Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Haiti #5 Children of the Cresche

When the earthquake hit in 2010 New Life Links cresche was destroyed. By a blessed miracle non of the children in the cresche were hurt but they were unable to stay in the damaged building. Neighbors rallied to help transport the non walking infants to an open space in front of a local church where they were safe from after shocks.
Dr Bernard was at the mayors office at the time of the earthquake and ended up having to jump out of the building onto debris. Once free of the rubble he set to moving the children up to the guest house.. also the place where he and his family live. The children are still at the guest house while plans are underway to rebuild the cresche with enough room for the children to live, eat, school and play.. nearby!
The joy of having the cresche so close to the guest house is that we were able to go and help feed, hold and play with the children every day. My children made some good freinds while they were there and we hope to be able to keep in touch with these children once they go to their forever families.

This is truly one blog post where pictures speak a thousand words!

Haiti #4 (Court)

Since Linds asked the question I thought I'd take a quick detour and describe our court day...

As those of you who are walking this journey with us.. or are walking it in your own shoes.. know there are many, many layers to adopting internationally.
So far we have:
Completed a homestudy, back ground check and multiple life survey type documents stateside/
These all went into one document called our "Dossier".
The dossier was then authenticated by the haitian Consulate here in the States and sent to Haiti.
Once there our dossier then was reviewed by the adoption lawyers at NLL and we were placed with ur children.
The dossier then entered IBESR (Haiti's social services department) where it ws again authenticated and we were granted permission to move on with th adoption of Wadley and Jesley (Wadley's twin).
When Jesley died we had to put our dossier back into IBESR for permission to adopt Peter. Due to the election of a new President in Haiti in the interim time we are still waiting for that processes to complete so we can work on bringing both boys home.....

Haiti has several security steps in place to make sure that the right children are placed with the right families. While these steps can be frustrating if you are in the process of trying to climb up to the lace of bringing children home.. they are there for the protection of the children and the famililes, something we are all for if adopting legally from any country.

One of those steps is "Lower court". while we were in Haiti Steve and I went to the court to see the "Lower" or First Judge. We took our children with us and signed to state that we acknowledged that these children were the children we wanted to adopt.The fact that we were abe to do this is a testimony to the Haitian people and their dedication to restore order as they can to their country. Despite there being no courthouse rebuilt since the earthquake we were able to complete this stage of the process in a timely manner. Once again my admiration for the tireless work the lawyers at NLL do increased. I understand all the more clearly why things take a little longer than we think they should.. I hope I don't quickly forget waiting with the other folks looking for legal help and resolution, in the hot sun, on the street in Port Au Prince.

The next stop was to IBESR to see if we could find out how Peter's dossier was doing. Unfortunately I was a little distraught by having to go through this process.. it highlighted the fact that Jesley was really and truly gone and I found it hard to stop the tears that desided to make an untimely appearance. The short answer from this visit was that our dossier needs to get Presidential approval..again.. in order for us to move forward. We can only hope that this process is completed in a timely manner so we can move to the rest of the paper work and court appearances.we will need to return to complete the adoption and again to bring the boys home. We continue to save the pennies and pray for completion.

 Wadley with Jesley

We miss Jesley, I don't think we will ever not miss him even though we know he is safe in the arms of a loving God and Savior. He can not be replaced because God created him unique, as He does each of us, but God in His great mercy allowed Peter to come into our lives. we now have the opportunity to love and raise him along side his big brother Wadley. And let me tell you! Wadley is a fabulous big brother, he would reach over and gently pat Peter if he cried... just as he used to if Jesley cried... we really are so in love with these chldren of ours.... all of them!

Wadley with Peter

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Haiti #3

Arriving at the guest house and having Wadley in my arms made everything else disappear...
To actually be able to hold him and kiss his cheeks, to see him looking so healthy and to feel his little heart beating in my arms was a joy I can't begin to explain.. the pain oand loss of Jesley was so very real too and then there was Peter... I mean.. LOOK at those cheeks and that little bundle of cuteness! He truly is an adorable and happy baby and a joy. 

Yes arriving at the guest house was a bundle of emotions but over all I had a deep sense of peace and "rightnesses". It felt like coming home. Seeing the familiar faces from our trip before.. gettig a hug from Naomi the head of the cresche and hearing the loss in her voice as she mentioned Jesley, the folks at Bethel love the children so very much that the shock of losing Jesley hit hard. KNowing he is  in place of no pain, in the arms of Jesus allows us to look forward with hope to the time we can all be together again.. and for now focus on the children here with us....

and focus we did! Not just on our children but on the children of the cresche. Playing, holding, loving, singing to and with, enjoying and feeding.. we brought clothes, food, meds and toys but we took home a heart full of memories and love for these beautiful people!

Haiti #2

 Haiti #1 :0)

The trip to Haiti was uneventful.. we even managed a short cat nap.. and then we landed!

Heading to the terminal we were greeted with lively music and broad smiles...

 a brief bus ride past a still damaged but slated for renovation airport..

and we pass through immigration and into the chaos....

trying to keep track of all our bags and children, while communicating in English and Creole to multiple porters, while looking for a driver from the Guest house and not giving all your money to said multiple porters quite the challenge.. adding taking photos or video of the whole experience and it becomes an imposable task.. next time.. we will try to get it on tape next time.. for now just take our word for it.. CRAZY!!!!

But we made it..ran the gauntlet and got packed into the back of a Tap Tap... (truck with bench seats and a cage like structure around you...

weaving through the streets of Port Au Prince I was encouraged to see progress being made even since February.. there is still SO much that still needs to be done, but there seemed to be more people out trading and working. I am always impressed with how neat and tidy the school children look and equally depressed by the poverty and conditions other children continue to survive in.

Soon the city was left behind and we were climbing up into the hills...headed to Bethel Guest House and our sons!

Haiti #1

I tried to think of a catchy title for this first blog post about our recent trip to Haiti, obviously I failed. each day was so cram packed with highs, lows and action that to sum the experience up in a catchy phrase eludes me.

I am honestly having a hard time putting into words the trip so bear with me and I will do the best I can.

Overwhelm number one was a hugely positive blessing!

Eight suitcases/bags of clothing, shoes, medicines and diapers donated by our church, community and homeschool friends!! We managed to get each bag to weigh in right at 50 lbs. I wish you all could have been there when the packages were unpacked! The new church shoes were especially welcomed.Thank-you so much all those who contributed, I felt like you were all there a little bit with us!

Getting to Haiti was our second overwhelm.. starting from a conference at Myrtle Beach we headed out late Sunday morning for Virginia. Getting out of the hotel took longer than expected and although traffic was steady we forgot how VA traffic really is!Thankfully we have another huge blessing in the shape of our Virginia family and Cindy had delicious pasta, bread and desserts waiting for us when we finally pulled in. Play time with the much loved cousins was too short ... but we have found that three weeks straight would still be several years too short! The family went to bed and we all crashed on the floor and sofa, watched "The Sound of Music" for three hours and then dragged weary bodies into the van for the trip to the airport...

Suitcases tweaked so each was within weight and we were really on our way.. Miss H complained of a sore throat as we boarded the plane.. by the time we got to the Miami USO it was a raging throat and we were concerned it might be strep. Steve took her too the clinic in the airport while I watched the child at the USO.. having a pot of soup accidentally tipped all over me, changing clothes and washing and drying the outfit I was in all before we had to head to our gate. Steve and H returned with septacol spray and sore throat lozenges. The spray turned out to be an essential blessing later in our trip as it had an antiseptic and anesthetic quality...

Through the security gates again.. we were fast becoming almost competent in removing and regaining shoes, bags and belts...and then we were on our way..

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Thankful Tuesday

I'm having a thankful day today

I'm thankful for our troops who work in all conditions to dutifully serve our country here and abroad.

I'm thankful for their families
who endure separation and pain while they serve

I'm thankful for our key spouses who keep our families connected with each other, the base resources and, who give their time over and over at all hours of day and night to support our families.

I'm thankful for my friends and neighbors who like to come and just hang out, drink a cuppa and put the world to rights.

I'm thankful for fabulous family who love us, support us, visit and spend time with us and bring joy and laughter and connections to our lives.

I'm thankful for my new adoptive family friends, men and women who have walked this path before us and encourage us to keep going, and those who are new to it as well. We go through the wait together and, God has blessed us with such a huge love for each others children, it is truly a blessing to be on this mountainous road with them.

I'm thankful for the wonder of the internet and for photos of my Haitian sons, the next best thing to holding them is seeing them being held.

I'm thankful for the other senior spouses here on base who support each other with words, wisdom and.. food!

I'm thankful for the Commanders spouses I have met. For their love and dedication to their families and for the hard job they do, often alone, as their spouses serve.

I'm thankful for my children who pick up the slack and have to show a great deal of love and maturity as we move, settle and serve where we are planted.

I'm thankful for each day.

I'm thankful that we have our basic needs and many of our wants met.

I'm thankful for a pastor who preaches the word faithfully every Sunday.

I'm thankful for the donations we have received from folks knowing we are heading to Haiti.

I'm thankful for the sun.

I'm thankful for the rain.

I'm thankful for allergy meds!

I'm thankful for programs that let me track our schooling progress easily.

I'm thankful for washing machines and dryers, ovens and crock pots and electricity!

I'm thankful for wool and the ability to spin and knit it, and the way it feels in my hands as I create a new item from the fibers.

I'm thankful for "the wounds of a faithful friend" folk who are willing to say what I need to hear and not what I want to listen to.

I'm thankful for a van large enough to take our family and friends to the circus and to ice cream.

I'm thankful for my new camera!

I'm thankful for the donations we received to buy a new sewing machine to take to Haiti with us.

I'm thankful for a God who knows how we are going to get it there.

I'm thankful for coffee :0)

I'm thankful for the chapel and the AFRC who make sure we have resources to help tough times become times of growth.

I'm thankful for friends who let me talk about Jesley and are OK with me crying, or laughing, or not really being able to express any emotion at all.

I'm thankful for real grief that hurts but stays right where it needs to.

I'm thankful for real joy that fills and bursts and overflows and brings healing.

I'm thankful for God's word and the spot it hits every time I read it.
I'm thankful for the color
green, it's soothing properties and it's lush promise of Spring and Summer

I'm thankful for Dr Bernard and his work with the widows, orphans, families and children in Haiti despite great pain and an exhausting schedule he is faithful.

I'm thankful for the opportunity and resources to travel.. I'm thankful our house sold.

I'm thankful for my sons and their humor and energy...really.. I am!

I'm thankful for my daughters and their diligence and companionship.

I'm thankful for my husband who works diligently to provide for his family and is so open to loving more children.

I'm thankful that it has been so easy to come up with nearly 40 things to be thankful for..what an over flow of abundant peace and joy God's grace provides.

I'm thankful for faith, hope,and love shown on the cross at Easter time for such a one as me.. I am indeed thankful!