Friday, August 22, 2008

Our Sweet Little Boy...

Is in an orphanage right now and has no idea how loved he is. Asa needs us and we need him. Haiti is only a little over two hours away by plane and that fact, if I dwell on it long enough, truly breaks my heart.

Last summer, we thought he'd be home by now. Early this year, we thought for sure he'd be here in time for Christmas. Right now, I would like to think that it'll be early 2009. But in all honesty - we just don't know. Here's the timeline thus far:

  • Decided we would someday adopt from Haiti - summer 2000
  • "We're really doing this..." picked agency - February 2007
  • Homestudy - March 2007
  • Matched with Asa - June 2007
  • Dossier sent to Haiti - August 2007
  • File enters IBESR - September 21st, 2007
  • My first trip to Haiti - October 2007
  • My second trip to Haiti - December 2007
  • Files exits IBESR - May 28th, 2008
  • File enters Parquet - June 2008
  • My third trip to Haiti - July 2008
  • File exits Parquet - August 2008
  • File enters Second Legal - August 2008
  • Fouth Haiti Trip scheduled - October 2008 (wooo-hoooo!!)

Since we still have a significant wait ahead (Second Legal, MOI and USCIS) I'll be making another trip in October - exactly one year from my first visit. Super excited about seeing my boy again & giving him lots of love. Not at all looking forward to the goodbye. :o(

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Monthly Report...

We received our update for the month of July. These reports are written up by the preschool teacher, Mr. John, and give us a tiny glimpse of what's been going on with our Asa Mack over the previous month. Here are a few highlights:

  • Behavior: very gentle
  • Mood/Emotion: very happy
  • Other General Changes in last month: This little boy is getting very active and interesting. He plays with his mates fairly.

It also said that he had the chicken pox right before I visited. I knew it had been going around - and a lot of the other toddlers were still covered in calamine lotion while I was there. He didn't seem to have any evidence of recent scabs or even scars so it must have been a fairly mild case. Two down, two to go. Allyson had the pox when she was six, but Chloe and Camden have not. I prefer that my kiddos receive natural & lifelong immunity by actually catching the chicken pox since they are healthy kids (not immune-compromised in any way). I think this is one of the childhood illnesses that actually helps to boost the immune system in the long-run. They haven't been exposed yet, though...

I think I'm finally starting to come out of the post-Haiti funk. I am still missing Asa terribly but we've been trying to stay busy with fun family activities (the kids and I are working on a silly project) and preparing for our (home) school year. Jim and I even have a little get-away planned for just us next weekend. That's something we have not done since before the two littles were born and something we will not be doing for quite some time once Asa comes home. ;o)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

We're One Step Closer...

To bringing Asa home. We found out today that we were signed out of Parquet. There's still quite a wait ahead; more legalizations needed and offices through which our file must pass. But we're encouraged and, if it's possible, we're even more excited about beginning our new life with him.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Missing Him...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Finally, Some Video...

Here's Asa, talking about his family. He says everyone's names very well, but Camden usually comes out something like "De-dah-dah." Check out the way he reacts to Henry (our golden retriever) at the end. Most of the children at the orphanage do not like animals. He's no exception and promptly folds up the album and says "no!"

And another...

Monday, August 4, 2008

My Third Trip To Haiti...

Was, by far, my best visit with our little Asa Mack. He is healthier & happier than ever and has grown in so many ways. He has the sweetest personality; he loves to share, he is gentle and he is SUPER CUDDLY. He really is starting to talk a lot and can say the names of everyone in our family (except Camden, but he does have a special word he uses consistently for Cam). I have a GREAT video of that... it'll be up soon. He talks to all the other toddlers in his room and it's adorable to hear them carry on their little conversations in Creole. I'm still feeling a bit icky from my recent tummy troubles, but here are a few pictures and memories from the trip...

We got in on Tuesday afternoon and this is what our luggage truck looked like:

When I walked into the orphanage, I went straight back to Asa's room where he was dressed up and waiting. The auntie (nanny) told him that I was his mama - he looked at me for a second, then smiled HUGE and came running. He grabbed me around my neck and didn't let go (the same reaction as my second trip). I'm sure he recognized me from the pictures above his bed, but this time, within minutes, he was calling me "mama."

One of the sweetest memories will be cuddling up for a nap with my boy! I LOVE naps and the only thing better than a nap is a nap with a toddler!! Have I mentioned how hot it was? I brought a battery powered table fan for next to the bed. When I turned it on, Asa looked SO confused - - I don't think he's ever felt relief from the stifling summer heat there. He smiled & konked out very soon after laying his head down. I'm glad I had my camera close because I was able to get some precious pictures of him sleeping & holding my hand.

The kids LOVE sunglasses so I brought a pair for him. He loved wearing them atop his head, and especially liked that he matched the picture of Papa and Camden in the new poster I brought.

We spent a lot of time playing with toys I brought. I had a little canvas bag for him and he loved carrying his books and treats in it. He was also happy just hanging out on my lap while I enjoyed visiting with other parents on the trip.

The aunties really seem to love him and loved showing off the fact that he can recite some sort of rhyme they taught him. I have no idea what it means but they had him do it over and over and smiled with pride each time he did. The auntie on the right in this photo told me that she loved him and she loves me - I responded that I loved her as well, and then we agreed we are "fanmi" (family).

My favorite time of day is right after the sun sets and everything turns a pinkish-purple. I didn't get any good photos this time, but even if I did, I doubt a photo would do the color justice. This was taken a little too early.

Anyone who has been to Haiti knows that you can't leave the country without leaving behind a little piece of your heart. There's no way to fully describe the shocking poverty or the tremendous beauty. I think most people (especially in the US) don't realize that those, seemingly opposite qualities, can coexist. Anyway, I'm sure I'll remember more in the days to come. It's always a hard transition from Haiti to home.

Quick and Easy Weight Loss Solution:

  • Go to Haiti
  • Assume that "only a small taste" of the yummy, spicy coleslaw and one tiny cucumber slice won't make you sick
  • Come home
  • Endure two days of multiple digestive ailments
  • CONGRATULATIONS!! You've just lost five pounds!!

I do have a lot of pictures, video and stories to share. I'm feeling much better today, so I'll definitely be posting more soon. I have to give a shout out to my sweet hubby who, not only took great care of the kids while I was gone, but has also been cooking, cleaning and entertaining our house guests while I've been sick. Thank you, J!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

He's Getting SO Big...

I'll post about the trip (with tons of photos) later. Just wanted to say that I'm home safely and the trip was fantastic. Asa Mack is looking super healthy and is very happy. He has the greatest smile & laugh and he's TALKING!