Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day Three In Haiti (Last Day)

Jacques requested that we have our picture taken as a family before leaving the guest house and even chose the stairs as our location.

On Thursday we were leaving the guest house around 2 PM to head for the airport. It was kind of a strange day. So many crazy emotions going on. We finished the last of our packing trying to make sure we would have everything we needed for our flight to Miami that evening and for our stay at the hotel that night. That kept us pretty busy. I also was continuing to hold out hope that we would get a last minute surprise visit from their Mother and Vilner but as time ticked on it was pretty clear that was not going to happen. While beyond happy that it was the day we were finally bringing our children to America it did not hold the "happiness" we dreamed it would during all those years in waiting. Every time I looked at or hugged Jacques I would need to turn away pretty quickly because I was certain that I would start sobbing and not be able to stop. It just seemed so unfair to take three home and leave one behind. As time moved on it also became a sad and emotional occasion for Stephanie and Jude. While in our hearts we wanted to cheer and celebrate them coming home we could also tell that they were afraid (which they were honest with us about) and sad to leave their loved ones behind.

Meanwhile, we also knew that our dear friends were having a very sad goodbye with their daughter and knowing how difficult that is~ my heart was broken for them too.

At 2:00 we went outside to find out that our ride to the airport was again going to be the 5 person SUV (again... 11 people, around 10 carry ons or backpacks, and 8 suitcases). The trip to the airport was rather brutal as we were all smashed in and stacked on top of each other. It's quite funny now that it is over! I sat on the console between the driver and Jim (friend Jim) in the other front seat with his 15 year old daughter on his lap. From lack of room my right leg ended up getting stuck in between the console and seat (which was not enough room for a leg), and my head was bent under the roof. There was not a comfortable seat to be had for anyone (except the driver). We bounced along like this for nearly an HOUR! What an adventure!!!

Once at the airport we all unfolded ourselves out of the vehicle and I'm pretty sure we all earned ourselves the souvenirs of many big bruises. I'm sure the sight of us climbing out of the SUV one after the other would have stopped Americans in their tracks while they doubled over laughing at us, but in Haiti we were not even given a second glance. ;) Things were so hectic that the moment we got out our luggage had been taken by porters and was on it's way into the airport with our without us. We had just a split second to get one last hug and kiss to Jacques before running after them. I do believe this ended up being a blessing. Given enough time I was sure to crumble with tears while saying goodbye to him. I will be so glad for the day that I will not be saying goodbye to one of our children when we leave Haiti!!!

The airport experience, immigration, and the first hotel stay were a really big adventure that I'll try and share soon. Whew!!! Crazy times.

Family update: I won't lie... It has not been easy around here at times. We never expected that it would be easy though. Still, even knowing that does not make it any easier to handle while you are going through it. It's like bringing home triplets only at least baby triplets can't talk back to you! ;) We have also been having some amazing times together and so many times I just look at the kids and am in awe that they are REALLY home! Each day is getting easier and I seem to be nearly over my illness.

One thing that has really surprised me is that six kids does not seem like a lot! Seriously, I count their little heads to make sure we have everybody and think "That's it? That doesn't seem like much". My dear friend Ange has been a huge help and encouragement to me. She has 8 children home (6 adopted from Haiti, 2 of them are the cousins of our children) and is in the process of adopting again. She told me in one of our phone conversations that "If you have 2 children you may as well have 8 because it really isn't all that different." I laughed and wished her luck on selling that to anyone! However, as crazy as it may seem.... part of me believes her.


Amanda said...

Oh I'm so glad you're feeling better!

I've loved reading about your trip. I do hope that Jacques comes home VERY quickly!

Ransomed~Redeemed said...

Dear Angela, For some reason my comment didn't post, so I'll repost.. We are Thrilled thrilled thrilled for your family. Thank you for sharing your journey with us all!

I Love vicariously through your adoption experience! IT IS INCREDIBLE AND FAITH BUILDING to see how God has had His hand in the building of your family!

I know things must be so hard right now! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE call me if you'd ever like to talk! ( I'd love to hear how things are. The difficulties and the joys of raising children from another country!

I hope to see you soon! Is there another adoption meetup coming up? Is the birth mother keeping Vilner? Bless you and your precious family, When are you moving? In Christ, our glorious redeeming Savior! Alida w4