Friday, October 7, 2011

The End

I am going to be deleting this blog within about a week or so. Please take down/print any information you feel would be helpful with your adoption process. Thanks for visiting the blog and may God bless each of your adoption journeys!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Devastation in Haiti

I have been receiving a lot of requests since the earthquake in Haiti to contact people with information. However, we still have a son in Port-au-Prince, Haiti that we are working long hours to get out (as well as the other orphans). I look forward to contacting you and sharing information here on what you can do to help. However, at this moment we are working nearly non-stop on advocating and taking care of paper work to get our son home. Once that happens I'll do all I can to contact you. Please feel free to leave your email or questions as a comment and I'll get back to you or answer them when I can.

Continue your prayers for Haiti! And if you would like to pray for our son... His name is Jacques. He is now 17 and legally adopted for almost a year but still had not received a passport or visa. We have been told that we will be receiving a visa for him and he will be flown to somewhere in America where we can connect with him. Unfortunately, what needs to be done by the orphanage directors to get these visas defies all logic! Please keep praying for miracles. We also have a family blog I will try and update as time allows.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bringing Your Children Home!

We are very pleased to announce that three of our Haitian children have finally come home! As I get time I would like to share more about the end process (including paper work). For now I'll share some thoughts and experiences about getting your children from Haiti to America.

Before you leave Haiti with your child(ren) you will need to have a passport and visa for them. Silly me... I had no idea that their visa is added to their passport so it is really only one thing (now I know). You should also be given paperwork for your child that is in a sealed envelope as well as paper work that is not. I was concerned that immigration and getting out of Haiti was going to be a challenge~ it was not. When we arrived to check in for our flights the paperwork and passport/visas were briefly looked at. Then you will go through an immigration window (can't miss it as you have to pass through it) and again they barely looked at the information. We needed to show all the information (although the sealed envelopes remain sealed) again with their boarding passes.

Once on the plane you will be asked to fill out an immigration form. You may receive it in French but you can find the translation in one of the in-flight magazines. Now I will share what happened after we landed but please keep in mind that we went through Miami so it may not be exactly the same at other locations.

Once you exit the airplane you simply follow the signs and/or the crowds. Since you just exited an international flight everyone must go through immigration so you can not miss it. Prepare to stand in line for a long time (and if you can get off the plane quickly you may spend less time waiting). At the window you will give them the visa/passports and all the paper work you have with you. That will not be immediately returned to you. It will be taken by security and you will be immediately taken to a room to wait to be processed. For us the wait was really long (from about 10PM to midnight) but the process was super easy. They may call you up to ask you to sign something and if you have older kids they will also need to sign. Then you are free to go.

A few things I wish I had been prepared for in advance~~ Make sure you EAT. You will not be able to leave the room once taken there and you do not pass the food court on the way. ;) We had our dinner at 1AM (ugh!). Also, we did not pack any blankets or warm clothes because we were going from one warm climate to another. However, the AC was crankin' in the waiting room and we were all very cold! You also may not use your cell phone once in this room so if you need to call anyone do it when the plane lands and before you get to this point.

Do not be too concerned about your luggage but do be listening for a representative from the airline you just arrived with to come in and ask to speak with their customers. The rep. will take your information and have your luggage set aside for you until you are finished (but you will not have access to it until you are finished). After you are free to leave you will need to pick up your luggage. At Miami the luggage was simply left standing near where it came off the regular baggage claim (even though it had been hours). You will need to take your luggage through customs which should be a fairly easy process! Once finished with customs you are free to move about America!!! Welcome your children because they just became American citizens or legal residents (depending on what kind of visa they have).

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Our Big Mistake

I know I have said this quite a few times but please keep in mind I'm just blogging our experiences with the paperwork as we go through the steps of our adoptions. I can't stress enough that I'm not a professional and no where near an expert. ;) I hope that in sharing what we have done and what we are learning along the way may help others in their process. Please do double and triple check everything I or anyone else shares.

Here is the biggest mistake I made in the process. I share it in hopes of saving someone else from the same error:

The biggest error by far was my misunderstanding of the visas (I'll post more about visas soon). I did exactly what I keep encouraging everyone else NOT to do and confidently believed in the information I received from a reliable source instead of doing my own research and asking more questions. What I "understood" was that as long as BOTH parents meet the child(ren) you are adopting before they leave Haiti (at the visa appointment) then the adoption will be complete in Haiti and your children will not have to be readopted when they come home (this varies with each state law). This is not the case. You must both meet the child(ren) before the adoption decree is issued. Please, please do this if you can. We would have done it this way in a heartbeat had we not misunderstood how it works. Because my husband has not met them (but is planning on going to Haiti for the Visa appointment) we will be required to readopt our children when they are here in the US. They will also come into the country as legal aliens, not US citizens. So because of this error we will need to readopt all 3 children, and file for citizenship for them. This of course will be more expensive and time consuming then it would have been to make sure we had both been to meet them in Haiti before the adoptions were complete. It's one of those things you kick yourself for afterwards. If I could save one other family from making this mistake I would feel so much better about it! :)

Research, research, research... you may still make mistakes along the way but the less you make the better!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Contacting Me- UPDATED

I like to continue to remind everyone that I am not an adoption expert or agent-- just someone sharing what we have done and/or learned in the process of our Haitian adoption. I do not have all the answers and am still trying to figure out some of the details of the process myself.

However, I really do love to help if I can. I do not check the comments of this blog very often so please forgive me if I'm not quick to respond. If you would like to contact me for any reason at all please know that I welcome your emails . I do check emails often and can usually respond quickly.

8/08 Update- Please note that I have updated my email address to a new address. If you have emailed me in the last two months or so I may not have received it. Sorry if I missed you! We also just brought 3 of our children home a little over a week ago and I look forward to adding information about the end of the process and bringing your child(ren) home as soon as I can. While learning how to be a Mom to 6 kids it may take me a bit longer to get back to you but I do enjoy hearing from you!


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My Dossier is gathered...what now?

Congratulations on completing the biggest chunk of your part of the adoption (other then raising your child of course!). Now that all your paperwork is complete there are just a few steps to complete before sending it off to Haiti. Here are the requirements according to the orphanage we adopted from, but you may want to check with your agency/orphanage to see if they have the same process.

Once your documents are gathered, the following four (4) documents must be certified by your Secretary of State. Contact that office for instructions.
2-Psychological evaluation
3-Letter to the IBESR
4-Power of Attorney

When the certifications come back your dossier must be translated. All documents except for the bank statements, tax returns and lab reports must be translated into French and certified by the translator. Our orphanage staff translated the whole dossier into French in Haiti for $500. However, many people have recommended Deborah Blaz, who can be contacted at She has translated over 150 dossiers for Haitian adoptions and at the time of this writing she charges $250. Please contact her directly if you wish to use her services. You may also find your own translator.

After the translation is done, the same four documents that were certified must be sent to the Haitian Consulate for authentication. The Haitian Consulate charges $25 per document.

Consulate General of the Republic of Haiti
220 South State Street, Suite 2110
Chicago, IL 60604

Once you receive these documents from the Haitian Consulate they are ready to mail off to Haiti!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Why adopt from Haiti

We are asked often why we would adopt from Haiti instead of our country or elsewhere. Our answer is blissfully simple: it's where God led us...end of subject. It was not that we chose Haiti, or chose not to adopt from America or a different country but it is where our children are that God brought to us.

I did come across this article today and thought it was interesting to share:

Why Adopt From Haiti?Out of all the countries one could choose to adopt from, why would or should Haiti be considered? Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and has been plagued by violence for most of its history. I have traveled to Viet Nam, Ethiopia, and Mexico, and still the poverty of Haiti shocked me. Haiti has an estimated 8.2 million people. The unemployment rate is about 80%. The majority of the Haitian population lives on less than a $1 a day, with the median income about $60 per year. Only 25 percent of the population has access to safe drinking water, and less than 30 percent of the population has access to adequate sanitation. Just under half of the population is literate. In addition, the average life expectancy for Haitians is less than 50 years. About 70% of the population is children, with approximately 23% of the children under five suffering from malnutrition, and 10% of the children dying before the age of four. Between extreme poverty and death, there are an estimated 1.2 million orphans in Haiti. There is an obvious need for adoptive families in Haiti.Other pros for Haitian adoption include: • The Haitian people are beautiful.• Haiti has an interesting history and rich culture, and is one of the least expensive countries to adopt from.• You can have your child escorted home, or you can travel and bring them home yourself; with an in-country stay of 3-5 days.• Some agencies/facilitators allow parents to visit their child(ren) while in process.• The children are generally healthy.• Infants are available, as are toddlers, preschoolers and older children.• Sibling groups are also available (you can also adopt two unrelated children at the same time).• You can usually request the gender of your child.• You can adopt with the help of an adoption agency, or save money and adopt independently.• Single women can adopt. If you are currently deciding which country to adopt from, please consider Haiti.