Samuel Jerome and Richnightder

Samuel Jerome and Richnightder
Our boys in Haiti

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Boys will be boys

It is funny how people's first impression when you tell them that you are adopting children from an impoverished country, is that they think they are lifeless, thumb-sucking, blobs that have no personality or unique qualities. I can't tell you how many times I have had people ask me if they know how to talk (hello! they are 5 years old), if they can feed themselves, if they are potty trained, etc. So after our visit to the creche last month I enjoy telling people just how "normal" the kids are.

It was during the preschool class morning break when I really grasped the fact that kids are just kids, no matter where. The little girls were in a corner, pretending to be mommies. They were cuddling dolls, rocking them, changing diapers and seemed to have the whole mom gig down pat! Darline, in particular, patted her babydoll on the back and then very carefully placed the doll on a blanket and patted its back, I am assuming as it slept. Now for as nice and gentle as the little girls were playing the boys were outside in stark contrast being boys.......third world or not...they were boys.

The playground has a LittleTykes jungle gym that has a tube to crawl thru and two little slides. Well those sweet, angelic boys were taking it apart, kick by kick, chasing each other with the pieces and cracking each othe over the head. They had a blast doing this and Marc and I sat and watched this laughing the whole time. Yeah, I know, other people probably would have intervened and stopped the fun, but our take on it was that they were boys doing boy stuff. No one was hurt during this play, but it was amusing to watch these boys doing the things that, well, Thomas and his friends have done here.

Sometimes I find that the best punishment for Madison and Thomas is public humiliation in the form of motherly affection. For instance, the kids were fighting and just being pains all the way thru my shopping at Target one day, so I grabbed Thomas, pulled him into my arms and kissed him LOUDLY alll the while saying, "I love you!" He was so embarrassed that he walked quietly about 10 paces behind me all the way to the car. SCORE one for mom. So along this same line of thinking, a similar incident happend at the creche last month.

The boys were just getting up for the day. Some were getting their showers and others were waiting quietly until I came into the room. I saw Jerome and he was dripping wet with just a towel around him when I scooped him up and smothered him with kisses. One little boy, who shall remain nameless, cough, Lucio, cough, ran up to Jerome and me and proceeded to say, "jerome mama, oooh, smooch smooch smooch ." I thought it was so darn cute, but man, Jerome was fighting mad. Lucio made a kissy face and smoochy sounds that mortified Jerome just cause I was being, well, motherly. The other boys laughed loudly and so did I. Boys will be boys!!

I have so many stories to share of normal things our boys and girls do while living in a creche in a third world country. I sometimes fear how difficult life will be when Richnightder and Jerome finally come home and add to the normalcy of boys being boys. I am sure Thomas has a lot of new tricks to teach them.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

DMV nightmares....NOT

I realized this morning that the tags on the Mazda expire tomorrow. You know what that means. A dreaded trip to DMV. When we lived in Oregon, I would spend at least an hour at DMV to renew tags. The lines never seems to move, and somehow I always end up standing between two people who are hacking and coughing like they have the plague.

So I ventured to DMV this morning with two kids and miracles of miracles, was in and out of DMV in less than 5 minutes. Now I will say that this was slightly unusual even for North Dakota DMV, but even in the past it has only taken about 10 minutes. I always expect someone to walk up to me and tell me that I am on "Candid Camera" and it was all just a joke; the real line is over there with 400 sick people in line.

For everyone that questions why we moved to North Dakota, at least now I can say, "Nah nah nah nah!!" The lines move quickly here and the clerks behind the window are friendly and helpful.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Coconut; just 2 weeks old

daily ramblings

I really am the worst mom ever. The July trip left today for the creche and I never got the new photo sheets put together for Richnightder and Jerome. I was going to have Tracy or April bring them to the boys and I never got them put together. I have some pictures of the 4 of us together from our last trip and put them in a little collage including Madi and Thomas, but yet they are still sitting on my kitchen counter.

I WILL have them done and laminated for someone to take down on the first August trip. Any volunteers? You know, of course, that in addition to delivering the photos you also have to give my boys hugs and kisses and whisper in their ears how much we love them. I am jealous of the group heading out today, but I am always jealous when other people get to go and play with all the kids and get slobbered on.

A family from Utah should be there right now picking up their two kids to finally bring home. They have had an incredibly frustrating process and it is finally their turn to bring home their son and daughter. Congrats Seth and Melissa..and of course Coltyn too.

I had great hopes of having a normal school day with the kids, but as usual, chaos interrupted. Marc's mare, Hondo, developed a small case of gas colic which resulted in a trip to the vet. Another tubing of oil and DMSO and a little sedative and we were on our way home again. Her 2 month old filly seemed to enjoy the trip and stood so quietly while mama was being worked on. I am partial, but Coconut is a super cute filly and we have great hope that she will end up to be quite a little reiner in the AQHA world. She is sooooo friendly, but really has had no choice in the matter since Madi and Thomas have been pestering her since she was only an hour old. We tell people that she isn't bomb proof, she is THOMAS proof.

I too, like a friend in Montana, have stalls to clean and horses to move around. My fun continues as usual, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Samuel Jerome, our little bandit

Monday, July 28, 2008

The first moment I met Richnighder

Well, it seems that the rumor about Parquet closing from August 1, thru October, is just that, a rumor! This is definetly good news for all of us still stuck in legal limbo in Parquet and Second Legal. The downside is that UNICEF is behind all the new turmoil and scrutiny and will most certainly cause longer waits for all the children languishing in orphanages in Haiti. When we UNICEF see that what they are doing is hurting children that are waiting to go to loving homes and in the ripple effect, causing further heartache for families and kids waiting to get into creches in Haiti?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

the small hail, before the big ones started

creepy tornado

Three weeks ago we had a wee bit of a storm here. We watched the tornado form over our neighbor's house and it just sat and churned there for about 10 minutes. Of course we were outside taking pictures until it became abundantly clear that the storm was changing and taking aim at us. The storm actually made a full circle around us and eventually hit us from the north side. The hail was much more destructive than the wind and before the storm was over, it had nailed us with baseball size hail. Initially it had started with mere golfball size hail, which Marc braved the elements to collect a sample, but when the big stuff came, we headed for our basement. The horses were in their stalls in the barn, yet the hail punched holes in the roof and left them standing inside, being rained on. Fortunately none of them were hurt.

The house, barn, horse trailer and Marc's car were badly damaged. Marc's car had $12,000 damage, the horse trailer needs a new roof, the barn will need to be re-sided and re-roofed as well as our house. The worst part about the house is that when the storm hit, our roof was only one week old. State Farm had put an entire new roof on due to wind damage we had in May. Now we need yet another new roof. I hope they don't put us on some "do not insure" list!!

It does seem to be our luck that stuff like this happens. Hope everyone who has heard about the storm enjoys the pictures. Although we live far to remotely to benefit from tornado sirens, we have been in town when they go off and we laugh at the suprising effect it has on people. Instead of sending people inside their homes, as soon as the sirens go off, people scamper outside. Crazy.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The adoption story, so far

I thought it might be a good idea to bring some of you up-to-date on our adoption progress and the history of our adventure.

People have asked me why we decided to adopt again after 8 years and it is an easy answer. I was watching a TV show that discussed older, black boys waiting for adoption here in the States. That night, I mentioned to Marc what I had seen and in true Marc fashion, he said, "Why don't you call Heritage and see what they can do." Heritage of course, was our adoption agency in Portland, Oregon, and I phoned our dear friend Sue there and told her we were interested in adopting again...this time, older kids, not newborns. Sue referred us the the Haiti program, then run by a wonderful gal, Vivian, and after discussing the program and requirements we jumped in with both feet and started the LONG process. That was February of 2007.

We gathered the numerous documents needed, had our psych evaluation and medical exams and sent the entire packet to Heritage in May of 2007. Now I would like to openly share that both Marc's medical testing and mine, proved us to be clear of TB, syphyllis and HIV. WHEW! When I called my doctor's office to see if my tests results were ready to be picked up, the nurse told me she had good news for me and my tests were all negative. I told here I was kind of thinking they would be, and her reply made me laugh. She said, "Well good for you." Although the adoption papertrail is endless, there are still some laughs along the way.

While in Portland in May of 2007, we visited Heritage, and were presented with 4 boys to choose from. I will spare everyone the exact reasons why we chose Richnightder and Jerome, but it came down to the fact that each boys' bio's resonated within our hearts. We knew these two boys were meant for us. Our acceptance of the boys' referrals and our translated dossier arrived in Haiti in August and we finally entered Hatitian Social Services, (IBESR) on Sept. 28, 2007.

A typical stay in IBESR is 4-6 months. For some unknown reason, we languished there for 8 months and 1 week, but who's counting. Now we are in Parquet which may be shutting down the processing of adoption dossiers until October. This is yet another effect that UNICEF has had on Haitian adoptions. It is not a good effect, and is causing many kids to linger in orphanages and others to die waiting to get into an orphanage.

After Parquet, we have Second Legal, Ministry of the Interior, and then our documents head back to the USCIS. One would think you are free and clear at that point, but oh, no! USCIS is viewing adoptions as if they are fraudulent and in some cases, it is taking USCIS 6 months to approve the adopted childs documents and allow that child entry into the USA.

It is an extremely frustrating process and Marc, Madison, Thomas and I anxiously wait for our two missing members, Richnightder and Jerome, to come home to us. Their bedroom is ready and waiting for them, the closets are full of now, outgrown new clothes, and the toys are gathering dust. Madison is taking French so that she will be able to communicate with the boys....but the French tutor is a whole other story. Just in case he reads this, lets just say he is a good looking guy, and I feel a little "Stella" like with him.

So now most of you are current on our status. Our boys continue to live in a wonderful facility in Ti Mache, just outside Port-au-Prince, but albeit wonderful, it is an orphanage. We have visited our boys twice and realize we will probably have another visit or two before the adoption is done. Please keep our boys and their progress thru the Haitian system in your thoughts. We want them home tomorrow, but realize it could realistically, be another year. By that time they will both be almost 7 years old.

Let's hope the boys come home to us in the warm summer months or our frigid North Dakota winters will come as a severe shock. I just don't think they would have fun dressed like Ralphie's little brother in "A Christmas Story." But man, those pictures would be funny.

Friday, July 25, 2008


The kids are quiet for the moment and outside playing in our fields with the horses. Madi rode Tommy today who was being eaten alive by the flies and Thomas rode Baby, our bucking mare. So given that they are occupied for the moment I thought i would go back to the picture posting dilemma. If I can't figure this out, then I will be forced to call in reinforcement;i.e. Marc! He is my go to guy for everything.

night thoughts

So I was awake a good portion of the night, bothered by the thought that I wasn't able to load the pictures that I wanted to, and the ones I did add were too large. I am a certified doof. So after I am done with homeschool today, I will be back to the blog to figure out the picture thingy. Maybe Madi can help me. After all she is a kid and seems to get the hang of this stuff pretty darn fast.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Numero uno

Suprise, suprise, suprise! Shazam, here I am actually blogging, about what, I am still unclear. My life is fairly normal with an ever-present element of chaos and disorder thrown into the fray. But given the pressure of new found friends in the adoption world, I find myself caving into the pressure and openly sharing my recent, and still on-going adoption story.

We are thrilled to be adding Richnightder and Jerome to our family and after having visited them twice in Haiti, cannot wait to bring them home to our often frozen tundra we call home.

So as this is my first post, I am going to try and post some pics of Madison and Thomas and of Richnightder and Jerome. I have my fingers crossed that this actually works.

As some of you know, I am very shy, somewhat anti-social and really hate to draw attention to myself, so this blog thing may be a challenge. Whew, here it goes. Make sure to check back for updates on the adoption process and other daily chaos that I call life.