Category Archives: Steps

Steps To Internation Adoption in Morocco

US Adoption Finalized. WOW!!!

Farhan, Ayoub and I were in a car in Virginia when we got the news that Ayoub’s US adoption was finalized, signed, stamped and sealed by a judge here in our little town in VA. Alhamdulillah! The finalization also means that Ayoub is now a US citizen. It was a unique independence day of sorts for our little family. I was hoping that it would happen around July 4th and it did!

We had actually forgotten about the fact that we were waiting to hear something from the lawyer. This process is a far cry from the Moroccan one where we were literally holding our breath until the adoption was complete. Ayoub and I went to the lawyer’s office to pick up the paperwork and of course I started crying when it was handed to me! There was a typo on the final order but it can be easily corrected (some info was incorrect). No big deal–the judge signed the paper and that was the most important thing!

This has been a long time coming and it feels fantastic to be able to check this off our steps list. WOW! Wow! Wow!

People have said in the past that these legal hurdles are no big deal and that once you lay eyes on your baby, he is yours in your heart. I absolutely agree. At this point it doesn’t even feel like Ayoub was adopted. He IS ours and one of the best things that has happened to me and us. However, this is part of the process and we are making progress and it feels great. It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane tasks of raising a child but it’s also important to stop and remember how precious this child is and how hard we worked to have him in our family. This is a quiet reminder.

As I was rocking him to sleep I just gazed at his lovely face and thanked God for the opportunity to be his Mama. Alhamdulillah.

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Heading to the US!

Well, hello again!  It’s been about a month since my last post and so much has happend!  We’ve managed to get Ayoub’s Moroccan passport, US visa, left Morocco (finally!) and have been in Doha for about 3 weeks now.  I haven’t had time to post those experiences yet, but they are on the way.

What I’m REALLY excited about is the fact that we’re heading to the US tomorrow!  Yep, FINALLY heading home and look forward to seeing all of our wonderful friends and family who will be waiting to meet us at the airport.  We are as excited as they are and we know how incredibly lucky we are to have them in our lives.

First things first: we’ll start Ayoub’s US adoption process on Monday with appointments with the adoption attorney and social worker.

But one thing before that: maklooba and a 10 hour nap!  My dear friend who is now bestowed with the title “Mama Nada” asked how she could help me while I was in Tangier.  I told her the first thing I want after I arrive is her maklooba and to sleep for 10 hours straight.  And that’s what I’ll do on Saturday!  All of my girl friends are getting together, we’ll have dinner, I’ll then hand them the baby and go off to my long anticipated date in la-la land. (Seriously, I bet we’ll talk the whole night and have fun playing with Ayoubi!)

Until then, I must get back to packing!

PS:  to those who have asked for advice and guidance about the process, I apologize for the delay.  I’ll have some free time during my trip and will get answers to you soon.  Hang tight!

It’s Official!!

We're officially Ayoub's Parents!

It's Official!

Ayoub and Farhan

Our little Sunshine!

We’re officially Ayoub’s parents, Alhamdulilah!  We just returned from court where the adoption papers were signed and stamped by the local judge. Ayoub turns 7-months today, as well.  It’s a very mubarak (blessed) day for our family.

Farhan and I would like to thank everyone for their support, duas, prayers, and love during this time.  A special thank you  goes to the folks from La Creche who worked and worried as hard as we did that all would go smoothly amidst the strike.  It all paid off!

Now, on to the passport, Qatar visa and US visa.  Ayoub and I hope to be back in Doha around October 16, and in the US around Thanksgiving time, God willing.

Step 10: Check.

Procrastinating and Planning

We’re going shopping tomorrow to pick up a few things I’ve had my eye on since I arrived in Tangier.  Mainly, a nice rug for Ayoub’s room and a few other decorations and clothes.  Yep, I completely procrastinated!  I had 3 months to get things together and I’m doing everything in the last week of my stay.

Farhan and I keep going over the schedule of events for the next 2 weeks.  Dates keep changing like when we’ll receive Ayoub’s passport.  It’s okay because we have planned everything out and have so many “plan B’s” in place that InshaAllah (God willing) we have a solution to any glitch we face!

This is the plan so far:

Tuesday 9/21: shopping and more planning, finish registry at Amazon.com & Albeebaby.com, arrange transport and tickets for Farhan’s quick trip to Qatar

Wednesday 9/22: CELEBRATION DAY! We get permanent legal custody of Ayoub (check back for pictures)

Thursday 9/23: Packing day, receive documents a) cert of abandonment  b) birth certificate  c) Kefala document  d) permission to travel

Friday 9/24: Travel to Rabat to have documents notarized by Qatari Embassy.  We’ll need those to apply for Ayoub’s Qatari visa.  We’ll then travel to Casablanca to have Ayoub’s medical exam.  He’ll need this for his visa interview at the US consulate next week.  I’ll travel back to Tangier this day.  Farhan will spend the night.

Saturday 9/25: Farhan travels to Qatar to apply for Ayoub’s visa.  Yep, Farhan has to be in the country at the time the visa is applied for.  We’re not sure when that will be because he can’t apply without Ayoub’s passport.   I will be hosting guests visiting from overseas who are interested in adopting from La Creche.  We met here on BabyMaghrib!

Monday 9/27: Apply for Ayoub’s Moroccan passport

Tuesday/Wednesday 9/28-9: Receive Ayoub’s passport. Fax a copy over to Farhan in Qatar.  He will then apply for Ayoub’s Qatari visa.

Thursday 9/30: Move out of this apartment and in with family friends. Farhan applies for Ayoub’s Qatari visa.

Sunday 10/3: Travel to Casablanca with Ayoub and our luggage.  Meet Farhan there.

Monday 10/4: Have appointment for Ayoub’s visa at US Consulate in Casablanca. We may receive his visa the same day, iA.

Tuesday 10/5: Travel to Qatar!

I hope all goes as planned.  Please keep us in your prayers as it’s going to be a hectic week.  I’ll be here alone with Ayoub, which, thankfully, isn’t as much of a challenge as it used to be.  Looking forward to it all!!

Almost there…

Tomorrow, InshaAllah (God Willing), the judge will approve our petition to adopt Ayoub (Kefala). And on Wednesday, we will appear before the judge with Ayoub to receive permanent legal custody of our sunshine.  I can’t believe we’re almost there!

This day has only been an image in my mind–September 23rd circled on a phantom calendar that only I could see.  And now to actually reach it feels surreal. And wonderful!

Please keep us in your duas and prayers.

Bringing Ayoub Home

The day we brought Ayoub home from La Creche

**I started to write this post the day we brought Ayoub home, May 24, 2010.  I got very busy in my new role as Mom and haven’t been able to finish and post it until today, September 17!**

On our trip back to Morocco to be with Ayoub, Farhan arrived 2 days before me and was able to get things setup for us.  He visited Ayoub and found that he had changed sooo much!  It seems like he had blossomed in the 2 weeks we were away from him: he gained weight and rounded out a bit, smiled alot, and was generally more engaging and responsive than during our previous visit.

I had arrived on a Sunday and setup everything in the apartment (we rented for a week and then were looking for long-term housing).  Earlier in the day we went to visit him at the orphange.  I had butterflies in my stomach at the thought of seeing him again…I was SOOOO excited to hold and play with him!  I wanted to run in the door and up the stairs to him but I didn’t. I casually walked in and greeted all of the ladies there with hugs and kisses.  But to see him again was amazing…this little person had captured our hearts in such a powerful way that it was overwhelming!  I don’t think Farhan and I had been so giddy like that in a while.  He looked great and we had a wonderful visit with him.  It wasn’t difficult to leave him that day because we hoped to bring him to live with us in less than 24 hours.

On Monday, we visited the orphanage and had been told earlier that we would be able to take him home, but were prepared that it might not happen.  We arrived and met Fatima who went with us to visit the person in charge of making that decision to grant us kefala muaqita (temporary custody).  He met us graciously and we sat with him for a bit.  I was extremely nervous and quiet (imagine that!).  He told us that we had received temporary custody of Ayoub and then a weight lifted off of both us.  I started to cry.  Our lives had changed so much in such a beautiful way in that one moment.  Finally, we would bring home our baby and our dreams of having a family were a reality.

We went back to La Creche and the nurses got Ayoub ready to go.  I was practically bouncing around helping to get Ayoub ready while Farhan video taped us.  We took pictures with everyone and were finally able to take him downstairs and out the front door.  On the way out we stopped and took pictures with Haja Naima.  I started to cry again and thanked her for having confidence in us.  She is a very gracious woman, mashaAllah.

And then we did it: we walked out of the orphanage and into the world as parents. It was like the decade of trying to conceive, fertility treatments and the emotional rollercoaster that goes with it were all meant to lead us to Ayoub. And it did.  And I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

There are no coincidences in life.  Only journeys that we may not understand at the time but ultimately lead us to where we’re supposed to be.

I600-A approved!!

I spoke with USCIS in Athens this morning…they received the addendum to our home study stating that our child abuse registry checks came back clean.  The officer said that she’ll be approving our I600-A today!!!!  (For more information on what that means, check out the ‘lingo’ page here on the blog.)

Our social worker in Hong Kong and our certification agency in the US were incredibly helpful in getting documents written, notarized, and sent to us very quickly.  They are such amazing women!

Step 7b: check!