Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
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
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.
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.
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
Saturday, January 24, 2009
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.