After a very long check-in in Seattle that resulted in leaving Chris’ BB gun (my gift to him – boo!) with Joel because we didn’t know it needed to be in a locked hard case (Doh! Memo to self – check the website), the possibility of paying way to much for overweight luggage, the graciousness of a very kind ticket agent, getting sent to the ‘special search’ line and later finding out that the water bottle that I thought was empty was in fact very full and was missed by the special searchers, we arrived back in Haiti yesterday morning, sans two of our four bags. I’m not sure how that worked out because we got the second and fourth ones to get put on the conveyor belt. It’s becoming more and more apparent to us that we jinx each other when we travel at Christmas. Until Chris and I were traveling together I never lost luggage. Neither did he. Since we started traveling together in December 2005, each Christmas has meant that at least one of us has been disconnected from our bags for several days. In the end they always show up, it’s just more of a pain on the Haiti end of things. It’s like getting slapped with the “You’re not in Kansas anymore” thing, as soon as you get off the plane. Or anywhere in the first world for that matter. Having *delayed* luggage, as it’s now called (though I still believe that it’s lost if they don’t actually know where it is), means that we have to a) figure out when it’s coming in; b) figure out whether it’s us or someone else that will go pick it up; c) hope and pray that the person working the desk that day actually knows what they’re doing and doesn’t have issues with getting a little assistance in actually finding the bags. The whole thing is nauseating to think about so I’m just trying not to. But then, something enters my mind like “Oh man, Chris’ stuffed toy that he loved to death as a child and was passed on to us by Mum is in the bag! Gah!” Then I tell myself to breathe and force thoughts of something else, like the fact that my house needs cleaning, into my head. I call it my I’m Not Stressing Out place. Happy would be a stretch.
That said, it feels good to be home. It feels good to be in my house, using my things, splaying my stuff around again. It felt good to sleep in our own bed last night. So good we let ourselves sleep in two hours and called it adjusting to the time change. That was a first because Chris is usually telling me that we need to get up and set a good example for our staff. For the record I was the one that set the alarm, he was the one that told me to turn it off.
The rest of our holiday was good. The few days after Christmas were spent with family, just hanging out. I got to go over into Portland on Friday with Abby and Missy, and was introduced to Powell’s Books. If you’re a book lover and are ever in Portland, you need to allot yourself several hours to hang out in Powell’s. They have everything. If you think I’m exagerating, just go. You’ll see what I mean. I spent an entire hour in three/four rows in the children/parenting section. The great thing about Powell’s is that they sell new and used books that are in great condition. If you shuffle through the stack you can often find great deals on books that are in great shape. For any parents that have adopted from Haiti I found a beautiful book called Beatrice’s Goat. It’s about a girl from an African village who’s family receives a goat and how their lives change because of it. It might seem strange that I’m recommending a book about Africa for Haitian children, but it’s because the pictures are amazing and the story could be about any rural Haitian family. Heck, you could even change that part as you read it and it would be accurate. Anyway, it’s a beautiful book that teaches kids about what goes on in third world countries and would be good for children that have been adopted to share with them part of the reason that they might have been adopted.
That night Chris and I did something we don’t get to do here, mostly because there’s really no place to go – we went on a DATE! One of our visitors in November gifted us with a night out and because Chris was sick for so long and the options here are few we decided to go out while we were on vacation instead. We headed back into Portland to go to a McMinniman’s Theater. McMinniman’s are restaurants/pubs that was started by a set of brothers, and they’re all over the west coast. What they’ve started doing is buying old buildings, like schools etc and turning them into pubs, with accommodations and theaters. We went to the Kennedy School, and old school that has several little bars, a big restaurant/pub, many rooms and a theater. You can actually order your dinner and have it delivered to your seats in the theater. Doesn’t sound that exciting? The theater seats are all couches and squishy chairs. We were able to get admission ($3/person), a shared order of fish & chips, two beers, and a large popcorn for $32! Seriously, where can you get dinner, a movie and popcorn for that price. And the movie was The Darjeeling Limited – a totally new movie. It was really fun. I especially liked that we could cuddle up on the couch and watch the movie.
We headed back up to Seattle to spend New Year’s with friends. We now know that we are old married people. We realized this when we couldn’t even get through the movie we were watching with Joel and Trina and packed it in around 10:30 pm. Don’t worry, I woke up at 12:01 am and wished Chris a Happy New Year. Lame when you consider the hype that New Years involves. I did hear the fireworks going off and for a very brief (very, very brief) moment considered getting out of bed to see if I could see them. Then I rolled over and went back to sleep. Sigh.
I had all these things rolling around in my head that I could blog about. Then, as normal, they all vanished into thin air before I started writing. I realized that if I blogged when the iron was hot so to speak then maybe I’d have some more insightful things to share with you, but then again I would be sitting in front of my computer ALL DAY LONG. And I would never get anything done. And right now my house needs some love.
I’m sure all of you are wanting an adoption update too. No, no baby yet. We did just get back yesterday and I have to admit, I’m kind of relieved that John told Chris he thought we were coming back on the 9th. Most of the baby bits and pieces are in the bags that are on their way (see, I didn’t say ‘lost in the void’ – I’m believing that they really are *delayed*). Once we get that stuff back here we’re totally ready for Little Miss R to make her grand entrance into our lives. Well, at least as ready as any first time parents can be. I wish there were more words to describe the excitement that we’re feeling. It’s sort of this bubbling and brewing thing that’s happening under the surface. It’s there, we’re just trying to keep it at low hum right now I think. It does kind of burst out every once in a while in funny ways.
I realized on the plane (because flights across the country give you plenty of time to think) that we’ve entered the waiting phase of the adoption. The first of many stages that involve waiting I’m sure, but this is the first phase for us. We’ve done everything we can to get ready, now we wait for our daughter to make her appearance. There’s that part of me that wants to kick up a fuss and tell someone that I don’t want to wait any more. I don’t. But I do. I do because I need a few days to shift gears back into Haiti mode and to get the house tidied and to get the rest of our stuff here. But there’s only so much tidying that can be done before there is no more cleaning, folding, sorting etc to do. We got to spend time with our friends baby over the last week and it made me so excited for all the things that we’re going to get to experience when ours comes along. Smiles, giggles, seeing development happen, crying fits, growing as people and parents, and just being a family, not just an ‘us’. It’s all very exciting and I want it to start soon, but I’m also thinking of all the ways it’s going to change life for us and around the mission. It’s going to be interesting trying to teach classes later this spring with a baby in tow. Hosting visitors will be completely different. Yet, I’m so looking forward to all of it. I want to be a mom. Chris wants to be a dad. We’re so there right now that it’s hard not to think that we’ve already been waiting for this process to start for so long. I keep reminding myself of how long most adoptive parents have to wait, knowing that their children are there, loving them from a distance, and just waiting until they can hold them. I feel blessed that we get to do things a bit differently. So, so incredibly blessed. I go through all the wonderings too. Wondering what she’ll look like. Wondering how big she’ll be and hoping that we’ll have what we need to clothe the little munchkin. Wondering what it’ll feel like when we first get her home and the reality that life is completely changed for the rest of our lives settles in. Wondering what it’ll feel like when she does all the firsts. Wondering how long the process will take until she’s legally ours. Wondering how hard it’ll be to experience all of this while we’re so far away from our families. Wondering if we’ll be good parents and if we’ll know what to do when the crises hit. Wondering…and yet being totally excited and feeling as ready as can be.
I hope you all have a stellar rest of the week. We’ll just be hanging out. Troy and Phoebe are back so we’ve invited them over on Saturday. It’ll be nice to start seeing our peeps again :) It’s the thing that always makes me feel like we’re ‘back’. Like the picture is complete.