Friday, June 25, 2010

Sweet Email from Homeland Security

I was just cleaning out my email and found this one that I'd saved. I want to put it in Nathan's book so I thought I'd post it here.

Angie is the person on the other end of the generic alias the government gave to all the families.  I spoke to her and emailed her a lot during our saga getting the kids home earlier this year. 

I thought this was very kind of her to send and it is a good reminder about how many people were touched by the events to get the children home from Haiti.

Received March 24, 2010
"Hi Lori,  

I hope this message finds you all doing well and Nathan enjoying his newest adventures.  I received your note and burst into tears when I saw his tiny handprint. Sometimes we get so focused on all the work of making phone calls, sending e-mails all day long, meeting after meeting that I actually lose sight of WHO the work is for. Nathan’s little hand is absolutely the best thank-you I’ve ever received! I proudly display it on the outside of my office (also with pictures of Fabrice) so that everyone on the team gets to share. Actually I know that your letter has been taken down several times and walked around to several offices here at USCIS headquarters in DC.

I’ve been meaning to write but things remain at the same frantic pace for us here – the team is still working 12 to 14 hour days to continue as many evacuations as we can.  Earlier this month the Haitian government began requiring passports for all of the children before they can leave Haiti so that’s caused some additional scrambling for us and adds an additional burden for the parents anxiously waiting here in the U.S.  All in all though the process is still working and it is a good sign that Haiti has recovered so much so quickly. [IBESR is also functional again.]

I just wanted to say hello, and let you know that even though you’re back home, you all are still in our thoughts.

Kindest regards,

Haitian Adoptions Team
U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services
U.S. Department of Homeland Security"

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Collin's Official

Tuesday we went with TiTi and Collin to see Collin's adoption finalized.

I figured this was a once in a lifetime shot - Tia as an "Inmate"

Mr Collin has some serious ab muscles... particularly for a 2 year old!
ALL LEGAL!!  Thank you Judge McDade
Amazing how tearful something so serious and formal can make you!

Congrats, Titi and Tollin!!  We love you!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Ply! The Ply!

My sweet son is apparently terrified of bugs.  (I think he gets it from his dad.  Brent doesn't "do" spiders.)

There's a house fly here in the office today.  Nathan keeps yelling that the "ply" is going to "get you a Nathan" (get Nathan).

Thanks for being such a sweet little bug, Little Man.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

This is Nathan's "I'm getting ready to jump off the step" pose...

This is Nathan's "funny face"

And this is what makes every day amazing

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Just Being Neighborly....

I've seen this couple riding by in the evenings on their bicycles many times.  I've always thought they were sweet, riding along together so slowly. 

Last night when they came by, Nathan and I were outside, enjoying the evening.

They stopped and asked if they could spray our thistles.  She said if they get them at this time of year, it keeps them from cropping up on their land (which is apparently downwind from us) AND it makes everyone else's property thistle-free.

How awesome are they - riding along, hunting thistles and spraying them for everyone to be spared the prickly madness??

What a good reminder to quietly find ways to serve.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

No, Really... He's Not Cursing or Speaking Kreyol...

There's a very wonderful woman in our ward named Jamie that Nathan and I sit by when we go to sacrament meeting. She brings treats for Nathan and always tucks a toy or two into her bag for him.

When I get Nathan dressed for Church, I tell him we're going to go sit by Jamie, and he gets excited.  He really loves Jamie.

The other week, Nathan came to Church in his "SeƱor Cranky Pants" mode.  He was grumpy and ornery and didn't want to be reverent, thanks for shopping.

So there we were as they're passing the sacrament and Nathan is screaming that he wants Jamie (who wasn't there that week).  What comes out of his mouth (loudly and repeatedly) is:

"No, Mama!  Dam-me!  Dam-me!  Dam-me!"

Interesting looks from the people sitting around us to say the least!

We love you, Jamie!  Thanks for being a great neighbor and friend!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Micro Waves

Tia posted a few days ago about Collin's fear that the big black box on the wall won't give his food back.  He doesn't get why Mama feeds it before she feeds him.

Nathan's pretty much the same.  Doesn't understand the microwave, doesn't want to wait for whatever Mama's waiting for, just wants FOOD and NOW.

I've tried explaining it to him, but well... he's TWO.  Logic and English are lost on him quite often.

I thought we'd finally had a breakthrough, though, last week.   I'd warmed up a bowl of Asian noodles and veggies for him for lunch.   He was eating and playing and playing and eating, but he seemed to really like the noodles.

About 20 minutes later, he gave me the bowl back (which was now mostly just veggies) and pointed at the microwave and very clearly wanted me to put the bowl back in the microwave.

I felt the veggies and they were cool, so I thought, "Wow!  He finally gets it.  He wants them warmed up again!"

I nuked it for a few seconds and handed the bowl back to him.  His excitement as I took the bowl out of the microwave was obvious.

He looked at the bowl, and looked at me, and back at the bowl and said, "Mama... where noodles go?"

Oh, sweet friend...  The box on the wall doesn't magically PUT the NOODLES in the BOWL.  But bless your sweet heart for thinking that it did.

That WOULD be an impressive piece of machinery.

And we're back to square 1 on explaining what the microwave actually does for his food...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Haiti Update

We've been able to talk to Papa every day and check in with him.  They've had a very successful week for the new Children's Village project. 

They were able to meet with the surveyor and find out about the water table.  They were able to make connections with the School of Architecture at the University of Haiti and those students were able to meet with the U of U students that had traveled down on this trip.  Brent said they spent a day driving around and looking at the damaged buildings and determining what was flawed so they'd know what not to do.

They put a sign up on the property      
(we'll have to get Brent to tell us what the sign says, since you can't read it.... it's something about the new children's village and how it's a joint venture with Haitian Roots, the U of U, Common Studios and Bel Haiti.  Brent said the sign is awesome, but the professor from the U said, "But it's BLUE"  ;)   )

He said the people in the village are VERY excited for this new development.

That's just the short list of the things they've done this week.

What they haven't been able to do is spare the driver for several hours to take Brent to where Jessica was last known to be.

However, Brent said that he's made some good contacts - some people that are willing to help us get this sorted out.

It's always bothered me that we had to pay hundreds of dollars to have DNA testing done to prove that Jessica's birth mother was her birth mother and was therefore legally able to relinquish her, but this man can just show up and take her from the orphanage and no one knows that he is the birth father.  Additionally, Jessica has 2 half siblings (one older, one younger) and all three of them have different fathers.  This man did live with Jessica's mother 4 years ago, but Jessica's mom didn't tell him she was pregnant before she left him and didn't tell him he was a father at any point in the last 3 years (I guess I"m trying to say that it's questionable that he's really her father).  The people that Brent's been able to make contact with said that what this man has done isn't legal in Haiti, either.  He's not on her birth certificate.  He doesn't have any legal right to her unless he can prove he actually is her father.  Apparently he was abusive to Jessica's birth mother, so she's afraid of him (even to protect her daughter).  At any rate, there may be things we can do in the legal channel in Haiti to address the fact that he took her and then wanted to sell her to us (yeah.... father of the year material all the way around)

I just wanted to post a quick update so you'd know that we haven't made the progress we'd hoped, but we have made other traction and that there may still be more to come in Jessica's saga.  Thank you for the prayers and support.  We really appreciate it!

Friday, June 4, 2010


one 2 year old screaming that "No! No! No!" he doesn't want to go to daycare
one moment of temporary insanity where it seems like a good idea to attempt to reason with said 2-yr old
attempting to backout of the garage at the same time
you will rip the sideview mirror off the car

It's really simple math when you think about it....