Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Homecoming Pictures!!!!

After 14 hours of travel, we finally made it home!  Here is the beautiful, amazing people that were there to greet us!   And Adriana and Hugo meeting for the first time!!!!

And they meet!!!

Holding both my babies!!! Finally!!!!

The amazing Jewely and Derek, couldn't ask for better people in our lives!

Meet Aunt Holly, Uncle Simon, Cousins Ally and Brandt

Meet Uncle Chad and Aunt Tara, Cousins Lena and Lincoln

Meet Grandma Carol

Meet Grandpa Jerry and Karen

Love my sister!  

Oy do I look delirious and scary

The Van Wyk Family!!!  Loved the Hugo shirts!

Yay Etchepare family!!!

Meet Uncle John, Aunt Corrina, Cousins Katherine, Jack, Sofia and Michael

Bringing Hugo Home!

Never have to say goodbye again!!!!

So my computer is down and with the craziness of the past few weeks I haven't had a moment to update. I will get pics posted and stories of our first 5 weeks as a complete family. It has been fun. It has been hard. It has been the best.

Rob and I headed to Haiti at midnight on Monday, the 21st of January. We arrived in Haiti Tuesday morning in time to get settled at hotel, pick up Hugo and get ready for our VISA appointment. We got picked up by the Director of our orphanage and went to the Embassy. I won't bore you with details but the Embassy was fast and uneventful. All went well and we were given a time to come back Thursday and pick up Hugo's VISA. It all went very smoothly. Our director headed to Haitian Social Services to get our exit letter ready so once they saw the VISA we would be free to head home.

Thursday Rob and Pierre, our orphanage director, headed to the embassy and got our paperwork. Then Head to ibesr to get our exit letter.

That day we also went to the orphanage to have a goodbye party for Hugo with all his toddler friends. Angie picked up a cake and we went to celebrate. Hugo was a little freaked out and wouldn't let go of me, but the rest of the kids had a blast.

Hugo and I stayed at the orphanage while Rob went to get our paperwork and got to hang out with the older kids. They did cartwheels and flips and I had so much fun hanging out with them. They are such amazing kids and I am so thankful that most of them will be coming home to their families soon!!!

Friday night we got the last of the paperwork we needed to leave and we left on the first flight out Saturday morning. We were so excited to get home to Adriana and get our new life started. I will say that Rob and I were happy we got that week in Haiti to just be with Hugo. Kind of a calm and relaxing time before things got real. :). There was also a bonding trip for other adoptive parents from the orphanage happening while we were there. We got to see some of our great friends we have made in this process and they got to help us celebrate bringing Hugo home!!!

First Plane Ride

To get home we had to take 3 flights. It was a long day. But Hugo did great. We went through Ft Lauderdale customs from Haiti. Once we walked out of customs Hugo was an American citizen! And greeted by his good friend Jayden who came home in November. He and Hugo lived in the same room at the orphanage. It was so amazing that we got to see him and his wonderful Mom.

Hugo and Jayden

At 9:55 pm that day we arrived in Denver and were greeted by family and friends! And my children finally met. It was the most special moment of my life. I am not sure I have ever felt such joy. It was beautiful!!!

Pics to come....

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hugo is coming home!

This week has been a whirlwind.    We started it off with getting an email from USCIS that our petition to make Hugo our immediate relative was approved.  After only 6 days.  Which was shocking and something we never expected.  Record time.  

This lead Rob and I to decide to start getting prepared.  Carpets cleaned.  Child Proofing.  The things we put off because they are not very fun.    I made lists of 30 things I wanted to get done and set out Wednesday to get the ball rolling.  Rob asked me to meet him for lunch and as we sat down to get a table, I got an email from USCIS with our VISA appointment.   I saw the title and said to Rob, "Oh good!  Hopefully this is set soon."  I should mention by soon I was thinking like 2 weeks out.  3 weeks.   Well this is what it said. 

We are pleased to inform you that the I-604 process is complete, and Huguenson V Etchepave may now be scheduled for the final visa interview with the Department of State.  The visa interview is scheduled for January 22nd, 2012 at 12:00 pm at the Consular Section.

To say that we panicked a bit is kind of an understatement.  We immediately emailed our agency to see if this was even possible.  That gave us 5 business days.  Actually 4.  We didn't know if this gave the orphanage enough time to do what they needed to with Hugo's medical reports.  Since we have never done this before, there is a lot we just don't know.  

So after about 24 hours of panicking, and the awesome work of our agency, the director of Maison and the adoption coordinator there, Hugo had seen the doctor and we were told that they would have his medical report done Monday.   So Rob and I booked our flights and we are headed out Monday night to get Hugo!

We are so excited!  Adriana is going to stay with family in Cheyenne, the dog sitter is set and we are ready.  Kind of.  Ready in the sense that we are doing this.  And funny how unprepared you feel after waiting for 2 and a half years when the time comes for this all to be complete.  

We are all excited for this adoption adventure to come to an end.  And ready for our new family journey to begin.  It is exciting and scary.  Especially when you are a 5 year old that has been the only child.   No amount of talking and re assuring can prepare her for this.  But she is being a rock star and really excited to meet her brother.   We also know that this will be a very confusing and scary time for Hugo.  We are hoping that our trips to be with him will help him feel comfort from Rob and I as he enters this big, new world for him.   We know that Hugo will be the most effected by all this, and just hope with lot of  love, time and reassurance, we can make him feel secure and loved.  

There are no words in the world to describe the love we feel for him or how blessed Rob and I feel in this moment.  We have been given 2 of the most amazing children and know that we are the lucky ones in all of this.  Our cup runneth over.  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Hugo's Passport is printed!!!!

I am a few weeks late on this but things have been hectic and I have neglected my posting duties.

Our passport application was submitted at the end of October to Haitian immigration for Hugo's passport.  Based on other timelines and families that have been going through this process ahead of us, we didn't really think that we would be hearing about Hugo's passport for a couple months.   Plus, in this process, nothing has happened in the timeframes we have been given.  It is the world of adoption.  Internationally.  Our experience has taught us to have hope but not to have true expectations for when things might happen.  Because nothing goes as planned.

So the Tuesday before Thanksgiving we were getting ready to head to Disneyland with Adriana for the holiday.  Adriana and I were heading to have lunch with my mom and I got a phone call from our agency.   First off, they never call so when I saw CCAI on my phone, I panicked.  I can count on 1 hand the times I have talked to them on the phone. It isn't bad, we just do most communication through email.  So when I saw them calling, I got super nervous.  Just panicky.  (I should also tell you they have never called me with bad news.  I just always assume it is.)

I answered and heard on the other end, a truly excited voice from our wonderful dossier manager, Kim.  She said she didn't want to share this news over email so she called.  Then told me that Hugo's passport had been printed!  She was sending me a picture of it but wanted to let me know as soon as possible.

I can't really describe what I felt in that moment.  3 weeks to get a passport was seriously not heard of.  I wasn't expecting it.  And I was so happy, shocked and just overwhelmed.  My head just kept repeating "he will be home soon!  It is coming true.  It is happening."  I felt so happy.  But couldn't really talk or function.  Just silent.   I truly wonder what I will do when we find out it is time to go get him.  Pass out?  Wreck my car?  I better pull over before I take that call.

So this phone call has truly been my favorite one so far.  We are so much closer to getting our boy home.

We have 1 step left.   We just have to get the US immigration to approve our petition and get Hugo a VISA appt so we can get his VISA to get him into the US.   This step shouldn't, in theory, take too long.   But as we learned, nothing is what is expected.    We were told about 3 weeks ago that our file was going to be submitted to the Embassy in Haiti.  And here we sit 3 weeks later and that still hasn't happened.  We truly hoped for a end of the year homecoming, but at this point, that will not happen.  We found out last week there are mistakes in our file and that it has to be fixed before the US will accept.  We truly have no idea what they are or how long it may take to fix them.

So now we sit and wait.  We pray and hope for good news to come that our file will be submitted.  And we hope it comes soon.  Until then we will be thankful we are this far.  And that Hugo is our son.  I can't ask for a better gift than that.            

Monday, October 29, 2012

7 Degrees of Adoption Waiting

So every day of waiting for this adoption to be complete, I think of some new silly, and usually weird and off the wall, thing to keep me sane.  I barter.  I think that if I make certain plans, Hugo will come home faster.  I tried the whole "build it and he will come" campaign with his room.  That one was good.  It took up a lot of time and kept me occupied so I wouldn't sit around and wonder why we weren't hearing anything. It didn't bring him home but the reward of that task was really productivity.

Today I was thinking about all the different emotions I feel on a daily basis.  All the different "seasons" of adoption.  And this list popped into my head.  I think I have felt all of these.  And not always in order.  Sometimes I feel more of them at the same time.

So I thought I would share.

The 7 Degrees of Adoption Waiting

1. Elation - Look at my beautiful kid(s)!!!!

2. Sadness - It is so hard to be away from this beautiful kid(s).

3. Anger - It is so wrong that I have to wait so long to begin my daily life with this beautiful kid(s).

4. Indifference and Despair - Whatever.  That beautiful kid(s) is never coming home.  No matter what I do.

5. Stage 1 Insanity - This feels hopeful.  I have a renewed sense of energy for this fight for my beautiful kid(s).  (This is also accompanied with what I like to call a degree of bat shit craziness.)

6. Desperation and The Bad Place -  Making crazy bargains or declarations in hopes that the adoption Gods will cut me some slack and send that beautiful kid(s) home.

7. Stage 5 Insanity - This you never return from.  Welcome to your new normal.

Of course this all in fun.  I know that all of this is worth it.  Worth every moment of waiting to get to be the mommy of that beautiful boy.

This is just a piece of my crazy while I am waiting...