Adoption Update – Authentication

We’re celebrating another fun adoption update this week- so, of course, I wanted to share it here, too!

The last time I blogged about where we were at, I told you we were just about to enter phase two of our process: Immigration.

Basically, this step involves getting all sorts of paperwork together so that you can have each document notarized and authenticated at both the county and state levels. The paperwork consists of things like (original copies of) birth certificates, marriage license, psychological exams, medical exams, immigration forms, reference letters, etc.

Once they’re all gathered, and notarized, and authenticated- our adoption agency (Lifeline) will put them all together, along with our home study, and that will form our dossier.

The goal was to get our dossier to Three Angels (the orphanage we’re hoping to adopt from) sometime this Fall. Then they would, in turn, submit it to the Haitian government- who will match us with one of the children currently living at the Angel House orphanage.

But here’s the thing: the Haitian government is in the process of passing some new adoption-related laws, so they haven’t been accepting submissions for the past several months.

BUT- our (new) caseworker, Meredith, called last week to tell us that there might be an opportunity for us to get submitted this month!

No one really knows how long the window of opportunity will be open, so we did a lot of dashing around the state of Alabama to get our paperwork authenticated in various counties last week.

The Lettered Cottage | Adoption Process Pictures

(that’s sweet Meredith in the upper right!)

As of today, our authenticated documents are at the Haitian Consulate in Miami and our home study is being translated to French. We’re hoping Lifeline will have everything back by Friday so that our dossier can all travel to Three Angels in Haiti sometime next week!

Once it’s there, it’ll have to go through a legalization process at Three Angels, and then *hopefully* we’ll be able to get submitted into IBESR’s system before the submission window closes again for a while.

If we DO get submitted, the next step would be to get matched with one of these precious kiddos:


Thanks to social media, I know that at least six of the children above are in the process of being adopted because I’ve had the pleasure of meeting four of their Moms online over the past couple of months. Connecting with them every week has been such a blessing! We’re all at different stages in the process, so I am really learning a lot and feel so thankful for their friendship! One couple traveled to Three Angels not long ago, and it’s been so fun to hear their stories and see photos of them with the children.

I always get emotional when I think about how Amazing this process is and how HUGE this Gift is. I mean, that a (big) country would allow (little) me to be someone’s parent.


Amazing, awesome, wild!

Hopefully I’ll have another exciting update to post within the next month or so. ‘Til then, thank you so much for swinging by today, and for taking the time to read about this really special time in our lives. :-)

PS- If you’d like to check out my past adoption posts, click here: ADOPTION


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  1. Andrea says

    I remember when we were adopting and the rollercoaster of emotions. We were in some part of our adoptions from the end of 2000 to 2006. With Korea we didn’t need dossier but for China we did. Overwhelming. I remember when we got paperwork that told us were LID. Celebration!!!! I’m so happy for you :)

  2. says

    Best of Luck! Good things happen to good people, so i have no doubt this will work out for you and Kev. I love to read your Adoption updates, I can only imagine the excitement and anxiety you both must feel during this process!

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Mindy! Thankfully, there hasn’t been a whole lot of anxiety (yet)- but ask me again before I board the first plane to Haiti and I might answer differently- LOL! 😀

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Liz Marie! We appreciate your prayers and can’t wait to e-introduce you to our little one! 😀

  3. says

    God bless you in your efforts. Whomever you get will be one lucky child, I am sure…beautiful parent, beautiful home, and lot of love.

  4. tracy says

    Dear Layla,

    Thanks so much for letting us be a part of this whole process. I am so excited for you! I’m praying that everything will go quickly and smoothly for you so you will be hugging one of these little sweet beings as his/her mama very soon.

  5. Rachel says

    Aw, Congratulations! Is there a possibility that you might have your own wee-womper by Christmas? How exciting would that be!

  6. says

    Isn’t it surreal to think you could be looking upon the face of your child already!? I have watched another family go through this process (Ethiopia) and it was completely fascinating. I have 8 children, and I still wish I could adopt sometimes. Maybe someday. Kids are too precious … best of luck. I have been following you for a while … love your blog. Ours is a tab on the website I listed above, in case you are wondering.
    Blessings to you all!

  7. says

    Oh Layla….I do wish that everything goes smoothly and quickly for you. After reading all that you have shared with everyone there is no doubt how wonderful you and Kevin will be as parents. Not only do you get the gift of a child but that child will be so blessed to have you both. I just hope that the next part of your journey comes swiftly. Good Luck and God Bless you both.

  8. Amanda says

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented on your blog before but I read it often and have for years now. I was just so struck by this post…looking at those beautiful faces and thinking that one of those could be your son or daughter soon…it must just be the most emotional experience! It made me tear up (and I am NOT a crier! haha). I wish you all the best with this journey. You guys will make amazing parents!

  9. Rebecca says

    Wonderful news! Praying that things move quickly for you all! Keep trusting God in this!

  10. Lisa W. says

    HOW exciting, AND what a process, wow, has to be exhausting, exciting, scary, happy, worry, joy AND all the above:) Congradulations and hope you “get in” before they don’t accept apps for awhile!!!

  11. says

    It’s so exciting to read your updates about the little one coming your way. Often, the two of you are one step ahead of us in our own adoption process, so it’ll be so great to see who God has in store for you…and us! :)

    Also, I absolutely LOVE your new look for the blog. Love love.

  12. says

    I could happily bundle the whole lot of them up and bring them home with me..Praying your little one gets home with you both asap..would love an update on how your finances are going towards bringing bubs home

    • Layla says

      Thank you! I’ve got a running tally graphic over on our Adoption page. It’s still a work in progress, but thankfully you don’t have to pay all at once, and we’re able to chunk away at the total, bit by bit! :-)

  13. Jennifer R. says

    Hi Layla! I am an Alabama girl too (Huntsville) and found your site a long time ago for the DIY posts but just making my first comment! My husband and I are very interested in one day adopting but it is so overwhelming to think of all the paperwork and preparation that goes into it! I’m not sure if I feel like it should be easier to adopt or if I feel it should be more difficult to have biological children – it just doesn’t seem right for some reason. Many parents I know (not all, but many) would never meet the physical, mental, and financial circumstances to adopt but can have as many kids as they want to biologically. We really hope to adopt one day, but worry that we may not be able to because we are not very religious nor infertile. I hope I am wrong and we can one day welcome a beautiful child into our family!! In the mean time, I will be thinking of your lovely soon to be growing family and wishing you all the luck and happiness there is!

    • Layla says

      Hi, Jennifer! So nice to e-meet you today! 😀
      We were overwhelmed when we first started the process too, but I’ve been drawn to adoption for as long as I can remember (inspired by my grandma, who adopted my dad)- so we just did lots and lots of research, and took things step-by-step when we were finally ready to start a family. First up, was to find an agency we were comfortable with. We heard so many positive things about Lifeline, so we ended up choosing them and have been so happy with their service. There are LOTS of great agencies out there though, so definitely do a bunch of research, and you’ll know when the fit is right. It just seems to come together the more you dive into it! :-)
      The total cost to adopt internationally is a bit scary, but thankfully you get to pay in many small increments over the year or two (or three) you’re in process. Several fellow adoptive parents shared with us early-on that there are so many ways to raise funds for an adoption, and there are several organizations out there that can help folks with adoption grants and loans, too. Also, there’s a $13,000 adoption tax credit right now, so that helps with the overall cost, too.
      I’m still new to this whole thing, but it’s been such an amazing journey so far, and if I can answer any more questions about the process- please don’t hesitate to ask! 😀

      • Jennifer R. says

        Thanks for the reply Layla! I will keep checking back to see how things work out with the adoption!

        We have always felt pulled towards adoption also. We have discussed becoming foster parents and possibly adopting domestically. We both speak Russian and have always figured if we adopted internationally it would be from Eastern Europe. We also wish to have biological children, so we will just see what the future holds for us!

        It would be lovely if you could write a post about how you anticipate handling the complexity of raising a multi-racial family in the south. We live in Huntsville, so it is quite diversified but still there is a lot of stigma. Not to mention all the work it takes to make sure the child feels secure in their own skin. It’s a topic I am really interested in as if we adopt it will likely be a child of a different race/culture than our own.

        Thanks for everything and for sharing this intimate journey with the world!


  14. says

    Hi! I just found your blog through another and I just love it! Great posts and a beautiful home! I m so happy to read that you are adopting!! How exciting! I wish you all the best and pray it all goes easily with comfort and grace. My husband and I wish to adopt in the future, so I have enjoyed your posts.
    And I look forward to more,

  15. Laura says

    Hi, Layla :). I have been following this story for a while now. Fingers double crossed that they translate, legalize and match you quickly! In every adorable face of those babies, I see a warm, little child ready to be loved up on. I am SOOO excited for you! Much love, Laura

    • Layla says

      Thank you so much, Laura! I appreciate your encouragement so much and can’t wait to share another update with you soon! 😀

  16. Claire says


    I think adoption is fantastic and I hope it works out for you. I’m just curious, with all the children in the US that need adopting, why go to a different country?

    • says

      Hi Claire!

      We didn’t start out with any specific country in mind. Like with any relationship, we just followed our heart and were open to exploring every option. Our first application ended up being with fost-adopt here in Alabama, but when that road didn’t work out, we went back to the drawing board and started researching both domestic and international adoption. Along the way, we learned that the need for adoptive parents in Haiti is unreal. There are almost one million orphans in Haiti and only 154 were adopted last year. To say the cards are stacked against them would be a massive understatement. Fortunately, we met their (currently) strict requirements to a T, so we felt very encouraged to move forward in that direction. We’re so excited to have such clarity after many years of researching, praying, and discussing our options. Hoping to have another exciting update to share with you soon!

  17. Laura says

    Waiting with baited breath for your next good news. :) Fingers crossed for you guys!

  18. Julie says

    I love stumbling onto the blog of a fellow adoptive mom. I have two adorable little ones from China. The process it tough but well worth it in the end! Best wishes!

  19. Lori says

    My husband and I just visited Three Angels this summer! Blessing on your adoption journey!

  20. Amy Fitzgerald says

    My husband and I applied to adopt from Haiti, through Lifeline, this week. I have really enjoyed reading your blog and I am so excited for you and your husband! We can’t wait to get moving forward with the process.

    • Layla says

      That’s so exciting, Amy! We will say a prayer for you tonight, and hope you’ll stay in touch as you move forward!