You grew in our hearts...

You grew in our hearts...

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Waiting for Approval....

😓 Just when we thought we had been through the hardest waits of the process, another one strikes again. We are five weeks this Thursday waiting for our I600/USCIS approval at the US Embassy in Haiti. Once we have this, Jameson's Visa appointment will be scheduled and we can make plans for our final trip. The Embassy told us approval would take approximately 6 weeks, so it could be sooner or later. I know some families who waited close to 10 weeks!! The closer we get to the end, the more excruciating the wait gets!! I'm checking my email constantly. I guess the only benefit to this wait is at least they do give you some type of timeline. Everything before this, we had no idea as to how long we would be at certain steps.

I actually called the US Embassy yesterday to check on our case to make sure there were no issues. Calling the Embassy is a little difficult. You have to call several times throughout the day, before actually getting a live person on the phone. The lady who answered was nice. She asked for my name and Jameson's birth name. She found our file in the system, and confirmed they received our paperwork April 6, 2017. She stated it was still under review and we would hear from them next week. I did ask, if there was any way we could possibly be approved this week, and she said no. I tried, lol! We are so ready to book plane tickets now! Can any other families who adopted from Haiti comment on how long your USCIS approval took??

Other than waiting for approval, my employees gave me an adoption shower last week during our staff meeting! It was a complete surprise. They put together a nice gift basket for Jameson with lots of toys and I got several items from my registry, which was nice. I have another shower with friends and family that my sister and mom have been planning on May 28th at one of our favorite restaurants, Taverna Agora in Raleigh.

I also received Jameson's wall letters this week!! We plan to put these in his room over his bed. I love Etsy, so we found Cathy Crafty Covers who does very nice wood letters, light switch plates, etc for children's rooms. We are doing a sports themed room, so she was able to customize the letters how we wanted them, and they turned out amazing! Very nice, sturdy quality.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

We have Jameson's passport and his file is at the Embassy!!!

So we received THIS email today!!! Totally unexpected and took me by complete surprise. I did not think we would be at this step until early or late May. We are so happy, and now just waiting for the confirmation email from the Embassy. Last week we were so unsure as to how much longer the process would be, that we booked plane tickets for another visit to Haiti at the end of this month. We were debating as to if we should still go, or just cancel the trip. American charges $200 per person to cancel or change flights :( Besides that, we are one huge step closer to bringing Jameson home! So now, if there are no paperwork issues, hopefully 6-8 weeks for approval, then Visa appointment. I can't wait for all the amazing changes in his life and see his reaction to everything new!! Our timeline is a little fuzzy since exiting IBESR, but I will update it the best I can.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

On to MOI and Passport

Last week was my fourth trip back to Haiti since receiving our referral in July. This time I took my mom and sister with me so they could meet Jameson. My mom was really nervous, but she survived! When we got to MDA, the orphanage director, Gladys told me that we officially had our "Judgement" and Jameson was legally our son! She said that if we wanted he would be allowed to sleep with us in our room during our stay. Later that evening she said our file had been moved to MOI, which is still part of the judiciary process, but closer to getting Jameson's passport. Assuming this is all true, I think we may be about 4-5 months out to homecoming. I plan on trying to get some confirmation on this update soon. This part of the process is a little blurry because there are so many steps, but your not really told when your file moves to each step.

My sister meeting Jameson for the first time

Otherwise, I had a really good time during our visit. Jameson was more outgoing than ever! We were able to take him to the pool one day and to the beach the following day. He loves the pool, but hates the ocean. He was afraid to put his feet in the water:) The beach was really beautiful and the weather was nice. It was good to get out and see different parts of Haiti.

My sister, mom, and Jameson

Me and my sister Austin
It was really hard to leave this trip :( I think this was my last visit until it's time to pick him up. I left several outfits and two pairs of shoes with his nanny. Hopefully he will be able to wear these for a couple months. The days go by very slow, but we are now looking at starting his bedroom and we also created a couple registries for a shower my sister is hosting for me in May. Please feel free to leave comments or ask questions. I like meeting new people who are in the process or completed.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Our file has exited IBESR!!

Four months and six days post bonding trip, our file has finally been released from the black hole, IBESR!! We have been waiting for this news for a very, very long time. Normally this step, in the past has only taken 1-2 months, is now taking 3-4 months. From what I have been told, the longer timeframe is due to a mixture of referral backlogs and new I800 processes. 

I saw a missed call on my phone this morning from Greensboro, NC where my agency is located. After about an hour of waiting, I decided to call my agency and find out if they were trying to contact me and sure enough they were! Our agency coordinator told us that our file had finally exited IBESR. We spoke for about 10-15 minutes about our process and what to expect next. Our next phase will take approximately 3-4 months and then embassy approval which is 6-8 weeks. We are still expected to have JP home within the one year time frame of receiving our referral.  When we got off the phone, our coordinator sent a follow up email which also included the adoption authorization from IBESR. 

I'm planning our next trip to Haiti in March with my mom and sister. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Leaving for Haiti tomorrow!

We leave for Haiti tomorrow, for our second trip to visit our little boy Jameson. It's been about two and a half months since we left Haiti from our bonding trip. This time has been very difficult, but I'm so thankful that we are allowed back for visits as often as we like. This trip I was grateful to receive clothing donations from friends and co-workers. I have so many clothes, that I will have enough for our next trip in December. I have lots of onsies, shorts, pants, shirts, sun dresses, socks, and shoes! I'm so excited to be taking these items for the kids at MDA. This trip I plan on going to visit Papillon Enterprise and Apparent Project. Hope to find Christmas gifts for family and friends! Our file is currently in IBESR, still waiting to exit.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Along with the good, comes the bad.

On Thursday, I received good news from our coordinator that the required interview with Jameson's birth mother went as planned with no issues or concerns! For a little history about this, when we went to Haiti for our bonding trip, we had our US Embassy appointment our second day there. During the appointment an officer gave us a 5-10 minute interview and at the end, she tells us that they want to interview the birth mother and also see Jameson in person instead of a picture. For us, this was another potential road block in the process and made me somewhat nervous. Before issuing a referral Jameson's birth mother was already required to be interviewed twice, so this will be a third time! My thoughts were, "What if she does not show up or they can't locate her?" Many questions and concerns were running through my head. Her interview was scheduled for September 13th. On September 9th, I received an email from USCIS-Haiti, saying they needed to reschedule her interview for September 26th. So that meant we had to wait two more long weeks for this to happen. Last week (September 29th) I received this email from our coordinator about the interview:

Hi Amorie,
I heard back from D/S and they told me that the interview with Jameson’s birth mother went as scheduled with no concerns! Right now we are waiting for your file to exit IBESR and I will let you know when that occurs.
I was so happy and relieved that everything went as planned. This should be the last big hurdle for us to cross until the end. Now just waiting to exit IBESR. I also received videos and pictures of Jameson on Saturday from one of my close family friends that is also with CAS. Her husband traveled down to MDA to visit their daughter, who is in the same room with Jameson. They brought them both out to the play area, let them play and gave him snacks. I'm so grateful for people like this, that take time to look out for others. It made me so happy to see that he is doing well.
The bad news, is that the approaching storm of Hurricane Matthew :( :( We learned of the storm last week. Right now it's a category 4 hurricane with 130-140 mph winds. It's headed directly for Haiti late today and tomorrow. I have not been sleeping well thinking about all the damage this storm may cause. I'm praying for Haiti and especially our little boy and MDA staff. I just want this storm to pass quickly. I know this will probably slow down our process because of potential mass flooding and lack of access to different areas of PAP. I have asked my agency to give me an update as soon as possible. I'm also thankful for the Haiti FB group, for those that are in Haiti now during the storm and the constant updates they give for those of us who are worried about what's happening.

*Just got an update from my agency. I called this morning to see if they had heard anything from MDA or Daniel & Sylvia (our laywer reps in Haiti). Daniel informed us that MDA is well prepared for the storm and it's one of the safest places to be in Haiti during this time. It's a study building, built of concrete by the Germans. I didn't know that, lol! It was renovated after the earthquake to withstand forces of mother nature. She assured me Jameson and the other kids would be safe. I hope so. Praying for this to be over soon!!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Our Bonding Trip!

It's been two weeks since we got back from Haiti. There will not be enough time or words for me to tell of our entire trip, but I can say that it was an experience I will never forget! The overall bonding period with our son Jameson went extremely well. This little boy went from being extremely shy and reserved to outwardly energetic and so lovable. I love kissing his soft, chubby cheeks and twirling him around to hear his contagious laugh. He loves applesauce, Ritz crackers, yogurt, rice, oatmeal cereal, juice, Pedia Sure, and Enfagrow milk. He also likes playing with Legos, puzzles, and balloon's. It was very hard to leave when it was time for us to go home. I am counting down the days until we return for our next visit. 

 It's a hard life down here for the people who live in Haiti. The streets are just lined with people trying to survive. We had an appointment at the US Embassy and there were hundreds of Haitians trying to get Visas to the United States. Our creche or orphanage, MDA,  is pretty much secured off from the outside or general population. The food is pretty good, but they serve a lot of salad and fruit and we did not eat anything that was not cooked. Lunch was the biggest meal of the day there and the best. The hot water here was very limited, but seemed to be most abundant at night, so that's when we took our showers. There are lots of orphans at MDA, mostly infants and toddlers. Gladys, the orphanage director was very nice and made us feel comfortable in her home. MDA is arranged so that there is a main house where the director and her family live, 3-4 guest houses where visiting families stay during their trips, and then the orphanage section where the kids live. 

The other important parts of our trip included our embassy appointment and interview with IBESR. Overall, they both went very well. Our embassy appointment was at 7:00am. I think we were finished around 11:00am. 90% of the time is spent standing in line and waiting to be called to the front. For those adopting, it very important to have all your required paperwork with you. We had our agency lawyer with us, which was very helpful especially with the language barrier. The interview with IBESR occurred the second week of our trip. The interview was a little intimidating at first, but we survived. Our lawyer spoke with us several days before the interview and gave us a list of possible questions that we would be asked. Jameson was also with us during the interview, so I had to make sure to have snacks and things to keep him occupied. He did great but got a little antsy near the end. 

As a bonus we were able to go to Kaliko Beach Club which is about an hour outside of PAP. During the ride there, we were able to see some of the city of PAP and surrounding areas. It's a very crowded place, lol! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below!

*It's advised not to post pics of our adoptive son, Jameson on social media until our adoption is final, so I will follow that rule. But I can't wait to show him to the world, he is so cute!

MDA is the creche where our son lives

This is the patio where we spent a lot of our time with Jameson

Second floor of MDA where kids are watching

Courtyard of MDA where kids play and hang out


PAP. I think this is so cool, the women that carry supplies on their heads!

Waiting for Approval....

😓 Just when we thought we had been through the hardest waits of the process, another one strikes again. We are five weeks this Thursday wai...