Wednesday, July 23, 2008

WE ARE HOME!!!


Sorry to be slow.....ok, only one day slow! We arrived home last night about 9:00 p.m. WITH Marie Vierge and Berto! THEY did great! Berto was a bit anxious about the airplane but we fixed that with some M&M's! So, with each flight (three all together) we took off with M&M's and all was well! In the pictures you can see Marie biting her fingernails before we got on the plane too.......I guess her daddy will have to teach her how to kick that habit.

We arrived in Haiti on Sunday morning. Our flight was delayed one hour. Our flight getting into Miami the night before was delayed two hours so we ended up paying $122 bucks to sleep for less than two hours Sat. night.......oh well, better than sleeping in the Miami airport! So, we were kind of zombies on Sunday......but that was ok!

We went to church and met the kids! They were a bit quiet - which is normal for them. They seem to be very reserved around other people. After church the smiles came freely from both of them!!! We stayed at Auberge du Quebec on Sunday. We had our friend Spencer make a reservation for us while we were in Chicago at CHA! Thank goodness for friends who speak french! He was even able to arrange for us to have one of the newer rooms! The minute we got to the room the kids started to undress......they wanted to go swimming! So - off to the pool for a swim! Of course, first we ordered our lunch because the restaurant needs at least an hour to prepare spaghetti! After lunch - Mark slept and I played with the kids.....we had fun blowing bubbles and coloring. Later that evening we met up with Kate and her children and had dinner.

Monday a.m. we all packed into the van.....Kate, her teenage daughter traveling with her, her 5 children she is adopting and Mark, me, Marie and Roberto all in the back of the van WITH all our luggage.......off on a wild ride that puts Mr. Toad's ride to shame.........John Henry sure knows how to drive and fast on some pretty beat up roads!

After Kate was dropped off at the airport - we met Mansour (the orphanage director for Holt) and he took us out to the Holt Fontana village. We visited for a bit, snapped a few pictures then went over to the Kaliko so we would'nt miss lunch. The Kaliko was nice for swimming, throwing rocks in the ocean and having a nice dinner with Mansour. It was wonderful to visit again......and yes, I kept an eye out for evil Haitian officials! Thank goodness we didn't encounter any creeps this time!

Tuesday a.m. we were up at 4:45 and out the door to the airport by 5:15 a.m. The hour plus drive to the airport was filled with images of Haiti and its people. Images I don't expect to find in America. Those images can be defined as beautiful, sad, funny, completely heartwrenching, encouraging, overwhelming, painful, full of hope, nerve wracking (although the image of a bus blarring its horn coming straight for us - on OUR side of the road didn't raise my heartrate this time) ...all of this and more can be found in a one hour drive to the airport! Haiti has some of the most remarkable people who find joy in their world - a world I would struggle to survive in. I am lucky to have the privilege of my experience in Haiti and of the many fine examples of determination - even if it is found in a split second from an image of a young boy on the street as we race by. Mark and I decided for sure, horns are equal to engines for every vehicle driving the roads in Haiti! You can't be without one!

We arrived plenty early for our flight and three guys "helped" us *HAUL* our three bags in. WOW.....that only cost us $20. Neither one of us was up for arguing so we gave 'em twenty bucks and stood in line where another guy pulled our cart under the rope and put our bags on the scale and yep......he needed a tip too. I have never experienced an airport quite like the one in Port au Prince!
We made it through without any one giving us grief and I was happy about that. I was so happy just to get on that plane! Arriving in Miami was easy! We made it through immigration in 20 minutes and our little ones are now Americans!!! Gotta love that IR3 visa! (NOW that we have it!) Of course, we did have to re-check our luggage, go thru security again and walk to the farthest possible gate.......and then stand in a long line for seat assignments......but I will take that kind of stress anyday! WE MADE EVERY FLIGHT and the kids didn't have one problem! They eat just about anything and Berto eats more than most adults (so we really need to figure out why he only weighs 31lbs) He is just tiny.....but smart and cute as can be! So is Marie.....they are both just darling!
So far our biggest trial is trying to convince both of them that Louie and Maggie are NOT GOING TO EAT THEM! They literally climb the closest object (or person) the minute they see either dog.......and they completely freak out like they just saw the meanest, badest monster on planet earth! I'm not quite sure what we are going to do about that..........however, it does solve the problem I envisioned before we went, of two little kids running crazy in the house and "breaking into" the pantry every 10 minutes......because as long as the dogs are free, they prefer playing with toys in their room! So........we will have to work on the dog thing. EVEN having the dogs leashed to the dining room table doesn't seem to calm them .....they just keep their eye on the dogs to make sure there is "good distance" between them! AND the pool was the same.....poor Berto just royally freaked out because Louie was circling the pool while we were trying to swim this evening......Oh....I do hope this is our biggest challenge! :)
We feel very blessed! They are amazing little children and we are all very happy (and relieved) they are finally home!!! Our thanks to all of you for your prayers....as our prayers will continue for all of our friends still waiting to bring their children home!

24 comments:

B.E.C.K.Y said...

I'm soooo very happy for you Natasha!!! You're kids are so big! I was surprised by their growth. My kids have grown since May 2006, but nothing that noticeable.

Thanks for sharing so many photos and details. I'm tears knowing that your journey is finally over a new one can now begin.

One Crowded House said...

what cutie bugs!!!!

Stevenson is now ok around the dogs- he will even pet them occasionally.... it took
about two weeks. He freaked out at first and we were kind of like, uh oh, how will we handle this?? But we put the dogs on our porch for about a week- so Stevenson could see them through the door- but they couldn't touch him...

anytime they were in the house- we would hold S and tell him what good funny puppies they were.... I think he finally believes us :)

Your children are beautiful and I know you are ALL so glad to have those little sweeties home at last!

Casey said...

I'm so glad you are all home! The pictures are adorable, and I can't wait to meet everyone! (We'll see you tonight!)

johninara said...

YAYYYY!!! it is SO great to see them HOME!! Julian & Jada LOVED looking at their pictures & i told them i would tell their Mommy they said HI! :o)

lori said...

WOW Natasha! Congratulations! It is so fun to read about your trip and see the photos! May God continue to bless your home with love and laughter.
lori tugwell

wendy said...

I am in tears Natasha! It has been a LONG, HARD journey. I am so happy you are at the good part now. Congrats! Please update regularly--it keeps me hopeful.

Wendy (Naomi & Talley's mom)

zeeny said...

Wow...what beautiful kids...all of them! I just want to come give them all big hugs. Hopefully we will be able to do that sooner than later! We love you all.

kkwiens said...
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kkwiens said...
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kkwiens said...

FINALLY!!!!! Congrats! Welcome home!
I love all the pictures. Enjoy the homecoming!
I can't wait to hear all the stories of their "firsts"!
hugs
Karen

Deon said...

YEAH! Your sweet family is now all together! Don't you just go to bed at night with a big smile on your face knowing that all of the work, worry, stress, frustration, pleas, prayers, discouragement are now just memories and the best is yet to come! I am so happy for your whole family! Thanks for sharing so much of your life with us.

Amy Baldwin said...

Absolutely darling children. I am so happy for your family. You are all so great to bring three more children into your home. Not many people are willing to do that. All three children have definitely met some angels. I can't wait to meet Marie and Berto.

Perla said...

this post had my crying. it brings back so many emotions--everything from waiting for food at auberge du quebec, to the sights on the street, to seeing the kids at home where they belong! i am SO happy. i will pray that they continue to adjust well and happily to their new life!

Aimee said...

Congratulations! I am so happy for you all! I imagine your life is about to get verrrry interesting! lol! When you went to Fontana Village did you happen to see my little girl???? How is she doing. We are still so far away from the end, sigh. Well keep us posted on your adventures!

Crystal said...

I am so incredibly happy for you!! It is wonderful to see Marie and Berto so happy...what a change from 2 years ago.
What a story you will have to tell them about how they came to be part of your heart and family...

Enjoy all of your firsts.

Love,
Crystal

Kari and Brian said...

Congratulations! We are happy to hear that you are all home safe. The kids are sooo cute!

Heidi said...

I am so happy for all of you! What beautiful children they are, and I am sure they are thrilled to finally have a family. Looking at your photos--especially heading for that big AA jet brings back so many memories for me. What a difference leaving that island will make in the lives of your children. Hugs to all of you!

Heidi

stephanie garcia said...

Your children are absolutely beautiful and seeing them come home gives me so much hope for the homecoming of our boys one day!

stephanie garcia said...

Your children are absolutely beautiful and seeing them come home gives me so much hope for the homecoming of our boys one day!

stephanie garcia said...

Your children are absolutely beautiful and seeing them come home gives me so much hope for the homecoming of our boys one day!

Laurie said...

Congratulations on finally having your children home. They are both so stunning & have the most beautiful eyes.

Mom to two Haitian Angels (home 5 months today)

Laurie

Jacque said...

SO CUTE!
Jacque Gunderson here! I found your blog through Deon's!
How exciting for you!
Now, I really want to visit Haiti.

Sue said...

Congrats to all of you Hixons. I couldn't be happier for you that your family is finally all home safe and sound!

mar i toni said...

good morning,
are a couple from Barcelona in the adoption process in Mali. We have started a charity project to raise money and help the orphanage in Bamako where we will look to our future child.
This is jewelry solidarity.
You can buy online.
Spanish website: http://botiga.marpallares.com
Web in English: http://marpallaresjoies.bigcartel.com
Our blog: http://churublog.blogspot.com
Thanks for helping!