Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dreams IN Haiti - Day 2

Well, yesterday I got to have dreams IN Haiti, instead of Dreams of Haiti. Pretty cool, huh?

Ruthlande and I got to the airport at 4:15 AM. Of course, we didn't really need to be there nearly that early, but that's when the airline said to come. The guy at the Lynx counter didn't even get there until about 5 AM. Oh well.

Ruthlande loved the flight! The plane is tiny - it only holds 19 people and you can't stand up in the plane. We were sitting in the front seat and you could see the propeller out the window. Ruthlande loved it! She was smiling and laughing and pointing out the window. Even when the plane took off - I was worried that she'd be scared because it was really noisy, but she was really excited and happy. It was very cute!! About a half an hour into the flight, she fell asleep (I was surprised she lasted that long - she had been up since 2:30 our time).

When we got to the airport, Sara and Daryl were there to meet us, which was really a relief to me because I was a bit unsure of the process once I got there. They were able to come right in and help with my bags and everything. On the way back to the orphanage we picked up Ruthlande's mama.

So, the reunion. It wasn't exactly what I had been picturing. I had imagined that Ruthlande would see her mama, light up with joy and reach for her (that's what she usually did when we would watch her video). But the whole thing was obviously very confusing for her. I handed her to Madame Mathieu and she just immediately started to cry and hold her arms out toward me. Her mama tried to comfort her, but she wasn't consolable at that point. It just about broke my heart - both because I felt horrible for Ruthlande and because I felt so sad for her mama, who just wanted to hold her little girl again when she'd been apart from her for so long. After awhile, she decided to give Ruthlande back to me so that I could hold her for most of the ride back to the orphanage. We were encouraged when her mama handed her her cell phone and Ruthlande played the "pass the object back and forth" game with her, but she still wouldn't go to her without crying. It was so strange and awkward because I wanted to comfort Ruthlande of course, but at the same time, I desperately wanted her mama to be able to comfort her instead.

When we got back to the orphanage, I caught a glimpse of Noah looking through the gate at the "visitors" (along with lots of other little ones). It was awesome to see him again in person. He looked like such a big boy! I then slipped away into my guest room so that Ruthlande could be with her mama without me there. With me out of the room, she eventually calmed down. I went over to the orphanage (from the guest house) and saw Noah. I'm supposed to keep a low profile while I'm here because they've had issues with kids feeling really abandoned when their adoptive parents came and left again. I don't refer to myself as Mommy and I only play with Noah in a group. It felt a bit strange, like I was stalking him, just watching and wanting so much to just swoop him up and say, "Hey, it's me!!" But it was still amazing to get to see him again. He was playing with a cup and some little toys and jumping around so playfully - I thought how perfectly he'll fit in with our kiddos at home. I did get to pick him up at one point and played with him by leaning over and letting him "fall" backward. He loved it and cried when I put him down, which broke my heart, of course.

We then went to Madame Mathieu's house, so I got to see where Ruthlande lives and meet her family. Her sister had been so excited to see Ruthlande again - Madame Mathieu said that she had woken up that morning very early and said, "Now, go get Ruthlande! Bring Ruthlande home!" The kids were a bit reserved when we got there - I'm sure it was all strange with me being a stranger and because Ruthlande was back to crying and reaching for me. I'm sure it's not what her brothers and sisters were expecting. Still, they were so gracious! They let me take some pictures so I can show Jaden and Danielle where Ruthlande is living now. The kids got all dressed up for the pictures - it was so very sweet! I said goodbye to Ruthlande, which was bittersweet, of course. I know that things will go back to normal for her quickly. This whole experience must have been so confusing for her. I'm still glad that I brought her back here myself. I think the entire trip would have been traumatic for her if she'd made it with someone else. And I'm so glad that I had the privelege to meet Madame Mathieu and to see for myself where Ruthlande lives.

Back at the orphanage, I was surprised to find that all of the older kids knew that I was Noah's mommy. I went out to them and they all swarmed me, sitting on my lap, pulling at my skirt, playing with my hair (not necessarily gently - but they weren't trying to be rough). All the while, they were all yelling "Mama Louines! Mama Louines!" (Apparently, he still mostly gets called Louines). I was so shocked and baffled, I really wasn't sure how to react. So much for keeping a low profile!! Noah wasn't there at the time, though, and I'm hoping that he's young enough that he doesn't really understand. The last thing I want is for him to feel abandoned by me! Later, I played with him and one other little boy and I got to see how he interacts. He plays really well and he was so cutely trying to keep everything cleaned up. Nelson would throw crayons on the ground and Noah would go and pick them up. I saw his naughty streak too - he saw Nelson run away with a piece of paper and throw it on the ground and saw that I told him "No." So, then he got this cute sneaky look on his face and picked up another piece of paper and ran with it, looking back at me smiling that cute "I'm getting away with something" smile. He then peeked around the tree at me, smiling still. I told him "No, Noah", but I couldn't help but smile myself a little. It's so nice to see his personality - all sides of it!!

I went to bed early last night, of course. Sweet dreams in Haiti. And today is another day.

1 comment:

Ericka said...

I have all the backpacks ready for Ruthlande's sibs and some lotion for Mdme Mathieu. Do you have an idea of a little something else I can get her before I ship off the box?
Thanks so much!!!!!