To all the families that we have bonded with through adoption!
Merry Christmas from our heart to yours!
The set will then be placed inside the bucket. On the sides of the bucket, two more 1.25" holes are drilled opposite of eachother and a 1" piece of PVC that has small holes drilled lengthwise on one side is pushed through and the holes turned facing down so soil doesn't come through.
A small hole is drilled in the side of the bucket just below where the lid sits to act as an overflow spout to know when the bucket is filling and to allow extra water to drain in case it rains. The bucket is then filled with soil. After the bucket is full, remove the lid rim, place plastic over the bucket and use the rim to hold it in place. Then poke a hole in the plastic, stick your finger in the dirt, and plant a seed, covering it with soil. For the first week or so, water the bucket from the top to make sure the soil stays extra moist for the seed to germinate, then just keep the resevoir filled. If you have access to fertilizer, you can add about 4 oz of 7-7-7 and 4 oz. of Dolomite to the top of the soil, it will slowly release during the course of your plant's life. We didn't have this, so we used compost that had been made from the food scraps of the two children's homes with mango leaves, etc. In only 3 days we had about 30-40% of the 231 buckets that we made germinating and showing signs of life!
Hopefully this explains it a little better for you, we learned and adjusted as we went, set up a pretty efficient assembly line using about 10 people and were able to construct all 231 buckets in one full day, then filled and planted on the second day. These results could not be accomplished with just any group, we had a SUPER group that worked with determination and intelligence even though they had never constructed one of these before, and I had only made one myself. Special credit also goes to David Cole who by default became our agriculture expert and made a huge difference in our level of success by using his knowledge and experience with planting.
This was the first picture we received of the boys. To my surprise we received it on May 2, 2008. We had spent the next week in prayer before the Lord trying to "figure out" if these were our sons. You see we had referrals from two different orphanages and it was "up to us" b/c we had been approved by both.
On May 4, 2008 I made this and sent it in an email to Tim at the Fire station...
"To be quite honest, we feel confident that Gino and Sammy are the children God intended for our family."
By May 11, 2008 we had given our official "YES" to Marantha Children's Home and we were "matched" with our sons.
It never occurred to me that our last visit coincided with that very special day that we saw our sons for the first time. We bought our tickets based on the dates offered for one of Spirit airlines ridiculously low ticket rates. But there is something sweet about the fact that looking back we spent these days with our sons. May 2nd a year ago we saw them and loved them. May 2nd this year we held them and loved them! What a difference a year has made!
We are more confident then ever "that Sammy and Gino are the children God intended for our family." We are so grateful to God for bringing them into our lives and hopeful that He will bring the boys home to us soon. I'm trying not to be be angry or complain about how long this process is taking but rather I'm trying to see the journey God has had us on this last year. A year ago i celebrated Mother's Day as a mother of two. This year i celebrate it as a mother of four!!! I am a blessed women indeed!
We are trying our best to live in the moment while realizing the need to capture some to share and some for posterity's sake. But this is a difficult task. Truly being in the moment requires all of you and no camera in my opinion. Even more difficult is the task of putting words to those experiences. So, here are some fun things that didn't get denied our full attention and i haven't any words to describe... jumping on the trampoline, introducing woffle ball to the boys (and the nannies) at the boys house, glow sticks in the pitch black night of Haiti, Zoe and Addie lovin on their brothers, holding your son while he sleeps, listening to their laughter, and hearing them call you Manmi and Papi and seeing the tears in their eyes when it's time to say goodnight.
I'm at a loss for what to share next, the ants are biting me, and we meet our Compassion child tomorrow so i should try to get some sleep. Good night form Haiti! Love to you all! -J
This morning I was awoken by Junior, John McHoul's right hand man on the adoption process...he was 30 minutes early to pick me up so I could go with him on 'an adventure'. Our mission was to go to Mirebelais (sp?) in order to confirm that a death certificate would in fact be on it's way to the central record keeping in Port au Prince. From what I understand, each town has someone in charge of issuing death, marriage, and birth certificates, and when they are completed, they are supposed to make their way to PaP for storage. Part of Junior's job is to make sure that all documents that may be needed in the future are in fact there. I have learned from Junior that you cannot take anything for granted in this process. That every seemingly simple step can in fact be a major stumbling block for adoptions. Apparently, the powers that be are jaded towards adoption, all the way from the UN down. I'll have to look into this more when I get home. Anyway, we go to what would be our clerk of the court, a building next to a UN building, and arrived at 8:00...they don't open until 9:00 (thanks for getting me up early Junior ;), so we ran a different errand first, to find the birth mother of another kid to make sure she can still be located. Junior says, "all I know is that she said she lives near the soccer field". So off we go, asking where the soccer field is, then if anyone knows this lady. To Junior's credit, we found her house fairly quickly, and learned that her father died and she was at his funeral. No problem, we know she is here. In the meantime, Junior looks up and sees someone that he knows from a long time ago who lives nearby...I learned that Junior knows everyone from a long time ago, since he is constantly "planting seeds" and meeting anyone and everyone. He has a photographic memory and remembers faces and situations extremely well...or so it seemed to me.
Then we went back to the clerk, he wasn't there and there was a line of people waiting. Junior calls him, he shows up, we go straight into the office and caught some looks of disapproval from those who were waiting. We go back to this 'Official' office. it consists of a white, 6'x8' room, a wooden desk and two chairs. Nothing else. In the end the man says that he will need to make a book' to send down to PaP, with a fee involved. Junior doesn't need this to happen for a few more months and says he will go tell John. Mission accomplished, the document is on the radar of the clerk, he knows it's important, Junior continues to have a rapport with him, and the price of doing business will be agreed on later. We take so much for granted in the states. Just to get someone to do what they are supposed to be doing in the first place requires a personal visit, and hounding to make sure it gets done.
I gained a greater appreciation for what Junior does. He is good at it, and seems to enjoy it.
My bed and my wife are calling me...good night.