Friday, August 31, 2007

New additions

What do you think of my new additions to the blog? I'm getting better at this blogging thing.

Shaving cream adventures

I can't believe it's the last day of August. They way I feel the passing of time has really changed. The days don’t seem nearly as long. I am never bored. It seems like just yesterday that Mike left to go home (in reality it was the 11th). I really think that even though we are away from home, he is having the much harder wait.

We've had an interesting couple of days. On a tip from our friend Bonnie, thanks Bonnie, we contacted Dr. Joseph from Northwest Haiti Christian Mission to see if he could help us in any way with our paperwork debacle. Fortunately, he was coming into Port-au-Prince that day (yesterday) and came directly to the hotel to meet us. He said that he did have some friends in the various offices that we were dealing with and offered to take us down to the offices immediately. We talked with Barb and ended up meeting with her down at the Ministry of Justice where our birth certificate is currently waiting for another signature. After a lot of running around from office to office, we found that there really was not much we could do that day. However, Dr. Joseph is friends with an official in the Ministry of the Interior. So, perhaps when our documents get back there, a phone call from him might do the trick. While we didn't actually make any headway with our paperwork that day we did accomplish several things: Denny got to see downtown, Barb got to meet Dr. Joseph who may be able to provide a contact within the MOI, and we have a much better understanding of what is going on with our paperwork (and maybe a little more hope). Even if nothing is moving with the paperwork you just feel more powerful having an understanding of what is happening to you. I appreciate Dr. Joseph's kindness and generosity very much.

We had great news today about one of the other adoptive families that is here, the Grays ( They received David's visa today and are traveling back to Indiana on Wednesday. We have also heard that 40 files were signed out of MOI and have made it to Immigration. This is also good news for a lot of families.

We had fun playing with shaving cream today during school. We've been working on writing capital and lower case letters, learning to separate things into categories, we just started learning a few reading sight words (yes, no, dog, cat) and working a little bit on letter sounds (he can make p, b, f, v, and m with lots of help). Then Kerwin went for a really long swim. Lawanna, the two girls and the babies have gone back to Barbara's village. So Kerwin found some other girls to play with today. There are three girls here that are being adopted by a family from Scotland. Kerwin had a nice time playing with them in the pool.

Kerwin has just started to get the sniffles and sneezes. I think he picked up a cold from one of the girls that was here. They all spend a lot of time playing together in close quarters so it wouldn't surprise me if it got passed along to him. I hope he doesn't get too sick.

Well, it's Friday and Monday's a holiday so we don't expect much movement on things here until Tuesday. We are praying for our papers to be out of the Department of Justice on Tuesday and on to Foreign Affairs.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Paperwork Update

Just a quick paperwork update for you. It justs gets worse everyday so it pains me to sit down and write it. But here's what I know. Our new birth certificate made it out of Archives. However, MOI will not accept it this way. It now has to go through legalization which is a three-step process: Parquet, Judgement, and Foreign Affairs. We got through Parquet today and will be out of Judgement (they say) next Tuesday. No word on Foreign Affairs.

I did find out something helpful today. Vera, another adoptive mother has a blog ( with lots of specific and up-to-date information on the Haitian adoptive process. On her July 10th entry she gives a readable synopsis of the procees once your paperwork gets to Haiti. It was helpful for me for see it written out that way. Thanks, Vera.

In other news today, my mom is coming down next Thursday. We are looking forward to having her here. I'll try to do better with the pictures in the next few days.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Another cute picture

Quick update

We had a nice day today. Nothing really new going on. We swam, has school and played with the other kids. We are all going to watch a movie tonight after dinner.

The update from Archives is this. The document is signed but it will not be ready to pick up until tomorrow. If someone understands this please write me back and let me know. So, we are planning to have the document picked up tomorrow morning and taken to MOI. Kind of what we thought was going to happen today but instead it's going to happen...all together now...tomorrow. Then we will go in to MOI on Wednesday and see if we can persuade them to sign our dossier and get us out of there.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sports of all sorts

The pictures are of Rachel and Kerwin before she left, Kerwin playing football in the room with Grandpa, and Kerwin playing Zingo with the kids in our room.

Another "weekend" day here. We took it easy most of the day. Kerwin played with all his new toys. He played football, basketball, baseball, painted, put together a puzzle and watched his new Air Bud movies (Air Bud Plays Football and Volleyball). His grandpa brought him a football which he loves and he's never had one before. He also brought a really cool basketball goal that sticks to the sliding glass door with suction cups. It's the perfect size and surprisingly, it stays up really well. I started a new knitting project today. I asked for knitting needles and yarn so that I could at least have something tangible to show for my time here. I've begun knitting Kerwin a scarf. He understands it's a "scarf" but I still don't think he can quite wrap his mind around what it's for. He keeps picking up the needle with the scarf hanging off of it and waving like a flag. This morning we swam with the other kids that are staying here. Then after diner they came over to play games again. They love playing that Zingo game. They are all so competitive. But it's great for the kids learning English. And I love that Kerwin is playing competitively in an organized game with his peers.

Tomorrow is back to school and back to Archives to see about our paperwork. Please pray that that document will be signed and ready to go when Mirlande walks in the door. If it were to come out of there early in the day, we could conceivably be back to MOI tomorrow. That would be wonderful. Thanks for all the support and encouragement. It's fun, I keep meeting people here and they say, "Oh, I feel like I know you already. I've been reading your blog." Such a small world after all.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Safe and sound

My father-in-law has made it in safely. We have heard that my sister has boarded the last leg of her trip home. We are gland to have grandpa here. We had a fun day today. We had a play date in our room with some of the other adoptive kids and families that are here. We have a pretty good supply of "kid's stuff" in our room. They all had a really good time. They played with the Nerf gun, Playdough, watercolors, colored pencils, and then we all played Zingo. It was great. All four kids played together. I used the game to teach the three other kids English and Kerwin used his sign language. The kids were so into it. It was really nice to have other kids around for Kerwin to play with, and on our turf.

The word from Barb is that they spoke with the director of Archives on Friday afternoon and he said that he will sign the document and it will be ready for pick up on Monday. My new favorite song to sing is "The sun will come out tomorrow." Except I make up my own words and they never would have made it into Annie. Besides that, we are happy, healthy and extremely well fed. I think Kerwin has gained 10 pounds since we got here. I could write more tonight but I think I'll make you wait until TOMORROW.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

And then there were three

Erin left to go back to the mission this morning so now there are three of us again. I just talked with her on the instant messenger and she made it back safely. We got up a little late this morning. We were the last ones at breakfast. As we looked out at the pool and the sunshine, we decided to swim first today because it's always sunny in the mornings and then clouds up in the afternoons when we want to swim. Then we often have showers in the late afternoon. In fact, it's raining right now. We had a nice time and it was very hot and sunny.

We ate leftover pizza for lunch today. We ordered Domino's again last night for Erin's last meal with us. Then we had school. We did today's lesson on Genesis 1:1. We worked on memorizing the verse and made a picture of the solar system. It is very cool. We started learning how to play Connect Four today but Kerwin is still a little fuzzy on the rules and the strategy.

The news from Archives is still the same. Come back tomorrow. Barb is back in town tonight so I am going to try to see if there is anything we can do tomorrow to get the documents. No other news here. Kind of a slow day.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Life at the Hotel

House of Hope Pics

House of Hope Pics

Catching Up

It's been a few days since I've blogged. We've been a little busy and the internet has been sporadic as usual. When we can actually get on we are dying to talk with our family so we spend a lot of time talking online.

Monday we attempted to fly Rachel out on standby. We got to the airport at about 6:40. There were already 2000 people there ahead of us. They were lined up (not single file mind you) for more than a hundred yards. We had my father-in-law call American Airlines to see if they were adding any new flights. He called us back and said that so far there were no extra flights scheduled and he doubted if they would add flights because they were sending planes to Mexico to get people out of the way of the hurricane. With that knowledge we decided there was no chance Rachel was going to leave that airport on standby that day. So we headed back to the hotel. We found out from some other folks that night (who didn't make it out of the country) that the airport got kind of ugly that day with people desperate to leave the country. We were glad we didn't waste our time. When we found out her flight was cancelled my father in law immediately booked her on the next available seat out which was not until this coming Saturday. This means she will miss the first two days of classes. However, she is going to just wait and take that seat rather than taking the chance of getting a standby flight. She has emailed her professors to let them know the situation. Although I didn't want her to have to miss her classes, it is nice to have her stay for longer. And she's staying until Saturday which is when my father-in-law is now flying in for another visit.

After we came back that day, we had school in the morning. Our lesson was about following arrows. Rachel and Erin set up a little "treasure hunt" for Kerwin. He had to follow the arrows out of our room and at the end of the course there was a little prize for him. He enjoyed it and seemed to understand the concept of the arrows. We swam for hours that day and then headed up to the restaurant for dinner. While we were up there, we got a storm that we would have expected to come during the hurricane. It rained hard and fast for a long time. The restaurant is an open air kind of place. We were sitting in the back corner and before long we had water under our table.

Yesterday was a busy day. Erin has a friend who is interning at a mission here in Port-au-Prince. He came by to pick us up, take us to lunch and show us the mission where he is working. We went to the bakery that we had been to once before. They have American style food and then lots of bread and pastries. Plus its fairly clean and air conditioned. We got five different kinds of desserts and split them between all of us. My favorite was the strawberry tart. Then we went back to the mission to get the tour. It's called House of Hope and is a home for girls. A few of the girls are being adopted. Otherwise, they live there, get food, shelter and an education. On the whole, the girls seemed very happy and healthy. The facilities there are small but nice. I was impressed by how clean and neat everything was there. However, that may have been due to the fact that they were expecting an IBESR inspection the day before. IBESR is kind of like the Haitian social services. It is the same organization that granted us our adoption.

Yesterday we met another adoptive family here at they hotel. They are also adopting through Barb. I had met their son before when we were staying at Barb's village. They are also young and this is their first child. They are staying for a few days or up to a week as needed. They already have David's passport. We hope to be able to catch up with them some more here at the hotel. Sadly today, all the other adoptive families that were staying here are leaving. There was one family in particular that we really bonded with. They are from California and are adopting two little boys. They were a lot of fun to sit up with and talk and laugh with at night.

A few notes on Kerwin. He is now counting from 11 to 20 by himself. Yesterday he found a new number that he loves. It was the 21st so I taught him 21 when we were doing calendar. Well, 21 in sign language is similar to the sign for gun. So naturally he loved it. He was "21ing" everybody in the room. He has also traded in his Playdough love for pipe cleaners. He does the same thing with them. He gives them to us to make things out of then we play with them. Yesterday we made a bike, an umbrella, a football, a soccer goal, a baseball bat, a baseball glove. He wanted a football tee and a helmet but I couldn't figure out how to make those work. Kerwin made a pretty good kite himself.

The story from Archives is same old, same old. They told Barb to come back Monday to pick up the paper. When Mirlande went in on Monday they were closed. If you have managed to keep reading to this point, I am sure you are wondering why. Well, I'll tell you. It was Archives birthday and they were off. So now you understand it as well as I do. So, yesterday, Mirlande went back to pick up the paperwork and now they want more money for something else. AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Today is our last day with Erin. She goes back to the mission on Thursday. If you made it to the end of this, I'm impressed. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Which is more exciting: Hurricane Dean or Domino's Pizza?

If you answered Domino's Pizza you are correct. The hurricane came and went and we didn't even know it. We had a little bit of wind last night, very little rain and the temperatures have dropped a bit. It was overcast today and we didn't swim. Other than that, not a lot to talk about here. Unfortunately they decided to cancel all flights out of Port-au-Prince for today. Rachel was scheduled to leave this morning at 9:15. So we will be going to the airport tomorrow to try to get her on the next available flight. We don't know how successful that will be unless they have added more flights tomorrow.

We found out the number to Domino's Pizza tonight. As far as I know it's the only American chain restaurant in Haiti. It was very good. We were excited because the pizza that they make here at the hotel is just not quite the same as American pizza. We got a little extra so we can have some for lunch tomorrow.

Thank God that we were safe from any harm or damage from the hurricane. Pray that Rachel will make it home in time to start classes on Wednesday. And pray that we will have good news regardng out paperwork tomorrow.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Grandpa Fishin'

Kerwin's name for my dad has officially been chosen. It's "Grandpa Fishin'" because he is very excited about going fishing on my dad's boat. My parents bought him Grandpa and Grandma books with pictures of them doing all sorts of fun things together. One of them is fishing in a boat. So ever sicne then he has been excited about going on the boat with Grandpa and going fishing. So the name just kind of evolved. Anyway, happy birthday from all of us. We are looking forward to a big birthday celebration for all us us (Dad,Rachel,and myself) when we get back.

Today we found out that Rachel's flight for tomorrow has already been cancelled. Mike and his dad are working on getting it rescheduled but we are not sure what the flight situation is going to be like after tomorrow. Hopefully, they will add some flights to make up for all the displaced passengers from tomorrow. Just pray that she will make it home in time to start classes on Wednesday.

It is 6:00 our time and we still have very little rain, hazy skies, and very little wind. I guess this is the calm before the storm. We ate dinner early so we could head back and close up for the night. We have heard that they are expecting 5 inches of rain in Port-au-Prince. It will be worse in the cities to the south. Please remember the people of Haiti in your prayers. There will be a lot of flooding and with that there is always the potential for loss of life. Certainly homes will be destroyed.

Kerwin swam in the morning but we cut it a little short when one of his water wings broke and he sliced his foot on a on a tile on the waterfall. So we replaced the water wings but he doesn't like the new pair as much as the old ones. And the bandage kept coming off his toe so we just called it quits. He spent most of the afternoon fashioning basketball hoops out of pipecleaners and hanging them up around the room. He also made a rather nice looking crown. We got to talk with Mike, his parents, and his grandmother and great aunt on the video phone. Now we're headed off to the room. We'll update you again when we get the internet back.