Friday, December 30, 2011

Introducing COWEN

I'm going to try to give you a quick introduction, timeline, and update, all in one! 

I first met Cowen in August 2010 while on a short-term mission trip to Haiti. Cowen had been abandoned at Grace Children’s Hospital in the fall of 2009, had survived the devastating earthquake and was approximately a year  & a half old when I met him. I immediately had a mother’s love for him. I had felt called to adopt for many years and meeting Cowen was an answer to prayer. I laid in bed that night and prayed, asking God, "do I have what it takes to bring my child out of Haiti?" 

Cowen, August 2010, freshly powdered from a bath. Me, not so much... 

As soon as I returned to Ohio I began researching Haitian adoption requirements and orphanages. The hospital was home to him, yet not able to complete an adoption, so I had to find a licensed creche. The orphanage I was lead to is called KKO: Kingdom Kids Orphanage (in English.) Creche Wayom Timoun in Creole. While in Haiti in August, we were eating at a fast food place, and my friend recognized another woman there from her Facebook page! Ellie was adopting from KKO. These two had never met in person before, and met in Port-au-Prince at Epidor. I did briefly visit another orphanage while there, but after talking to Ellie multiple times, getting info via email from the Pastor/Director of the orphanage, chose KKO. I was also getting started on my homestudy, taking the required parenting classes, and compiling documents for my dossier. 

I should also tell you, his given name was not Cowen. It is Coraly Pierre. (The "r" is silent and it is pronounced "co-ha-lee".  Pierre is a very common surname in Haiti.) I was standing there in the inpatient ward and I knew I would call him Cowen. (pronounced like "coen" but spelled like "Owen" with a "C". It is NOT "cow-an".)

Cowen was transferred at the end of October. I was finally able to visit in December 2010, and spend Christmas with him at his new home. He is a very vibrant, loving, happy little boy. He captures the heart of everyone that meets him with his fun-loving, outgoing personality and has blossomed socially at KKO.

    December 2010

My good friend, Amy, made this shirt for him for Christmas, with the first photo we had taken together. (Thanks Aunt Amy! :)

I visited in again in April and handed over my completed dossier on April 1, 2010.

April, 2010

On June 1, I got my number! This means that Cowen’s adoption case was officially in process by Haitian Social Services (IBESR). Things were progressing very quickly, praise God!

More good news came on the morning of Nov 4. I had a court date and needed to get to Haiti the following Monday. On Nov 8, I went before the judge in Haiti and she approved my case! 

Captain Underpants! (November)

From my understanding, now I will wait for some paperwork to be processed in Haiti, I will get copies and apply for the I600. On the Haitian side, they will need to apply for his visa and passport. There are a lot more steps to be completed on the Haitian side, and many more months of waiting, but I've made huge strides. He's one day closer to home. 

By all accounts, the Haitian adoption process is grueling. Not just the actual process itself, which is very complicated and expensive, but also the waiting. Haitian adoptions average 24 – 36 months and waiting and worrying about your child, often without regular updates or contact, is agonizing - especially as a single parent. My main focus and passion since August 2010 is bringing my precious son home. (This has not always made me the easiest person to be with...)

I can tell you that I love Cowen with everything that a mother has within her. Many people don't understand that; don't understand adoption in general. But he is my dream come true. He represents a lot more years of waiting than just the 2+ it may take to bring him home. Having been pregnant twice before, I know that feeling of deeply connected love. Being a mom is the one constant thing I've always wanted in my life. The minute you know, or even think you know, that you are expecting, every hope and dream is coming true. Your heart is full and your mind exploding with the possibilities of what they will become. I can tell you, it is no different with Cowen and I. We may have come together through tragedy; I am not his first intended mommy, but none the less, we are a pair and the love runs deep. I once had an outside observer tell me that of all the parent/children matchings, he could see that Cowen & I had this amazing bond that was somehow different. 

I do believe that his Haitian family loved him very much. He had a mother who loved him enough to get him to Grace Children's Hospital, where she knew he would be cared for. This past Mother's Day, I lit a candle in her honor and in gratitude to her for her choice. I hope to continue the tradition with Cowen someday lighting her candle. 


  1. Awesome post!
    We too will continue to pray for you and for Cowen, that HE will bring the two of you together very soon!

  2. Oh, Amy, this made me cry! You have such a nurturing soul, and I know you'll be able to give so much to Cowen.

    Kerry, posting from my blog ID, lol!

  3. Amazing story and testimony! I'm trying not to cry! You are such an inspiring person for your courage, strength, and love...just a few of the innumerable qualities I know Cowen will share and learn from you. You will both continue in our prayers:)