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 it....to 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.