Friday, September 27, 2013

FINAL UPDATE from GLA -- September 2013

Hi Shannon,

It has been a true blessing to be a very small part of your adoption journey.  What a blessing to see you united with your sweet little girl and to see her transition into life with her forever family!  It has been fun to see the photos of Kimberlie enjoying being at home with you on Facebook.  It is amazing to see her thriving at home with you so far!  I am continuing to pray that your transition into life as a family goes well and that Kimberlie quickly learns and understands that you are the person she is to trust and love with all she has. 
Attached to this “final” update is your forever-family photos from the Sunday you left.   Kimberlie is most definitely missed in the nursery but knowing that she is home with you takes any sadness we have away.
I hope you are enjoying your life as a forever family so far.  Hugs to you and Kimberlie from all of us here at GLA!

Susie Schuelke
GLA Update Coordinator
God’s Littlest Angels - Haiti

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Kimberlie 2 mo

Kimberlie 2 mo

Kimberlie 5 mo

Kimberlie 5 mo

Kimberlie 9 mo

Kimberlie 9 mo

Kimberlie 15 mo

Kimberlie 15 mo

Mama & Kimberlie

Mama & Kimberlie

Kimberlie 16 mo

Kimberlie 16 mo

Kimberlie 19 mo.

Kimberlie 19 mo.

Kimberlie 23 mo.

Kimberlie 23 mo.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Haitian Adoption Processs

Haitian adoptions are highly complex and challenging to complete. Under Haitian law, they can be completed by an attorney or a director of one of the 67 creches licensed by IBESR - the equivalent of Haitian social services. Most Haitian adoptions are accomplished by creche directors acting as facilitators. Very few attorneys have the extensive amount of time and dedication required to process an adoption case.


(This is from the GLA Dossier Packet)
  1. Dossier arrives at GLA.  GLA staff goes through dossier to ensure all documents are included.  They will notify BCSI if anything is missing.  Referral wait time begins once your dossier arrives at GLA.
  1. Legalization at the Minister of Foreign Affairs (MAE).  All documents that have been legalized at the Haitian Consulate/Embassy in the US are legalized with the Minister of Foreign Affairs.  They are legalizing the signatures of the Haitian Consular Offices that legalized your dossier at the Haitian Consulate/Embassy.  This takes approximately 2 to 4 weeks.
  1. Child referral.  You are referred a child as soon as a child is available that fits your request.  With your referral, you will receive information on your child’s background (whatever is available, which is often fairly minimal), his/her medical report, lab work, psychological report, judge’s consent, and photos.  Families are asked to complete an acceptance letter, which is forwarded by BCSI to GLA giving them the go-ahead to proceed with your adoption. 
  1. Dossier preparation for IBESR.  Upon acceptance of your referral, GLA prepares your dossier for IBESR and delivers it to GLA’s lawyer.  Your child’s, and your dossier are combined into one.  As well, a social history is required by IBESR for your child.  Preparing a social history involves putting your child’s social information into a home study format together with information from your home study.  Expect 1 to 3 months for dossier preparation.
  1. IBESR (Institute du Bien-Etre Social et Recherches – Institute of Social Well-Being and Research).  IBESR is the Haitian Social Services.  When your dossier is at IBESR, social workers will study it to see whether you meet the Haitian requirements to adopt a child.  They also judge whether your referred child is a good match for your family.  Your dossier needs 4 signatures before it can be released from IBESR.  The four individuals who sign the approval are the director of IBESR, the IBESR lawyer, the head of adoption services at IBESR, and the head of social services.  If, for example, one of these individuals is on holidays, there is not another individual who can sign on his/her behalf, which will result in additional delays.  Once all 4 signatures have been received, IBESR issues a Certificate of Authorization informing Parquet and the courts that IBESR has approved you to adopt your Haitian child.  Time varies from 3 to 6 months, but could be longer if you need a Presidential dispensation.  A presidential dispensation can take an additional 3 to 6 months or longer.  You need to be aware of this as you go into the adoption process.
  1. Travel. Your first trip to Haiti occurs after you are approved by IBESR. On your first trip, you will meet with the local judge, file your I-600 / Adjudicate Orphan Status First application with USCIS, and appear before the civil court. Both adoptive parents must travel.  See instructions in the Travel Packet on how to complete the forms for your I-600 filing. You can expect to be in Haiti for 3-5 days.
  1. Parquet (District Attorney).  GLA prepares a letter for Parquet, as well as submits a couple extra documents in the dossier for submission to Parquet.  An additional two documents are completed and signed in Parquet that approve your adoption.  This stage is very unpredictable at this time; however, expect 1 to 6 months.
  1. Court.  GLA types up two court documents (Act of Adoption, and Civil Court document) and submits your dossier to the court for finalization of the adoption in Haiti.  This takes 1 to 2 months.
  1. Attestation Signature.  An attestation signature is required on your child’s Act of Adoption.  The attestation signature is completed by Archives recognizing that the signature on the Act of Adoption corresponds with the signature that is on file for this individual.  It is similar to legalizing or notarizing the signature.  This takes 1 to 2 weeks
  1. Legalization at the Minister of Justice.  Each of your child’s adoption documents needs to be legalized in order to apply for his/her passport.  This takes 2 to 4 weeks
  1. Legalization at the Minister of Foreign Affairs (MAE).  Each of your child’s adoption documents must also be legalized at the Minister of Foreign Affairs before applying for his/her passport.  This takes 2 to 4 weeks
  1. Passport.  Once all documents have been legalized, GLA can apply for your child’s Haitian passport.  This is a 2 step process – Studying the application at the office of the Minister of Interior and finalization and printing the passport at the Immigration department.  In MOI the passport application is studied and approved, and in printing, it is exactly that, the printing of the passport.  The majority of time spent in this stage is in MOI.  This stage is also very unpredictable at this time; however expect 3 to 6 months (3 to 6 weeks included for printing).
  1. Paperwork review.  Once your child’s passport has been printed, and all original documents have been returned, GLA will review the paperwork and have any errors corrected (spelling errors are very common in Haiti). 
  1. US medical.  A medical on your child is completed by a US approved physician in Haiti and the results are submitted together with the visa application. It can take up to a week until GLA is able to pick up the completed medical report.
  1. USCIS and US visa.  Families must first have their I-600 approved by USCIS in Haiti before the child’s paperwork goes to the Adoptions Officer with the Consular division of the U.S. Embassy. GLA will submit your child’s complete visa packet (adoption documents, passport, US medical, passport photos, DS-230) to USCIS for your I-600 approval. Once your I-600 has been approved, USCIS will forward your adoption file to the Adoptions Officer, who will then schedule your child’s visa interview. Your child’s visa interview is usually held 1-2 weeks from when the Officer received your child’s adoption file.  At the same time, GLA must obtain a travel document, permitting the child to travel, from IBESR.  Expect four weeks to four months for this entire process.
  1. Travel.  Once your child’s visa has been approved, GLA will contact BCSI with possible travel dates for your final trip to Haiti to pick up your child.  GLA will pick up your child’s visa before you arrive in Haiti.  Expect to stay in Haiti for 2-5 days.  Please do not book flights until you have been given approval from GLA.  If only one parent is able to travel, the parent remaining at home must complete a power of attorney for the parent that is going to Haiti.  This way, the parent traveling to Haiti can sign all documents should he/she be required to sign anything. 
Times frames cannot be guaranteed as circumstances may present themselves that affect all adoptions, or your adoption in particular.  It is also unknown how the process will continue post-earthquake, and post-election.  IBESR and Haitian courts work at their own pace.  It is very possible that a dossier that arrived at GLA after yours will be approved before your dossier.  Haiti is not the same as the US, and things are not always done in order.  Your patience is required as you move from one stage to the next.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Adoption Timeline

My Adoption Timeline

Why do I want to adopt? 

I have always wanted to be a mom and in the back of my mind, either with or without a husband, have always thought I would adopt a child from another country.  I want to adopt to have privileged opportunity to love and influence a child and use the gifts God has equipped me with to raise a child who loves the Lord.   
I also want to adopt to give a child the chance to grow up in loving home with a loving family.  
Reasons I choose Haiti:
I talked about God’s plan for my life earlier; I do believe adopting a child from Haiti is part of his plan for me.  As I look back on my life, I see sprinklings of this plan along the way. I have a few friends who have adopted children from Haiti and I have opportunity to spend time with that family and feel a real connection with their Haitian children. My church has been a part of Kids Against Hunger for the past few years; we pack and ship meals for the children of Haiti. Hearing the stories of the positive impact this ministry has on the country of Haiti again spoke to my heart. When the 2010 Earthquake devastated Haiti and I heard about the children who lost their families, I again begin feeling God’s nudge to pursue adoption from Haiti. 
I also have always been drawn to children from different cultures; this led me to teach in the urban school district in St. Paul.  Through my experiences with hundreds of children from a plethora of cultures I can appreciate the similarities and differences in all children.      

Adoption Timeline

3.12.11 Attended Adoption Party and learned about different types of adoptions

4.7.11 Attended Adoption Info Meeting at Bethany Christian Services (BCS) in Plymouth, MN

4.29.11 GLA Orphanage Application Approved

5.12.11 Sent Formal Application to Bethany

6.13.11 Home Study Begins

8.22.11 Last Home Study Meeting =)

12.21.11 Home Study Completed

12.21.11 I-600A Application Sent 

1.5.12 Dossier Sent to Bethany Christian Services International =)

1.11.12 Dossier Sent to Haitian Consulate

1.27.12 Dossier Sent to God's Littlest Angels (GLA) in Haiti
             Dossier to Country Date Confirmed!

2.1.12 Dossier Arrives at God's Littlest Angels in Haiti

2.14.12 Received I-171H Approval

3.15.12 Dossier Returned Legalized to GLA

8.8.12 Received Verbal REFERRAL for a GIRL !!!!!!!!
6 months 8 days after dossier arrived in Haiti
8.9.12 Received Written REFERRAL proposing Kimberlie Pierre to the Haugh family!!!!!!!

8.15.12 Mailed the Acceptance Referral Letter for 
Kimberlie  Pierre !!!!!  

8.30.12 Kimberlie's file sent to GLA lawyer (one step closer to IBESR)  

9.6.12 Dossier Enters IBESR: File # 20534

11.21.12 EXITED IBESR  =) =) 

12.10.12 - 12-14-12 I600 Trip 
12.11.12 My MEETCHA DAY !!! 
First time I held Kimberlie =) =)
12.12.12 Embassy, Civil Court and Judge Bob visit    
12.14.2012 Enter Parquet
2.1.13 Parquet Birth Parent Interview completed

2.6.13 EXITED Parquet  

2.6.13 Entered Courts 

2.26.13 US Embassy Birth Parent interview completed 

4.3.13 Exited Courts  Kimberlie legally is MINE! Kimberlie Abiageal Haugh =) 

5.14.13 Exited Attestion, MAE/MOJ 

5.14.13 Entered MOI

7.31.13 Exited MOI  

8.13.13 Received Printed Passport

8.19.13 I600 Submitted to USCIS VISA process begins =) 
8.26.13 I600 Approval 

9.5.13 Visa Interview  
9.9.13 Receive VISA =)  

9.13.2013  Celebrate Baby Cakes, now known as Kimberlie, 


9.16.2013 Kimberlie Abiageal HAUGH ARRIVES IN THE USA, MN. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

HOMECOMING DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Some say traveling home with a adopted child is kind of like giving birth-it's real bad, but you don't really remember it, all you remember is when you see your child for the first time! I agree 100%, the day was VERY long!!!!!  BUT, the minute we walked through the sliding doors into baggage claim area a the MSP airport, the hard parts of the day were forgotten!

 My mom's expression is PRICELESS!!!!!

I saw all our family and friends there to welcome us home-this is a moment I will NEVER forget!!!! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

GOTCHA DAY and Kimberlie's 2nd Birthday

Today is the day I have been waiting for for over 2 years...... 2 years of paperwork, praying, crying,
WAITING, celebrating movement and wishing for my sweetie pies to finally come HOME!!!!!  Well, today is that DAY!!!! This day, I will take her in my arms and NEVER, NEVER let her go!!!!!!

After we were on the balcony with Kimberlie for a few minutes, Melissa said, "Kimberlie's birthmom is here and she has been here all morning, are you ready to met her? " What a question, but HOW cool is God to bring Kimberlie's birthmom to GLA on her BIRTH DAY!!!!!!  Special moments that I will never forget and look forward to sharing with Kimberlie when the time is right!

Kimberlie's GOTCHA DAY happened to be her 2nd birthday! I prayed through this journey, that Kimberlie would come home before she is 2, well, this is just a good! What a joy to be with her on her birthday!!! She was not in the party mood that night- she was really missing her nursery, nannies, friends and crib!!!

 What a day it was!!! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Our World is Going to Get MUCH Smaller

I can not believe I am 2 sleeps away from seeing Kimberlie again !! But,this time I don't have to leave her, this time I get to bring her home to start our family.  What a feeling it will be to put her down in my living room and see the look on her face when she feels carpet under her feet for the first time; when she sits in her booster chair for the first time or when she feels grass for the first time.  I was talking to a friend a few days ago about how fun it will be to experience all Kimberlie's "firsts". 

When I bring Kimberlie home, her WHOLE world will be changing. She will not hear roosters crowing all night long or random dogs barking all night long, it's going to be VERY different from Haiti.  For the last 2 years she has learned to love and trust the women (her nannies) who have been caring for her. And for the last 2 years, she has been in the same room nearly every day. My home will smell different, sound different, the food will taste different and even in my little townhouse there will be so much to see. The differences will be overwhelming for her. She needs to settle into a new normal, to learn that this place is her safe place, her home and that I am her mom. And that is why we need to make our world smaller.

For a while, Kimberlie and I will be hanging out at home together, getting to know each other and learning what it's like to be a family.  Remember, I am new to this too=)  We won't be attending any big galas or other big events, those will most likely overwhelm her as well. While at home, I will be Kimberlie's only caregiver. I will hold her, feed her, change her, bathe her and comfort her.  Kimberlie needs to learn to trust that I will ALWAYS be here to meet all her needs. This is HUGE for adopted children and certainly does not happen over night! It actually can take years for a child to fully attach.  This trusting relationship is sooo important and will help Kimberlie form positive relationships with others later in life. Another part of the attachment puzzle I will attempt is meeting her needs immediately. When a baby cries, mom or dad goes to them and picks them up.... no brain-er and that is how attachment forms. Infants begin to understand and trust that when they need something, that need will be met by a trusting adult. Kimberlie's trusting adult is ME =)

 So, when you come over for a visit (after a while) or see us around town, I would ask that you don't try and pick her up , give her hugs, and/or give her snacks. I know, it does seem a bit extreme and this will be hard for me too. I want nothing but to show off my little sweetie pies to the world and have family and friends give her hugs and kisses, but I do know, from much reading and talking with other adoptive parents, this is the BEST for Kimberlie!

Please ask questions if you are wondering about attachment, or just google it, I think the research on it is really interesting.

I have been thinking about this for a while and have taken some steps in preparation... can't meet your beautiful child's basic needs without meeting you basic needs =) . Now, I just need some Reeses!

I borrowed some info from this blog: