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. ūüėõ
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. ūüôā
  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. ūüôā

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!