Friday, June 09, 2006


Welcome to our blog world! I'm not much of a journal keeper, but with all of the blogs that I keep stumbling upon it occurred to me that this might be an easier way for me to record some of the exciting, and even not so exciting things that are happening in our lives right now. For now, it's just for me and maybe my family. If ever it seems like somebody else might be interested in what I have to say I may share it with them too. I just don't want the details of our lives right now to be forgotten or lost in the jumble of everyday living.I have no idea how far this will go or how long I will continue it, but I'm just going to jump right in.

Last December - just a few days after Christmas 2005, Phil and I finally came to the realization that we really do have another child waiting for us. That might seem like a strange way to think of it, but considering the fact that we had been struggling with an adoption decision for some time it was a very significant event. I'll never forget when he came into my office (which just happens to be down the hall from his office) and stated rather matter-of-factly that he was ready to move forward with an adoption, and he thought it should be international. At that point we had been on the waiting list for a child through LDS Family Services for just about a year, and that whole time Phil just never felt great about it. He wasn't necessarily opposed to expanding our family; rather he just wasn't experiencing the same feelings that we had in anticipation of our first beautiful son who joined our family almost five years ago. I wasn't exactly convinced that another domestic adoption was the way to go either, but I knew that I wanted Adam to have a sibling . We had briefly discussed an international adoption before his pronouncement, but it certainly wasn't something that I ever thought we would really do. That's why my reaction to his declaration wasn't exactly anticipated by either of us. I simply said "I think you're right. And I think our baby is in Haiti."

I'm going to take one step backwards before I move forward with our story. Just a couple of days before this conversation I had sent Phil an email article from our local newspaper about an orphanage in Haiti (Creche de l'enfant Jesus) that we had become aware of through some friends. A Child's Hope Foundation ( is the organization that built and runs the orphanage and they had recently brought close to a dozen children from Haiti to meet ther new American families in Salt Lake City. The local news picked up the story, and it was in the newspaper and on the television. I wasn't necessarily suggesting to Phil that we should jump on board, but since our friends had talked to us about ACHF and their experiences in Haiti I thought he might find the article interesting. At any rate Phil read the article, watched the news clip on the ACHF website and then thought about it for a day or two before he had a spiritual confirmation that we needed to pursue this. That's when he came into my office, and apparently I had some sort of confirmation of my own because I didn't skip a beat when he said what he said.

ACHF works in several countries, and we could have gone in a number of different directions: China, Mexico, Haiti, Peru, etc. We could have even gone with a different organization I suppose, but we didn't really even talk about it in depth because we both knew that our child was Haitian. Why would we go to China to adopt a Haitian baby? That would have made no sense at all.

So, we waited until everybody started to return from the Christmas holidays and after the first of the year we contacted LDSFS to do a little begging to see if they would handle our international adoption. Even though they weren't in the international business, our social worker referred us to a woman at church headquarters who told us that she would talk to the head of LDSFS to see if they would approve us as part of a pilot program. After a few more phone calls and several weeks we got the go ahead. LDSFS took us on as their second international adoption family. Our sincerest hope is that we are just in the beginning phase of LDSFS opening up to doing international adoptions on a regular basis.

On March 3 we submitted our initial application and $685 to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). We have had to scale a few hurdles with them and are still not out of the woods as far as receiving their approval, but we are confident that it will happen. Hopefully it won't be much longer before we receive the approval letter (form I-171h) in the mail and then we can go to ACHF to get access to a website with their available children on it. At that point we will find our baby. I can't help but wonder if I will recognize him as soon as I see him.

We had to fill out a pile of paperwork and get everything notarized and then authenticated at the Utah Lieutenant Governor's office. We also had to have all of the documents translated into French. We received the translation back yesterday and today we mailed the necesary ones to the Haitian Consulate in Chicago so that they could be authenticated through Haiti also. I'm very hopeful that we will have our I-171h back by the time the docs come back from Chicago and then everything will go to Haiti to await approval from their government. I've been told that the wait in Haiti will likely be anywhere from 4 to 12 months. Yikes! I read today on a Yahoo forum that Haiti is getting a new IBESR (their social services) director which could be really bad for us. If the new guy doesn't like to do adoptions the wait could be much longer. Even though that would be discouraging, we know our child is there and we know that a way to bring him home will be provided. If nothing else, I will learn patience and develop increased faith as we endure the waiting.

Next time I'll fill in some of the details regarding our interactions with USCIS. It's been a nightmare.