Yes, we got photos of Nora Josephine and we are ecstatic to see her huge eyes and chubby cheeks, but what happens now? Let's start there. We got the email on Thursday. On Friday the director of ROH, Rachel, took her to have her labs and medical exams done. She is waiting on the results of those tests to make sure Nora is healthy before starting the rest of the paperwork. I have no idea how long that takes...a few days, a few weeks, I don't know. Once we get an email from Rachel saying her medical exams came back great we will send down our first big chunk of money to Rachel and she will begin the paperwork on Nora. The paperwork on Nora herself can take up to 2 months to gather. All of these things happen through face-to-face meetings typically in Port-Au-Prince which is an hour drive out of the mountains. No phone calls, emails, or faxes will accomplish these things--it's all face-to-face, hand-to-hand meetings. Here is what all Rachel needs just for Nora:
Passport pictures of the child
Attestation of signature on Birth Certificate or extract from the National Archives
Legal relinquishment of custody from the biological family to the orphanage from the local judge
Process 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.
Once we have Presidential Dispensation and are through IBESR, we enter Parquet Court and work with Immigration, which can take 1-6 months. I will be going down to Haiti for two of the steps in this process. Those two steps will be meetings with the Dean (Judge of all judges) to get approval and to meet with Immigration at the US Embassy in Haiti. There are many steps in this part of the process and we don't have to be down there for all of them thankfully, just those two meetings, but here is the list of all that is happening...
Attorney addresses a Request for Judgment to the Chief Justice of Parquet Court
Birth parents are interviewed in Parquet Court
Parquet Court signs off on "approval judgement for adoption
Facilitator takes approval to DGI for stamp of authorization
Back to Parquet for enforcement of the approval judgement
Authorization and redaction from the Civil Registrar Officer for legal Adoption Decree
Verification in Parquet of the adoption documents by the Civil Registrar before signing the adoption decree
First Legalization of the Adoption Decree, in Parquet Court
Second Legalization of the Adoption Decree, at the Ministry of Justice
Third Legalization of the Adoption Decree, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Obtain attestation of Adoption Decree from the National Archives
Four passport sized pictures
Attestation for the Birth Certificate
Extract from the National Archives for the Birth Certificate
Proces Verbal of adoption
Adoption approval judgement
Attestation of the Adoption Decree
Power of Attorney for creche director and/or attorney
Stamp from DGI
Notary letter for the passport
Identification card of facilitator and/or attorney on the case
Biological parents' identification cards
Adoptive parents' MOI form, identification, and passport photos
UGH! Are you as tired as we are after reading through all of that??? Let me repeat again that ALL of these steps are in person and take multiple trips to get through. It's truly no wonder it takes this long. If you add up all the high ends of those blue time lines, it equals just under 21 months of work with no hiccups....hence why we say it will still take 1-2 years of time until we can bring our Nora home.
In the meantime, we plan on making a special trip (maybe mid-January) to see those big eyes and chubby cheeks in person and then cherish all the photos we can of our little girl. Pictures like these now help our days go by a little faster...