Famous Last Words

Our Adoption Journey to Haiti

Day 3 December 29, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — rgraham100 @ 10:49 pm

We started our day as usual, 9 am pickup. We went to Stop and Go for peanut butter sandwiches and pate poulet.

We arrived at 9:45. The boys played dominoes, we blew bubbles, played with cars, colored, and snacked.

We fed J and his friends lunch around noon. He was exhausted today  and wanted me to take him to the car. He fell asleep almost immediately and slept for over an hour.

A few observations/takeaways:

-Patrick typically hangs with the teenage boys. But for some reason, three little girls attached themselves to him today and would NOT LET GO. It was hilarious.

– I saw a woman carrying 16 dozen eggs on her head. Wha?????

– the kids love Noah and Brady’s hair. They are constantly rubbing their hands through it.

– j is definitely a mama’s boy. 

– at one point today, Brady saw kids throwing rocks at each other and beating one another, he got overwhelmed, began crying and we had to remove him from the crowd. 

– at one point, j peed in a big silver bowl in the hallway. We hope that was a pee pot and not a kitchen bowl.

– Brady is instantly familiar with everyone. At one point, he walked by the head nanny (Mama Tita) and squeezed her twice.

– Noah has had the misfortune of pushing multiple children on the swings who are not wearing underwear (undies are on our shopping list for next trip)

– because the weather was so nice this trip, we got to spend most of our time outside, with the guys and older kids. It was awesome because we didn’t have to kick people off the balcony. Everyone was included.

Saying goodbye to J was of course very difficult. He was in tears, which usually doesn’t happen. One of us will come back in March.

We head home tomorrow…praying for smooth travels.  

 

Christmas Party

Filed under: Uncategorized — rgraham100 @ 1:05 pm

We woke up bright and early in anticipation of party day. The boys were slower moving though, already worn down from just one day at Foyer.

Our drivers and two translators (Mike and Lewis) arrived at 9. We hired an extra translator to help out today-sooo worth it.  We had 3 suitcases, two GIANT santa bags, four adults, and two kids to fit into the car. We decided we would have to make two trips to get the pizza, drinks, and other supplies in the car.

We arrived to Foyer around 9:45. We dropped off the gifts, Patrick, and Noah. Francois, Mike, Brady and I headed off to Pizza Amour where we picked up 38 pizzas. Next we went to Stop and Go to get drinks, cookies, and supplies with funds that people donated. We were back to Foyer at noon.

The second in command let us know that the on-site barber was cutting hair and when he was done we would be ready for the party. We guarded the pizza for almost an hour😀 

We were moved upstairs to the second floor where there were tables and chairs for most the kids (I have no idea where it all came from).

All the kids sat down and we began passing it out. Mike, Noah, Lewis, and I were on pizza duty. Patrick was the photographer, present sorter/organizer, bouncer, etc… And Brady was a party guest…mingling with all the kids of course😀

From what we could tell, all of the kids loved it..ironically, except J. He was not having it! In fact, the whole event was not  great for him. He just wants my undivided attention, and I was definitely distracted. Fortunately I found a little table for him to sit on right beside me and he was content for awhile. I did not anticipate his reaction to the party.

We were able to smoothly deliver the first round of pizza to all the kids seated, but then kids started coming to us and chaos ensued. You would not believe how fast these kids went through 38 pizzas! We set several aside for the adults at the orphanage (nannies, cooks, nurse)…but there was not one piece of pizza left.

Noah popped up from a crowd of kids at one point, drenched in sweat, and said mom, “this is completely nuts😀”.

Next we passed out the presents. J thought they were all for him.

We had organized the gifts by age/gender. So we’d call out, “boys 6-8” and those boys would line up. I’d pray every time that we had enough presents for every child in that line.  Sometimes we had to improvise by giving a 9-year-old the 6/8 girl gift, but in the end everyone got a gift.

By the time pizza and presents were done it was about 3. We headed downstairs where they had music playing on the front porch. The weather has been amazing. Breezy and 80s. Most of the boys were outside playing with their new domino sets (Brady joined them and I believe they let him win). Noah was pushing little kids on the swing set. J was dancing. And Patrick was hanging with the older kids. It was definitely my favorite moment I’ve had in Haiti.

We headed back to the hotel around 4. The boys hit the pool while Pat and I sat poolside with our favorite Haitian beer. 

What an amazing day and thanks to everyone who contributed to pizza, supplies, and bought the gifts for the kids!

 

Day 1 December 27, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — rgraham100 @ 11:41 pm

Brady woke us up at 6:30 am, ecstatic about going to the orphanage.  

We kept him contained until 7:30. We went to our hotel breakfast and met some American missionaries.

We visited with our first translator, Moise, who stopped by the hotel to pick us some visa paperwork we brought to Haiti for another family.

And FINALLY (according to Brady), our driver, Francois (he’s our fave), and translator, Mike, arrived at 9am.

We stopped at the grocery store on our way to buy water and peanut butter sandwich fixings. We arrived to the orphanage at 10.

Pat was nervous because it has been almost a year since he has seen J and wasn’t sure how he’d respond. We went straight to J’s room-his nannies had him ready for us, including very strong cologne! He ran to me with a huge smile and threw his arms up for me to hold him. He buried his head in my beck-definitely the warmest reception I’ve received from him. Pat got the same greeting!!

We promptly moved to the third floor balcony with J and several of his friends. We brought him spaghetti, which he devoured.

We delivered several packages to children of adoption friends from the US. Noah got busy playing ball with a few friends. Brady hung out with the older kids. We crafted, we ate lunch, we danced. A typical Haiti day.

A few observations:

-J really isn’t interested in Noah and Brady. Noah rolls with it. Brady does not🙁

-Brady once again kicked off his shoes as soon as he entered the orphanage and assimilated to orphan living

-J is definitely bonded/bonding to us. His nanny told us he asks about us almost every day.

-Noah and Brady love learning Kreyol (language) and are quickly picking up several phrases

-every time I come, I forget how physically demanding this trip is.

We are ordering room service tonight because none of us can muster up the energy to sit on the restaurant.

Tomorrow is the Christmas party. We’ve organized 160 presents and pick up 35 pizzas in the morning!

 

Made it by the grace of God

Filed under: Uncategorized — rgraham100 @ 12:16 am

We are sitting outside on our hotel patio enjoying Haitian cuisine (accra, goat creole, fried plantains, and rice and beans)…praise the Lord!

We had an early start this morning -Eric picked us up around 6:45 and we headed to the airport.  We learned when we arrived that our first leg of our flight was delayed, but only by 30 minutes. We boarded the airplane, only to sit on the runway for another 90 minutes. We were very skeptical that we were going to catch our 1:55 flight from Ft Lauderdale flight to Haiti. We pulled into Ft Lauderdale at 1:40. Unfortunately we were seated in the back of the airplane, so by the time we deboarded, it was 1:50.  We sprinted to our gate, which was very close and actually made the flight. 

I was skeptical about our luggage making it, but it did- a serious Christmas miracle!

We are so excited to see J tomorrow!

 

 
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