So, where are we on the plans to adopt a 15-year old kid from Haiti?
I think our last real update on the blog was that we'd heard in May that our paperwork had been submitted to the IBESR (the Haitian governmental agency dealing with adoptions). Huzzah!
After that, things started getting hinky. X-son ran away from the orphanage he'd been staying in --- and for good reason: the adults who ran the place were not feeding the kids, and occasionally tying the kids to trees and beating them as "discipline". Through some little miracle, one of my friends happened to be visiting Haiti, discovered he was gone, figured out where he'd gone to (!), and arranged to have him move to an orphanage run by an amazingly energetic woman, Ann Hume.
So now he's safe. Phew! Here's a picture of X-son and some of his friends all dressed up and ready to go to school on the school bus . . . or rather, on the school motorcycle. (X-son's in the back).
But there's more turmoil. The agency we're dealing with in Haiti has been embroiled in scandal and no longer has a license. The main problem this group has, seems to be telling grand lies, so we've spent much of this year not knowing whether our paperwork has really been submitted or not. Lots of unanswered emails and telephone calls. We think now we have confirmation that we're good . . . and we're also switching lawyers down there so that we don't have to deal with that first agency anymore.
|When X-son moved in, Ann told the other children living there, |
"This boy is different. He has all his arms and legs".
Ann is an amazing woman with a bunch of wonderful kids.
In the midst of this, we got an email saying that it was time to submit our form i600a (with the US government; it's immigration paperwork). This form costs about $1K and has a bunch of auxiliary paperwork involved, including a home study. In November, we got a note back from the Department of Homeland Security saying our home study was out of date; we had until December 10 (tomorrow) to redo it. And so I've gotten a chance to prove my paperwork prowess.
As part of redoing the home study we've now . . .
- fingerprinted all 5 people in the house for FBI background checks,
- run criminal background checks on the 5 of us,
- run child abuse clearances on the 5 of us,
- had medical tests (including updating our TB tests),
- been interviewed by our local social worker,
- bugged a few friends for letters of reference, and
- provided financial earning information for the past 10 years.
Fortunately, all the paperwork came back quickly, and I mailed out the updated home study out last Friday. Once that gets over to the immigration folks, then the three oldest of us will get fingerprinted again, this time by the Department of Homeland Security.
IBESR usually takes a year or two to process their paperwork. Once they approve the adoption, there will still be 6 months of work on the US end clearing immigration (the i600a is paving the way for that to happen, we hope). So we're really in this for the long haul . . . urgent paperwork goes hand-in-hand with patience here.