Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Once upon a time....




Once upon a time in Port-Au-Prince Haiti a group of brave volunteers set out on the back of a tap tap one sunny day to deliver a load of generous donations and a helping hand to the Hope for Little Angels of Haiti Orphanage. They made it safely to the orphanage unpacked the donations, put up the solar panels, hooked up the water filtration system and played with the adorable children living there. When their work was finished the brave volunteers boarded the tap tap and headed back to the hotel. The sunshine faded and a storm hit( as it did every evening that week :)soaking them. As the rain ended fruit started to be hurled at the truck by onlookers. 2 mobs of people who had been protesting and rioting all week began to converge on the horizon. Not to fear though. The swift driver with mad skills sprung into action able to avoid the conflict and navigate the back roads of Haiti to bring them home safely. After wringing out their sopping wet attire they called it a day. And our fearless leader Chareyl (who opted for the covered vehicle along with some other volunteers) got the pictures to prove it ! What a ride :)
Bambi


Saturday, June 27, 2009

The O







On our trip to Haiti Adam and I were both able to go and visit Vania's Orphanage. Due to protests and rioting on the street we weren't sure we would even get to go. I can only count three times we were able to leave our little hotel oasis. 1) for the I600 appointment 2) to visit the O 3) a quick trip across the street from the hotel for some quick bartering for souvies ( Which was really quick after the police sirens starting going off :)

Adam went with the dads on Wednesday to help put up solar panels, hook up the water filtration system, and drop off all the donations. I went the next day to visit and take some pictures and video. 60+ children living in a home as big ( maybe a tad bigger ) than mine. I'm am so grateful I got to go. It will be a place I never forget.

It was lunchtime when we arrived. All the children in a very orderly fashion walked up and got their pie pan of rice and beans and found a seat at the table to eat. While they were eating I was able to take some pictures. You'll notice the water filtration system that sits in the sink and hooks to the faucet. Small but mighty :) The pie pans with rice and beans on the counter. Which I believe they get 2 of those a day. The famous brown checked couch that's in all the update pictures. I always wondered how big the couch was because I would try to guess how tall Vania was compared to the arm of the couch.Now I know :) Kindly enough, Able who stays the night with the children was able to point out Vania's bed to me, which is a crib.

All the children were beautiful and very loving. They all wanted their photo taken and loved to look at their pictures on the camera screen. While we were there I also got to see pictures taken for updates and pictures being taken for new referrals. All the girls getting their picture taken had a pretty dress on and hair done. It reminded me of Vania's referral pic as she held a piece of notebook paper up with her name across the top . Her hair in braids and barrettes , a fancy dress and a vacant expression on her face. I will always wonder what is going through their little minds as they snap the picture. Most of the children have waiting families. American families and French families. I'm glad to know they have the hope of going home to a family some day. Come on Haiti " MOVE THOSE FILES " !

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Stow Away

Here is a video of Vania playing in her suitcase. She was pulling things out of the side pockets and quickly learned it would close on her which became a fun game:)
Bambi

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Now we present.....

Vania wearing Pa pa's sunglasses . After much technical difficulty, we have finally been able to upload a video of Vania. The videos must be short, under 100MBytes ( Who knew?) A picture is worth a thousand words but seeing Vania in action really brings out her personality.
Bambi
video

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Poverty

Extreme poverty as far as the eyes can see. And hopelessness. That is how I would describe what I saw in Haiti. Busy crowded streets. The smell of exhaust and pollution. Homes consisting of ruins. Beeping cars starting at the crack of dawn. It all starts to take a toll on you after a few days much less a lifetime. Not a place I would choose to stay, but a place that holds a special place in my heart. As we would be driving in the van and come to a stop, people would sometimes come to the window to try to sell something or ask for something. It's amazing how a granola bar or a fruit roll up can make someone's day. So much we take for granted here, as my kids usually smirk at a granola bar (unless it's chewy chocolate chip ) and usually shove 2 fruit roll ups in their mouth at a time. But the funny thing is I can't wait to go back. Please pray for Haiti.
Bambi
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day




Thank you Adam for being a wonderful father to our children . We love you, happy Father's Day:)

Love Bambi, Zane , Zoe , Carson & Vania

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Our first few hours together:(
Our last few hours together:)

After an emotionally exhausting day yesterday we made it in about 11:30 pm last night. Travel was long but much smoother this time. So glad to sleep in my air conditioned house ( which Adam lowered a couple degrees to really get a cold effect ) and sleep in my own bed ( under the sheets :). After man days of early wake ups this past week , we were both still up at 6:00 am ready to go pick up the kids. It was so good to see them. They all looked so big to me . Especially Carson. Maybe because Vania is so little. They loved to see pictures and video of their little sister. I've been thinking about the O all day and wondering what Vania is doing. Eating lunch , Napping, Outside on the porch? Who knows. Glad to be home, but feel like someone is missing. LOL
Bambi

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bye Bye Haiti

Just a quick update. We are on our way home. This morning was just heartbreaking. Probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do. After saying our goodbyes and lots of tears we loaded Vania into the van with the other children going back to the orphanage. She didn't cry and probably had no clue what was going on since she is so little. I'm grateful for that. I knew this day was coming all week, but nothing can prepare you for when it's time to say goodbye. We are so grateful to have been able to love and take of her the whole week. She was so much fun:)We were able to get some more info on her. Her DOB is 7-22-07. She is 20lbs, 30in. tall. We have many great stories, videos and pics to share but we are having a lot of trouble with the laptop cooperating. So...It will have to wait until we actually get home sweet home.Please pray for us as we decompress from the trip. Please pray for Vania that she would be safe, loved and healthy. She had a cough before we left which if she were here I wouldn't worry about but please pray it wouldn't develop into anything else. Other than that she seemed very healthy active and just adorable:)
Bambi

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I600 filed




Today we traveled to get Vania's ID picture taken and then went to the US embassy to file her I600 paperwork. It took most of the day but in the end all of the families got there paperwork successfully filed. One more big step to check off:) Vania is doing great and is right beside me hammering down some beef jerky as I type. The more comfortable she gets with us the more her personality comes out. She is a sweetie with a dash of fiesty. She has been running smiling and giggiling today. Still eating and drinking well. We just can't stop watching her every move. I don't want to miss a thing. Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers.
Bambi

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hi From Haiti




Hello all,
It has been a busy but great day ! We arrived in Haiti at 9:00am local time and just settling in for the night. Vania cashed in her chips at dinner and is now sound asleep snuggled in bed. It took her most of the day to warm up to us. At one point she grabbed he shoes and dress she had worn to the hotel from the O and headed to the hotel room door as if to say " I'm outta here". Finally we realized all she wanted was Her stuff, mainly her own shoes on. So after they were put back on she started to really open up to us. Eating, drinking and playing with toys. We packed her stuff she wore here from the O in a backpack and she carried it around with her all evening and has been just a little angel.
Please pray that she would continue to open up to us tomorrow. Pray for great bonding time together. Pray that we can meet all of her needs while we are here. It has been a great pleasure to meet all of the other adoptive families and people we have been working with through the agency.I am so excited to be here and in this moment. We will keep you posted :)
Bambi Ps.. We are having trouble uploading our pics to blogger and too tired to trouble shoot tonight. will try again tomorrow.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

On your mark........

Get set....... Go....... Well we are going no where at the moment. The first leg of the amazing race to Haiti has begun and already we have a fight cancellation due to a mechanical issue. We are on standby for 2 seperate flights to Detroit one at 10:15 am and one at 11:45 am. Hoping to make one of them. The last alternative is a flight leaving at 5:45 pm to Detroit, getting us into Ft. Lauderdale at Midnight. Good news is all big luggage is checked and passed all weight requirements. We were able to fit in all rice and donations :)Interesting when you tell people you are traveling to Haiti. Most common response....."Oh, that's a nice area ?" I leave them hanging until they muster enough courage to ask why. Then I am bursting to give them too much information:) Well, that's all for now. Too much time on my hands at the airport. Once we get a flight I will update this post.
LOL Bambi

Update...12:30pm, No luck with standby flights. Will have to go with the 5:15pm flight to Detroit then 9pm flight to Fort Lauderdale getting us in at midnight. Have resorted to watching re-runs of the office on laptop:)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Packed


Well, It's Friday night and all is well. The kiddos are off to Grandma and Grandpa's and Adam and I are getting ready to load the car for the airport in the morning. Our flight leaves at 7:45am and we should be in Florida by 1:00pm. We leave for Haiti Sunday morning at 8:15 am with our parent group. I'm looking forward to boarding the plane so all the thoughts of did I ..... should I do or pack this before I leave will stop swirling in my head:) I am excited and nervous. I don't think I will be getting too much sleep tonight, or for that matter any night for the next week. Thanks to everyone who is helping us out to make this trip possible with all your support and prayers. We'll keep you posted:) Fingers and toes crossed!
LOL Bambi

Saturday, June 6, 2009

One Week Away !


This past week has flown by with all the end of the school year activities . Yesterday was the official first day of summer break. I cannot believe that one week from today we will be getting on a plane starting on our journey to Haiti. As much as I think we are packed, I keep remembering that one last item I think we will need and reorganizing the suitcases. This week my focus will be getting the house together and the kids packed up to go to my mom's. I am also in this weird nesting mode. It's been like that show clean sweep around here but has helped keep me distracted from watching the ticking clock. We are looking forward to getting together with some friends from church tonight to pray for our trip. With so many things to pray for it is awesome to have a group of "prayer warriors " willing to take time out of their weekend to get together and pray and give support for all of us going to Haiti and our waiting children. Praying for another FAST week :)

Bambi

"... for where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them."Matthew 18:20

Monday, June 1, 2009

June Update


Today we received an update on Vania Anne :) We are so excited to see her new pictures and to know she is doing well ! They said she looks great with no sign of scabies or illness. She is eating well and finishes whatever is given to her :) Still no DOB or ht/wt , but in 1 week and 5 days hopefully we can get more details. Just glad to see her. It looks like our file has been given to the attorney in Haiti and will be entering IBESR ( social services ) soon. What a great way to start the week. I can slow down on checking the e-mail for now !
LOL Bambi