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.