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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Follow-up Notes

Hey blog friends. After three days of serious rage, I'm finally on the mend. Note to ANYONE who travels abroad, listen to your doc and take the meds while you're there if you start to feel sick. Being stubborn about pills did me no favors. What I had was something a little cipro could cure. Note for next year's trip.

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My first night home was very restless. I wanted my kids next to me all night. Picture the bed - Sofia, me, Henry, Jason. And of course Squeaks had to be in the mix. It was a very full bed!! I fell asleep quickly, back in the security and comfort of my home with my family all around. I remember waking up at one point, very disoriented. The next morning Jason asked me if I remembered talking about Josette. It took a second, then hit me like I ton of bricks. I remembered. I woke up and saw her laying there. As clear as day I could see Josette's sweet little body laying next to me on the bed. I remember trying to reach for her. I remember realizing that she wasn't there. And when I remembered, I cried.

It's happen the other nights as well, but I don't remember it. Last night I asked Jason if there was a baby laying between us. The night before I woke up and had no idea where I was. It's part fatigue, but it's also that I left part of my heart back in Haiti.

Jason and I have been talking, and believe it or not we're starting the adoption process. From what I understand you can't pick a child. Meaning, I can't pick Josette as the one we want to bring home. COTP will match us with someone. We do get to request a few different kids. Can I just write Josette in each of the lines? Young and female - that's the biggest request when it comes to adoption. People want to adopt healthy baby girls. I don't want to adopt Josette because she's little. I don't want to adopt Josette because she's female. I want to adopt Josette...because she's Josette.

Our heart is in this. We - I - have to let go and trust once again. If she's meant to be with us, she'll be with us.

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Someone told me that when I came back I'd have trouble relating to people. Trouble trying to share my experience with others. I understand that now. How do I respond to the question, "How was your trip?" Let's see, it was exhausting, heart-wrenching, joyful, sad, eye-opening, HOT and filled with hugs and sweat and pee and poopy diapers. I can't explain Haiti. I can't explain how I'm feeling now. And I'm having a hard time adjusting back to the hustle and bustle of life back here.

It started as I was going thru security in Miami. A woman was staring at me. Up and down, over and over. Here she was - all dolled up, dress in the latest fashion, carrying an expensive bag. And here I was - wearing my comfortable cotton outfit that had been hand washed and dried in the sun, covered in spots, bright green $10 backpack, holding back tears. I was soooo not Miami material. (I'm still not Miami material)

I can tell you this: salon hair coloring, pedicures, the latest fashion, fancy cars, big houses, and tons of toys for my kids is something I will NOT be spending my money on going forward. If you don't like my small house, my 100,000 mile Saturn Vue or my ugly toes, you'll need to find someone else to hang out with. Every chance I get I will be buying formula, diapers, receiving blankets and anything else I can afford that COTP needs. I've been there. I've seen it. And it's forever changed me.

I'm not going to kid you. I still feel the 'keeping up with the Johnson's' pressure back here. Little Miss Miami brought that flooding back. It's something I will constantly keep in check. But after spending time with babies who didn't have their mothers with them, didn't have their own bedroom, didn't have arms to pick them up when they cried, didn't always have toys to play with - I've got a different perspective on life now. I think I'm changed for the better.

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Many of you have been asking about what they need at COTP. I've got a direct line down there and have been getting requests since I've gotten back. Here's the start of the list:
* receiving blankets
* blankets for the kids to nap on
* formula - any brand, any type
* diapers - mostly newborn, 1, 2 - though I'm on a mission to get all the toddlers in disposable diapers
* toys for the baby house. Email me if you want the link to a specific request. karen.gigure@yahoo.com
* light weight PJ
* large canvas bags

You can mail items to the Florida address on their website, or give it to me and I'll mail it for you.

These kids didn't chose to be born in Haiti. They didn't choose to be born into poverty. Just like you didn't choose to be born where you are and with the comforts that you have. I don't want to talk politics and I don't want to talk corruption. Those are things far beyond my control. All I know is that there are very deserving babies at COTP who need our help. They deserve a chance. And they deserve the best.

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So, have any of you considered joining me next year? Maybe my blog hasn't done a good job of selling the trip to you. :-) Think about it. You'll have a built-in tour guide. Been there - done that. I can even navigate Port-au-Prince now. All you need is time, patience, and a big heart. I promise - it's worth it.

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