Thursday, April 12, 2007

Meeting Jacques, Stephanie, Jude, and Lovenie for the first time!

I wish I had the pictures and video's to share with you of these precious moments. My first two days in Haiti I took hundreds of video's and pictures for our family and many other families. At the end of day two one of the kids at the orphanage was playing with my camera and accidentally erased them ALL!!! I was so upset...moments I can't get back like meeting my children for the first time and our children all dolled up for our first Easter together. However, I can't imagine I will ever forget my first moments with our children and it was not at all how I pictured it going in my mind but all very wonderful!

When I landed in Haiti I knew that Kez was waiting outside of the airport for us along with Jacques and Stephanie. It was like torture waiting to get off the plane, going through immigration, and wouldn't you know it... our luggage was some of the last ones unloaded. I was with Amy who was there to pick up her 14 year old daughter, who was also outside waiting for her. We couldn't get out of that airport quick enough! Within just moments of walking out of the airport we saw them running towards us. Jacques and Stephanie both ran up to me and threw their arms around me and I just hugged and kissed them again and again. Things at that airport are crazy so we had to keep moving. I was so grateful that Kez and Lamar were there taking over our luggage and dealing with the pushy porters because there was no way I was letting go of these kids! They kept their arms around me all the way to the car and I just kept squeezing them and kissing their cheeks and they would both flash me big smiles. When we got to the car I was so preoccupied with the kids that I never met Lamar (the driver) and so I didn't know who the porters were but I did know that I did not ask them for help so was told not to pay them. One guy told me he was in charge and I needed to pay him for his help, the other insisted that the other guy was lying, not to believe him and he was in charge and I should pay him. I knew we were encouraged to tip our driver but I didn't know who he was and who was lying to me. This is when my wonderful Jacques walked over to me and put a protective arm around me and said (his English is so good!) "Come on Mom" and he opened the car door and closed it behind me and that's when I learned that neither of the arguing guys were our driver! :) Jacques was already looking out for Mom and I was melted by hearing him call me that. We were traveling in a small SUV and it was me, Stephanie, Amy and her teen daughter all squished into the back seat with Stephanie on my lap giving me lots of smiles and hugs. In the front seats were Lamar (the real driver) and Kez with Jacques sitting on her lap! Jacques kept smiling back at me and kept reaching back to hold my hand for a moment from time to time.

When we got to the orphanage we were greeted by all the older and teen girls! It was crazy and wonderful. The moment we got out of the car they were all over us with big hugs, smiles, even some kissing and all of them telling us "Bonjou". It was so fun. Then the kids insisted on taking our bags for us and I had just a few things in my hands. That's when I heard a bunch of girls excitedly calling my name I looked over and they were pointed at the most adorable boy with a HUGE grin and the girls were all yelling to me "This is Jude". I literally dropped all the things I was holding and ran to him. Picked him in my arms and he threw his arms around me and laughed and just curled up against my body while I swung him around hugging and kissing on him. After we got all the luggage upstairs to our room I told our crowd of new friends "I have not met Lovenie yet". I can't even remember who it was that had me follow them to the baby room (it's a bit of an overwhelming blur). We went into the baby room and there she was getting her hair fixed by one of the Nannies. I asked the nanny if I could please hold her and she gave me a dirty look and said NO and motioned that she was fixing her hair. So I just talked to her and told her who I was and touched her beautiful face and arms and legs. It was all I could do to not yank her out of that chair and into my arms anyways. After many dirty looks from the nanny that was trying to fix her hair I decided to come back later and get back to the other kids. When I left her room the lunch bell rang and I headed down with everyone else for my first meal at the orphanage. I was in middle of eating when someone walked in carrying in my baby girl to me!!! I kept her in my arms ALL DAY just loving on her and kissing on her.

It is so neat how God brought us together as a family. Meeting them was not like meeting someone I had never met before but like greeting my children that I have not seen in a really long time. It was so natural to hug, kiss, and snuggle with each other. They all called me Mom and it also seemed the most natural thing in the world! It was indescribable. I could not get enough hugs and kisses and time with them and fortunately they felt the same way!

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