Sunday, July 31, 2011

Haiti July 2011

The trip we have been waiting for came! And now we are home again. We have been home for a couple days and I still haven't begun to process those 5 days. I think it is going to be a while. How to you process going to Haiti for the first time. Experiencing that country (although our time there was so short). Meeting our son for the first time. And the pure agony we felt when we had to leave him to come home. We are still feeling it and I am not sure that it will go away until we have him home.

I think this will be the first of several posts. And I am working on getting a slideshow done to show our pictures. There are so many I want to share and too many to list out on here. And I want to talk about the people and kids we met that impacted us so much while we were there. So this is the first of many posts on our time in Haiti.

I will start out by saying our son is GORGEOUS! We were smitten the minute we saw him. His eyes. His lips. He is perfect. I realize, as his parents, we are biased, but I can't help but think the whole world would agree with me. :) He has more hair than most 5 year olds and I could not get enough of it. I think I hugged and kissed him about 200 times a day. His skin was beautiful. I could go on and on and on....

When we first met Huguenson at the orphanage, he was pretty mello. He came to us right away but didn't smile much or really react much at all. He is very observant and is aware of every little thing that goes on around him. He misses nothing. He is curious, got really interested in all noises around him, especially car or truck noises and horns. In the 4 days we got to be with him, he was the same calm, even tempered child that he was in those first few moments. As he got more comfortable with us, he did show us some emotion. Lots of laughs and giggles. And he got mad at us too. He is not afraid to let you know if you are doing something he loves or hates. It was not hard for us to figure out what he wanted and needed. We truly got into a great routine with him very quickly.

He seemed to be very comfortable with us and many commented on this that saw us throughout the week with him. He was very attached to us and to me, and I like to believe that he knows, as we do, that he is meant to be our little boy and that we are meant to be his parents. I felt like his momma the minute I met him and I think he knew it.

In our time there, we spent a lot of time with him at the orphanage, back at our hotel and took him with us when we went on a tour of Port au Prince. Most of our time was spent just playing and being with him.

We got to take him swimming for the first time back at our hotel. He did not seem too excited or unhappy about it. He clung to Rob or I, whoever had him in the water. He never wanted to be far from our shoulder but did perk up a bit when he realized how fun it was to splash water with his hands. He also was completely fascinated with a beach ball that was floating in the water. He reached and grunted for it whenever he saw it and when we reached it, he would grab it with both hands and hold it high above his head.

He did a lot of mimicking what Rob and I would do and every time I held my arm out to take a pic with our camera, he would go the exact same thing with whatever toy he had in his hand. He also was a big fan of high fives. When he did something that we think he perceived as being a good boy, he would quickly clap his hands together twice then give us a big smile. Did I mention his smile? It is infectious and melted my heart each and every time I saw it.

Leaving him was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Being home and not having him with us is a special kind of torture. It makes me feel sad and have a pit in my stomach constantly. I think I am doing better than we thought, but I also think the love I feel for him and the determination to get him home is so fierce in me now, that it carries me through the day. Plus we have our amazing daughter here that helps keep us busy and gets me out of bed each morning. I am not sure I could do it without her.

While we were there, we completed filing our I600 with the US Embassy and completed signing our intent to adopt at the Haitian court. These are 2 important steps to getting our paperwork processed and getting him home. Our paperwork is in process with ISEBR (with the Haitian government) and has been since June 6th. This process was taking over a year before the earthquake and now is taking, on average, about 4 months. So things are moving more quickly than before. Which is encouraging. I still think we have a long road but this gives us hope that we can have him home sooner than we thought before.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Two weeks from today

We leave for Haiti in 2 weeks from yesterday and by this time in 2 weeks, we will be with Hugo! I really cannot wait! It seems like I have been waiting for forever and now, it is here.

And as excited as I am, my anxiousness is probably just as high. I am anxious to leave my daughter here (even though we have left her in the past and she has been fine. And my family will take amazing care of her) and anxious to travel. It is no secret I hate to fly and this trip, well, it is one of the biggest of my life to date, and I have a feeling that plane ride will seem more claustrophobic than any other flight to date. I feel like everyone should wish Rob a big good luck because he will get to deal and calm this craziness in me. Poor guy.

But it all be worth it! I will get to hold him in my arms. He will get to stay with us. But of course I worry about that too. I don't want him to be scared and he probably will be. But I hope that he will feel the love that Rob and I have and that will carry us all through.

We have bought him clothes. A swimsuit. A bear blanket with his name on it to leave with him. Things that parents buy for their kids daily and don't give a 2nd thought to. I do it for Ade. But I have never felt so excited to buy a 5 dollar swimsuit. It is such a weird experience that my first shopping trip for Hugo to be 9 month size clothes. Size 3 diapers. We will be meeting him a week shy of his 1st birthday.

We will also be coming home without Hugo. This is something my heart and head cannot even begin to process or understand. Well, my head knows. My head knows that this trip is necessary because we will get some of the steps done in this long process to get him home. My head knows that we will do what we have to do to make that happen. All my heart knows this trip is so I can meet him, hold him and see him. To love him in person, instead of from afar, like we have been doing. My heart cannot wait to get there. But cannot comprehend leaving him there, not getting to be his mom every day in every sense of the word.

And in all honesty, my heart, and head, cannot comprehend what it is going to be like. Meeting him, being with him and leaving him. I cannot begin to imagine the emotions we are going to feel. The joy, the happiness, the pain and the sadness. This is a whole new world for us. I just hope I have the strength to get through it. And remember the love, the happiness. Always the love and have that carry us through.