Waiting to Exhale

Yes, it was the name of a Whitney Huston album back in the day. It also, I think, hits the nail on the head of how we’re feeling right now.

Yes, we are thrilled that our adoption is legalized, but there is still a waiting process. Chris has told everyone here that has been passing on their good wishes that he won’t truly be excited until we have a passport in hand. I know him better than that though, and I know that he won’t truly be excited until we’ve gotten through the airport and we are in fact leaving. At that point I think both of us will finally be able to exhale the breath we have constantly been holding for over three years.

When you have a baby you wait 9 months or so, depending on how quickly the little bundle decides to show up. The point is though, there is an end point. And at that end point you are parents in every sense of the word – legally and emotionally. No one can say that child is not yours.

In adoption, from the moment you decide to adopt you step into a waiting room that you won’t step out of until your kids are legally yours, and maybe not even then depending on where you’re adopting from, citizenship issues etc. So many variables. From the time you say, ‘yes, we’re doing this’ you are put in a que. It’s waiting for documents to be ready. For approval from home studies, psych evaluations, criminal record checks etc, all so someone can say that you are fit to parent. After that it’s waiting for a child, waiting for that match to be made. In our case, we started meeting with our orphanage in June of 2007. We spend the following 6 months getting our part of the dossier ready. We told them we would be ready to take a baby in January of 2008, and we were. But we waited. I remember sitting in Olivia’s room, when it was all set up and ready to welcome whoever it was that was going to be our baby, and thinking that I didn’t know how long I could wait. It wasn’t long after that that we got the phone call and Liv was home. We got the call on January 30, so it was only a month, but it was waiting none the less.

From that point on it was more waiting. Waiting for a judge to sign a paper. Waiting for documents. Waiting for birth certificates. Waiting for our file to go into IBESR so we could officially start the adoption process. Waiting for news that things were moving, and finding out repeatedly they weren’t. We waited 14 months, and then the earthquake happened. Then it was waiting to see if we would be evacuated. And then finding out we couldn’t. Waiting to see if anything was going to happen in IBESR. Waiting to see if we could get meetings with people that could help. Waiting for signatures. Things finally moved to the next stage, but that led to more waiting. More signatures. More waiting to see if someone would find favor on our stuff and actually make it move forward. Then on to the last stage and the anticipation was building, but more waiting. Waiting while politics and corruption played their parts. Waiting for this and waiting for that. Waiting and praying that we wouldn’t have to start all over.

And now we wait for a passport. And then we will wait for a visa. And then we will wait for a plane.

Yes, we’re excited, but until we are on a plane flying out of Haiti I think it’ll be hard for either of us to truly let out the breath that we’ve been holding for the last three plus years. If we have learned anything through our adoption, and living in Haiti in general, things are never done until they’re truly DONE. Even if you make progress today, you will probably be set back tomorrow. It is the way things work here, and if they work in a different way you have this sense that you should run while you can, before someone figures out that something actually worked right for a change.

Until we can step foot into the door of the plane, please keep praying. Pray that Olivia’s passport comes soon. Pray that everything goes smoothly with getting a visa. Pray that all the last details come together too. We are looking forward to the day we can tell you we are home, but until then, we wait.

Would you also pray for some friends of ours here? Laurens and Cheryl are also Canadians and ministering at a larger mission about an hour from us. Last summer they felt led to adopt twin girls. Because of the earthquake they were able to see their process go a lot faster than ours and they too are waiting for one last passport to come, then will need to go through the visa process etc, just like us. The waiting is hard!

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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

3 thoughts on “Waiting to Exhale

  1. Leslie,
    Oh the waiting never ends… Soon you’ll be waiting for her to begin the next step of her life. Then you’ll be waiting for her to come home from a date and waiting for her to walk down the isle and waiting for grandchildren and waiting for her to come visit. Waiting is just part of the good old life cycle. I’m always happy after I read your posts. Thank you for sharing. I’ll pray you guys have a peaceful wait, knowing it’s in Gods hands.
    V

  2. I’m so thrilled to know that Olivia is now a Rolling….how sweet to finally read those words in your last post. I’ve been a little behind in my reading of your blog, but I continue to pray for you daily. It was once again a nagging that I had to pray for you specifically on the adoption one day last week and then to read that it was answered is such a sweet reminder of how our heavenly Father loves to shower us with his blessings….sometimes above and beyond what we ask.

    Thank you once again for letting us know of your needs and how we can intervene on your behalf. I know you will have those papers in your hands soon, so you better start packing! God is so good. Congratulations on the great news of your forever family.

  3. Great update. Praying for you guys. Waiting..one would think after years in Haiti it would get easier but on many levels one continues to have hope that this time it would be faster.. God Bless.

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