Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday May 27th

Today was B's Birthday!!
Tomorrow we celebrate memorial day with our military family.
Friday my Mother in law arrives.
Sunday my Sister in law arrives.
Monday week Steve adn I fly to Miami.
Tuesday week we arrive in Haiti!
Friday week we fly back to Miami.
Saturday week we fly back to OK.

SO in other words TWO Weeks TODAY my sons will have gone to bed in their own bed for the second night running!

13 days!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Re-visiting "Coming Home"

TAKE ME HOME COUNTRY ROAD (well bus, plane, van...)

arriving at an airport near you.. a new family!! Saturday 9th June and 12.10 pm.
.. Now that we are weeks away from this reality I wanted to revisit my "after the Airport" thoughts.
I have been thinking of and dreaming about this moment since "conception". Since the start of our international adoption journey I have been thinking about how it will be on the trip home.

The children here at home have been planning their welcome home "party" for months!

We have all become fans of any "airport reunion" you tube videos and joyfully bawl our eyes out as we see new families born in front of our eyes.

I have also been reading internationally adoptive books, blogs and information booklets in my "spare" time. I have been asked several times recently "What can we do to help you once the boys come home?" I am blessed beyond measure by these questions.. here are my thoughts on what help would look like.


1) There has to be a Party!!! Please come to the Party!!!

There has to be a the bottom of the stairs or in the luggage area..or in the arrivals area.. there has to be a party, a welcoming home, a symbol of having "Made IT!!"

We will be celebrating the arrival of two new American Citizens as well as the completion of our family! This is a huge deal to us and we would LOVE as many people as can make it to join with us.
This will no doubt be a bit loud and a bit overwhelming but it is what our children here in the US have been longing for. It is what we want in the boys "memory box" for later on. While they may be a little overwhelmed now it will be good for them to know people rejoiced at their arrival later.
Please bring cameras and videos!!! We want to be able to remember this later on, we would love to have those memories for the boys and we are certain that we will not have many hands free to be able to this for ourselves!

We have had people tell us that they won't come to the airport because of how overwhelming that will be for the boys. While we are thankful for their tender thoughtfulness we are also aware that the boys will be in total overwhelm already, we want you to come, we want to "show off our family" as all new parents do :0) We want you to ohh and ahh and agree with us that this was well worth the heart ache and waiting we have been through. And we want to then be able to come home and close the doors and take time to breath and be a family. The airport is a good venue to touch base with you all and say thank-you to you all for the love and support you have given us. Also our older children are positively bursting at the seams anticipating this event and would welcome your support too.



2) Then there has to be recovery!!! Please help us recover!!

As you are all aware we have been through three years of straining towards this point. As I write this blog post I am physically and mentally and emotionally drained already.

But all we have been through is nothing compared to the experiences my baby sons have had to endure as they waited for us to come and get them.They have learned to self sooth because there are not enough arms to hold them, they have learned to gulp food because there is not enough time to feed them, they have learned to shut down because there is no one to hear them. They have been loved by their Nannies and we are so blessed to have had these amazing women in their lives BUT they have spent the first tender part of their lives apart from a significant other person loving and caring for and nurturing them.

Add to that the experience of traveling from Haiti to Oklahoma, three plane rides..three take offs and landings and these children have never even traveled in a stroller before! The excitement of the "Party" and then the reality of bringing them home. To our home!! To be part of our family. Our family, our base family, our church family, our community family! That's a lot of family and we will need to take it slow and steady.

We will need to take care of all their medical issues, skin and intestinal. We will need to build their immune systems up and probably ours too after the travel and stress. We will be having multiple doctor visits and specialist referrals to deal with existing conditions.

This is going to be a very busy, exhausting and intense time for our sons and our whole family. We would love to know you are praying for us and we will gladly receive all offers of food :0)

Please understand that had I birthed these boys I'd love to hand them over for a cuddle and have you stay and visit a bit until the next nursing.. but it's a little different this time round. We may or may not be available for visits and for the first two weeks especially we ask that folks not stop and visit..even if it looks like life is going great. We need to get their medical issues dealt with and their emotional connections rooted. (See next paragraph).  Thank-you for understanding this and still wanting to help.

3) There has to be connection!! Please help us connect!!

Our children have come from an excellent orphanage. The Nannies sing and pray and love on our children. The mission teams hold and play with them. We have had a chance to go and care for them for a week at a time, several times over the past year. Peter was cared for by his mother for the first few months of his life but has been part of the cresche for several months now. Wadley had Jesley for the first few months but has been on his own for over a year now. They have had to learn at a tender age that they are not always going to get their needs met, they have had to learn to sooth them selves and they have had to learn that multiple caregivers give basic sustenance. When they come home they will need to learn WHO Mummy and Daddy are, WHAT a Mummy and Daddy is and WHY a Mummy and Daddy are good to have around.

Here is the hard part.. I know so many of my friends and family will want to hold and play with and care for these new family members. But I have to ask that you  help them identify us as safe people by not picking them up, by directing them to us for all needs to be met and even if they are crying and reaching out for you (which they will do because it is how they get the missionaries attention when they come to the cresche) that you just tell them verbally you love them but direct them physically back to us to hold and nurture.

There is going to come a day when this will no longer be an issue and we can not wait for that healthy milestone to be reached. Again bear with us please and remind yourself and others who may not have read this blog WHY we need it to be this way for the while.

We will be carrying and caring for our children as if they are newborns for several months. This might look odd to those of you who have toddlers who are already self feeding and not needing carrying. We are not trying to smother our children :0) or baby them, we are following guidelines for creating secure attachment and eye contact.. teaching them how to bond. Please feel free to ask us why and what we are doing, how it is going. We would love to share if you have genuine questions. You can help us with this process by not picking up the children, not reaching our for them, not encouraging them to go to you. They have had multiple caregivers and they have to re-learn what safe and secure is. Thank-you for respecting these boundaries.

4) There has to be "Those days" Please help us weather them!!

In my dream life the boys come home, the house is spotless, the meals are all ready, the children are all healthy. The boys enter the home and start to play nicely with the toys and each other. The siblings are not crowding them, the five year old is not trying to pick them up every two seconds. In my dream every one is wearing flowing clothes, the sunlight is cascading over us all and I think I hear harps playing :)

IN real life however.. there will be overwhelm, and squabbles, the stress of the wait will be out in all of us, the sleepless nights and the 2 hour diapers will be taking their toll. The  natural "do I know what I am doing?" new parent thought process will be kicking in.

There may be days when the smile is a little strained and the "We are doing great" might not sound quite honest.

There might be a day when I'm watching Wadley and Peter and I am missing Jesley.
There might be days when the intestinal stuff isn't clearing and I am up to my eyebrows in poop! There will be days where I can't see straight for lack of sleep...

I want you to know I know this :0) Because when I am having one of these days I'd love it if you could just give me a hug and tell me you are proud of me or that it's OK. KNow that if I mention these things it is because it is my reality, not because I resent the inconveniences and the changes..or the boys.

Please feel free to restrain the "this is what you chose" and "you did this to yourself," and the " you have no one else to blame" comments. And you might wonder who would say such a thing after all we have been through..but let me tell you.. it's been said :0) and I'd love for it not to be said again, not even in jest please..thank-you!

5) In the end there has to be family! Please know we count you as part ofthat group!

I can not wait for you all to meet my sons. I can't wait for them to be out in the neighborhood playing, in church worshiping, in base activities as part of our family (hopefully behaving) and in our community living life as Americans to the full.

I am so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people. I have the best people who speak wisdom and truth to me daily!!! DAILY!! The best support and the I couldn't be happier to be bringing my sons home to this lifestyle. I wish my friends in VA and SC could all be at the airport :0) My friends and family in England, Virgina, Idaho, Texas.. all of you who have walked this walk with us.

I wish all my adoptive friends could be there..and that I could be at the bottom of the stairs when they bring their children home too. Thankfully we have the Internet :0) and I can share those moments with you all.

This will be the start of the rest of the journey..thank-you for reading through this with me. I truly appreciate the many offers of help we have been given. THANK-YOU!!!!!

Love Wendy

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wednesday: Fresh blessing

I was contacted today by a fellow adoptive Mom who is close to the end of her adoption process. As we chatted about life in the "fast, slow, stop, warp speed" lane it became increasingly clear that this was one of those "God ordained" moments. We have so MUCH in common it was amazing.

I came away from the conversation once again reminded that God in His heaven does not leave us ophaned but Fathers us with a gentle hand..and sends family along to support us when we need it.. or they do.

Today I watched as a family from our orphanage brought their daughters home!! What a miracle!!!

Today in spoke to a friend in Haiti and connected with another family here, again providing a real person intimately involved in our children's lives, health and relationship.. awe inspiring!!

I am so glad to be near the end of this journey.. 19 days!!! but so thankful in so many ways to have been through it!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday: 20 days!!!!!

20 days until we leave for Haiti:
1: Purchase tickets *
2: Contact travel agent to purchase children's tickets
3: Reschedule fingerprint appointment
4: Re write "After the Airport" thoughts*
5: Buy travel items for boys bag. *
6: Get mattress for second crib *
7: Cook contents of the freezer to free up space for meals
8: Arrange changing table *
9: Write out cleaning schedule
10: Organise Master Bedroom and baby area

11: Read a chapter of a non adoption related book
12: Read a chapter of a useful book (Raising Your Internationally Adopted Child)
13: Play a game with littlest one
14: Talk to husband
15: Call a friend
16: Clean a room
17: Check facebook
18: Get to bed on time
19: Drink water
20: Do stretches

Monday, May 14, 2012

And today...

I slept! I mean I really slept.. like I fell asleep on the couch, fell asleep in my chair and am now yearning for bedtime!!
In fact today I nominate as "National look at the inside of your eyeballs day". The right honourable Wendy Presiding.

And when I wasn't sleeping I was trying to work out what I have to do before the boys come home.. you know because it was SO SUDDEN LOL.. I'll blog on the mental emotional roller coaster effect after..well after my next nap probably!

The mental strain has hit me full force and I'm sleeping it off. The children however are diligently preparing welcome home posters! Because IN THREE WEEKS we leave to go and pick up the boys.. in four weeks we will be winding down on our third day home!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Well we have tickets..

Yes we have tickets to fly and get our sons! What a great feeling.
Four weeks today I will have put my boys down in their own beds for the second night in a row.

Our amazing neighbors have made plans to have the older children over for game night and pizza once the little ones get home, we are so blessed by them!

Our amazing church has asked us to write down ways they can bless us and help us in the first few weeks.

Our amazing community have rejoiced with us and asked how they can help.

Just a few days ago I was feeling so despondent and today I'm nervously excited about the new changes coming our way in the package of two very loved little ones.

Three weeks tomorrow we fly out!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Humble pie...

After yesterdays blog post I have to come with fork in hand and start to gobble my humble pie :0)


WE HAVE A VISA APPOINTMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 31st and we will travel one week later to BRING THEM HOME!!!!!!


Fail..epic fail..hope

It is just too hard to keep posting every day not knowing how many days are ahead.

That is the reality of this part of the journey. You are told "we are processing your paperwork" but we aren't given a date.. and with no date there tends to be no hope. And the sameness of every day of no news weighs heavier and heavier each day.

Others have been here and for longer, my heart goes out to them and my admiration!

Well today we got a blip on the heart hope monitor. We should know by the 24th of May WHEN our visa appointment is. It isn't the full shot of adrenalin that has our heart back to beating with a full beat of hope... but after yesterdays hope flatline, I'll take this blip.

Thanks to the staff of a congressman in Florida we are back on the hope track!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Three weeks

Three long long weeks and still no news.

We fully expected to know a travel date by now because we have already completed the orphan investigation portion of our adoption. However it appears that the swift response we had expected is not to be and so.. I have to try to re-wire my expectations.

The proverb that tells us "do not compare yourselves to others lest you become vain and conceited or discouraged" keeps coming to mind. This is one of the areas that is hard to balance in the adoption process. We are always looking to other's experiences to help us navigate the current place we are in. We scan the blogs, the yahoo sites and the faceboooks hopeful that the next wave of progress will contain news that we too can share. We imagine how we will feel once the email come through saying that WE have finally exited IBESR or MOI or have passports or....We can only begin to guess how it will feel packing to head to our children to bring them finally home!

Personally I find this last step almost imposable to imagine. I can "see" the boys in their cribs here at home.. I can see them in the orphanage.. but getting them from their to here... not one clue. I imagine it will involve a lot of screaming and the thought of having to deal with the explosive digestive system issues (theirs not ours :0) ) is a little over whelming. But I really can't imagine coming home no matter how much I prepare for it. I think there are some aspects of this adoption journey that defy my vivid brain process.

Getting news is always a double edged sword. We recently experienced this is full Technicolor. Peter exited the Ministry of Interior with a group of other children but Wadley didn't. Every day we waited hopeful that it was a mistake and that Wadley had indeed got through but no.. no mistake. We were joined in MOI with another family we have been praying for. When we heard that Wadley was out of MOI our heart leapt, only to fall again as Vensley remained.

We don't  feel pride at having made progress, we are not vain and conceited..we rejoice because it is right to rejoice but we ache with an ache that can't be put into words that children we have come to know and love are not one step closer to their loving families. We ache because we have come to know many of these families. We ache because, as we pray through each family name, our hearts expand with a family love for them.

This adoption journey has been so much more than simply offering our home and loving our children, it has been a glimpse of heaven. A glimpse of families joining together to pray each in their own way, their own tongue, their own style. A glimpse of heaven as we yearn each child homeward to their father's or mother's arms. A glimpse of heaven as we grieve for children still not yet called by a family name..waiting for that adoption to be announced.

And for one more weekend we will pray, yearn, wait and hope that maybe..maybe next week we will hear! not just of our own visa process but of other families joy as they move one step forward to homecoming.