Sorry this post is so long, we are just trying to catch everyone up on where we're at. Hopefully they will get shorter going forward.
In February, Jason and I were hanging out with our Missional Community (small group from church) when a couple we are very close to began talking about adopting a child from Haiti. They know a friend of a friend who goes to a church with a Hatian-American man whose family operates an orphanage and school in Haiti. They were explaining that as a result of the January earthquake, this orphanage was urgently trying to find families interested in adopting the pre-quake orphans in order to accommodate the thousands of newly orphaned children.
After we left that night, Jason and I were joking about adopting a child from Haiti. Talking about how neat it would be, how cute the dark skinned child would be (okay… that is what I was thinking about, not Jason), and what a testimony it would be… and at the same time we realized it wasn’t really a joke anymore… we both looked at each other and said, “you’re being serious aren’t you?” Well…. From that point on our hearts have been opened to something we couldn’t turn away from. " ... Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act ..." Proverbs 24:12.
For the next couple of weeks we began researching Haitian adoptions, gathering documents, and trying to get in touch with the extremely busy orphanage. We found out very quickly the difficulties of trying to adopt from an independent orphanage rather than through an agency; the primary obstacle being communication. We communicated mostly through e-mail which was done on their end with generator power only and was sporadic at best. In one email we were told some days they did not even have money to purchase gas to run the generator.
We were given a list of documents needed to create our dossier, so we began to obtain medical exams, criminal history reports, employer letters, birth certificates, marriage license, etc. We received profiles of the children available for adoption from the orphanage, and once Jason and I agreed on one of the children I emailed the orphanage to let them know. (Thank you to everyone who prayed, and continues to pray, for this little guy). We waited about a week and had not heard anything in return, so I emailed again, called and called, and still didn’t hear anything. I finally got in touch with the orphanage director’s wife, who lives in Miami, and she said her husband, who was still in Haiti, must not have received our email so she would send it to him again.
The following day we received an email from the orphanage director inviting us to visit the orphanage for a week in order to get to know not only him and the other staff members, but also to develop a relationship with the children. As we began to plan our trip, we got on the CDC website and realized there were quite a few immunizations we would need before our trip; including Hepatitis A and B, Tetanus, H1N1, and Typhoid. We rushed to get these from the travel health clinic in order to be ready for travel to Haiti. In the mean time, I did a lot of reading about Haitian adoptions and found on several websites, and in several books, that in order to adopt from Haiti, you have to be at least 30 years old and have to have been married for at least 10 years.
Ummmm…..according to both of these regulations, Jason and I aren’t even eligible to legally adopt from Haiti. I immediately called the orphanage, and her voicemail box was full, I emailed… and got no response. I finally called the orphanage director’s son, who lives in Macon, and asked him about the two requirements I had found. He said he wasn’t sure about the requirements but he would call his dad and ask and then call me back… I never heard anything in return. I wanted to scream, cry, throw up…. I felt like a complete idiot for getting as far as we had in the process without looking at the simplest requirements. I wanted so badly to meet the little boy we had only seen one picture of. I wanted him to be a part of our family. I wanted him to have three meals to eat every day. I wanted him to have the love that only a mom and dad can give. But, all I could do was pray… trust that God has a purpose for everything we go through… and have faith that He has perfect timing.