Friday, May 29, 2009

Together... but not for long

I don't take pictures as much as I would like. I just don't think to take out the camera. So I look back at recent pictures and there are so few. Anyway, Josh was home briefly and I managed to get the kids together. Just looking at them makes me happy, and photos are the only place I can see them together. Josh has already left for the summer and in a month Kaylin will also be gone. Then there's Emily who will be working like crazy to save money for her 9 months in Thailand. Ahhh... where does the time go?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Two Little Girls, A Memoir of Adoption

I had a few minutes to kill the other day and stopped off at the library. Of course, I browsed the adoption section and found a memoir. When I started reading it, I just couldn't stop. Two Little Girls by Theresa Reid is described as beautiful, painful, raw, honest... I think you get the picture. Of course, I would like to know what adoption memoir is not all of those things. There is pain and there is beauty.

A few things jumped out at me though. Her adoption journey is quite a bit different than mine. After years of a fulfilled professional and personal life with no plans of having children, she suddenly realizes that she does indeed desire a child. Unfortunately she and her husband soon discover their infertility. So... they decide to adopt internationally. There are so many points in their story that just scream, "Selfish!!!!" But she readily acknowledges that reality. And there are so many moments of deep division between herself and her husband that scream out, "Abuse!!!!" She does not acknowledge that.

However, their journey bringing home one girl from Russia and then another little girl years later from Ukraine is literally "edge of your seat how can they possibly go through any more setbacks and continue" drama. Our adoption from Haiti has been LOOOOONNNNNGGGGG and there have been set backs. But because of the nature of Haitian adoptions (a lawyer acting on our behalf answerable to our orphanage and not us) versus the nature of Eastern European adoptions (adoptive parents have to be there to go through the court process and so are very aware of corruption, incompetence, apathy, hassles, etc.) I have been spared so much of the drama. I honestly don't know all of the "He said" "She said" garbage that goes on. I hear rumors but very little that is actually associated with our file. I know a long wait but I honestly don't know if I could have dealt with the roller coaster ride this family endured.

So as we wait in parquet... 10 LONG months and counting... I can at least be thankful I don't have to navigate the nightmare that Theresa Reid and so many others have. When our North American Can-Do attitude and work ethic fails and we are left totally helpless to the whims of a foreign system. I'm thankful for an ethical, reliable, hard working orphanage that is working hard to navigate the Haitian system on my behalf. I know that they are not cutting corners with my paper work or with the health and welfare of the children in their care.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The power within

I just finished a course on teaching ESL to adults. It was wonderful... intense... nerve wracking... hard... all at the same time. Anyway, one day we discussed Neuro Linguistic Programming. It was totally new to me. We went through several of the beliefs and we all indicated if we believed in it, then why or why not. Here they are. It amazed me to hear people's beliefs. To me, some of these ideas are just "wacko".


The map is not the territory

Experience has a structure

If one person can do something, anyone can learn to do it

The mind and body are parts of the same system

People already have all the resources they need

You cannot not communicate

The meaning of your communication is the response you get

Underlying every behavior is a positive intention

People are always making the best choice(s) available to them

There is no such thing as failure, only feedback

If you want to understand – act

If what you are doing isn't working, do something else

One that got us going because one man was so for this and a couple of us were so vocal against it, "People are always making the best choice(s) available to them." ARGGGG.... Just look at Haitian adoption. Too many people are not making the best choice. And what about the food crisis in Haiti? Tell me how letting a container full of food sit and rot on the wharf is making the best choice? For anybody?

Surprisingly, I was the only one who was completely against this one; "People already have all the resources they need." Ummmm... have you seen the mess all around us? Failed relationships. Failed businesses. Corrupt governments. Oh wait. "There is no such thing as failure, only feedback." Uggghhhhh!!!!!

And by the way, I'll never be a world class runner. I don't care how many other people have learned to do it. I'll never run a 4 minute mile.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Not holding my breath

14 May 2009

We received 4 dossiers out of IBESR where the families have biological children and we did not need a dispensation! We talked to Parquet and they are saying that they are honoring a moratorium on all dossiers that arrived in IBESR by October 2008 and not requiring a dispensation for them! We took the 4 dossiers to Parquet today. Now we must wait to see if they actually will go ahead and sign the dossiers! One of these files has been in IBESR since January 2007! This is great news if they actually honor the moratorium and grandfather these dossiers through on the old policies that were ineffect at the time. This is also supposed to include all dossiers rejected by Parquet due to biological children back in 2008.

Keep praying because we have a lot of dossiers sitting in IBESR waiting for a dispense. This ruling would be a small gift from God if it truly is the policy fo now!

This is the latest from the GLA website. We have been out of IBESR since July 2008 and have been waiting to be signed out of Parquet ever since. We are waiting for presidential dispense. It would be wonderful if they would allow us to go through without it. But I'm not holding my breath.

Monday, May 4, 2009

April Update

Wow, it's been a while. I'm taking a month long course and it really consumes my time. So... this update came Thursday night and I'm just getting it up. The lady who normally sends our updates has gone home to the US because of severe illness. I haven't heard any recent news but I'm sure with some family loving and care, she will be fine.

All that to say... April's update was written by Joyce who teaches Peterson every day. So she knows him quite well. Joyce and Molly are both so busy with the kids that when they have the time to give an update, we treasure it. They both spend so much time with the children at the Toddler House and they write such heartwarming stories. Anyway, this is the entire thing.

We all had a wonderful time helping Peterson celebrate his 8th birthday. We
have individual birthday parties for the older children at the toddler house
and Peterson knew that his day was coming soon. When March 1st hit he
thought that he was pretty much there. Having to wait another fifteen days
nearly killed the poor boy. He waited patiently although you could tell he
didn't find it very fair having to wait for what seemed like years for a
birthday. When the day finally arrived you could see the anticipation on his
face the whole morning. Molly, the kids and I sang happy birthday to him
over and over and gave him so many hugs I thought he would never ask for a
hug ever again. He simple ate it all up. Peterson loved all the attention
and smiled, laughed and sang along to the songs and chants. Peterson's
nannies found out it was his birthday and they both planted big kisses on
either side of his cheeks. Molly went to Peterson and asked him what type of
cake he wanted. Peterson chose vanilla without hesitating and went on with
his game. Molly made a beautiful white cake with blue swirls and white and
green frosting. We decorated the school room and finally it was time for the
party. Earlier that day Peterson had chosen the seven kids that he wanted at
the party. He chose Robenson, Arry, Djoulynson, Jackson, Robbie, Venor, and
Remy. The kids ran down into the school room where Molly and I were waiting
to start the party. We asked Peterson what he would like to do first and his
eyes caught the presents and without hesitation he chose the gifts. Peterson
tore into the presents with excitement. He received bubbles with fun wands,
a volleyball, an activity book with coloring pencils, a recorder, marbles
and the favorite gift of all a new portable CD player with a CD to listen to
The kids squealed with excitement as Peterson opened the gift and his eyes
grew wide when he realized he received a CD player just for himself. After
the presents Peterson was ready for cake. He sat so proud as all his friend
sang to him at the top of their lungs and handed out high fives at the end
of the song. When the song was finished Robenson (a seven year old here)
asked if he could sing a special song for Peterson. Robenson stood up in
front of the small crowd and belted out the cutest and most random song for
Peterson. Peterson sat with a grin on his face watching as his little buddy
sang a very special song for his friend. After cake it was time for goodie
bags. Peterson grabbed the Spiderman goodie bags and passed them out to all
the kids. We asked Peterson what he would like to do next and he chose to
watch a movie. Peterson picked what he wanted to watch and we ended the
night with a movie.

Gaëlle has moved up to an older bedroom and is doing very well. Her temper
has slowed down and she becoming more obedient to the nannies. Her "diva"
attitude has seemed to die down a little. She is even helping the nannies
with little tasks such as helping make the beds in the morning, picking up
the clothes after bath time and running little errands for them. Gaëlle is
very competent and her nanny knows that if they need to send a message down
the hall to another room she can ask Gaëlle to do it and it will be done
properly. Gaëlle has no problem expressing what she wants to say and is a
very bright little girl.

Gaëlle started English class this month and is very co-opertive and usually
does as she is asked the first time. She does however like to show her
stubborn side at times and has had to sit in time out a few times this month
Gaëlle is learning her colorings, learning new songs and working on tracing
letters and learning how to follow direction. Gaëlle is usually up for any
thing we do in school but really enjoys build with her hands whether it's
building with blocks or sculpting with clay or using scissors.

Peterson is doing great in school and is catching up quickly. He is in
English class from 8:40a.m. Until 12:00p.m.with a twenty minute recess at
10:00. He is writing in his journal everyday and is able to put thoughts
together in English and get them down on paper. He is reading at an early
grade two level and his comprehension is close behind that. We are currently
working in the "American start with English" books and his class is halfway
through the third book. We are reading through the lesson pages (he is
reading it all without problem) and he is able to finish the workbook pages
each day with little to no help. He is usually the first to finish and
quietly without being told will get up and get his work checked then find a
book on the shelf to read. Peterson is by far by easiest student here and if
they all were a little more like him I probably would be a little more sane.
Peterson is getting 14/14 on his spelling test each week and is able to give
small explanations in English as to what each word means and is able to come
up with wonderful sentences in English as well. This week he had the word
"belt" that he needed to give a sentence for and he said in his sweet little
voice "I need a belt for my pants because my tummy is little and my pants
are falling." It was such a great sentence and I was so proud of him because
most of the kids like to give their little sentence and move on to the next
child. Peterson is also spending 3 ½ hours in Creole/French class and his
wonderful teacher Erlange tells me that he is doing great and is very
responsible and respectful.

Gaëlle and Peterson both had to say good bye to some of their good friends
in the last couple of months. Gaëlle warmly said good bye to 3 ½ year old
Vania and Wencia. Gaëlle kissed Vania on the cheek and waved good bye the
day she her mom and dad were coming. Peterson said good bye to his good
buddy Jackson who is 7 and Djoulynson who is 6. Peterson was very sweet and
was excited that they got to go home with their forever family.

On Sunday afternoon all the little kids were asleep and the big boys and
girls were outside complaining that there wasn't much to do so we got out a
bat and ball and started a baseball game. We just played the simple way
where whoever caught the ball would be the next person up to bat. We played
for a while and the kids started to really get into it. One of the bigger
boys was up to bat and the ball came right to me so I grabbed it and it was
just out of reach of Peterson. Well Peterson was getting a little
competitive and said a bad word to me that we don't allow the kids to use
here. Well the minute he said it he froze and realized he made a mistake. I
walked over to him and held his arm and told him he wasn't to use that word.
Well that's all it took, I crushed his heart. He broke down and was so upset
that he had to be corrected. He sat off to the side and was broken up. I
walked over and chatted with him and told him that I wasn't mad but I didn't
want him using this word anymore. He understood but still didn't like that
he slipped up and got corrected. Peterson is very sensitive and I think I
can probably count on one hand the amount of times he has actually been in

I wanted to thank you guys so much for the three laptops for school. They
are such a blessing to have and the kids absolutely LOVE them. They seem to
keep the kids more interested in school than everyone having to listen to my
voice over and over (big surprise). The day after they arrived I brought
them home to the toddler house and started setting up our jump start games.
The kids were at the top of the stairs knowing that I was working on them
and they finally decided on which child was going to come down first to see
if they could come play. I told them that they were almost ready and but
they would have to wait one more day before playing. The kids all hustled
down and the topic came up as to where the computers came from. I turned to
them and said Petersons family sent them for us. Peterson clapped his hands
so proudly because he was the winner. A few of the kids gave him a pat on
the back and told him he did a good job. Later that day the boys were
hanging out outside and Molly overheard them talking about the laptops. One
of the kids said "We got new laptops," and Peterson with a proud voice said
"the big blue one is for me because my mom and dad sent them to me." No one
argued at all about that and decided that it was fine and Peterson could
have the blue one just for him.