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. says

    Oh, Layla, I’m so happy that you were able to get all your papers submitted so quickly! I pray that everything will get to Haiti right away and that this window of opportunity will be thrown wide open for you. You and Kevin are going to be such wonderful parents to a truly blessed child!

  2. Denise Z says

    Each step brings you one step closer! Praying that the window of opportunity stays open long enough for you to pass through!

  3. Liz V. says

    Good Luck! We went through the long process in 2003 when we adopted our son from Russia. Lots of apostilles for the dossier… The time does actually come and it is very exciting! If your traveling there make sure you get all your immunizations. Godspeed ❤

  4. Ter'e Crow Lindsay says

    When the time is right and that little child really needs you…….God will ease you into his plan. That baby will be so loved……… all of us. I am so thrilled that your day is edging closer and closer.
    I’m so excited for your family……


  5. says

    Praying that all moves head with the best for all! Adoption is a hard road that can take a toll some times as we are almost at the end of our journey and just waiting to be able to get our finalization paperwork and court date (We are adopting through US Foster care system). But the road is filled with so many ups and downs but I would not change the journey for anything.

    Prayers are with you all. ~hugs~

  6. Alayne says

    Lots of love and blessings to you and Kevin. It’s so exciting to know that your baby is already in this world, just waiting for your hearts to connect.

  7. says

    Those children are so beautiful, and any one of them would be doubly blessed to have you and Kevin as parents. May God bless you, and send parents like you for every single one of those beautiful children!

  8. says

    Congrats! As an adoptive mom myself, I remember those days! Sharing online beforehand is such a blessing. We actually also have two the old fashioned way, and I can tell you it does not matter how you get to be their mommy! ;-) You will truly end up with the child that is meant to be yours.

  9. Sandy A says

    So happy to see things are moving along swiftly for you to soon have a gorgeous child added to your family! Even though you still have a wait-you will soon be a family of three.And when one of those beautiful babies is placed in you arms to bring Home–all those days will fade away and be so worth it. Prayers for you and Kevin…

    • Gracie says

      I am so glad to read that your adoption is going well. I was excited to learn that you plan to adopt from Haiti. I am an avid listener to what was our local show here in Austin, TX but since has moved to Nashville to be national, “The Bobby Bones Show.” Amy, one of the hosts of the show has formed a charity to help the orphan kids in Haiti. She is also trying to adopt from Haiti but has not been married the minimum number of years required to adopt from Haiti. Anyways, I just wanted to put her charity out there in case any other of your readers want to contribute to meals for the Haitian orphans.

  10. says

    Ahh, I have actually been hoping you’d have an update soon :) SO EXCITING that you’re really starting to move forward in the process and you may have even already seen the face of your kiddo and not even known it!

  11. says

    How exciting for you both, so close now! Thank you for sharing your process with us, and fingers crossed you get a happy ending sooner rather than later!
    I love the wee tweaks to your header, it’s lovely and graphic and very pretty indeed! x

  12. says

    I’d say the government needs to make laws quick and not hold up ANY adoptions. To think there are so many parents who are willing to take these sweet children into their hearts and lives…SWING OPEN the DOORS and LET THEM COME IN!! It is a huge GIFT and YOU are the GIFT–what a lucky child this will be! Great to hear things are moving along (so much work for you all!) and I pray you make the window of oppportunity! And how exciting to know (got chills) that six of the children are on their way to a family!

  13. Neesey g. says

    I just love reading about your adoption process. Don’t know why….just do. You both are so close. I get excited for you every time you post another hurdle. I hope the ‘window’ stays open so your precious child can climb into your hearts very soon. Christmas would truly bee divine !

  14. Phyllis says

    Congratulations on the progress! How exciting for you! I am a little curious; why not adopt a child from the United States? I do not know much about adoption; is the process here more complicated than adopting a child from another country? Just curious! Thanks and good luck!

    • Layla says

      Hi Phyllis!

      Our adoption journey has actually taken quite a few twists and turns since we first started researching our options a couple of years ago. We started out in the fost-adopt system, but when that didn’t work out we spent a lot of time researching domestic adoption, then Ethiopia’s program, then officially applied for China’s special needs program. We switched to the Haiti program this past April because we felt a definite call to move in that direction. So many folks who have adopted before (both internationally and domestically) told us we would “just know” when it came to the right fit, and boy were they right! It took a while, but everything just feels so Right now and we’re so grateful for the opportunity to grow our family through adoption! :-)

  15. molly a says

    layla and kevin! this is so inspiring! I have tears in my eyes. I have been following your blog these last few years and it’s so fun to see what God is doing in and through you. May He richly bless the paperwork and its speedy delivery!!! Those babies are each so precious. You are going to be PARENTS!!!!!

  16. Gwen says

    I am new to your blog but as a teacher I’ve had parents going through all this process for various countries/even here…and seeing photos made me think back to teaching (I’m disabled from a classroom fall) and each baby looks like one of my kids I’ve had…that became like my own…and God is choosing! I’ve prayed this open window stays open…and it will be soon! I have no words…but God does! So in the waiting? Id just say it helps when my husband reminds me of the verse “Be still…and know that I am God.” He tells me. ” Gwen, be still. Read God’s Word. No radio. No hurrying. And wait…He speaks in those still small times you give Him .”

  17. Beckie D. says

    Wow! How exciting! So happy for you and Kevin! Speaking of Kevin , love your new do! Had to do a double take. Also did you change your header ? And your photo too! I can hardly wait to see who comes home with you and makes you a mommy!

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Beckie! And, yes, I did change my header and profile pic! Thank you for noticing and for being excited about the adoption with us! :-D

  18. Mary says

    Every time you post one of these updates my heart overflows with happiness for you two. There are such joys to come (and frustratrations, and heartaches), but it’s so, so very worth it. Can’t wait to see your sweet family all together under one roof!

  19. Angie says

    These pictures are priceless! Kelly looks so happy with a maybe a little mischievious. (I probably spelled that wrong) And Kevenel has such big eyes! Actually Yrvens does too. How could you choose just one? You are going to fall in love when you see their little faces in person.

  20. jane crawford says

    This is such wonderful news. How does one ever choose among all of those precious babies. Do you and Kevin get to choose or does the agency match you up with one of the children?

    • Layla says

      Hi Jane!
      The folks at IBESR in Haiti will be the ones to match us with a child. Can’t wait to post an adoption update that day! :-D

  21. shelby says

    God Bless you Layla and Kevin for having such wonderful hearts to bless a child with. I have question knowing zero about adoption, why did you chose to adopt outside of America? I have noticed many people from America are adopting in other countries…

    • Layla says

      Hi Shelby!
      We actually started our adoption journey in America, through the fost-adopt program. When that didn’t work out, we explored many other adoption options, including both domestic and other international options. In the end, Haiti was the perfect fit for us, and we’re so excited to see where the journey takes us next! :-D

  22. says

    Oh, I could just gaze at those precious faces all day long! Layla, it blesses me that you so appreciate the gift that is parenthood. As a teacher, I see so many parents that love their kids, but are lacking somehow in their commitment to actual parenting. This child of yours will know that they were CHOSEN… how awesome is that? Prayers that everything will go swiftly and smoothly. Blessings!
    xo Heidi

  23. Bridgett Junkin says

    Great news! My family has been down this road. My nephew and his wife are adopting from Haiti. Check out their blog, The Junkins at It has been a long arduous process that should have taken a lot longer but God showed His hand in many ways. Updates are less frequent now because they just gave birth 2 weeks ago and have a one-year-old!

  24. Kim A says

    Best of luck for the adoption!!! Also wanted to say how much I love the new look of your blog. It seems to run much faster on my computer now. It used to take several minutes (or so it seemed) to open fully before.

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Kim! I’m having my tech guy (Tony at Evenpar Solutions) make some changes, so hopefully it’ll just keep functioning better and better as he works his magic! :-D

      • Kim A says

        Just logged onto your blog again from home, and it is the old look. Did it go back or am I just going crazy? :)

        • Layla says

          Hi Kim!
          You’ll probably just need to clear your cache or history to be able to view the new look on any computer that’s used to pulling up the old look! :-)

  25. Kait says

    This is such exciting news! Thank you for sharing so much of your adoption process with us! At our house we are big fans of adoption since we adopted our son 5 years ago! I remember how exciting each milestone was as we got closer to “the call”! Feeling giddy with excitement for you & your husband!

  26. brenda says

    I cannot recall the info regarding how you and Kevn arrived at Haiti as a choice for adoption; Is this Angel House a home your church is affiliated with ?? I just always think how interesting these “coincidences” come about. Something that I really feel are God things rather than coincidences.

    • Layla says

      Hi Brenda!

      No our church is not affiliated with Three Angels- our adoption agency is. They are partnered with two orphanages in Haiti actually, and we chose Three Angels because it seemed like a great fit. We chose Haiti after lots and lots of research, prayer, and discussion. We just had an overwhelming feeling about it, so actually, it feels more like Haiti chose us! It was definitely a God thing and we’re so thankful for the Guidance! :-)

  27. says

    Good luck with your match! My friends just went through the adoption process for a little girl from China. It was long and hard, but they are so happy to have her with them and their two little boys. I hope the process is over so you can all be together soon!

  28. says

    I get excited for you, just reading the updates! And those sweet faces! Oh my, God has something special in store for you!!!

  29. megan says

    This is exciting news! I’ve been praying for y’all! And all involved! I am so interested in adoptions, i have friends that are adopted and friends who have and are in the prosess of adopting! Keep looking up!

  30. says

    Layla, I don’t usually comment often because I read your posts in email, but I had to come over and say how absolutely precious those babes are, every one of their faces!!! I am so excited for you for what is ahead!!!

  31. Marianne in Mo. says

    So nice to hear good news today! I’ve been in a somber mood all day, remembering this day 12 years ago. Then I come here and get happy news! Thanks for sharing this today, and continued good luck with the process! God Bless!

  32. Tracy R says

    What good news! This is hope. This is love. Those beautiful baby faces gave me a lump in my throat. Bless you guys and this journey…

  33. Allison A. says

    Those sweet faces on those babies make my heart melt. You two will be amazing parents. I am keeping good thoughts and prayers for you as you go through your adoption journey.

  34. Julie says

    This is so very exciting! We wanted to/looked into international adoption and sadly just wasn’t something we could swing financially. :( Those are some beautiful littles, but oh how little Steevenson’s eyes pierced mine!

  35. says

    Layla, that is such awesome news! I have good friends who are in the process of adopting a little girl from China…they are playing the waiting game as well but are hoping to bring their “new” daughter home sometime next year. I know the emotional ups and downs must be exhausting and overwhelming at times – keep your eyes fixed on the prize {a precious baby to love and spoil for the rest of your life}!
    Blessings to you :)

  36. 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 :)

  37. 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! :-D

    • Layla says

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

  38. 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.

  39. Rachel says

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

  40. 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!

  41. 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.

  42. 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!

  43. 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!!!

  44. 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.

  45. 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! :-)

  46. 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! :-D
      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! :-D

      • 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!


  47. 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,

  48. 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! :-D

  49. 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!

  50. 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!

  51. 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!

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