Friday, March 29, 2013

Adoption update- On to Parquet Court

We've been on vacation and life, quite honestly, has been moving a bit fast and spasmodically for me at the moment.   I have much I should have blogged- Ava's actual birthday day, vacation, Easter preparation and to be quite honest, I probably just won't get to it.  I feel like we are just barely hanging on to the ride of life at the moment.  Nothing is "bad" at the moment or to be complained about, just so much, that all I can do is just live, no extras;) 

The first night of our vacation, we had a conference call with our agency director about next steps in our adoption, along with three other families recently granted dispensation.  We are all on to the next step, Parquet Court.  This is good news, more progress;)  We will head to Haiti and appear in two different courts, basically answering basic questions: yes, we know Christian's story, yes we want to adopt him, yes we will provide for him, etc.  We will also file our I-600 immigration form at the US Embassy in Haiti, which petitions the US government to classify an orphan as an immediate relative..

We have to be in Haiti 4 business days for this appointment so it will be our longest trip to date. Our children have been asking to join us since day one, so we have decided to bring Phin and Ava with us on this trip, as it is most likely the last time both Marc and I will travel together to Haiti.  We will be leaving Chloe behind with family.  The kids have to go to all our appointments with us, she just couldn't handle it.  She hates traveling anyway (even asking DAILY to go home on our quite luxurious vacation;), the culture shock of Haiti on top of it, AND sharing mommy when SHE feels vulnerable...there just isn't an upside to bringing her other than her not feeling left out.  It'll be interesting.  I know the kids will LOVE meeting Christian.  I also know it will be hard for them to have only the food prepared for them, to have no luxuries they are used to, etc.  I think they will rise to the occasion and be blessed for it.  I am so excited to introduce them in person to their very special little heart could burst at the simple thought of that first moment!

We leave VERY quickly;)  We head out 4/ we are home barely a week from vacation before turning around and leaving for Haiti.  Our restful vacation was not quite as "restful" as planned, as we had to book flights, figure out schedules, get permission for Ava to miss a lot of school, move back Marc's start date at his new job, etc.  We also had to make appointments at the US passport bureau the day we returned to get immediate passports for Ava and Phin as we need them in less than two weeks.  It was sort of a flurry of getting our ducks in a row...though let's be completely honest, doing this in the sun by the swimming pool sure beat being on the phone in my kitchen with snow outside;)  Not as restful as planned, but certainly more exciting;)

God is good, more progress AND we were able to swing bringing two kids.  We also get to travel with two other families, which makes time in Haiti much easier and more enjoyable than being in a guest house alone.

What does this mean for bringing Christian home?  We don't exactly know.  It could still be 6 months or more until we get him home, it could be a matter of a couple months, we just have to wait and see.  We'll still need an adoption decree issued in Haiti post Court, that issues Christian our last name officially.  Then it needs to be legalized by the court, then by three other departments.  Each department could act quickly or super slowly, no way to tell;P  Then we need to get a Haitian passport (that part of the process is apparently pretty reliably and takes 1-2 weeks), then a US Visa and FINALLY we get to pick him up and bring him home....he will be a US citizen upon hitting US soil. 

We are hopeful to have him home in the next 6 months, but nothing is guaranteed, so please keep praying for us!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Wreck It Ralph Birthday Party

I've been meaning to post pictures and details for a week;)  With the house on the market I am totally exhausted, and don't feel very eloquent.  This birthday party was a great distraction from our sort of crazy life and I am thankful for the creative outlet and my little girl's smile when it was all over.

The Food table- pizza was later added.  I got the Wreck it Ralph plates and napkins from Party City.  The play figures from the Disney store and wall clings from Amazon.  We had balloons galore floating in the room at the start of the party..

Gift bags.  I cut out print outs of Ava's favorite characters and wrote a hand written "Thank you for coming to my party".  Inside was a bit of candy, include these adorable mini size lollipops, bouncy balls, candy shaped erasers that were in the post valentine clearance at Target;), and bugs that grow when you soak them in water.
For cups I ordered plastic beer mugs and served Root Beer just like Ralph drank when visiting Tappers.

 This year we had an oreo ice cream cake and loved how the messy drizzle reminded us of Vanellope's car.  We simply stuck her and her race car atop the cake and it was perfect;)

Can't have a party without making the "You're my Hero" cookie medal that Vanellope gives to Ralph.  We didn't want to send the kids home too overloaded with sugar, so I wrapped them in candy bags and sent them home along with the gift bags.
In the living room, I had a table ready for kids arrival.  We got mini wooden race cars and let them color their own car while waiting for everyone to arrive.  I made a sample car to help them get their creative juices flowing.
Ava really wanted to dress up like Vanellope (which means Chloe did too), so we made Phin "Fix it Felix"  and Papa "Wreck it Ralph"....everyone is dressed and party ready- Mama's prep is done- let the party begin!

My kids and guest number one hard at work ;)  Note, in the background, I used wall decals all over, and placed the complete set of racers (from Disney Store) from the movie on the mantle. 
Marc served as our party MC...Ralph hands and voice added to the fun.  Here he is telling them about our party emergency.  We were going to play games, but we just found out Cybug invaded the party! 
For the kids who'd seen the movie, they knew how very dangerous Cybug can be.  They spread rapidly and turn into whatever they bite.  We gave the kids special green bags and sent them down stairs to find all the Cybugs so we could have a successful party.

I couldn't find the perfect Cybug...but I ordered spiders that jump when you touch them....there were plenty for each kid to find quite a few and they were able to take them home for future fun.

Next we played our own version of "Fix it Felix" in relay fashion.  We split the kids into two teams.  They had to put on Wreck it Ralph hands, say, "I'm gonna wreck it" and knock down the cardboard block wall.  Then say, "I am going to fix it" and fix the wall before returning to the end of their line and sitting down.

 It really displayed the boys' wrecking skills, and most of the girls were a bit too meticulous in fixing...rather funny to watch;)

Next, we returned upstairs to play "Pin the Medal on Ralph".  My talented hubby drew me a Wreck it Ralph. 

And the kids took turns pinning on their medal.

 (Phin inspecting his placement after the blindfold was removed.)

Finally, we played Musical "Double Stripe".  This was our verson of musical chairs, except there was a chair for every child.

The music played (from the soundtrack of the movie, of course); and the children walked around.

When the music stopped, they had to sit down.  All the chairs had a peppermint stick print out, taped to them.  The child who landed on the "Double Stripe" had to sit in the Green slime, just like Ralph fell into when he grabbed the Double Stripe branch.

The kids kind of liked the slime...which was just a green plastic table cloth;)  They were cute, yelling "DOUBLE STRIPE" when the music stopped;)

Next we had our Tappers Rootbeer and Pizza, though I forgot to take a picture;)
And then it was time for CAKE!

 SEVEN candles- where does time go?!

And finally, present opening time...before open play until parents came to pick their children back up.  Thankfully, all children were returned to parents in one piece:)
Happy Birthday, Ava.  We adore you and are so delighted with what a beautiful lady you are becoming ;)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Adoption News!!!

I received a very special email last night.  IBESR (Haitian Social Services) received a list of new dispensations yesterday and Christian is on it!!  This means that the President  whoever signs the presidents papers, signed our Dispensation.  We've been granted permission to adopt Christian Willy though Haitian law says you cannot adopt if you have Biological Children.  Dispensations are granted for this all the time, but it is a LONG process.  We've been waiting for this since September!! 

What's next?  All Dispensations must be printed in Le Moniteur, the Haitian Legal Journal.  Once it is printed in Le Moniteur, we should be given permission to exit IBESR and enter the Parquet Court process.  If you are really into details- each step is given here.  We still have a ways to go in bringing Christian home, but we've made progress.  Dispensation seems to take the longest, so Lord willing we'll start moving through the next steps (though we know that typically nothing moves quickly in Haiti;)

Praising God and anxious for the go ahead to attend Parquet court, because that requires a little visit to Haiti and a few more cuddles with my boy;)

Please keep praying...God can move mountains;)