A Dresden couple are gathering some items and doing some fundraising to help bring their daughter, who they have never met, home from Haiti.
“We’re holding a huge fundraising yard sale on Saturday, Sept. 27 at North Dresden Baptist Church, at 182 Trerice Street West in Dresden,” said Gord Tetley, Pastor at North Baptist. “The goal is to help raise some funds to help cover the cost of our adoption. We’re adopting a little girl from Haiti.”
Tetley’s wife Marcy Ardis, who teaches at Wallaceburg District Secondary School, said the adoption process is a long one.
“It can take two to three years,” Ardis said. “First of all you have to go and get all the qualifications for all the requirements for Ontario. You have to do pride training, you have to do your home study and once all that is done, you have to collect all the stuff that the actual government in Haiti needs. Once you’ve collected that then it goes to the agency we’re using in Toronto, they translate it into Creole and it goes to Haiti, once it’s there it has to go through their whole government process. That is where a lot of the timing comes in.”
Ardis said they hope to have their documents over to Haiti by the holiday season.
“We’re at the point now where we have met the Ontario requirements, we’re just waiting for Ministry approval,” she said. “Our stuff will be going to the agency and being translated so we’re hoping that it will be in Haiti by Christmas time.”
Ardis said the costs associated with adoption is pricey.
“People have likened it to purchasing a BMW, the cost of adopting internationally,” she said. “It is very expensive, people that have not done it don’t realize that. In the end, it will cost us around $50,000.”
Ardis added: “The yard sale isn’t meant to cover that, it is just a way to help cover a few things, maybe to help put some money away for us. We have to go visit our daughter twice. Once we are proposed a daughter in Haiti we have to go and meet her and be there for two weeks, so there is a cost associated to flying down and staying there. We then actually leave her there and come back, and then the government finishes their processes in Haiti and then we go down and get her.”
Ardis said they looked into adopting locally.
“The problem is, we have a three-year-old daughter (Maddie) and we only have two bedrooms in our house, so we have to adopt another daughter, which is difficult,” she said. “The Ontario government has regulations where if you have a biological child, the child you are adopting must be 18 months or more younger, which is interesting. Not a lot of kids are available at that age, so the wait for us would be extremely long.
She added: “We were also told by our social worker that if we were to put our names out for people looking for infant adoptions, we may not be considered because of our age. It was the fit for us and we’ve always felt like Haiti was the place where we have another daughter waiting for us. We just feel like she’s there.”
Ardis said the wait is tough.
“It’s hard,” she said. “It is a long, long process. They have also changed all their rules in Haiti. We are going to be one of the first collection of papers going in under the new rules. We’ve been doing all the home study here in Canada for about five months… but we just don’t know for certain how long it will take.”
For the yard sale coming up on Sept. 27, they are looking for anything.
“We’ll take anything you have to donate, anything you want to get rid of,” she said.