Milestones and Miracles

Jan 12th, 2010 - Devastating Eathquake hits Haiti

Jan 20-Feb 15 - Began praying more seriously about adopting from Haiti. Received bios and pictures of pre-earthquake orphans that could possibly be sponsored on humanitarian parole and adopted in the future.

Feb 16th - Made the call to commit to adopt Marguerite, and Belinda (if possible). Began home study paperwork process.

Feb 18th - Received 1st full length picture of girls with their arms around eachother with the declaration that "they were very good friends"! We were told Belinda's name is "Delenda". Made the call to confirm our commitment to both girls.
1st pic of our girls together

March 12th - First letter to girls (e-mailed to orphanage where girls received it with great joy!)

April 9th - First Skype with girls!

April 11th - First Haiti family meeting. This was a difficult meeting because our families had just received the news that Haiti was closing Humanitarian Parole and this would no longer be an option for us bringing our children home from Haiti. We received a blessing in meeting the Birdy family and learned they were the ones that helped bring "Berlinda" home. We had been following their story (not knowing they were connected to the same orphanage or that their little Lonise had lived with our Delenda! We had been praying for more information regarding her history. They said that she was "Berlinda" in her home town. (Stephanie Huband later told us before the Birdy's knew her she was "Melinda".

April 12th - Homestudy officially completed. Paid $450.

April 13th - Sent $830, Home Study and I-600A application to Dept. of Homeland Security (U.S.) 

April 14th - Humanitarian Parole officially closed.

April 17th - 21st - Elisabeth goes to Haiti to meet the girls for the first time! Sent another application (since the process changed) to apply to adopt the girls through Haiti Children's Rescue Mission. Trip costs $1,200 for flight, travel expenses (food, clean water, lodging, and supplies while in Haiti).
1st time meeting and holding my girls

April 20th - Notice that our I-600A had been received, and was filed on April 21st.

April 25th- Began working on dossier.

April 27th - Physicals and Labs for Eric and Elisabeth. Paid $50.

April 30th - Psychologist appointment for Eric and Elisabeth. Paid $100. (This is required of adoptive parents adopting from Haiti...they must think we are crazy to do so! :)

May 5th and 6th - Trips to Secretary of State in Austin for document authentication. Paid $150.

May 7th - Fingerprint appt. with USCIS (second time we had to do this since the 1st process fell through...but I'm not including all the paperwork we did for the Humanitarian Parole Process!)

May 8-10th - Translators working to translate dossier documents into French. Paid $600.

May 11th - Our completed notarized, authenticated, and translated documents sent to Haitian Consulate in Chicago for legalization. Paid Consulate $400 with an additional $133 for shipping and handling. 

May 13th - Stayed up all night putting 6 dossier binders together.
Some Expensive Plastic and Paper!
May 14th - Delivered dossier to friends leaving for Haiti the next day.

May 15th - Dossier arrives in Haiti along with $1,000 partial initial adoption fee ($5,000 still due).

June 14th - I-600A official approval that I-171 granted (petition for adoption on the U.S. side)!

June 19th - 23rd -Eric and Elisabeth both travel together to visit girls (Eric meets them for 1st time!) Trip cost $700 (We were blessed to have our air miles for this trip donated to us. We had to pay $150 for taxes and fees, $280 lodging, and $270 for other travel related expenses such as transportation, food and water, and supplies while in Haiti (mostly to benefit the orphans at HCRM).
1st time going to church as a family and hearing Dad preach!

June 22nd - Received notice form USCIS that I-600A approval was sent to the assigned US Embassy Consulate in Port Au Prince, Haiti.

July 13th - Carinos Fundraiser (raised $540). Began Raffle Fundraiser.

July 14th - Receipt of $2,010 adoption fee payment received. (Still owe $3,000). Receipt of $405 care fee payment received for June and July for both girls. (We have to pay $100 per month per child for up to one year of the adoption process, unless the girls come home before then.)

August 9th - Sent $3,010 adoption fee payment (for the remainder of the initial adoption fee).

August 13th - Winners Drawn for Raffle Fundraiser which brought in $1,295!

August 16th - Receipt of $205 payment received for August care fees for both girls.

September 11th- Elisabeth ran 10K race to raise adoption awareness and prepare for Chosen Marathon.
Elisabeth with two lifelong friends who have adopted from Ukraine and Ethiopia.

September 30th - Elisabeth, Ethan and Evan's Passport renewal appts. $395 paid for 3 new passports.

October 15th - Receipt of $405 payment for Sept/Oct. care fees for both girls.

October 23rd - Eric and Elisabeth ran 1/2 Marathon in the Chosen Marathon for Adoption (Fundraiser).

December 3rd - Received $1,725 check for team runner registrations from the Chosen Marathon.

December 5th-14th - Elisabeth's 3rd trip to Haiti. All miles for this trip were donated! Praise the Lord. The taxes and fees we had to pay only amounted to $76! Other travel expenses totaled $450.

December 20th - Received $1,450 check for sponsorships from the Chosen Marathon!

January 3, 2011 - Found out that we were approved for a $5,000 adoption grant through Abba Fund!

January 12th - One year arriversary of Haiti's earthquake. Spent a precious time with the dear families also waiting for their Haiti children to come home, praying together for Haiti and our loved ones there.

January 30th - Received word that Marguerite's aunt (who was her guardian after her parents death and the one that took her to Timothy House orphanage in 2004) was finally located in Haiti and came to visit Marguerite at Haiti Children's Rescue Mission where she now resides along with 4 other relatives to sign the relinquishment papers that have been the holdup in our adoption papework progress. This is a HUGE praise! Marguerite and her caretakers had previously told us that she had not seen her aunt nor had anyone ever come to visit her in the past 5 years since 2006 when she was transferred after Timothy House closed down. She was not even sure if these family members were still alive after the earthquake, so this must have meant a great deal to her, as it did for us.

February 4th - Shocked and utterly amazed by an unexpected gift of $1,000 that came in the mail from someone we don't really know, but that wanted to bless us by helping with our adoption fees. This was the exact amount we needed to pay the rest of our final adoption fees. Still have to raise money for travel expenses for the six of us, and a few other things, but we are praising God that the amount that seemed so insurmountable to us for in the beginning has now been provided by our gracious Heavenly Father!

February 9th - Our chosen Marguerite celebrates her 12th birthday! Many friends and family posted comments for her. Someday we will show these to our sweet girl and she will see how much she was prayed for and loved and how so many people believe her life is significant.

February 13th - Received another $1,000 gift to cover adoption expenses! Wondering if God has something big up His mighty sleeve to bring our girls home soon...against all odds! But this really wouldn't be "odd" cause "nothing is impossible with God" Luke 1:37.

March 9th- Elisabeth leaves for Haiti (4th trip). Encouraging time spent with the Herrera's (missionary friends in Haiti) at CSI (Christian Services Intl.) and with her travel buddy Betsy.
Betsy, Tracey and Tony Herrera, and Elisabeth

March 10th- Elisabeth drives stickshift in Haiti for the first time (just had to include this in our milestones...but actually it was a miracle that Tony trusted me with his vehicle and that we all survived!)

Tony Herrera took a day out of his busy schedule at the clinic to drive Betsy and Elisabeth to the other ministries we desired to visit. We were blessed by touring Heartline parenting classes, Harbor House, and Haitian Creations and meeting those that started and administer these amazing programs in Haiti.
Ladies making jewelry at Haitian Creations
Parenting class at Heartline

March 11th-16th - Eric arrives with our team of 8 high schoolers in Haiti and meets up with Elisabeth and Betsy. We head to HCRM and to reunite with our girls and all the children we love there!
Our amazing youth team arriving in Haiti

March 14th - We take our girls to the beach in Haiti for the first time. It was so beautiful!

We also took the youth to CSI and had a wonderful visit with the missionaries there that taught us more about Haiti's past, present, and hope for the future.

March 15th - Spent loving on the kids at HCRM.

March 16th- Visited Maison de Enfants de Dieu orphanage in Port au Prince, a tent city orphanage in Cite Soleil, and the Baptist Mission in Petionville. All wonderful experiences!
Praying with the orphanage at Cite Soleil

March 17th- Left Haiti and half of our hearts behind.

April 19th - Received confirmation that both our girls paperwork and our paperwork has finally entered Haiti's IBESR (the social welfare system in Haiti). One step closer to bringing them home!

May 13th - Homestudy ammendment appt. We had to have our homestudy ammended in order to keep everything updated because our adoptions will not go through before paperwork expires...without a miracle in the next few months. 

May 16th - Celebrating Esmée's birthday today!

June 1st - Made public our decision to move to Haiti!

June 15th - Re-fingerprinting appointments since ours from last year will expire on August 6th.

September 1st - Received word that our dossier had exited IBESR (went into this office on April 19th) and that our adoptions were approved in Haiti! We now wait for court appointments, presidential dispensation, adoption decree, and visas and passports.

September 2nd - Restamping, resigning, reapplying for criminal background checks, power of attorney, and other documents before we leave for Haiti.

September 4th- The Ream Family moves to Haiti!

September 5th - First day of school in Haiti!

September 9th - Girls are brought to us and meet boys for the first time!
September 25th- We have now paid all our adoption and care fees! HUGE God-sized miracle/milestone! We just have to pay one more U.S. I-600 fee, immigration/visa, passport, and travel fees at the very end of our adoption process!

October 20th- Spent all day at Haitian court. Met Esmée's birth father and Elita's aunt (her mom's sister). The judge said, "Congratulations. I believe you will give these girls a good home. Good luck."!

November 7th- Got word that President Martelly signed our dispensations (waivers giving us permission to adopt even though we already have bio children)! Huge milestone in our adoptions process! Now our paperwork moves on to Parquet.

December 7th - Appointment/interview at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince to sign our I-600 (Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition). Paid $720 for Esmée (Delenda) since she is not a bio relative of Marguerite (who we had already paid another $720 for at the very beginning of our adoption process). Got a CONGRATULATIONS from the interviewer! Marguerite's aunt and Delenda's bio father have been scheduled for their interviews at the U.S. Embassy on January 9th, 2012, and we have been given a deadline of February 29th, 2012 for our Haitian Dossier to be completed (which includes the girls passports) to be turned in so that their visas can be issued. If everything is not completed by this date then we can file for an extension, but our orphanage director thinks it is likely everything will be finished!
Elisabeth standing outside the U.S. Embassy in Haiti waiting to get inside.
Apparently this pic was not allowed as a guard quickly stepped forward right after it was snapped and yelled at us for taking it!

December 8th - Homestudy updated by social worker and letter and forms sent to USCIS requesting an extention on our I-600 approval. The approval expires after 18 months and we get one free extension. Ours I-600 approval expires on December 13th which is way too soon to be just now sending in our extension request! But thank the Lord for a great social worker (Carol Robison) and a great friend (Stephanee Potts) who pulled this off for us and mailed our packet off from TX on December 9th since we were in Haiti! Received confirmation that our packet made it to USCIS in MO. on December 12th. Whew! That was close! One day shy of almost having to pay another $830 to the U.S. for paperwork!

December 16th - E-mailed our USCIS officer to tell him that our extension request was delivered before the deadline and asked for a timeline as to when we should expect to hear back regarding our re-approval? He e-mailed me back this same day and said that he had just re-approved our adoptions and that we would be getting our paperwork in the mail soon! PRAISE THE LORD!

December 25th- Celebrated our first Christmas with our girls in Haiti!
The girls had been asking for these doll dress up clothes for months!
December 28th- Received word that our Haitian dossier and Adoption Decree were completed in 2011!

December 29th - Received $3,269.52 from our Chosen Marathon for Adoption Fundraiser!

December 30th - Attended our first Haitian wedding! Not only did we attend the wedding but we got to host the bride the night before, help her get ready, and drive her to the church the next morning! And our girls and boys got to come too!
Eric, our girls, the bride, and flower girl  ready to head for the wedding in the Quisqueya school van.

December 31st - Celebrated our 1st New Years Eve with our girls. We went to this Chinese buffett to splurge on a special meal, but it would have been way too much splurging, so we went to Epidor instead (which the kids liked better anyways cause there was ice cream). Then there was a celebration going on at the chapel a few yards from our doorstep so there was no choice but for everyone to stay up past midnight and celebrate! There were big fireworks going off in town that we could see right over our little house!

January 1st- Celebrated New Years Day at the Karibe hotel swimming pool with our kids.
The water was a bit cold (with it being January and all), so we ate lunch and relaxed poolside most of the day.

January 9th - U.S. Embassy appointments for our girls and their Haitian kin. More evidence (a baptismal certificate and death of the mother) was requested after the interview with Marguerite and her aunt. The Interviewer also requested that Esmée's bio father get a DNA test. Tried to get DNA test done same day but BioMed lab was closed. Crazy day. God prompted heart of a dear friend to contact us and send us a donation this very night. Little did she know how much we would need that money for DNA test. God is so good.

January 10th - Got DNA test done for Haitian dad. Cost $600 (not included in adoption fees). Girls went back to their orphanage after being with us for 19 days. Trusting the Lord to hold them. Blogged about it titled "19 Blinks and a Bunny".

January 12th - 2 year anniversary of the earthquake that ravaged our dear Haiti killing hundred of thousands and destroying over a million homes. Today we celebrate that we can see glimpses of progress even though there is still so much work to be done.
Today we see this fountain and another just like it in place of where two tent cites used to be. 

February 9th - Elita Marguerite's 13th birthday! Mom took cupcakes to her school in Carrefour to surprise her. Don't think her class had ever had b-day cupcakes delivered before.

February 18th - Received the call that our adoption paperwork has exited the Minister of Justice office! Now it moves on to Foreign Affairs office and then the Minister of Interior before we get our passports and visas! Just two more offices to go! Realized that today is the day two years ago that we received the first picture of our girls two days after we were matched with them. We are so thankful that we have our girls with us in Haiti on this Saturday! We went to CSI for a QCS luncheon and enjoyed watching our kids ride bikes for the first time. Found out Esmée could already ride a bike. Ethan finally learned to ride a bike. And Marguerite tried really hard for a couple hours...she'll get it next time. Great day!

February 19th - Grandma "Ta" comes to Haiti and meets the girls for the first time!

February 27th - Requested an extension from the Embassy because we were not going to meet the February 29th deadline to turn in the rest of our paperwork. Called on February 29th and they said our new deadline was June 4th.

March 9th - Received notification from the Embassy that the DNA test completed on January 10th "did not confirm the parental relationship between the birth father and child". We know this will add more complications to getting Esmée back to the states. Very difficult day.

March 10th - Spoke with our creche director concerning the DNA test results. No hopeful resolution at this time. Another issue was raised that we knew might be coming. He just realized that we have had our girls with us since February 17th! We had asked to meet with him in person to talk about this but he had not yet made the time to do so. We wanted to tell him that we now had our permis de sejour (Haitian work/residency permits) and that in the past month we had been in contact with other creche directors and attorneys that had strongly advised us to keep the girls with us. We prayed over these things every day and just took it one day at a time. We repeatedly asked for a meeting so that we could discuss the matter and talk about the legalilites in a manner honoring to the Lord. Phone conversations (especially conducted in two languages between people who have tended to miscommunicate in the past) are not the best venue to try to resolve serious issues. He again agreed to a meeting and we waited for this to take place before proceeding further.

March 13th - Elita Marguerite has been out of sorts for the past couple days. We thought it was because she might be picking up on all the tension we were going through and we tried to protect her from that. Turns out she is just turning into a little lady! I have prayed that on the day she "commencé" I would be with her. Just another conformation that she was supposed to be with us right now! I was so thankful for this mother daughter time to talk about our bodies and what it means to be a woman and how very special she is.

March 14th - Eric took Elita out for a special daddy/daughter date in light of March 13th. She was so happy about this and it made her feel so special. The other kids all wanted to know what was going on and we kept that a secret (other than Esmée knowing and being jealous she didn't get to go but then was ok when we told her that she would get her turn when this happened to her...hopefully that won't happen for a few years!)

March 15th - (while still waiting for meeting with creche director and trying to get information concerning next step with adoption paperwork regarding negative DNA test) We receive a sickening letter accusing us of "kidnapping" and threatening to have us arrested and thrown in a Haitian jail cell before we would be able to plead our case! This letter did not directly come from the creche director but from an American "friend" who had no idea what he was talking about and had not bothered to contact us to ask us what was going on...making this nauseating situation all that much worse. We felt like every trial we had ever gone through happened to prepare us for this day. Fun stuff! This qualifies as a milestone right? It's definitely a first for us! Waiting for the miracle that will surely come out of this!

March 16th - Talked with creche adoption lawyer. He agreed that we should have our girls with us and agreed to talk to our creche director. Scheduled a meeting with another lawyer to mediate the situation.

March 17th - We have now had our girls with us for one whole month! We have loved every minute of that. Loving them is worth the minutes/hours/days/weeks/months/years we have been fighting to be their forever family. And today the fight was definitely on! We met with yet another lawyer who spoke with our creche director and creche lawyer and that was well, not so fun either. During this meeting threatening letter guy called and I accidently pushed the accept button instead of the silence button and then hung up on him because I couldn't talk on the phone during the meeting. That went over well I'm sure. :( Tried to call him back but never heard from him again regarding this particular matter.

March 18th - Advised by a mediator that had stepped in (thank the Lord for her!) to contact another person to ask some questions. We made contact with him (his son is in Eric's class and we had previously met a few times) and after explaining the situation of our girls he told us that he would go with us to IBESR and that we had a 100% chance of being given guardianship (which we already knew and which was why we were already fighting for this). But it was really great to hear that! This is exactly what threatening letter guy and creche director said they wanted. They did not want to be liable because if creche director was the guardian over our girls they were technically supposed to be in the orphanage. However, neither of them would believe that we had checked out the situation and done everything legally to be able to obtain legal rights to our girls (since Haiti had declared us the legal parents months before anyways!) As the legal parents and legal residents in Haiti there was NO reason why our girls should be forced to stay at the orphanage instead of with their family!

March 19th - Received call from mediator telling me not to "freak out" because creche director did something "not good". He found out we were going to go to IBESR to ask permission for legal custody (which is what he had said he wanted) and so he reported our girls as "missing" to IBESR without explaining the situation and turning the tables so that IBESR would say that the girls must come back to the orphanage. Craziness! Missing? He knows exactly where we live and gave us permission to take the girls in the first place! Prayed. Felt like prayer wasn't helping anything. Chose to trust Who is in charge and pray anyways. But felt like we were loosing in spite of doing everything above and beyond and being encouraged by anyone who knows anything about adoptions in Haiti that we were doing the right thing. Prayed some more. Got a call from mediator later saying that creche director had called IBESR back and supposedly tried to do the right thing and take back what he said. But IBESR doesn't care much for talk. So mediator begged him to just do the right thing. We were given a proposition that we were not at all thrilled about but agreed to (because we knew that there were enough people involved who would hold the creche to the agreement and because we wanted this nonsense to end). We agreed to bring the girls back to the orphanage for a few days and then they would be released to us for good. Just one question? If he just wanted to be the one in control and didn't appreciate us taking away his felt control, why didn't he offer this months ago? Pretty sure that he just didn't even know it was really ok for us to legally have our girls with us. We tried to extend grace toward that end. Then again, we asked him a year ago to please check this out when we first started praying about moving to Haiti and our creche director was the first person we shared that with. Oh this fallen world! Why do people have to be this way? Grace. Remember grace. Everyone needs grace.

March 20th - (a Tuesday) Took girls back to HCRM. We did not tell them about what had transpired over the past few weeks and don't want them to ever feel like the people who once cared for them or helped them in past are in any way "bad people". We tried to make this into a good time for them to see their friends once again (since we had not gone to visit during the custody mess) and have some closure before coming home to us forever. They trusted and believed us and asked us when we would come back to get them. We told them Thurs. or Friday. They begged for Thurs. I took them to the market to buy enough food to get them through the next few days. We bought a big bag of rice and beans and snacks for our girls and many of their friends. This made them feel happy and more secure. They did something they had not done before whenever we had returned them to the orphanage from visits. Every other time the girls would put back on the ratty clothes they came in or the worse thing they could find. But this time they dressed in their favorite outfits, fixed their hair as pretty as they could, put on earings and got into my makeup! Then they informed me that I didn't look cute enough and that I needed to put on cuter clothes as well! It was like they wanted to show off to their friends. We didn't think that attitude was acceptable but it's hard to talk about how wrong it is to want to show off to your orphan friends when they are now back in survival mode and heading back to the orphanage themselves. I thought and prayed about it many times since. I know my girls. I really don't think they were trying to show off. I think they did this because they had truly embraced being in a forever family and they no longer felt like orphans. They didn't want to look like orphans. They didn't want to show off themselves but they did want to show off that they had a mom...a mom that was dressed "cute"...and that they were happy and proud to have a mom, dad, and brothers. The girls did great when we took them back. They are the bravest people I know. They will forever be my biggest heroes.

March 21st - Prayed for our girls all day. Texted creche director to see if we could get them on Thursday (since the agreement was for a "few days" and Thursday or Friday had been mentioned). He just said "no". Prayed some more. Prayed to not have fear.

March 22nd - Asked several times throughout the day if we could pick up the girls on Friday. No response. Texted again in the evening asking if our friend Audrey could pick up the girls on her way down to our school around 6:30am Friday morning. No response.

March 23rd - It is 4am. Phone goes off. Wasn't really sleeping anyways. Text from creche director says that Audrey can pick up the girls! Frantically tried to reach Audrey to let her know. Didn't know if she got the text (with it being 4am and all she didn't answer right away). Prayed for the next few hours. Girls came walking through the door at 7:30am and haven't left us since! Praise the Lord!

March 24th - Got this text from a dear friend who has adopted 17 children (many from Haiti) and has gone through all too similar situations too many times. She didn't know we had the girls back.
"Our victory is already accomplished. Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good. But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear anyone. Don't be frightened." (1 Peter 3:13-14) Thankful for friends and God's Word that speak Truth into our lives. Thankful for those who were willing to stand up for the truth and who were not afraid to ask questions, mediate, seek to find the answers for what the right thing is and then do it!

April 1st - Palm Sunday. The girls wore their most beautiful dresses to church along with their tiaras. The boys joined the costume party as soon as we returned home and they all ran around campus yelling "For Narnia and for Aslan" (which would be the current movie they are obsessed with :).

Our Kings and Queens of Narnia in Haiti

April 7th - Girls 1st Easter egg hunt. We dyed egges and hid them all over the school campus. Audrey's kids and ours had a blast finding the eggs!
Ready for the hunt!

 April 8th - 1st Ressurection Sunday with our girls!

Outside our church at the World Relief Headquarters on Easter Sunday 2012
April 23rd - Went by myself (well, sweet Audrey drove me there and dropped me off) to the Embassy to try to hash out the situation about the DNA test and Marguerite's requested baptismal certificate that simply does not exist. The woman I was supposed to meet with was sick and the other woman I had talked to on the phone was booked with interviews. So I got a guy who didn't know what he was talking about. I ended up being the last non official person in the Embassy and after going back and forth between my chair and the window for hours, I left still not knowing exactly what to do. The guy even tried to tell me that they were canceling our adoptions because I did not have a current approval from USCIS (I was at the window talking to "USCIS" when they told me this). Not only had we taken the re-approval notice to them in person on January 9th, I had also e-mailed it to the Embassy several times! I handed over my copy and they asked if they could keep it. I was like, "uh, sure...please KEEP IT this time" and don't try to invent one more reason not to let us finish this thing!"

May 8th - The night before we were still praying about what to do. We have contacted USCIS stateside and talked to the Embassy many times at this point.  We still do not have concrete answers about how to move forward. We have called and texted and e-mailed creche director many times asking for our paperwork that was promised to us (because we need to prove that we are the girls legal parents and we also need the paperwork if we are going to have to figure out what to do on our own because apparently our situation is not a common one. Ya think?). We were told the first week in May that the creche assistant would bring our paperwork by our house so that we can make our own copies (cause Heaven forbid they have to go to the trouble or expense to get us the paperwork we paid thousands of dollars for!) We were actually great with this plan! We waited all the week before but assistant never showed. Could not get a hold of creche director again to ask if someone was ever coming. We hung around the house all weekend. We were here on Monday. Nothing. Then Tuesday morning (while my hair was still wet after showering, the house was a chaotic mess, the girls were still in their pajamas because it was just one of those days, Haitian househelp had our laundry separated in piles all over the floor, and I was trying to homeschool in the midst of it all) assistant shows up unannounced at my doorstep with ORIGINAL DOSSIER in hand! Once I realized what was happening I didn't care about how I looked or what he thought. I immediately searched for our adoption decrees and the girls came over to see what the fuss was all about. They looked at the page and saw their names were truly Ream! I knew this was real before but was just so happy to see it with my own eyes! I asked to keep the dossier to make copies and return it later. Assistant got a hold of creche director to ask and we had a nice little chat with several miscommunications that ended ok but with me asking once again to please meet with us in person so we could discuss what was to be done about our case without miscommunicating. He said ok. But once again, this would not happen. About an hour later assitant had returned asking for Esmée's portion of the dossier. I wasn't ready to give that up before looking over it completely and making copies (at least). Somehow I was able to make enough excuses to keep it. Then I got a call from mediator (who is also a creche director). She had also been in contact with our creche director and was advising him what to do for our case (which she had bothered to research just because she cared). He listens to her because she knows her stuff, has been doing this longer than him, and has helped him in the past. And we think that a miracle might have just happened! By the end of this SAME day (that kind of thing is pretty much unheard of around these parts) we were sitting at a table across from her and her Haitian attorneys looking through all our paperwork and talking about how we were going to get this thing fixed and done! And none of this was of our own request/doing! But it was everything we had prayed for! Elita is now being submitted to immigration and Minister of Interior for her passport. Esmée's paperwork does have to be redone (before passport because she needs a name change on her paperwork) but it is now in good hands to accomplish this and we are praying that this will be completed as quickly as possible (possibly in 4-6 weeks) and she can move on to passport as well. Once Esmée's paperwork has been ammended (the Embassy wants her name changed to her deceased Haitian mother's last name Georges instead of the assumed Haitian father's last name of Noel) we can submit both girls for their Visas. We know there are going to be more financial cost because of the extra paperwork and delays but we know the Lord will provide because He has brought us this far! We are just in awe that so many prayers were answered just today!

(Need to fill in the blanks...lots of milestones and memories made and we were very busy!)

September 14th, 2012- Esmee's paperwork re-enters IBESR. Basically started all over again.

November 13th, 2012- Elita Marguerite receives immigrant visa!

November 21st-December 24th -Elita visits the U.S.A and receives U.S. citizenship certificate!

June 14th, 2013-We spot Esmee's legal name printed in the Haitian paper. Finally! The President signed again and adoption paperwork can move forward!

June 17th- Received word from facilitator that IBESR has released our approved file!

July 2nd -Scheduled for Embassy and Court appointments.