adoption update 5.0 – MATCHED!

On the 15th of October, the fifth anniversary of the beginning of our adoption journey came and went. I posted a “Timehop” screenshot of the status I shared five years ago when we had our initial meeting with a local agency to start the process, along with a note saying I never ever would have imagined that five years later we would still be waiting to adopt. The next day, our agency called with our match from Haiti. WHAT.

We’ve been waiting for that phone call for 26 months, and for the past eight months we’ve had a foster child in our home, so we’ve been distracted from the wait a bit. We’d almost, almost given up on our dream to bring a child home from Haiti. Paperwork necessary for adopting reached their expiry dates. Haiti was plagued with strikes in their government and judicial branches.

Then on the rainy evening of October 16, the call came. “You’re matched!” It’s a boy. He’s almost five years old. He was born just weeks after we decided to pursue adopting (not from Haiti, initially, if you’ve been around long enough to remember the beginning of this crazy adventure!). He’s in one of the most wonderful places a kid in his situation can be. (Huge answer to my deepest prayers: I’ve asked God this whole time that wherever our next child was, that he or she would be safe, loved, fed, and well cared for. He is! and has been for his whole little life.)

We are now in the midst of the flurry of paperwork and invoices for payments (thanks to our generous friends and family and savings, we are able to make the next payment right away) and figuring out childcare for our three plus one to coincide with travel dates to go meet him in Haiti.

THANK YOU, Jesus. We are so excited and grateful to finally know a new, tiny sliver of this story He is writing. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us through to this point. Thank you for partnering with us financially. We would not be here without all the help and love and gifts you’ve given. We still need about $10,000 to bring this kiddo home, and the court process in Haiti takes anywhere from 10-20 months or so from when we meet him. So your prayers and partnership in this endeavor are still so needed! Let’s rejoice together at what God is doing! We can’t wait to go to Haiti and meet this little man soon.

http://www.adoptalovestory.com/families/Puelston

FAQ’s:

  • What’s his name?
    We can’t share this online until he’s a Puelston. But we can tell you in person and show you his picture, and we’d be very happy to do that!
  • How old is he?
    He’s almost five years old.
  • Why don’t you get to bring him home right away?
    The court process in Haiti doesn’t start until we go down to meet him. That process can take anywhere from 10-20 months, depending on many factors. Haiti is a mystifying country – sometimes you just have to chalk delays and strange things up to “it’s Haiti”!
  • How long will you be in Haiti when you go to meet him?
    We get to stay in Haiti for two weeks, required by Haitian adoption law. We will stay at a guest house near the orphanage (creche, in French), and have time to play with and get to know him each day.
  • Feel free to ask other questions and if we are able to answer them we will!

 

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long overdue adoption update

here’s where we left off –

June – ready to tackle our dossier!
July, August, September – dossier document collecting. Setbacks, mistakes, delays. 😛
October – sent dossier to our agency.
Currently – redoing a couple documents for the dossier.

Next steps:

  1. Dossier approved, translated into French and submitted to Haitian social services or IBESR.
  2. Wait. Wait some more. Wait covered waiting with wait filling. Our file will sit on a desk, in a file drawer or in a box (I have no idea how they file dossiers when they arrive – just making this part up) for as long as it takes for it to reach the top of the stack. The front of the queue. The interesting thing is there seems to be no rhyme or reason to who’s file is chosen first, second or third. No centralized, standardized system. So we wait and pray and wait. Probably somewhere between 9-20 months.
    Also in this waiting time, we’re going to learn some basic Creole (the language most commonly spoken in Haiti) and work toward meeting Haitians living here in MN and more families with Haitian children.
  3. MATCH! At some undetermined date, our dossier will be reviewed and chosen to be matched. A child will be chosen for us! The much anticipated, long-awaited and most definitely loved child who will become a Puelston. 🙂
  4. Travel to Haiti to meet our child. Once we are matched, we will make a two-week trip to Haiti to meet and get to know our child. We will be able to take any or all of our kids with us to meet their brother or sister – we’ll decide if that’s a good plan or not when the time comes. This will be an exciting and nerve-wracking trip, hopefully full of good opportunities to love and get to know this little person. Then we have to leave them in Haiti and return to the U.S.A. while their adoption processes through the Haitian legal system. Sad/hard/really tough.
  5. More waiting. We wait again, for an undetermined amount of time, for the court system and social services to go through the necessary steps to make the adoption legal. Hopefully, in this time period we’ll be able to send our child lots of reminders of our love, our family and how excited we are for the day we will be together again. There are LOTS of steps in this process, and it can take anywhere from 9-18 months.
  6. Visa appointment! This is the last step in the long process and once our child has been issued a visa from the U.S., we will travel back to Haiti to bring him or her home.
  7. Home. Hallelujah and pass the bonding/attachment phase. Lots of love, family time and learning how our family works with another, amazing person in it.

So that’s it in a nutshell – we hope and pray that the time frames are shorter, rather than longer, but Haiti is in a time of transition with adoptions and things are slow right now. They could get faster, they could stay slow, they could get slower. We will have ample opportunity to exercise that lesser known beatitude: “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall never be bent out of shape.” And ample opportunity to trust a loving Father with His perfect plan and timing.

Thanks for being part of this journey with your love, thoughts and prayers! We are so grateful for the support, financially/emotionally/prayerfully. This is a bumpy, winding road and we’re so thankful for those who are cheering us on!

Our Adoption FAQ’s

I’ve come to learn that people have lots of questions about adoption. I’m so glad they ask! I really love telling people about our experience, what we hope for, what we know, what we don’t know, etc. I’m also happy to explain that there will be questions we won’t answer, to protect our child’s privacy and history. But I thought I’d try to answer some of the frequently asked questions here. If you have other questions – please ask! I’ll try to answer them as best I can.

Why are you adopting? To add to our family. To put our feet to the command of Christ to care for the orphan. To spread the love God has given us. Because Jesus adopted us into His forever family. Because humans belong in families, not in institutions.

Why from Haiti? Because of a personal connection. Kyle’s life was forever changed by his experience in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Our hearts were drawn to adopt from Haiti then and we’re finally able to do it now.

Why not a kid from here? We had to choose somewhere! And we’ll continue to do foster care and welcome kids from our area into our home as long as we have space to. If I could paint a picture of our future, it will always have kids coming into our lives from all kinds of places/experiences/locations/backgrounds. We want our home to be that place, Lord-willing.

What age/gender would you like? We understand the challenges involved with disrupting birth order, so Jackson will remain our oldest. Beyond that, we’re not specifying boy or girl or a particular age, just somewhere between baby-four years old.

Why does it cost so much? I wish I knew. I mean, I do know, but I wish it wasn’t this way. About $6000 goes to our agency – we’re paying them for their expertise, relationships with ethical adoption facilitators and creche/orphanage directors, etc. We also had to have a home study done and it has to be overseen and approved by a licensed social worker – that cost $3000. $14,000 or so goes to Haiti, some to the orphanage that currently cares for our child and some to their social services. I found this article helpful to explain some of the costs, and this is our agency’s cost breakdown sheet.

How long will it take? We have NO idea. Haiti recently joined the Hague Convention, and that will naturally cause some hiccups and lengthy paperwork processing wait times, etc. We are imagining it will be about a little over a year from now when we are matched with a child (receive a referral in adoptionese) and two-two and a half years from now when we finally bring that child home forever. Feel free to pray that it goes more quickly! This page is an extensive explanation of the Haitian adoption process – it still sounds like a foreign language to me, so if you think the same way, don’t feel left out.

Will you keep their Haitian name? We will in some way, shape, or form keep their name as part of their name. It may be their first name, it may be a middle name, but we want to honor and keep their heritage and identity with Haiti alive, as well as give them identity within our family with a new name. All of our kids have family names as middle names.

Do you plan to adopt again? Yes, but probably later. We are getting approved for two children, even though we plan on only one this time, on the off chance that when we arrive in Haiti we discover our child has a sibling we weren’t aware of or some unexpected situation arises. We only plan on adding one at this time, but we would like to add another child to our family in the future through adoption.

And yes, just like our other kids, this sweet one will be our REAL child. Our wonderful, given life by God, precious child. 🙂

home from haiti – an adoption fundraiser

hands together-001

Check out our Puelston Family Fundraiser for info on our upcoming silent auction fundraiser!

When: April 26, 6:30pm
Where: Grace Church Wyoming
What: Wicked awesome silent auction and dessert/coffee bar!

There are some really neat items coming in for the auction – beautiful artwork and framed photo prints, photography packages, signed prints from the DC Comics Batman artist, Twins tickets, gorgeous handmade items, locally roasted coffee, jewelry and much more! You can RSVP on our Facebook event or to my email as noted above. Hope you can come!