We finally made it through security and I looked up and took a quick picture.
Before heading through one more security check (if you can even call it that) I wanted to head upstairs to the gift shop to get a flag for Frankie’s room. On my way I passed a guy holding a Haitian boy maybe a bit younger than Frankie. I smiled and asked, “heading home?” He said, “yes we are.” I said, “did you adopt?” He replied… “yes, and we are finally going home after such a long wait.” I smiled and said, “we are adopting too. congratulations!” As I walked away I was given another shot of hope. They do come home. One day they do come home.
We boarded the plane and took off and I grabbed Dave’s phone to snap a few pictures of the view below.
Then the tears came again and as they streamed down my face in my heart I uttered good bye again to the country that our son is from… The place that he resides until one day he comes home. Beautiful, Haiti. We will return, we will return. Hopefully in many trips for the rest of our lives.
The day started like the rest of our days had been. We woke up, got dressed and made our way to the boys home to play for a bit and then grab Frankie and bring him back to the apartment to hang out with us. But this day was obviously different. I knew we would be leaving. I knew what was coming. I did not think about it the whole trip. That was good. But I remember the first time I said goodbye this past January and I totally underestimated the power of emotion and the feeling of abandonment that I felt. It was awful. It was a big wave of emotion and then with time you get numb and forget the rawness of it. I’m not even sure if it’s appropriate to blog about it because maybe it’s too personal and some things are best kept. But then I’ve been so transparent in our whole journey that it would seem unfair not to share. Because I really think at the end of such brokenness you find the beauty that exists and to not share that would be awful in it’s own right.
After getting Frankie we went and spent some time in the pool.
The family we stayed with who manage the homes and nannies are amazing people. I’m so glad that they got to meet Dave. We are so much better as a team. I’ve loved meeting all these people in the past but it had been so good to have Dave meet them and now our relationships involve each other and not just me. Priceless. They have a pool. Yes, in Haiti there is a pool… at least 3 that I know of! It was great having it there because it was something we could do special with Frankie that he normally does not get to do. He loved it. Loved it so much that the first day he fell asleep right in the middle of eating his lunch because he had had way too much excitement. I’ve got a video of that that I will be sure to post sometime later. After the pool we headed back to the apartment and I gave Frankie his bath and lotioned him down and dressed him in some of the clothes that we brought him. And then we went on to gather our things while he played with Farmer Tad. It’s a toy that I brought back in January. I keep it with me and bring it with me when I visit. It’s something special we play and I’m hoping it helps him to associate me with. Someone gave me that idea. It’s a bit crazy I know but I think it works. He did not put it down (except to play with daddy) I felt a bit bad for packing up and taking it instead of leaving it. Oh well, he’ll get to play with it again.
We headed down to drop off some extra food items we had left with Byron and Shelley and realized we did not have many family pictures together of the three of us so Byron offered to take a few. He did a great job. Here are a few of my favorites!
Then it was time to be heading to the airport. We needed to take Frankie back to the boys home. We stopped off at the apartment one last time and then Dave prayed for us and Frankie. We kissed all over him. Told him we loved him and told him we would be back. We would be back. We were so thankful for the time we had. And then the slow walk to the gate. I mean at the time I was not thinking. Frankie was on Dave’s shoulders. We rang the bell and they let us in.
The kids were in playtime stations and a few of his friends were on the trampoline so we walked over there. He was clinging to Dave. I think he knew we were about to leave. We took of his shoes and encouraged him to play. I can’t even remember if I gave one last kiss goodbye? It was a blur. Dave placed him up on the trampoline and pulled him off of him as the nannies took him and tried to make the transition peaceful. Do you want honestly or me to fluff it at this point? I’ve got that ugh feeling just thinking about it again and the reason I need to post “starting at the end” so that I can kind of lock that part down for a while. We smiled and told him we loved him and he was crying, trying to grasp back at us and then began the awful. He started crying mama. And from that point on I heard his cries and him yelling my name and I had to keep walking… Dave following behind with his hand on me and we exit out the gate. Did we do that right? What could we have done it different? I don’t think there is ever a right way. We stood outside the gate a bit to wait to see if he would calm down. He didn’t. I wanted to go back in so bad but that would not be fair to him either. And so we just had to keep walking but I could not stop hearing the distant yelling “mamma” As long as I could hear it never stopped.
How do you process that? I’m not sure. Again I’m not even sure I should be blogging about it. I know he’ll bounce back. They all do. And I do know that it’s better for us to have been there and to love on him than to not visit at all. For that I’m sure. I think next time we need to plan to leave him when he heads to bed and then he can start a new day. It’s just that you want to spend time with him so it would have been hard not to spend the morning with him. I’ve questioned since that moment how we could have done it different. I did not feel like we did it right.
Even though there are these low parts such as the goodbye’s… What is that quote.. “It’s better to love than to not have loved at all?” Adoption is hard. It has it’s not so fun moments. BUT and it’s a huge BUT… it is so worth it. I would do what we did 1000 times over for him and to be on this journey we are on. Why on earth every family who has the means and love would not choose to give to someone who is in need of a mother or father is beyond me. Please if you even have the slightest prompting to be someone’s mamma or daddy and you have the means to do it, please think about it. It’s worth every hard time that will most certainly find you at some point. I’m sure of it.
Frankie in his life had a mamma who loved him so much. I only know what we have been told. She died shortly after giving birth to him. I do know this. She in some way found a way for Frankie to be brought to heartline and in that move it gave us the opportunity to cross paths with him. His mamma loved him. I have the bag she packed for him as proof of her love. Even the perfume so that he would remember how she smelled. Oh how she loved him. He will never need to question that. He then had no mamma but this mamma got lucky enough to come along and privileged beyond measure to have the chance to take the risk and to now be called mamma by him. He uttered my name over and over again our whole visit… “mamma” and as heartbreaking as it was to have to leave him screaming my name… I have to rest in the wonderful fact that yes, I AM his mamma now. And one day he’ll be here and part of our family. And we’ll choose to love him unconditionally like we love our girls. We already do. We’ll cheer him on in life and dare him to dream big dreams and be his biggest fan. Frankie, in the midst of your possible questions of what happened yesterday and where did she go today? Mamma hears you and I love you. And although you may not understand yet why we come and go, you do now have a momma and she loves you very very much.
And better yet, your daddy who you seem to enjoy even more than me loves you oh so much too. there is no denying who your favorite is!
Now, I’m packing up the sad tears. We’ll keep on doing life and will celebrate the day we all actually live under one roof! Who says blogging is not free therapy is crazy!
Christie Pruitt said:
Thanks for sharing. I am sitting here at work with tears running down my face.
Tamara Cosby said:
You don’t know me but I am friends with Jamie & Aaron…my heart is aching for you…will be praying for you…and Frankie, who is BEAUTIFUL!
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Thank you for rejoicing with us today. I pray that soon we will be rejoicing with you as well!
Followed a link to your blog and as the Dad of 4 great kids, I was so moved by your story. Your story is strong, powerful and a wonderful example of faith and hope.
I wish you guys only the best and will pray that God’s perfect plan will bring your beautiful son home soon. If there is ANYTHING our family can do for yours, please let me know. Feel free to email me at the email address registered here.
All the best and PEACE to you and yours.
debra parker said:
love you. love that we are walking this journey together.
So well stated….I just can’t put words to our trips…I think I will just cut and paste this blog when we return from seeing Naomi next time. Love you guys….so glad that Dave has been now. Would love to be able to sit down with him and discuss the trip. Maybe someday.