It’s been a week since our children ran into our arms on the side of the street in Port-au-Prince. We had not seen them in so long, and this trip was particularly important, because they were being transferred into the care of our lawyer and his orphanage. All our paperwork is turned in, our children are in their “new” temporary orphanage, and now we all wait to be reunited once the IBESR in Haiti approves us to be their parents. We are told this could take up to 2 years. It could be, and we obviously pray for, less than 2 years. Our hearts are heavy and long to be with them. The 1.5 days we got to spend with them on this last trip was worth every tear that was shed by all of us upon departure.
We made so many wonderful memories, and we were also given insight and small bits of preparation for being parents to three boys. This first lesson came within 30 minutes of having the boys with us when Wendy, the second born of the twins, announced, “Laura, pee pee.” So, we asked our driver to pull over while all 3 boys hopped out, with Papa Blanc (Todd) supervising, and took to their business on the side of a busy Haitian street.
More precious and funny memories…
-They can eat – A LOT. The twins got thirds, sometimes fourths, when we sat down to each meal. Wilnes is content with one plate, but we get the feeling he could and would eat more, but he makes sure others get enough. We would give them candy or snacks throughout the day, which they would eat immediately or hide some place where they could enjoy it later. Todd found a packet of sweet tarts in his shoe.
-We were all giddy at bedtime. It was our first time to all stay in one room together as a family. Conveniently, there was a double bed and 3 twin beds in our room. We read in the Bible (Jeremiah 29:11) and said a prayer before bedtime. Wilnes said the most beautiful prayer in Creole. We are not sure what all he said, but it was long and passionately spoken like his Mama Blanc (Laura). They all slept with the monkeys we gave them (manca in Creole) and the covers over their heads – so cute. Wendy got up in the middle of the night 3 times to say, “Laura, pee pee.” I think it’s the only English he knows.
-We are surprised at how self-sufficient they really are. They immediately knew to brush their teeth when they woke up in the morning. And watching them line up at the sink together was adorable. They had toothpaste dripping down their shirts and were so excited to have clean teeth.
-When we asked them if they wanted to take a shower, they got very excited. I think this only happens a few times a week at their prior orphanage, so they were eager to be clean and use a “real shower.” Todd supervised and said it was the cutest thing to watch their system. Wilnes started with the washcloth and washed his front side. Then, he handed the cloth off to Woody who cleaned Wilnes’ back then his own front. Then, he handed it off to Wendy who followed suit. True brothers helping each other out and literally “having each other’s backs.”
-Most of our daytime was spent playing basketball, soccer, dominoes, listening to music, dancing, and singing. They also each took countless photos of just about anything around them. They got a kick out of taking our iPhones and picking out music. An attached video below shows Wendy especially enjoying this. Their personalities are so different, yet each so special. Wilnes is very curious and wants to learn everything he can. He figured out how to open the Byki app on my iPhone and started teaching himself English. He is very responsible and a good caretaker of his little brothers. Woody does not talk much and would have a ball in his hands at all times – football, basketball, soccer ball, whatever. If it kicked, threw, or bounced he had it. He laughs a lot at his twin brother. Wendy is a clown and never stops performing (again, see the attached video). He is always smiling or laughing. We can already see the “scholar, athlete, performer” roles emerging in them.
One of the most precious and tangible memories we have is a picture Wilnes drew. As a counselor and having worked with children, I understand the power of what children draw. Without any direction from us, Wilnes took my notebook and drew a picture of a house with all of us inside. We were a family. We look at his drawing often and pray for this time to come very soon.
While it was extremely hard to say goodbye again, we feel much peace about where they are in the meantime. We became friends with Dr. Bernard’s daughters, Argentine and Stephanie, who also served as our Sweet Sleep team translators on this trip. They have already emailed us to let us know they sit and visit with our boys often. They write, “your boys miss you and say they love you soooooo much.” What a blessing to know these sweet young women are a loving presence for our boys while we cannot be. Please continue to pray along with us that Wilnes’ drawing will come true soon. Thank you for supporting our family.