Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Adoption Story

I have had a few friends ask about the "adoption story". Some of you (Erin, Teresa, Nicole) can just skip this because you could tell this story better than me since you had to listen to me whine and cry about it for two years! So here is the story, I will try to just give the highlights and apologize for getting to into me it really is a great story. Before I start I just have to point out that this photo is of me and my Grayson the first time we met in Haiti. He was eight months old (yes, I know he looks like a newborn) nine pounds and supposed to die at any moment. As of writing this he is 35 pounds, four years old and sleeping near my feet. I am overwhelmed with gratitude that he is here and that he is mine.....

Lyndon and I have always known we had a black son. We never really knew when or why we just knew we did. We started out family and found that having kids wasn't going to be a problem and had three. However, there was still no question that we would be adopting. We sort of figured it would happen when we were older and had 25,000 dollars to spare. Just a reminder that the Lord's timing and yours often don't coincide! After Issac started to grow we felt a deep need to get going on the adoption. Pause-bloody head wound on Isaac-it's in his hair so no worries when it scars....moving on...About this time our friend Jen ended up going to Haiti on a humanitarian trip. She spent some time working in the orphanage where we would eventually adopt from.

When she came home she brought photos of the most beautiful children I had ever seen. My heart filled to overflowing and we started looking into Haitian adoption. However, it looked like that would not be an option. We didn't meet any of the requirements. So we headed off to LDS Family Services. No words could describe how wrong that felt. We didn't know what to do. Jen stopped by about this time and let us know that she had felt prompted to stop by and ask why we had given up on Haiti. We went to dinner and as we talked I know for sure that my sons spirit was there that night I knew without a doubt that this Haiti talk was going on for a reason and this is where my son was.

We found a coordinator to get us to the orphanage that Jen knew of. It is run by an LDS bishop and we knew we were on the right track. At this point we were feeling desperate to get our paperwork done. What had felt like a good "someday" idea seemed like the most important thing in the world. We worked night and day on our paperwork and had it done and off to Haiti in three weeks, a record by all standards. Our papers showed up the same day as a baby boy named Schnaider Morin. A Canadian adoption coordinator was at the orphanage and said she thought she could place him. Guesno Mardy (the bishop that runs the orphanage) said no, he felt like this might be the Friant's baby. Hours later we got his name, his age, a tragic story about his 16 year old mother and a little medical sheet. We read it an knew without a doubt that we had found our son. We signed papers to legally adopt him just days later.

He was 5 months old when he was referred to us. We talked much and decided that I would go on the first available parent trip to meet my son and to try and smoosh as much love into him as I could in a few days. The trip was planned and all I had to do was wait. I then get a call and am told my son is dying and asked if I wanted to go and be with him. I was on a plane two days later. My angels (Nic & T) took me as the seasoned Haiti mom's and nurses to boot. The first time I met my son he was 8 months old weighing 9 pounds. He was so skinny he looked like a skeleton. My friends told me later they were surprised he made it through the first night. We spent two weeks in a hotel mostly with me holding him, or he slept in my suitcase. At the end of the two weeks he was eating like crazy, rolling over and looking great. I left him at the airport in the arms of someone I didn't even know knowing that my heart had never been so broken.

It would be almost a year later before he would come home to us. We went to Idaho to beg the director of IBESR from Haiti to sign our file. We finally got word that he was coming home and then they changed the passport law that would add another five months to our waiting. We wrote out a never ending string of checks that we didn't know how we would cover and filled out more paperwork then could possibly be imagined I found myself feeling more alone than I ever felt in my life. I was alienated from my family because he was all I could talk about, all I could think about and I was just sure that they couldn't understand and didn't care. I lived on my knees and cried constantly. My husband who was as miserable as I was handled it differently than I did and so we felt separate in our grief. Through it all we knew we were doing the right thing and nothing would make us change our minds.

We finally got the news in December of 2005 that our son was coming home! He was 16 months old and finally he would be home! We gathered up Kyle and headed to Haiti. The trip to bring him home is a really long one that maybe I will tell another day. We arrived home on Christmas Eve and as I held him that night with my family around me I knew I had never had a gift like this one before....

PS People always ask me (which I think is awesome) who to call to look into this. Post adoption I would suggest using Wasatch adoption agency. There are three orphanages that I think highly of. The First is Hope For Little Angels of Haiti (my friend Nicole is there coordinator), Chances For Children (my friend is adopting through there at the moment and it is like the Hilton of orphanages) and Foyer de Sion which is the orphanage where we found our son. I am happy to answer any questions about adoption and am not private at all about fees so feel free to contact me if you want to talk.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Goodbye To Summer

Usually I am counting the minutes for summer to come to an end. It just has never been my favorite time of year. This year I gained a new appreciation for summer. Settling into life in the country has caused me to appreciate mud, water, gardens, yard work, schedule free days and popsicles. The boys have bloomed under the country sun and while I hesitate to say it out loud seem to be doing better than ever. Now we are a little over a week into the school year which means fall to me. I can't say I don't love all that is school. I love backpacks, packing lunches, homework, reading, well all of it really....I also have the honor of teaching Kyle this year and I feel as if I have learned more already than much of my years of schools combined. I look forward to cooler weather and having my husband return from the construction work black hole. But, I say a fond farewell to my summer in the country and look forward to many more.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I have Been Tagged

My friend Jody tagged me to answer the following questions. I am really glad because I really just don't have my blog groove on lately. Thanks Jodi!
Attached or single: Attached most definitely
Best friend: Lyndon
Cake or Pie: Black Tie Mousse Cake (Olive Garden)
Day of Choice: Hummm...they all have their good points and not so good. I like Friday's though.
Essential item: Planner
Favorite color: Blue
Gummy bears or worms: Worms
Hometown: Born In Richfield but I am for sure a Monroe girl
Favorite Indulgence: Bubble baths, long runs, chocolate, reading
January or July: I hate hot but January is a little depressing so I will say neither
Kids: Five sons
Life isn't complete without: All of my boys (including my 34 year old boy)
Marriage date: June 21, 1996
Number of brothers and sisters: One sister
Oranges or apples: Yes please
Phobias: Spiders
Quote: You are who you are when no one is looking
Reasons to smile: It's fall and I love all things fall---especially learning
Season of choice: Fall
Tag 3 people: Lisa, Jen Woolsey, Jamie
Unknown fact about me: I am an open book baby
Vegetable: Zuccini
Worst habit: slouching
X-ray or ultrasound: Ultrasound, I get to see my babies
Your favorite food: Cafe Rio Steak Salad
Zodiac sign: Libra I think, but really not my thing

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Thing you Forget to be Grateful for

You have heard it said over and over again that you don't know what you've got until it is gone...boy has that been the case the last few days. I came down with some horrible sick bug that has kept me in bed for going on 3 days. I feel it quite an accomplishment to be up at the computer, though a bit woozey. What I want to say mostly to you mom's in the same place as me is how funny it is that the things you think you want once in awhile really aren't all that great. I have a houseful of people at my beckon call-bringing me anything I want, rubbing my head, taking my temperature (incessantly) and making sure I have nothing to do. I have watched hours of chick flicks and read the blasted last vampire book. But, what I really want is to get up make dinner for my family and watch my son ride around on his bike (since he learned today). I hate meeting new people but am sick that I missed back to school day with Jamen's new teacher. I got out of breaking up fights, putting on band aids and the never ending feedings, but the truth is I can't wait to be well enough to do it myself.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Alas Babylon

My posts often have to do with what I have been reading lately...I just finished Alas Baylon....I couldn't put it down and for days I had the "what if this is the end" every time something "endish" happened. A crazy storm had me convinced that the end was here! While I think it's probably safe to assume the end isn't going to be today I am grateful to re reflect on the importance of being prepared. It made me inventory my food storage, think about what might really be important in time of emergency and give my husband the go ahead to do the 72 hour kits the way he has been wanting to for a long time. I also feel so grateful to be part of a church that keeps reminding us to be prepared, to be ready...I don't know that I am ready, but I am trying and I hope it can be said when that time comes that my kids aren't starving before my eyes because I was to busy to do what I was told to do...I wonder if I need to plan for a year supply of brownies, heaven knows I will need them...

Small Town Girl Goes To Big City

Yesterday I went to Salt lake to see my friends. Anne would call them her "bosom friends". These three women are my old college roomies and my bestest of friends. We don't see each other often enough but always we will keep making the effort and just being thrilled to catch up with each other. Between us we have 17 kids (counting the one about to make his debut coming from Erin). Pretty amazing since when we met we were immature, boy crazy college girls not sure what we would do when we grew up. Technically we grew up, but when I am with them I feel young and like there are people in the world who loved me now and then. It's a great feeling. I love all of you. I took a very handsome date with me. Usually we don't bring guys, but Isaac is so good looking that he was able to come. After the part where (you just sit and talk and do nothing fun) we went to the children's museum and for ice cream. I loved having his little hand in mine and I felt so thrilled to just give all of me just to him. It made me realize how much I miss when I try to cram them all in to one day. But, then as we were driving home he said, "mama, next time we should take my brothers." It's very rare that they get me to themselves, but they have each other and that fills a space I never could. Not to mention it made our time together even more special.
As for the city city folk can have it! At first you think, "wow, so many choices." But, after you get lost, miss an exit, deal with road rage, pay to park (this one just kills me), spend way to much money and get a stomach ache from all the bounties you just have to try, then I am ready to come I get further south and I see fields instead of billboards my blood pressure drops back to normal and I sigh....I love it here...

Monday, August 4, 2008

On Our Way...

Kyle and I booked our tickets last night for our trip to Haiti in October. We are both so excited. For one selfish moment I thought of how far the $1400 in airfare could have went towards a cruise with my cute husband....but nothing really does it for me like mountains of garbage, earth shattering poverty, men with guns (big ones) and spiders the size of a small country! Truth is since the minute I step off the plane for the first time in Port-au-Prince I felt that feeling I get when you get home and there is so much to do and you just roll up your sleeves and get to it and it feels so good. That is how Haiti is for me and I can't wait to get back.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My Morning Walk

Lyndon got up and took four of my sons fishing today, all of them promising to bring me home a giant fish for dinner...Micah and I headed out for a walk. It is an overcast day and I can appreciate that anywhere in the world, but here it is as if Heaven is just inches from the ground. Micah is a cryer and I find it interesting to note that while we were on our walk not one unhappy sound did he make. He laughed at some chickens and cooed at a horse that walked over to the fence just to look sweetly at Micah (yes, I am serious the horse looked sweet), he made a surprised noise when we walked past a home that had what appeared to be a plastic bird in the grass, but then opened up to be a beautiful swan. There was so much "scope for the imagination", (as Anne would say) for the possibilities of an old abandoned church for sale...I could see us making it grand again and little boys being raised in a church....sigh. My practical husband will come home and point out to me the wiring nightmare that would be and do I really want to worry about the roof coming down on my kids? But, for this moment I see it all restored and filled with the voices of little boys...I have a tendency to see a pretty view and appreciate it for about one second and then move on to my task. But here the majestic mountains covered in green seem to gently command you to keep looking and you find your eyes not being able to roam from their beauty. There is no place like home and what wonder I feel that this place is mine...