adoption

No Way

Last night at supper we were talking about what our prayer requests were – and as always (for the last 4.5 years) adoption came up from Eden. And so, I reminded her when we pray we need to pray and believe – not just say words. And then she said in the saddest little voice – “sometimes I just can’t believe any more.”

Big gulp.

I know exactly how she’s feeling. Exactly. Before I could imagine getting a phone call with our referral, or a child in my arms – now it’s hard to even believe we are still in this adoption process.

I told her that sometimes I just don’t have the faith or the words to pray or believe for one more second. But – I know others are praying on our behalf. Believing. They’ve got our back. And I’m so grateful. SO grateful. That it’s a whole community praying this Jefferson home to our arms – not just us.

And Mark and I asked the girls if they thought we should consider pulling out. Walking away.

And everyone answered “no way”.

This isn’t the journey we had envisioned – but man. What a story it will be when we get to the next chapter! A story you are all helping to write alongside us – thank you. Thank you for petitioning the Author for us on what you want to see happen next. Can’t wait to see what He writes.

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The dirty side of adopting…

We are so excited to be adopting – but the reality of it is it’s tough. It is very invasive as you undergo home studies, psychological exams, medicals, and people looking at your finances, marriage, parenting, and every single aspect of your life. And then the waiting… months and months go by without any movement in the process. Right now we are waiting for our translator to finish putting everything into Creole. Waiting.

And, then there’s the financial side. The reality is it is about $35,000+ to adopt from Haiti. We know this is an insane amount of money… but we feel it’s more insane that children are in need of a loving home. So, we’re stepping out in faith. We are already well along in the journey…. but there’s still so much due as we (slowly) reach the next stage… and the next…

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We have had friends generously offer to do a photography fundraiser for us. There will be a day of mini-sessions coming up (in time for Mother’s Day!) where your family can be photographed… and in return help create another family! Stay tuned for the details… and if you are a photographer and want to donate a few hours to contribute to our adoption – please let me know! You can photograph the mini sessions anywhere near you! One afternoon of mini sessions can make a huge difference!

And if you feel like you would like to contribute to our adoption – no pressure! – you can contact our adoption agency (Mission of Tears) and adopt directly through them to our family. (Unfortunately it is not tax deductible). Any help in the least is appreciated!

Again – THANK YOU!

 

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Thanks for visiting our blog! The Jeffersons are made up of Mark, Krista, Madison and Eden… and we are soon to grow again as we work on adopting from Haiti. This blog is a place for us to document our process, our thoughts and updates. Thank you for journeying with us!

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Waiting…

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Family Day

Today in Ontario is Family Day. It’s a new holiday to our province – but I love it! Just like we don’t need a day to show love to others – Valentine’s forces us to consciously think of the love we are blessed with and actively celebrate it. Likewise, hopefully all year long we are grateful for our families… but it’s great to stop and really consider how thankful we are for the people we call family.

Today, we also worked on a video that we will use to announce we are adopting and to share a bit of why we are doing this. It seemed so fitting that on a day set aside to celebrate family… we were taking steps to announce our family renovations.

And so, we are about ready to announce the news that the Jeffersons are growing to the world.

I am a very open person… I am happy to tell anyone anything about myself… so to have held in this secret (that can be all consuming in my thoughts) has been tough! It will be exciting to share with loved ones the “big news”. Just as we were thrilled to announce our pregnancies, we are thrilled to announce our “paper pregnancy” (a term that is used sometimes for this stage of the adoption process where we are actively expecting a child, but at this stage… it’s just paperwork, paperwork, paperwork).

So, today on family day we celebrated with our annual family day olympics. But we also sat down with a video camera and shared our dreams and hopes for our family. Our expansion plans. And we’re almost ready to share the news. Almost.

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For real?

Whenever we talk about our upcoming adoption – our girls always stop whatever they are doing, freeze in place and look absolutely shocked. “You mean we are actually adopting? Like for real we are adopting??”

We have talked openly with them about it for two years. But two years of talk and no action in a child’s eyes makes a dream seem like just that. A dream. Not a reality. And truth be told, I can feel the same. There are times when I am in a mall and see a mom with a child in a stroller, with a sippy cup and it hits me… “This may be my life again in the near future”. But for the most part – we move ahead in the maze of paperwork of adoption, knowing we are going to adopt but having a hard time really feeling it. There are times I too want to ask “you mean we are actually adopting?” – we aren’t just doing all this paperwork for kicks?

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February 2013 Update

This blog has sat stale for a long time. Time to update!!

-In the Fall/winter of 2011 (I believe – I don’t have dates marked on the calendar) – we read that adoptions in Haiti were in talks of being closed down. We decided to wait it out a little, to see if this passed before we got too far into paperwork and financial strain of adoption

-February 2012 – we attend a one day info session at Mission of Tears (our adoption agency) and decide it’s time to unpause and get this party started!

-over the next few months it’s more paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. Psychological exams. Reference letters from friends, employers, banks, and more. I thought giving birth naturally was invasive – it is nothing in comparison to adoption. Sent off to Mission of Tears

-our letter of approval from the Ontario Government to adopt is suppose to take 4-6 weeks. It was submitted in June and we got it in November. Almost 6 months. Frustrating!

-November our dossier is complete – we think – and I take it in to Mission of Tears – whew!

-oh joy… a reference letter isn’t an actual ink signature – needs to be re-submitted. And a few other technical glitches like this has the dossier back in our court for a couple revisions. Blah.

-January 2013 – dossier is REALLY done this time. Honest. And now in for translation.

-January 2013 – start applying for citizenship for our unknown new child. Strange.

-Feb. 8, 2013 – received our acceptance letter from God’s Littlest Angels – our orphanage of choice in Haiti – that they’d be happy to work with us. Yay!

-and now we are back to waiting. No paperwork to be done. Just sitting and waiting. Probably for months.

Two dear friends have been to visit God’s Littlest Angels in Haiti already this year – one friend and her husband in January, and one friend and her daughter in February. I haven’t had a chance yet to sit down with them to hear their stories but I am anxious to! 2012 was a very rewarding year for me as I was able to visit El Salvador, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa. But my heart is so smitten with Haiti and longs to go back there as well. It is a conflict of interest to volunteer at the orphanage we plan to adopt from – so instead I live vicariously through friends who visit. And as I visited children’s homes and kids around the globe last year – I gave them an extra dose of loving in hopes that someone in Haiti was doing the same for my babe.

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Fall 2011 Update

So, this Fall we have started our home study. It feels so good to finally be DOING something! Talking to other parents who have adopted internationally – there are long periods of what seems like nothing happening in the process. So when something DOES happen it is so exciting!

Some point form updates…

-we have completed two of three home studies so far. We love our Adoption Practitioner. I mean she even had a pet goat growing up also!

-the girls are so excited still! They got to each be interviewed individually on our second home study. They loved this as it’s probably about the only step they get to be involved in.

-met with a mom who adopted from not only Haiti – but the same orphanage we requested! She is a wonderful woman and said she’d like to “journey with us”… what a gift!

We now hope to complete our last home study and get things rolling. Well that happens we have to try to save, save, save!

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Waiting Arms

This weekend my cousin Kathryn and her hubby and baby came up for a visit. Baby Hudson is 5 weeks old and these two are such natural parents.

As I held him in my arms, I was so moved by emotion. Maybe my future child(ren) are out there. Who is holding them? Are they learning that when you cry your needs will be met – you will be held, or fed, or changed? Are they experiencing the comfort of being nuzzled and cuddled? Madi sat on the floor and read to the baby – already you can see how he loves just to be talked to. Is anyone doing this for our little one(s)?

I know how important the first few years of a child’s life and development are. I pray today for someone to cuddle and love my child until they come home to my arms.

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PRIDE

There is a mandatory parenting course for people who are adopting in Ontario called “PRIDE” training. It has to be completed before you can finish your home study – but can be done at any time during the home study process. When we looked at the dates it was offered – we realized with my work schedule if we didn’t go soon we would not be able to get in until November. So… we moved a couple of commitments and within a week of making a firm decision we were sitting in on two weekend of PRIDE classes.

The classes covered things like the child’s sense of “loss”  – loss of identity, family, culture, history… and their need for belonging and building trust. We talked a lot about the logistics of adoption as well. It just felt great to get started in this process we have talked about for sooooo long. And to meet other couples also starting down the road of adoption!

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