Friday, December 11, 2009

Merry Christmas Adoptive Families!


To all the families that we have bonded with through adoption!

Merry Christmas from our heart to yours!


video

Monday, November 23, 2009

SAMMY IS 3 TODAY!!



HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAMMY!!!
WE LOVE YOU!!!





Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009

Haiti Container Garden Project

Some people have asked me to go further in depth regarding the container garden project that I contrived (with the help of google) and the outstanding group from Texas A&M executed with excellence. The idea started when Jen and I were visiting the boys. John mentioned that he would like to use the roof of the boys' house to plant a garden to improve the diversity of their nutrition (he would like me to let you know that they eat well, but this can only supplement the excellent care that they are already receiving). We tossed around a few ideas and concluded that it would be a bad idea to place soil on the roof due to drainage, mold, roof leak, and weight issues. Instead it was obvious that containers would be best and we thought that buckets may be our best bet. I took this a step further using the library...I mean, google, and found plans to make self watering bucket gardens. So, here is how it works, a resevoir for water is created in the bottom of the bucket and is filled with water through the 1" pipe. The 3 inch pipe and everything above the resevoir is soil. The soil in the 3" pipe is in contact with the water and will act as a wick bringing moisture up to the plants. Another 1" pipe with holed in the bottom of it passes completely through the middle of the bucket horizontally to provide aeration to the roots. The bucket's water resevoir needs to be topped off only once every few days and the soil will only uptake as much water as the plants need. I'll try to instruct and tell you why/how as we go:

Using a 5 gallon bucket with a lid, the lid is placed on the bucket and a 1.25" (hole towards a side) and a 3" hole (in the middle) are drilled using a hole saw drill bit. Then the lid is cut away from the rim of the lid using a reciprocating saw, or a Dremel with a 1/8" cutting bit (my preference), it is cut so that it will sit snugly inside of the bucket about 3" from the bottom.

Underneath the 3" hole, a 3" piece of 3" PVC pipe with small holes drilled in it will be placed using zip ties. This "cup" is where the soil will touch the water and wick it towards the roots. Through the 1.25" hole, a 18" long piece of 1" PVC will be pushed through, this will be the tube through which the resevoir is filled as needed:

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.

Questions?






Sunday, July 5, 2009

I'm an UNCLE???


Jen just noted that "Uncle Tim" sounds weird...given that since Uncle Jon and Chris, and Aunt Kim and Katie sound so natural after 7 years, Uncle Tim and Aunt Jen still have an awkward feel to it. I have to admit, I think that Mochi...excuse me...Hazel Marina, is the most beautiful baby that I have ever seen, but that doesn't make "Uncle Tim" sound any more natural. I'm used to being a dad, but have not been schooled in being an uncle. I have much to learn. In short, congratulations Elise and Chris, you make lovely offspring, keep it up.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Beef Jerky and Glow Sticks...

Each night we've been trying to have a devotion time, and last night's made me laugh and cringe at the same time. On monday the group had gone to a seaside village to see a more rural area of Haiti. Their task was to distribute 'de-worming' medication to the children and adults of the community. The also brought beef jerky and glow sticks. In the chaos of it all, one member of the group realized that the kids were going crazy for the jerky and glow sticks while the thing that they really needed was to not have worms in their stomach stealing their nutrients. They could have cared less about taking a pill that would make them healthier, yet they were in a tizzy for a salty snack and a party favor. The experience brought out the conflict of chasing what we want that will satisfy us temporarily and putting off what we need to make us healthy and whole. It's true in kids, and it's true in us.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

New Pictures up on Facebook...

Here are some pictures from today. I had a good reunion with the boys, the looks of "is he really here or is this a dream" were priceless, and they both came straight to me. I'll write more when I have more. In the mean time, click here for pictures.

F-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-freeeeeeezzzzziiiinnnnngggggg...

Not what you expected for my first Haiti blog??? Then you don't know Ft. Lauderdale Airport at 2am. Apparently they want to discourage people from sleeping overnight, or they want to sell more hotel rooms at a cool $139 to borrow a bed for 8 hours. So, I nodded off a couple of times, woke up every 5 minutes as the P.A. system reminded me to recycle, the current security threat level (it's orange in case you were wondering), and to report any suspicious baggage that I may see. I should probably appreciate it now while I can, since I'll be sweating for the rest of the week. Updates to come.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Crabby Old Man poem...

This poem came across my inbox from a woman at our church...it's a forwarded email but it won't bring you bad luck if you don't pass it on, etc., etc., etc. I spend a decent amount of time at work walking down the halls of various nursing homes and nut houses, trailer parks and apartment complexes, tent cities and abandoned houses, and even lonely mansions. The fact is we will all grow old, will all be active minds trapped in worthless bodies, waiting impatiently for this life to pass wondering what waits us on the other side. Read on and ponder on many levels, I did.


Crabby Old Man
What do you see nurses? . . What do you see?
What are you thinking . . .. . when you're looking at me?
A crabby old man, . . not very wise,
Uncertain of habit . . . . . with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food . . . . .. . and makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice . . 'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice . . . the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . . . . . . . lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . . . . The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking? . . . Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse . . . . you're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am, . . .. . . as I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, . . . . as I eat at your will
I'm a small child of Ten . . . . with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters . . . . . . . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen .. . with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . . . a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty. . . . . .My heart gives a leap.
Remembering the vows . . . .. . that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now . . . . . . . I have young of my own..
Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . . . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . . . . . With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons . . have grown and are gone,
But my woman's beside me . . .. . . . to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, . Babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . . . My loved one and me ...
Dark days are upon me . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future . . . .. . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing . . . . . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . And the love that I've known.
I'm now an old man . . . .. . and nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age. . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles . . . . .. . . .. grace and vigor depart.
There is now a stone . . . . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . . A young guy still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . . . . . . .. I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living . . . . . . . . life over again.
I think of the years . all too few . . . . . gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people . . .. . . open and see..
Not a crabby old man
Look closer . . see . . . . ME!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Haitian Funky Mouth Disease (HFMD)




It's a cruel world when a lollipop can carry the Haitian Funky Mouth Disease. What was supposed to be an act of bonding between me and the boys turned into a week of misery. You may ask, "What is Haitian Funky Mouth Disease"? It is essentially a mouth infection that causes your gums to swell and become tender (like right after the dentist's 'hook'), and multiple canker sores on your gums and tongue. Apparently, it is rare in adults, and lasts 7 to 10 days.


I have learned many lessons through all of this, here are a few:


-New Rule: One lollipop, one mouth.

-A moment of bonding can lead to a week of pain.

-Nothing is innocent.

-Listen to your mother.

-Only eating things that you don't chew will help you lose 15 pounds in one week (is that what a liquid diet is supposed to be?).

-Taking vitamin C and Zinc gives you bad B.O. that smells like Parmesian Goldfish.

-HFMD is bad for intimacy with your wife.

-Even with all of our doctors and medicines, some things just have to run thier course.


I'm now on day 8, my mouth is starting to feel better, and I am hoping that it will stay on this course without any lingering effects.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Looking Back...

I was doing what I do after every visit with the boys...thinking what in God's name can speed this thing up?!?! And wondering if we need to request an extension for any of our paperwork. (This is a good thing to keep on top of b/c once your paperwork expires you have to re-file which means paying the fees again. Something we are trying to avoid.) This ended up in a mad goose chase. I was searching through 100's of copies of documents looking for one lil piece of paper. No luck! So, next i turned to my old "sent" email. I vaguely remember scanning the document b/c we had a problem with it. As i began looking through my email i came across this...


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...

In an email sent on May 7, 2008 I had this to say...

"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!






So, what started as a mad goose chase turned into a stroll down memory lane! I can't wait for next Mother's Day...hopefully I will be celebrating with us all together for good!

Oh, If you are wondering if I found the document...not a chance! I think it's safe in Haiti with John. I did end up calling USCIS office to double check the expiration date. It only makes sense to avoid any unnecessary reprocessing fee, right!?!?

To all who have joined us on this crazy wonderful journey, I am eternally grateful.


-J



Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Joseline and Compassion International

The shy little girl, whose picture we picked from about 100 others 10 years ago at a Christian Music Festial in New Hampshire. She was now driving down the road toward me. I wasn't sure what to expect as they pulled up and got out of the green truck. The shy little 8 year old stepped out, but now she was a shy 18 year old, as unsure as I, not knowing how this relationship was to be played out. We were connected only by letters and pictures until now, and only a few times per year at that. For the price of $28 (now $32) per month, we were able to pay for her education, some food, and occasionaly provide practical gifts. I suppose we are some sort of parental figures to her though only knowing her through letters. But here we were, face to face. We smiled, gave a hug, and went inside. For five hours we played with the kids, shared pictures with her, went out to lunch, took her to the women's ministry while I taught a first aid/CPR type class, gave her gifts, and sent her on her way back to the island of Gonaves. At the end of it, we were mutually happy to have physical proof that the other was a real person, and mutually confused at how we could be connected in tangible ways from so far without ever meeting. I have high respect for Compassion International and their mission to connect people that otherwise would never be connected, to make a difference in the lives of the sponsor and the sponsored. I'm sure I'll have more to reflect on this experience, but for now I need to enjoy our last day here.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The days are going by much to quickly. The first two seem a blur to me (Jen). We arrived to find Sammy Gino sick and not quite thrilled to see us. Gino saw Tim and promptly found a nanny to hide behind. Gino waited until Tim was a safe distant away and made a break for me. He was happy to see me but even happier to sleep. For the next 24 hours he was content to sleep in my arms every chance he got but not playful or cheery at all. Sammy was running the same fever but acting much like himself. Always ready for play and daddy's lil man. He has such an affection for Tim and i love it! Gino's fever finally broke. And this morning he was all smiles and giggles. It was so good to see him feeling well again. He was quite talkative and even wanted to play with Papi (that is what the boys call Tim...which i suppose is less confusing than having a "daddy" when you have a sister named Addie).
Zoe and Addie have found their rolls as big sisters to the boys very fulfilling and make the most of the morning activities at the boys house. Zoe had this sweet moment with Gino during playdough station this morning.

Addie loves to try and engage Sammy in everything she is doing. She must have said "Sammy" 100 times today. She succeeded in getting him to swing with her.

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

Saturday, May 2, 2009

We're Here!



This is our third trip to visit our boys who are still waiting to come home as governments and policy makers keep us apart. We are SO thankful for the home that they are in for the time being, and for the wonderful people who care for them while we are in the States. They are among friends, loved, fed, and encouraged.


We posted some pictures from today on facebook (CLICK HERE).


Thanks to everyone who donated items for us to bring, especially Cindi (Jen's mom) for buying a new trampoline pad and safety net, you can see from the pictures that it was badly needed.


Tomorrow we are going to church with Sammy and Gino.


Love to you all, we're enjoying our time, wish the boys felt better (running temperatures), but happy to be with them regardless.




Wednesday, April 29, 2009

So Happy Together...



Just 2 more day!!!!
I can't sleep. I can't think. I'm so excited!!! I can't wait to be together with our boys!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Birthday to my boys!!!

HAPPY BIRHTDAY TIM AND GINO!!!!






Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

Land of the Free by Andrew Peterson

Jen's friend passed a song along to her, it resonates with us and where we're at, here's a snippet:

"Well, I’m weary of the spoils of my ambition and I’m shackled by the comfort of my couch. I wish I had the courage to deny these of myself and start to store my treasure in the clouds ‘cause this is not my home...and I’m just a little jealous of the freedom that you have, unfettered by the wealth of a world that we pretend is gonna last. They say God blessed us with plenty, I say you’re blessed with poverty ‘cause you never stop to wonder whether earth is just a little better than the Land of the Free." -Land of the Free by Andrew Peterson

Friday, March 13, 2009

Refuse to become corrupt...


I was driving last week, and in my quest to come up with original and relevant facebook status updates I came up with:
"Tim Pearson Refuse to become corrupt...it's an active process, to be passive is to be corrupted."
Okay, it wasn't truly facebook that influenced me, but my overactive idealistic mind that wonders why we don't do the right things even when we know they are the right things to do. I call it sin nature, you may call it human nature, but the point is WE ALL DO IT. We are self destructive as a community when we aren't actively working against our individual selfishness, and it's our selfishness that craves the things that destroy us as a group, or destroys another group for our own comfort to benefit 'our' group.
Uh oh...let me try to scramble so I can unpack this. Last sunday's sermon, I'm sure it was excellent but, my memory only allows for one tidbit to stick...the one thing that stood out for me was an illustration of the community that fights tooth and nail to avoid having power lines go near thier neighborhood. They get lawyers, experts, sheer numbers of neighbors to protest how this will bring down property values, create health risks, provide a place for people to throw shoes onto the wires (whatever reason they can come up with). And finally the county caves, decides not to put them there...only to divert the lines through a poorer, less organized neighborhood.
There is the saying that kaka rolls downhill, but it's more than that. Our actions affect more than just those directly around us. And now your saying, "I thought this was about corruption". There are two types of corruption, corruption of comission, and corruption of omission. Comission is actively doing something you shouldn't, omission is not doing something when you should.
How often do we want to do something that is 'good', but then, as soon as it becomes just the slightest bit inconvenient, the idea falls to the wayside? We have a glimmer of wanting to help with the Big Brother Big Sister program, Habitat for Humanity, or sponsor a child through Compassion International, and then the thoughts of cost and commitment come in and we wind up ignoring the tugging on our heart.
We are corrupt in every part of our being. We're like a garden, when it is left unattended, the good things become overgrown and ugly, and the bad things flourish and choke out any new growth. Without constant weeding, pruning, nurturing, tilling, etc. our lives won't bear any fruit.
We can live for ourselves, but it will always be at the expense of another. Our only defense is to constantly be in a state of readiness against our propensity for corruption...or we can get drunk and watch a lot of T.V. eating Twinkies until we die, never thinking twice about the human race as a whole.
**These rambling thoughts have been brought to you by: Cuban Coffee, stimulating the mind for hundreds of years.**

Friday, February 13, 2009

Haiti on my mind...

I can't sleep...and sleep is something that usually comes quite naturally to me. So, I decided to write, not for you, but for me...and if I publish this, you will get to listen to me ramble and test my thougts.
In 1999, Haiti changed Jen and me...we knew we would be back, not sure when, or how, but we knew. Now we've been back twice, and each time our hearts tug a little more, it feels a little more common, more like a second home. We look past the dirt, heat, sweat, smell, and begin to see people, faces, stories, opportunities. We've been given such a gift by visiting, the gift of perspective. But the gift is also a curse. Everything that we thought we knew, we realized we don't. Everything we took for granted now stares us in the face. It's not guilt that is bothering me, I'm over that, it's an urge to see the proof in my pudding, see my rubber meet the road, to have my nose on the grindstone...that sounded weird, but oh well, you get the point.
This evening I read that America has 4.5% of the world's population, yet uses 40% or more of the world's resources. That is staggering. I try to justify it, deny it, ignore it...but I can't. It's not THE issue, just evidence of deeper issues. We (as Americans) don't think outside of ourselves, and our worldview is so narrow and surreal, that we have fooled ourselves and numbed our minds to reality.
As usual, I digress. I'm not awake because I'm thinking about what America, nor Americans should do. I'm awake wondering what this American should do. Beyond that, what should this American Christian do? It's one thing to be an atheist American who lives for himself out of a belief system of being fit to flourish, it's another thing to believe what Jesus had to say and somehow try to reconcile it to our American culture. I used to think that this country was rich, but we did a lot of good with our riches. America contributes less than 0.4% of our federal budget to poor countries. We are second to last of the 22 industrialized nations. Again, I digress...probably because it's easier to talk about the faceless 'system' than it is to talk about this mug of mine.
So, Jen and I are asking big questions, wondering if there is a place in Haiti for us. Wondering if we have a role to play other than living in comfort while ignoring the rest of the world. Curious if there is more to life than earning a paycheck, paying the mortgage, planning for retirement, and staying entertained.
The nice part of it all is that while we are shifting in our seats, we're not in any rush. We're stable, and comfortable, waiting to see where God takes us on this adventure of life. We are open to the idea of working in or for Haiti, but not without wisdom, calling, and sober judgement.
Any thoughts?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Final Day


Day 7 Pictures Here
Family Portrait


We tried. We had the matching outfits, jeans with white shirts, the kids were clean(ish), the camera was ready...and we couldn't pull it off. 20-some pictures later, and we had nada. They were blurry, someone's eyes were closed, looking away, pulling hair, falling down, bonking heads, mid sentence mouths, droopy eyes, you name it...we had it in every picture. The funny thing is that Jen and I were the worst, constantly looking at a kid, making a face, or talking. Oh well...our perfect picture is imperfect (a metaphor for life?). I do have to say that we did capture 'us'. Maybe it isn't the one that you would find in a doctor's office, but it is the one you may find in our house some day. We are relieved to admit that we don't have it all together, and ready to accept life's curveballs. Like leaving your kids in Haiti.

I did it to you, brought you down with us. We're heading home tomorrow and it's tough. A bond is formed, then broken, all in one short week. It's been broken before, and repaired instantly when we returned, but we can't help but worry about what it does to a 2 year old psychy. We tell ourselves that their brains won't remember it when they are 20, but we still don't like it. We can go nuts lamenting the arduous, ambiguous, ridiculous process that is adoption, but it won't do us any good. We can move to Haiti, leave the secure for the unknown. Or we can go home, love them from afar, return as soon as we can afford it and get time off, and do it all over again. These seem to be our options. Is it better to stay away until paperwork is done and then meet them and take them home at the same time? I don't think so, but it would be less painful. Hurting for love feels good though, it's not heartbreak, just heartache. Time passes quickly in hindsight, but slow in uncertain foresight. We've heard stories of some adoptions taking 2 or 3 years, stories of old laws being enforced more strictly, and as of recently we have not heard much encouraging news that they are showing any interest in making it any faster...perhaps it is even becoming slower.

Regardless, tomorrow we return, already looking forward to our next visit. Thanks for journeying with us. We look forward to seeing you all soon.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Trip to Mirebelais...



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.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Family Day 5...

DAY 5 PICTURES HERE





BATH TIME:





This afternoon we got out the biggest salad bowl you have ever seen, filled it with water and let the four kids play in it. Zoe and Addie weren't too impressed but participated nonetheless, Gino and Sammy had a blast. From cannonballs to cups of water over eachother's head, we fear that bath time at the 'boys house' will never be the same for these two. We are feeling the end of our stay coming nearer, and so each little stolen moment has a little more meaning. This bath was a special one for me.





CABIN FEVER





We have been spending a lot of time in our apartment above the 'girls house', mainly because it gives us time alone with the boys. Unfortunately, I get stir crazy, and a bad case of cabin fever if I'm boxed in too long. I either mentioned it to Jen, or she sensed it, and so she suggested that I walk down to the bakery to get us some fresh breadsticks (that are addictive)...but first I needed to take something next door. Well, unfortunately, two bags full of breadsticks had just arrived next door, including 10 that were purchased for us. So that trip went out the window. However, tomorrow morning I will be going with Junior to Mirebelais, a village, to run an errand with him and get to see more of Haiti. I'm looking forward to it, and so should you.






HE FITS

Yup, we've thought about packing them up and bringing them home...but our better judgement tells us to wait in line like everyone else. We figured that if we got them to Miami and claimed that they were Cuban, then we could have them under the wet foot/dry foot rule. We'll keep thinking. Any other ideas? *We're kidding.




That's it for now, Jen had some excitement during one of her runs with a couple of the other ladies here, but since this is called His Blog Her Blog, she'll have to write about that one. Good night!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday...

It's 10:10, which means it feels like it's midnight since Haiti virtually shuts down and restarts with the setting and rising of the sun, so I'll make this one quick. Today we went to the Haitian/American church called Port au Prince Fellowship. It's an experience in itself, and if anyone were to tell me about a plan for this type of church I would have been a nay sayer, laughed and told them it would never work. I say this because the service is in english, and yet 95% of the attendees are Haitians. It is a beautiful mix of foreign and local, joyful worship, and servant hearts. It's organic and wonderful. The singing is not polished, but it's awesome...like a rusty old pickup truck that has it's own intrigue, style, and character. You wouldn't take it to a car show, but you'd be proud to drive it. Afterwards we had a nice lunch and watched a gentleman crush a can of beans on his head (more on that another day...maybe, I'm still trying to process what happened). We overheard a conversation in which Carlos Whittaker was mentioned (my sister's husband's brother who is big in the blogosphere), which was funny to us...we'll have to let him know that he's being spoken of in the Haitian missionary circles. Zoe has made a new friend, Katie Grace, who is 9 years old and looks and acts eerily like Zoe. They had an amazing tea party, I was envious. I took the girls swimming for a little daddy/daughter time while Jen let the boys have a raucous time in the bath. We had leftovers for dinner, and had some amazing milkshake/coffee/choclate type dessert/drink that Byron our neighbor and host made for us. And now all the kids are sacked out on the futon, and Jen has abandoned me once again as I burn the Haitian midnight oil to keep you updated. Good night mom, my faithful commentor (and you too Lani)....and to all of you that do read, and leave no feedback, g'night.

;)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Funny Things

DAY 3 PICTURES HERE

Since our joy in this visit is tempered by the reminders that the Haitian adoption process is slower than the clay turtles that Addie stuck to our window, we thought we'd share some funny things with you to keep things light (for our sake and yours!):

We put headphones on Sammy with Veggie Tales playing...he spent the next 30 seconds looking all around for where the sound was coming from (the cieling? no. the floor? no. Addie? no. Zoe, Gino? no.) Had it been Gino, we think he would have had the whole thing deconstructed to find the source (he is a thinker and tinkerer).

We're contemplating spelling Gino's name Dino when we return to the states (since that's closest to the phoenetics of it)...we'll wait until after we get back so we don't cause any more confusion on this end...they have enough excuses to hold on to our papers already.

Sammy has episodes that can be mistaken for seizures...he's perfected the art to the point where he scared some visitors that don't know him. He has a shut down act when he thinks someone is going to leave. He throws his head back, closes his eyes, and goes silent...until he cracks his eyelids open and stares out of the corner of his eye to see if you've fallen for it.

Gino/Dino is an excellent mimicker. Once he's on a roll, you can get him to imitate almost any action...we had him rubbing his tummy, patting his head, poking someone else, picking his nose, itching his ear, etc.

Gino/Dino is afraid of me with my shirt off...while this may not suprise many of you, it was funny to us. I suppose he can tolerate pale skin in small doses, but when I was changing my shirt, you would have thought he saw a ghost...hmmm....time for a tan?

We're having trouble taking pictures, either we're stark white, or they are too dark. Sometimes we get it right. Time to experiment with flashes.

Sammy still has his chipmunk tendencies. He'll hold his last bite of anything until he's presented with something better...resulting in the ejection of a soggy, chewed up ball of whateveritwas in order to make room for the new offering. Today it was trail mix, then a carrot.

We had another dance party today, Sammy has some suave moves, Gino has mastered the march, Zoe has a "special 6 year old dance", and Addie throws the hips (she gets it from her father), Jen got funky like I've never seen before.

Gino makes sure that everyone else eats his food that is too hot for him, repeatedly shoving forkful after forkful into my mouth whether I was ready or not.

Sammy will be our quarterback...he has good arm speed and accuracy with a Nerf football...catching?...not so much.

I'm stoked about the return of nap time...Sammy and Gino share my fondness for the afternoon siesta.

Gino is scared of statues (yes, and my white belly, but I already told you about that). There are two 3 foot tall Haitian carvings that he would run away from.

Gino has a sleepy routine of pulling his belly button and sucking in his bottom lip. Sammy just cries when you put him down.

Addie said tonight, "I'm going to sleep by myself tonight.". She went and tucked her brothers in, laid down next to them....and a minute later she was in our bed asking for someone to lay down with her.

Zoe got a bloody nose...by accident...it wasn't my fault...promise...it was the trampoline...and maybe had something to do with a 210 pound man jumping with a 6 year old...but that's all I'm saying.

We're learning all about generators, inverters, stacks of car batteries for power....and sweating through the night.

Good night.

Yesterday...


Tim asked me to write about yesterday. I will attempt to do this one handed since Dino insists on my holding him this morning. As some of you may know I'm training to run a marathon, while typically I love my training runs and the time alone...I didn't want to run yesterday at all!! I woke up and Gino (Pronounced Dino) and Sammy were smiling and giggling at me and i just didn't want to go. I wanted to enjoy the moment but the reality of 26.2 miles hit me up side the head and so I ran the streets of Haiti with Beth, Tara, and Shelly. While I was running Tim fed the kiddos and took them back to the boys house and hung out while they did their morning activites. I meet up with them, sweaty and covered in the mud of wet streets, to find Addie and Sammy making shapes with playdouhgh and Zoe "mothering" any child that showed a hint of "need." It's been fun to watch Addie take on the role of big sister with gusto, she is eager to throw away their diapers, get the toys they drop and help them learn new words. Zoe awaits any chance to help out and stays at the boys house, even staying behind without any of us, to "help a lil' longer".


(Ahhh, no little hands helping me type)


After that we returned to the apartment where we are staying and took a big family nap. Well rested, we returned to the boys house for some trampoline jumping, swinging and playing with friends. We returned to our place for a variation on bath time. Since we only have a shower and cold water we have been putting bathing suits on them, filling a large bucket with water and giving them cups to play with the water. THEY LOVE IT! It gives them a chance to experiment and play with water while they get cooled off. After about the bucket is emptied we soap them down and start over. In the end we have clean happy kids!!! Fun stuff.


We had a nice dinner with some other adoptive parents that arrived yesterday and all the people invovled in the minisitry here. Well past the boys bed time Dino was fast asleep in my arms and Sammy wasn't far behind. We called it a night and worked on processing the day with the girls before they drifted off.


So, that was yesterday and now I must get ready for the fun that awaits us today!!!


One more thing...I DON'T WANT TO GO HOME!!!!!!!

Jen

Friday, January 23, 2009

Day #2 pictures, blog to come tomorrow...

Pictures from Day #2 HERE


Sorry to make you wait, but it's 10:30 and we're pooped...I'll try to get to blogging in the morning. Great day.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

One Big Happy Family...


In hind sight, it would have been a really good idea to take a picture of all of us together for the first time, on the first day...but behold, the day is done, the girls and boys are asleep on a futon mattress laid on the floor, and Jen and I are pooped after getting up at 4am for our flight this morning.
Our first encounter with the boys as a family was a huge success. The boys reattached quickly, as soon as they had determined that we in fact were the same people that loved on them a few months prior. Zoe and Addie slid into their big sister roles with ease, and adjusted instantly to Haiti (I don't think that is normal).
Even thought it was freezing in Florida when we left, it is still 90 degrees + here...it feels like Haiti, and we are readjusting to sweating non-stop...in fact, I am two feet from a cold shower since the bathroom is the only place we can pick up the WiFi signal from next door, and I can't wait to jump in it.
We don't have any official news on the progress of beaurocracy, but apparently they still haven't passed the updated guidlines that will permit couples who already have biological children to adopt. So currently we are in a pile of applications that are awaiting 'special' approval. We haven't heard from Junior, the point man on the paperwork, so this is only what we have heard through the vine.
The shower is calling me (and Jen has already directed me to where the toothbrush and toothpaste are...her subtle way of telling me that I have funky breath), so I'm going to take care of some personal hygeine and write again tomorrow.
Thanks for your love, prayers, and support. We appreciate you all.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Blog again, blog again, jiggety jig...

Sorry for our blogging absence, it's been a busy month or two, with little news on the adoption front, other than we are leaving today and arriving in Port au Prince tomorrow. We're excited as this is the first time our entire family will be together!! We intend to blog during our trip and keep you updated with stories and pictures. Thanks for being on this journey with us, your support, prayers and friendship are appreciated deeply. Let the adventure continue.