Sunday, November 13, 2011

A 1-2 Year Wait Still? Really? Why????

This is the question we find everyone asking us...Why will you still have a 1-2 year wait since you know who Nora is now and are willing to take her home? Well, I'll do my best to explain this process to you, but one thing we are learning along this road is that EVERY adoption journey is different and ours will not be exactly like others we know. We will share what we know from others' experiences of adopting from ROH in Haiti as well as generalities we know from this process so far. God could do a miracle and bring Nora home to us sooner than a year, but from our knowledge of the process, that is highly unlikely so let me explain why.

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:

  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. 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 Nora's paperwork is completed, her paperwork and our paperwork (the dossier that took me 2 months of gathering on our end) will be sent to IBESR, which is the equivalent of the Haitian Social Services. IBESR could take anywhere from 2-6 months to get out of. Because we don't meet the qualifications for a Haitian adoption (which are married for over 10 years, one of us being at least 35 years old, and having no more than 2 biological children) we will need a special Presidential dispensation. This is basically an extra few months potentially of waiting to get the signature of the current President of Haiti saying he approves of us adopting.

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...
  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

Once we are through the Parquet Court part, we enter the next stage--Ministry of the Interior, which is where we are requesting approval for a passport for the child. MOI can take anywhere from 3-6 months to get through. Here is what's needed for that approval:
  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

After getting the MOI approval for a passport it is sent to Haitian Immigration for the passport and visa. This can take 1-3 weeks to have them sent back to the orphanage. As soon as Nora's passport and visa are there, we can go to pick her up and bring her home!

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...
(Nora in her birth-mom's arms being dropped off at ROH)

(Nora with her big sister, Giselle, who is being adopted to a wonderful family in Canada)

(Our sleeping beauty)

Please continue to pray for us and Nora as we keep moving though this long journey. We still need financial support as well, so look back to our other blog posts if you would like to help us with the financial end of things. We also have great news that our fundraising calendars are at the printer and should be in our hands by the end of the week! Maybe you will want one to keep track of our months and months of progress! They will be available online here at the top right of this blog and then at various downtown businesses here in Goshen. More details on the calendars in the next post! : )

1 comment:

  1. She really is just too cute for words :) You have spelled out the process well... when I was with Rachel waiting for the Dean, she said that Parquet could take 1-6 months. The quickest I've heard of after earthquake was one month, another one about 3 month - I haven't heard of anyone taking the 6 months so far, so hopefully we aren't the first! In MOI I have heard of people passing in 4-6 weeks, but a few families from our O have been stuck there for about 6 months. That's partly whats so frustrating about adopting from Haiti is that there really are no "usuals". Takes a lot of faith and patience!