...and we couldn't be more happy!
We left Haiti on Thursday, Sept. 20 and stayed the night in Miami. On Friday we flew to Dallas then to S.L.C. arriving to the airport around noon. This picture is of Katiana arriving in S.L.C. sitting in the pilots seat with his hat on. She is an adventursome young lady. Her face changed from wonder to smiles all the way home as she experienced her first plane ride, escalator, moving sidewalk, chicken nuggets, cookies and cream ice cream cone, hot water shower, airport train (without a driver! - that one evoked lots of question marks in her eyes!) m&m's and freeways with lots of cars driving fast!
She was greeted by friends and family all week-end long! Including a quick visit from Grandma and Grandpa Parkin who stayed a couple of nights. Saturday we braved the mall so she would have some shoes to wear to church with her pretty pink dress.....of course, it turned cold here in Utah so she needed a sweater too! And a trip to the mall isn't complete without some pretty new jewelry to finish off the outfit!
Sunday she looked so pretty in her new outfit and she made it through church without wearing out her smile! After church, the kids came in and ransacked the kitchen.....so lunch was kind of a free for all! She talked Mark into making spaghetti....but couldn't find the "jambon" in the fridge to add in. I don't think she was too impressed with our traditional style italian spaghetti.
Sometime around two o'clock she discovered the bicycles and scooters in the garage.... so Mark spent the next two hours running along side her teaching her how to ride a bike! First time ever on a bike! She is so excited to learn and try new things! AND.....no rest for the weary (Mark and I). Mark was so cute and patient with her! All the kids have welcomed her and have had so much fun teaching her all "their tricks".
She spent some time on Friday with all her "new friends". AND again, on Saturday she hung out with her teenage sister for "night games" at a friends house! She is up for just about anything -- although, I had to talk her into trying dinner last night.....which she ended up liking!
Today (Monday) she said good-bye to her grandparents with kisses for both as they left to go home to California, she visited the Doctor....who I promised was "tres gentile" and after the visit she agreed - he was "very nice". AND...she had her first Mexican food! She wasn't too excited about bean and cheese burritos.....but liked the cheese enchilada and beef taco....and of course, the rice and coca cola!
Our trip to Haiti had a little more drama than we bargained for! First - the earliest visa appointment we could get was Friday morning 4 hours before our flights......because of a problem our friend *Gassant* created......we didn't get her visa! Yeah, the "irrevocably and unconditionally" wording problem was now OUR problem....even though CLEARLY her father desired to relinquish his rights and didn't care too much about HOW it was worded! From what I hear.....this problem has a resolution now. Our timing has been impecable with every step of our adoption! At the last minute....Mark and I decided I should stay with Katiana until she could get her visa! I was so ready to go home ....so I had to really change my mind set and accept that I was staying, knowing nothing would happen until at least Monday.
We enjoyed our week-end UNTIL...... SUNDAY night-- when the most evil man I have ever met decided to show-off his power and make our kids cry! Of course, he got us all a bit worked up as he threatened to have us arrested and take our kids away from us because we didn't have papers "proving our relationship" with them. He went a bit too far when he spoke of the problems of child trafiking -- in an effort to justify his horrible conduct! What a CREEP! ...is all I have to say about him for the time being! Oh.....and for the record his name is *Gassant*. AND he is NO friend to the children of Haiti even though he hides behind the platform of trafiking children! WHAT A CREEP!
Sunday night was without sleep for me because I thought this guy was sick enough to really take Katiana away from me.......Monday came and he was gone and I went to the Embassy - partly because this guy scared me (mostly because he is crazy!) and to inform them of what happened! Apparently, the eejit has a reputation because they knew him and, although shocked - not too surprised. Tuesday came and went without a visa.....Wednesday a.m. I got the best phone call from Mr. Duffy saying I had a visa!!! Yeah! I was so grateful because I really did NOT want to spend another week-end in Haiti after the last one!
Thursday a.m. I signed papers at the USCIS office in Haiti so *HOPEFULLY* I can avoid all of this when it is time to bring MV and R home!
Thanks to ALL OF YOU who prayed for us.......and called... and called... and called... the Visa office and the Children's Issues office in Washington D.C. on our behalf! Really, I can't thank you enough......I know the phone calls made a difference! AND the prayers made the biggest difference as Sunday night we (Katiana and I and the other Holt family with their two little ones) were protected from the evil of one man who thinks he can treat people anyway he wants! What a creep!!! .....did I mention that already?
As for today, all is well, we are home and Katiana is anxious to learn! She has a bright spirit and she is full of spunk! We are so blessed to have her home... FINALLY!