Thursday, April 4, 2019

Final court phase!

April 4, 2019.

Raw emotions today...Some days are just easier than others. This is not an easy day. I am battling fear of what could happen...I know the right answer, spiritual answers, and believe me, I am trying, but...😞

So here goes.

I can't help but wonder what other road blocks we going to hit? Not a normal thought for me as I typically am a Poly-Anna kinda girl. Maybe it's just so I will remember that this whole process is only progressing because God Himself is orchestrating it. Meaning, it's completely out of our control. I can't do anything, but I can pray. And I know God answers prayer. What I battle with is that it is so easy to forget what the Lord has done when there is still much to be done. I hate that. I wish it wasn't hard for me. I wish that I was always patient and full of faith in the waiting, but I am not. When I think about a Haitian adoption, I now think, it's such an impossible dream...adopting from Haiti has been one of the hardest journey's I've ever been on. (And he's not even home yet!)

It's been so hard to love someone you've never met, then love someone who instantly steals your heart the moment you lay eyes on him, spend an incredible 2 weeks with him and then walk away for who knows how long. My heart just hurts today. I wondered if the waiting would get easier once we get this close, but I'm finding out that it it much more difficult knowing that we could be weeks away, but so many road blocks still stand between us.

I am praying with everything in me today that Bedelson will truly be home in 10.5 weeks. I know that anything can go wrong and it's very difficult to cross the finish line, but by God's amazing grace for me I will (try) remain steadfast. I know I need Him today. I need to press in His timing.

Even though today is hard I want to give God the praise for where we are at in the process.

We found out 2 days ago that we are in MOI! We entered on March 22, 2019. From what I understand, this is the FINAL court phase! Ministry Of Interior is scary for me because A LOT has to happen here:

  1. 4 passport sized pictures 
  2. Birth Certificate
  3. Attestation for the Birth certificate
  4. Extract from the nation Archives for the Birth Certificate
  5. Relinquishment
  6. Process of Verbal Adoption
  7. Adoption Approval judgement
  8. Adoption Decree
  9. Attestation of the Adoption decree
  10. Power of Attorney for the creche director
  11. Stamp from DGI
  12. Notary letter for Passport
  13. Identification card of facilitator and/or attorney on the case
  14.  Biological  parents' identification cards
  15. Adoptive parents' MOI form, identification and passport photos

The process should only take 2 months, but I am learning that many people get stuck here.

After we exit MOI, Bedelson will have a Medical exam and a Visa interview. Once those are completed we hope to get passport approval so we can plan our home coming trip. IF things continue to go as planned we should be able to pick him up the weekend of June 15th!

Happy Father's Day to Nick!!

 1st day of our trip.

Look at that smile! My heart is aching for him to be home with us. To finally be together. I wonder how he does he feel about all this? I hope that he knows God is moving! He sees him, He see us. Oh Lord, please show us favor and bring him home quickly!

Thank you all for following our journey, encouraging us and praying our son home.

We are so anxious to finally hold him in our arms FOREVER!

This was taken before we had our IBESR interview

This was such a fun day. Played with other kids & ate lots of canapés!

Friday, March 8, 2019

He's an OLSON!

What a GREAT sight!! 
Reading the email from our case worker and it states: 

March 7, 2019: It's been 2 months since we have exited IBESR (the children's social system in Haiti) We have been patiently (ya, right) waiting for this wonderful email. Now, in the country of Haiti, our son is officially recognized as OUR SON! 

💙 On Feb. 18, 2019 the courts changed his last name making him our baby boy! Opening this email was like reading the pregnancy test all over again! POSITIVE! 💙

I know this was nothing short of a miracle of God has Haiti has been dealing with civil unrest for over a month now. The country could turn upside again again at any moment, but today is a day of rejoicing and celebration as we take one GIANT step towards the finish line! Thank you Jesus! 

📢 Now what? Well, we are in what they call Ministry of Affairs. It's where all the documents get legalized. 
(This process is 6-8 weeks.)

📢After that we enter MOI. 
(This could be another black hole, but God...)

📢 Then we wait for his: passport, visa, medical exam 
and exit letter.
(Hoping this is only a few weeks)

🙏 Praising God for the forward movement! So encouraged by His faithfulness!
Asking that there are no more hold ups and our process can continue to progress. 

There is no prediction as to when we will finally get to bring him home. We will just remain hopeful that it'll happen this summer. 

💕 Thank you all so much for your encouragement, love and support  that you have given us through this journey. 
Our family is so blessed! 💕

Update on the Unrest Feb. 7- March 8, 2019

So many emotions as I sit and write today. The last month has been so unpredictable and scary. Haitian news reports are hard watch and even more hard to accept.

The country is so weary of the broken systems and poverty. They do not feel as if their own president hears their unrelenting cries. As a result, drastic measures have been taken and protests' have broken out all over the country. The worst being in PAP where our son is.

Here is the latest FB post about the unrest. Written by, Cindy Corell.

Bonswa, tout moun.
An update from Haiti. It’s been a month today since the violent protests started in communities and highways all over the country. By February 16, most of the dangers appeared to be slowing down, and by the end of that week, most of life here was back to “normal.”
The trouble is that there really isn’t a “normal” anymore. Opposition forces had called for demonstrations today (March 7), but they didn’t materialize. Now there is word that tomorrow might be a dangerous day.
President Jovenel Moise and Prime Minister Jean-Henry Ceant are still offering plans to bring the chaotic economy to some order, but we haven’t noticed any differences. Inflation is still close to 15 percent. The gourde, though it has increased in value, is still at 80-82 HTG to the dollar on most days. The highest it reached was close to 87 to $1 at the height of the protests.
Gasoline right now is readily available, but diesel is more difficult to find. It is understood that the U.S. company bringing in the fuel will need cash payment for the next delivery, and no one is confident the government will have that cash (more than $1 million) on hand. 
The Petro Caribe funds scandal is no closer to resolution. It was the spark that ignited the surprise violent protests of early July 2018. The scandal encompasses the disappearance of more than $3.8 billion dollars from a Venezuelan program that reduced the cost of fuel to Haiti and lent billions of dollars to the Haitian government to reinforce the country’s economy and social systems. But none of those improvements came to be, and now the bill is due for repayment. 
Deep government corruption, leading to skyrocketing inflation, the devalued currency and the recurrent fuel shortages (which lead to electric power and cell service shortages) has left the populace furious.
Radical opposition parties have led most of the protests, but everyone is on edge, whether there are protests in the streets or not.
The U.S. State Department has held the Threat Level Alert at 4 since Feb. 14. A visit on March 1 from Under Secretary of State David Hale did little to assuage fear the threat level will remain at its highest level. This is the same threat level as Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen, South Sudan and Syria. 
According to news reports, Hale was here to encourage dialogue among Moise, Ceant and opposition parties.
American Airlines, Delta and Jet Blue already have reduced flights to Haiti. Much of the economy here depends on those visits, so taxi drivers, hotels, resorts and restaurants are hurting for business.
So we wait. We don’t know if the protests will begin again tomorrow, and if they will, if they will be calm.
If you are planning a trip to Haiti in the next few months, reconsider.
At the very least if you intend to come:
please stay in touch with your hosts.
keep up with current events.
register with STEP through the U.S. State Department website.
consider any type of travel and/or evacuation insurance coverage you can find (more difficult to come by under the Threat Level 4).
Make arrangements to fly to places far from Port-au-Prince because criminal activity is on the rise and traveling groups can be targeted.
consider that if you are stranded in-country by dangerous protests, you will be taking up valuable resources of food, water and other necessities.
Most of the time right now with the appropriate precautions, being in Haiti is safe. The problem is that that can all change in a heartbeat.
Haiti lives under a heavy cloud of uncertainty. It’s scary and frustrating. And it is the latest in the long, long string of injustices against the people of this country who work so hard and dare to dream of a better way.
Prayers, as always, are coveted.

Posts' like this are tough, but God has always been in the business of doing miracles. We believe in the power of prayer and we are asking for those of you who are reading this today if you'd join with us in prayer for this amazing and beautiful country? Haiti is such a special place and people there desperately need the hand of God to restore them and bring hope and peace.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

4 days late?!?!?

Today is Friday, January 4, 2019. I sit here at my kitchen table with so many emotions. Could this be the year that our son finally comes home? I pray it is. We are currently waiting, not so patiently, to exit IBESR. The average wait is 90 days from socialization trip and we are on 170! My wishful heart is praying that he comes home this spring, but we are told the earliest won't be until mid June. Trying not to be discouraged as there are still so many families waiting just to get their referral.
God's timing is frustrating to say the least; however this year my goal is to remain STEADFAST. This Word has put a challenge in my heart and at first I was pumped about what the Lord had given me and here we are only 4 days later and I am failing already. I find myself wandering into the pit of doubt, disbelief and self pity. Why is this so hard? In my heart I want more than anything to cling to my Father in trust and faith. I don't want to struggle with fear and the thought of not being in control of my future.

Ok....So now it's Thursday, January 10, 2019. I fully intended to come back, finish and publish the previous paragraph, but I got busy and forgot about it.

The weekend was emotional for me. I found myself crying pretty easily. I'm struggling with my word of the year because I'm a little frustrated that another week went by with out a call from Renae. I saw some pictures of Bedelson at the creche and he didn't look very happy. It made se so sad to know another Christmas went by and we are not together. At church I was asked to sing Take Courage. My mantra for the past 3 years. All I can think about is our long journey and how I need to remain STEADFAST. My faith is constantly emotions are always on edge. I struggle praying because they turn into me begging God to make this process move faster. Yet, I know in my heart that this is the plan. There is a reason. There is a purpose. I will trust; I will remain STEADFAST.

As the weekend ends Monday comes with more call. I decided on Tuesday morning to really give my heart to the Lord. I want to remain STEADFAST not because Jesus answers all my prayers, but because He is my Father. If all Jesus ever did was die for my sins, that's enough! The Lord allowed me to go through the day without wallowing in my own self pity. It was such a blessing to my heart to just be filled with Jesus and rest in His perfect peace.

I decided that night to take Cadance with me to work. She is thinking about becoming a social worker when she grows up and this was a great opportunity for her to peek into that world for a while. When our group was over my phone rang....YUP, Renae!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2018 we finally exited IBSER! Praise the Lord! My friend Misty pointed out that it was 4 days later than I was expecting it to be. Martha, just so happens to be my inspiration for my word this year. Her brother passed away and she knew that if Jesus would have been there He could have healed her sick brother Lazerus. But Jesus came 4 days late so that His miracle could be even greater! He'll raise Lazerus to life! Martha met Jesus when He was on His way. I have buried a brother before and from personal experience I don't think I would have responded like Martha did. In my grief I responded with frustration and confusion; pushing Jesus away. In her grief, she got up and went after the Lord! That's STEADFAST at its best.

Jesus is at work. He is moving mountains and miraculously he will finish what He started. I will one day bring our son home, but not by anything I've done, but because of the power of God!

What now? 

We now enter the court phase. We are waiting for our Act of Adoption. It takes about 8 weeks. That will make Bedelson an OLSON! He will be recognized as our legal child in Haiti.
Then we enter the Judgment. That will take at least 30 days and finally, MOI. I believe this is where they make him a US citizen as well as our legal child. Once the court phase is done Nick and I will travel to Haiti to pick him up!

It's started to finally feel real. We could have him home in less than 6 months! I am so grateful for what the Lord is doing. The wait is hard, but... STEADFAST.


Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve 2018

Merry Christmas! Today begins a 2 day celebration of the birth of our King. My family is waiting with great anticipation to praise our Lord tonight at our candle light service and open a gift. Our usual tradition. Tomorrow morning will bring so much joy and happiness as we read about the birth of Jesus and open more presents together.
This year is a tough one since we are not all here. I have the option to be sad that we are spending our fourth Christmas without our son in Haiti, but instead I choose JOY! I have so much to be JOYFUL about.
This year started out with new beginnings, like a new home in a new state, with new schools and a new church family. It also brought new jobs for Nick and me and many new friendships; for which I am so grateful for. This year my son Christian accepted Christ as his Savior giving him a new life in Christ and an eternal home in heaven! Cadance gained confidence in who God has created her to be and is thriving in her youth group. Ireland has a new love for acting and being bold for Jesus! She loves passionately! As for Nick and I, we found our SON! After a three year wait, and many mountains moved by God, we were able to meet our son in July. It was love at first sight and we couldn't have imagined our time together to go any better. What a precious gift he is and we cannot wait until he is home with us.
So on this joyous day I go to the Lord with a grateful heart for all my children. I pray that God will continue to move those mountains and bring our son home sooner than expected (eta. June 2019), and in the meanwhile, prepare the hearts our my bio children to the changes of our new family dynamics.

Looking forward to a new year and even more new beginnings!

~ Major milestone recently completed- Article V on Oct. 23, 2018
~ Hoping to Exit IBESR asap! 

Last day of bonding trip. 
How my arms ache to hold him again. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Mwen Gason

It's been so long since I've sen my boy. I miss him terribly. Not an hour goes by that I don't think of him. His wrinkly nose when he smiles, his lips tucked in when he's feeling shy, his eyes when he's excited, they way he puts his arms around my neck and don't get me started on his cute little toes! I just love him so much!

We've recently found out that we received our I800 provisional approval, which is great news, but now we wait for out Article V. There are still a few more steps to complete and we are just hanging on to our trust in the Lords timing.

What needs to happen is:

  1. Article V
  2. Exit IBESR
  3. Courts
  4. Homecoming!!
Praying we move through these steps quickly! 

Day 12 HAITI

Day 12 July 28, 2018 – No more pineapples 
I’m sure you’re wondering why it’s titled “No more pineapples”…Let me start from the beginning. I woke up with great anticipation about today. Our son finally gets to get out of the crèche and we will get to face time with my family, swim have a picnic and make lots of memories. At 10 am our son arrives and I ran out to the car to greet him. He looked exceptionally serious and a bit sad. I knew to expect that, as the world outside his crèche is big and new; add in the fact that he is already a bit timid. I picked him up and noticed he’s not using his left arm and there’s a big bump on his forehead. I was told that he fell last night playing at the crèche. The floors are either concrete or tile so I’d imagine it was a hard fall. We took him back to our room to show him his new swim stuff; trunks, towel, sunglasses and flip-flops. He perked up a bit and seemed more excited. We took it slow and went to the pool. Wouldn’t you know God provided a nurse and a pharmacist (who basically serves as the doctor in his town) staying at our hotel! Thank you Jesus! We asked them look at our son and see what they thought. They couldn’t be sure, but they guessed a hairline fracture in his arm.  Oh my goodness, this is not good and since I am not legally his mom there is nothing I can do about it. Our in country coordinator said she’d talk to the director, but due to it being a Saturday he probably won’t be taken to a hospital until Monday! The doctor said he should be ok to wait until then. Oh my heart hurts for him. We tried to make the most of our time. So we offered him food. To our surprise he was not hungry. Red flag duly noted. He did want to swim, but he was not a fan of the life jacket. He has never been swimming before and he loved putting his face in! I was surprised at how brave he was. He didn’t last long however, but that’s ok. We came inside and called my family. That was so fun! He was really shy, but at least everybody got to say hi and see him. The funniest part was when my sister came on the screen; he looked at me then looked at her and said “mom??” I think he thinks I have a twin!! Lol! My sister was being silly and now he calls her Aunt Crazy! HAHA! It was so cute. Although he was shy on the phone, when we hung up he got a sudden burst of energy and was ready to go back to the pool and eat lunch. We filled his little belly and played in the pool for just a few minutes and then he started to not feel so well. I could tell he was in pain. HE tried really hard to not let it slow him down, but it just became too much. We helped him get dressed and I took him back to our coordinator. Nick and I did our best to tell her that he really needs to go to the hospital. Unfortunately, it’s not her call. She told me that she’d talk to his director and have a therapist come see him today and then take him to the hospital on Monday.
Oh, it gets worse, she also told us that this would be our last day to see him as there are going to be more riots on Monday. (We are supposed to leave Tuesday.) It came as such a shock to me and I was not prepared to say goodbye today. The circumstances were awful! It was not at all what I had planned. I tried not to cry in front of him, but the tears came anyway. Nick used our translator to tell him how much we love him and that WE WILL BE BACK! I carried him to the car and kissed his sweet face. I whispered that I loved him more than he could ever imagine in Kreyole and shut the door. Oh my arms ache for him already. This is definitely one of my hardest days. There goes my son. He is physically hurting and emotionally hurting. All I could do was cry.
The next few hours were really tough, as we had to make some difficult decisions fast. We are supposed to be in country for 15 days, but because they cannot predict how bad the riots would be and there is no guarantee that we’d make it out on Tuesday. So we are left with no choice but to go home early. Our agency said it’d be fine due to the circumstances and we are planning to come back again soon and because we already had our interview. So praise the Lord for that! But our hearts are so broken.
Here’s how the Lord blessed us in the midst of our trials. I called up our dear friends Marjory in Leny. They are missionaries from the Philippines and they lived in Haiti for 26 years. They came and picked us up from the hotel, took us to the airport to swich our flights, then they took us back to their house. I haven’t been there in a few years and it was so good to see all the kids (orphans) I have know since 2014. They have gotten SO BIG! I was surprised they remember me, but I was so glad they did. So much JOY here! We walked all through the compound and I got to see all the progress that had been made here at Pastor Leny’s church/school/orphanage. We ate Knaps and I got some great photos of all the new additions to the building. After that they treated us to a nice dinner at a real restaurant! I got Haitian BBQ chicken, with pikliz, rice and my favorite…plantains! YUM!! What a beautiful distraction. They encouraged us more that they’ll ever know.
I sit here tonight writing this blog with a heavy, but joyful heart. I can’t explain how I can feel both feelings at the same time other than I know that God is fulfilling His promise in Prov. 3:5-6. I trust God has got this. I know He loves my son more than I do. I can say with confidence that He will see this through. He has begun a great work and my God does not leave His children in the mess. He will take this situation to remind me that I am not in control and I need to leave it in His very capable hands. And even though I am writing this with tears in my eyes it’s not because I’m ungrateful or upset. It’s because this world is broken and in desperate need of a Savior. One day the Lord will make all things right again and until then…we journey one day at a time.
Tonight I will praise God for such a great bonding trip! I have so many wonderful memories that I will cherish forever. And even though my son my have a broken arm he will go to bed tonight knowing that he his loved and he has found his forever family.
Tale` Tale` (quote from our son that means Soon, Soon.) Yes, son. Soon….