Still can’t upload photos, so sorry! Occasionally a one-off will randomly upload, but its not predictable! When we get back home, I’ll make an entire post of photos and captions so you all can catch up! 🙂
Kris’ Facebook page has photos posting, as well as my instagram feed, so if you’re connected to either of those, we’ll try to post there!
Day 3 of our trip, today, our first FULL day with the kids all together as it is Saturday, and no school! Our kids were so excited to go back today – it was so cute to see them bouncing around this morning, packing our bag for the day. They want to bring everything all at once, and we have to talk them through the practicality of that each time we pack LOL 🙂 This is how our conversations go. “Let’s bring all the balloons today!” “Hold on. If we bring the balloons today, all 60 of them will be gone in about 5 seconds, and then tomorrow all the kids will yell, “blad! blad! blad!” all day long and you’ll have to say “pa genyen” and they will all WAIL with real crocodile tears because the balloons are all gone. So, how about we bring them our last day there?” 🙂 Today we brought a few more puzzles, coloring books, jump ropes, crayons (this trip we remembered to pack crayons!) more pipe cleaners, another pack of legos and fruit snacks and suckers!
When we arrived at the O, we found W and helped him get changed into clean clothes. His nanny was just getting out the oil for his skin, so I held out my hands and helped him lube up! I try to do the getting ready things whenever I can at the O (like changing and oil, lotion, feeding, etc.) for W because it is really good for the bonding process. It helps to establish that when mommy is here, mommy helps you, rather than him always reverting to his nanny. So far so good! The nannies are very happy to pass off the duties of mothering, and W is one of the favorites with his nanny, so she is always all smiles when I come in and loves to show me how to do things.
Quick side note, I could see how an adoptive parent might have feelings of being intimidated by their child’s nanny, or even have jealous feelings toward them, because for the last 3 years, (he arrived at the O about 2 months before our file was submitted to IBESR) his nanny has been his replacement mother. She has bathed him, fed him, calmed him, cared for his hurts and sickness, changed him, taught him, walked alongside him, and helped shape the little 6 1/2 year old boy he has become. However, as evident to all four of our kids when I walked into the halls of the O on Friday morning, when I envelop this wonderful woman in my arms (or rather, she envelops me!), I am brought to tears with gratitude and overwhelming awe of this amazing soul. Yes, she has done each of those things for this little boy whom I have anguished over, prayed over, cried over and pleaded for. However she has also protected him, nurtured him, and readied him in my absence. She stood in the gap between his birth family and his forever family when he had no one else – and even more than that – she loved him like her own, when he did not know any other. I will forever be humbly thankful for this woman, and I pray that God will continue to bless her with incredible joy! She will always be a part of his life and his story, along with his birth mother, and others along the way, because they loved and were loved in return – no matter the circumstance or the length of time. His story will be one of intricate loves and losses, and will always be incredibly, and uniquely beautiful.
As I swallow around the baseball-sized lump in my throat, I’ll move on in our day! We headed upstairs to play for awhile on the balcony with an army of kids of all ages in tow! We have a small group of older boys, the same ones as last trip with a few more taglongs, who W likes to have around. A few of them get invited to the balcony for lunch time with us, and we always bring extra food for them. Today, Braeden brought 2 pairs of his too-small shoes for one of them and I was quietly asked by another if he could have my shoes when I leave – to which I replied, “okay!” – these kids have us figured out already – last time we left, we took off our shoes and handed them to someone with similar size feet before getting in the car! 😉
The kids surprised us by getting out the jump-ropes and proceeding to jump, W included, without mistake, forwards and then trying backwards as well! They must do this at school, although I didn’t see it when we visited last trip! Pretty impressive – we thought we would have to teach them!
We were able to have some cherished “alone time” after lunch today – we shooed all the kids off the balcony and sat with W and the translator because we wanted to talk about the process with him, and where it was at. I sat W in my lap, and he leaned back into me and listened quietly. We told him that the papers were almost done, and that when the judge signed them, the adoption would be complete and he would be our son. We also told him that as soon as the judge signed the papers, whenever we visit he can come to the hotel with us! His eyes got big and he nodded. We talked about coming home soon to Etazini (the United States) and asked him if he was excited, he said yes. Then we asked him if he was a little nervous, and he said yes. Logan asked him if he was nervous about Ollie and Bella (the dogs) being in the house, he said yes (but had a little smile, so I don’t think he’s that nervous about dogs…but they don’t have dogs as pets indoors here, so it will definitely be a new thing). He said that yes, he would like to go to school in the United States, but that’s about all the conversing that happened before we all got antsy. 😉 He was ready to play and move on from serious conversation, and we think he is still a bit overwhelmed at all of the process. They can’t really understand the timeline or even “in a few months”, so I think he’s unsure about when he will need to be emotionally ready for this big new thing.
We shook off the stress of conversation and went down to play for awhile, lots of baseball out in the sun, and then a few of our big kid friends realized that us American girls were NOT enthralled with the 2″ beetle/bug/fly/bee specimen that they had caught. Therefore a frenzied game of “chase the white girls” ensued, complete with sneaking up on us trying to dump the poor mutant bug down the back of our necks! LOL Then, one of them decided to up his game and told us he would be right back. We asked where he was going, and the other girl giggled and said a string of things in Creole while pinching her pointer and thumb together…we quickly found out exactly what he was going to get when he came running back with a water bottle. All the kids started laughing and screaming as we were trying to figure out what was in it, and it got thrust up in my face – hairy. yes. I yelled. loud. more laughing kids. me almost passing out. then recovering because I saw it couldn’t get out.
It was a tarantula. As big as my palm, and that proved to be the smallest one they would catch over the next hour! Those poor hairy beasts got poked at, prodded, evicted from their deep dark tunnel homes in the dirt, and I will never go venture out in the weedy dirt area running carefree ever again! OMG. They are everywhere, I was just not looking for them. THANK GOD. Haven’t seen any inside yet, although now even sitting on the toilet I’m looking at every dark nook and cranny! LOL (to clarify, I am currently typing on the bed, NOT in the bathroom…but I am double checking every shadow for hairy frenemies.).
Braeden had a “WHEW!” moment today – we had quite a laugh – he was sitting on the balcony, and one of our favorite littles came to ask to sit in his lap. He said “she just kept holding out her hands and saying “ehhh!” wanting to sit on my lap, and I just had a bad feeling about it so I kept saying “non…” “non…” for some reason I just was worried she was going to pee on me!” (LOL – a valid worry in this place!) “So I said “non” like 5 times and then she just whined really loud and got her scrunchie face on and ran over to the wall and squatted down to cry…and peed a puddle right on the floor! I’m SO glad I didn’t let her sit with me!” hahahahaha!
Later in the afternoon, he decided he wanted to go sit in the car and eat snacks and hang out in the A/C so we all piled in (the car is a Montero, which has 5 seats, and has two jump seats in the way back so we can seat 5 of us plus the driver/translator up front) so all four kids piled into the middle bench seat and Kris and I hopped into the back bench. W ate more food today than I’ve ever seen him eat! The kids kept handing him more snacks, and then he would dig out something that looked good and ask to eat it too! 🙂 At least we know he’s getting more and more comfortable! The funniest part of our day today was W’s introduction to SnapChat! While we were in the car, the kids got out Kris’ phone and started showing W all the animations that can be done on the camera – his favorite was the puppy dog ears and nose and the long dog-tongue that flies out of your mouth when you open up! The one that made him laugh hysterically was the perpetual frowning face and the one that blurs your eyes and mouth so you have tiny pin pricks for eyeballs! We all were creeped out by that one! Abby and W did a face swap, which he thought was super weird! LOL Definitely a fun giggle-session, and it was great for us to see them laughing and making jokes all together!
We also got to give them some sibling time alone with a small pack of legos to put together by themselves. We stood back, taking pictures and relishing the view. Kris later posted that it was so cool to just watch our kids doing something normal brothers and sisters do – building legos together! It is still such an amazing thing for us to see all four of our kids together! Watching them share food, laugh together, be silly together, and even have a “family meeting”. He understands a lot, and will learn English quickly, for sure. W just, quite simply, fits right in with his brother and sisters. He already seems like part of the group, they are enamored with him, and he prompts them to do things like Abby today – turn around behind him when he’s not looking and mouth “I love him! I love him so much!” He accepts their constant hugs and hands, lifts his face for kisses, and seems genuinely content and happy, excited and at ease to be in their company!
Tomorrow is our last full-day at the O (Monday we are planning a morning trip to The Apparent Project while W is at school, and then we will go back to the O in the afternoon to play and say our goodbyes). Today, W saw photos of Logan, Daddy and Papa (confusing because in Haiti they call Daddy “papa” and we call Kris’ Dad Papa…we tried to explain it today, but we’ll see if he gets it!) fishing on the boat. He was wide-eyed at the size of the huge pwason (fish) and then tried squinting his eyes to figure out what Logan was eating in the photo…turns out he’s never seen or eaten a real doughnut, and didn’t know what it was!! OOOOHHHHHHH America. Sweet America. Guess what you get to give our son besides the American Dream? A sugar high. Tomorrow we are picking up a donut at the Stop-n-Go for him! 😉 Not sure if it will taste the same as in the U.S., but it sure looks like a donut in the case! Abby says “Doughnuts here we come! Yum!”
(Insert) – “Hi this is Abby! I’ve loved the orphanage, it is way different than I thought it would be! There’s wild dogs and most of them are very friendly and very cute. I can’t wait to show W a doughnut and try it myself! I can’t wait to come back after we leave and spend more time with him after we get our decree and take him to the hotel, so we can have alone time and no other little kids around! I hope that he’ll still remember us after we leave. I hope when he comes home he will be able to play soccer, baseball and basketball. I’ve had a great trip!”