You grew in our hearts...

You grew in our hearts...
YOU GREW IN OUR HEARTS...

Thursday, August 24, 2017

A visit to our adoption agency

This past Sunday we made a visit to our adoption agency, Carolina Adoption Services (CAS) in Greensboro, NC. They were hosting an open house for the new facility they moved to, so we thought it would be a good time to take Jameson and meet everyone who helped in bringing him home (pics below). Overall I feel that we had a good experience with CAS. The Haiti adoption process is extremely difficult. A lot of what happens is out of the agency's control and sometimes that's hard to remember while going through it. In the end, Jameson is home and that's what matters most to us now!

CAS has also asked if our family would be willing to represent Haiti adoptions in a short film they will create for their website and to show at one of their upcoming fundraiser events.  This I'm super excited about because Will and I were just discussing how we can spread the word about adoption and what a great thing it is. 






Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Finally home and settled in!

We arrived home with Jameson June 22nd, 2017. Our lives have completely changed and we have been so busy, I have not had time to update my blog posts. We have finally managed to get into a routine and I have some days of free time during the week where I can catch up.

The first few weeks were kind of crazy. The transition was not too difficult, but there was some adjustments for Jameson and us that we definitely had to work out. The hardest change for J was sleep. It was extremely difficult the first couple of weeks during bedtime getting him to fall asleep. It was probably due to the major differences in living in an orphanage and coming to a place where he was an only child. But now, 6 weeks later, bedtime is much better!! Other scary things for J were grass and our dog Rocco. He was never exposed to walking in grass, so it was very scary for him. It also took about 2 weeks to become comfortable with our 9 year old beagle, Rocco. J also started preschool last week (part-time) and he absolutely loves it.

We found a good pediatrician and are working on getting him caught up. He is pretty healthy, but it will take several months for his weight and height to be where needed for his age range. The vaccine reports from Haiti are kind of weird and sketchy so we are working with his doctor to sort those out. I can say that digestive and food changes for J has been a little difficult. Lots of foods and textures that he is not used to, so many foods he wont eat yet. He does try some foods and lets us know if he does not like it. His tummy is also trying to adjust to all the new foods. I think it will take time.

He is picking up language fairly well I think. Last month he learned 10-12 new words and the last two weeks he learned two more. We have been working really hard on English (alphabet, numbers, colors, etc).

Overall, things have been good. J does have his moments of tantrums and typical toddler behavior. He is definitely not the same kid we knew in Haiti. His personality and character is so vibrant now. We can tell he is so happy with his new life here. Our lives are totally different now, but every moment of the adoption (and wait) was so worth it.




Thursday, June 15, 2017

Leaving today for our final trip!

We received Jameson's Visa yesterday afternoon! Basically the final document needed to complete our adoption. We are in the airport now waiting to board for Atlanta, then depart for Port-au-Prince. Tomorrow we will go to the US Embassy to pick up his Visa, then we have to wait for the final exit letter from IBESR. We originally planned to head back home on Monday or Tuesday, but IBESR states it takes approximately five business days from when the Visa is issued until the exit letter is printed. So, we will be in Haiti until Thursday. It's strange, because we know several families who received their exit letters in 1-2 days. But our agency was adamant we stay for five days just to be safe. We will spend a few nights at the orphanage, then go to the Marriott Hotel in PAP. We have dreamed of this day for the past four years, and it's feels unreal that it's actually happening!

Monday, June 5, 2017

US Embassy Approved!! Visa Appointment next week! He's coming home!!!

After 8 1/2 long, tortuous weeks we FINALLY received our Embassy approval this morning! I'm so excited I can hardly stay focused. Jameson's Visa appointment was originally scheduled for this Thursday, but we had to reschedule for next Wednesday the 14th, since my agency didn't think it was enough time for his medical to be completed. So, we are tentatively going to leave next Thursday for Haiti for our final trip!! Will update with another post later!!

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.

A visit to our adoption agency

This past Sunday we made a visit to our adoption agency, Carolina Adoption Services (CAS) in Greensboro, NC. They were hosting an open house...