We will wait to hear if we are approved by them to adopt.

In the next couple of days, we will be scanning all of our documents and emailing them to Isabelle in France to translate everything into French. She will email them back, we will print them off, and then we have to mail some of them to the Haitian consulate in Miami to approve them. Then once we get that back, we will send the documents (known as the dossier in adoption lingo) to Haiti!!

After the dossier gets to Haiti, we will wait patiently and pray that the powers to be will do their job quickly so we can get the kiddos home :)

Something to look forward to... in 4 months, I will be on a plane to see my babies in Haiti!! SO. VERY. EXCITED!!!!

August update from NLL

I had anxiously been awaiting our August update on the kids. It finally came in my email. I got the following email:

Good morning Lori and Family,

We are happy to send you update of your children for the month of August. First, they doing well, Jovanika have one's hair cut because she was sick, but now everything is ok.

Jovanika's weight is 30 pound and height is 36 cm
James's weight is 26 pound and height is 32 cm

James was some capricious this month but they are well by grace of the Lord.

Best Regards

Nore /NLL

What?! First of all, I had to look up what "capricious" meant. As Brandon said, it sounds like we may have a house full of attitudes! But more importantly, I am worried about Jovanika. As any moms know, it is a bit alarming to get an email that says your child is sick and we had to cut off all her hair!! Immediately I want to know what was she sick with? Did she get lice? This is the hardest part of all of this.... you have no idea what is going on. I am very thankful however that whatever it is, they took care of it and she is ok now.

Here is the picture we got. Looks like James is still being "some capricious" and Jovanika is still beautiful even without her hair.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Phych Evals & Fingerprints

Everyone keeps wanting an update! Unfortunately, everything has been moving pretty slow, so I haven't had much. Til last week!

We were waiting and waiting and waiting to get our home study back. Turns out the people LOST our fingerprints, so they were unable to give us the home study until they got the prints back with a clear criminal history. It was a problem, because they weren't cheap to do, and of course the finger print people wanted us to pay to redo them. And we were not wanting to do that, since it wasn't our error. After going in circles for about 3 weeks, we finally got it resolved. They decided to "waive" our finger prints and release the home study to us. Whew! I'm fairly certain with me being a teacher and Brandon working for the government, we have had very extensive background checks done on both of us. But I digress... Bottom line is.... IT'S DONE! And we got our notarized copies in the mail last week.

We also were waiting and waiting and waiting to get our psych eval back from the psychologist. You see, apparently he was moving, so he had to put us on hold. Must be nice to have a job where you can not work for 3 weeks while you work. I suppose he got everything moved, because we got our letter and we are done with that part, too!

Now, we have to find a day to drive down to Austin and get some documents authenticated by the Secretary of State. We also have to file our I-600A with the USCIS office. We were already to mail in the paperwork. Then we noticed the $890 filing fee!!! Ouch. When is payday again??

As soon as those get done, we will get our documents all translated and mail them off to Haiti. My goal is to have them in Haiti by the end of September.

So that's it. It is amazing the time and money that goes into this process. On paper it looks like it should be fairly easy. You don't realize how much of it you have to depend on other people for. And not all people (especially psychologists) are on your schedule.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

An update from Haiti

This week I received an update on Jovanika and James. I received this picture:

I don't think James was too thrilled about his photo op! Looks like sweet Jovanika was trying to comfort him. The whole time we were in Haiti together, whenever she saw another child crying, she would hold their hand or rub their arm to comfort them. I loved that about her.

The email we got was short and sweet updating us on their height and weight and letting us know that they were very healthy. I would prefer a daily update telling me what they had for lunch, who they played with that day, and if they brushed their teeth.... but I guess this will have to do.

That's probably been one of the highlight of my week. Brandon has been out of town working. So I've been in single mom mode. Haven't cooked one meal. Unless cereal counts as cooking, which I'm pretty sure it doesn't. While we haven't been busy cooking, we have been busy with playdates, swimming with friends, going out to lunch (and dinner), and making mental notes of the things I need to do to get ready for school.

Oh! And getting our home study completed!!!


Probably not near as exciting for you as it is for me. But that means we have collected all of our paperwork we need. We have been interviewed for 3 hours. We have gotten our vet records for the pets. We have gotten fingerprinted and background checked. We have gotten cleared by the police department. We've even passed a psych evaluation, although if it had been this week I may have failed.

So now I am waiting to get the notarized copies in the mail and then we are ready to send them in to USCIS to get approved. And take it to Austin to get authenticated by the Secretary of State. Then we will get them translated and ready to send to Haiti!!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Checking things off the list.

It feels SO great to be able to check things off of this massive list of things we have to prepare to send to Haiti. Earlier this week we did our home study visit. Now we just wait for our social worker to write up the report. Today we got our finger prints done and we met with our psychologist to get a psych evaluation done. Well, not "our" psychologist. We didn't know him before today. But he was a lovely man I and would highly recommend him to anyone who needs a psychologist. Tomorrow we (Avery included) have to get a complete physical. Who knows, we may even drop by the police department to get our letter stating that we don't have a criminal record. Probably after we drop by the bank to get a letter stating we do, in fact, have legit bank accounts with money (not much though, HA!) in it.

It is amazing to me all of the things one has to do to adopt a child. Yet, there are no requirements for people to have their own kid. Pretty sure if we enforced some of these requirements on any person that wants to procreate, we would have a lot less crazies running around the world. I mean, you have to have a license to drive a car, why can't you make people pass a parenting test to have a kid?? I'm sure that infringes on somebody's rights. And we wouldn't want to do that.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Home Study

Today was the day our social worker Kristen was coming out to spend 3 hours at our home. It was our first time to meet her. All of our correspondence so far has been via email, so I was glad to finally get to meet her.

I went back and forth about how to clean my house for this event.... Do I really clean, so she thinks we are tidy people? I mean, I would hate for her to get out her magnifying glass and white rag and discover all the dust on our baseboards. What if only a quarter inch of dust is acceptable and we have half an inch? Big decisions to be made over here.

So I went with picking up all the "stuff" and lightly cleaning. No scrubbing of the toilets but I did windex the counter tops off. And I did mop the wood floors.... there were the footprints of dusty, barefoot children all over and what appeared to be remnants of when the dog puked on the floor as I was walking out the door and I didn't do a very good job wiping it up. I know, disgusting. But a little dog puke is not going to make me late for dropping off Avery to mother's day out at church....

I digress....

So Kristen came. She interviewed all of us together and then each of us seperately. It was basically the same questions from the form we had already filled out. The usual "what was your childhood like?"..... "what is your parenting style?"......

During Brandon's solo interview, they got to talking about college and he was telling her about how he went to ACU for undergrad. Turns out, she went to ACU also. Not only that, but her brother and Brandon were good friends!!! How crazy is that! Small world!!

During Avery's interview, Kristen asked her what her dad and her do together for fun. The only thing my daughter could come up with was "watch tv." Watch tv?? What about all the campouts he takes her on? What about teaching her to ride bikes? What about taking her swimming? Nope. I wanted to jump in and throw all that out there. But I didn't want her to know I was standing around the corner eavesdropping, so I kept my mouth shut.

After the 3 hour of interviews, she toured the house and we were done. Pretty painless. I think the worst part was when she asked me what my weaknesses are. Why is that such a hard question?? I thought about saying that one of weaknesses is telling my daughter to go turn on the tv and get a pop tart out of the pantry while i roll over and get a few more minutes of sleep. I didn't though. So I went with the ole "I don't tell people 'no' so I end up being on PTA, hosting parties, and countless other things that sound like fun at the moment but then overwhelm me and make me crazy." That sounds good, right?

Ah, one more thing to check off the list. Only 3 more things to do this week. Thank goodness none of them require cleaning or someone coming to my house.

Friday, July 8, 2011


So it was killing me that I had no idea who James is. I don't know what his precious little face looks like. I don't know anything about his personality. So I did what anyone who wants to find out about someone does....

I got on Facebook.

And put an SOS out there to see if anyone knew who this child is. And even better, if anyone had a photo.

Just so happens, one of the girls named Ashley who was with our group is a hair stylist. And she happened to have been playing with James and noticed his hair was really long and back in braids, kinda looking girly. So she rescued his hair and gave him his first haircut. AND She had pics documenting it!!!

I think it's kinda cool that I have pics of his very first haircut!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

We are approved and a HUGE surprise!

So, we got the approval email we were waiting for!!!!! YAY!!!! We were "officially" approved to adopt Jovanika!!!


And then a few minutes later, we got another email.....

The subject line was "Jovanika has a brother".......


After picking my jaw up off the floor, the email said that after starting the file for Jovanika, they realized that she has a little brother, who is 1, also at the orphanage. They do not ever seperate siblings, so we needed to decide if we want to adopt both of them or if we prefer, they can match us up with another girl when one comes available.

Wow. Just wow.


James and Jovanika Whitaker

They are exactly 10 months apart (!!!) and completely adorable. I am just about heartbroken that I didn't know about James when I was in Haiti. I would have loved to have gotten to know him as well as Jovanika.

We planned on getting one little girl. But as my friend reminded me, sometimes God has a better plan than we do for us. I am quite certain this is the case. Although it does nearly blow my mind to think that we will go from one to 3, I know this is all part of the plan and can hardly wait to see what this journey entails.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Starting "the process"

We emailed Dr. Bernard and let him know that we wanted to adopt Jovanika. Our instructions were to wait on an "official" approval email in return. We waited about a week. I know that internet is kind of spotty in Haiti. I was getting very antsy and beginning to wonder if they had even gotten our email! What if they didn't get our email and then some other family comes along and scoops up our girl?? The dramatic side of me came out, and I made Brandon call Dr. Bernard in Haiti and see what was going on.

Turns out he had not gotten our email. Internet had been out all week. He said that he would make us his first priority and that as soon as he could check his emails, he would respond. Don't you know I will be glued to yahoo, waiting for that email to come through!

3 becomes 4

So after I got back from Haiti, I couldn't stop thinking about Jovanika. I felt like we were brought together for a reason. I mean, really, what are the odds..... she was the first little girl that ran up to me and attached herself to me, we start bonding and then come to find out, she is the only little girl in our desired age range available. It was meant to be!!

So after careful consideration, Brandon and I decided we wanted to proceed with adopting Jovanika!! Avery has always wanted to be a big sister, and we think Jovanika is the perfect match! Jovanika will be 3 in November, so there is about a 3 year age difference between the girls. Perfect!!


Jovanika Whitaker

Friday, June 24, 2011

Last day in Haiti

Today is another down day. We get to be tourists and shop. We are starting to get packed up and ready to go back home. Last year, I left most of my clothes for the people here. They give the stuff left behind to the workers here and other people in need. Not leaving as much this year... hoping I will be back soon!

Last day to play with the kids in the creche :(