Monday, July 27, 2015

A wonderful week!

I had asked Mama JeanJean not to tell Shaina that Bella and I were coming to visit. I wanted to surprise her (and if you know Ryan and I, you know that we LOVE surprising our kids).
When we arrived at the creche Bella whispered that she hoped the kids would remember her. We walked inside and it was quiet, everyone must be outside. We put our luggage in our room and started to walk outside when I heard a chorus of, "BELLA!!! BELLA!! BELLA!!" That put her fears to rest! One of the children yelled for Shaina. She came out and ran up to Bella and gave her a squeeze and then jumped in my arms. Ahhh…. Can't describe to you how good that feels!!

I emailed the embassy as soon as we knew we were getting on a flight to Haiti and asked them to reschedule our appointment. I was so relieve to hear back from them with a new appointment on Monday morning! After a rocky start all the pieces were falling back in to place.

The week we spent at the creche was different than our first trip. The "vibe" at the creche was much more mellow and relaxed. The children were so used to having families visiting by now that it was not a big deal anymore that we were there and they were not constantly following us to see what we would do next ;-)

Shaina and Bella got along so well and had some amazing sister bonding time. It was better than I had hoped. On our first trip Shaina had bonded more with Riley so I was very happy to see the two girls growing so close. Everyone asked where Riley and Ryan were and could not understand why the two boys did not come on this trip. They kept asking if they were sick. It was hard to explain that we only had enough money for the two of us…. We showed Shaina videos of her papa and Riley and she talked on the phone with them too. We showed her pictures of the  house and when she saw the pool she kept asking if there were fish in it. Such innocence! I cannot imagine how big her world is going to become very very soon and all of the new sights and sounds she will experience!

We spent our days outside playing with all the kiddos. It is so much fun to see a child light up when they get to experience playing with a new toy or learning a fun new game. These children, although very, very loved by the nannies, do not have toys to play with.  For them, everything is new and fun and special. It is a joy to be a part of.

We experienced some fun tropical storms on this trip (it was hurricane season after all).  A few times the lightening hit too close for comfort but mostly we just watched in awe as the rain fell in warm currents from the clouds and the kids all giggle and went scrambling for cover.

All too quickly it was time to say good bye. Shaina cried, I cried, Bella cried. I told  Shaina over and over again how much we loved her and that as soon as her paperwork was ready we would be back to bring her home. The good byes are always so hard but I had a peace knowing that we were making progress in our adoption and that soon we would be together as a family!

After leaving the creche we went to our appointment at the embassy to file our visa paperwork. It was relatively easy, just had to answer a few questions. I was so nervous because there are so few things in this process we have any control over and I just didn't want to mess it up! But it went great!

Our file is now finished with the Parquet stage and being legalized before we get our adoption decree (which some count as part of Parquet). We are hoping to have the adoption decree (legally making Shaina a Swarthout) any day now!


Bella in her happy place surrounded by toddlers to love

My happy girl!


My heart

 Tampico on a hot day- bliss!

These girls loved playing cards together

Haitian Sensation!


Watching the rain

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