Our trip to go to court went great! My mom went with me in January and this time my Dad got to go meet the kids. I didn't want to travel by myself, so it worked out great! We got there on Monday around dinner time. Jovanika and James were in the guest house waiting for us when we walked in.
Jovanika meeting Paw Paw for the first time
Tuesday morning we got up and got ready for court. We got to the court building, which is the old American Embassy. It is kind of set up like an office building. We sat in one of the offices, which I guess was the waiting room. After about 30 minutes, a man came and got us and led us down the hall to another room. We walked in there, which was packed with people sitting in there waiting. A man dressed in khakis, a plaid shirt and a ball cap came and asked for our passport. We were standing in the doorway waiting, as there was nowhere to sit and wait. He walked in another room and came right back and told us we were finished. After the fact, we found out the man in the ball cap was the judge. We were told the way it played out is not usually the norm. Usually he calls you in his office, talks with you and asks questions, but apparently they were really busy that day so we basically walked in and walked out.
Waiting to leave for court
The next day, we went to the Baptist Mission. We took the kids to the "zoo". The zoo consists of rabbits, goats,a peacock, pigeons and a monkey. We also shopped at the market and ate at the restaurant.
The Baptist Mission
We had a good time also just hanging out at the guest house. Jovanika really wanted to try to ride a bike. Paw Paw helped her try and figure that out.
Jovanika asked to comb Paw Paw's hair. He had no idea she was going to go to town braiding it!
It was very bittersweet leaving to go home. Each time it gets harder and harder to take the kids back to the creche and leave them with their nannies. The only sweet part of leaving is knowing that the next time we go back to see them, they will be coming home with us for good!
We were really, really, really hoping to exit IBESR by now. Really! It would have been perfect timing to exit so that we could go to high court this next week while I will be there. No such luck. So I am going to go ahead and be one of those glass half full kinda gals and look at the bright side of this... this simply means I will get to go back and see the children again!! Of course, it will be at the expense of another plane ticket and lodging and food and transportation. We will probably get the news as soon as I get back that we have exited and I will need to go back. (So much for my optimism.)
Anyhow, I leave Saturday bright and early. My friend Jackie and I are traveling together to Miami and then we will meet up with some other people to fly to Port-au-Prince together. I think our flight gets into Haiti around 3 or so, which means we should be at the guest house just in time to get my babies and eat dinner rice and bread. My Haiti trips are always a carbfest. I am really weird about what I eat, which isn't much in Haiti. I have a problem eating mystery meat. Since I know that a lot of goat and other animals of the like are served, I can't bring myself to eat it. I also don't do beans, which is served regularly. They do serve some fruit and vegetables, which is kind of iffy to me. I worry about where the food came from and if it is clean or not. Depending on how OCD I am being at the moment, I may or may not eat it. It's not just in Haiti, I am always a "selective" eater. If I don't know what something is or where it came from, chances are I am not indulging. I may be picky, but I have never had any tummy issues while there. Knock on wood!
I digress... I just need to finish packing now and I will be all set to go. I have packed for the twins. Yes, I know they are not actually twins. But they are exactly 10 months to the day apart in age, so that is close enough to me to call them twins. I am bringing them clothes, shoes, toys, snacks, sippy cups, everything we may possibly need. And then some. The hard part is getting myself packed. Why is packing so difficult?! I pretty much have my clothes packed mentally in my head. That counts for something, right? I just have to get them all together and get my toiletries packed. Knowing that I can't just hop on over to CVS if I forget something makes me a bit of anxious packer. Gotta get it done, though. I keep thinking maybe if I put it off long enough, somehow just maybe it will end up done. No such luck.
Off to go lay down and think about how I should be packing....
It is hard to believe that we are coming up on a year since we started this journey. To refresh your memory, I met Jovanika last June. After we got home and started the process of adopting her, we got the news that she has a little brother also at the creche. We were suddenly faced with the decision to adopt both of them or neither.
I remember so vividly opening the email with the subject line "Jovanika has a brother".... I don't know why, but it never crossed my mind that something like this would pop up. I guess I assumed that they would have realized it upfront before we were matched with her. Well, you know what happens when one assumes....
Immediately, I got on Facebook and challenged everyone I knew that was on that Haiti trip to find out who this little boy is. Within the hour, I had pictures of this little boy getting a haircut.
What is so crazy about this, is that I clearly remember walking through the creche and seeing this little boy with the biggest brown eyes and a head full of hair. He was getting a haircut. I remember thinking what a sweet face and oh my, that was some hair he had! I continued on my way and didn't think anything else about it. What a shock to realize that the little boy getting the haircut was my James!
Since then, I have gotten to go back and spend time with him. He is a beautiful little guy and his big, brown eyes will make your heart melt. He is quiet and takes in everything. He loves to cuddle and wanted to be held at all times.
In 2 weeks, I will be back there with him and his sister once again. To say I am excited would be an understatement!!
6/29/11 ~ Officially committed to adopting Jovanika 7/3/11 ~ Informed by NLL that Jovanika has a brother 7/5/11~ Officially committed to adopt James 10/5/11 ~ Dossier sent to Haiti 11/9/11 ~ Entered IBESR 1/13/12 ~ Lower Court; met the birth parents 6/26/12~ Filed I-600 in Haiti 7/13/12~ Out of IBESR 7/24/12~ High Court 8/13/12~ Birth Parent interview 11/16/12~ Presidential dispensation published 12/12-4/13~ Parquet??? 4/5/13 ~ In MOI 5/23/13 ~ Jovanika out of MOI 5/24/13 ~ James out of MOI 6/7/13 ~ Jovanika's passport issued 6/17/13 ~ James' passport issued 6/18/13 ~ Dossier submitted to Embassy 6/20/13 ~ Visa medical appointments 7/15/13 ~ I-600 approval received