One of the biggest changes I have had to grieve is the fact we have yet to set our feet on Haitian soil this year. I thought I would have been to Haiti and back way before this post, but alas, here I still sit blogging about it instead. We were informed on July 30th that our Presidential dispensation was signed. Whew! A HUGE praise! We knew it would take 2-12 weeks for Nora's name to be printed in the Haitian legal journal (Le Moniteur), but that after it was printed we would be heading to Haiti. We were told we could be on that trip as early as the end of August if all went smoothly. Well, as with every stage of this adoption, you learn more and more about the process you didn't know before...it's just that sometimes you learn it right as it's happening and that creates CHANGE when you least expected it. Obviously the end of August has come and gone, the end of September has come and gone, and from what we are being told, the end of October will still come and go before we get to Haiti.
What we found out is...
1) Even after Nora's name was printed in Le Moniteur (in the online version on September 7th) the hard-copy version in Haiti did not print until at least September 17th. Gotta love Haiti.
2) That a trip does not happen immediately after the printing of that journal. Our paperwork still would need the director of IBESR to sign off on it before it could move forward.
3) After it is signed off by IBESR, there are a series of steps in Parquet (the next big "stage") that have to be completed before our appointment with the Dean can take place, which is one of the two appointments this trip is meant for. I was originally under the impression those steps came after the trip, not before.
All of these things could very well take us to the end of November. We got an updated message from our director on Monday and discovered we are still stuck in IBESR because the director has yet to sign off on our dossier. This typically happens 1-2 weeks after the name is printed in Le Moniteur, but we are obviously past 2 weeks now and still waiting. We know we are not alone in this wait as others from other orphanages are also waiting for their paperwork to be signed off on too. No one seems to be able to get an answer as to why this sign off is being held up. Here is a photo recently posted on our Haiti Adoptions facebook group of the IBESR building. This is a visual of where our paperwork is stuck and needs to be delivered out of. If you are a praying person, we would covet your prayers for movement out of this building TODAY!!! As much as I would LOVE to have held Nora by now, I look forward for next month when *hopefully* that dream will become a reality.
Another big change is that our orphanage director now has an assistant who will help her in the communication with adoptive families. This has been a desperate need and an answer to prayer. Our director is overwhelmingly busy with over 30 children's processes to handle all on her own. Having a secretary/assistant she can trust and rely on has been a blessing, blessing, blessing! So, meet Christelle. She is the one God has called into this roll and we are blessed to have her already. She was instrumental in setting up a birthday party for Nora and getting us pictures of the event. She came to America for studies and has gone back to Haiti to share her gifts and talents so her English is impeccable and SO incredibly appreciated by me!!! We are incredibly blessed to know she is there helping our director out. Chris has been a reminder to me that change is not always bad!
|Christelle holding Nora|
|Nora's 1st Birthday Party! They said she was a little taken back by the party, but she LOVED eating the cake!|
|Our beautiful birthday girl!|
Lastly, as we got the photos of Nora at her first birthday party, we realized they were not taken at the Rivers of Hope orphanage with the children I have come to know by name, love as nieces and nephews, and walk alongside of their adopting families over the past year. Hence, another CHANGE I've had to grieve this week. Along with Rivers of Hope's original orphanage where Nora has been the past year, our director has also recently opened up a second orphanage location just 10 minutes away. This second location is where Nora is now living. The grief I have in this move of Nora really comes selfishly as I feel as if the families and children I have come to know and love are now more distant from me. When I see photos of all of these other children, it will be sad to know Nora is not amongst them anymore. When others go down on trips to see their babies, I can only hope a visit to the other orphanage will still happen so I can get a few photos of Nora, but it probably won't happen every time. The children who will now surround her I will simply not get to know as well because many of their adopting families are going through an agency on the US end that will not allow us to know who they are. I wish that was different so I could send photos and info to these precious parents dying for updates and photos of their little ones.
It is a sad change for me, but in the same breath it is a wonderful change for Nora. The silver lining on this change is that the new location is SO much nicer than the regular orphanage Nora has been at. The second silver lining is the children at this orphanage are much closer in age to Nora. A mission team of women as well as Ashley and Audra have helped to paint the new location with vivid colors and gorgeous murals that help to make the day to day life of these children so much happier! There are two stories to this orphanage where the boys have a bedroom and the girls have a bedroom. There is even a playroom! I LOVE the idea of Nora having different rooms to sleep, eat, and play in (at the old orphanage all of these activities happened in the same area). As I said above, the other blessing is the children at this orphanage location are generally much younger than those at ROH's original location so that will make Nora's playtime much more interactive as well. I can not help but think this will do wonders for her social skills because before she tended to just contently sit and watch the older children play instead of playing herself. Here she can interact with other playmates and learn how to play together. Priceless. So, even though I have had to grieve some aspects of this change, I also am excited for all that is ahead of her in her new space. Only one more move in her future...into our home in Indiana!
|The new orphanage building before paint|
|The new orphanage building before paint|
|The new orphanage with color and murals!|
So, as you can see, some of our adoption changes have been frustrating to wrap our brains around, some have been answers to prayer, some have been a mix of sad and happy. They all are out of our control and changes we will have to accept with hearts focused on new hope and expectations. Next month, friends, next month I'll have new photos of Nora...and I'll be in them with her!!!