Keeping our chin(s) up.

We were notified this morning that our son’s birth parent did not show up for her scheduled interview with USCIS (at US embassy in Haiti) on July 19th. They have rescheduled her interview for August 22nd, so please pray with us that she shows up! This is an important interview as the US will not process the completion of the approval of our immigration paperwork without it.

The good news (or relief, as I’m still wrestling with the “good” in the news LOL) is that this BP Interview rescheduling doesn’t affect our process in IBESR (the Haitian side of the legalities) and will not affect the issuance of our Exit Letter. We have not received it yet, but we are still able to continue in that process even without the USCIS interview completion.

We would appreciate your prayers for strength through yet again another wait, as we continue to wait for this Exit Letter. This letter is basically like GOLD to us, because it is what allows us to go back to travel to visit W with our kids. If our wait continues to lengthen, there is a chance that Kris and I would be allowed to visit again by ourselves, but this remains to be seen. It would be an absolute miracle, but we are still praying for an Exit Letter this week! 🙂

Our hearts are doing alright – we have settled back into normalcy of the American Dream…even though much of it has taken on a new light for us.

Kris and I had a fantastically difficult-but-good heart-to-heart with my sister and brother-in-law over the weekend. They asked some good questions, and we were able to hash through a lot of the behind-the-scenes motivations and issues of becoming a transracial family. However one huge eye-opener for me was a bit unrelated to the topic at hand, when through some conversational rabbit trails I had a massive revelation. It hit me like a ton of bricks, and all of a sudden the heaviness that I’d been carrying around for the past month shed its foggy cover and I could see it for what it really was:

The hardest thing for me being home from 2-weeks visiting my son in his home country of Haiti, is that I feel completely alone (save for Kris, but speaking in terms of me trying to communicate with family/friends/etc) in my experiences. The emotional roller coaster both positive and negative that we have experienced in those 2-weeks is something that not a single person in my world can fully comprehend unless they have been there, seen and touched, held, listened, sweated-it-out (literally and metaphorically), the list goes on. There is only so much understanding that I can bring to the situation and our stories, photos and videos and I feel that I constantly hit this glass wall where I just can’t seem to break through to the actual heart of the person I’m speaking to. I feel that no one really understands what it was like, or what he is like, or what the rest of the orphanage and country is like, etc. that there’s only so much I can say without saying “you just have to have been there” or “you won’t understand until you go for yourself” or “you won’t fully get it until you meet him face to face”.

The whole process has been emotional but the 2-weeks we spent with W was like spending two weeks with your new baby – where everything you say and do and play and sing even when you’re not with them – revolves around them. Then when you talk to your family and introduce your baby all your stories make complete sense because they can see and hold and touch and rub noses and emotionally experience every little thing you’re saying for themselves. With our situation it is so difficult for me to feel like all I’m doing is telling stories. I’m so exhausted from just telling stories without my loved ones being able to fully experience the emotional and physical connection to the person or situation I’m describing.

It may not seem like a big deal when I write it all out – but for me, it is such a huge weight – I’m a communicator and it is excruciating to me to not even be able to help our three kids at home fully understand what Haiti, the Orphanage, the children, and their little brother is like.

Personally, I view this Exit Letter as some form of liberation for my heart because it will allow me to have the freedom to share that experience with others, so that I don’t have to just be a jar of words to everyone. I can’t wait for my kids, my family, my close friends, etc. to be able to have the option of coming to visit W with us – to really GET what we are talking about. So many times I think, “if you just looked in his eyes one time, or heard him say “bonjou!” for the first time, nothing else would even matter.” Everyone would finally just completely understand why we would move mountains for this little child, and there would be no conditionals with their thinking, there would just be him, and everything else would fall in line behind.

Let me not confuse you – we are fully aware that there will be issues and traumas and potential for disorders and there will be days we fail miserably. There will be umpteen hours of trainings and books in addition to the umpteen we’ve already been through, there will be conferences and support circles of other families in the same processes. It will NOT be easy. There will be a vast amount of issues to deal with becoming a transracial family, and those things are not things to be taken lightly. However, what I am saying is that as many questions as we had and anxieties of what the future would look like, every single thing melted away the first time he rounded the top of the stairs in his bright yellow school uniform polo and charcoal grey shorts and black-on-black dusty shoes from walking a mile from school on the dirt road. That little bald head and those shining dark eyes looked up into ours, and his arms outstretched into a hug, and from that moment everything else was bearable. Everything else was okay to make sense as we get there, to work on discovering together. Nothing was a conditional, his presence in our lives and in our hearts took full-priority. And somehow, my heart is stuck on the fact that most people around me just won’t fully get it until they have the same experience. So for now, (at least I’m no longer trying to sort out why I feel this way) I am extremely lonely in these tactile experiences. It doesn’t affect my everyday mood, and I’m not obsessed over these feelings 🙂 But when I communicate especially to those closest to me, this is the glass wall that i come up against and it is very frustrating.

This is why to me, the Exit Letter is a massive open-gate to freedom. Because even if only a handful of people close to me are able to come visit with us and experience it for themselves, at least we won’t be alone. At least I’ll know there’s others that really “get it” too.

Anyway. Wow, this turned out to be super dismal. LOL! I feel like a broken record but I cannot ask enough times for prayer for that stinkin’ letter! We cannot wait to see our son again. There is another adoptive family traveling in August during our (tentatively kept) Haiti travel dates (these are dates we are keeping open to travel just in case we receive an exit letter!) and this family has offered to take a few pairs of shoes to W for us in case we do not make it in August. He needs a new pair of school shoes, tennis shoes and sandals, so we will be sending those down to the family to carry over in their bags for him! 🙂 (We cannot mail anything directly to Haiti, but can send letters, photos, small things with others from our agency that are traveling)

Thank you for continuing to be a part of our journey, for checking in, for faithfully reading posts and for the encouragement I receive from many of you weekly about how much you love reading these! (Especially on days like today when the reading is more of a downer!) 🙂

Praying that we’ll have a more positive update for you all soon!

Laura & family

7 thoughts on “Keeping our chin(s) up.

  1. cousin Jennifer says:

    Thanks for your transparency and honesty through these posts Laura! I do not understand completely, but feel that I can relate to your feelings of being alone with a Spirit guided decision. We will be praying for a quick reunion with W and a smooth transition as a family.

  2. I have yet to go to Haiti – my two weeks is a date that is just “out there” where I can finally meet my little boy or girl. My fears and anxiety are the same as yours. I wonder if people will understand, I wonder if I will truly understand it. I wonder how long it will be after my two weeks where I will get to hold my little boy or girl in my arms. As this will be my only child, I crave their touch. I am so grateful to have found your blog so I can live vicariously through your journey at this time. Thank you

      • I have completed my homestudy and we have to take PRIDE classes and I am done those too. All of this is being sent to the Ontario government today. It takes about 6-8 weeks for them to approve it. In the mean time I have a ton of other things that Haiti wants in my dossier so I am working on that!

    • Nicole, sorry this response is delayed! I appreciate your notes and while I don’t know what it is like to adopt a child without the distraction of other children at home, I know that there are many other parents out there going through the same thing! Check out the adopting from Haiti FB group – if you aren’t already on there – there are many in similar situations! Just beware…IBESR does have people on that site, so be careful what you say. Our policy is that we are a member of that group, but we never post anything on the page. If we have a question about someone’s post or want to get in touch we just message them directly. That way our name doesn’t get associated with anyone’s negative comments by accident! The IBESR has complete power on the Haiti side, to approve or deny your request to adopt.

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