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.


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.