Saturday, April 23, 2011

Visiting Family

Today was a great day.  Nick, Rikerns, Eventz, and I went to Dondon, which is about an hour away, to visit Eventz family.  We have been wanting to do this for a while and this is the first time it worked out.  I was kind of nervous because I didn't know if it would be awkward at all, but it went really well and I am SO glad we went.  The whole thing really touched me and on the drive back I was fighting back tears for a while.
The drive there was very beautiful.  Dondon is at the opposite side of the mountain that houses the Citadel and it was really cool to see this from the backside.  Dondon is way greener than where we live and a little more Jungle like.  The mountains were straight cliffs, covered in Palm and Banana trees.  Up on the mountain was a sign that says Dondon similar to the Hollywood sign, but much smaller.  I got the sense that people from Dondon have a lot of pride in where they live.
When we arrived their, everyone was so excited to see us, or I should say excited to see Eventz.  People swarmed us instantly, saying his name, and taking him from our arms instantly.  They kept kissing him, pinching his cheeks (Haitians always pinch kid’s cheeks, it’s not just grandmas!), and passing him from one person to another.  For the most part he did pretty good with this, which amazed me cause he normally doesn’t like anyone except for Nick and I to hold him.

Eventz Mom and Sister were gone today which made me kind of sad because I really like visiting with his Mom and I haven’t seen his sister for a long time.  But his Dad, Brother, and whole extended family were there.  They kept asking him if he remembered them and remembered living there.  They told him over and over how excited they were to see him.
Whole Family
Visiting this family today made me realize how much I don’t know about Eventz story.  I wasn’t apart of the first 5 1/2 months of his life and I feel like I missed out on so much because of it.  I know I am fortunate to have only missed such a little bit, most adoptive parents miss so much more, but it's still hard not knowing things about your child, like how much they weighed, what time of day they were born, or even if the day you are celebrating is in fact their correct birthday.  As I've said before, Eventz has two birthdays according to his paperwork and two spellings of his name.  This has already caused problems with his adoption because we realized recently that the paper his parents signed to give him up for adoption has the other birthday on it, so now they have to redo it.
Eventz and his Aunt
There are so many things that I have never thought to even ask his parents about before.   I learned today that Eventz has 6 aunts (I didn’t ask about uncles) and no living grandparents.  There was a lady there that they referred to as his Grandma, but I don’t think she is blood related.

Eventz and his "Grandma"
I asked one of the aunts that I met about Eventz twin.  She told me that the twin never had a name.  When I asked how old he was when he passed away she said she thought 6 months, but I know thats not correct because Eventz came here at 5 1/2 months old.  I want to know so much more about this so I can tell Eventz when he is older, but I hate to keep bringing it up.
Eventz with his Aunt Roseline, Brother Kevins (who he's touching), and his cousins (Roselines children).  Roseline looks just like Eventz Mom in this picture.
I liked seeing their house because I assume that is where Eventz was born and it gave me a better glimpse into his story before coming to COTP.  It's just a stick and mud hut, but it was fairly big compared to others I have seen.  They didn't invite us in, so I didn't see the inside except through the door/curtain.  It didn't appear to have too much in it, but again was in better condition than many I have been in.

We also spent some time visiting with another one of our kids biological dad.  I really like this man and think that he is the greatest.  He is so sweet, gentle, and clearly thinks the world of his son.  The first thing he asked when he saw us was if his son came with us and how he was doing.  He loves him so much.
He showed us his house and then took us to the church that both he and Eventz family attend.  It is beautiful and huge.  They said that it houses 1800 people.  Thats a ton of people.  I've never seen such a nice church here.  He also showed me where they do baptisms, which I knew was an important spot for him.  He had his son baptized there and still always carries a picture of him on that day around with him. I would assume it’s the only picture he has of him and treasures it dearly.

Looking down half of the church from the Pulpit
After a tour of the town, Eventz Dad bought us lunch, two bundles of miniature bananas and giant thing of Haitian bread with Peanut Butter.  One thing that I had to get used to here is accepting gifts from people.  Its hard when you know they don’t have extra money, but they do it because they really want to and it would be rude to refuse.  We thanked him for the gift and shared it with everyone.  Eventz ate about 2 of the mini bananas on his own, and then we headed for home.
As I was walking towards the house, I saw a mom and toddler sitting under the tree.  I wondered if it was Wadney, a little boy who used to live here.  I wrote about Wadney here because he was head over heals in love with Nick and his little shadow for the six weeks he lived here.  I had just said last week that I hoped he would come to visit because I was missing him, and then here he was under the mango tree.
I told his Mom we just got back from Dondon and she got all excited.  I didn’t know this, but apparently they are from there too.  She asked when we were going back and I said not for a while but promised we would visit when we did.  She asked if I would call her and let her know, and then gave me her phone number to make sure!
Wadney has a special place in both of our hearts and we will always love him.  His Mom cut his hair and he doesn’t look like the same kid anymore!  Nick and I both loved his hair, but look how handsome he looks now!

Wadney and his Mom
He wouldn't let me take a picture up close so I had to do it from a distance.  He is doing really well in her care and looks great!
Tori Holding Julia

Yesterday we went to check on another family we know who just had tiny boy girl twins.  We took a scale and weighed them, each were 4 lbs at 27 days old.  They were tiny, but they looked good!  Tori listened to their heart and we watched them breast feed to ensure that they were sucking well, which they were.  We were really glad to see how well they were doing.  Had they have been born in the States, they would be in a NICU, but here, they are at home, which is a crowded tiny shack.  It's amazing to see how attentive the Mother is and how well she was doing on her own.  She didn't need anything from us, she was doing it by herself.  We will go back in a few days to make sure that they are gaining weight, but besides for that, our help isn't needed.  It's great to not be needed!

Me holding Julio

Their names are Julio and Julia, you can't get much cuter than that!  The babies were adorable and had the softest skin and hair.  Tori and I both fell in love with them.

I can't explain how grateful I am to be able to have these experiences.  When Eventz is older I am going to be able to tell him so much about his family and where he is from.  I feel that this will be such an important element for Eventz and will even help him bond more with us.  Eventz will always know how much they all love him and will hopefully have a good relationship with them as long as we live here.  I couldn't imagine not having a relationship with them.  I think about so many adoptive parents who will never have this and for the children who so desperately want to know where they came from and what their story is.  Knowing Eventz parents is truly a gift from God!

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