The Low Down

Yesterday was one crazy long day. We left the house at 5:30. It was very, very early. Our Home Study appointment was for 7 am, if you can believe that. We got to John and Beth’s in good time, grabbed some coffee and spent time catching up and then found out that our Home Study guy was at the hospital, I’m assuming with someone else and not because he needed it, and he wouldn’t be there until 9. No worries, it was more time to drink coffee and visit. And eat a better breakfast that the granola bar we had eaten in the truck.

Around 9 we headed over to the Creche/Toddler House to meet our guy. We were ready. We had done up an “About Us” paper with pertinent info on us and what we do. I was most amused by how amused the guy was with the fact that we both spoke Creole. It was pretty funny to see him giggle every time I said something. Getting into the interview…it took all of 15 minutes. I’m not joking. And, apparently the really important things that he needed to know were who all of Chris’ siblings were, what they did, their birth dates and where they live. He asked me nothing about me. Not even about my siblings! I’m thinking that he’s good at first impressions and sizes you up when you arrive, then only focuses on the sketchiest looking one of the two. We use this knowledge when we go through customs – I go first because I’m all nice and friendly and I butter them up, then Chris goes and they’re so amazed by me they forget he’s a long haired hippie looking type. Not that he really is a hippie. Not even close. Though I think he would like to be. Some days.

So that was the Home Study. We figured it cost us about $10/minute. And that was the cheap pricing. After it was all said and done I was this mixed bag of feelings. I felt relieved that it was over and that it was so simple, but also kind of sickened by it’s simplicity at the same time. I was actually hesitating about posting about it because I know how many adoptive parents read this and I know that your experiences with the Home Study and getting your dossier complete have been anything but a 15 minute questionnaire about your siblings. Or rather your husbands siblings. It makes me feel like we cheated, kind of. I chalk it up as Bizarre Experience #1 for yesterday.

Yes, there is more.

We were hoping to do our Psych Evaluations yesterday too, but the guy that was supposed to do those didn’t come with Home Study guy, so Junior, the guy that works with John and does a lot of the paper pushing was going to try and set something up. We got a call from him while we were grocery shopping asking if we could head downtown and meet him there to do it. Sure. We finished up, headed down, connected with Junior and went to meet Mr. Psych Evaluation. Okay, Tara had shared with me that theirs, with the same guy, took all of 13 minutes. Keeping that in mind I was sort of open to whatever. We got to the place, a school parking lot, and he came out to meet us. Then we stepped into Juniors “office”. His “office” consists of a cell phone or two and his car. Yes, Chris and I sat in the back seat, and the guys sat in the front. Then we got evaluated. This time the most memorable question was, “What souvenirs do you have from your childhood?” A.k.a. “What are your best memories or experiences?” Sigh. The whole thing took about 20 minutes. And we think we passed. We think. Did I mention it was in the backseat of a car? Bizarre Experience #2.

Christmas is showing up all over Port. It seems strange to see Christmas decorations with nothing that resembles winter. I have to give the “Well Lit Award” to Caribbean Supermarket because they have more lights strung around one palm tree than my mom has up in the entire house. If you know my mom you’ll know that’s a lot of lights.

We headed to the Canadian Embassy to find out what we needed to do on the Canadian end to make this whole thing legal so our child can be a citizen one day. It was informative and helpful and took about 10 minutes once we saw who we needed to see.

From there we went to Pieces et Papiers. After some discussion we finally managed to get the name of an eye doctor so I could get the much needed eye test for my drivers license. The eye doctor was a very nice woman and we had a good chat with her about gardening, filters and she proved that I have good peripherals, that I’m not colorblind and that I can in fact see. Hmm. Good thing.

We had a productive day. It was a long day though and we didn’t end up even heading out of Petionville until after 4:30. It took us an hour and 45 minutes to get out of the city. We didn’t get home until 7:30. We were tired. We ate taco salad (my easy Port day dinner) and then fell into bed.

I was up around 3 am last night because my head was swimming. I think I’m still coming down off of everything that happened yesterday. With the exception of picking up my done ID pictures in St. Marc this week and doing our Power of Attorney letter that we can’t actually do until John figures out which attorney we’re working with (probably not until the New Year) we are DONE our dossier. I get all freaky weird thinking about that. We’re done. I remember looking at the list back in June and thinking that it seemed like so much to do, but it’s done and it was pretty painless. I know that the experience would have been much different had we done it in Canada, but we aren’t in Canada (or Kansas) and this is what it is.

While we were at the Toddler House Jess came in with Annie. As I was holding the beautiful one week old bundle and commented on how very tiny she was Beth looked at me and said, “Yours will be that small too when you get her.” The whole reality of the situation was hitting me on every side yesterday. I realized that at any point after we leave for our holidays in a week and a half we could get an email while we’re gone from John and Beth telling us that Little Miss Rolling has arrived. At any point. I realized I should have the diaper bag ready to go in the event that Jean needs to bring it with him so we can pick her up on our way home. The reality is that now, with the exception of dropping papers off to get translated next week, the next time we see John and Beth will probably be to pick up our daughter. Yesterday I bought two boxes of formula, just in case I have problems with the breastfeeding thing or things aren’t where they need to be when she comes along. We also bought off-white paint to repaint what will be the baby’s room. I figured it was easier to do it now before she moves in there than after when the rest of the paint comes on the container for the house. We are painting a baby room. Ack!

This is real. It is happening. It is so very, very exciting.

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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

4 thoughts on “The Low Down

  1. Oh I am so excited for you! take every easy step you can!!!! Oh a baby girl, YOUR baby girl! MAN I can’t wait to hear the news and see the smile on her parents facesange

  2. Chris and Leslie,Glad to hear Chris isn’t really a hippy, (even if he does look like one once in awhile).I’ve never HAD a home study but have done a few home studies. However, never in the car! Too funny. I am glad that the process has been pretty painless if not funny! Did I miss the part somewhere about breastfeeding? Talk more about how that’s going to work. Will ya huh, huh? What else are you still needing for the new baby? Any idea boy or girl? Every night our family prays for you both and your work in Haiti. Vicki

  3. OH MY GOSH!!!!My stomach is FREAKING out after reading your post!!!!I’m SO excited for you and how cool is that that you got to meet Annie :)Really happy and excited here Leslie. You and Chris will make AWESOME parents!

  4. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO excited for you two. Yahoo and yipee yea!!!!!!Great news that it all went smoothly. Yes, the diaper bag or even just the contents will be so handy if they are already together. I just realized we could have put a mess of diapers on the container. Of course that would have required fortune telling to know we’d have needed them back in June. We’ll all keep on praying for you, Chris and little sweetie pie. God Bless and keep you close. Barb JPS The home studies may be arduous in Canada and the US. The agency or individual worker is trying to give you your monies worth and matching local standards for home studies. Having done a few of these I can tell you it can get unbelievably involved for a lot of different reasons. I expect that most families adopting can make it through successfully. Perhaps fsamilies could really get their monies worth and use the questioning as a tool for self examination before the adoption. I suspect your back seat session didn’t give you too many new insights. Again Yippee!

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