Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Well, our girls can call themselves "true Floridians" now that they have finally been to Disney World. Of course we didn't go it alone. Grandma, Aunt Katie and Uncle Ty were there to make it "really" fun. It turned out to be a nice day and none of the lines were more than 20 minutes. I don't know if it could have been much better...my kids never threw a fit and I never broke a sweat. Addie seemed content just to have all the candy, popcorn, and ice cream. The tea cup ride was the only ride she liked...matter of fact she loved it! But by far her favorite thing of all was her Minnie ears, which she had worn for 48 hours straight now (with the exception of a quick bath). I may put up a counter to keep a running total of how many days she wears them. Zoe had a blast! She rode her first roller coaster ever...Space Mountain!! Way to break her in, huh? Lucky for us she loved it and was eager to ride all the other rides realizing she had conquered the "scariest" one. She had more fun playing with Katie and Ty in the lines than else by far! For Zoe quality time with family trumps everything else. Grandma had fun spoiling the girls (and the rest of us) and even braved a few rides. Katie, Ty, Tim, and I had fun trying to make each other yak on the tea cups. I have to admit my brother Chris spins those tea cups faster than anyone I've ever meet! So, fast i hear his wives neck is still messed up from their last ride. As, the park was closing it lit up with Christmas lights and carols played on the speakers. It was chilly and a cup of hot cocoa would have nearly put me in the Christmas spirit but than we got the boot! The park was closing early for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and we didn't have tickets. That's right, the $70 tickets my mom had bought us were only for regular admission. To stay for the party and fireworks there would be an additional charge! And that's when I realized the Christmas spirit wasn't at Disney...for the Mouse it's all about the money!!! Oh well, what can you do? The girls didn't know the difference and we, the grown ups, were content to call it a day! Zoe shed tears about 30 seconds after grandma, Katie, and Ty walked to their cars. She was missing them "already" and good byes have never been her strength! Addie said her good byes and immediately asked us 10 times (asking once has never been her strength) if she could sleep with her Minnie ears on...we said yes! All and all a memorable day! Thanks Grandma...we love you!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
I (Jen) haven't blogged since our return from Haiti. It's impossible for me to try to express my thoughts and emotions on meeting the boys and then having to leave them. I hope this video helps convey what my heart is feeling!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I couldn't be more proud of Zoe's selection for a costume this year, and of Jen's amazing talent to make it happen. Zoe has a little known book called The Paper Bag Princess (only one person that I know of recognized her, and knew of the story). It is a story of a dragon that burns down a castle and takes the prince away with it. Well along with the castle the princesses clothes and possessions are burned up too, so she is left with a paper bag and a sad looking crown. She decided to go rescue the prince, and does so by outsmarting the dragon.
When she gets to the prince, he tells her, "Elizabeth, you are a mess! You smell like ashes, your hair is all tangled and you are wearing a dirty old paper bag. Come back when you are dressed like a real princess." to which she replies, "Ronald, your clothes are really pretty and your hair is very neat. You look like a real prince, but you are a bum." and they didn't get married after all. THE END.
I like what she chooses to emulate, I pray it continues.
...and of course, we needed a dragon...
Jen and her mom are quite the seamstresses, don't you think?
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Sorry for the delayed update, last night the internet wasn't working for a while, and we were busy entertiaining two little V.I.P. guests. I'll start from the beginning of the day...if I can remember it. In the AM we went to the boys' house and played with them until lunch/nap time when we drove into the hills of PaP to a tourist trap type market to look for trinkets and play the bargaining game (which Jen didn't like this time). We got a pencil holder for the homeschool room (don't tell Zoe ;) The twin boys who are being adopted came with us on the trip (our boys were sleeping), it was one of their first long car trips, and we learned that one of them gets car sick...so we showed up to market with a naked kid and clean up in progress. On the way back we had a bucket just in case, but made it home without incident. We returned in time to wake the boys from their nap, then brought them home to the McHoul's for dinner and toys. As with every new experience for them, it took a while to adjust and relax, but it didn't take long before they were playing with their firefighter helmets, cars, and a spoon...making car soup. Gino fell asleep with Jen first while Sammy and I stayed up. We layed Sammy in bed and he just stayed there awake, not moving a whole lot (something we aren't used to). At some point he fell asleep, there wasn't much change from when he was awake. Something that we are used to is not having any room in a bed for us to sleep in. The boys were between us, kicking eachother and us all night. They slept well, except for when we were awoken by Sammy crying. In the pitch black night we were feeling around for him and only found his lower half at the top of the bed! Somehow he had made his way between the wall and the headboard! Tim moved the bed away from the wall and we were able to extricate him, he went back to sleep within thirty seconds. This morning they were disoriented at first, but quickly were comforted to see us. They have been happy, playing and eating. It's fun to have them alone to spoil them and watch them become comfortable and act natural around us...but now we are encroaching on Day 7 business, so we'll keep that for tonight. Today is church...do we bring them?
Friday, October 24, 2008
Anyways, during lunch/nap time, Tim went with John to the market and grocery store on a mission to find pure vanilla for his grandmother who is an avid baker (and a very good one I might add). Jen spent her time at the women's program house buying 8 bags for those who have claimed them on facebook. We have also been able to see another amazing thing that we haven't posted is the women who make purses, hats, baskets, etc. out of typical plastic bags (the type you get from the grocery store). Essentially they cut the bag into one long/thin strip and then crochet them like you would with yarn. It's very cool to see trash turned into something functional.
When nap time was over, we went back to the pool...and again the boys were apprehensive, but relaxed and had fun thanks to Jen's motherly instinct who introduced plastic cups to help them play with the water and enjoy it (video below). They also started mimicking (sp?) words which was fun for us as speech is not thier strong suit. After the pool, Jen went back to the women's house, and I stayed with the boys until dinner. When I tried to leave, both Sammy and Gino had a break-down...again, heart warming, and heart-breaking at the same time. I detached, then left...and Jen (unknowingly as to what had just transpired) arrived just after I left and consoled them for a little while.
Then we went to a Haitian dinner at a neighbors house. She made a great meal of chicken drumsticks, rice/bean mixture, chicken stock sauce, spicy cole slaw, and Akra (not Okra, it's a root that is fried like a hush-puppy with spicy peppers). It was fantastic, and the woman who hosted us is also a music teacher...she played the saxaphone for us at the end, it was a great evening.
Much to the nannies shagrin, we stopped by the boys' house after bed time to say goodnight, Gino was still awake looking at the book Jen made for him, he was happy to see us, and sad to see us leave shortly thereafter. It's hard to figure out the fine line of encouraging attachment, and keeping separation so as not to mess them up when we aren't there. Ultimately God knows, we'll trust in that, and continue to try to be wise.
Now we're staying up, chatting with Beth, and two visitors who are leaving tomorrow (I'm rudely typing while they are talking). Another couple, who are further along in the process than we are, arrived today...a nice couple from Illinois adopting a little girl named Yves. So now there are three families here visiting the five children we are adopting. What a neat community. Enough chatter, we leave you with a video. Love and kisses...especially for Zoe and Addie.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Today we took the boys to a pool for the first time in their life...and boy could we tell. Not only have they never been to a pool, we don't think they have ever had a full bathtub! When you have 10 little bodies to bathe in Haiti, it is an assembly line proceedure of using a bucket of water to wet them, then soap, then a bucket of water to rinse, then off to drying, then to clothing. I attempted to put a cloth diaper on Sammy...it wasn't pretty (Jen's was a little better, but not professional), I passed mine off to a nanny. So needless to say, the pool was a little overwhelming at first, and cold to them (extra refreshing for us!). Gino clinged to us for most of the time, Sammy was the first to let go and stand on the step, but at the end (as you can see in the video) they relaxed a little and had some fun. In the afternoon, we watched the women sew bags (Jen bought two more for a total of 5, yeeeesh), and also saw a woman use some fabric we brought to make the sling design she came up with. We also saw their child birth education class. In the evening we went to a Haitian Bible study of about 20 people, it was interesting as they did it all in English, not for our sake, but for them to be able to practice what they learn in school. The study was on the book of James, 'rejoice in suffering', it was strange to see that what we see as their suffering is the only life they know. Keep Haiti in your prayers. Love to you all...good night!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
She got him laughing and discovered that he is part chipmunk, storing food away for later times...he still had bread and beans balled up in his mouth from 2 hours prior! The first day I had given him peanuts, and we found those an hour or two later as well...we just hadn't put two and two together. Maybe it's the old orphanage story of putting children to bed with bread in their pocket, or maybe he just really likes super soggy bread in his mouth...who knows...it's cute. Jen will be responsible for any broken arms that are suffered on the trampoline in the coming weeks...she gave a gymnastics demonstration to the little ones, teaching them that it is really easy to do massive flips with twists (at least she made it look easy). Later we had a nice dinner at Byron and Shelly's (who have 7 kids, 5 adopted), along with another adoptive mother who is visiting, and another couple who were missionaries here, now back to visit (she is actually the one who brought Sammy to Heartline from Desalines, and is the one who named him!). Aye, we also met Junior who is the main man running paperwork all over the island to make adoptions happen...he has an office on wheels, lending staplers, pens, and glue to the government agencies so they can complete paperwork (he has some amazing stories, we told him he should write a book about why adoptions take so long in Haiti). Junior told us that our paperwork is out of first legalization and is now in IBESR as of Tuesday (one step closer, many more to go, keep praying/fasting!). Also we have sold 7 bags that will support the women's program (maybe 8, I just got another email). Now it's bedtime, we're thinking we may take the boys swimming tomorrow in Shelly's pool. Love you all, especially Zoe and Addie...we hope they aren't having too much fun without us.
More photos of Day Three RIGHT HERE
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Well, day two...I (jen) began the day with a very enjoyable tour of the city. Beth, Tara (another fulltime missionary) and I ran about 5 1/2 miles through the streets of Port au Prince. I am the first to admit that I am extremely sore since I haven't run in about 3 months...not such a good idea in hindsight. After that is was time to go see the boys!!! They came right to us and we saw them open up a little more today (as seen in the above video). Gino still has a strong preference for me over Tim but was warming up to Tim as the day went on. Gino even said "bye-bye" and willingly gave Tim a kiss good night! My battery is going to die so I have to hit on the highlights of the day quick... the boys "got silly" with us and we saw that they aren't as quite as we thought. This is a good thing though if they are going to survive in the Pearson home...better known as "carnival" to some. Never a dual moment. It may have been a fluke but Sammy said 'MOUM" a few times to me today and Gino said "PAPI" to Tim. I have no doubt that they we repeating what they heard but this too was encouraging since we weren't sure they could talk at all after yesterday. We visited the boys again after helping the McHoul's set up a clinic they are having tomorrow. It was about 6pm but pitch balck out and we gave them glow sticks!!! oh boy did they love those...for all I know the poor nannies are trying to get them to stop playing with there glow sticks and go to sleep. It was a wonderful day! Tomorrow is going to be busy so I need to get some sleep!
This is a time lapsed picture of the kids playing with the glow sticks that Tim took (i like it).
Monday, October 20, 2008
We have met the boys! I just spent the last hour trying to upload some video for you, but it kept dropping it...I'll try again later. The boys took right to Jen, Gino is already attached and cried for her when it was nap time (so now she is napping with him!). We helped them eat lunch, played with some toy cars, and put them to bed. Nap time should be over now, I'm at the McHoul's house, and need to get back...we'll update you tonight (if we have electricity).
Sunday, October 19, 2008
We took some fun pictures of the girls to update their 'comp' cards for an audition they have on Wednesday (going with Grandma)...so far they are having fun with it, and we like having a lot of pictures of them! If I can avoid being modest, I think we did a good job for 3 hours of work! Jen was on point for the wardrobe changes. We'll do an album on facebook eventually so you can see 'em. (Like we didn't have enough to do today!! But it was fun family time.)
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Zoe and Addie are starting to explore the many facets of the 'new' playground...apparently swinging alone no longer is good enough, and they have upgraded to spinning. Afterwards, Jen demonstrates with a first hand view. I used to love to spin, now I feel nauseated just turning around once...slowly. I went on a teacup ride a few years back and realized that it I'm really close to being the embarrassed adult that stumbles off of amusement park rides and loses his lunch.
...sidenote: A few minutes after typing the above, Addie was sitting in my lap and did in fact lose her lunch on me...not from spinning, the video was taken yesterday, but apparently she has a fever that is going around...watch out!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
We are totally overwhelmed with packing, getting
the girls ready, the house ready, the dogs ready, ourselves ready...but we're fired up. Thanks to so many who brought items for us to take with us, it looks like we're getting close to being full, so if you have already bought 'stuff', bring it to church and we'll take what we can and try to ship what we can't. If you still want to participate, we can take money with us and purchase items there, or give it to the orphanage for them to use as they see fit, or you can still contribute to the cost of our adoption. We expect nothing from anyone, yet are blessed, humbled, and thankful for all that people have done for us and with us. We will be doing our best to update this blog while we are there, please visit often, it will probably be our easiest avenue of communication to the 'masses'. Love y'all.
This year Zoe decided she wanted to be the 'Paper Bag Princess', a character in one of her books...well, the paperbag princess outsmarts a dragon in the book...so we needed a dragon, to which Addie was a willing volunteer. You will have to wait to see Zoe, we don't want to spoil you!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Today Tim bought a book called "Speeches that changed the world", and tonight, Zoe was thumbing through the pages and came to the one pictured here...she came into our room and with a bit of excitement in her voice and said, "Mom, listen to this! I am personally going to shoot that paper-hanging sssooonoofffaaabi#@*h Hilter." Apparently, she was pleased with herself for having found a quote by General McArthur about Hitler (whom she has read about in her American Girl books) and completely oblivious of the meaning of the word that just left her mouth. Tim and I burst in to laughter as any good parent would do. And then we proceeded to do the only thing any sensible parent would do and LIED! She asked, "Why are you laughing? What's so funny?" Through my laughter and tears I told her that Tim had looked at me funny b/c I had a band-aid on my face. It was a half truth. I do have a band-aid on my face. But you and I know that is not why we were laughing...thankfully she doesn't know the word, which tells us that she hasn't heard it!
What do you say when you meet your new 2 year old sons for the first time?
If you had 7 days to spend with your new 2 year old sons, what would you do?
What do you say when you leave your 2 year old sons, and how do you make him secure that you will return 'someday' to pick him up and take him home?
Why does adoption take so stinking long, and cost so stinking much?
Just some thoughts going through my head.
Friday, October 10, 2008
This may be the first in a sequel I call "Mom, What is?" It will likely feature all the wonderful and unexpected questions that my kids ask. Like this one. The other night we were diving home and Zoe asked, "Mom, what is 24 plus 24 plus 24 and 2 more 24s and..." at which point I realized I was only half listening and lost track of the 24s. I asked if she wanted to know what 5 times 24 was and she said, "No. I wanted to know what seven 24s is." I did the quick math in my head and said, "It's 168 honey." She thought for a moment and said, "So, there is 168 minutes in a week?" "No, honey there are 168 HOURS in a week." I said. Then I turned to Tim and said, "WOW! 168 hours in a week!" What do we do with our 168 hours each week?? Thanks Zoe! Thanks for making me stop and think. Hoping I spend my next 168 hours wisely!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Book Report (yes, I read a book):
This small book is a quick and informative read, written by Jean Bertrand Aristide during his time as president of Haiti in 2000. Aristide touches on Haiti's experience with 'globalization' and how it affects the poorest of the poor. I recommend that you get a copy and read it, let your inner optimist come out and pray that the world can change the path it is on.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
It seems surreal that we will meet our sons, Sammy (left) and Gino (right) , in 12 days! How do you prepare for something like this? How do you show them you love them and assure them you are coming back for them? Will the moments we share and the the memories we make comfort them until they are able to come home to us? Will they understand why mommy and daddy had to leave them? These are just some of the questions that this short visit raises for me. And honestly, I don't have the answers. This is such uncharted territory for me that I can't even begin to pretend I know what I am doing. Luckily, I find that I am not overwhelmed by my fears and doubts. Rather they give rise to a faith and a hope that I can trust God will do what I can not! I only have the ability to love them while I am with them but God has the ability to reassure them of my (and His) love when I am not in their presence. This is my comfort and my peace. Praying daily for wisdom and understanding...
Monday, October 6, 2008
After tucking in my sweet girls I decided I would take my long over due shower. They begged me to stay but I didn't give in and reassured my sleepy heads that I would be back after my shower to rub their feet (yes, they are spoiled with nightly foot rubs...I know, I'm crippling them for life!). Off I went with high hopes they might actually fall asleep before I finished my shower. Not a chance! Less than three minutes into my shower Addie walks into my bath room and with all the authority she can muster says, "Moooommm! I told you NO SHOWER!" To which I politley responded, "And I told you not to get out of bed. Go back to your bed please and I will be there when I'm done." Apparently, my three year old thinks she is in charge!! She trots off and I think to myself at least one of them is alseep...hopefully! I kid you not, two minutes later Zoe shows up and with just a hint of attitude and sighs, "Are you ever gonna be done with your shower!" Apparently, my six year old thinks 5 minutes to myself is too much to ask! Ahhh! The bittersweet moments of motherhood. I have to confess I chuckled when I heard Addie's utter disbelief that I would disobey her command. And I laughed and shuttered to think that Zoe already sound like a teenager. Somehow, I thought Tim and I were the ones that run the show around here...but more often than I like to admit my sweet little girls try to test us just to make sure!! Rest assure the night ended with them getting their foot rub but having to fall alseep on their own...a perfect comprimise to reassure them I love them but I'm still in charge:) The picture is old but they sure look sweet!!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Subject: FDR's First Inaugural Address
I found this speech inspiring. There are even some possible parallels to our own current political/economic times.I hope our next President, whoever they are, can lead our nation in a similarly honest and responsible way.
Source: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933, as
published in Samuel Rosenman, ed., The Public Papers of Franklin D.
Roosevelt, Volume Two: The Year of Crisis, 1933 (New York: Random
House, 1938), 11?16.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Addie loves animals, kind of like that character Elmira from Animaniacs...she just wants to love them, and hug them, and call them "Sassy" (I don't know where "Sassy" came from, but that is her new name for everything). She also has an affinity for dead animals as they don't bite or squirm as much. She found a dried up frog in the garage and paraded around with it...can you guess what it's name was? Yup, Sassy. It's easy to tell which lizards we have caught in our back yard, they're the ones without tails (they grow back for all you non-Floridians...who am I kidding, I'm the only one reading this!) She's a trip...loving her exuberance and that she's not too 'girly'...at least until we get the boys.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Just the other day we were asked to give a "placement date" for a grant application. So, I did what I had been avoiding and asked. I was told roughly "14 months" from now...could be more, could be less. Why does it take so darn long for our paperwork to be processed? I know, I know... there are all the logical reasons like.. hey, you did decide to adopt from Haiti. What did you expect!? Or The government has enough on their hands, they did just get hit by 4 hurricanes...your kid's paperwork is low on the priority list. Or hey, you knew full well that this was a 12-18 months process and they are trying to avoid the kids falling into the wrong hands. I know all the "reasons" why it is taking so long but why can't the government see that if they would actually process some of the paperwork and get these kids to their homes that they will be making room for the hundreds of kids that were orphaned by these hurricanes. That's perfectly logical to me! Even if I admited the reason for the long drawn out procees are logical...it dosen't make waiting any easier. It just doesn't make sense!!! Why so long?!?!
But then I think...during this period of waiting God has shown Himself to me in ways I'd never have known Him. Like the fact that we stepped out in faith to adopt two beautiful boys that we have never met without knowing fully how we could afford it. I learned to trust God like never before. And then when the donations and fundraisers started and our church raised nearly $12,000 in two months! I knew Him as Provider. And yet it doesn't make sense... why so much Lord?! I don't deserve it!! And then when some individuals in our church decided to and are fasting until the boys come home...Why Lord?!?! It doesn't make sense! Why would so many give up their comforts to come before you and humble themselves in agreeance with our prayers. It doesn't make sense! I don't deserve it!
And so, it may not make sense...or at least from my perspective. But in the end I don't deserve the goodness, blessings, and mercy the Lord has lavished on me nor do I "deserve" the painful and agonizing wait for my boys to come home. But in both, God is and has been good to me beyond my wildest expectations. So, with peace and boldness I beg you Lord, please bring my boys home...but not my will...but yours always!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
For now we have a separate blog so as to not bore people interested in the progress of our adoption with the rest of our lives...and we don't want to lose their support when they get to know us ;) Maybe, we'll figure out enough to blend the two, but for now, this is how it goes.
Yup, we're becoming one of 'those people'...bloggers. Whose idea was this anyway? Maybe we're just crazy enough that someone might be intrigued by what makes us tick, and somehow participate with us on this journey of life. If no one reads it, then at least we have one great big public journal that we will keep forever...or until the computers crash. Either way, welcome to our blog honey, maybe this will make it past the first 5 pages (the farthest I've made it into any paper journal), then again, maybe it won't. Grow old with me, the best is yet to be...that's what the rock at your mom's house says anyway ;)...and welcome strangers, feel free to snoop...and participate.