In January 2011, Matt traveled to Haiti on a missions trip with a local church. As he sent back pictures of the children, I found my heart stolen by one sweet looking little girl. As his time there progressed and more and more pictures were of her, I could tell that his heart had been stolen as well.
In February 2011, we began the adoption process. Haiti, like all countries, has its own set of rules, one of the key ones being that at least one adoptive parent must be at least 35 before the dossier can be submitted to IBESR (the Haitian regulatory agency for adoptions). Matt will turn 35 at the end of 2011. That meant we had nearly eleven months before we could file in Haiti. But we knew we had heard the call to adopt, so we went ahead and filed our paperwork with the agency and then we sat back and waited until summer to start our gathering process for all of the paperwork necessary for this type of thing. In June, the “fun” began in earnest….
- June 2011 – begin gathering necessary paperwork for adoption
- August 30, 2011 – dossier submitted to adoption agency
- September 26, 2011 – received word that our dossier has passed review and is being sent for translation
- October 13, 2011 – notified that our dossier has been translated and is now being sent for legalization at the Haitian consulate
- October 14, 2011 – USCIS appointment for fingerprinting – amazingly painless process
- October 21, 2011 – USCIS approval received!
- October 27, 2011 – heard from the agency that our dossier has passed legalization and is now being sent to Haiti!
- October 31, 2011 – our dossier is in Haiti! Now we wait for the first legalization in Haiti.
- November 4, 2011 – request submitted for filing of the I-600 in Haiti
- November 30, 2011 – date set for I-600 filing – February 2012
- December 30, 2011 – received word that first legalization of our dossier with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is complete. Now we await approval (“process verbalis”) before submission to IBESR
- February 6, 2012 – I-600 filed successfully; parent interview scheduled for Amania’s birth parents in March 2012
- February 9, 2012 – informed that our dossier is set to be in IBESR by the end of February
- March 5, 2012 – parent interview conducted at US Embassy and completed succesfully
- March 20, 2012 – received word that our dossier entered IBESR on March 12; this step could take four to twelve months
- September 5, 2012 – received word that we have received our presidential dispensation – so excited to get this call; continue to await word that we are out of IBESR
- September 12, 2012 – received word that we have exited IBESR – huge news!
- October 22, 2012 – received word that we have completed Adoption Finalization and Second Legalization and we are her legal guardians in the eyes of the Haitian government!
- October 24, 2012 – receive a digital copy of our Adoption Decree – she now has our last name….so exciting!
- November 30, 2012 – received word that our dossier has moved on to the Ministry of Interior to verify the Adoption Decree and allow official request for passport.
- January 16, 2013 – received word that our dossier has left MOI (not sure when) and moved on to Immigration to apply for and receive Amania’s passport.
- January 28, 2013 – copy of passport received!
- February 5, 2013 – dossier and other paperwork submitted to the US Embassy for final approval and Visa appointment
- March 4, 2013 – I600 approval received
- March 5, 2013 – Visa appointment scheduled for March 20, 2013
- March 21, 2013 – Visa appointment completed (rescheduled due to a forgotten piece of paperwork)
And now we continue to wait. God knows the path we will take. While we do not want to wait, we trust Him for the timing. He is faithful. He sets the lonely in families, and He will not leave her as an orphan. Until then we wait. And we pray. With hope.
- March 29, 2013 – HOME!!!!
For His Glory ~