Saturday, June 30, 2012

Finally! After 9 months we have our Presidential Dispensation!

Got great news yesterday! In the middle of my 20 mile training run my cell phone ran (it is a miracle I heard it and then answered it in time -- usually I don’t hear my phone when I run). On the other end was our adoption agency, telling me we have received our Presidential Dispensation! I could hardly keep running -- it is difficult to run while you are crying!

We still need to find out where exactly our paperwork is: Has our Dispensation been published in the Le Moniteur so that it is official? It can’t be signed off on by IBESR (Haitian Social Services) until it is published in Le Moniteur -- and Le Moniteur only comes out every month or so. Once IBESR has signed off on our paperwork and granted us an Authorization of Adoption, we move on to Parquet Court, which is a series of steps and processes between multiple Haitian offices. Then our paperwork goes to the Ministry of the Interior, then finally Christina can get her visa.

But let me back up a bit and explain what has happened in Haiti since our paperwork hit the system in November, 2011. There are going to be a lot of changes in the near future in Haitian adoptions.

In May, 2012 the Director of IBESR made the decision to close IBESR to new adoption cases in order to work through the back log of files. They are trying to streamline their process so that a dossier only sits in IBESR for 2 months (ours has been in IBESR since November, 2011.) IBESR says they will begin accepting new cases in August.

On June 11, 2012 Haiti ratified the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. This will change the way adoptions are processed in Haiti. Most countries who ratify the Hague convention end up having to put a halt on new adoptions until they get their systems in place. Fortunately, adoptions already in process are usually grandfathered in. There are a lot of uncertainties at this time regarding the future of adoption in Haiti. We are hopeful that in the end this will mean better systems, less corruption and a shorter wait for all those sweet kiddos waiting to go home.

If you are interested in learning more about what Haiti is doing, check out All Blessing International's Haiti Blog and Adoption Process page.

But even with all of the unknowns and changes to the process, we are thrilled that we have finally moved forward in the system. We have been waiting since November for something to happen with our file. This is huge!

Last week I booked plane tickets for Weston, Sam (our 16 year old) and me to visit Christina at the end of July. If our paperwork moves quickly through IBESR we could end up having our court date on our trip! But if our paperwork isn’t out of IBESR in the next couple of weeks we will have to postpone our trip until we are in Parquet Court because once in Parquet we are given two to three weeks to show up in Haiti for a court appearance. It doesn’t make sense to visit Christina and then just a couple of weeks later have to fly to Haiti again for our court date. (Well, if finances were unlimited, I wouldn’t mind doing that, but since they are not, and plane tickets are expensive, it make sense to combine our next trip and our court date, even if we have to change our tickets.)

We know we still have more waiting to do. Our prayer is that our paperwork will continue to move smoothly through the system. If it does, there is a good chance Christina could be home by Christmas! What an amazing present that would be!