Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Chris leaves October 16th. Yes, just Chris this time. I think my heart just landed in my feet as I typed that last line. I won't be on this trip, because I need to be a mommy here this time. I'm not complaining, just wish I could have our children all in one place. The reality that I won't be there to kiss and hold the boys is sinking in now and the tears are already starting.
These photos are our August updates. I love getting updates! It's like a rebirth every time we get a new photo. Look at poor Schneider. Why does he have on a sweat shirt? Hi Changlais, my sweet man. I sure do miss you. Daddy's coming soon. I miss you terribly, painfully, urgently and breathlessly my boys...
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I am passing along information from JCICS (Joint Council on International Children's Services) that I just received, the JCICS Haiti task force has been working tirelessly to help with the problems mounting in Haiti. The following is the result of their efforts and they are asking all of us to join in to see that changes are made.
“The efforts of the JCICS Haiti Task Force have at last come to fruition. This morning the office of Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA) with the support of Senator Sam Brownback (KS) sent a Dear Colleague letter to all members of both houses of the US Congress. It is time for our parents to act in support of the pending Haitian adoption law”.
Please share and post the letter below as much as possible. The Dear Colleague letter and the pending law need our maximum support. Have your families and friends get involved, we all need to work together to make changes in Haiti. Please make note that JCICS is asking that phone calls be made within a 72 hour window for maximum affect, the dates are listed below.
Please let me know if you have any questions.Chareyl Moyes Haiti Program Manager _________________________________________________________________
Joint Council Haitian Children & Families Initiative
Over the past three years, the processing of adoptions in Haiti have slowed to a crawl. Abandoned children are enduring adoption processes lasting two or three years before being united with adoptive families.
Not only is such lasting institutional care damaging to the children who wait and wait, but the slowed process has had a negative effect on the many desperately needy children of Haiti who are not waiting in orphanages. Orphanages in Haiti have traditionally been providers of humanitarian aid to their communities. Many support free medical clinics, schools, feeding programs and family preservation programs. Orphanages have been a resource for temporary care for children following a family crisis, such as a fire or illness. But now that children are languishing in orphanage care for years, orphanage directors report that the beds are full, the food and medicine supplies are insufficient, and the children needing temporary care are left on the streets with little prospect for life.
In a laudable effort to move towards transparent and democratic government, Haitian officials are now adhering to the Haitian Constitutional law regarding adoption, written in 1974 by Jean Claude Duvalier. While the law of 1974 places severe limitations on the size and age of those who may adopt, it does allow for Presidential Dispensation for those not meeting the family size or age limitations. Unfortunately, Haiti lacks an organized and transparent system for obtaining Dispensations. This confusion along with the absence of a sense of urgency regarding institutionalized children has caused extensive delays in the adoption process and further victimizes children who have already lost much.
Haiti has a pending solution to this legal logjam. A newly proposed adoption law will clarify who may adopt, increase protections for Haitian children, their birth parents, and adoptive families, and streamline the adoption process. This legislation is supported by the United States and French governments along with the NGO community and UNICEF.
The children of Haiti, the crèche directors who serve them and the adoptive families who wish to raise them need your help. We must encourage the Haitian government to pass the new adoption law and efficiently grant Dispensations in the interim.
What can you do? Make five simple phone calls and write one letter.
· You can find your Senators’ phone numbers at www.senate.gov
· Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff
· You can find your representative at www.house.gov
· Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff
· Ask to speak with Julie Bergeron
· Their number is 011-509- 2245-3525
· Their fax number is 011-502- 2245-1877
· Their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that calls and faxes to Haiti are international calls
· Your letter can contain the same information as specified below. If you are an adoptive family or are close to a Haitian-born adopted child, insert a picture of the child or your family in your letter.
· Describe your family’s commitment to Haitian culture and the country’s well being as a result of your contact with a Haitian-born adopted child.
· Mail your letter to Holt International, which has volunteered to collect letters and transport them to Haiti for hand delivery to the above government officials.
Haitian Children & Families Initiative
P.O. Box 2880
Eugene, OR 97402
· For maximum affect, we are asking you to make these calls within a 72 hour window!
What should you say or write to member of the U.S. Congress?
Speak from your heart and give them the following information.
· Inform them that you are calling regarding Joint Council Haitian Children & Families Initiative
· Inform them that the Haitian international adoption process is unreasonably delayed.
· Inform them that children referred to U.S. families are anguishing in institutions
· Inform them that the backlog of children in the process of adoption is preventing orphanages, who serve as local humanitarian aid providers, from continuing to assist their communities.
· Inform them that due to the interruption of services provided by the orphanages, Haitian children outside the orphanages are needlessly dying.
· Ask that their office to sign the Dear Colleague letter regarding the pending Haitian adoption law, sponsored by Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Senator Sam Brownback. The letter asks that adoptions currently in process be speedily granted Presidential Dispensation and that the new adoption law be passed.
We are calling/writing on behalf of the Haitian Children & Families Initiative. We, as your constituents, are asking that the Senator/Congressperson sign the Dear Colleague letter regarding the pending Haitian adoption law, sponsored by Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Senator Sam Brownback.
As you may be aware, the Haitian adoption process is unreasonably delayed.
Children already matched with adoptive families are languishing in orphanages for two and three years. The orphanages, which have traditionally served as humanitarian aid outreach centers, have run out of resources and are no longer able to offer assistance to their communities. Haitian children outside the orphanages are dying needlessly as a direct result of the delayed adoptions.
Your office must get involved and sign the Dear Colleague letter to support the Haitian government in their effort to assist the homeless and abandoned children of Haiti.
Speak from your heart and give them the following information.
· Inform them that you are calling regarding the Joint Council Haitian Children & Families Initiative
· Ask them to support the rights of children and lend their considerable influence to ensuring that inter country adoptions currently in-process be speedily processed to completion under the existing Presidential Dispensation clause.
· Inform them that many adoptions are taking two or three years to process, during which time children languish in orphanages.
· Inform them that due to the over extension of their resources, orphanages are no longer able to provide their traditional humanitarian aid services to their communities, such as free schools, medical care, temporary child care for families in crisis, and family preservation programs.
· Inform them that as a direct result of the orphanage’s inability to provide humanitarian aid due to overly taxed resources, children are needlessly dying in the streets outside the orphanages.
· Ask them again for their support of the Presidential Dispensation and the swift passage of the new adoption law.
· We are calling/writing on behalf of the Joint Council Haitian Children & Families Initiative
· As financial supporters of UNICEF (through our tax dollars), we are asking that UNICEF lends its support and considerable influence to the Joint Council Haitian Children & Families Initiative
As you may be aware, the Haitian adoption process is unreasonably delayed. Children already matched with adoptive families are languishing in orphanages for two and three years. The orphanages, which have traditionally served as humanitarian aid outreach centers, have run out of resources and are no longer able to offer assistance to their communities. Haitian children outside the orphanages are dying needlessly as a direct result of the delayed adoptions.
UNICEF must get involved to ensure that adoptions in process be speedily granted Presidential Dispensation so that they can be completed in a timely manner, and that the new adoption law be passed.
Here is some additional information…
· The current constitutional law, written in 1974 by Jean Claude Duvalier, severely restricts who may adopt from Haiti. The only method by which the Haitian government may permit adoptions to non-conforming families is via Presidential Dispensation.
· The lack of a defined and efficient Dispensation process has caused delays of up to three years for children in the adoption process. Prolonged institutionalization has been scientifically proven to be highly detrimental to children.
· As orphanages expend their limited resources caring for children in the process of adoption over extended periods, they are unable to provide their traditional humanitarian aid programs to their communities.
· The existing adoption law provides almost no protection for the rights of abandoned children, their birth parents, or adoptive families. It offers no safe guards against human trafficking.
· A proposed adoption law will alleviate the crisis by standardizing and streamlining adoptions, and will far better protect abandoned Haitian children from child trafficking.
Embassy of Haiti in the U.S.
2311 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Office Phone 1- 202.332.4090 Office Fax 1- 202-745-7215 email@example.com
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Unfortunately, we are not very far in the process even though we've been at it for about a year and a half.
A lot of people ask us why it takes so long. The amount of time an international adoption takes varies by country. Each country requires their own specific steps and procedures. The nice thing about Haiti adoptions is that you can visit your children there about once a quarter. Below are the steps and time it takes to complete them.
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Preparation of file for IBESR (This is where we are)
Minister of Interior/MOI
3 weeks minimum
1 -2 weeks
12 – 28 months
If I look at the the time frames, it's easy to get discouraged. However, Chris and I learned a valuable lesson with our second daughter's adoption. There were many court dates involved, all required steps and part of the process. Each time we counted on the court date and that particular step to be completed, we were let down. The court date would come and go with the case not being heard, or with the step being delayed another 6 months. After a while, that became heart breaking and completely discouraging. Then, we began to feel a nudging from the Lord to trust in the promises he had given us for this adoption and not to focus on the court dates and not to be intimidated by them. Which is exactly the opposite of what our circumstances were dictating. The judge held the verdict in his hands right? That's what the world tells us. That's where we got off track. We put our faith in the judge and the way the world ran things and not in Christ. By his grace, he refocused our eyes on him. Even though we had to walk by faith and not by sight (taking our eyes off what we could see in the courts, and putting our eyes on Christ and the unseen that he was working out) we began to have total confidence and peace. Peace that he had given us a promise and that he would make good on it. We've continued to look at each adoption that way. He gives us a promise in his word and that's where we try to keep our focus. We know he is able.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
The first time I experienced sushi, my first thought at seeing the raw fish I was about to put into my mouth was, this is weird, scary, possibly dangerous to my health and, well, not right. And yet, I still wanted to try it. After I tried it, I didn't really enjoy the experience, but, I didn't hate it either. In fact, there was something about it that made me want to try it again. The next time I tried it however, I actually did like it. From that point on, I've enjoyed eating sushi.
So, how is sushi like Haiti to me? Well, the first time we experienced Haiti, it was evident as soon as we stepped off the plane, that the people of Haiti were desperate and in a desperate place. It's thick. And yet, we had children there. Children we had been longing to meet. That fact pushed us through what we would see and experience of Haiti. It was weird and surreal, scary and hard. Our children, though at a very good orphanage, were still in Haiti and food is limited and illnesses are not. The experience of caring for our children whose bodies were severely malnourished was not something I could have ever prepared myself for. Seeing people so desperate and a place so devastated was another thing I could not have prepared myself for. It was a lot to sift through in the week we spent there. It was hard, hard on the soul. But, it also changed my life, my perspective on everything. To hold and feed and love a severely malnourished orphaned child you want to claim as yours to the whole world dramatically changes your life. From that experience, as well as many other adoption experiences, my husband and I have fallen deeper in love with Jesus. He fills us and refills us with a passion and a desire for orphans, adoption and family that is more satisfying than anything we've ever know. He is abundant life. He is.
So, my second trip to Haiti has me feeling a bit apprehensive. I'm afraid of the feelings I felt last time. Fear, sadness, overwhelmed with it all. So, though Haiti was quite an experience, my boys are there and Haiti calls me back to try it again.
Pray for us if you think about.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
We just want to express our thanks... so...
Thank you to all of our fellow parents traveling to Haiti! Thank you for your prayers and continuous encouragement!!
Thank you to all of our church friends and family for your continued support! Thanks for keeping up with us and asking us how the adoption is going. We treasure your prayers and your kind words of encouragement.
The Peterson Bunch
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
I'm missing this room.
It's the hotel room we stayed at in Haiti. Chris and I met and loved and cared for 2 precious girls there. Vanessa and D'Jounela. We learned what malnutrition looks like and we tried desperately to make up for it.
Hopefully in June, we'll see this room again.
This time, we'll meet our boys. We'll spend another week getting as much food in them as we can, giving them as much love as we can, and lingering in the moment until we see them again.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I've also found myself whispering words of comfort to Changlais and Schnieder.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
There's a hotel that we like to stay at in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, about a 45 minute drive from our home. We've stayed there once before about a year and a half ago.
The room is a large double room with 4 double beds, 1 and 1/2 baths, a sofa area and a small dinning area. With 6 kids and 2 adults it's a great room!
Yes, we put the life vest on before we even leave the room. We learned to do that after Noah tried walking on water a couple a times.
Sorry about the pink vest buddy!
Hello sweet Lilah!
Great dive Lona!
Monday, February 9, 2009
As, for Chris and I, we know the Lord has led us here and we will continue to follow. We don't have all the answers. But neither did Abraham when the Lord told him to leave his home and follow him. That's where faith comes in.
We are privileged to have been a part of the girl's life for whatever reason the Lord chose. And, we are privileged to continue to follow his voice as he speaks to us about orphans, about people in need, about adoption, and about family.
So, back to "what boys are made of."
I've been waiting to post about the boys because I was kind of waiting on this feeling of loss to pass. It's much better, but still lingering.
So, I think sharing the news will help.
We are moving forward with our referral. Thank you for your prayers and support.
Many Blessings and may you dive deeper into Christ's endless love.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Let me back up now.
We received the news we'd been waiting for by email and I had just called Chris to share it with him. While I was talking with him, the flowers arrived.
God's timing is tender.
We lost the girls.
Love and sorrow meet when we follow Jesus. He's never left us and never left us with just sorrow.
We are sad and grieving, yet were are still positive we are where he wants us and doing what he called us to.
We'll grieve and we'll move forward. Love and sorrow again.
The report we got of Vanessa was very good considering the overall circumstances, however D'Jounela is in the hospital again. Please pray for her, for her birthparents and for Vanessa. Love and sorrow.
Would you pray for us as we grieve, as our children grieve also? Would you also pray for our moving forward? We've been given several sibling referrals and will be praying over them.
Yesterday was hard, today still is.
Thanks for all your prayers.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
I like to go downstairs and read my bible, drink coffee :), and then read some articles I'm interested in at the time. I love reading about homeschooling, raising children, adoption issues, inspirational family stories, and my newest interest, gardening.
So, my goal was to get up with Chris at 5:00 (I know, uugh). He likes to be up and have his quiet time before work. He prefers to get his own breakfast and just have some time to read his bible alone. So, it's a great time for me to do the same.
Any way, I usually trail behind Chris in going downstairs, Noah wakes up and I miss getting a little time to myself. But, today, I walked down with Chris.
I'm pretty sure I heard Noah's little feet going to our room as soon as I had gotten downstairs, so I gave it a few minutes thinking he would come looking for me, but, he didn't... he went back to his bed.
Hmm, I wonder if my new strategy will work again tomorrow? I hope so, this is great!
I've already had my coffee, read several articles, and blogged too! Now, I need to go read my bible.
Just so you're not left wondering, we haven't heard anything yet about Vanessa and D'Jounela.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Of course, I've gone over a lot of scenarios in my mind about this situation, the birthmom, the girls, their health, their hearts. Some of the things I wonder are, will we be on that parent trip in June? Will we get to see Vanessa and D'Jounela then? How are they doing right now? How's the birthmom? I know she is so grieving the loss of her twin. Is she filled with so much fear that she doesn't know what to do? Is she hungry? How often does she have to go without food? Does she have any help from anyone? The girls, do they have enough to eat? I think about Vanessa a lot. She's 5 and she knows the separation that happened when she came to the orphanage. I can see it in her eyes, they have such a sadness about them. Can she take it again, if birthmom brings them back. D'Jounela? She was down to thirteen pounds, what about now. I don't think she could make it if she had to go too long without food. Will she make it through this? I love her and Vanessa and it's hard knowing what they've been through and thinking about them going through it again and yet I long to hold them again too. These thoughts and more I have brought to the Lord. Asking him how I should pray about this. What's best for the girls. It's been tough. But... I have to trust and believe in his best for the girls, birthmom, and us.
A couple of people have asked if we would want to change countries for an adoption. And I can say without a doubt, no. We know Haiti is where we're supposed to be. Such a thrill and joy wells up in my heart when I say that. Only the Lord could do that. He is awesome isn't he?!
We'd so appreciate your continued prayers over the girls, the birthmom and us.