Saturday, July 26, 2008

Videos from the birthday party...

(Remember to go down to the bottom of the page to turn off the music.)

video

I knew that he could feed himself: I guess he just needed a sweet incentive!
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Luca is ALWAYS making us laugh!!!!!!! He did not let us down on his birthday...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The birthday boy at breakfast...

We had a great day today, and had a fun afternoon and evening with family and friends. The kids loved swimming in the pool, and the popsicles and frozen treats were a hit with all of the kids: and adults! We also celebrated a 1/2 birthday for Jonas, since we were not able to celebrate his 2nd birthday with him in January. He and Luca are 6 months and 6 days apart in age. Jonas LOVED his cake, and overall did very well with all of the chaos! I will try to post birthday party pics tomorrow, before we head off to Kings Island with Hannah and Micah for 2 days. Well it is almost midnight and my eyes are shutting as I type...

Here is Luca this morning at breakfast. I think he started to realize that today was all about him... :-) In the first picture, he is trying to hold up two fingers.







Happy B-day Luca Samuel Everett Hubley...

How can my baby be 2???  Where has the time gone?  Here are some pics of how are family looked a little over 2 years ago, and how Luca looks now.  Isn't he just the cutest thing that you have ever seen??? :-)  And let me tell you, he has hit the "terrible twos" head on!  The bad thing is:  He will do something really rotten, and look at you with this cheesy grin, and it is SO HARD to keep a straight face when disciplining him!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's to you Luca:  May you grow to be a man of integrity and light up the world as much as you have lit up our life!  You keep our family laughing, and I think I have lost the last bit of my baby weight chasing you!!!!!!!!! :-)




















Friday, July 18, 2008

Asian or Haitian???

So, Jonas and I were at the doctor this morning, and I had the funniest, bizarre, interesting, conversation with another mother.  Really, people just need to get out more, or watch the news...

To preface this, she is a mother of a biracial child.  She and another mother were saying how cute Jonas was, and how big he was, etc.  Then, the one woman said, "My other son has darker skin like him. (meaning Jonas)  I know she wanted to ask me if he was my biological child, but just felt uncomfortable asking.  So, I went on to say that he is Haitian, and we just adopted him from Haiti about 2 months ago.  

This is where it gets good... :-)  She said, "He's Asian?"  "No", I said, "He's Haitian."  She said, "What's that?"  (Are people really this uneducated???)  I said, "He is from the country of Haiti, which is about 600 miles off the tip of Florida."  I could tell she still did not know where I was talking about, and just politely said, "Oh..., well he is very blessed that you got him."  

I was cracking up on the inside thinking, "Asian, well no resemblance there, but okay..."  I wonder what she would have said had I told her that indeed he is Asian?  That could have been even a more interesting conversation!!!!!!!!! lol..... :-)


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Sorry about the blogging break....  We were up at Ryan's parents' lake cottage in Michigan for a 3 days, and there is not internet connection there.  I will be posting 4th of July pics, lake pics, and funny pics of Luca today at lunch.... (later--hopefully tonight)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Baby squirrels...

These are not recent photos.  They were taken way before I ever started blogging.  I don't even think I knew what a blog was at that time! I had to post them, because I still think it is amazing that my kids were playing with squirrels.  This was soooooo cool for Hannah; to be able to see what a squirrel looked like!  In the fall of  '07, our neighbor boys found 2 baby squirrels that had climbed down a tree.  We think that the mother squirrel had gotten hit by a car, and they were coming down the tree in search of food.  After we played with the squirrels for a while, we called an animal rescue specialist, and they were taken to her, until they were old enough to be released back into the wild.  

It was amazing how playful and "tame" they were.  They were not old enough to have any fear of humans.  Our neighbor boy named them Lewis and Clark, after the great explorers.  They were so playful and would just tumble around with each other, and they loved to crawl up pant legs.  It was such a fun and unexpected experience!!!!!!







Thursday, July 10, 2008

We have entered IBESR...

Are you saying, "What in the world is IBESR?" I would have said that same thing months ago, but now I am familiar with Haiti adoption lingo. Jonas's dossier has just entered IBESR, Haitian Social Services. Our IBESR # is: 16819.

Here is a great explanation of the different phases that our paperwork has to travel through in Haiti, before we return for the orphan investigation next spring/summer. I stole this explanation from a friends' blog: Thanks Allison!!!!!!!

The Adoption Process After Referral

Dossier preparation for IBESR.

Your dossier and your child’s dossier are combined into one. As well, a social history is required by IBESR for your child. Preparing a social history involves putting your child’s social information into a home study format together with information from your home study. The social history, completed by a Haitian social worker, usually takes 2 to 3 weeks to prepare.

IBESR (Institute du Bien-Etre Social et Recherches – Institute of Social Well-Being and Research)

IBESR is the Haitian Social Services. When your dossier is at IBESR, social workers will study it to see whether you meet the Haitian requirements to adopt a child. They also judge whether your referred child is a good match for your family. Your dossier needs 4 signatures before it can be released from IBESR. The four individuals who sign the approval are the director of IBESR, the IBESR lawyer, the head of adoption services at IBESR, and the head of social services. If, for example, one of these individuals is on holidays, there is not another individual who can sign on his/her behalf, which will result in additional delays. Once all 4 signatures have been received, IBESR issues a Certificate of Authorization informing Parquet and the courts that IBESR has approved you to adopt your Haitian child. IBESR is currently taking 4 to 6 months.

Parquet (District Attorney)

GLA prepares a letter for Parquet, as well as submits a couple extra documents in the dossier for submission to Parquet. An additional two documents are completed and signed in Parquet that approve your adoption. This stage is very unpredictable at this time; however, expect 2 to 4 months.

Court

GLA types up two court documents (Act of Adoption, and Civil Court document) and submits your dossier to the court for finalization of the adoption in Haiti. This takes 3 to 4 weeks.

Attestation Signature

An attestation signature is required on your child’s Act of Adoption. The attestation signature is completed by Archives recognizing that the signature on the Act of Adoption corresponds with the signature that is on file for this individual. It is similar to legalizing or notarizing the signature. This takes 1 to 2 weeks.

Legalization at the Minister of Justice

Each of your child’s adoption documents needs to be legalized in order to apply for his/her passport. This takes 2 to 3 weeks.

Passport

Once all documents have been legalized, GLA can apply for your child’s Haitian passport. The first step to obtaining a passport is the studying of the paperwork and passport approval at the Ministry of Interior (MOI). Once approved at the MOI, the passport file moves to Immigration, where the passport is printed. The majority of time spent in this stage is in MOI. This stage is also very unpredictable at this time; however expect 3 to 5 months (1 to 2 weeks included for printing).

*Your I-864 and I-864A need to be completed at this time. Forward to Bethany International along with supported documentation as soon as complete.

**Your I-600 needs to be filed at this time. GLA will have all necessary adoption documents translated, and will forward the documents you require to accompany your I-600 application. Once approval has been received, please forward approval to your local branch office for further forwarding to Bethany International.

Paperwork review

Once your child’s passport has been printed, and all original documents have been returned, GLA will review the paperwork and have any errors corrected (spelling errors are very common in Haiti).

US Visa

Once your I-600 has been approved, and your child’s passport has been printed, the US Consulate can complete your child’s orphan investigation in Haiti. This involves an interview with your child’s birthparent(s). DNA will have been conducted earlier in the process, and the results will already be at the US Consulate. A medical on your child is completed by a US approved physician in Haiti, and the results are submitted together with the visa application. GLA will complete form DS-230 (visa application) and submit it, along with all requested documents for your child’s visa. Provided the Consulate has everything they want, GLA normally hears back from them in 1 to 2 weeks, and at that time can schedule a visa appointment, and provide travel dates to you.

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Here are some pics of Jonas while he was at the orphanage. These photos were taken by Anna Kagstrom: Jonas's volunteer. She is an AMAZING GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!! Jonas will always be a very special boy in her heart, and I am sure that he misses her!!! She spent A LOT of time with him!!!









Hands That Heal

Finally, I just updated the "Hands That Heal" blog. Just go to my blog list, and click on Hands That Heal, for the long overdue update.

Thank you for your patience...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Watching the Storm...

Hannah LOVES thunderstorms of any magnitude!!!!!! The louder, windier, and wetter, the better! The other night before she went to bed, a thunderstorm blew in and she "had" to stay up to "watch" the storm! She got so close to the window to get the best vantage point. She REALLY wanted me to open the window, so she could get "rained on"!





Summer Fun in the pools...

Just some pics of the boys playing in the pools. The older boy is my nephew, Brandon. Ryan's Sister lives 2 houses down, so we have 2 nieces and 2 nephews close by. We love it, and so do our kids! Hannah said that the water was still too cold for her, so she did not make this blog. Are we raising a princess, or what??? :-) lol... We are looking for a solar cover, to warm the water some, but have not had any luck... Do you notice how nice and clear Jonas's water is? About 30 minutes after these pics, I look over and the water was VERY CLOUDY! On a closer look, he had totally blown out his diaper. I thought a regular diaper would keep poop in: I am here to tell you that I was wrong!!!!!!! Hopefully Jonas did not drink too much... :-) It was soooo gross!!!! lol...