I’ve been wanting to share pictures and stories from our Haiti trip and I’m just now getting the chance to sit down and process it. We had such an amazing trip. I was feeling apprehensive about leaving India, about taking Jafta, about traveling to a crazy, volatile country, but it ended up being such a good experience for all of us.
Entering the country of Haiti is always an experience. The airport is just a small room, but you are greeted by a steele drum band as you step of the plane. That’s kinda where the hospitality ends, as you are shuffled into a crowded, sweaty room for customs and then into an even more crowded room to elbow up to the baggage claim for your bag, and then to wrestle it away from a dozen Haitian men trying to help you for a tip. Jafta was a bit overwhelmed at this part, and a little (okay, a lot) upset that India was not with us. Fortunately he was too young to notice the UN troop trucks and the fact that every house had two armed guard with machine guns at their gates. Yikes.
We spent our first day with Kembert, the little boy we are hoping to adopt. (we will be changing his name when Mark and I actually agree on one!) He was a little freaked out by us at first, and just kinda cuddled with me quietly on the first day. It was Jafta who really got him out of his shell, sharing his Shrek toys with Kembert and teaching him all about McDonalds and commercial consumerism. They played so well together, and Jafta was a big fan.
The orphanage director kept telling us what a little class clown he was, and we saw this the second day. He was running around the orphanage, trying to get the nannies to play peekaboo. He was so cute. That afternoon was Thanksgiving, and we went to another missionaries house, where there was a huge potluck with about 50 other missionary families. It was one of those defining moments for me. We met so many amazing people who had given their lives to serving others. So many inspiring stories. It seemed like every family had adopted 3 or 4 Haitian children themselves, so it was really neat for Jafta to see such a large group of families that look like ours. Kembert was so much fun that day, and got to go swimming for the first time.
We still don’t have many answers to how long the adoption will take. Our paperwork has to get stamped by five offices, and it is still awaiting approval in the first office. It could sit there for several months, and then in each subsequent office for several months. There is no rhyme, reason, or logic.
Jafta loved visiting the orphanage, and I actually think he would love to live there. A huge group of kids to play with, a swingset and a trampoline . . . he was in heaven. Every morning he asked to go back to the “kid’s house”. We continue to be so impressed by the quality of care at this orphanage, and while the wait is excruciating, we know Kembert is in good hands.