Diapers, wipes, and formula are expensive and harder to come by in Haiti so they are in high demand for our little girl. Most of the time the children at ROH are in cloth diapers, but you can imagine that with 12 children under the age of 5, those cloth diapers don't get changed as often as they would in a home environment. Having disposable ones (especially as a newborn when her life revolves around eating, sleeping, and going to the bathroom) is essential. What also is almost as essential as having dry bottoms, is having an orphanage that is as dry as possible! The mountain air is damp inside the orphanage and they have been trying to get a dehumidifier to help the problem, but so far they have not been able to do this. Dehumidifiers are HEAVY and BIG when you are looking at what to take on a trip. However, we are excited and blessed our church has helped us pay for the extra luggage costs so we could bring one down for them! We'll also be bringing down several pairs of footie jammies they are in need of, a Bumbo chair for Nora to practice sitting up in (one of the babies down there just started sitting up on his own at 10 months old), and of course, some special clothes I picked out just for my little girl (what new Mama doesn't want to shop for her newborn!)
All in all, the airlines are totally killing us on the cost of our luggage. On this particular airline, every bag except a backpack is literally at least $30/way--even a carry on! The total to fly 3 bags down and 2 bags back is costing us just about the same cost of one of our airline tickets! Not kidding. It's so sad and very frustrating. When you are trying to keep all expenses as minimal as possible, news like that just about makes you cry. In the end, however, your instincts as a parent who will do anything for your child kick in and you suck it up and bring as much as you can to help her and the place she will be for the next year or so.
As for us--we are beyond excited for our time with Nora to be almost here! We've been told she is a very content baby, growing well, and is ready for her Mama to hold her. So comforting to hear. We do not have any scheduled appointments on this trip so it will literally be four days of simply holding Nora, loving on her like crazy, and getting a feel for who she will be spending her days with and where she will be spending her days. There are 5 nannies and the director (Rachel) who will be providing for her care. These women truly love these children and thankfully care for them as best as they can. It still won't be what she could be getting in a home environment, but knowing the horror stories of so many people adopting from other foreign countries, I know this isn't necessarily the norm so we are grateful.
Some have been asking where we are at in our 1-2 year process at this point. Well, the ugly truth is that although we are 4 months, 3 weeks, and 6 days into our own process of this adoption, our 1-2 year wait has yet to begin. Ugh! Can I say that again? UGH! The 1-2 year process does not start until we are officially matched to Nora in IBESR (the Haitian Social Services). In order for that to happen, Rachel has to have all the paperwork done on Nora and then send it in with our paperwork (which has been on her desk since September). She emailed me this week and let me know Nora's birthmom did go with Rachel on Monday to relinquish her rights before the judge. This is a step in the right direction! We are eager to hear more of just how long she thinks it will take to gather everything else she needs to finish Nora's paperwork. It's just a matter of time, though, and we'll be underway...it's a LONG, HARD journey, but I'm grateful we will have this beautiful, dearly loved addition to our family in the end.
(I just re-framed new photos of all of us in our living room! For some odd reason my photo came back a different tone than the rest, but that aside, I LOVE seeing our family all together!)
I doubt I'll get any blogging done while in Haiti as we want to spend all of our time with our sweet Nora, but you can rest assured that after returning, we will undoubtedly have many stories and photos to share with everyone. Until then, will you please join us in these several prayer requests. We value your support!
- For Lily, Tobias, and Quinn as they experience home life without us for a few days. We've never both been away from them for this long so we are praying for no meltdowns and that their time with those caring for them will be a blessing and fun treat for them!
- For all of our luggage to get to Haiti safely and with us! : )
- For our health while in Haiti. My body tends to act out when it gets thrown off its normal schedule so please pray for me to adjust to whatever our schedule will be there and not protest!
- For Nora as she meets us for the first time. Yes, she is only 2 months old, but still, we want that first meeting to be covered in prayer.
- For our camera to take perfect pictures. This one probably sounds silly, but we were blessed with the gift of a new camera from my parents and I haven't had much practice with it yet to know how to get the best photos from it. Will you pray for the photos to come out amazingly perfect despite my lack of knowledge with what I'm doing! Photos of this time with Nora will be what keep us going and going until our next trip down there, so they are critical!
- For our days with Nora to seem completely fulfilling and blessed.
- For our goodbyes to Nora to not be overwhelmingly painful. Honestly, we know or expect we will leave a mess...how do you say goodbye to your own child for an undetermined amount of time??? It's beyond me. I'm actually trying to not think of this part of the trip too much because I just get choked up. Just pray for comfort and peace straight from the Lord to supersede our own sense of loss as we leave her.
- For Nora's paperwork to continue along swiftly and for all of this 1-2 year process to move ahead swiftly and as quickly as possible.