Friday, December 18, 2009

Halloween & Friday nights

Isn't he adorable?

I'm a little behind on my posts :) Here's our Halloween. Nala (the dog) wore the turtle costume I made for Tallie when she was 1 month old. We're one of those people now that I used to make fun of -- people that dress their little dog and take it out with them.

Tallie was Princess Bell and Beckett was a doctor.

We have an awesome gym and every Friday night is "family night". We go almost every Friday to eat pizza and play. Here are some clips from the gymnastics room of the kids.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Another Update

We heard today that Valencia's file is out of MOI and they are now working on getting her passport! All we have left is for her to be approved by US Immigration to receive her passort, and to then get her visa. They may request DNA testing for Valencia and her birth mom which would add a little bit of time, but we're almost there. It could be 3-4 weeks.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Valencia update -- FINALLY

I'm posting this because I always get asked if we've heard anything about Valencia, and 99% of the time we haven't. I figure this is a good way to let people know. I got the best email today and I can't even describe how excited I am about it:


Finally some good news, Valencia is in MOI!! So it is taking about 4 – 6 weeks in MOI, then passports and then on to USICS for approval, then Visa appointment and travel home!! I think there is finally a bright light at the end of the tunnel!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

September Update

Tallie's 4th birthday -- she requested a pink pony cake (I think I've found a hidden talent):

I made Tallie a dress for her birthday -- feeling a bit ambitious I guess but it was a fun project. I was terrified to wash it and for good reason -- it came out with several holes where the stitching pulled through that I had to fix.
Going for a cold morning walk:

Beckett is sooooo cudly - he's so fun to hold.
You know those days when you're in a time crunch and the kids are just not cooperating? I had such a day and I was trying to get dinner ready but Beckett was starving and needed to eat right then, so I decided to try and let Tallie feed him. It ended up being the cutest thing ever so I had to take a break from fixing dinner and film them:

Summer Update - August

In August we took a family trip to Lake George, NY. We had planned to do a week of camping on the lake and just have a nice relaxing vacation with our kids. Check out this video - this is when we pulled up to our camping site:

We ended up with one good day, so we visited Ft William Henry (from Last of the Mohicans) and did some bike riding.

August has great weather so we spent a lot of time playing in the yard - both kids loved the kiddie pool:

Beckett's first time sitting in a shopping cart -- I thought this was soooo cute to have both my kids side by side and I just happened to have the camera so I took a picture.

We also went to see horses one day at a stable near a friend of ours. Tallie LOVED seeing the horses and feeding them. I loved it too!
Beckett playing with his big sister -- I can't believe how big he's getting:
Tallie loves her puppy:

Summer Update - July

Here is an update of our summer. My parents visited us over the 4th of July. During that week the "Tall Ships" came to Boston and we went to see them - you can see one of them in the background:

The following week we headed to Stowe, VT for the Hot Air Balloon Festival and some camping:

The primary had a pioneer activity to celebrate July 24th. I'm always looking for an excuse to sew something so I made this little outfit for Tallie. She's making butter in this picture:
Our cute kids:

Jared's parents came to visit in May and helped us plant some flowers from seed. It was really exciting to see them grow:

Monday, June 22, 2009


I've been taking some videos of the kiddos lately - here are a few to enjoy...

Beckett's learning to eat:

Tallie gave Jared a pinata for Father's Day. It was the toughest pinata - it took forever to break it open. Tallie loved hitting it and Beckett loved watching it get hit - I don't think he's ever laughed so hard. We caught a little bit of it on video:

On Saturday we went to a Strawberry Festival and had a great time. They had an area with hay where the kids could search for wooden strawberries. Tallie loved it and wanted to play there the whole time. We also went on a hay ride and sampled a bunch of strawberry foods.

Tallie searching for strawberries:
Jared and Beckett watching Tallie:
Us on the hayride:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

funny things

I just wanted to post some funny pictures of my kids.

Beckett loves to feel cuddly. If I want him to go to sleep all I have to do is pop in the binky and put a blanket next to his face.

I took this picture today -- it was the first time Beckett sat in his highchair. Tallie of course wanted to be in the picture too... not sure what she's doing. It looks like Beckett is wondering the same thing.

I had to take this picture so we could remember what our dinner time is like. Tallie turned her end piece of bread into a "tent" and poked holes into it and then started dropping her peas (that she was supposed to be eating) into the holes. Jared and I finish eating usually around 40 min before Tallie finishes.

I walked past Tallie's room the other day and this is what I saw... she's really into the princess thing.

I just learned that the older kids at the orphanage have been going to the village school for preschool now. They have a preschool room right in the orphanage for the kids, but I guess once they reach a certain age they've moved up and now get to go to the village school. Every child wears this uniform which includes the bag over her shoulder. I think it's adorable and I bet she loves being able to leave the orphanage compound for a few hours.

Friday, May 15, 2009

out of IBESR!!

Okay everyone - most of you don't know what "IBESR" is, but it's the bottomless pit we've been stuck in for over 1 1/2 years with our adoption, and last night we got word that yesterday we were FINALLY signed out!!

I get lots of questions about the adoption process and why it takes so long. Here's a summary - we're through #9.

1 We receive your homestudy 1-8 weeks
and you are proposed a child

2 Family sends a notarized, translated, authenticated and 2 weeks
Haitian consulate stamped POA - to begin children dossier

3 Dossier arrives in Haiti at the orphanage Haiti Process starts

4 We prepare it for legalization at the Minister of 2 weeks
Foreign Affairs office. They legalize the signature
of the Haitian Consular Officer that legalized the
dossier at the Haitian Embassy in US or Canada

5 Once dossier is returned it is prepared for the Nat. 2-3 weeks
Office of Social Welfare (IBESR) & sent to our lawyer

6 The social history of child is prepared (dossier). If family 4-8 weeks
has sent POA then there will not be any additional time

7 Dossier is deposited in IBESR. 8-24 weeks
*Note: 500-1000 dossiers from various countries
are in the queue at this office at any given time.
Each dossier is a file of about 200 pages, which has to be
carefully read and approved.

8 Dossier is approved by IBESR

9 Family encouraged to travel to Haiti to complete their
I600 paperwork in person - saves time at pickup.

10 Paperwork sent to Agency from Creche:
Child Birth Certif, Relinquishment Paper, Adopt Decree

11 Dossier is sent to Parquet - courts 4-8 weeks
Birth parents must appear at court

12 Dossier is approved by Parquet

13 Courts - Second Legalization 2 - 4 weeks
a. Once the dossier is released from the Parquet, the dossier comes back to us. The court papers are typed and turned in to court for the finalization of the adoption process.
b. Attestation of the signature on the act of adoption. This is when Archives in Haiti says that the signature on the adoption decree matches the judge who signed it. Just legalizing the signature.
c. Legalization at the Minister of justice department. Papers must be legalized here for all countries, saying that the signature is the legal signature of the Judges involved on ALL papers.
d. Legalization at the Minister of Foreign affairs.

14 Dossier enters Minister of Interior 4- 8 weeks
There are 3 departments which the dossier must pass

15 Dossier is signed out of MOI

16 Files sent to Passport office for printing of the 1-2 weeks
children’s passport

17 Passports issued - reviewed for accuracy sent to USCIS 1-3 weeks

18 “At the same time that the passport application is in the
works, the U.S. Immigration process must be complete:”
a. an INS appointmnet is made
b. birthparents must be present for USCIS interview 2 weeks

19 Visa application is filed, and appointment in Haiti
to receive the visa is scheduled. 1-2 weeks

20 You are ready to come to Haiti to bring your child home

Monday, May 11, 2009

Dance Recital & Beckett's Blessing

We had a busy weekend with Tallie's first dance recital (dress rehearsal on Friday and recital on Saturday) and Beckett's blessing on Sunday. We also had Jared's parents visiting us, which meant we worked on house projects. Jared and his dad worked on the kitchen trimming in the windows, adding baseboard, and putting molding around the top of the cabinets, and Connie and I planted flowers in the garden.

Beckett's white suit was the cutest thing ever. I think he might just have to wear it every Sunday, even if it is a little weird - it's just too cute to wear once.

On an earlier post I had said that I thought my kid would be the one to cry on stage during her performance - well, I know my kid pretty well :) On Friday for the dress rehearsal Tallie was very nervous and ran off stage crying about 2 seconds after going on stage. But after her class we stayed and watched all the other groups do their dances and she thought that was a lot of fun to watch - which made her more interested in doing it herself. Friday night before bed she told me she wasn't going to cry on Saturday and she was going to do her dance. All day Saturday she was excited to dance, but as the girls lined up behind stage, she became nervous and grabbed onto my leg and didn't want to go out. Right then it was time for her group to go out, so I pushed her back in line and the sent the girls out and she stayed and danced!! I was so excited that she did it, and she did a great job. I'll have to post a clip later.

I had to include this picture of Tallie. She's REALLY been into her stuffed animals lately and they ALL have to sleep on her bed with her. I went into check on her one night and this is what I found - she barely had room for herself.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Valencia update

I just received an email that Valencia's file was signed! We needed the signature of the President of Haiti because they were no longer accepting families with biological kids, so to be accepted we needed special approval. Our agency met with President Preval last week and requested his special attention to our file and he actually signed it. HURRAY!!!!

I don't know what the average time frame is now - my guess is 8 months, but at least we're making some progress.

Jared wasn't home to tell the good news to so I told the only other person around, Tallie. She got an excited look on her face and said, "Can I have a cupcake?" I guess she doesn't really get what's going on.

Layton update

I guess I'm not much of a blogger (yet), because a lot of time has gone by and this is only my second post. But honestly, with 2 kids I rarely have any time to myself - this post has already taken an hour because I keep getting interrupted :)

Our little guy has already changed so much. He's a great baby and we're enjoying him. We're still getting up 1-2 times per night but other than that we can't complain.

We have a mini Valencia update. Supposedly today our agency is meeting with IBESR to discuss the files that have been stuck in their system for a long time. We're hopeful that all will go well and we will hear some news soon. This is our latest picture of Valencia - I can't believe how old she is getting. Very cute!

Tallie has been doing dance all year and has an upcoming dance performance - the Wizard of Oz. I can't wait to see if she'll actually do anything at the recital. From the other moms I hear that with this age group some refuse to go on stage, some go but cry the whole time, some just stand there without dancing, and a few actually dance. I'm going to bet mine is one that cries.

I caught a picture of Beckett smiling. He's actually quite a smiley guy. Can you believe how big he is? This is at 2 months - the pictures above with Tallie are at 1 month.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Baby Layton has arrived!

Beckett Graham Layton
born Friday, January 30th
8lb 3oz
19 inches long

I decided it was time to start a blog. We're all enjoying this new addition to our family - so far he's a great baby as long as his tummy is full and he is snuggly warm.

How did he fit in there?

proud big sister - Tallie is almost 3 1/2 and is enjoying being a big sister. Most of the time she just does her own thing, but she occasionally takes notice of Beckett and gives him a kiss or asks to hold him.
home from the hospital

Okay, we're trying to decide how much he looks like Tallie - the following pictures are of Tallie when she was born. What do you think??