Thursday, November 15, 2007

Adoption update...

We rec'd this update from our agency.

Dear Natasha and Mark,
I had so much fun visiting with your two darling, silly, slightly rambunctious two munchkins at Fontamara!
One day, for a whole hour I sat wincing upstairs at Fontamara while Marie Vierge created a master piece with my hair…..I would send you pictures of the end result, but then you would have blackmail on me for the rest of your life! Natasha, I really think you should let her do your hair before church some Sunday! Roberto was his shy, “don’t pay attention to me….but O.K. I really do want you to pay attention to me self”. He loved the Velcro mitt and tennis balls I brought and never could get enough of with playing with them.
They are both doing so well and are happy and well adjusted!

Marie-Vierge’s measurements are:
Height: 44 ½ “
Weight: 37.6 lbs.

Roberto’s Measurements are:
Height: 39”
Weight: 29.3 lbs.

As extra fun and in celebration of the holiday I brought a huge box of dress up clothes for the kids to play with. Boy did they have a blast…Well I’ll reword that, Marie-Vierge thought it was great…Roberto gave me the “What the heck do you want me to wear that for you Crazy Lady” look.
I truly had a wonderful time with your amazing children!
I gave them plenty of hugs and kisses from their Mamma!
Thanks to our friends at Foyer we have these fun pictures!!! The letter perfectly describes our little ones!
I also received an e-mail explaining they are trying something new in hopes of speeding things up in the end. They gave USCIS certified copies of our dossiers so they can begin the orphan investigation which requires an interview with the birthparents. This usually isn't done until the children have their passports. Because USCIS is allowing the investigation to be done with the certified copies we can get that part done at the same time our original dossiers are waiting in the MOI office. MOI approves the dossiers for Haitian passports. Once they are approved they send them to the immigration office who actually prints the passports. The average wait in MOI is 4 months. We are not yet in MOI but hope to be in the next week or two. So, with a little luck... they could be home in April. Of course, we will continue to pray for them to come home soon and would gladly accept a little miracle of an earlier arrival.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

when it rains it pours...

...and I'm catching up on my blog!

Here is a photo. This photo inspired my last post "wonder". Along with the photo, my efforts to do what is right as a mother - which isn't always what is nice- also inspired that post.

The photo is of Marie with a dear friend. My friend was blessed to travel to Haiti in October for a Foyer de Sion parent trip. She met her two little girls for the first time. On Sunday, they attended church and my little Marie was there. She picked her up and gave her a kiss and told her "that was from your mamma". I'm very grateful for this picture....because this is the little girl I remember... and she is happy! This helps me to endure the long wait. Unfortunately, Roberto wasn't at church.....but I can guess his picture would be "less happy" because he doesn't like his photo taken and he probably wouldn't be too thrilled with a strange woman picking him up and kissing him!

The other thoughts that inspired the "wonder" post came from mothering Katiana. She is a beautiful and amazing young girl! She is so happy! She sings in the shower! WELL, I THINK THAT is a sign of happiness! She skips, she laughs, she teases, she is just so well adjusted AND...she sometimes pulls a crybaby act that mimicks my 5 year old neice. WELL.....perhaps this behavior worked for her in the past, or she is TESTING me. 2 1/2 times now, she has tried this approach. The 1/2 time I was able to nip it before it made it to tears. The other two times she used this behavior, I had to make a quick descision and it didn't include what seemed the *nice* thing to do. She poured on the tears. I told her she had no reason to cry. Last week I called her bluff when I suggested we talk with our neighbor (who speaks Creole) so I could better understand why she was "sad" and crying. I explained it was ok to be sad and it was ok to cry but she needed to help me understand why....and our neighbor could help. I think when she realized she was pulling the "crybaby, pouty, sulking, you are the meanest person in the world act" because I told her she couldn't do something, she realized she really didn't have a good reason to act this way and she didn't want to have to explain that to our neighbor. Of course, both times she has done this, it was from me telling her she couldn't do something. Both times *I knew* she wasn't really sad. I have seen her sad - and we turn things around very differently when she truly is feeling sad. SO..... I wonder - am I doing this right? I hope so.


I wonder about a lot of things. As a mother, I sometimes wonder if I'm doing things right. Thankfully, I have seven amazing children and they help me to be a better mother. Two of our children are still in Haiti. Collectively, I have only had a little over two weeks of actual mothering influence with them. Everyday, I think of them. I think of them in Haiti and with those thoughts come joy. Indescribable joy. And with those thoughts come a burden. A mothers love bottled up for two years - anxiety about their well being, sad they aren't with us --where we can tickle them everyday, and hug and love them, read to them, teach them new things, give them a place of belonging ....a family!-- frustrated the process of adoption has to be so complicated. So with each thought of joy comes a feeling of sadness because the are still in Haiti.

Maybe today I'm writing this because it was two years ago I found Marie and Roberto and I wondered. I wondered if *I* could be *their* mother. I wondered about a lot of things two years ago....things I no longer wonder about. They are Hixon's now. But I still must wait for the process of adoption to be completed before they can join us. I still wonder about plenty of how many more chairs and couches our dog Louie will chew up when they come home (Louie - our Jack Russell is currently struggling the most with having Katiana home), how they will fit into our family, what struggles having two more children will bring....of course, I like to wonder about the joys they will bring too. I wonder about the unknown. What I do not wonder about anymore is *if* we are doing the right thing. Of course we are. We are a lucky family.

catching up... time has been a bit scarce over the past weeks since Katiana came home! She has been home 7 weeks now! We have had fantastic fall weather - very mild and beautiful!

I'm a bit late.....but here is a Halloween picture...

I think Katiana was a bit uncertain about the whole the morning of Halloween, she told me "me no Halloween" so off to school she went dressed like a 7th grader. After school, Marisa told me Katiana seemed a bit upset on the bus and ran away from the group and home. Earlier in the day, I purchased a witch hat with purple hair attached, thinking she could at least wear the fun hat and still enjoy going door-to-door with the kids.......but Marisa told me she liked all the princess costumes she saw during the day at school. So......the witch hat became mine and Katiana and I took off for the party supply store at 4:00 p.m. on Halloween day to find her a princess costume! WE SCORED this "medieval princess" costume in the clearance section for $10! Add some beads, a black wig, a tiara and HER SISTER to do make-up and hair.....and she became a princess for the night! When the first group of children came to our door trick or treating.....I yelled for her to come answer it.......she was delighted to see them and hand out candy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

week-end in Portland - part III

Life has kept us busy! Too busy to keep up with our blog! SO...finally, I am posting part III to our week-end in Portland! The REASON for the trip was to attend the Holt International Auction. The goal -- raising money for the children in Haiti! The girl on the poster is one of Katiana's good friends -- who, by the way, is still waiting for a family. She is beautiful and we hope she is matched with a family very soon!

This picture is of Katiana, Gary Gamer, Holt's President and CEO and Peter Fontana who is the founder of the Holt Fontana Village.

Peter Fontana was asked to speak a bit about the realities in Haiti and about the needs of the Holt Fontana Village. During his speech, he asked Katiana to join him. Just after he spoke, the auctioneer asked for cash donations to help build another house at the village. He began with a request for a $5,000 pledge. Two people raised their cards! He then went to $2,500 and I think about 8 people raised their cards.....he continued with $1,000 and $500 and $100. I think from this 15 minutes they raised $35,000!!! We are convinced Katiana and her cute smile brought that money in! :)

Overall - The benefit brought in $159,000 dollars that will be used for the Haiti program! PLUS the $25,000 QuicKutz raised with the cookbook project! We were touched by the generosity of those who attended! I hope to visit the Kaliko and the Holt Fontana Village again someday......maybe then, they will have twice as many children to love... and a PLAYGROUND too!

After the auction ended Katiana meet Miss Oregon who was attending the benefit! Aren't they beautiful!