Friday, January 29, 2010

He Is Coming Home!!!!

Today, Friday the 29th, we exited our cruise ship and headed to the airport. We were so disappointed that we had not received any information at all about Jacques, and most certainly were not called to leave the cruise to get him. So off to the airport we went. Our flight home was schedualed for 2:55. We managed to talk American Airlines into moving us to standbye on the latest flight tonight instead. Just minutes before we were getting ready to go through security and check in to our flight, we got a phone call from a friend that informed us that over 100 Haitian children were confirmed to be flying out of Haiti tonight or tomorrow.

Now, we had no reason at all to believe that our son would be one of them, except that his orphanage director had an appointment at the embassy today. With that information alone we chose to take a chance and stay one more night. After checking into our room we headed for a late dinner and at 9:15 PM received a call informing us that Jacques had his papers and was ready to depart from Haiti! We do not know when exactly he'll be arriving (or even if he'll for sure come to Miami, though it is the most likely place). They simply told us they would call us back when they knew what flight he would be on. We are expecting it could be tonight or tomorrow!!! I'll update as soon as possible. Hopefully my next update will include news that he is with us! As for now... I'm off to bed where I am sure to toss and turn until that blessed phone call comes in!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bondye, Souple Pote Petit Gason Nou Lakay!

Translation~ God, please bring our son home! We hope to have him with us sometime this week!!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Can you hear it?

It's the sound of HUNDREDS of adoptive families being reunited with their children! Every day more and more children are coming home!! The DHS has claimed that they will have all 600 orphans that will be coming to America home within the next 10 days (and that was yesterday, so 9 now!). A few of the children from the partner orphanages New Life Link and Hope for the children of Haiti have come home. Many more parents are waiting to hop on a plane at any moment to see their child! Lots of good news coming out of Haiti for adoptive parents!!

Every day we wake up with the thought "Jacques could be home today" and can hardly believe that it could be true!!!

We thank you all so much for your outpouring of prayers and support! We ask that you would please continue to pray that Jacques would be safe and healthy while he waits for his turn to board a plane and come home to us.

Meanwhile, we have non-refundable airline tickets and cruise tickets. We are supposed to leave this Sunday! We have been so torn on what to do. Do we stay home and near the computer so any word that comes through we can jump on a plane, or do we go ahead and go and fly out from there if he comes. We keep going back and forth on what to do. Part of me feels guilty going on a cruise when there is so much hurting in Haiti. Even at home I have been having feelings of guilt to even drink water or eat food. It makes me wonder if Jacques is thirsty or hungry. When I snuggle in my soft warm bed at night I wonder where he is sleeping. If he is comfortable, if he is scared. How much more so will I likely have those emotions on a cruise no less! On the other hand, our family has been through and extremely stressful and traumatic time over the last year and a half. I'm just worn out and concerned that my husband and I continue to strengthen the wonderful bond we have. It could be so great to have calm and quiet time alone together before jumping back into the adjustment and bonding. So as of now... we plan to go. One of the big factors in the decision is that our cruise leaves from Miami, FL. and travels along into the Bahamas so we will be very close to Haiti. Three out of the 6 days we plan to be gone we'll even be in Florida which is the most likely place he'll fly into!!! We've checked with the cruise line and learned that leaving at a moments notice should not be a problem. Checked the airlines to see that getting a flight shouldn't be a problem and I've checked with our cellphone company and learned that we will have access to our phone calls and text messages at all times. We've arranged with a friend to check our emails for us and text us or call if there is anything there we should know about! We've decide to go for it! What we predict may happen is that he will come home after we have been on the cruise a couple of days, but there is no way to know for sure. The only thing that is fairly certain, Lord willing, is that this is sure to be a happy and exciting week! Either we will be on a cruise getting refreshed right before our new family adventure begins or we will be reuniting with our dear Jacques. We can't wait to see how it all comes together!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Horror, Heartache, and HOPE!

My mind and emotions are just overwhelmed this week so again, I just almost don't even know where to begin! As an update on our 17 year old Jacques and his friends... They are still in Port-au-Prince. They are able to access the courtyard to their orphanage building so are there with each other by day and then returning to the basketball/soccer field at night to sleep away from the buildings (so that they don't have to worry about collapsed walls while they sleep!) A friend to the kids and to us that lives in Haiti checked on them and reported that they are doing well! We even got to see pictures of some of the kids laughing and smiling. She reported that they have food and water (that we all need to pray does not get looted, as that is happening in other orphanages) and are talking, playing, and doing each other's hair by day. This was a great relief to us parents! While it is still not a good or safe situation. You may be seeing some orphanages getting their children home on emergency visas and humanitarian parol. This is wonderful and we rejoice with them! However, HUNDREDS of orphans and even legally adopted children remain stuck there. Problem is... The directors of the orphanages arrive at the Embassy to get the visas and are turned away! If they show up with the children (which is how the fortunate few have gotten theirs) they put all the children in a very dangerous and unpleasant situation. Here's why~ The Embassy is just overwhelmed! Imagine finding a way to transport (through the demolished streets of Haiti)and take 50-120 children with you to an extremely overcrowded government office (as in pouring out of the door, gates, and well into the streets), with little help. Then imagine being there all day and all night with no food or water for yourself, your help, or your children. And OH, by the way... there are no toilets for the children to use either! Meanwhile... make sure you don't lose any of the children in the shuffle and the crowd. Also, the Embassy is in a dangerous area of Haiti. Orphange children are at high risk of kidnapping because there is a chance they are the child of a "wealthy" family from another country that would pay nearly anything to get their child back! Then imagine going through all of the trouble of making this happen and then being TURNED AWAY! It's just totally outrageous! This folks, is what is happening. We NEED your help immediately! Please write your congressman, senator, and anyone else you can reach! These children need to leave the country immediately for medical care, food, water, and safety. Also, it will allow any still functioning orphanages to bring in the overwelming number of orphans now needing help due to the earthquake! JSCIS had been trying to get the US government to approve the children to all be flown to the US to a compound area they had all set. The kids could receive medical help, food, and water there while the paper work is processed... in safety! However, it was DENIED! What we are seeking now is that President Obama would make an executive order to have the kids taken to a safe place to be processed!

While writing these very words I have just learned that early this morning Port-au-Prince was once again hit with a 6.1 "aftershock"! There is sure to be more grieving and damage. So sad. Just SO sad! Praying for the people of Haiti, and for our children who are there!!!
Each morning we wake up thinking our son Jacques could be home today! Then by the end of the day we must change our thinking to "Maybe tomorrow". However, as more news is coming out we fear that it could turn into weeks and we are in need of a miracle! What we need... #1- Prayer! The God that parted the Red Sea is the same God that can get those kids on a plane!!! #2- Our government to step up! We are hugely thankful that they have promised us our kids can come home, but disheartened that they would not help in the efforts to actually make it happen!

I'll try and update soon. Already in the time that it has taken me to write this post, things have changed and I want to go see what news is coming out of Haiti regarding this aftershock. Keep your prayers going! Haiti is in such need!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Devastation in Haiti hits us at home

Whew... where do I even begin? Surely, an ocean of tears have been shed from our home this week! As many of you know we have two of our teen adopted children in Haiti right now. We received word quickly that Stephanie and the family she is living with is safe. However, we went about 7 LONG hours before hearing that our precious 17 year old son Jacques had survived! We know there are many other families still waiting and wondering about their loved ones and our hearts go out to them and our prayers are with them. So we praise God for sparing the life of our Jacques, however, he is not at all in a good situation. From what I understand their building has been basically destroy (though not collapsed) and is unsafe and unusable so the kids (Jacques and over 50 or so other teen orphans) are living/sleeping in an outdoor basketball court. When I explained things to our son Jude (age 12 and adopted from Haiti) he knew about the place and shook his head and said "That place is VERY dangerous". Needless to say that did not bring any comfort. I do not have information on if they have had food or water since Tuesday. This morning we rejoiced as we learned that they had been reached and rescued, only to later find out that we were mistaken and they have not yet been rescued. Please keep our sweet son and the children from his orphanage in your prayers while you pray for the people of Haiti! He has been our son legally since August but we were waiting on a passport and visa to bring him home. So we cannot get him into America! I've contacted our congresswoman and researched and research on ways we might be able to get an emergency visa of some kind. Problem is~ Haiti has no working government. Probably won't for a long time. So there is nowhere to even take him to get a visa. Hundreds of adopted families are in the same situation with us. Also, we are hearing that adoption related issues are way down on the list of priorities. Understandably the first order of business is getting help out to those who need it the most. We will continue to seek options and pray for miracles!!!

We also must comfort Jude (Lovenie is not able to understand what is happening) as he also does not know if his birth family has survived. He asked me "What about my Mom and Dad, my Aunts and Uncles, and all my cousins" and I have no answer for him. I can only hug him and pray with him.

I have not posted anything here yet about this additional painful situation in our home, but we are also in the heartbreaking situation of seeking a family to re-adopt Jude. Information has come about that makes us certain we can not continue to raise Jude and Lovenie in the same home. Jude has been with us almost 1.5 years now and to say we have bonded with him and fallen in love with him is a huge understatement! We have prayed and prayed about this. We are so in love with Jude that I have even begged and pleaded to God that there would be some way, any way at all that he could remain here with us. God has confirmed again and again that it cannot happen, and is not His plan for Jude. We have been physically ill and sobbing over this situation. It is one I wouldn't wish anyone to find themselves in! Jude will be leaving us this weekend and will be a couple thousand miles away with very dear friends that we trust. It is a great comfort to know that he will be staying with them. We know that he will really enjoy them and they will enjoy him as well. They are not strangers to him and neither are their children, but are considered family to us. We do continue to seek a permanent family for Jude. So please pray with us about this and share information with families who are interested in an older child adoption through adoption disruption. We intend to keep the reason "why" private but will disclose everything to a family considering adoption. Jude is able to bond. He is so kind and extremely funny. ANY family that receives Jude as their son will be so blessed and so thankful to have him in their life. We praise God and thank Him again and again that He would allow us to know and love Jude the way that we do. We'll always be thankful for the role God has called us to in his precious life. God has confirmed to us multiple times that He "knows the plans he has for Jude, plans to prosper and not to harm, Plans for a future and a hope". We take comfort at that even as we cry until we run out of tears over saying goodbye to him.