Monday, August 31, 2009

Homecoming week in review

Well, we've been home for a little over 24 hours now. J slept in his room by himself and did fine. I stayed in there until he fell asleep and just explained where things were and what he could do if he woke up, where to find us and he did great. I thought I heard something this morning but I actually woke him up by accident when I checked on him.

We took him to see where we each work but he was intimidated by all the people who wanted to see him. I'm glad that the bond to us is there already. He is definitely comfortable around us and not so much around strangers.

He likes the cats okay but is still not fond of the dogs. He just tolerates them.

He loves the ice and water dispenser in the fridge door. He is quite fascinated by anything to do with ice, including popsicles and ice cream.

I loaded a bunch of pics and figured the easiest way is to just review the week in chronological order.

I've been to Haiti several times in the last 25 years and this was my first time in a tap tap. That was an experience. I'm glad I did it but I went to the chiropractor already this morning. Of course that can't be blamed on just the tap tap. Anyone who knows Haiti knows what the "roads" are like.

This is the very, very bald spare tire for the tap tap.
Pic of a PAP hill side.
J is really going to miss his buddy, LM. I think they are close to the same age but LM is quite small for his age.

Um, yeah. A self portrait.

Hamming for the camera after putting his sunglasses on the fan.
This is the shirt I made for him to wear home. It says From Haiti to home with love.
Our flight out of PAP went fine without a hitch. We cleared immigration fairly easily too. It just took a little time because there were quite a few people. This is J's first meal in the US. Pizza!!

You know the whole trip couldn't go without a hitch. Our plane was delayed because of weather and when we finally boarded we just sat there for a while. They finally came on and said that there was a leak in the galley sink and it would take 20-30 minutes to fix it. A few minutes later they came on and said that the power to the plane would need to be turned off so we would have to unload the plane to fix it. We all got off, with our carry-on luggage and most people headed towards the only restaurant that was still open. We got some food and sat down to wait. J had been so good all day with all the waiting and he continued to be very good. He layed down and went to sleep.

I was able to wake him up to get on the plane where he promptly went back to sleep. We landed in Atlanta and Mrs. H and her daughter and grandson picked us up. It was about 2 a.m. at this point so we got to Mrs. H's house around 3. J was so good. He looked around for a while, asked some questions, and went to bed. I couldn't find my contact case but after a week in Haiti I was able to "degaje" (figure out how to make do or make it work). Here are my contacts soaking in bottle tops at Mrs. H's.

We drove the rest of the way home on Sunday. We had been trying to get there for church but after the delays and the very late night, it just wasn't going to happen. When J walked in the house and met his sisters he wandered around some and went up to his room. He was all smiles. He told us that he saw something on his bed. It was his Christmas gifts from his aunt and uncle from 2 years ago. He wandered around a little more and asked where his bike was. He knew we had gotten him one for Christmas a couple years ago. The tires were flat on it so they had to pump them up.

He really likes the bike.

He wanted to go swimming even though it was rather cold for that. There was another little guy here and they played really well together. Isn't it amazing how kids can just play like they've known each other forever?

He got cold and we had to pick out pants and long sleeves to wear. He was shaking and said he needed some sleeves for his hands too. I told him I had just the thing so he put the Spiderman hat and gloves on and went back out to play. Too funny.

He likes anything to do with electronics, computers, game systems, etc. and here he is bowling on his sister's wii.

Well, that's pretty much homecoming week in review. He is outside riding his bike right now. If I can manage it, I'm going to take a nap.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

We're home!

We had a long couple days of travel but we are home and doing fine. J loved the airport and was very good even through delays and layovers. I had told him about the auto flushing toilets so he wouldn't freak out but I forgot to tell him about the auto sinks. He was quite thrilled with them. We rode up and down the escalators multiple times and then sat down to wait for awhile. He watched some people come in the doors and his eyes got huge. He said, "Mum, de gates (doors), dey are opening by deirselves!!" I said yeah, kind of like magic. He watched a few more and then said with awe, "It is magic." It was so funny. I tried to explain a sensor to a kid from a third world country, then I gave up and we just went in and out for a while.

There are lots of emotions to process, lots of things to do, but I'm operating on about 4 hours of sleep in the last 36 hours and I got a cold too. I'll update with pics when I can.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's Thursday...

...and we had a visa as of yesterday afternoon. Praise God. this is like the only part of the entire 4 year process that has gone without a hitch. Weird, but very, very nice. See those of you we know IRL real soon.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's Tuesday...

...and we got the "golden ticket". When you are approved for a visa they give you a yellow ticket to come back and pick up the visa. We have the ticket, praise God.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's Thursday morning...

...and we have a visa appointment for next week. Thank you, Lord.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's Wednesday afternoon...

...and we've been approved. We should find out about the visa appointment tomorrow. Lord willing. Wow!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday afternoon...

...the paper is found (or replaced or something) and things seem to be back on track. If we have no more mistakes or missing papers we may still get approval this week. Our fingerprints still expire on Sunday either way. Sigh...I got to share a black tie mousse cake from Olive Garden with R today. Awesome comfort food, that is if cake falls into a food category. I think chocolate is it's own category.

Tuesday morning...

...there's a paper missing from our file. Please pray.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Coming soon...

R has been writing short novel length books since she was 13-14. Some of these were series, some had made up languages, some had made up animals and other creatures. Some were just short stories. Her writing is very descriptive and very vivid. She finally made the choice to publish one of these books.

It's currently in the production phase and should be ready for purchase in 2-3 months. We're very excited about this.

Friday, August 14, 2009


I hate the desperation I'm feeling today. Will we hear good news? Will we hear bad news? Will we hear anything at all? It's Friday and I'm feeling desperate. We've waited 4 years to get to this point and the thought of going another weekend without hearing anything makes my heart sick. Literally. It makes my chest hurt.

The O director told me last week that they had two VBS weeks in a row and how much fun J had and that they went to a pool one day. She told me that he cried when that team left. I know she meant it to reassure me that J is having fun but it breaks my heart that he's crying over other people leaving. I just want to come to him and take him home. We have a pool in the front yard. He could have been in it every day this summer but he's still in Haiti.

I feel desperate today to hear some good news. To bring our son home. Would you say a prayer for me? Please.

It's Friday morning...

...and we still don't know anything. Please keep praying.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What we're playing

I changed my banjo strings the other day when I found out they make Elixer's for the banjo. Elixer's are my very favorite guitar string because I really don't play more than 2-3 times a week and they keep their tone for such a long time. I only play the banjo about every 2-3 months, much to the frustration of my parents. You see, they paid for banjo lessons and I hardly ever play. I didn't have the average banjo teacher and she actually taught me a LOT of music theory and not so much how to play the banjo. With guitar and keyboard I just play chords, not the actual written notes so I can play just about anything with words and chords. I learned some basic chords, hammer-on, pull-off, basic picks and some tabulature for banjo and I just never really did much with it. But the theory skills, like transposing, chord structure, song structure, etc. is what I really picked up from my banjo lessons. Anyway, it got me thinking about the instruments that we have in the house at any given time. None of them are real special and they certainly aren't expensive but we do what we can with what we've got.

The banjo is an Antares that is about 27-28 years old. I sold my pony to buy it. Here it is with it's new Elixer strings. Did I mention how much I like Elixers?
Complete with the piece of McDonald's straw to raise the string a little bit. Yeah, the straw piece is about 27-28 years old too.
T has a Fender acoustic guitar that he plays about as much as I play the banjo. I have an Epiphone acoustic electric that I like to play through a chorus pedal. I'm not that fond of the acoustic sound it produces but the action and small neck width are perfect for me.
I keep it in an old beat up case that's about 25 years old. Yes, that is black duct tape but I refuse to buy a new case just to beat it up too.

This is my $25 piano that I bought when I was 12, with my own money. It had funky brown paint on it, not a single solid ivory on the whole thing, and some of the keys didn't work. We took it home in the back of my dad's old rusted 60's model pick up. My brother and cousin sat in the back of the truck to keep it from falling over, which it almost did. All the way home my brother played the only song he knew how to play, over and over and over. When we tipped it to load it, a bunch of pennies fell out of it and all the keys worked after that. I sent the keys off to be redone and painted it shiny black. It has awesome sound for an old $25 upright, but it does need tuning.
I love any kind of strange or different instrument that I come across. On top of the piano is some of my collection. There is a maraca from Mexico, a Haitian flute, a cowbell, an African board piano, two harmonicas (one which is an antique made in Germany that has two keys on it-one on each side-and awesome vibrato) a jew's harp, some kind of noise maker from Mexico, and a flutophone that is 30+ years old.

R has a yamaha E413 keyboard that she bought last spring. Our favorite thing on it is the arpeggio function.
At church I play a yamaha PSR730. We actually use the accompaniment feature on a lot of songs. My favorite part about this keyboard is that I can take out single components of the accompaniment and leave the others going. Like, I can use the drum and the bass and turn everything else off, 'cause let's face it, some of that "canned" stuff is pretty lame. Overall, we like the yamaha keyboards.

Oh, we also have a beautiful dulcimer that was bought in the Smoky Mts. R and I can each pick out a couple of simple songs on it but neither one of us has time to sit down and really learn to play.
Look at the soundhole design. Isn't it beautiful?

And that's what we're playing. Maybe next time I'll show you a picture of my canjo.

Our papers finally all got to DHS and our approval is pending review of the file. Please pray that it is 100% correct and complete and that they don't ask for anything else and we can get the approval and then a visa. Thanks.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Another Sunday

We got an email from DHS yesterday (yes, on a Sat.-how weird is that? I didn't know they were open on Sat.) saying that they are still waiting on the papers. I talked to the O director on Friday and thought that they were taking them on Friday. It was a bad connection so either I misunderstood or they didn't get a chance to take them. Please pray that they get them there on Monday so we can get the final approval and a visa appointment. Sigh...

A is standing over there playing R's keyboard. She was playing something cool and I asked her what it was and she said she just "had it on 'room kit' with the 'ar-pig-o' thing". I busted out laughing and said it's pronounced "ahr-pej-ee-oh". She cracks me up.

T had a birthday this week. Happy birthday, Babe (like you even read this blog). R was working and I was busy around the house so we asked A to wrap the presents for us. She was in one of those moods and this is what she did to his gifts; T is a "manly man" and she wrapped every one of them in girly stuff. She said we just don't have anything manly for gift wrap. I better put that on my list. Poor guy. He is a little outnumbered in this house, at least until J gets here. He didn't care though and A was quite proud of how nice they looked.

I bought a little shelf for the hall bathroom the other day from the antique mall where I work. I'm going to paint it and T is going to attach a dowel to the bottom of it so it's just sitting in the hall right now. Dexty found it and decided it looked like a good place for a nap. He's getting that "old man cat" (he'll be 12 in Oct.) skinny thing but he's still a pretty big cat.

I think I'll do a thankful list. It sure helps to have a thankful heart. I'm thankful for T and celebrating another year of life. I'm thankful for my kids and that they make me laugh. I'm thankful for pets-especially when they're sweet and cute.

Friday, August 7, 2009

It's Friday morning...

...and we don't know anything. We don't know if the papers got to the DHS office or not and if they did we haven't heard anything about approval or a request for more papers. Sigh...keep praying.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I know you're wondering if Sano still likes the clean laundry so here's a pic I took yesterday to assure you, she still loves to lay on and snuggle into clean laundry.
In this pic, apparently Dexter was full of treats and sleeping them off on the steps.

They are going to try again today to get the papers to DHS. Please pray that they are 100% complete and 100% correct and we can get approval and a visa appointment.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Still not in...

We were told that our papers would be submitted to DHS this morning but they (O workers) did not have everything they needed. Please pray that they get the papers submitted and that they are complete and correct.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


I got to talk to J today but I still have no idea if our file made it to DHS. Sigh...I asked him if he knew if it made it and he said no, so I don't know if that means no-he doesn't know or no-it didn't make it. Keep praying.

We had a baptism service at my parent's pool after church today. It was a really neat service. The guy who fell off the roof a couple months ago was baptised. It took 3 guys and an old army stretcher to lower him into the water but he was determined to be baptised. He did great but the old army cot didn't make it. It ripped down the middle. Yeah, we're a pretty laid back bunch.

Not much else going on. The sun has been out today which is wonderful after so much rain lately. The last two years we had summer droughts but not this year. It's been cool too. August has just started though.