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January 26, 2009

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January 25, 2009

TX Trip – Part 2

OK…here goes part 2. See part 1 HERE.

One thing I left off on part 1. Baby Bear’s hospital is in Austin. My original flight was supposed to fly into Austin. But when we rescheduled the flights, they couldn’t get me to Austin, but they could get me to Dallas. Which is 3.5 hours from Austin. So Sarah left Austin and started driving towards Dallas to meet me. OK- as I left off on part 1. The flight from MIA to TX was delayed. Thank God. I was going to make it. I plopped myself down in a chair in the waiting area and fed Bear the rest of his bottle. He was a pretty happy camper at this point and quickly fell asleep. Several people inquired about him (he is so tiny and adorable, most people just wanted to peek at him!) and when they heard his story we had quite the audience at the gate. Several lovely ladies told us they would pray for us, and another nice gentleman helped me get my bags on the plane when it was time to board. The flight from Florida to Texas wasn’t bad. Bear slept through most of it, and the guy was sat next to me was very nice about picking up anything we dropped, opening my soda can, etc. Right as we’re getting ready to land I hear that Bear is exploding in his diaper. LOL. It was the quite the smell and sound but I think it helped people clear the airplane a little quicker. :) We made our way down to baggage claim and I called Sarah to let her know I was there. She was just getting there and told me she would meet me downstairs. At this point, its about 12am. I got my bags and just as I was sitting down to wait for Sarah, I saw her and Sophie walking up the hall! I was so happy to see them again! We talked for a few minutes and then headed into the nearest bathroom so we could get Bear cleaned up. I figured he had poo all over his dressing (covering his back) so I thought I’d let Sarah deal with this one. Sure enough, it was everywhere. We got him stripped, changed and cleaned up quickly and headed to the car. Sarah held the baby, and I started driving towards Austin. We were so tired, but spend the time talking and getting caught up. We had a stop at McDonalds and a stop at Walmart on the way to Austin. By time we got back to Austin is was about 5:30am. So no sleeping for us that night. We get to the Ronald McDonald House, get Bear cleaned up again (Sarah gives him a little bath in a big kitchen bowl), take some pictures, and about 7:30am we head over to the hospital. Getting checked in took a little while, but finally we’re in a room! At this point Sarah and I are exhausted. We hadn’t slept at all and so while Bear is off getting some tests done we lay down on the pull out couch for a 1/2 hour – 45 minute nap. That was up for us until the next night. I can’t remember the last time I completely skipped a nights sleep. (I went to sleep again the next night about 11:30pm) Not fun. But we did it! I don’t know how Sarah lives on as little sleep as she does!

Little Fedna was still in the hospital while I was there, so I had a chance to spend some time with her and Jamie. She is so sweet! I spoke to her in Kreyol and she responded to me like she knew what I was talking about. LOL. Later, we sent Jamie home for a little while to see her kids, shower and refresh, etc so I stayed with Fedna for a while in the evening. She chatted away to me in Kreyol and started getting a little ornery by throwing her carrots across the room when she was done eating them. :) She really is adorable and I had so much fun with her.

My second day in TX went by fast, I think because I didn’t sleep and it just felt like one very long day. LOL. Sunday was the day I was to leave. After getting up, dressed and running to a nearby gas station, I spent the morning at the hospital. One of Jamie’s friends came over to watch Bear while Sarah ran me to the airport. BUT, before the airport, we went to a humongous Whole Foods. I love Whole Foods, and this one was enormous. They even have a shopping cart escalator that goes to the parking garage. And people can take their dogs! It was so cool. LOL. After that, we were off to the airport and the goodbyes were said. :( I wish I could have stayed longer. Sarah and I have so much fun when we’re together – even when its a crazy, exhausting time.

My flights home were fine but I didn’t get back to Ohio until really late (close to midnight) and since I was SO TIRED I stayed close to the airport in a hotel (it was a 3.5 hour drive home). My drive home on Monday was uneventful, thank God!

The hospital that we’ve been working with in TX is wonderful. It is new, big and beautiful. Very child friendly. (Almost) all of the doctors and nurses have been great, their doctor (that donated all of the care) is INCREDIBLE and I’m so glad I got to go meet her and experience the whole thing.

The kids are doing well. Fedna is home with her host family and doing great. Bear is still in the hospital (and will be for a while) but he is doing well and continues to improve and move forward.

I’ll keep everyone updated on their progress!

January 24, 2009

Ice Skating, Piano, Gymnastics, Oh My!

K. and F. started gymnastics last week and ice skating this week.   K. also started piano lessons this week.  We’re staying busy with these extra classes, but the kids are loving it.   F. pretty much refused to let go of the wall when he’s on the ice, but K. is skating herself from one end of the rink to the other.  She’s totally proud of herself.  :)  Gymnastics is a hit for both kids.   F.  is mr. flexible.  He does the rolls and flips with no problem.  K. is a bit more cautious. I think she’s scared of her hurting herself but it getting a little more daring.   It was a fight to get K. to go to piano the first time, but once she went and tried it she came home full of excitement and I think she’s really going to like it.   

I’ll work on part 2 of my crazy trip to TX tonight.  Stay tuned…  I know Lori is dying to hear the rest! :)

A couple of random pictures of K. and F.

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January 23, 2009

TX Trip – Part 1

Baby Bear’s Journey to TX as experienced by me.
I am sure I have messed up some of the time-line, I should have written things down as they were happening, but of course I wasn’t thinking about that then!  Sarah or Lori – correct me if I messed anything up.

Wednesday January 14.
We find out that Baby Bear should be ready to go tomorrow, but we probably won’t know until late morning.  I put my ticket on hold and we pray everything works out!

Thursday January 15. 
I have to leave for the airport by 9:30am and we still hadn’t heard anything about the passport.  I decide to start driving towards the airport and just pray it comes.  On the way to the airport I find out that yes, the passport is done and that Lori is racing over to the Embassy to get the visa!  Yippe yay!  I called my mom and asked her to book the ticket I have on hold.  Then I find out that Lori got the visa!   Everything is coming together!

I get to the aiport about 12:30 to check in for my 1:30 flight.  When I’m checking in, I find out that my flight is delayed.  It doesn’t get into Dallas until a few minutes before my flight to Miami is supposed to take off.  So, the nice ladies at the counter re-book me onto a later flight out of Dallas.  Instead of getting into Miami at 8pm, I’m getting in at 11pm.  I can deal with that.   I check my stroller (and they charge me $15 for it, which I later found out they shouldn’t have done) and go hang out at the gate until its time to go.

Flight leaves later than planned, but that is OK.  I have time in Dallas between my two flights.  I get to Dallas and am in the "D" terminal.  Realize I need to go to the "A" terminal for my flight to Miami.  I jump on the train (yes, train – DFWis HUGE) and head to "A".  When I get there, I find out that my originalflight  to Miami (the one that gets me into Florida at 8 something) is delayed and isn’t leaving for 15 minutes!  Awesome, I’ll make my original flight!  So, I get back on the train and head to terminal "C" where the flight is leaving from.  I go up to the counter and explain to the woman that I was supposed to be on this flight, blah blah blah.  Nope, they won’t let me on.  They call the people on standby to come get on, but I can’t get on because I’m scheduled for a different flight…which is now, delayed (of course) and which has been moved to terminal "A", (of course) – so I get BACK on the train and head back to terminal "A". I wait and wait, and finally our plane is ready to go.  Off we go, and head to Miami!

We get into Miami late (after midnight) and after I go get my stroller in baggage I call the hotel and ask that the shuttle come.  She said one just left the airport and the next will be back in 30 minutes.  Ugh.  OK – I’ll just wait out front in the warm Florida air.  It was about 60 degrees and felt so good.  People were walking around in jackets though – I guess 60 is pretty cold for them! :)  So anyway – I waited and waited and WAITED.  Some guy that was waiting with me asked if I wanted to get a cab and split the cost, but sharing a cab with a strange man in the middle of the night by myself didn’t sit well, so I said I would just call someone and see if they’d get me the # for the hotel.  By this time, we’re the only people waiting and I’ve seen other hotel shuttles go by 2 or 3 times.  Right as my mom was looking up the number, the van zooms up.  yay!   So, off to the hotel I go and get settled in.  I’m happy I can sleep in, the flight out of Haiti that Baby Bear is going to be on doesn’t get in until late afternoon, so I’ve got all morning.  I sleep in, get up late and sit  around until the hotels check out time when I head back to the airport.

Friday January 16-
When I get back to the airport I see that Bears flight out of Haiti is delayed.  I call Sarah (who is waiting in TX) and let her know.   At this point, its OK.  My flight to TX doesn’t leave until after 6pm, so we’re still OK.   As the afternoon goes on, I continue to check the screen and the flight keeps getting pushed back further and further.    Its obvious I’m going to miss my flight out of Miami to TX so Sarah frantically gets working on finding me a flight out of FL that leaves later in the evening.   Baby Bear is supposed to be checked into the hospital in the morning, he’s GOT to get to TX tonight!  We finally find the last flight out of MIA that night and I find an incredibly nice lady at the ticket counter to put me on it.  <whew>  Now to just get Baby Bear before that flight leaves.   I head down to the international arrival area where I can sit and wait for their flight to arrive.  I wait…and wait…and wait.  Finally, we get news that the entire flight was cancelled! Some problem with the airplane in Haiti.  So, it was time for more frantic phone calls.  Between me and Lori, me and the escort, Lori and the escort, me and Sarah, etc.   Sarah is desperately trying to find a flight out of Haiti that they can get the baby on.  After what seems like an eternity of not knowing if they will get out of Haiti,  my phone rings and I find out that someone was able to take him on the 5pm flight out of PAP.  He’s on his way, but he’s very delayed.   At this point, it looks like I’ll have less than 1/2 hour to get Baby Bear, make it upstairs, through security and to my gate to make my flight – the last flight out ot MIA going to TX that night.  If I don’t make it, we’re staying in Miami. 

I continue to sit and watch the monitors.  As soon as I see that their flight has landed I go up to the windows and watch.  It probably took them 1/2 hour – 45 minutes to get through customs and come through.  I didn’t know it was them at first.  I was told to look for a big bald guy, so I looked for a guy like that carrying a baby.  The only thing I saw was a guy like that, but the lady with him was carrying the baby and I wasn’t sure it was them.  So I walked up and peered over them to get a look at the baby to make sure it was Bear.  It was!  The woman was a good Samaritan, who was just helping out this poor guy who was not expecting to be escorting a very sick baby on his flight home.  After brief hello’s and exchanging of the paperwork and baby – we parted ways.  I realized right away that Baby Bear couldn’t wait until we got to our gate to be fed.  He was screaming VERY loudly and making quite a scene.  I also realized that he was absolutely soaked from neck to knees.  So we went straight to the bathroom where I stripped him down and found quite the mess.  He was bloody green poop from his neck to knees.  He had a horrible diaper rash and quite the gross poo. (we’ve since found out he has several parasites).  I got him cleaned up the best I could and into clean clothes and wrapped into a clean blanket.  I fixed a bottle and sat down to feed him.   At this point I was feeling VERY overwhelmed,  he looked quite a bit worse than I an anticipated and all the bloody poop threw me for a loop.  I called Sarah and told her, in tears, I didn’t think I was going to make my flight (at this point I had like 10 minutes to get there and I was on a different floor and still had to go through security).   Sarah yelled something along the lines of &quot;Run! Go get on that plane!&quot;  I told her (in tears) fine, I would try, but I didn’t think it would happen.  So I grab the baby and the bags, and start running!  As soon as I got to security I told the person that checks your ticket/ID what was going on and asked if they could help push me through.  This person was not interested in helping, and was actually quite rude about it – so I promptly burst into tears.  They brought a manager over who grabbed my stuff, pushed me to the front of the line and yelled &quot;someone help this lady!&quot;  I was promptly whisked through security where I found a young man (TSA) standing.  He said &quot;give me your ticket!&quot; so I handed it to him and he took off running toward my gate while I struggled to keep up.  At this point, my plane should be leaving at that moment, so it was make or break time.   When I arrive at the gate, I see my nice running TSA agent talking to the lady at the gate, who tells me with a smile, that my flight is delayed.  More tears.  I’m just relieved we’re going to make it to TX tonight!

Part 2 coming soon….

January 21, 2009

Home

I’m home from delivering baby Bear to TX.  It was an absolutely crazy and exhausting trip.  He is doing well, he had surgery on his back yesterday and today should be moving back to the regular floor.    I will write out how everything happened soon, but for now – here are a couple of pictures.

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First picture in the United States  – getting a diaper change.

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Finally in Austin!  Cleaned up and ready to go to the hospital!

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Sarah’s youngest, Angeline.  Love this kid.  :)

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Angeline hanging out with Fenda, the three year old that we brought from Haiti a couple of weeks ago.  She had surgery for spina bifida last week and got to go home from the hospital yesterday!  Follow her journey HERE.

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Beautiful little Fenda loving on Sophie, one of Sarah’s daughters. 

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Bear snoozing in his crib, pre-surgery. 

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What a tiny baby boy!
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Sarah is supposed to be taking pictures of his back post-surgery, I’ll post those as soon as I can. 

January 18, 2009

Hi from TX

Hello fro TX!

I totally don’t have the energy to post right now, but if you want to read a little bit of all that happened to get Bear to TX you can read about it here on Sarah’s blog:

http://ourhaitianjourney.blogspot.com/2009/01/bear-has-arrived.html

I will post more later when I can!

January 15, 2009

Please Pray

I am headed to the airport with no ticket and no idea if everything is going to work today.  

Lori (the nurse we work with in Haiti) is sitting outside of the passport office in Haiti waiting to hear if baby Bear got his passport fixed.  If he does have it fixed,  I have a ticket on hold to fly out of here this afternoon.  If he doesn’t get his passport, I’m not sure what we’re going to do.  Sarah (my friend and the person that will be hosting him) flew into TX this morning and is waiting for him to arrive.  PLEASE PRAY. We need him to get his passport today. 

Well, I’m off!  If for some reason we dont get it I’ll post later tonight and let everyone know.

January 11, 2009

Prints for Sale, Adoption Stuff and more…

**I am going to leave this post at the top for a little while – be sure to scroll down for updated posts**

As we move forward with our adoption plans – it has become clear that we need to raise some money! 

I’ve decided to try to sell some of my photographs online.    The prints will come to you professionally printed and mounted and ready for framing.  They are great for your home or to give as gifts.  I’ve got a couple in my house and they look AWESOME.  (If I may say so myself!)

All the funds we raise through the sale of these prints will be used towards our adoption!  We are so excited to be moving forward.

Here is the link to the online “shop”.  www.sisterhaitishop.wordpress.com

Speaking of adoption – most of you know our plan is to adopt a baby here in the U.S. through WACAP’s AAI (African American Infant) program and that we hope to adopt a special needs infant.  Well – we became aware recently of a baby that WACAP has in India – yes, India (no Sarah, not Indiana. LOL)  He is six months old and has a cleft lip.  Keith just gave me the go ahead to request his medical information, so we’ll see what happens.  He is darling. 

Still no idea when baby Bear might be ready to go.  I have my bags still packed and sitting by the door.  Could be tomorrow, could be next week.   Who needs advanced notice to go pick up a baby from another country….keeps things exciting, right?  :)

In happy news – little Fedna was able to get here yesterday.  We sent her host mother to Florida to meet her.  She’s doing well.  You can follow her journey HERE.   Those of you that donated clothes/stuff for her – either I can take them to her when I get to Texas or I can give them back.  Just let me know.

Off to finish the dishes.  More later!

January 11, 2009

Baby in India update

OK – found out today that they can ask the orphanage for an exception to the age rule.  So – we sent in a little blurb about our family and they will ask the orphanage.   Hopefully we’ll know something soon whether we will be able to try to adopt him.  I know there is another family interested in him as well, but I don’t know if they meet all the requirements or if they are wanting to adopt him.  I guess we’ll just have to see what happens. 

Baby Bear is supposed to get his new passport tomorrow – please pray it happens!  He’s been waiting TOO LONG.

January 11, 2009

Excellent Video

Maybe you’ve seen me mention Real Hope for Haiti on this blog and wonder what RHFH is.

I love these people and this organization. I stayed with them last time I was in Haiti and they are the REAL THING.

We’ve also gotten several of our medical visa children from them.

I met Soline, the little girl they talk about at the end of the video.   She is such a sweet, darling.   I’m so glad she’s doing well.

CHECK IT OUT!