Day 7: Nou fanmi

I. Am. So. Tired. This is our 7th day traveling, and today was the hottest, most exhausting one yet. Today was a bit different – no breeze. So far its been super hot, but very breezy, which makes the heat and humidity considerably more bearable. Today was just one constant all-over-sweat. When its stale, stagnant air there are more bugs, flies, bees, etc. because they aren’t blown away I guess? We saw a crazy lookin’ bee at the creche today – like some monstrous wasp thing, {shudder}, only saw one and it was short lived, so that was fine with me! I did see a gorgeous bright yellow butterfly though, and a few geckos at dinner hanging out on the walls. (not in our room, I think that would freak me out…just in the outdoor restaurant area).

Today would normally be a church-day for the kids that have nice enough clothes, we found out the other day that the creche director is a Mormon, and so he shuttles the kids to church each Sunday when they have clean clothes. I guess whoever has nice church clothes is allowed to go? Mostly that means the older kids. In Haiti, everyone dresses to the nines for church! Driving out to the creche this morning there were families all over waiting for tap-taps, driving, or walking to church. Little children in their best clothes, best shoes, stuff we’ve never seen here yet – frilly dresses, like what you’d expect at Christmas or Easter, and high-heeled sandals complete with purses and perfectly styled hair – same with the women and men – slacks, or suit, vest, sweaters, etc. (yes even when its 95 and stale). There were many kids gone today (luckily they kept W home for us because they knew we would want to see him!) and we found out later that they did not go to church today, but that today happened to be International Children’s Day (or something similar…kind of confusing) and the Social Workers were putting on a big party for the kids, so many of the kids had been shuttled to the party all day. (again, they had kept W home for us, for which we were so thankful!)

We played hours of baseball today, with the whiffle ball and bat, W is a very fast learner, I can’t even begin to describe how in awe we are – he is SO smart, every day we are just marveling at the stuff he picks up! The first day we brought the bat/ball he was chopping at the ball like an axe over his head (and still making contact most of the time LOL) and since we taught him the correct way to stand, he is slamming the ball every time, way out in the yard! This kid is going to be unstoppable, and will be able to hit any kind of pitch thrown at him! haha! Thankfully this means we can fully skip T-ball – (PTL!) and go straight to coach pitch or player-pitch LOL!!

  
We had some great alone time this morning sitting up on the patio – we brought a few cookies and fruit snacks, and the other mama that was here visiting had some extra colored pens and paper, which we forgot to bring. W told us the other day that he loved to draw – and he does! He drew us a butterfly, and a machin (car), and some stick figures, we traced our hands all together on the same page and wrote our names, and gave him the pen to write his own! I wish I could post it but I just realized he spelled his name out on the paper…so unless I can fuzz it out a bit…we’ll see 🙂 It is adorable!

  
We wrote some questions/phrases in Haitian Creole for him on the paper, and had him read them out loud with us, they were some special things we wanted to ask/say. We wrote: “Ou kontan genyen fanmi?” (Are you happy to have a family?) to which he nodded and said “Wi.” Then we read “Ou vle ale america avek nou?” (do you want to go to America with us?) and his eyes got very big and he gave a very big “WI!” and then we read “Mommy ak Daddy renmen ou!” (Mommy and Daddy love you) and he smiled and said “Wi” in his little scratchy soft voice. I cannot fully describe the sweetness of this little boy and how perfectly God has designed his presence in our lives and his match to our family. You will just have to meet him for yourself!

  
We had another special moment today, we got to facetime from the creche with W with our kids back at home! They got to say hello for the first time, real-time, and the translator was there translating our conversation, it was SO sweet. He had shy smiles and pointed to each of them and said their names – he has already memorized their faces and names. He said he is excited to go home to see them and the dogs, Ollie and Bella. He remembers Ollie’s name easily, Bella takes some remembering, and it sounds like “Bayl-ah” – very very sweet 😉

Today was a hard ride back to the hotel, as the other mama that was visiting had to say goodbye to her older son as her plane is leaving in the morning. We witnessed first-hand the heartbreak of having to leave the child you love in a place like this, and go home to the one place they long to be, without them. We are so thankful that we have another week here still with our son, but the day is looming like a black cloud when we are going to have to say goodbye and try to explain to him why we cannot take him home with us. Having that conversation with an older child who understands the concept seems like it might be easier, but how do you help a 6-year old understand the concept of time, and that you WILL come back for them?? How many days do they wake up in the mornings excited to see you, and you do not come, day after day? At what point do they internally decide that you must not be coming back? I’m trying not to think too much on it – but need to prepare my own heart, and start talking about it with W so that he’s not blindsided. I’m hoping the nannies and the older kids can make sure he knows that we are coming back.

WHEW. Heart-moment there. I would like to share though, something that is being impressed on our hearts, though – at the creche, there are several older kids, anywhere from 10-16 and beyond, that are still waiting for families, boys and girls. The older they get the more they begin to realize the hard truth that no one is coming for them. So many times they see the younger ones spending happy days with parents coming to love on them, and sometimes volunteer teams come through and just love on kids for a few days. The truth is, though, that at age 16, kids in Haiti become inelligible for adoption. With the process taking a long time, most of them start to lose hope at 14. Thankfully at this creche, the director does not kick them out at 16 but allows them to stay and continue on there working if they like. If they want to leave, they are able to do so, but many of them stay on as staff to help around the creche. There are so many of them, though and they are absolute sweethearts – these kids just need a mom and dad – they have no one in their lives to look out for them, to teach them how to be men and women, to listen to their problems, to help provide food, and a bed, clothing, and opportunities like school, but also just to provide the security of LOVE and FAMILY. Something that most of us take for granted every day – the fact that you have a mom or dad that you can call on the phone or go visit, or even if they are deceased, someone that you knew loved you and cared for you. They don’t have this. They have a small room they share with 3-5 other kids near their age, they have to lock up their personal stuff and fight for food and attention. However they also have such a great sense of survival, looking out for each other, protecting each other, sometimes emotionally, sometimes physically. They are amazing students, soccer (futbol), football and basketball players, (a few baseball too), beautiful children who lost a whole lot of childhood.

I just encourage any of you who at all are wondering if adoption might be for you – think about it – even if the older ones aren’t practical for your family, just be aware that there is a huge need for families to step up and open arms to these kids!

okay, platform done 😉

We need to sleep, we’ve got an appointment at the US embassy in the morning at 7am, leaving the hotel at 6:30. Pray for safety, as there is some political unrest these next couple days due to some election goings-on, and we really would just like to see our son each day without worrying about demonstrations.

Blessings,

Laura

A few extra bonus photos today! 😉

  
Apparently the kids have been getting lunch lately which is amazing! Normally they just get breakfast and early dinner. Today’s lunch was typical meal we’ve seen here. Rice, black beans, and some meat – today chicken (Poul)…

  
Bubbles! Everyone loves bubbles!

😉 that’s all for now! 

L

One thought on “Day 7: Nou fanmi

  1. alicat06 says:

    Glad to see your post about adopting teenagers. I met a young man at the grocery store. He was adopted as a teen and wrote a term paper on why families should adopt teens. It was so amazing to see his passion for this and to hear how important his family is to him. I knew a lady who adopted an 18 year old. The judge asked the young lady why she wanted to be adopted as an adult. She asked the judge if they had a mom, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins. Judge said, “Yes, I do.” The young lady said, “Well, I don’t.” The judge signed and said, “That’s reason enough.”
    Everyone longs for belonging.

    Congratulations on your new son. Praying that this transition will be brief!

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