Famous Last Words

Our Adoption Journey to Haiti

God is Good July 31, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — rgraham100 @ 5:51 pm

Even when our Hail Mary doesn’t work. Last Tuesday evening I heard from our immigration officer (after a nudging email from us and our adoption coordinator).  Our file had just made it to her desk.  She had a few files in front of ours and she works on a first-come first-serve basis.  And she does not email approval letters.  Wah wah.

So what now?

When we receive our mailed approval letter, we will send it to Haiti.  We will pray for a miracle in August (remember the Director in Haiti is on vacation the entire month and she has to sign our referral in order for us to receive it).

Most likely, nothing will happen until September.  So we wait….some more.


Hail Mary July 22, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — rgraham100 @ 2:44 pm

If there is something I’ve learned throughout this adoption process is to EXPECT NOTHING.  That doesn’t mean that we won’t continue to move forward and be the best advocates to bring our son home, but nothing has been rationale about this entire journey.

For the next nine days, Patrick and I are throwing a Hail Mary. We are trying to get our referral before the end of the month.  It is highly unlikely and we have no control over anything, but we’re going for it with very low expectations.  But also trusting in God’s timing.

Here’s the scoop:

Two weeks ago, we learned that we are matched with 3-year-old J. But before we get our formal referral which provides  more information about J and allows us to travel to Haiti to meet him, we have to update our Home Study and get it approved by immigration (USCIS).  Our current home study only allows us to receive a referral for a child between the ages 0-2.

Working with our adoption agency, we updated our home study last week to request a child between the ages 0-4. I received the new home study this morning and just sent it by overnight mail to USCIS for their approval.

Here’s where it gets tricky. We need the following to happen in a very short time period because the Director of IBESR is going on vacation the entire month of August (really?).  Before we receive our referral, we need the Director to sign it.

1. We need USCIS to review our updated home study and approve it ASAP.

2. We need USCIS to be willing to email our adoption coordinator the approval (vs. snail mail to us).

3. Our USCIS approval needs to be sent to Haiti (IBESR).

4. IBESR needs to accept the emailed version of the USCIS approval.

5. IBESR needs to provide us our referral.  We don’t if our referral is already prepared and signed and just waiting on this USCIS approval.  Or if it is just prepared, but not signed.  In which case, they need to collect four signatures from various people at IBESR. Or perhaps it is not prepared at all and won’t be until some unknown time.

Hail Mary = long shot.  But it’s worth it.  Pray for speedy approvals please!


Our boys July 13, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — rgraham100 @ 2:51 pm

On Friday I received an urgent email from our adoption coordinator with a subject line that read, “phone call”. My heart literally jumped out of my chest. THIS IS IT! After 19 months of waiting, we are finally getting our referral. And then I opened the email and it read, “We have a problem with your referral. Please call me ASAP.” Sigh…Haiti.

We learned that the child who has been matched with our family since January 2014 just turned 3 on June 15th. When Patrick and I began this process in March of 2013, Brady had just turned 3 and Noah was 5. We wanted to make sure that we did not disrupt our children’s birth order, so we requested a child between the ages 0-2 at time of referral. This was documented in our home study and the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services approved this age range. So now that the child matched with our family was older than 0-2, we had to make a decision.

Do we 1.) update our home study and immigration approval to reflect an older age or 2.) stick with our original age range and get matched with another child, which we have no idea how long this would take. I asked our adoption coordinator for the weekend to pray over this decision.

After a lot of prayer and some good counsel, we decided that we are going to update our home study and stick with the child that has been matched with our family for the past 18 months. For the sake of our family, we need to move forward in this adoption, not backwards.
The good news is, as a friend reminded me, we cannot make the wrong decision because God already knows our child.

The most overwhelming and exciting part of this conversation on Friday is that we learned that our child is a BOY. We’ll call him J for now until he is legally ours. We are so overjoyed to be blessed with another son.
We shared the news with the boys over the weekend, which prior to this conversation were very vocal about their desire for a sister. Their first response was, “but we wanted a sister”. And their second response was, “we need a bigger bed” (they have a bunk bed, but insist on sleeping together on the bottom twin bunk).

So what’s next….we scramble to update our paperwork (hopefully it won’t take longer than 4 weeks) and back to Haiti so that we can finally receive our referral and get to Haiti to meet J…one of our boys.


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