When it comes to Haiti adoptions, that phrase could really be applied in a lot of areas, however, I want to talk about how different Haiti adoptions are compared with most other countries and how knowing every detailed step of the process is not always the best thing. Had I heard that even a few weeks ago I think I would have disagreed. As I always say with Haiti, nothing is always 100% for every one and every situation, but for me I am seeing more an more why "knowing less can relieve stress!"
As I've talked to families adopting from Haiti who have also adopted from other countries I have learned how vastly different Haiti is set up when it comes to adoptions. Most countries do not have an atmosphere of "hands on" adoptions. All countries with really good systems in place process the adoption without parents really having much involvement other than getting an email update maybe once a month, maybe less. Parents don't know every gory detail of the process: they just know if they are accepted and they are notified when they are needed for the final trip home. Haiti, however, (because it does not have a "good system") has had parents doing much of the leg work for their adoptions which leads to lots of information being shared with others in the process. Even those who are working with agencies and don't need to know every step often find it out from others. Unlike most other countries, Haiti doesn't have a streamlined process or a set timeline. Often agencies say "2 years" but with some families completing adoptions faster, many families want to go with those timelines and outcomes and this leads to a lot of questions and frustration.
This leads me to the question: To know or not to know?
Now, I am definitely one of those hands one people that like to help and know what's going on and help others too. I helped start a FB group in the fall of 2011 with the intention of just finding others going through the Adoption process in Haiti so we could just encourage one another. Since then we have grown to over 700 families all in some part of the process or considering adopting from Haiti. It has become a group of many moms and some dads encouraging and praying for each other but also a group where those involved in independent adoptions get help each step of the way and also share the information they learn as they go. Those with agencies also share each step and also obsess and compare their timelines with the independent adoptions and those with difference agencies. I have found myself sucked into the obsession of timelines and comparisons, frantically checking online for information I can take and imagine and dream about applying to my own timeline or adoption process. This obsession has recently come on since exiting IBESR and it hasn't been pretty. The sad thing is, is that I KNOW that no two timelines are the same. I KNOW that independent vs agency adoptions very often have different timelines due to the huge amounts of work agencies have dealing with multiple families vs someone dealing with a single family. I KNOW that "This Is Haiti" and what happens today may not happen tomorrow and what couldn't happen today could very well be allowed to happen tomorrow. I KNOW all those things and more but my heart just wanted to obsess and in doing so I have caused my own self unnecessary grief and wasted time and energy.
I have had to take a step back, take a breather, calm my heart, clear my head and seek God a lot in the past week. I have had to apologize to my own agency (that I also work for) for questioning my timeline and becoming one of those parents that turned her eyes inward and began only seeing me, and MY adoption instead of focusing on my work of helping others with theirs, trusting God and trusting an agency that has recently and is currently flying kids home and completing many adoptions. No, instead of looking at all of those positive things I started comparing myself to others... I started doubting, I started worrying about everything that could go wrong and it certainly didn't help my adoption. It didn't help my family and it didn't help my relationship with my agency.
I've seen and dealt with a lot of scams in Haiti adoptions. I worked for a director that I thought was spending thousands of dollars and countless hours reaching out and helping families that have been scammed in their own adoptions only to find out SHE was ALSO scamming many of them. I have spent hours listening to, trying to find answers and praying for multiple families that reach out from the FB group for help. It's hard sometimes not to think that every time something goes wrong that it's not a scam or a lie. I read a post on FB the other night that really helped me understand that things happen to all of us in this process and that just because there is a snag, it doesn't always mean someone is lying. One of the most trusted and longest working adoption directors posted: