Saturday, January 28, 2012

Happy birthday, sweet girl

Today our sweet little girl turns two.  My sister Becky was the first to post about it on Facebook.  Seeing her picture, reading the post, it brought me to tears.  It's a mixed bag today.  I wish we were spending the day with her, but I know how much love she's getting in Haiti.

Sofia wanted to have a rainbow cake for her birthday celebration today.  It was quite a process to create, but it turned out just beautiful.

Here are 5 of the 6 colors.  Blue is in the oven.  We had to bake one layer at a time because I only have one round pan.

The six layers put together - waiting for the final cover of frosting.

The finished product.  This was a lot of work but it was so pretty!!
Sofia was very proud of how it turned out.

The end of the rainbow cake.

We had a wonderful party for her.  A dear friend of mine and her kids were out for lunch and got to share the moment with us.  It was fun watching the kids as they all blew out the candles.  It was even more fun to watch Sofia's reaction when she saw the first piece of cake.

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God blessed us with an amazing pre-birthday present.  As I sit here right now I can't believe this all transpired yesterday.  Early in the morning I received an email reply from USCIS.  They would not process my request until I gave them travel dates and attached a required document.

I was sitting at my desk.  At work.  

The document was sitting on the island.  At home.

I work 55 miles from home.

You can only imagine how frustrating that was.  If I had attached the document to begin with, we'd have a date.  

God smiled on me, yet again.  Our adoption worker, who doesn't work on Fridays, was at work.  She had a copy of the document and she sent it to me!

It was highly unlikely I'd hear back, but I quickly sent USCIS my requested travel dates and the document they required.  

Then I held my breath.  

Just a few hours later - an email response.  IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING??

Dear Ms. Gigure,

You are scheduled to file your I-600 petition at this office on XXXXXXXX, 2012 at 7:00 a.m.

We are located at the US Embassy Compound, Tabarre 41, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 


USCIS Haiti 

The afternoon/evening was a whirlwind of emails and searching for flights.  I'm happy to say our travel is officially booked.  Now we need to pack our bags, and wait.  Wait for that special day when we fly into Cap-Haitien and meet our little girl.

The only gift that will be greater than this is the day she meets her brother and sister.

One step closer.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Change of Posts

This week has been a week of frustrations.  Our file is at a standstill in Haiti.  There has been no movement, no news, for months now.  There have been meetings with officials, decisions made, blogs being posted, and information shared.  Most all of it has only increased my frustration level.

The other night my sister sent this message, "Maybe she's still doing God's work there."  (in Haiti)

When she texted that to me, I didn't have a very good response.  I shut down.  God needs to get her out of Haiti.  God needs to bring her home - to a mom and a dad and her brother and sister.  God needs to get her here - now - so that she's safe and she knows how much she's loved.  God needs to...

I had a post all set to type up tonight.  I spent the day constructing it in my head.  I knew exactly what it was going to say.

My post was going to be titled:  I want to be Angelina Jolie.

I'm sure you can guess why I'd want her.  It's not because she's unreasonably beautiful, or that she's rich beyond belief.  It's not even because she's with Brad Pitt.  (I don't find him attractive - hope he doesn't read this.  I'm a Team Clooney kinda gal.)

My reason for wanting to be her is because of...her adoptions.

What we saw in the media were flawless, very speedy adoptions.  Maybe she had to wait in line like the rest of us.  Maybe she had to fill out all the paperwork, go through all the frustrations, and wait without news like every other adopting parent out there.  Maybe her children were just case numbers, stuck in a flawed system.

Maybe I'm wrong in my assumption that she 'had it easy' with her adoptions.

Maybe I'm not being fair.

If I was Angelina Jolie, would I be experiencing all of this?   Or would our little girl already be home?

As I was rolling around in my pity party today, I came across a blog post that rocked me.  Sometimes I think God is up there just laughing at me.  He's giggling at how impatient I am.  He knows how much of a control freak I am and just shrugs his shoulders and says, "Ah, maybe some day Karen will learn."

And then he puts a jewel in front of me.  A gift.  A lesson.

A 2x4 to the head.

While reading this post today I started to cry.  It spoke to me.  It shook my core.

It helped me to see the other side of this process.  Click here to read the post.

No, I don't want to wait any longer.  But this gave me perspective.  We won't be sharing her birthday with her on Saturday.  But she's going to share her birthday with a lot of people who genuinely love her.

Friday, January 20, 2012

We're heading to Haiti

We received some exciting news yesterday - it's time to travel to Haiti to file our I-600!  While we're still not out of IBESR, they think it's best we get this step out of the way so we're ready when it happens.  The exciting news is that we finally get to meet her.  I was so excited yesterday that I couldn't think or do much of anything else.  Yet somehow I managed to consume and entire frozen pizza without tasting a bite.  (I didn't feel good the rest of the day.  Bleck.)

Of course it's not as simple as getting an email and instantly booking our flights.  We're still waiting to hear the WHEN and HOW.  It's going to be a whirlwind trip.  But I get to hold my baby.

Equally exciting is that Jason will get to experience Haiti.  Ever since I've gotten back I've wanted him to experience the country, COTP, and all the children.  Oh my, he's going to get an experience for sure!  We'll fly into CAP, spend a day with the little girl and all the other kids, then fly to PAP the following morning to file our paperwork.  Just a few days - but Jason's feet will be in Haiti.

Please pray that we hear when we'll be traveling by next week so we can make arrangements.  Please pray too that all the files that are 'stuck' in IBESR are signed and move to the next stage quickly.  Along with our little girl, there are hundreds of children who are waiting to go home.

It still hasn't sunk in.  Yesterday's euphoria has been replaced with lots of questions.  And I've got the weekend to just think about it all.

Hopefully we get more news on Monday so I can sleep again.  And stop eating entire pizzas.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

She's turning two

Our little girl is turning 2 in two weeks.  We've already sent down a rockin' birthday box for her, and we know that it has arrived in Haiti.  There's a pretty dress and necklace, a few cake mixes with frosting, and lots of toys for her to share with her friends.  I will be thinking about her all day long.  Not that it's really different from any other day.

As you can see from the ticker above, our dossier has been in Haiti for over 7 months now.  There are some things going on at IBESR that have caused her file to just . . . sit.  We haven't moved since first legalization.  Each day I wait for an email that we're out of IBESR and need to travel to PAP for our I-600.  Each day I sit without any news.

The waiting is torture.  Any adopting parent will tell you that.  If we could all go pick up our children right now we'd drop everything and head to the airport without coffee or a shower or a change of clothes and fly to get them.

Since the waiting is difficult, and we have a lot more money that we need to fork over before she comes home, I've decided to channel my crazy energy into something more productive.  Fundraising.  We're in the process of setting up a bowling fundraiser in River Falls.  And right now we have a coffee fundraiser up and running.

What is that all about, you ask?  Well let me tell you!  See that cool graphic just to the right of the top of this post?  All you need to do is click on it and you'll be taken to the page that details our fundraiser.  Every item purchased brings us closer to bringing her home.  With every purchase, Just Love Coffee will give us money to be used towards the expenses that are looming.  And if you click on the link you'll be able to see who this little girl is that I don't talk about by name on this blog.

Here's a pic of the coffee I just purchased.  Henry chose Valentine Blend for me this morning.  You can search the coffees and more by clicking here:  Just Love Coffee for the Gigure Family

Good company.  Great coffee.  Awesome support for our adoption.

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A note after the post:

I realize there are many adopting mamas reading this blog.  You can get your own link and start raising funds for your adoption.  Click on the link here:  JustLoveCoffee  It's so awesome to find an organization that supports adopting families.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Can I cuddle with it?

Check out that Lilypie ticker at the top of the page.  Our dossier officially arrived in Haiti 7 months ago today.  Add on the 9 months that it took us to get to that point and it's been 16 months since we started the adoption process.  Just totally outed myself as a math whiz there.

It seems only fitting that I finished her blanket - exactly 7 months after we accepted her referral and took her into our hearts as our daughter.

The blanket was laying out on the couch - a proud display of what I was able to accomplish.  (With a loom, remember.  I don't know how to knit for real.)

It's a lazy Sunday for us.  The kids and I are playing games on their last day of Christmas break.  As Sofia was lounging on the couch playing one of her new Wii games, she asked, "Mama, can I cuddle with her blanket?"

Yes Sofia.  Fill this blanket with all the love you can.