Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Missing Haiti

We arrived back home late Saturday night.  Had to drive Grandma back to the airport Sunday and was back at work/school yesterday.  It's been a whirlwind. 

While I am glad to be reunited with the boys, I am missing being in Haiti and with Macy like crazy.

Here's a video "walk" down our journey...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bits of Haiti

Things I notice that I will surely miss...

Everyone saying BonJou or BonSwa to one another.

No fashion worries.

The melody of not the ice cream man, but the water man as the truck drives around the neighborhood.

People singing in the night.

Wearing sandals.

The wonderful smells of food lovingly prepared over TIME.

The taste of new and delicious foods.

Freshly squeezed juices at every meal.

People.  People out and about everywhere.

How plates are scraped clean of food at a meal, not one crumb left so as not to show others who have none that we are wasteful.

Beautiful mountains in the background.

Bougainvillea everywhere, even among the barbed wire fence tops.

Car horns used as a message instead of in anger.

Sounds.  Lots and lots of sounds from dogs to roosters to cars and trucks and people.  

My daughter.

The Beach

Prior to coming to Haiti I of course "liked" both our orphanage's face*book page as well as the orphanage next door which is a special needs orphanage.  They are all under the same organization and I love to see the wonderful things they do with the kids.

The special needs orphanage was particularly fascinating to me, being a special ed teacher.  I have been amazed how much they seem to do for each of the kids in such a developing country.  Two get around beautifully with power chairs, but no one is in country who will/can fix them so they get one and use it til it breaks and move on to another.  Many times different Occupational and Physical therapists come to help with the kids and show staff how to work with each of them.  And I love seeing pictures of taking these kids to the beach when a visiting team is in country!

I thought about donations for the orphanage before I left and decided it would be great to bring a whole plethora of new or slightly used swimsuits for the kids to enjoy!  I found some at home and some at local shops and also put the word out to friends/family.  All in all I ended up bringing 27 suits!  The woman who runs this home was so pleased when I told her what I had and said that the next Wednesday they were actually headed to the beach with an incoming team, then inviting Olivia and I to accompany them!  After passing out suits she shared how excited the kids were to see them which was such a blessing to hear!

Well yesterday was the day... beach day!  We had a few hiccups starting out (the rented school bus broke down almost right away) but God was there and it happened in a familiar part of town and the replacement bus was even nicer!  The drive was long, but the weather was perfect, the scenery gorgeous, and it was so fun to see the kids (most of the kids) excited to be in the water! :)

We were so blessed that they allowed Macy to go with us!

Olivia LOVES all of the dogs we see all over Haiti!
This one may have been smuggled in her suitcase if I wasn't watching closely!
Monday, March 17, 2014

Another Piece of the Puzzle

Today we accomplished another step hopefully taking us closer to completing our adoption!  We were able to file our I600 while here in Haiti.  (The I600 is another bunch of paperwork that is filed with our government - how's that for an explanation!) :)  I've heard that filing it in Haiti as opposed to in the US, which CAN be done, makes for a slightly quicker process.  If you file in the US, you have to have ALL required documents at the time you file.  If you file in Haiti, you need MOST of these, but can add the rest later.  Additionally, once you file, the Embassy schedules a birth parent interview.  Because birth parents can sometimes take a while to find, or could be sick, etc filing in Haiti and having the interview done ASAP even if all of the paperwork isn't turned in yet often makes for a faster timeline than  waiting until all is done, filing in the US, and THEN getting the birth parent interview.  Of course some argue that there really isn't much of a difference.  Either way, MY agency doesn't have parents file in the US.  Not sure why, they just don't.  SO... they were looking at requiring a THIRD TRIP to Haiti, where I'm barely affording (not really at all) this two week trip and a homecoming trip.  So... needless to say... this was a big deal today to file!

Haitian taptaps... like a US taxi, but crammed with people in back!
I SO want to ride in one!

I asked for prayer from friends and family because I was quite nervous about the process.  I had also heard most families say they wait inside 3-4 hours for about 5 minutes at the "window".  We must have had answered prayers!  We waited outside a little over an hour until our line started going in.  Took maybe 10-15 min through the line.  And then were inside just over an hour!  And done! 

After finishing we were able to go to the airport to pick up our new "online" friends who are now "real life" friends who are coming to begin THEIR two week visit with their little guy!  It was so exciting to see them take in the wonder of Haiti for the first time as we did just over a week ago, and then to watch them meet and begin to bond with their little guy for the FIRST TIME!  So neat to be a part of that!  And I look forward to getting to know them even better as the week goes on! 

We were so glad to see Macy today since we weren't able to the past two days!  We heard that she missed us and asked for us.  Break my heart!  Only four more days and it will be SO HARD to leave!  When we did have to leave today after what seemed like such a short visit, she said "No."  I was so sad!  But at least we will see her tomorrow!  Today was just a bit shortened with the Embassy and airport and all.

Later we went to a grocery store with the guest house manager.  Such an experience.  It was so "American" I guess you could say, except with armed guards out front! LOL  Olivia and I wandered the store checking things out and oogling the cakes and pastries.  We ALMOST splurged on some Ben and Jerry's (as I've been missing my ice cream!)  BUT... when I converted the cost in my head and realized that ONE PINT was about NINE DOLLARS American... I thought NO WAY!  Sorry Ben and Jerry! :)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood...

Olivia and I aren't able to go to the orphanage on the weekends, so prior to traveling we reserved a day tour for today going south into the Haitian town of Jacmel along the coast.  We had a wonderful driver and tour guide and saw some beautiful sights!  It was chock full of history, art, architecture, heritage and beauty with a restful afternoon to boot!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


How do you do this?  How do you continue getting to know a child.  Making them feel something.  Making them like you and want to be with you only to leave?

Today I was told that yesterday after we had gone Macy cried.

How do you process that after only three days together.  Only a few hours each time.  She CRIED when we left.  

My heart is already killing me at the thought of leaving and we still have over a week left.

We will leave behind photo books of our life at home and our time here with her so that she can be reminded.  So that she can be shown who we are.  So that she can be told we will come back for her.

 But is that enough.  Is that right.  Will she understand or will it just be another hurt for her heart.  She is breaking down some of the wall around that precious heart.  We are forcing her to.  But what happens when we leave.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Even Better

I'm not sure how things get better day by day but I guess they do.  That's how relationships work isn't it.  Little by little, through shared experiences, play, even food, you get to know the person you are with.  You get to trust them more and more.  Today was certainly no exception.  As hard as it was to leave today, after just 3 days of being with her, I'm not at all prepared for the inevitable time when we will have to say good bye for much longer.

Monday, March 10, 2014


Who knew that visiting the orphanage today could have been even better than our first visit?  But it was.  We had time.  Time with just Macy.  Time to play and explore and find out.  About one another.  About languages.  About shyness.   And beginning to learn about trust.

Sunday, March 09, 2014


Still having such a marvelous time here getting to know more about the people and culture.  Learning some Creole as I meet more people.  Everyone I've met has been so kind and welcoming.  Our country has so much to learn in these areas from others.  I wish we were as open and welcoming to virtual strangers.  We are all brothers and sisters in Christ and I love when people see that and can act on that principle.

Today we went to church with the guest house manager.  It was such a great experience for Olivia and I.  The service was in English which was helpful for our brains that are learning Creole but it's taking a while to do so.  There were about 1/4 of the congregation that were American and most of the rest were Haitians.  Again they were all so welcoming and so understanding of our lack of Creole.  It was marvelous to hear some of our favorite songs and sing new ones that could easily become favorites.

There was a part of the service where the minister asked the congregation to break into small groups of 10 or so and share prayer requests and pray for one another.  So out of my comfort zone and I was so nervous, but it was beautiful.  The three of us were with three Haitians in their maybe 20s?  They were so great to get to know.  Alex and Phanel both asked that we pray for them to continue to be with God every minute.  That they may be with God and follow Him forever.  And Lynn asked for strength in her belief.  If you could say a prayer for them as well I'm sure they would appreciate it!  God knows who they are.  I so enjoyed getting to know them.

The rest of the day was spent mostly relaxing, reading, and watching a movie on the laptop.  We ate dinner with the house manager and another couple that is also staying here.  They have been fun to get to know as well.  He is German, she is French.  They live 2/3 of the year in France and 1/3 in Germany and oversee boys and girls homes in Haiti which is why they are here working on those.  Amazing.

Tomorrow we see Macy and the rest of the kids again!  So excited!
Saturday, March 08, 2014


Well we finally arrived in Haiti to begin our two week bonding trip!  My oh my!  So much to take in!

(from the plane... I so wish this had turned out better!)

Haiti is an amazing place.  I can tell that already.  What boggles me most is that in one SHORT 1 1/2 HOUR plane trip I went from the land of opulence, waste, and "have" mentality to a land where they are struggling to get by.  Water is sold in small plastic packets for one penny.  You rip open a corner with your mouth and drink safe, clean water.  The packets litter the ground.  Streets are lined with people, people everywhere.  I so wanted to take picture upon picture as we drove from the airport to our guest house but felt that would be inappropriate... this isn't the zoo.  It was just all so amazing.

Our driver wove expertly through traffic.  I would love to see what is required to obtain a Haitian driver's license.  The only "rules" I could see was that they somewhat stayed to the right. :)  He narrowly missed people, cars, motos, you name it.  He took mostly back roads, rarely paved.  These "roads" if you can call some of them that were unpaved, hard packed dirt with rocks, huge bumps, piles of rocks sometimes sat in the midst of a road to be driven around like an obstacle course.  Many roads are in the beginning phases of repaving but you can still drive them.  If there is a steep drop from one road to another it seems it's up to your discretion to take the risk or avoid it and go another way.

(This is one of the better roads that is getting ready for pavement.)

After a few wrong houses, a game of chicken where we almost got smashed, some goats and dogs and chickens alongside the road, we finally arrived at the guest house we are staying in.  It's been wonderful!  I really thought I was not going to like being in a more "house" setting as opposed to a hotel, not to mention having no A/C, but I actually think this was better for us.  Of course God knew that!  Our host is wonderful!  We have people to see and talk to who speak English.  And we aren't stuck inside on days we have nothing to do!  This morning we walked the neighborhood with her and were able to go to The Apparent Project.  They do amazing things helping the poor of Haiti.  The make and sell wonderful items.  I had a small amount of money with me and picked up two items, but hope to go back soon for a few more!

Later after lunch we finally heard from the person overseeing the orphanage about picking us up for a short visit.  Somehow communication had been off and until Thursday eve she thought we were coming on Monday!  Luckily she found out otherwise and was ready for us.  So we were set to be picked up to visit Macy!  The time crawled by... and finally... she was here and we were on our way.

While driving I asked about what she would be told of us, and how the time would work while we were here.  She explained (which was on the same page as us for the most part) that due to not knowing when we would be back, she would be told only that we were "Godmother" and that we would really be there interacting with all of the children as well as her.  I was and am ok with that.  As hard as it will be for us to leave after two weeks, I'm an adult and know what's happening.  She is a 3 year old child who has no understanding of "parent" "mom" "family" "trust" "return" and it won't help to be told "These are your new family members" and have us leave for an extended period of time.  We will love what time we have.  We will get to know her the best we can.  We will be strong.

She is a doll.  She is bossy.  She pouts to get her way.  She is SO SMART.  She loved my glasses.  Loved Olivia's hand sanitizer and passed it out to everyone.  Showed us her room and top bunk.  Found a way to keep the doll brush another little girl was trying to take... she would brush her doll's hair and then sit on the brush!  Priceless!

(Hand sanitizer making the rounds.)

We loved meeting her and the others today and can't wait to go back Monday!

Let's Connect!

Search This Blog


About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

Check out my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

Blog Archive

What you should know about HIV

-HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). - HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives. - People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do. Additional information on transmission of HIV can be found on the Center for Disease Control website: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources

Other Awesome Blogs

Orphan Crisis

• 147 million orphans in the world
• 50 million orphans in Africa 
• Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
• 16,000,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
• Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War
• 854 million people do not have enough to eat
• Malnutrition is associated with the deaths of 5 million children under the age of five
• Every 2 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition

Hence the title of my blog

Little Did I Know

Little did I know that the road would be so rocky
Little did I know that the trip would take so long
Little did I know that my heart could hurt so much
Little did I know that God is never wrong

Little did I know that love could be so powerful
Little did I know that a dream so far could go
Little did I know that God would place the right ones
Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow

Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
Little did I know that this day would finally come
Little did I know that four souls would be sent to guide me
Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom

But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we five should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you