The question of the day, “Who pooped on the stairs?!!” I asked it, then all the kids asked it of each other in Creole, each one shaking their heads, then they all asked MY kids – haha! – and then it turned into a laughing giggling mess of blaming every friend they could for the poop on the stairs. Things finally got real when the nanny came tromping up yelling with her angry eyes and loud booming voice “KI MOUN CACA LA??!!!” (Who pooped here??!!) I took that as my cue to usher as many kids as I could quietly down the other corridor…and down the back stairwell, giggling all the way! 🙂 Funny how expectations and things change when you’re in a situation like this – I mean, yes, it was gross to see some child’s poop on the stairs, (I mean, when you’ve gotta go and all the bathrooms are locked and you can’t find a nanny to unlock the “twalet”, you do what you gotta do), it seemed halfway normal, and we all just laughed about it and ran around it for an hour! (Don’t get any ideas, if I find a pile of poop on my stairs at home I’m going to look up the names of everyone who viewed this blog and hunt you all down!)
Today was the longest day of the trip by far. It was the same length of time, but it was over 100 degrees and no breeze. We were dripping sweat even before we got to the O. The day also included an actual (well, as actual as we can get in our broken creole) game of whiffle baseball, complete with bases, and a game of soccer and a game of basketball (with the soccer ball because the needle for the ball pump broke off in the basketball!). No more spiders today, (thank God), but whenever I had to run through the weedy field I definitely slowed down and watched my step! Last thing I need is a fuzzy tarantula hitching a ride on my leg hair stubble back to my hotel. I can totally see in my head how that would all play out. Not good.
Today we had another family-meeting on the balcony over DOUGHNUTS! (We brought W his first ever doughnut – complete with chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles! – that kid loves chocolate) We talked about coming home, talked about some of the big differences between living in Haiti and living in the States. We told him that instead of walking to school, mommy drives the kids to school each day, and that we do not wash our clothes in the sink and hang them to dry, we put them in the machine and push the button and the clothes wash and dry in the machines (Here, at the O, the older girls and nannies spend hours washing clothing in big buckets of soapy water, and then hang all the laundry out on ropes, or on railings or the rock wall to dry in the sun.). We told him that we walk to the park to play, and that we have lots of grass in the yard to run around in. He took it all in quietly, and when we started talking about names in America and having a second name when he comes home, he got pensive and quiet, thinking about it. The concept isn’t new – but after thinking about it he said that would be okay. When we told him the new name we liked, he didn’t seem too sure of it – the translator then told us that it is also a name they use in Haiti – haha – so maybe he thought “why would you give me another Haitian name? Where is the American one?” I’m not sure…we’ll see. We aren’t positive that we will do a name change – we have yet to decide for sure. At least we’ve broached the subject if it ends up leaning that way!
We did lots of coloring and got out a bunch of stickers for the kids on the balcony, my kids think it is super funny that most of them like the stickers but what they love even more than the stickers is to be the lucky one to get the outer edge of the sticker paper (the sticky outline)! Our older three have gotten to know some of the older kids at the O yesterday and today, and we had to remind them not to leave out W from their playtime! They are just so used to playing with kids their age, that they have moments of lapsing, forgetting why they are here! 🙂 They are really having an incredible time – they’ve held babies, haven’t complained once about the odd smells, have endured hotter temps than ever before, sweated out of every nook and cranny, played endless games of baseball in the scorching sun, caught tarantulas (or at least been accomplices!), and loved on some pretty amazing children!
Today also showed us W as his more comfortable self – instead of shyly saying “I’m hungry” once or twice during the day, he would come find me, cuddle up and nuzzle his face in my neck and say “I’m so hungry! I want cookies!” or “I want to go car” (because all our food was in our backpack in the car). Sometimes I would tell him “no, not right now.” to which he would squinch his eyes up and his nose into wrinkles and say “Yes, I am hungry!” and I would say “No, not right now. We can share cookies later, in a little while.” and he would get a little whiny, and we would go do something else as a distraction. After awhile, I would answer a different way, with “you’re hungry still? Okay, would you like to share some cookies with your friends?” and he would say “Yes! Okay!” and we would go to the car 🙂 We just noticed a huge difference in the way he asked for things more often, gaining familiarity with mommy and daddy. At one point today, one of his friends referred to Kris as “papa ou” (your papa) and W responded, “Daddy” in correction! Love it. All day he called us mommy and daddy, which is more familiar as well, because last trip and the first 2 days here we had to prompt “mommy” and “daddy” instead of “manman” and “papa”. He readily goes to Logan’s arms to be carried, but with Braeden, he wants to hold his hands or be piggy-backed. With Abby, he likes to hold her hand because she’s not big enough to carry him without heavy awkwardness! 🙂 but he always likes to give her hugs when she asks!
Tomorrow morning we are heading over to Delmas to visit The Apparent Project with the kids. Kris and I went last trip and were amazed at the organization and what they are doing – such an incredible presence and help to Haitians here, and we love their products! If you want to see what they are all about, go to http://www.apparentproject.org You can also order online straight from their site if you see anything you like!
Tomorrow will also be our last day to see W at the O. We head to the airport early Tuesday morning. We will go to The Apparent Project first, arriving back at the O around 12:30 or so – about when the kids all get home from school. We will have about 2-3 hours with W to play and have our final goodbyes, and then we will head back to the hotel for dinner and debriefing as a family.
Our next step is still in process, waiting for the adoption decree. Again, once we receive the decree, W is legally a “McGreevey” in Haiti and will be able to leave the O with us whenever we are visiting Haiti. He will be able to stay with us in the hotel, go to the apparent project, the store, etc. etc. wherever we go in the country, he can be with us.
The next step after decree is more court processes, and then visa/passports stage, which is the final frontier! We are close! (relatively speaking). Optimistic timeline at this point is 6 months from homecoming, could be more, could be less! We are very excited, and will plan on visiting (one of us at a time, most likely) every 6-8 weeks until he comes home.
Thank you for all your prayers for our trip and our kids! When I get home later this week I will post all of the photos that we were unable to upload to the site during the trip! There are a lot!! 🙂