Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Now what?

It has taken me a couple of weeks to record just a few of the things that happened while I was in Haiti. Anybody reading this may be rolling their eyes at some of the details that I bothered to include and even I can admit that parts may seem a little ridiculous, but my goal was never to put this out there for the benefit of anybody outside of my family. We have missed the first two-and-a-half years of our son's life; two-and-a-half years of smiles, and tears, and all the things that happen to a person before that person is aware that anything consequential is happening. Some of my favorite moments with Adam are when we sit and talk about what he was like when he was a baby. Adam isn't generally interested in talking about the events of his days or what's going on in his head, but when I tell him about things that he used to do or funny things that he said when he was younger, he becomes surprisingly engaged. He loves to hear about himself, and he loves to tell other people about things he did when he was a baby. If Phil and I weren't here to tell Adam all those things, they would be lost. With Noah, we have already lost so much of that. I guess my point in trying to capture as many details as I can from now on is so that the little boy that Noah will become will know something about the baby that he was and where he came from. Chances are, it will be many years before any of us return to Haiti. He may want to know what my first experience there was like and I would kind of like to remember some of the feelings that I had too. So, that's why the details. Hopefully reading it wasn't too unbearable for anybody.

A lot of people have been asking us "Now what?" Well, in a nutshell, we are waiting for the call telling us that he has his visa and that we can schedule our flight to go down. Our file was delayed once again (why am I not expecting that at this point??) because the document that I specifically went to Haiti to sign in person, the I-600 (his visa application) was lost by USCIS. Gotta love those people! Our USCIS experience can basically be summed up as ridiculous. I'm not going to bother with any other details because I will just get aggravated and I don't really want to do that at this point. We are so close to bringing him home that I want to concentrate on that. I'll keep inching along with the belief that it will all be over soon, no matter how many times we have to re-file the same paper because USCIS is either inept or uncaring or rude. We'll do what they tell us because we have to and in the end the result will be the same whether we do it with smiles or tears. I'm weary of the frustration so I've decided to move forward smiling as much as I can. We signed another I-600, got it notarized, and sent it back down. Apparently they will take it through the mail if they lose it, but the initial one has to be filed in person. Whatever. Anyway, our new documents arrived in Haiti yesterday. It should be delivered to the US consulate today or tomorrow and we should be hearing about his visa within the next week or so. We are still hoping that Phil will travel to pick Noah up before the end of September. Until then, we are trying to get everything ready at home. I pulled out Adam's old clothes and we are getting ready to put a bunk bed in Adam's room so that the boys will be roommates, at least for a little while until Noah adjusts to his new life. We are hoping that Adam isn't going to feel too displaced, while at the same time realizing that we are all going to adjust together.

Speaking of Adam, he just started first grade and seems to be loving it. He was most excited about the prospect of having two recesses as a first grader, and it didn't take him long to figure out that the length of time he takes to eat his lunch has a direct impact on the amount of playground time he gets after lunch. Needless to say, his lunchbox comes home with half the contents intact most days. Although I'm still not convinced that he's all that interested in the academic side of school, he's doing well, especially with his reading.

Adam keeps us laughing all the time. On Sunday we had a particularly good laugh at something that Adam said. We were in church and they were blessing the sacrament. For anybody who isn't familiar with how our church works, the person who blesses the sacrament kneels at a table that's several feet away from the pulpit and speaks into a microphone so that the congregation can hear the prayer. When the blessing was finished, Adam looked up at me with his eyes opened very wide and said (not in a whisper): "Was that the Holy Ghost?" I must have given him a puzzled looked because he followed his question with (while pointing at the pulpit) "I just heard a voice . . . and there's nobody up there!" While I, and the people in front of us stifled the giggles, he finished with a shake of his head and mumbled "That's creepy." That's my Adam - we can always count on him to call it like he sees it.