Famous Last Words

Our Adoption Journey to Haiti

More pics July 11, 2016

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Last Day

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Haiti doesn’t feel any more hot to me in July than it does in October or March.  

Sunday was our last day at the O. Just Heather, Noah, Shea, and I went.

Sandro helped Shane and Ryan find a ride and translator to take a day trip to Jacmel, a beach town about 3 hours away. They met their driver at 6:30 am who took them to a bus stop. They got on the bus with several other people and apparently had the ride of their life (steep curves over mountains at 90 mph). A child vomitted out the window and it splashed on Shane.

Once they arrived at Jacmel they met three motorcyclists to drive them around. I wish I had a picture to share, but apparently Shane was bear hugging his driver the whole time, even when they were stopped. They went hiking through waterfalls, ate lunch in some woman’s living room, and headed back to Port-a-Prince. They got back to the hotel around 6, just in time to play in the pool with the kids.

Heather, Noah, Shea and I got to the O around 9:30. No traffic on Sunday’s because everyone is at church.

I tried something new. We usually pack tons of food for several kids. Well J gets so focused on it. We left all the food in the car. I just brought him a snack for the morning. He was so much for relaxed and calm today! Although he stilled used bubbles and cars as currency with his nannies. We gave the food to the O at the end of the day.

J took a nap from around 12-2. I love it when he sleeps in my arms! The balcony was so peaceful and we had an amazing breeze.  J woke up and I fed him lunch. He just snuggled in with me for the rest of our time there. Margaret, our adoption coordinator, arrived and I got to spend some time with her talking about my case.

I was so overwhelmed with the idea of leaving J in minutes and talking about the heartbreaking adoption process in Haiti and our case specifically,  I just broke down. In an orphanage, there are no private moments. Everything happens with dozens of eyes on you, which made it even worse. I had Margaret trying to comfort me. Poor Noah caught on that something was not right. There are tons of curious little ones watching….I knew I needed to say goodbye, so I quickly did and left the O.

The ride back to the hotel was so painful, but I could tell my silence was causing Noah concern. So I had to snap out of it quickly and focus on my oldest son and enjoying the evening with friends.

We hit the pool and had a nice final dinner at the hotel.


Pics July 10, 2016

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Day 2

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Saturday morning started out as usual. We got up and packed for the day and had breakfast. Our driver arrived at 9 and we were at the O by 10. 

J was wild today. I think he was over tired and over sugared. I struggled a bit in the afternoon as he began to throw fits. He has a one-track mind…food. He delivers if to the nannies, cooks, and nurse to gain favor. Or he eats it himself. And sometimes shares.

The rest of the gang orchestrated a serious dance party. On past trips, we normally listen to Christian music on my iPhone. But Shane is the DJ this trip with his Bose speakers. So it’s all Lauryn Hill and Rihanna all day long.

We left the O a little early and went to Clay cafe and the Apparent Project for smoothies and souveniors. We also picked up Pizza Amour on our way home for dinner.

When we got back to the hotel the kids and Shane hit the pool again. We then spent the rest of the evening sitting outside and playing games enjoying the pizza and Haitian beer. Awesome night!

A little about our hotel…The Palm Inn Hotel. It has a gorgeous pool, courtyard, and pool area. It also has a delicious restaurant onsite. However, the power randomly goes out a few times a day. Hot showers don’t happen often. Wifi is spotty. And we have had some plumbing issues😁 our room is also located under some fruit trees that drops things on us all night. The first night Heather and Shane did not sleep because they thought people were breaking in.

I think this experience is more Haitian than our luxury quarters at the Best Western. 


Reunited July 9, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — rgraham100 @ 12:35 pm

We were all SO excited to head to the orphanage yesterday morning. I got up at 4 am and was up off and on until I gave up trying to sleep and got out of bed at 6 am.

Our group brought sooo many goodies for the kids, we divided everybody’s supplies into thirds and loaded up a suitcase to bring to the orphanage.

We also made PB&Js for lunch. And packed tons of water.

Our hotel provides breakfast and made-to-order omelettes, which is a treat from past trips. We normally eat granola bars and drink bad coffee.

Our driver and translator arrived at 9. We have a giant, air-conditioned vehicle this trip-a total luxury.

We arrived at the O around 9:50. There are two other families on their bonding trips this week, so I asked if we could have our own space on the 2nd floor balcony.

We went to the balcony while they cleaned up J. He came and found us about 10 minutes later.  He looked a little bewildered, but allowed me to scoop him up for hugs and kisses. He saw Noah and rubbed his hair. He quickly got out of my arms and went searching for food. We brought him spaghetti from our hotel restaurant, which he loved. 

Everyone else got settled in. Shane set up the speakers for the dance party. Shea quickly found some littles to love. Noah found the older boys to play ball. Heather began photo documenting. And Ryan made fast friends with several kids.

J was much more independent than he was on my last trip. He usually stayed within arms reach. But occasionally he would deliver food to his nannies or Nurse Mandala on his own. He had big personality-some of his dictator qualities came out today. He definitely had an opinion about what other kids got food; who came on the balcony….

Overall, we had a great day at the O. We left around 3 and headed back to the hotel. We got back around 4:30 and the kids and Shane hit the pool. They played for a couple hours. We did a late dinner (7-9) and then went to bed completely exhausted.


Summer Trip July 8, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — rgraham100 @ 12:46 pm

Yesterday was a 17 hour adventure getting to Haiti (the flight time is only 4 hours😀).

This trip includes Noah and myself, my best friend Heather and her 8-year-old daughter, Shea. And long-time friends Shane and Ryan.

Shane and Ryan live in Brooklyn, so they took a direct flight from JFK to Port-such-Prince.

We left home at 4 am to catch our 6 am flight. We arrived in Ft Lauderdale and hit the beach for a couple of hours because we had a 5-hour layover. We left the US around 2:30 and landed in Haiti around 4.

After a verry slow customs line and baggage process, we easily found our translator outside the airport. Sandro will be our translator this trip and we could not be more pleased. He is actually studying at Liberty University in VA but back in Haiti for the summer. His English is great and loves to tease Noah and Shea.

We are staying at a different hotel this trip that is closer to the orphanage. The amenities are not quite the same as the Best Western (spotty wifi and cold showers), but very beautiful.

We are heading to the orphanage shortly and I could not be more excited! I’ve been up for a loong time this morning, dying to get my hands on J.


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