Sunday, October 26, 2008

Day Six, final day...

Today was our last day, and before we knew it, we were saying 'see you later' to the boys. We started off by going to an English speaking church that is begrudgingly led by John McHoul (he is praying for a replacement so he can focus on his multiple ministries). It is fun to see him in his pastoral role, the same as he is every day, no pretense, no show, genuine as can be, he is who he is. The message was about listening to God, he used a quote that said if you are going to pray for two hours, the first hour and 55 minutes should be spent listening, and the last 5 minutes can be used for talking. Often we go to God in prayer with either our script in hand, or our wants at the forefront. We want to check prayer off of our list of things to do, or things we think we should do, and get on with our day and our lives. God often speaks in quiet whispers, and the clamour of our days drowns it out. I'd like to make time to listen, that's what I got out of it (thanks John). The worship was led by an Austrailian, many Haitians and a couple of Americans. The congregation was mostly Haitians, many who come to practice their english while also going to church. It was neat to see Missionaries coming together to worship and fellowship, I guess I think of how a lot of ministries and churches form thier clique and avoid eachother for a multitude of foolish reasons. The boys came with us, wide eyed during the entire car ride there and back (thankfully they didn't get car sick like the other boy yesterday). They both slept through the service and were well behaved for the part they were awake for. Then we came back to the McHoul's for a celebration lunch of ham, mashed potatoes, beans, rice/beans, and fruit. They hosted close to 40 people, a feat in itself. We were able to meet a few of the missionaries, their families, and others. We celebrated one girl who will get her visa on Monday to be home with her family on Tuesday in Orlando, and two birthdays. About half way through, Gino zonked out again, and I (Tim) took advantage of an opportunity to nap. It was sweet. After our nap, we went to the boys house, played for a little while, let them eat dinner, then broke out the glow sticks again. We sang the ABC's, Old McDonald, and whatever other song I knew half of the words to, and enjoyed ourselves. Unexpectedly our ride back to our house arrived, and we knew it was time to say 'see you later'. We kept the fanfare to a minimum, kissed them goodnight, and gave them over to a nanny. It is hard to be loving them and knowing that this process is out of our hands and out of the hands of the home, and in the hands of God and the government. We have been encouraged to hear that the process has picked up speed from where it was at the beginning of the year, but our hopes are for much sooner than the projected time of 12 months or more. We are sad to leave the boys, but are itching to be back with our girls, we miss them deeply, and can't wait to snuggle with them tomorrow night. For now we say bon nuit, we look forward to seeing you all soon.

Day Six...

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

Day Five

I suppose we could get more creative with our titles, but for now the day encompases the conglomeration of things we are doing. Today we started at the boys house, we were greeted with big smiles from Gino and Sammy and open arms (no lollipops!). They are becoming attached which is good and bad, good in that a bond is being formed, bad in that we will be gone for a few months, come back, leave, come back...I suppose that so long as we come bring them home with us eventually, they will know that we will always return. The only other way is to move to Haiti...but that is another discussion.

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.


video

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Day Four...

video

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

Day Three...

Okay, Day Three has come to a close, another busy day in the bag. We woke up at 6 this morning, got ourselves together and headed over to Sheila's house (where the womens and sewing programs take place) to help set up for a medical clinic by HALOS. There were about 200 patients that were seen by a family practitioner, a OB/Gyn, and a pediatrician (depending on need)...also on site was a pharmacy and a lab to test for malaria, HIV/AIDS, worms, fungus, HbG, etc. Unfortunately they had to inform a family of five that they are indeed infected with HIV...they will follow up with them to help them get into a program. I got to play doctor, interviewing patients then turning to the real doctor for confirmation/correction to my diagnosis. Jen got to play nurse while the boys were napping, taking in patients and getting vital signs. Jen worked her usual mojo with the boys, had them laughing and giggling, and she made an amazing discovery...she figured out why Sammy is always making this face:

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

The only thing missing...

IS ZOE AND ADDIE!!!! WE MISS YOU AND LOVE YOU!!!
P.S. Don't have too much fun without us.
LOVE YOU,
Mom and Dad

Day two...

video

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).

Good night-

Jen

Haiti deforested...

On our way in we were reminded of the deforestation in Haiti and its effects. We had just passed the city of Gonaives (just out of frame to the left of the picture), the place that had the worst of the mudslides and flooding (they are still digging their way out)...and the culprit was still there. This island, once called Eden by Columbus, now resembles Afghanastan...when we fly into the Dominican Republic we are reminded what the island should look like. The people cut down trees to make charcoal, operating out of survival mode. Now the island is only 1.5% forested (last I heard). Haiti has a saying 'mountains beyond mountains' which essentially means 'problems beyond problems'. It will take a huge effort of grace and love to bring this island to a level of dignified poverty. Pray for Haiti.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Day One...

What a busy day...after we 'slept' in the airport we made it to Port au Prince, breezed through customs and were on our way to meet the boys (after a few errands on the way). We walked from the 'girls house' to the 'boys house' where we found SnG playing with all the other kids in the yard. I (Tim) confess that it took me a while to find them as I was searching faces rather than looking for the "Big Brother" and "Little Brother" shirts that we had sent them! Jen on the other hand saw Gino make a break for one of the nannies. We were prepped that Sammy would cling to anybody, but that Gino may run away/hide/cry. To our delight and suprise, Gino took to Jen extremely quickly and was glued to her for the day. Jen held him during nap time (and got some needed Z's herself), while I went back to the house we are staying in to get some things. Gino would tense up when I came to try and hold him, and cried when Jen put him down (a miracle in our book). Beth (Momma Beth as she is better known) said that he sees Jen as someone special because it wasn't normal for him to cry like that, and that he is usually content being on his own. Gino warmed up to me when I introduced fruit snacks into the picture, and we were cool from then on...especially when the lollipop and toy cars came out (yes, I resorted to bribery, the last arrow in my quiver). Sammy was content in all situations and loved to be held. Neither one is very talkative, except in defending their toys from some of the bigger kids...we'll see how that progresses. Thanks to all of you bathing us in prayer, so far, so good...much better than we had expected in many ways. Oh, and we're impressed with the McHoul's multi-faceted ministry here, but that will have to be second fiddle to these adoption updates.

First Meeting!!

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).

video

Good morning Zoe & Addie!

I hope you slept well. Don't have too much fun with grandma today! We love you. P.S. Wilson misses you.

Time to make the doughnuts...

We're up before the little doughnut man, waiting patiently for our egg and cheese bagels so that we can then pass through security to the promised land of more sporadic sleep on benches specifically designed to prevent sleeping. Don't mock my run on sentence, it's been a long night! :)

Only the best for us...

We picked out the best bench the airport had to offer...right next to Dunkin' Donuts for our resting and dining convenience...and it seems that we didn't pack our toothbrushes...looking forward to making a stellar first impression as we drag ourselves off the plane! I'm having a blast...something about being stripped of comfort that makes me feel alive...what do you call that?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My cool shoes...

My cool shoes from my cool daughter...I plan to run in them through the streets of the poorest country in the western hemisphere with the woman that runs the ministry/orphanage...fodder for future posts.

At Tampa International...

Good night Zoe and Addie, we love you!! Ask Grandma to help you add a comment! Sleep well.

Packed and Ready???

We are packed, and I suppose we are as ready as we will ever be. Pastor Lou sent us off with a good sermon, acknowledging how the congregation has loved us greatly, which will overflow to our Haitian brothers/sisters/friends/strangers. I also liked the part about being pleased but never satisfied with our expressions of love to our Family and neighbors, that we cannot and will not achieve a status of success where we can sit on our hands and be content. Thanks to all of you that are encouraging us in all manner of ways, without your love, the love of Christ, we would have little love to share. Stay tuned, we'll have more to come this week.

Cutie Pa-tooties...




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

Packing trials...


SUPRISE!! Your flight to Haiti only allows for 1 checked bag per person, because like in so many things, the rules are different for Haiti. So, we scrambled, and think we have it figured out. We will be using UPS to ship two boxes to a shipping company in Ft. Lauderdale that will then put them on a boat to Port-au-Prince and deliver them to the orphanage in 14 days. HA! So we're going on faith and a prayer that they will in fact make their way to the destination intact. We're stuffing each of our suitcases with donated goods, and packing our carry ons with our clothes in minimalist fashion. What an adventure! Lovin' it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Makes me sick...

video

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

Good Samaritans, or drug smugglers?

I always get nervous about customs whenever we take trips...I've heard horror stories of customs agents requesting 75% of items be left behind (not only in Haiti, but the DR and other places as well), and even a $10,000,000 shipment of medicines being 'lost' in customs only a couple of weeks ago (rumor or true, I don't know, news is a funny thing there...and here, but I digress). Please pray for favor in customs, we don't have anything illicit, but we do have new items, medicines (some prescription), pre-natal vitamins that look like medicines, and things that a customs agent could want. We can only carry so much, so I'd hate for any of it to be 'lost'.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

6 DAYS AND COUNTING!!!

In 6 days we will be hanging out with these two peanuts! We leave Sunday night, and will arrive in Port-au-Prince on Monday morning.
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.

Halloween Preview

video

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

The cons of having a 6 year old who reads...




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!

7 days and counting...

Just a couple of quick thoughts...

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

Mom, What is...?


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

Eyes of the Heart



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

12 Days and Counting



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...
J

Blogging, Twitter, and Facebook, OH MY!!

Ok, the internet age is insane...it will be amazing if the children coming up will have any real experiences or just virtual ones. I'm trying to untangle this web (no pun intended), to figure out how to make it all work without it being a giant hassle that doesn't last (like the giant hassle of journaling that I have failed at many times before). We'll see what happens, the good news is that Jen and I are the only ones reading this (I think.)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Who is in charge?!?!


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!!
J

Thursday, October 2, 2008

FW: FDR's First Inaugural Address

From my friend Steve Ruddel

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.

http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5057/

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.