Many amazing moments in our life are not reflected on this blog…but know that our lives are filled to the brim.
However, an important update is that we go to Haiti for parquet/court and to file our I-600 next week! Cannot wait to go back to Haiti and love on our beautiful boy. Haiti is beginning to feel like our home away from home.
Hula-hoops like a champion.
Can do a handstand.
Tells everyone about her little brother.
Competes and laughs and argues daily with her sister.
Is 4 today. And 5 tomorrow.
Is wearing a candy necklace and bracelet that she opened for her birthday eve this morning.
Is now sleeping without pull-ups.
Goes to Kindergarten next year.
I just submitted her Transfer Request, requesting that she attend a public school that is out of our school zone. The same school that we got Rosemary into. (Remember this old post?) The small, diverse, friendly, great school. The one that feeds into a middle school that feeds into an IB high school. Crossing my fingers that our request is granted. We’ll know in a few weeks. I cannot believe I’ll be taking her to “Kindergarten Round Up” in April. It blows my mind.
Day two (Wed, January 23rd) was one of my favorite days because it was my day to bring Meadow back to the guest house for a sleep-over after we spent the day at the creche!
When J and I went in October, we had him with us each night but they have since decided that it’s too much of a disruption in the child’s routine to be away from the creche for that many nights, and is pretty confusing to the children when the adoptive parents have to leave. And I’ll do just about anything to make sure this process of bonding with Meadow is as healthy as possible for him. So having this one on one time with him at the guest house is so valuable, but it is also limited so that he experiences as little confusion as possible.
Have I mentioned that Meadow and I are pretty tight? We are very close. The nannies and staff also love to see how much he enjoys being with me. They often lightheartedly tease him by seeing if he will come to them when I am holding him, and he does not. He holds on tight to me and of course makes his mama super proud. :)
As soon as we got to the creche, I walked inside to find him, and his nannies had him dressed so handsomly in green!…
I am pretty certain that green is his signature color. Don’t you think? We had so much fun together this day. We played outside, acted super silly, and snuggled a ton. He was still dealing with a cold, but his appetite and thirst were not hampered by this so he enjoyed several yummy snacks that I brought him. And yes, I do give him meat. For those who know me, I am a pescetarian and so are my girls. J is a regular ‘ol meat eater. I just want Meadow to get as much nutrition as possible, and protein is a big part of that. So, I was the crazy vegetarian that brought beef jerkey and canned chicken to the creche. Haha.
This was a great day for Meadow because he also got something that he is super happy about…new shoes! This boy loves getting a nice pair of kicks.
After nap, he would immediately want me to hold him and then next on his priority list were his shoes. He would point to them and want me to put them on him without haste. Adorable. And since we dripped bubbles all over his first green outfit, I was able to change him into his next cute green outfit. This green hoodie is a loving hand-me-down that my friend S’s son from Ethiopia wore when he was little, so it’s extra special.
When we headed back to the guest house late in the afternoon, Meadow fell asleep in my lap on the bumpy winding-road car ride. Those Haitian drives always lull him to sleep. Driving around Kenscoff, with him in my arms, is both heartwarming and heart-wrenching. I watch the other children in the street and I wish that all of the kids could have the resources they need to just be kids and live in this beautiful community…to run around kicking balls and playing games…without a care in the world. I hope that is the future of Kenscoff one day. I think that it will be. There are many children who are already enjoying a very normal childhood there. The people are working hard and the children who are fortunate enough to be in school, the girls walking proudly with big colorful bows in their hair that match their uniforms and the boys with their spider man and other super hero backpacks, are getting a decent education and that is going to change things. You see hope in their eyes and strength and determination in their footsteps. I hope that Meadow might one day return to this area and still feel connected…still feel his footprint in Haiti…and want to help the community move forward.
When we made it back to the guest house, we had dinner and I gave him a bath. My first time giving him a bath (since the nannies did it at the creche last time we were here). Thankfully the water was warm (not always a given to have warm water). There are no bathtubs, but I had a cup to pour the warm water on him while he stood in the tiled shower. He knew the drill. He stood there with a straight face, legs firm, with an expression of ”let’s get this over with lady, and be quick about it.” I tried to get him to sit down to enjoy the warm water, but he was having none of it. That is not what he was used to doing. I tried to get him to hold the cup and play in the water, but nope…this was no playtime to him. He stared at me like I was nuts. So I did as I was being clearly instructed to do according to the look he was giving me, and bathed him as quickly as possible. He was happy to be out of the bath with a fluffy dry towel wrapped around him. Well, not happy…just content. Check out his “no-nonsense” expression in this photo.
I put on his glow-in-the-dark (so American, I know) dinosaur pajamas and gave him his sippy cup and toys, and his smile returned! He loves his new clothes and toys. I think he just might grow up to be into fashion. Or rather, this just gives me an excuse to continue buying adorable outfits for him. We had a really great day together and I enjoyed hearing his giggle starting to return. He loves to be tickled. He was definitely beginning to feel better.
It was wonderful to watch him sleep. He coughed for about 30 minutes and then snored a bit throughout the night. He slept soundly overall though. And I was so very thankful to be by his side.
I had such an incredible week with Meadow! I was in Haiti from Tuesday January 22nd through Saturday January 26th. I did not get to see him that Saturday because that was our day to pack up and head home, but I spent a lot of Tuesday, and most of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with him.
J could not go on this trip with me because he needed to save his time off/away for when we go down to Haiti for court. This was just a trip for me to go spend time with him, so I traveled with another adoptive mother, K, who is a friend of mine from Tennessee as well. I also met a couple of other adoptive mothers in Miami that were on this same trip who I have gotten to know really well online. So it was a really fantastic group, and I was thankful for that.
When we arrived in Haiti (love the new/updated baggage claim area!), we loaded up and took a quick tour of downtown Port au Prince. A lot has changed since we were there just three and a half months ago (other than the airport which was a big change). The areas that we saw that were tent cities last time were now cleared and served more as local park/clearing areas. The capitol building was completely torn down since it was destroyed in the earthquake, and they have plans to rebuild it. It was sad to see this empty space where the large and beautiful capitol building once was. But I am glad that they are working towards rebuilding. We drove by a large cathedral and saw that it was still sitting in ruins, collapsed on the inside, but the outside walls still mostly standing (but broken). Many people were killed in that cathedral. It was sad to see it and imagine all the people being crushed when it fell. That kind of devastation takes your breath away and puts a permanent lump in your throat. I hope they are able to rebuild but reuse some of the historical materials of that once gorgeous church. To again reclaim that sacred space.
Once we made it up the mountains and to the guest house (after stopping at the grocery store and fruit stand), we dropped off our things and headed further up the mountains on the winding roads to the creche to see the kids.
We were all a bit giddy with excitement as we pulled up to the creche gates and the driver honked the horn for that gate to be opened for us.
Three of the adoptive families were meeting their children for the very first time. It was beautiful to see them hold and hug their children for the first time. Meadow was snoozing in his crib when I got there, so I was able to watch the other families meet their children before going in to wake up my boy. He has been sick lately, so I was anxious to feel his head (to check if he had a fever), hold him, and see how he was doing.
I opened the side of his crib and rubbed his back. I felt such a sense of relief to be there with him. I said his name and rubbed his back some more, and he lifted up his head with his eyes still closed and rubbed his eyes and nose with his chubby little fists. He slightly cracked open one eye, then the other, and stared at me. Then he rubbed his eyes and nose again with his hands. He stared at me again, but this time with eyes wide open. I told him, “mama is here.” He then sat up and held his arms up for me to pick him up. He kept a straight face. I could tell that he did not feel well. When I picked him up he immediately put his head on my chest and wrapped his arms and legs around me. I held him, walked with him, rocked him, and rubbed his back. He tried to sleep but he kept coughing. I gave him a healthy snack and a glass of drinking water, and he began to perk up. He smiled a little bit and kept holding onto me. I was in heaven, and so thankful to be there with him when he didn’t feel good and needed his mama.
More to come about the rest of the week and other news to share!
We received an email telling us the big news!!! We are OUT OF IBESR!!! We got out in just 4 and a half months! WOW! We are SO thankful! We truly could have been in this stage for 12 months or longer, because that happens sometimes.
Here is a blog post my friend C did to help explain the Haitian adoption steps and what this all means. An excerpt from her blog post:
“IBESR Approval and Dispensation What Happens: Case is assigned a number and reviewed by social worker, lawyer and other government personnel specializing in certain areas. Questions must be resolved before moving to the next person. IBESR submits the file to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and the MOJ gives it to the President for approval. Once approved by the President, notice of approval is published in a government newspaper (Le Moniteur). MOJ gives the file back to IBESR for final approval by the IBESR director.
Estimated Timing: 2-18 months”
Next, we wait for a court date. Maybe in March if we are lucky? When we get a court date, then J and I will travel back to Haiti together for a few days for the legal requirements and to see Meadow again. And then we come back and wait for the next chain of legalities and proceedings to occur.
We are hoping, since we are now out of IBESR, that we will have him home by the end of this year. That would be incredible.
P.S.-My trip to see Meadow was WONDERFUL. I came back feeling so rejuvenated and thankful! Last time I felt very under the weather and couldn’t bring myself to write b/c I was so sad to leave him. It was just as hard to leave him on Saturday, but this time my heart was full to overflowing, and it just felt very different this time. Thank you all for the continued prayers and thoughts of love that you keep sending. Journal entries coming soon.