Wednesday, January 30, 2008

a little update and some thoughts

Well, we're trying to get back into the swing of things. We had hoped all our adoption paperwork would be already in Choices hands, but that hasn't quite happened yet. Last night we sent our pictures and "letter to the birth parents" (wahoooo!). We now have to send our Criminal checks, Intervention check, and medicals. So, that's what I'll do today. They also need our first installment of money so this is when you really realize how real this is becoming! I get goose bumps just thinking about all we've been through with paperwork and phone calls, emails...and now we're starting the Taiwan portion. How exciting! CAS has our references so they will send them for us. All in all things are looking pretty good! Which is very exciting.

Terence had a good chat with Holly from Choices yesterday. Just to see where everything stands. We will be the first from Alberta to get on the list, we think. It does look hopeful though. We're just happy that we're not 100th on the list! So many people get caught up in the "wait" times for adoption and I keep reminding myself that God has a plan and our daughter chosen for us already. God's timing is always best, and we may not always understand that or like that! But, when you finally hold your child in your all becomes very clear why you had to wait all those months(or years!).

On a side note....I am going to get to spend sometime at an orphanage in May for a couple weeks. Not in Taiwan...but in Cambodia. I'll post more later about that. I'm very excited!! It's an amazing opportunity that presented itself once..and I didn't think we could swing both of us going. But, it seems that God has a plan for me to be there...and managed to move mountains for me to go. So, Terence and I go on May 9 for 16 days. More later.....

Saturday, January 26, 2008

We're back!

Sorry I haven't posted for a while. We were off on a 2 week vacation to Florida and a cruise to the Caribbean with the boys! Boy did we ever have fun! But, now back to work, school, and adoption stuff!

So, we received our approval and got our documents in the mail this week. I had thought they were going to be here earlier...but you know governments! LOL! Terence's dad mailed our homestudy off on Thursday to Choices. The next step is translation. We will be sending our "letter to the birth mother" and pictures of our family, on Monday. So, we have lots to do tonight amongst the unpacking and laundry. It's been hard today trying to get my head out of vacation mode.

Hopefully in the next few days I can post a few pictures of our vacation and a few more thoughts.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Homestudy on it's way to us!!!!

WOW, this is so exciting! We heard today that our Homestudy has been approved by the Alberta Government and will be on it's way to us shortly! By next week it should be in our hands.

So what's next? Well, we need to send it off to Choices in Victoria to get translated. From there it will get emailed to Taiwan. I will update more once we hear when it gets sent to Taiwan. We still have to write our "letter to the Birth Mother" and get our pictures together. Christmas was so hectic with family and fun so hopefully we'll get this done in the next few weeks.

Well, lots to do so I must run. What a great day this is! Wow, one more step closer to our baby girl! :-)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Taiwan Adoption Court Process

For those interested, this is an idea of how the court process works for adopting from Taiwan. I found it very interesting since I hadn't seen a break down before. It may not be completely accurate but at least gives an idea of how it works to some degree.

1. District Court Process
a. The family court office reviews the case/petition and a Judge is assigned to the case.
b. Judge reviews and considers the case and schedules a "hearing". Hearings are handled differently depending on the birth family's situation, the judge's schedule, persons representing the birth family and those representing the adoptive family. The time involved in getting a hearing scheduled depends on the judge's calendar/schedule and that of everyone else required to attend. Hearings can result in--The immediate decision to finalize the adoption (though this is rarely the case) or - Result in the judge's request for more information (in one case we saw the judge request additional counseling for the birthmother and he scheduled a follow-up hearing. Again, this is rare). -Most often, the hearing just provides a judge with more information about the case and allows him/her to rule on the adoption with confidence. Most often, the judge's decision (final ruling) happens weeks or even as long as months after the hearing.

The responsibility of the District Court is to make sure that every issue related to the best interest of the child has been considered. Though lengthy & frustrating at times, the District Court process protects the child, the birth parent, the organization caring for the child, AND in the end protects us as adoptive parents. When the District Court decisions have been made, adoptive families can be confident that the process was handled with consideration and in the best interest of the child. 2-4 MONTHS

2. Part I of Final Decree (first decree).
Once the District Court hearing has been completed and the judge has had time to make a decision to finalize the adoption, he/she issues the first part of the Final Decree. This is a short statement signed by the judge that is forwarded to the parties involved (social services organization on behalf of the adoptive family and the birth family) notifying everyone of his/her decision to finalize the adoption. This first part of the Final Decree must go to each party and there is a waiting period of 10 days before any more can happen to ensure that everyone has been notified of the judge's decision. 2-4 WEEKS.

3. Part II of Final Decree.
Once the 10 day waiting period is up (and the court staff finds time!), the second part of the Final Decree is forwarded to all parties. When the second part of the decree is received by your child's social service organization, the court process is DONE!

4. Household registration change and immigration requirements. Before adoptive family travels, a lot must be accomplished by the child's social service organization. All court documents and background info on the child must be officially translated to English and submitted with certain paperwork to AIT. Also, the child must have his/her Visa medical exam which is forwarded directly (unopened) to AIT's immigrant visa office. At some point the child's guardian must file for a household registration change. The household registration is a file located at local government offices in Taiwan that contains certificates and information about each person in Taiwan. Your child's household registration is attached to his/her guardian's file until the adoption has been finalized by the Taiwan courts. Once the child has been legally adopted in Taiwan, the guardian files with the government office to remove the file from theirs and create a new file showing that the adoptive parent(s) are the new legal guardians.The household registration change takes a day or two or a week depending on the placing organization and the local government office. 2-4 WEEKS.

5. New family receives a travel date. Each organization in Taiwan is different in when and how they schedule a travel date. Some wait until all of the above paperwork is filed and then give the family notice to travel quickly. Some schedule the travel in advance, while they work at preparing the above documents, giving a couple of weeks notice before travel.

"Unknown author"

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Words of a 5 year old.....

Hi, I'm Trennon. We can't wait until we get our little sister from Taiwan. Mama and Dada can't wait either. We'll adopt her into our family. We love our little girl even if she's in Taiwan. We will probably get her in 2009. It seems like a pretty long time. But soon she will come. She'll probably like to go down stairs in the basement and play with Ryden and I. She's probably like to go on our baby swing in the back yard. When she's lying down on pillows I'll make funny faces and she will giggle!

Trennon Jellema (age 5)

*I'll probably be 7 when we get our little sister. :-)