Saturday, January 31, 2015

Five Years Home

January 2010
Right after the earthquake, we were interviewed for a local TV station. At that time we thought the adoption would be delayed even more because our paperwork was buried in the court building.

At Sanford airport. We were so excited to see the kids arrive because we were silly enough to think that meant we'd be taking them home that day. Or even the next day.

Our paperwork had been in process 972 days by then!!
Watching the video of the kids deplaning and trying to pick out the children.
Kids had been at the airport a full day and we hadn't been allowed to see them yet. We all went to the doors to protest.
I'm smiling, but I'd led the group to the doors (where we weren't allowed) to demand to see the children, so I was determined to succeed. And really, we were all sooooo bored. This is a tiny airport with only one small terminal so there was nothing to do but sit and wait.
They let us in. I'd love to say the kids were glad to see us, but in reality they were tired and cranky and had spent all that time attaching to red cross and other workers in the holding area.

When we tried to interact with them, they screamed in our faces. This was Sunday night, and I'd last slept Thursday night. (couldn't sleep in the hotel room Friday night--the night before the kids arrived. I laid there for a long time, finally just drifted off to sleep and someone called, and I couldn't go back to sleep at all after that. So I guess I had about ten minutes sleep that night so don't really count it.)

So this was not a good time for any of us.

They were okay until we were told to pick them up and hold them, and then the screaming started.

And then one of our people started yelling at me because I couldn't calm them down and a person who'd been with them for two days came over and started talking to them.

Our worker yelled at me for allowing someone else to interact with them when I'd been ordered to hold them and bond. She was also yelling at me because I couldn't get them to stop screaming and most of the other kids were calm. Only one other screamer in the group and she'd calmed down. Most of the kids willingly went to their adoptive parents so I was feeling a bit jealous too.  Kayla always took a while to warm up on trips, and Kaleb would follow her lead.

 I asked our worker to remove the person who was trying to interact with the twins while I was holding them. I'd already requested that but naturally the other person wanted to take the twins from me and calm them down.

With no sleep in days, sitting in the airport for over 30 hours and the stress of the situation, it really took A LOT of control for me to not say a whole lot of ugly stuff to our person (who should have been supporting and helping me but wasn't. And yeah, she gotten sleep unlike the rest of us.)

So I walked away and locked myself in the one-person bathroom for a few minutes. By then everything was looking blurry and shades of purple, and I was ready to fall on my head. This was Sunday night. The third day since I'd slept (other than that ten minutes).

Sunday early all the kids going on to Colorado had been put on the plane and flown to CO. They were supposed to leave earlier but the pilot had to sleep. There was a whole large group going to the same community so they were processed there. The rest of us had to stay at Sanford and wait for immigrations. They worked through the night Saturday night processing the paperwork for the CO group.

A really nice lady started calling families one at a time Sunday morning, and it was moving right along for the rest of us. Each family went back for a quick interveiw and to sign paperwork and were sent home with their children. She left around noon and an evil man from you-know-where came. He stopped the whole process and said he needed to read every file to make sure we were suitable parents for these children. That was NOT his job. His only job was to check that the immigration papers were the right ones for each child and that the child was being given to the right parent. Paperwork stopped for about 9 hours.

It turned into a nightmare. He was verbally abusive. He threatened to send all of the children to a group home to be held while he decided if we'd get to take them home or not and so on. People were trying to call congressmen, senators, anyone who would help. There was one who did try to help and that is probably the only reason the kids weren't sent into foster care in FL.

I annoyed the homeland dude by telling him I needed to get home because one of my children (Jasmine) was going to have surgery the next day, and I wanted to see her before she left with Rick for the hospital. So I got to go either last or next to last. Don't remember now. But it was 1:20 a.m. Monday when we finally cleared. So I was up all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday with no sleep. We only drove a little ways (obviously) before getting a hotel. We went to bed at 3:05 a.m. Monday January 25th. 

Leaving the airport.

They woke up in the car, and it was very interesting to watch them. They were loaded on the airplane in Haiti and unloaded at Sanford near Orlando. So really they'd never seen anything but their orphanage and the hotels were  we'd stayed on our visits. Suddenly we Were driving through Orlando at night with all the bright lights on hotels, bars, restaurants etc. Their eyes were so wide trying to take it all in. I'm sure they were totally overwhelmed.
 When we got them to the hotel, we had to bathe them even though it was after 2 a.m. They were filthy, and their names and ours were written all over them in permanent marker. On their arms and back.
The next day.

We didn't wake up until 10:00 so missed the hotel breakfast.

We drove six hours more home with some stops to let them run and got home in the evening. The television reporter was waiting at the house. At least the twins had resigned themselves to being with us and weren't crying!! We carried them in, though, since we weren't sure how they'd react to being in our house with all the kids and the reporter. They interviewed Jessica and I. We were pretty hyper from only the one night of sleep.

One year home

Two years home

Three years home

Four years home

Five years home

I bought the chinese, and Adam bought the rice krispies cake.

You can read our original homecoming post HERE


One Crowded House said...

Quite the journey!!!!

Anonymous said...

Yay for 5 years! and I second the first comment.


Kathy C. said...

It was crazy. And that man was mental to mess with so many parents who were sleep deprived.