Monthly Archives: February 2010

The sting of bitter-sweet moments…

Below are pictures of the Hotel Villa Therese that we stayed at twice last year in Haiti, before and after pictures posted by our friend (and Hotel Manager, Alix). 

It took me a few minutes to even be sure that I was looking at the same structure – unbelievable.  And then, when searching to try and understand how the guests of the Hotel fared, I found this article

 

I have heard people, perhaps carelessly, talk about how much “beauty” they see in the ruins of Haiti, but can we really forget so quickly what happened to the lives of the people there, and how this destruction impacted people around the world, once we are home, and comfortable in the safety of our lives?

I have to warn you, that it is absolutely heart-breaking; and only one single story, in a country full of devastation.

While I’m usually someone with a lot of words – there really isn’t anything that I can think to say – just numb silence…

It will always be with bitter-sweet memories that I recall the month that the Lord brought our children home to us.

 

VT_Before

 

VT_After

UNICEF – Champion for Children or Cesspool of Evil?

Anyone that has ever championed for the lives of children in Haiti and other places around the world would certainly think the later, from my experience I’m inclined to agree.  Skim through this blog to see what people working on the ground in Haiti to protect, feed, and find homes for orphaned children think of UNICEF – and there are plenty others too.

I certainly agree that the children need to be protected, but UNICEF is not about protecting children – because actions speak much louder than words – it’s pretty clear to see that UNICEF is really about reducing the population, not saving children.

I can’t tell you how many children, only over the last year, that I have seen – directly or through the eyes and cameras of friends in Haiti (and the number I’ve seen is only a tiny fraction of the number from one single orphanage in Haiti) that come into the orphanages starving and close to death because they’re families can’t take care of them, or their relatives can’t take care of them, and they want these children to have a better life.

UNICEF wants these children to remain at home with their parents, or their relatives, receiving little or no medical care, and little or no food, offering little to no help for providing the care that they need – despite the wish of the parents or guardians; UNICEF in essence is condemning them to death.

I am very thankful that my children made it out of Haiti before UNICEF slipped the noose and pulled the lever – but what about all the other families, and all the other children.

 

Special Field Report: Haiti’s Orphans Held Hostage from Douglas Phillips on Vimeo.

What are you supposed to do?

What are you supposed to do when your little girl is hysterically weeping and crying for her mother? 

I just sat there on the edge of her bed and rubbed her back and played Creole Christian songs for her off my iPhone; there was no sense in trying to sooth her, it just made it worse.  The only other thing I could think to do was cry with her – and it was hard not to. 

I wish I could know what is going on in her little head.

When Amanda left tonight at the dinner table she started to cry silent but big tears.  I thought of some goofy thing to distract her by talking to myself on my cell phone and home phone all at the same time.  It worked.  Then we all went and played instruments down stairs, she loved the piano and the drum and the electric guitar.  I think she is going to be a musician. 

Getting ready for bed was all laughs and giggles and brush teeth – and then she climbed into bed, one second was giggling with Bella and the very next, without any warning, it was full throated sobs for mamma, wringing of the hands, deep chest sobs, arching her back.

But then it gets even harder because it’s not just one little girl i have to work with.  I have Braeden and Bella both complaining because she is wailing out loud, and they’re telling me “She wants mamma, she wants mamma” – as if I couldn’t figure that out for myself…  But which mamma?

And then Bella decides, just as Chrissy is calming down, that she wants to act up too – she probably just wants attention – I’m sure of it.  But, how am I supposed to react?  She has been living here for almost 4.5 years; she knows the drill, she knows the expectations, but she has been doing really well sharing her room, her toys, her clothes, her space; I don’t want to cause a wedge, but I can’t react to Bella the same way I react to Christella.  It doesn’t seem fair – but life is not fair.

So an hour and a half later, I think they’re all finally asleep; for the most part, I’m still sane – Christella is crying in her sleep, very sad.  I guess i have an hour or so now to try and get some homework done before crashing.

We knew it wouldn’t be easy to have such a large family; even harder under the circumstances.  Do I regret it – NO WAY!  There is something completely fulfilling when walking through the store and seeing our children dance around and play and giggle together. 

We’re going to be financially underwater for a long time to come; I can’t believe that we put almost $6,000 dollars on credit cards over the last three weeks going down to Miami picking up the children and trying to get into a position to have 2 more children in the home.  Money really goes fast!  I try not to worry about the financial side of it – God has always provided for us, and I trust, that in some way, He will continue to do so. 

Time goes fast too – I could never have imagined how epic it would be to get ready to leave the house, to go shopping, to do doctors appointments, to get up in the morning, with so much going on in our house… 

I know we can adjust to the challenges, if I didn’t think we were up to it, we would have never started in the first place – but God told us we could do it – and we have faith in him.

I hope the adjustments come smoothly and soon!

What a week!

I was excited to realize today that our adoption trip is over in some ways. Because our children are now home there is no real reason to blog under adoptions anymore! 🙂

We have engaged with a lawyer in our state and have begun the process of domestic adoption – while the costs are not done yet, I was happy to find out that we are looking at a couple thousand additional in comparison to the over twenty thousand that has been part of our international adoption so far. We are still waiting to hear from our previous lawyer -he has offered to get our original documents back out of IBESR – as they are the easiest way to proceede – not hearing from him in over a week, we are not sure what to expect.

Christella is settling in very well – with the children as if she has been here her entire life – and I am amazed at home much English she knows! With myself she has really opened up to me the last couple days, wanting to sit with me, and talk with me (altough still hesitant). There is still te battle of the will that happens with any 5 year old – and some friends and family want to give in to the battle – so that has been a bit of a struggle – but one that will pass.

JJ has been the challenge. We thought Christella might have the hard time adjusting – but JJ seems to be experiencing the effects of both bad health and trauma.

He has not yet obtained a nomal bowel movement – and they are very very messy and very very smelly – no foods seem to be bringing relief to us or him – at least his ears are healing.

The emotional side is something else. He is needy – no other way to describe it. For the most part he is constantly crying for attention – he needs to be held and touched and reaffirmed non-stop. He is getting better – but it is very trying, and the first week was almost unbearable!

When he is not crying he is hugging my or amandas leg – as seen In this snapshot while I was blogging. He is starting to get down and play though – which is a good sign – but there is clear and obvious signs of the trauma of the earth quake – as he was never like this at anytime that we visited him last year.

I am confident that he will eventually work it out with a lot of love and patience – right now he just needs to know that we are here for him.

On the other front – Our oldest has finally been officially diagnosed with ADHD, as well as anxiety issues and some obsessive compulsive behavior – guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree although we already knew – but great to have it understood. For the ADHD we can now look to medical help – as it has been shown to be the most effective – for the other two being informed parents will help a lot. The doctor provided us with books to read which can help us better understand how to work with hm.

Once we complete Braedens evaluation, with Donovan, Braeden and I all having our ADHD being addressed – I think the level of chaos will finally start to come down in our home – something I am looking forward to! I feel so bad that the medical field did not know about ADHD growing up – I think my parents could have had a much better life.

Anyway this is the first chance I have had to blog since we came home – sleep is starting to come back to normal for our house too.

We still have a lot to learn and adjust too – and I now understand why the screening for adoption is so extensive 😉