Friday, September 28, 2007

The MOI Reign of Terror has come to an end: May14, 2007-September 27, 2007

We are officially out of MOI! PRAISE THE LORD! It looks like the timing should be just about right for us to come home with Mike in about a week and a half. We still need a passport made, documents delivered up to the US Consulate, and then a visa granted, then we're outta here. I am so much more hopeful now that there is a foreseeable end in sight. And Mike will be here to share it with us. It's funny this all started unfolding this morning. I talked with Barbara and she was going to do some investigating. I tried to call her all afternoon and it wouldn't work. I thought it was her phone. Then when I finally did get to talk to her, she said she'd tried to call me a hundred times today and that my phone wasn't working. Even the phones are frustrating here. But we got the good news and things are already in the works to get the passports printed.

Kerwin is having a great (and wild) time playing with the girls up here at the restaurant. We came up for ice cream when I got the good news. Then the kids started running around and turning the place into a gym. So the girls' dad has taken the kids on a walk and he took Kerwin with them. Bless him, I know that will be an exhausting jaunt.

Thanks again for all the prayers, love and encouragement everyone has given us. I love checking my email and your comments. I'll be updating the blog as I hear more next week. Until then, Go Cats!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

And more nothing

Another day and the same story. We are still waiting on tomorrow. I'm somewhat discouraged and somewhat just numb. I always brace myself for the worst. I don't know if that's the best way to live everyday but it's what I've been doing to protect myself emotionally.

Kerwin had a nice time swimming today. School was a bit of a struggle. We've had kind of a strange week with school and I think he had a hard time getting back into it. We managed somehow. We are really looking forward to Mike coming down now. Less than one week! Yeah!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Today's pictures

Kerwin posing with his pipe cleaner gun and headset

Still waiting

Yesterday the story was: "It is signed and will go up to Immigration today or tomorrow." Today the story was: "It is signed and will go up to Immigration today or tomorrow." So we are still waiting. I am beginning to get excited about Mike coming down. One week now. I am hoping he will come down and we'll turn right back around and leave with him. It will be nice to go home with him as we had originally planned.

Kerwin had a great day today. He enjoyed playing with the little girls that are staying here. This morning we played outside behind their room. They have a nice big grassy area there and the kids played out there and on their back porch. They served us cookies and tea. They actually had Snickerdoodles that they had found at the Caribbean market. They were not nearly as good has homemade but they were somewhat like home. Then we went back and had school. After school we invited the girls over to our room to do some crafts. We painted with watercolors, used rubber stamps, and made bead jewelry. Then Kerwin sat down in the afternoon and watched a movie. He chose Benji which really surprised me because we put it in one time a long while back and it was pretty boring. He lost interest pretty quickly. This time I put it on the "Return of Benji" and he must have really been interested because he sat and hardly moved for the whole movie. This is really rare for him. He's usually up moving around and comes back to watch every now and then. I did some laundry and he didn't even look at me for an hour and a half. Then we went up for a swim. The girls were up at the pool. They swam for a while and then they got out and started playing a new game. Kerwin has become very independent the last few days wanting to do a lot for himself. So he was up walking around by himself. The girls started to follow him and it turned into follow the leader. Where he went, they went. When he fell, they fell. When he got up, they got up. It was really cute.

Hoping tomorrow will bring different news. Thanks so much for all the prayers and encouragement. They mean so much to us.

Good news...maybe

I'm finding it much harder to blog now that it's just me and Kerwin. Last night we were all set up on the computer and then the internet went down. Oh, well. We had a productive day yesterday. We did not get to do school because we went down to MOI in the morning. We arrived at about 9:30 and stayed until 1:00. After sitting there all that time we were told that our papers were signed and were ready to go up to the Haitian Immigration. However, I am not getting too excited yet. First, I don't know if I can actually believe this. Second, even if they are signed it can be days until they make it up to Immigration. MOI will not release these documents up to you to make the 5 minute drive yourself. Oh no, they much take them up for you whenever they are good and ready. So, I will get excited when we find out that the documents have made it to Immigration. The good news is, until now, the news has been that they are "working on them" so at least this is a different response. I think that is progress here.

Kerwin did really well in MOI. He mostly made things with his pipe cleaners and colored in his coloring book. I met a Canadian woman who was adopting. She was very nice and we talked for nearly an hour. It was so nice to have someone I could talk with to pass the time. You get so discouraged just sitting there. After MOI we went out to lunch and then went to the Mega Mart which is a little bit like a Sam's club. You can buy electronics, foods in bulk, and you have to have a membership card. When we got back we crashed for about 45 minutes and then we went up to dinner with the Yoders.

After dinner we got to talk to Daddy and Grandma and Grandpa Fishin' on the web cam. After we got kicked off the internet, we started talking with a man who is here working with a special needs orphanage. He as traveled all over the world working with special needs kids and families impacted by HIV. He had incredible pictures on his laptop. Kerwin sat at looked fascinated. He loved the pictures of the African animals. He also got to see pictures from Belize, Italy, France, and the Caribbean.

Today we will have school and the usual play time and swimming. Kerwin is now learning to answer "why" questions and learning the alphabet in order. Because he did not learn the ABC song but just to identify the letters, he does not necessarily know them in order. So we are up through "n" learning then in order. We will wait for good news today. I will try to update the blog as soon as I here something.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


We had a nice day today going to church and visiting with friends. We went to Port-au-Prince Fellowship again this morning. Kerwin had a little more trouble staying quiet this week that last. He was just having too much fun with his toys and with the boys. He kept giggling and would not be quieted. So we had to make a trip outside to discuss behavior in church. He did pretty well after that and we went down to children's church shortly thereafter. We went to lunch at the Montana hotel. I had never been there before and it was really beautiful up there. The hotel was really nice looking and the view was amazing. The food was pretty good but the greatest thing was that they had a true salad bar. I really haven't had a good salad since I got to Haiti. It was great. Kerwin had some fancy looking hotdogs. He had a great time with the kids. They got a little active at the table. Fortunately, only one glass was broken. Oops.

Once we got back to the hotel, another family that is adopting invited us over to thier room to watch a video. Kerwin was very excited to go over and play. Once we got there the kids started playing with toys and Kerwin had a great time. He looked at books, played with the doll house and little people, he made us all food in the kitchen, and he and the girls chased each other around the room. Now he is back on his step playing with his popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners. Tomorrow is back to school and hopefully we'll hear some good news.

Game Day pictures

Here are a few pictures from the last few days. Kerwin is hard at work on his step. He sits on his step and creates things with pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, straws, and kabob skewers. Mom and Kerwin made a sock puppet. The picture is of the puppet biting Mom's hand. The next pictures are of Kerwin's pipe cleaner shoulder pads and glasses.

We are very excited down here about UK going 4-0. Last night we even got to watch the game, sort of. Mike set the webcam up in front of the television and then gave us the play by play. We could see mostly see the game but it was a bit blurry. But we could talk the whole way through. It was almost like sitting in the living room watching it together.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Last few days with Grandma

We've had a interesting time the last few days. Yesterday, we went down to MOI in the morning to plead our case with no result. Then we went out with Barbara to the West of Port-au-Prince. She did business and we were there to sight see. It was quite interesting because I had never been out that direction before. There towns seemed rather quaint compared to Port-au-Prince. They had more of the older-style architecture mixed in with the newer cement block buildings. However, whether old or new, all the building look like they are in decay. We were exhausted when the day was over. We rode for about six hours.

This evening we went over to Barbara's village for the evening. Mom got to take the tour of the village and Lawanna cooked for us. VEGETABLE SOUP! I was so excited. I've already mentioned how much I love soup and we haven't had a lot of vegetables here at the hotel restaurant. I've been drinking V8 juice to substitute for fresh veggies. Mom got to pass out the goody bags that she brought for the kids in Barbara's village. I can't believe that she has been here over two weeks. The days seem to pass quickly for me now. We have made some progress on the paperwork while she was here but not the progress we would have liked. Hopefully we will have good news next week about MOI. Mom leaves tomorrow morning. We will be on our own until we leave for home or Mike comes down October 3rd: whatever comes first.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Quick update

Things are moving along. We are back to MOI. No promises as to when they will sign us out of there. Keep the prayers coming. We would be thrilled to see a miracle happen in MOI. Our God is certainly able.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Good new and a lost tooth

Today was an all around good day. We found out this afternoon that our papers were signed out of the Justice Department and were already on their way to Foreign Affairs. To my knowledge this is the last step before going back into MOI to get approved for Kerwin's passport. We are still several big steps away but this is a place we've been held up for several weeks now so it's good to be out of there. From what I hear, Foreign Affairs should only be a one day stop so we are hoping to have our papers out of there tomorrow.

We had an adventurous day today. We went with the Yoders downtown to find a souvenir shop that I had been to once before but could not tell you how to get to. We had the street names of the intersection the store was on but we could not find them on the map. Turns out we were looking at the totally wrong part of the map and were pretty far away from the shop. Barb had offered to help us with directions if we needed so, she met us downtown and led us right to the shop. It's a great little shop that Barbara likes to take her people to. The prices are reasonable and marked right on everything. There is no haggling. Everyone enjoyed the shop and now the Yoders have it marked on their map so they can bring others when they have short term mission teams come down. After that we found our way out to the Epidor bakery and had lunch. This place serves American-style fast food and also has a huge variety of baked goods and desserts (sorry, Rachel, I forgot to take a picture of them). Unfortunately, most things look and sound a lot better than they actually taste and the process of getting all of your food is very frustrating. You end up waiting in one line to order, another to get your food, and yet another to get your drinks. Then you have to go to another to order your desserts and one more to pick them up. Heaven forbid you get a pizza or a sub sandwich, you may be there all day and it's extremely unlikely that you will end up with what you thought you were ordering. However, the food is somewhat like home and you can't beat the price. It's also really well air conditioned and they have great ice cream. Before coming back to the hotel, we made a stop at the supermarket to pick up a few groceries. We are so thankful for the Yoders. They have been such good friends in the short time that we have known them. And Steve did a great job today driving that 15-passenger van all up and down the narrow winding streets of Port-au-Prince.

We no sooner got back, put our groceries away and changed into our swimming suits when Kerwin starts wiggling a really loose tooth that I didn't even realize was loose. His top two front teeth have been slightly loose for a while now. But this bottom tooth was really loose and bleeding a little bit. Well he couldn't leave it alone so we went ahead and worked it on out. After chewing on a paper towel for a few minutes, he got a lollipop to help take his mind off the giant hole in his mouth and off we went to the pool. We put it under his pillow tonight so the tooth fairy can visit. How exciting that Kerwin is going to get to see how fun it is to loose a tooth.

While we were swimming tonight it got rather cloudy and rained a bit on and off. God gave us a beautiful rainbow in the sky for the longest time. I'm sure the picture doesn't do it justice but it really incredible. Thanks for all who are praying and praise God with us for the victory we had today and for the fact that we can trust our God to keep his promises.

p.s. The last picture is a self portrait

Monday, September 17, 2007

Bad head day?

Well Kerwin fell out of bed and bumped his head last night. He cried for a few seconds and then we was right back to sleep. He used to fall out of bed every night but hadn't done it in the last few months. We used to keep an extra mattress below his bed but we thought he had gotten used to it because he hadn't fallen in so long. Today, when school was finished he went to get up from his chair. He pushed back from the desk with his feet and pushed the chair right over backward and hit his head again. I think he was much more scared than hurt this time.

Then it was time to cut his hair. I had been debating whether to cut his hair or not for a while now. I originally liked it short but as it grew I started to like that too. But recently, it's gotten really damaged looking and brittle from all the sun and chlorine. Plus he always has something stuck in it and he hates to brush it out. So the Yoders loaned us their clippers and we went to town. Kerwin was excited about getting his hair cut. He liked it when we were done. I think I did okay for my first time with the clippers. I posted an after picture (the one with him yawning). The picture with the hat and scarf is not to cover up his hair. Kerwin just enjoys wearing them. While I've been here I have been knitting just to have something tangible to bring home to show for all the time I've spent. So far I've made a scarf for Kerwin, one for my sister, I'm working on one for my mom, and I made a hat from a Baby knits book that my mom brought me. Kerwin really liked the hat and it almost fits him so I made him a scarf to go with it and I will make him a slightly larger hat next.

I found out last night that Mike was thinking of coming down for a visit over his fall break and by this morning he already had the tickets booked. I am very excited. He is going to get to stay for five days and got a good deal on the tickets. I haven't told Kerwin yet because it's still a few weeks off. Maybe we will be fortunate enough to get to go home together. I still have my mom here until Saturday.

Yesterday was a really nice day. We went to an English-speaking church in the morning and went over to the Yoder's for the afternoon. The church met on a school campus. The service was held in a building that reminded me of a church camp meeting room. There were more Haitians than Americans or Canadians and the place was nearly packed. The music is contemporary. There is typically children's church but it was cancelled that day because the children's church worker was unable to make it to church. She lives up in the mountains and her road had washed away in the rainstorm the night before. After church we went to the Yoder's for lunch. It was wonderful. It was so nice to be in a home again. Even though they don't feel like it is much of a home (before they moved in it was an uninhabited mission house). It had everything you needed to get the feeling of home: home-cooked food, kids playing in their room, sitting around the kitchen table talking and playing games. It dawned on me while we were there that this was really the first time Kerwin had ever been over to someones house as a guest. Watching in their house like that gave me a glimpse of what it would be like to have him in our home. I almost cried right there in their kitchen. He did so well. He sat at the table like a little angel. He asked nicely for things. He gobbled up his soup and asked for more. This a very good sign because I make soup a lot. If he likes that, he'll be set. I've always liked soup ever since I was a kid. My mom used to pack me a Thermos of soup in my lunchbox rather than a sandwich.

Tomorrow we suposed to hear about our documents in the Ministry of Justice. We are hoping for the best.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The good guys win!

So after I got kicked off the internet last night, I went back to the room and watched for updates about the game. I couldn't believe that the University of Kentucky held on for the victory against our in-state rivals, University of Louisville. Kerwin thought his mom was going crazy. So, I had to get him out of bed and explain that we won. He already points out the "UK" emblem on anything we have and he likes to say that "UK is our team."

Today we are going to church with the Yoders. I am very excited. I haven't been to an English-speaking church in close to four months. Then we are going over to their house for lunch. Should be fun.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Game Day!

Ah, my favorite season of the year: football season. I did not anticipate missing football this much. I am craving watching any college football on TV. Today was a good one because I got to the an SEC game (Tennesse and Florida). It wasn't a ver exciting game but it helped. As I write this I am listening to the UK-UofL game. Unfortunately, things are taking a turn for the worse here in the beginning of the second half. The pictures about show Kerwin's first attempt at football face paint. He glued pieces of paper to his face with good old Elmers. After I died laughing, I took a picture and washed his face in favor of some more authenitic looking stripes (watercolor). Kerwin wanted me to take the picture of the dog.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Today's pictures are of Kerwin getting ready for swimming and Kerwin showing off his graph that we made today. We made a graph for Math class today measuring several objects around the room in Cheerios. Then we glued the Cheerios onto the graph. We learned the terms "longest, shortest, measure, and chart." Kerwin has really been on a roll today with his building. Today he has used pipe cleaners, kabob skewers, and popsicle sticks to make a variety of structures including a bed for his cowboy doll and a backpack.

We don't expect to receive any news on our paperwork until at least Tuesday. That is when they have said that it should be out of the Ministry of Justice which is where we've been for several weeks now. I do have some good news about another family here at the hotel. They are adopting three children and all three of their kids are now signed out of MOI and they are just waiting for their last passport. They went into MOI on May 23rd about one week after we went in. Hopefully we will not be far behind.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Another trip to the Baptist Mission

The first two pictures are from the trip up to the Baptist Mission. The second is Kerwin chilling by the pool and the third is his decoupage craft from today's Art class.

We had a really fun time yesterday. We went up to the Baptist Mission again. This time with our friends, the Yoders. Kerwin had a great time playing with boys and Mom and I enjoyed talking with Jackie and Steve. We had lunch, saw the animals, went to the bakery, Mom braved her way across the street to souvenir shop, and we finished the trip off with some ice cream. We stopped by the supermarket on the way home and picked up some groceries. The kids swam in the pool in the evening and then we ate dinner together up at the restaurant. We all had a nice time and Kerwin was worn out by the end of the night (and so were we). Whenever I go out anywhere here, I am so exhausted by the time I get back. I think it is mostly the heat but maybe I've just gotten used to a really relaxed pace here and the activity just feels different to me now.

Today we stayed home and did our usual things. We are learning "question words" in school this week. I feel like Kerwin already had a pretty good grasp on "who", "what", and "where". But he did not really know "when" yet and I'm going to wait a little while longer to tackle "why". Along with "where" we worked on prepositions and we worked on times of the day with "when." He's picking it up pretty quickly. One of my friends who is a speech therapist in the schools emailed me the curriculum benchmarks for kindergarten. I am so thankful for these. I didn't think I was going to have to be worried about keeping him on track academically because I thought we'd be home in time for him to start school with everyone else. However, now we will really have to work hard to keep on track because we are still learning sign language while we work on all these other goals. We are both doing our best and I think we are both doing pretty well.

Still waiting on news of the paperwork. I will update you when we hear something.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Pipe cleaner creations

I don't know if I've written much about Kerwin's pipe cleaners. It started when my sister visited. On a whim she picked up some pipe cleaners at Walmart to bring down with her. Well, they became a huge hit. Kerwin loves to create elaborate models with them. But mostly, he likes to give them to me to make things for him. Sometimes he will ask for something outrageous and I tell him I can't make it. He gets mad at me but then lots of times he'll do it himself and he really ends up doing a good job. Like the other day, he saw a wheelbarrow in a book. I wouldn't attempt it so he made it by himself and it looks really good. Then we made a pickfork and hay to put in the wheelbarrow. He also love to collect the skewers that come with our kabobs at dinner. The other night he created a tripod with the skewers and the pipe cleaners. So naturally, we had to make a video camera to go on the tripod. Right now he is making full football gear including shoulder pads, helmet, and facemask. Who knows what he'll think of next.

Friday, September 7, 2007


The pictures show Kerwin in the "tent" that we made for our camping lesson and with his new blanket that Grandma brought him. He loves it.

By the time I got back to the room last night from writing the blog, Kerwin and Grandma were the best of friends. They had already unloaded all of her suitcases, put together a 100 piece puzzle, made glitter art, and gotten completely ready for bed. Kerwin was just glowing. He jumped up in my arms and was giving me hugs and kisses. How blessed I am to be part of a loving family. I'm literally watching Kerwin's trust, confidence, and joy increase as he grows to understand that he belongs in our family.

Today we had school, swam, watched a new Air Bud movie and played in the room. No news about our paperwork yet. I am afraid we are going into another weekend with no progress made. The weekends are so frustrating because you know absolutely nothing is being done on your papers. This is such a strange time of intese joy mixed with intense frustration. Please continue to remember us in your prayers. And pray too for Mike as I know he is missing us a great deal.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Grandma is here!

My mom has arrived and we had the easiest pick up at the Port-au-Prince airport I've ever had. Kerwin acted a bit shy at first but he warmed up quickly. They are down in the room putting a puzzle together as I write this. I took a few pictures today but I've left the camera down in the room. Everytime I come up here to the restaurant to write I have to pack my bag: computer, all computer cords, camera, cell phone, room key, tip money, and entertainment for Kerwin. It's nice to have somebody else here to help me carry everything. So, I'll post more tomorrow. No paperwork news today.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Making friends

We had a nice time today out with the Yoders. We went to the bakery for lunch and then we picked up some supplies at the Caribbean Market. We even swung by the "Home Depot" just to check it out. We bought a new flahslight. Kerwin got along with the boys really well. They are very nice kids.

When we got home we played football in our "backyard." We are excited about mom coming tomorrow. No news from the Justice Dept. today. Unfortunately around here "no news is bad news." So, I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

School Days

We were back to school yesterday and today. I decided to have school on Labor Day. We had already missed several days over the last few weeks. We learned about muscial instruments today. Kerwin also did quite a few activity pages from some of the books Rachel brought him. He really was enjoying them. My favorite was the one on the picture. He had to follow the code to color in the gum balls. He really picked up on the code thing and we worked on coloring inside the lines. We had so much fun playing in the room today (more pipe cleaner tennis)that he didn't even want to go up and swim. So, I was glad when we got a call from Jackie, a missionary that we met here at the hotel, saying that her family was here to swim and eat dinner. This motivated Kerwin to go up and go swimming because Jackie and Steve have two little boys and one right around Kerwin's age. They have only been in the country for about 6 weeks so they are still getting adjusted to living here. They have been coming up to the restaurant to eat about once a week and we have been talking with them when they come up. So, today the kids played together in the pool and we enjoyed eating together with them. Tomorrow they are going to pick us up and take us to the Caribbean Market and the bakery for lunch. I'm very excited. It's nice to get out but really nice to have friends here. Especially now that the other adoptive families have left the hotel. I think another family just arrived today. I have just seen them up at the restaurant for the first time.

Our papers did not come out of the Ministry of Justice today as "promised." Pray that tomorrow will be the day. On a positive note, files are continuing to come out of MOI. This is great news for lots of families.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

On our own

Yesterday both adoptive families that were staying here left. One with their visa and one without. Today we said goodbye to Denny. He called us from Miami so we know he made it to the States. We swam this morning and played in the room this afternoon. Kerwin is really into making things out of pipe cleaners and then playing with them. Today we played pipe cleaner tennis, pipe cleaner basketball, and used our pipe cleaner laptop complete with earpiece and microphone. We are out of unused pipe cleaners but fortunately my mom is coming Thursday with a fresh supply. Until next time...