We are still in a bit of a holding pattern as far as news from Haiti about the process or law changes goes. IBESR (Haitian's social services organization) is scheduled to reopen to new adoption dossiers on August 1st. They closed temporarily back in May to restructure and process the backlog of some five hundred dossiers that were waiting to be reviewed. I have seen a TON of people receive news that their dossier cleared IBESR in the past few weeks, so it appears they are doing what they said they would. That's hugely positive news.
|All forty homestudy docs ready to mail.|
Additionally it appears that the Joint Council on International Children's Services has had some influence on the director of IBESR, and that even though they voted to ratify Hague, they have not yet deposited their article of ratification in the Hague and therefore have not started the clock. Joint Council has advised them to use the Hague Guide to Good Practice, which suggests they implement the necessary laws and procedures *before* the Convention is "entered into force" in Haiti. That's what everyone involved would like to see.
So after much prayer and some anxiety, we have been moving ahead with our side of things as quickly as possible. Back in May I finally got all forty separate documents collected for our homestudy application and sent them off with a big fat $2000 check. Then we hit a bump and had to get fingerprinted for an FBI background check because we had not lived in Texas for five years. Then we ran into various people involved being on vacation or otherwise tied up. Then we ran into some scheduled business travel for both Mike and I.
|Took a day off work and drove 2 hours to Huntsville |
for a homestudy interview. Passed this guy on the way.
Thankfully our lovely social worker, Beth, squeezed our last two homestudy interviews in between our trips. Those interviews were a bit intense and nerve wracking, loads of questions and an inspection of our house, but we finished them. Getting my 7 year old to answer her questions was worse than pulling teeth.
In the meantime we also had a complete psychological evaluation by a shrink. She is a friend of a friend and super nice, but we had to take this long test called the MMPI with very bizarre questions designed to diagnose all kinds of mental illness. It made me feel sadness for most of the people who take it and really have something wrong with them...depression or cynicism or something. Mike and I passed with flying colors. I also learned that I fit the personality profile that highly successful leaders usually have, which I found very interesting.
Then our social worker got down to business and wrote up our homestudy report. I haven't seen it yet but she let me know this morning that it is finished and being reviewed by our family coordinator. That's so exciting!
Once it is finalized it will trigger three separate actions:
- We can send it off with our I-600A form to USCIS to be officially on record with immigration.
- It will be sent to the orphanage and we can get our referral (or match) of a baby girl!
- We can officially begin applying for adoption grants and raising funds. We're going to need to do this to cover some of the approximately $30,000 required.
We aren't done with our paperwork on this end but we are close. We still need a few reference letters and a local sheriffs report for our dossier, and we need to get the whole thing authenticated by the State Department in Austin. I'm seriously considering driving the documents to Austin myself to have this done because mailing the originals of everything and waiting might make me crazy.
If you have followed along this far, kudos to you! And thank you for caring so much, and for journeying along with us. It's a bumpy road but we are learning to trust God for His timing. He keeps proving Himself faithful again and again.