Friday, October 7, 2016

Not our turn yet...and worse.

I've had some communication with our adoption worker and neither of those 2 pending referrals are ours. She clarified that IBESR will request our second IBESR fee/match payment just prior to them issuing a referral, so we actually will get a bit of a head's up that a referral is soon. It didn't used to be that way. I think that's a good thing (as long as it isn't forever of me being glued to my phone before the referral actually does come). While I am so anxious to know our daughter's face, I do believe that it will happen when it is supposed to. I will move forward with faith in that.

In much worse news...the death toll in Haiti has surged up to 572 as of this morning. Unfortunately I'm sure that will still rise. Of course I don't want to see loss of life like this anywhere, but this happening in a country that I've come to love so much makes me even that much more sad.

Now if people in our country will just take this hurricane seriously as it heads our way...

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Knock-out cold with a bright spot

I remember back in college that everyone always seemed to get really sick right after finals. Something to do with our bodies' ability to sustain themselves during periods of extreme stress...and then once the stress is relieved it rebounds into a weaker immune response or something.  I know, I know - that was super medical and stuff (that's Mark's world, not mine).  However!  I'm telling you there is something to all of that.  It seems like as soon as a majorly stressful event passes in my life I always get sick.

Enter my knock-out cold.  The body aches and sore throat are kicking my trash.

With the intense worry surrounding Hurricane Matthew and Haiti...for Haitians in general, but also specifically regarding our child's orphanage and how this will affect us getting her home...I lost sleep and worried myself silly.

Over the last 24-48 hours we've been able to gather more information about the destruction caused by the hurricane.  Things were really bad in the south, and while everywhere had some damage...considering what could have happened I feel like we were blessed.  Seeing updates (and a photo) from the orphanage sent me to my knees weeping with gratitude.  I am not overlooking the long road of repair ahead for Haiti or the many lives lost (count is over 100 now), but compared to the south of the island the Port-au-Prince area was largely spared - for which I am grateful, and I even just got this update from our adoption worker:

"...There will be need for help and rebuilding in the areas of Haiti and other parts of the world that have been hit by the storm, but we are so grateful that more lives were not lost to this storm. I also wanted you to know that as of today all adoption offices in Haiti are open, with the exception of the US embassy, they will re-open next Tuesday. We got a passport for a family just yesterday. One of our families on this email are currently IN Haiti on their socialization visit and they had the social worker interview today, so that is great..."

Hearing this is so encouraging.  Words to soothe my sore and tender soul...just like these fabulous herbal cough drops are soothing my sore and hurting throat.

For now...I'll focus on the soothing.

Monday, October 3, 2016

4 years ago today

We all like to recognize significant dates, whether good or bad...right?  We celebrate birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and how many years since we graduated from school - along side remembering the day a loved one passed away.  There is something hard wired in most of us to need to keep track of and remember landmark events in our lives.

In keeping with this notion...4 years ago today we officially began this adoption journey!  Ta-da!  Four years ago today we turned in our first initial application to adopt a child internationally.  It was after many years of discussing it, and years of deciding on what country and agency.  Four years ago we pulled the trigger and made the concrete commitment to pursue this adoption.  We felt compelled that our timing was right, and while we knew that nothing was guaranteed with international adoption (or adoption in general for that matter)...I think we were generally optimistic and excited to be officially embarking on this journey.  Part of me felt like after the roller coaster we went through bringing Noah into our family that this wouldn't feel quite as difficult. *Insert snicker now in hindsight*

Just over 2 years into our journey our adoption from Ethiopia fell through.  (Way more information than anyone wants to know about why that happened can be read in prior posts on this blog) We spent the next 4 weeks thinking, praying, and discussing little else other than how to proceed.  Obviously we felt compelled to pursue adoption from Haiti and signed on to adopt through Wasatch International Adoption Agency.  At the end of this year we will have been pursuing our adoption from Haiti as long as we did from Ethiopia.

I had ideas of ways to celebrate this 4 year milestone...just out of sheer need to celebrate something while we continue to wait and wait.  But it just doesn't feel right.  With Hurricane Matthew bearing down on Haiti right now...threatening to devastate this country that I've come to love, and to bring more suffering and loss to a country all too familiar with it.  I just can't bring myself to do anything to celebrate us being on a journey to bringing home a child whose little life started out with some series of tragedies that we just don't know yet. How many more children will be thrust into this category today because of this powerful storm?  That thought chills me.

I have been following this storm for a week now and have watched in horror as it grew to a hurricane, and then turned to directly hit the country of Haiti.  I can't even tell you how much sleep I've lost reading up on the storm, learning more about the devastating effects in could have on Haiti due to it's topography, deforestation, and lack of secure structures due to extreme poverty.  If this storm ravages Haiti with its full potential then the effects could be mind bogglingly horrific.  I wouldn't want it to happen anywhere on this earth, but it hurts so much more being a country that I love...and knowing that our child is there somewhere vulnerable.  That frightens me.  I want to be there to protect her, or at least to have someone update me that she is safe and well.  That the flash flooding and mudslides that are sure to happen didn't affect her, that she has food and water, that she isn't alone.

I worry also about the Haitian Roots Academy that I've grown to feel passionately about...and more importantly about the students and their families that attend the school.  Is our little Nelie that we sponsor at the school ok?

I was grateful that I was able to reach out to Chareyl yesterday and she reassured me that the orphanages all are made of concrete and cinderblock that survived the earthquake, so they should hopefully be able to weather this storm well.  She also informed me that the orphanages stock up on food at the beginning of each month, so they should be well stocked should they have to shelter in place for any significant amount of time.  This did help reassure me, but I am still just so worried at all of the unknown variables.  I think anyone with a loved one in Haiti is worried right now.

So, with so much worry and potential loss at the forefront of my mind - we're not celebrating the fact the we started this journey 4 years ago today.  All that does is remind me...while our daughter joining our family will certainly be beautiful and joyous for us...that before that can all happen, tragedy had to strike her first family. It may not have been because of a hurricane, but it has struck her nonetheless.  That pains me.  That for us to experience the joy of her joining our family that she and her first family have to hurt so much first.  That adoption, while beautiful, is born out of loss.

I'm sorry this post is full of so much worry, so much angst.  I guess I feel like if I can dump it here that it helps me somehow purge some of those things.

In the meantime, I will continue to pray for Haiti.  Please join me!  For preservation of life and property.  That those who were advised to evacuate heeded the warnings and had the ability to move to safer ground.  That somehow the flooding will be less treacherous than it could have been.   And that especially those most vulnerable will be watched after and protected.