Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Meeting Our Son

We just returned from Haiti.  I apologize to those of you emailing and checking the blog regularly for updates.  I promised I'd blog daily...and I would have had I had any Internet access;)

I don't know how best to summarize the weekend.  I filled fifteen pages of my journal with details;) Hopefully pictures will do it justice.  Christian is a fabulous little guy.  He's adorable and has a delightful personality!  He has a mischievous streak, he's quite active and I couldn't believe how well-matched he is for our family.  I cannot wait to bring him home! (I apologize for any typos I missed, I am quite tired this evening and still processing a lot;)

Meeting Christian:

 There really are no words.  Seeing this precious little boy in person was beyond amazing.  He walked out holding his nannies hand and it took everything in me to keep from weeping (I didn't want to frighten him.)

Based on the fact that we'd been told he has severe stranger anxiety, I expected him to cry upon seeing me, but he smiled;)   

THAT FACE:)  I restrained myself so as not to freak him out, but all I wanted to do was shower his cheeks with kisses;) 

Papa was smitten too;) 

They sat him on a stool in front of his and he was just staring at us.  They kept telling him in Creole, "This is your Mama and Papa!"  He was certainly overwhelmed, my heart broke at how "brave" he was and yet how vulnerable.

But also curious;)  He couldn't resist seeing what I felt like;)  He sat for about five minutes, touching my hand and then was mesmorized by the pictures on the camera screen, then his eyes fluttered closed and  he started to sway.  I thought he was so overwhelmed that he was passing out;)...so I picked him up (the stool had no back).

He didn't actually cry, but you can clearly see he was on the verge of tears.  How overwhelming to have some strange white lady everyone keeps calling "mama" pick you up!  I started singing to him and NO KIDDING, within ONE minute...

He fell asleep:)  We really thought it was because he was so overwhelmed. The nannies, however, informed us that, no, actually our arrival was during his naptime;)  He slept in my arms for over an hour.  It was pure bliss and gave us plenty of time to gaze at him;)

 When he woke up, they ushered us to the kitchen, and away from the other children for our lunch(I can't post pic's, but the entire time I sat holding a sleeping Christian, babies were crawling around us and the older kids were climbing on the gate and just staring at us;).  Christian came with us and sat between us.  I don't think he'd ever been in the kitchen;)  He sat and stared straight ahead and then stared at us and just seemed to take us in.  

 They'd left crackers for him, which he held but didn't eat; we offered him some of our bread and he ate from us...

and drank;) 

Then Marc decided to try and hold him.  He didn't seem to mind one bit;) 

He, in fact, didn't want Marc to put him down;) 

Thankfully our luggage was stored in the kitchen so I got out the ball I brought and we rolled it back and forth. 

 Then his nanny came in to get the lunch for the kiddos.  She stayed a few minutes and play with him with me.  I learned her name is Imelda.  She and Christian are very attached.  They say he is her favorite- she is definitely his.  She was SOOO helpful both days in letting him know we were good, fun, safe, etc.  He started to smile and kick the ball and such.  Then we took him with her to eat his regular lunch with the other babies.

After lunch, he seemed very comfortable to have us in his space with him, giving me smiles, etc.   Just a delight;) 

It was nice to see him interacting with his friends;) 

 I hate this picture of myself- but it is a great illustration of a happy afternoon:)

He was getting tired here and fell asleep in my arms shortly after, but you can hear his blessed laugh;)

Our afternoon ended with him napping in my arms after I again sang him to sleep.  This time I sang about 10 minutes;)

Day 1- From what we'd been told about his stranger anxiety and attachment to his Nannies, I didn't know if I'd even get to hold him.  Instead, I held him much of the day and during both naps.  He took food and drink from us, smiled willingly, played actively, laughed and loved being tickled and even played "hello" using a mega block as a telephone.  Blessing.

He was overwhelmed when he first saw us on Sunday.  He started to cry a little.  I could just feel the pressure he felt.  They definitely make a "big deal" of parents visiting and for an 18 month old who doesn't understand what parents really are, I felt him almost not know why everyone was so focused on him.  He warmed up more quickly than on Saturday, but my heart ached for him in the morning when he just seemed like he'd had enough.  The old kids are so excited for him and constantly yelling things at him (nice things, but things he probably didn't understand exactly) and the nannies kept saying, "Say 'mama', say 'papa'"  Sometime even I felt the pressure was overwhelming!

He did like the books we brought him and the kid LOVED Gerbert Yogurt melts.  I do mean LOVED them;) 

Though he was overwhelmed he seemed to want to be held by us, which I was amazed by.  He seemed to feel some security with us, especially when Imelda was off doing other things. 

I took this picture as a good example- he could have run away from us, but he stood just holding Marc's knee and trying to figure out what the older kids (who are separated from the babies by a gate type wall) were saying to him.

This is where the babies who are crawling or walking nap during the day.  It is a mat on the floor in the play area.  They play on it too.  He would hide his face and then look at me and smile.  A little game of peek a boo- precious.

A good action shot (behind him is the cribs they sleep in at night)...the kid has a GOOD arm;)

We had to leave shortly after this.  It was hard to say goodbye and yet a blessing to have such reassurance that he is well cared for.  He gave us the gift of waving "bye bye" through the gate as we walked out.  Such a precious final sight;)

Lots of pictures, but just a small portion to somehow portray our visit.  It was amazing.

I left with a good sense of who Christian is, what his personality is like, etc.  I am so so so thankful for Imelda and made sure to take lots of pictures of her, so somedays he knows he's been loved since birth.  Her role fascinated me.  They are attached and yet she was very aware I was his mom and VERY affirming of my role.  She gave him such a gift in helping him warm to me.  I was able to leave the books with her and I know she'll work on reading them to him to help ease the transition.  She really will have multiple crowns in heaven.  She's worked at the orphanage 20 years.  How many kids has she loved and passed on with joy?  What an amazing, amazing woman. 

We left early, I am sure, some of you wonder why.  It was a difficult and yet easy decision.  In order to see Christian Monday we'd have to bring him to the guest house with us.  Of course, part of me wanted to.  The kid is a doll and it was hard to leave him, but I didn't think it was best for HIM yet.  We don't know how much longer the process will take and how long it will be until our next visit.  He was overwhelmed enough and definitely thrived most in his territory (vs. the newness of the kitchen).  We really felt like we didn't want to take him to a completely foreign place for two days and then not see him for a few months.  It felt like too much for his little heart and mind.

Because we couldn't see him then on Monday (the director and driver had obligations at the Embassy for another adoption) and Tuesday was slated as a day to get Souveniers and stuff, we decided we'd come home early.  The driver dropped us off at the airport on their way to the Embassy.  We'd had no contact with our family here- no phone or internet.  We were completely isolated.  We didn't need a day to hang out at the guest house and we knew we could get the kids little souveniers at the airport, so we felt we'd just come home and get Ava back in school, etc.

How did I feel leaving?  I can only say I have a deep ache in my heart.  I also saw first hand he is happy and well cared for.  Yet he is not in a family.  At age two, he won't be with Imelda any more, as he'll move up with the older children.  Even if this wasn't the case, she loves him, but not like a mom.  More like an auntie or something.  There are two nannies caring for probably 12 babies.  You can imagine these kids have learned already to handle a lot on their own.  It is as nice as on orphanage can be.  They are loved, well fed, clean, etc., but kids weren't meant to grow up in institutions.  I am very anxious to get him home.  If we had been taking him home, I would have had no second thoughts about bringing him to the guest house and starting further attachment, but because time is possibly long, I want to make it as less traumatic as possibly.  I don't want him attached to me yet, I don't want him confused. I am deeper in love with him than before, of course, and felt so encouraged by how I even thought about the process.  Mamas put their babies first, we do it by nature and already I felt fiercely protective of his heart.  He is most definitely my son, whether the law has declared it so or not.  He is amazing and I felt beyond, beyond, beyond blessed.


  1. Weeping happy tears, marveling at the miracle of it all---the connectedness, the joining of your hearts. So, so good to see Christian in your arms and hear his laughter. I'll be revisiting these pics often as I pray for him, friend---and for you. XOXO

  2. I am glad that you made it back safe and had a wonderful time meeting your son. You guys are great parents. I will be praying that the time is short until your entire family is under one roof...

  3. Wow, I am overjoyed for you both. He is beautiful and charming...and I think you made the right decision to take it slow and not push him on your first visit. You'll be back soon!

  4. How incredible that I get to read all about this on your blog. It is mind-blowing. Just wow. Congrats and Goodspeed Kimmy!

  5. Wow. A picture paints a thousand words and those photos are precious. What a blessing that he'll be joining your family soon.

  6. Oh wow! Thanks for sharing! God is good!

  7. Sometimes words seem inadequate... my heart is just bursting for you and Christian...

  8. Holding your child for the first time is a wonderful thing. Thanks for sharing and I can't wait to see the entire story unfold!

  9. Amazing! Kim, those eyes!!! He's so beautiful and seeing you with him is even more beautiful. Moved me to tears. I'm so happy for you and your family and I'm praying for your little guy!

  10. Kim...I need to learn to NOT read your posts first hing in the morning. I just put my face on, and now it is ruined. Ruined ;) Your visit and your boy are beautiful! I feel an ache in my heart FOR you, unable to fathom how it must feel right now, having held your little boy, but now with empty, waiting, longing arms. I'm praying hard for him to come home as quickly as possible. Thank you for this wonderful glimpse into your journey, I appreciate being let in <3

  11. What an amazing story that you guys will have (and are making)! I am so glad that you got to meet him and this first visit was one you can cherish during the time apart. You are so sweet to protect his heart and it is clear that God has grand plans for you guys as a family!

  12. Kim,
    Your words are so encouraging to me! God had your family planned from the beginning and it is so neat to see Him putting your family together. I just feel so blessed by you and your family! Thanks for sharing! You amaze me!

  13. No words, just big smiles and a thankful heart. What a weekend you had!!!!

  14. Will keep praying that in God's time you will have him home with you. Until then, praying that God will continue to watch over him and your family and encourage all of you.

  15. Lovely and touching. Praying God continues to move things along quickly. He now knows your faces and that God is providing him a family. Your next visit will be so special in affirming him that you really ARE coming back for him. Reminds me of US being adopted by God through Jesus, and we are waiting for Him to come back for us!

  16. awesome- I can only see the pics small but will look again when we get home. Thanks for sharing this journey- I was praying! Love you and asking HIm continues to work in yoru family to bring yoru son home soon!