If you keep up with All Things New on our blog and social media, then you know there are a lot of things going on right now. We just finished up a matching funds campaign, we have a fundraiser in LaGrange November 11, ATN Family Day in Jacksonville on November 18, we have started a couple of new job creation initiatives, and we are in the midst of a blog series about what each of our kids hope for their futures. You may also remember, back in May, that we told you about a baby named Ezekyal that was born close to our house here in Gressier. If you are on our email list you have heard a little bit more about that, but the bottom line is that since that time we have been working on getting guardianship and a Visa for him so that he could live and travel with us while we pursue an adoption. We have wonderful news…
AS OF OCTOBER 10 WE HAVE GUARDIANSHIP AND A VISA!
That last statement is nothing short of a miracle, and there are so many stories that I could tell you about how this process unfolded. From the night we found out that he was born, to the day we contacted the local mayor to help us figure out what to do to make him a part of our family, to the 3 days in a row I spent at Haitian immigration trying to get his passport, to getting guardianship through the courts, to then getting guardianship through IBESR (essentially Haitian social services), and finally ending when we were granted a temporary Visa for Ezekyal to come to America with us. But the stories are for another time, and probably soon. Today is really just about celebrating that we get to bring Ezekyal home with us tomorrow! That’s right, tomorrow, we will be coming back to America as a family of 5, and 3 of those 5 people will be under the age of 3 when we arrive (Sophie will turn 3 on Nov 2)!
The truth is, we had not allowed ourselves to get too emotionally tied to the idea that he would be joining our family this soon, and we did not receive the last document that we needed until yesterday evening at around 5:00. Visas like this are very rarely granted prior to an adoption being completed, and especially for a baby, so throughout the process we were very cautious about getting too excited no matter what happened. We just prayed as much as we could, asked for other people to pray, and we fought for him the best way that we knew how. It is also important to understand that the process is really just beginning. His Visa is only valid until January and then we will have to apply again and pray that we are granted it again. We also will now start the adoption process here in Haiti. Because we have had permanent residency here in Haiti for over 4 years, we can pursue a domestic adoption that will hopefully be a little less complicated than an international one. We still covet your prayers as everything we have done up to this point has been new to us and the adoption process will be as well. So far GOD has granted us favor and invaluable relationships that have gotten us here and we will pray that He continues to do so. We want to thank you all for praying for this and for always supporting our family and ATN no matter what we are doing.