Friday, January 27, 2012

Together for the first time

What an amazing trip to Haiti...Dwight & Nicholas met the kids for the first time!  We arrived in Haiti at 9:30am (yes, we had to get up at 3:45am for our early morning flight).  We made it through the customs without any problem and as we were looking for our luggage a man approached and asked if we were traveling to New Life Link.  He helped us find our luggage, escorted us out and found our driver.  We ask our driver for ID (which he did have), so we got in the car.  We drove just outside the airport and our driver pulled over, got out and another driver (who did not have ID) got into the car!!??  I was a little worried, but then he called and let me talk to Dr. I feel better knowing we are with a NLL driver, so off to the Guest House we go!

We arrived around 11am at the Guest House.  We took our luggage to our room & went straight down the the Creche' to see our kids.  Nick could NOT wait to get there, he was SO excited!!!!  We went to the playground and didn't see them...we asked one of the boys where was Claude and he pointed to the top of the stairs behind us. One of the Nannies had them ready and was bringing them to us. 

Here are pictures from that first meeting:
Dwight & Mithe-Love together
Dwight & Claude Jensky

Claude & Nick together for 1st time
Nick & his little sister Mithe-Love

The rest of the day was just hanging out together... bonding...getting to know them, letting them get to know us. Remember, this was the first time they meet daddy & big brother and they hadn't seem me since August.  The afternoon was very smooth and we all had a great time. We found lots of things to do during the week...the boys went swimming (the girls sat on the side and watched because the water was FREEZING), we played basketball, we colored, we played with balloons and we painted hand prints (something I can keep from when they were little), we played with cars and the baby doll.  We had a lot of time on our hands to find things to do.  During the week we were also able to go shopping and sight seeing with the kids.  We ate lunch at the Baptist Mission...well, we ate...Mithe-Love ony licked the ketchup off her french fries and Claude took a couple of bites of his french fries (and licked his ketchup off the rest).  We also celebrated Claude's 5th birthday!!!  How exciting to be able to be there for his birthday!!

Nick made some new friends while there as well.  There were 7 other adoptive families visiting the same time we were there, so there were lots of kids in the Guest House.  I don't think I mentioned this before, but when we visit the Guest House the children are able to stay with us 24/7.  The Creche' is in the building behind the Guest House (only separated by the basketball court, eating area and swimming pool).  In the picture the Creche is the pink/coral colored building and the Guest House is the coral/white (taller building).  So, since there were 7 other families visiting, there were lots of kids with us.  Nick played a lot of basketball with Josh, Junior and Wilnes.  It was so great to watch them all together!  Not to mention, Dwight & I made lots of new friends this week too...all of the other adoptive parents are so supportive.  They are already planning a "Haiti Reunion" for all of the children who are home this summer.  Our kids may not be home yet (PRAYING THAT THEY ARE HOME THEN), but just the thought that we can get all of the kids together is so exciting!  Here is a sneak peek at our week with the kids :)

We were able to move another step forward in the adoption process while we were there as well.  We went to "lower court" which only took a couple of minutes.  We each signed our name twice on a blank piece of paper and that was it!  We had been told that we may be able to meet our children's birth parents at court, but unfortunately that was not the case.  We had come up with a few questions we would have liked to ask them, so that as Claude & Mithe-Love grow we could have information to share with them.  We were told that the birth parents lived quite a distance away and it would have been too hard for them to make it to the court, but that maybe toward the end of the adoption process we may be able to meet them.  Praying that will happen..we would love to have that opportunity!

THEN IT HAPPENED.....WE HAD TO SAY GOODBYE!!!  That was the worst part of the trip!  It's so hard to leave them behind, we pray that we will be able to bring them home soon.  We are still in IBESR, so we have no idea how much longer it will be.  Once we "get out" of IBESR and go to "upper court" it is still about 6 months or so until they will be able to come home. However, we don't know when we will get the email saying we are "out", so we wait and pray it will be soon!  In the meantime, we do know that the children are safe and loved at the Creche'.  Many families travel down and love on our children while we aren't there...for that we say Thank you to them!

These are a few more pictures of the sights around Haiti, in and near the capitol, Port-au-Prince: