Just an update here...a "not-so-skinny" on our adoption process for those following along. A "skinny" means I'm just going to give you the concise details/facts without a lot of unnecessary details. For those who have been following this blog or know me well you will immediately recognize this as a challenge for me--I'm just a wordy girl--so, alas, this is the "not-so-skinny"! Anyway, on with the details...
We got an email from our orphanage director last night saying our Adoption Decree is being prepared now and she hopes to have it next week to prepare it for MOI! This is awesome news! The Adoption Decree is the tail end of Parquet Court (where our paperwork is currently). This decree, on paper, legally makes Nora Josephine officially Nora Josephine Thieszen! Yep, it means on paper she will legally be ours, however, there are still many things that need to happen before we will get to bring our girl home. It will still feel wonderful to know this major step has been accomplished. The preparing of our paperwork for MOI is a series of 4 different legalizations/signatures from 4 different departments verifying other signatures on our paperwork. This stage is supposed to take 1-2 months. Each signature should only take a week to receive, but each department only signs the papers on specific days of the week so if our paperwork gets dropped off on a Wednesday and they only sign on Tuesdays then it will sit until the following Tuesday. If that happens at each place the 4 weeks turns into 8 pretty easily. Please pray for our paperwork to get to each department on the perfect day to move us through in 4 weeks!
After those legalizations are complete we move into MOI (Ministry of Interior). This part of the process is a very tedious check over all of the paperwork in order to issue the child's passport. If the paperwork has no errors, this part should be only a month long at most. If the paperwork has mistakes, however, it can be a very long and daunting task to get them corrected. For example, if there is a spelling mistake in the second sentence, they will just stop reading the paperwork at that point and send it back saying it needs to be corrected. Once that spelling error is corrected, it would go back to them at MOI and they would continue reading. If they find another mistake in the third sentence then back again it goes to the lawyer for more corrections. Our paperwork would go on and on with the back and forth dance until it is all correct. So, obviously, in this stage we are praying for all of our paperwork to be error-free so we can move through this stage quickly.
After MOI, our passports will be printed. We hope our passport time frame will be similar to the others of our orphanage, which is just a few days, but others adopting from other orphanages seem to be getting stuck in passports for much longer so, again, another area where we will pray God can issue that passport in just a few days. With a passport in hand, all of the paperwork can be presented to the US Embassy to complete our visa application. From what we have heard, this ending visa stage could be around another month of time. When the visa is complete we can head down to pick Nora up and bring her home!
So, if all goes well in each of the following stages, we could potentially have Nora home in February/March! However, with everything in Haiti, there is always potential for delays, changes, mistakes, etc. We continually try to be realistic in our own thoughts for time frames--we humanly estimate more of a late spring/early summer homecoming. God, however, is completely ABLE to bring Nora home as soon as miraculously possible so we will allow Him to be the one to truly decide the homecoming time frame. Both of Micah and my birthdays are in March and I can't think of a better birthday gift this year than to have my little girl in my arms in Goshen, Indiana!
So friends, we covet your prayers this week for our paperwork to be finished up in Parquet court and for our Adoption Decree to be printed so we can move forward into legalizations. The following week we want to also ask for prayers specifically on Wednesday, December 5th. This is the date of the birth parent interview at the US Embassy. Nora's birth mom, Adrienne, has to go before the Embassy to give them her own "okay" for Nora to become our daughter. This sounds easy enough, but from what we have heard, this interview feels more like an interrogation than a pleasant meeting. Please pray first of all that Adrienne will show up for the interview and for her to remain calm and simply answer the questions they have for her well. Pray for the Embassy worker to not be harsh on Adrienne for her desire to see Nora have a "better life" than what she feels she could have offered her personally. Pray that the interview would ultimately be a success and our visa paperwork would continue on in the process uninterrupted.
Thankfully, our director also sent this in her email last night: "I just talked to Adrienne as I
was reading your e-mail. She will come December 5 for the interview. She
was telling me that her phone doesn't work properly, so she has to put
her sim in another phone when she has to call somebody. Thank God it was
the right time I called her." Another testimony that God is in control here, friends, and He desires for Nora to get through this process even more than we do! I'm praising Him today for making things as simple as phone calls to go through at the exact right time!
As always, thank you all for your prayers. Keep them coming over the next few weeks for these important steps we need to get through. I will update everyone as we know more--perhaps a more "skinny" version of an update...perhaps not-ha! Blessings!
P.S. We had also gotten an update a few days ago about Nora. She was only a few days away from taking her first steps on her very own so this could have easily have happened over the weekend. This is a thrilling event for her as well as us. She was walking well with our hands while we were there so knowing her progression is happening as it should comforts us in the wait. I can't wait to be able to see that walk again with my own eyes!