There is no adequate way to retell 8 days of bonding, paperwork and the sight of poverty at every turn. But I shall make an effort to share a few important details in the form of what would have been facebook status updates had I had internet those 8 days.
October 9, 2012: Day 1:
The shame felt by illiterate Haitians breaks my heart on every flight into and out of PAP. I help them fill out their customs forms as best I can as they assure me they "just can't see". I can't imagine not having the gift of being able to read. It must be a daily challenge for them.
Arrived in Haiti...Luggage did not:(
Saw Sunny's passport for the first time with my very own eyes! Hallelujah!
Ferocious dog on leash scares my Sunny girl making reunion not-so-joyful....momentarily.
Can you say exhausted! All the emotion and busy-ness of packing and preparing for Sunny's homecoming...all the travel...all the anxiety of holding relief down until absolutely certain = fatigue!
Spent afternoon picking up Sunny's medical papers for visa appointment
Dinner: rice, black bean juice for sauce and goat meat.
October 10, 2012: Day 2:
Left at 5:30AM to head into PAP for luggage pickup. Please Jesus let it be there!.... It was!
Luggage arrived. Lots of goodies to play with now...and eat:)
Slow dancing with Sunny on the patio to Cogburn's "Blueberry Hill" = sweet memory
Listening to Andrew Peterson with a breeze and a good book = much needed.
Today I taught Sunny how to play UNO. We worked on making animals out of modeling clay, sticker books, letter sounds, how to ask "what is this?" and "this is..."
Working on basic manners - trash goes in trash can and not on floor or out the window - is one of them:O
Wash and conditioned her hair. Drank coffee together.
Yes, the days are long in Haiti...yes, I'm still on day 2. Watched Madagascar, put on lotion, listened to letter #1, played with Barbies, shared snacks, talked about how to know when your tummy is full, listened to music on ipod....early to bed. early to rise....
October 11, 2012: Day 3
Visa appointment success!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES! Thank you Jesus! Picking up visa tomorrow at 2pm
Watched a couple at embassy receive residential visas. They were so happy and proud to be moving to the US. Joy to watch!
More bonding by way of games, reading books, tickling, laughing, movies, videos of Libby and Gracie (I miss them so!)
Halfway through Molokai. Good book.
October 12, 2012: Day 4
Breakfast: Banana soup and omelets for breakfast. Yes. Ma'am!
Taught several kids to play UNO. Sunny loves to pout when she loses.
Raced - seriously raced - through tough parts of PAP to get to embassy in time for visa pickup = adventure! What a strange mixture of extreme poverty, rural culture and modern influences.
Picked up visas. Finally - a tear of relief is allowed to fall!
Not sure what we did today - can't think of anything but - WE HAVE A VISA PEOPLE!
October 13, 2012: Day 5
Uh...I still have a lot of time left in this country. hmmmmmm.....
Honeymoon over. Sunny is testing me.
Worked on preparing papers for IBESR so we can obtain exit letter next week.
First shower in 2 days - ahhhhhhhhhhh......
Drove with pastor to mountain property near the ocean. After driving through Haiti for most of the day (6:30am-1:30pm)- I can't hold back the tears. The poverty is overwhelming.
October 14, 2012: Day 6:
Spent the day at HCRM so Sunny could say goodbye to her friends there. She took all her little gadgets and food I had given her and gave them away to her friends. I expected tears, some kind of emotional farewell....but not a tear in her eye as she said goodbye and no one even seemed to notice we were driving away. Broke. my. heart.
October 15, 2012: Day 7
Early morning and long....long.....long....wait at IBESR. 6.5 hours of sitting in 1 chair - we received the exit letter....Did I mention we supplied 90% of what was in that file. I think all they did was sign a page, add a cover letter and hole punch it into the folder. Yes, that took 6.5 hours!
October 16, 2012: Day 8
We fly to Miami this afternoon!!!!!!!!!!
After a flight delay and waiting in immigrations office for THREE hours - Sunny becomes a U.S. citizen and we finally arrive in our hotel room with our first meal of the day at 11:30PM! Seriously! Promised a first-hot-bath to my Sunny girl so we are making it happen!
Never heard such giggles of joy and thrill over taking a hot bath. Wish I could have recorded it. I'll never forget that moment.
Scabies cream = i love you! Do your work on my Sunshine Girl!
Sweet dreams, baby girl. Tomorrow we fly home. What did you say? Yeah, I know - your Ready!
Tapping my red ruby slippers now sweetheart. Jesus, hears it...1, 2, 3...........