We hear that question all the time. Honestly, I am always happy to hear it, because it makes me feel that people are genuinely interested.
I remember when we started the adoption process on September 1, 2010. Just six months have past, but it seems like years ago. We were told then it may take 10 months, give or take a couple of months. Had that been the case, the girls might have been here as early as May.
Unfortunately we have experienced some unexpected delays. In Haiti, unexpected delays seem to be expected. We had minor delays with translation and legalization of our dossier. Hurricane Tomas shut the Haitian Government down for couple of weeks.
But the real issue has been the Haiti Presidential Election. Why does this matter? Well, we need several things to be accomplished by various divisions of the Haiti Government, and we need the Haiti President to sign his name on a piece of paper referred to as “Presidential Dispensation”. This is basically the President approving our adoptions.
Haiti held a primary election, featuring 38 presidential candidates, November 28, 2010. The top two vote getters were scheduled to advance to a final runoff election on January 16, 2011.
However, following the primary election there were reports of widespread election fraud. The current President, Rene Preval is not liked by the vast majority of Haitians. When the results were announced, Preval’s hand-picked successor, Jude Celestin had reportedly edged out the very popular Haitian pop singer Michael “Sweet Micky” Martelly for the 2nd spot, behind the well-respected Mirlande Manigat. This news was followed by weeks of riots all over Port au Prince. After two months of controversy, and based on the recommendation of an international organization of countries who reviewed the results, Jude Celestine dropped out of the race on January 26, 2011.
The final runoff election between Michael Martelly and Mirlande Manigat was finally held yesterday, March 20, 2011. The new President, instead of being in office in late January 2011, will be announced in the coming days and will hopefully be in office as now scheduled in May 2011.
Needless to say during this long delay and time of controversy, the Haitian Government has not been doing much of anything and President Preval has not been signing many Presidential Dispensations. For us, all of this equates to a four month and counting delay!
So back to the million dollar question, when will our girls come home? Unfortunately, I don't know the answer. That's one of the things that makes this process so tough. I can't give an estimate, or even a window of time based on anything factual as to when the girls might be here. We simply do not know. I use to say "hopefully by summer". Then for a while I would say "hopefully by this fall". Of late I have been saying "hopefully before the end of the year". But honestly, We just don't know.
Right now our prayer is that the announcement of Haiti's election results will be well received by the Haitian people, that the Haiti Government will get to work, that our attorney in Haiti will work feverishly on our adoptions, that the new President will take office as currently scheduled and quickly begin signing Presidential Dispensations including ours, that we don’t experience any more delays with our girls adoption process, and that our girls come "home" in a blink!