Tomorrow is coming much more quickly than we anticipated. I know that sentence does not make a lot of sense, but stay with me for a little while and you will understand what I mean. We will be leaving from Haiti at 12:51 and arriving in Jacksonville at 6:51 tomorrow evening after having been in Haiti for a little less than a month. When we first began making plans in October, a January return trip was one of the farthest things from our minds. You may recall that we went home in October to spend a couple of months focused on fundraising with the thought that starting in December we would get to stay in Haiti for an extended period of time. It was setting up perfectly because Sophie was a little older and now does really well in Haiti, it is a little cooler during these months, and we were ready to start living in Haiti together as a family. In October, however, things changed pretty dramatically.
We got a call from our adoption agency less than 2 months after redoing our home study for a new adoption saying that a birth mother had chosen us again and the baby was due on February 15! I am not sure why we assumed it would take much longer, but we did and it didn’t. We actually got the call from our agency as we were pulling into the parking lot for an All Things New fundraiser in LaGrange and we were so excited. We just kind of looked at each other and then got out of the car to attend the fundraiser with this huge news on our mind and not being able to tell anyone for a few hours.
While all of that is just incredible and we are thrilled to meet Elijah (yes, that is our son’s name) and welcome him into our family, there is a very bittersweet aspect of the story. If you remember with Sophie’s adoption, we waited more than 6 months after we brought her home before we could get finalize the adoption, get her birth certificate, and apply for a passport so that she could travel with us to Haiti. Because of that, Jess was in the states the entire time and I was back and forth between Jacksonville and Haiti. We will have to do that again with Elijah.
Even more important than that is how sad the kids were when we told them we were leaving. The truth is, we have had a blast with them these past 4 weeks. We have hung out, played together, talked together, celebrated together, and just really had a good time. We all go through stages. Sometimes things are difficult, sometimes they are fun, sometimes they are sad, and sometimes they just feel right. These past few months have just been right. The kids absolutely love Sophie and she loves them even more (go to our Facebook page and scroll down to see a great video) and we are sad to take her away from them. On top of that, the kids have really settled into life in our new homes. They have had made friends on the street where they live and they just hang out like normal kids. The house moms know what we like and expect from them and they are taking ownership of their jobs and running the kids household like Haitian parents would (they are even stricter than I am).
Finally, the most difficult thing for us personally is that we are just going to miss them. We really like it here, it has become home to us, and we are going to miss our home. It is really hard living here sometimes, but we really miss this place when we are not here. I know I will be coming fairly regularly, but Jess will miss the kids for months at a time and I can’t imagine how difficult that must be to think about. We know things are going to be fine here and we know that our kids are genuinely cared for by each and every All Things New employee. We also understand that it is good for All Things New in many ways when we spend time in the states because we can accomplish things that we would not be able to do otherwise. The bottom line, however, is that we want to be here for our kids and make sure they know we love them and will not leave them!
We cannot wait to be in Haiti together as a family and introduce our kids in Haiti to Elijah. I know he will love them as much as Sophie does (if that is possible) and the boys are really excited that they will have a boy to hang out with. Please pray All Things New, our family, and our kids in Haiti through this transition time. It is very stressful, very emotional (for many reasons), very difficult, and very exciting and we appreciate you praying for us as GOD leads us through this crazy time in our lives.