You might remember that in our post “We’re In Passports! 03/28/08” that we mentioned the I-600 that we have to fill out while we’re waiting for the passport papers to be processed. Well, a group of documents has to accompany it, and we got those documents today so we’ll be submitting the I-600 in the next day or so. The approval of this document will allow the orphan investigation to be completed in Haiti so that Jude’s Visa can be applied for when his passport is done.

What we didn’t know is that those documents that we received would be Jude’s Authorization of Adoption, Adoption Certificate, Birth Certificate, and Relinquishment Papers, all with their English translations. We were blessed to see that his legal name in Haiti is now Djouvens Derise Garrett. How about that!

With that said, it was bittersweet to read the documents. Things are so sadly different in Haiti. Jude’s birth certificate wasn’t created until October 10, even though he was born on July 24. No excited family waiting at the hospital for the joyous arrival of a new addition. Just a scared impoverished mother in the middle of the night bearing a child she would be unable to provide for. There were two witnesses with her at the creation of the birth certificate, and the certificate states “we signed it with the person appearing (Jude’s birth mother) and without the witnesses. They did not know how.” I cannot imagine not knowing how to write my own name…

The excerpt from the Relinquishment: “She declared to us that she is entrusting and giving her minor son unconditionally and irrevocably to the nursery ‘God’s Littlest Angels’, run my Mrs. Dixie Bickel, who will place her above mentioned son for adoption either abroad or in Haiti, to be adopted by any couple who wishes to do so, conforming with the decree of April 4, 1974 concerning adoptions. Then she requested that we record her declaration. She was requested to sign. She did.”

We have a photo of Jude’s mother, whose name we choose to protect. She is lovely, slender and tall with high cheekbones and wide eyes, which Jude got from her. As I read this I see her signing, in my mind’s eye, and I hurt for her. She will miss the joy that we will experience for the rest of our lives. She hasn’t seen the smiles on the face of the chubby child we have come to know through monthly updates and photographs. She has given up a part of herself, so that he could become a part of us. Adoption is a bittersweet miracle.

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