Friday, June 29, 2007
S spent his senior year in a building construction class. The class worked with a general contractor/teacher and built a house from the ground up. S was assigned the master bedroom once the house was framed up. here he is showing us the work he did!
S is showing off the kitchen cabinets to his dad.
S with his teacher.
this picture explains his nickname *lurch boy* :)
Monday, June 11, 2007
"UNBELIEVABLE" is the other word coursing through my blood at the moment! These two words are the only way to describe Haitian adoption! Here is my "nice" letter to the Ambassador of Haiti who has an office in Washington DC. I just sent it.
June 10, 2007
His Excellency Raymond A. Joseph
Ambassador of Haiti
Dear Mr. Joseph,
I am writing to you on Haiti’s National Children’s day because I think you may be the person to initiate some positive change for the children of Haiti. My family has been waiting for twenty months to bring home our daughter from Haiti. K J is currently living at the Holt Fontana Village. She is 13 years old. She came to the Holt Fontana orphanage around the age of 10. Before that she lived with Christian Missionaries running a school for children in Haiti. They had a small orphanage but were not set up to do adoptions. She came to the missionaries when she was 4 years old. Her birth parents are very poor and struggled to feed and provide for her basic needs.
In June of 2005 my husband and I felt strongly that we should add to our family through the miracle of adoption. We have been blessed in many ways and desired to share our blessings with a child in need. We began to research adoption and in the process we found K J. The experience we had when we saw her photo and read about her is difficult to explain. We were very moved by the feelings we had towards this young girl which caused us to contact Holt International and discuss with them the requirements to adopt her. We began the process immediately to do our homestudy and gather all the required documents. This took us three months of diligent work, visiting with a social worker about our history, setting up Doctor’s appointments, getting letters from the local Police department, interviewing with a Psychologist among many other details that are in our dossier. It took time and money and we worked as quickly as we could hoping to have K home as soon as possible. At the time she was 11 years old which is a tender age for children transitioning into teenagers. Our dossier arrived in Haiti on October 5, 2005. Today is June 10, 2007 tomorrow is the two year anniversary of the day we found K and had the amazing experience that led us to adopt her.
In the middle of our wait, last May 2006 we traveled to Haiti to meet K. She is a delightful young lady and we had a wonderful week bonding with her. She is very ready to have a family of her own. She has waited for a long time as well. Many say she is lucky. We say our family is lucky to have her join us. She will bring a special spirit to our family that only she can bring. We are all anxious for her to be with us. My biggest concern is the effects the long wait is having on her. Next I am saddened that Haitian adoptions move so slowly and the impact that has on the orphanages in Haiti. Really, it is the children who can not get into the orphanages that should be Haiti’s concern. Many of them are living with too little and suffering from disease and malnutrition.
On this day of celebrating Haiti’s children, will you please help us streamline the process for adoption? I’m not asking for it to be easy, I’m asking for it to be accomplished in a more reasonable timeframe. Everyone involved in adoption is working to better the lives of children and all are adversely affected by the long wait. As a mother my heart adopted K the moment our adoption agency officially matched her with us. It has been one of the most trying and difficult experiences of my life waiting for her to join our family. It has been a blessing to have some time to prepare for the unique needs she will have as an older child adoptee. We have done all that we can to prepare and now we are all just simply waiting for her passport. It is difficult to understand why the process should take two years. I know things have been changing in Haiti with the election of President Preval. I sincerely hope this will bring continued stability for all of Haiti. Unfortunately the changes have been the cause of our file moving so slowly. Our file #---- was released from IBESR on September 12, 2006. We are now 9 months waiting post IBESR. Our file was held up with the changes made at the Civil court as well as the unfortunate event of the court being vandalized. We have now been waiting for 9 weeks for her passport which we believe is still in the MOI office. Isn’t there some process to expedite cases that have been held up like ours? If there isn’t I would ask you to consider using your position to influence those you can in Haiti to find ways to expedite adoption files that have been in process beyond a reasonable timeframe. I know that this may not help her get home to us any sooner but if we can set the proper changes in motion perhaps others adopting will not struggle through a two year process as we have.
Thank you for your consideration. I hope Haiti will soon be in a position to invest more into strengthening the families of Haiti. As parents find opportunities for work families will stay together helping children. If the process of adoption could be streamlined more people would be willing to adopt the orphans who are without families. I have met people living in Haiti who left Haiti to gain an education and now have returned to try and make a difference. I believe many of the children adopted from Haiti will someday return to do the same. Please be an advocate for the children of Haiti. The children are always the future strength of any country. Please help them and if you can please help us get K home. Please feel free to contact me at --- at anytime.
So that was the nice version of what I am feeling. I will leave it at that! I hit a brick wall on Friday.......when I found out that even our wonderful DHS is now adding time to our wait. Apparently they don't like the WORD "unconditional" in the relinquishment letter the birthparents signed......they want it to say "irrevocable" instead. Of course Haiti wants it to say "unconditional" and all I can say is INCONCEIVABLE!!!
I'm putting up a good front - this is taking a toll on me. Thank goodness for good people around me who sense my struggle. Yesterday a friend handed me a copy of a talk from Elder Richard G. Scott "The Sustaining Power of Faith in Times of Uncertainty and Testing" you could search for it at www.lds.org if you would like to read it. YES.....we are being tested......house, work, adoptions......not to be ungrateful.....many blessings too.....money to pay bills, good kids making good choices and HEALTH, FREEDOM, FAMILY AND FRIENDS! I digress. Back to the talk....he quotes Brigham Young "God never bestows upon his people, or upon an individual, superior blessings without a severe trial to prove them."
Superior blessings.......yes three additional, beautiful children who will eternally be part of our family. When I put things into an eternal perspective I realize WHY this is such a challenge. I recognize the evil forces whirling about trying to frustrate the Lord's plan for all of us. STILL this doesn't mean I am perfect and it is easy. I'm struggling.
The struggle also includes the inability of others to understand. This has been one of the loneliest roads I have ever travelled. As a mother - I know no other way to explain the struggle than to simply say my heart adopted K, M & R the moment we committed to bringing them home. They simply are my children. The circumstances allow for unhealthy amounts of anxiety - only calmed by my friends who have been there and on my knees. Now, TODAY, is the day we found K TWO YEARS AGO. INCONCEIVABLE .... UNBELIEVABLE.... I am writing this! Still WAITING!
Perhaps I can run away by "cruise ship" for a couple of weeks to start thinking clearly again.....