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Friday, June 22, 2012



Hello,

It is almost 2 months since I wrote last - with the good news that Chania was out of IBESR. I really thought the next letter I would write you all would be with info on tickets bought. NOT SO! 

I'm in Haiti. What more needs to be said?????

Chania's papers took longer to be finalized than expected. After the St Marc courts approved the adoption, it had to be sent to Northern Haiti since that's where she was born, for the adoption decree to be made there. But we got that done, and at that time I was still hopeful to be on the plane this month. 

Then the news: the Immigration officer got fired, and with the new one, new staff brought in. Now my lawyer lost all her inside contacts to speed things up. She told me this could take as long as end of July or August to get the passports. Not news that I wanted to hear. I really feel my time is up here. Money's running low, and I'm starting to worry. But I believe God has a plan, and I'm still in it!  

The passport stage means: first the adoption papers have to be taken to the Ministry of the Interior to get legalized. Then to the Ministry of the Exterior. After that to the immigration. Caleb's is through both Ministries and ready for Immigration. Chania's is through the Interior already and in the Exterior right now. Hopefully that won't take too long!!! Caleb's took a couple months for both. Which should not be necessary.

So not sure how long the Immigration will take with it's new people. I called the Canadian Embassy for help, and they said things are back to normal, so hopefully it will be in decent time. Please pray that this will get finished before end of July. I really don't have the money to pay another month's rent here, and I'm good till July 23. :) Surely that's enough time!! It's starting to feel like an unreal dream to think I can go to Canada with my babies. So many setbacks! And here mine was suppose to be a fast, easy adoption! But it seems every high official of a department got fired during my adoption time. First, the Judge for Caleb (He was through IBESR in September already, originally). Then the President (of the country) changed (that sets everything back). Then the IBESR director got fired. And now the Immigration director. Makes me wonder if there's a reason God is trying to keep me here. Or if I'm doing such a great thing is adopting these kids that the devil is hindering it all he can. Or maybe it's just 'HAITI'.




Chania is almost a year. Getting more interested in the world around her.
 


Ready to go to Canada!


Heather threw me an Adoption Celebration party, and took time to bless me and my family as we start this family together.










Meanwhile these last 6 weeks or so I've been busy. I mentioned in my last letter that I was taking in 2 babies. For those who don't keep up on Facebook, Andrew did excellently. The scrawny 4 month old is a chunky 5 month old now. Not fat, but heavy and solid. Still struggles with Bronchiolitis a lot, but he is such a HAPPY baby; he grabs everyone's hearts when he smiles. He's still waiting to find a family for adoption.

















Daniel, the little one year old has had a struggle but is doing very well right now. We had to urgently admit him with an intestinal blockage, though it didn't seem like a big problem at the hospital. I am wondering if they gave me the correct child report. He was so sick when we took him in, and then they brought him home with a 104.8 F fever, which went up to 105.1 later. I could not believe they'd send him home like that. I called the hospital next day, and they said he hadn't been sick at all in the hospital. Hard to understand hospitals here!!! He did get better next day, but had a random day of fever several days later, so am thinking there might still be something wrong with him. But now he seems to be doing good. We got him on a special formula for malnourished babies that can't eat the Mamba/plumpy nut. He did well on that, and has gained more than a kilo since I got him, which is good, considering he weighed less than 6 lbs.  Last weight a couple weeks ago he was already 8.5 lbs. Little by little. 


Then 3 weeks ago, Heather added another baby girl to my household - almost 3 month old that was found abandoned in the worse section of Port au Prince. Apparently a woman recognized the baby and reported her to the police/IBESR. When she got here, Heather called me to check her, saying she was dying. She did look bad. She was extremely dehydrated. By morning she was much better and the next day was brought to me. She has thrived on regular feedings, her skin has pretty well healed, and she has become a beautiful baby.



Rosemita, the evening she arrived




Thursday morning all three babies were moved up to another apartment on the 3rd floor. Since my plan had been to do this temporarily, and planning to leave soon, Heather made other arrangements, before she leaves for the summer. She is developing a little foster care system, with a little more one on one for some of the babies. They do well with that. (by the way, if anyone wants to come take care of a child for at least 3 months, get in touch. There will probably always be openings :)

So today felt quite empty. Kind of nice though, I'll admit. Since I still didn't sleep well last night with the babies, I had hoped to get a nap in, but .... I still have two little ones. :) Caleb kind of misses them. I'm glad they're close so we can go visit.

Most of my friends here have gone home for the summer too, so it feels kind of empty. But there's always more people to meet and get to know, and there still are some friends here.

So this is where we are right now, STILL WAITING! Please pray for patience for me, as that is getting harder and harder, the closer it gets. And pray that God would have his way with me during this time, that I can use it to grow more in HIM!









Sunday, March 11, 2012

Haiti 2012

Greetings from Haiti!

Yes, I'm still here. I noticed I haven't written on here since around New Years. Since many of you have followed my Kornelsen Adoption Saga emails, I guess there hasn't been that much else to say here.

I am still playing the waiting game. I'm thinking I must have a major lesson in patience and trusting God to learn here! The letters that we finally were able to apply for in January, after the Embassy "learned" how to do the procedures are still sitting in BC, waiting to be sent - 3 months later!!!! The only consolation I have is that I know they have been written. The frustration is in, why aren't they sending them, since it takes 3-4 weeks? I know why, but it still is frustrating, because someone didn't do their job!!! They had a confusion on Chania's name, and were putting everything on hold till it was confirmed. The problem was, nobody knew they were waiting on that. But I wrote a confirmation this weekend, to be sent tomorrow, so hopefully that will clear up the issue. And HOPEFULLY they will send a copy electronically, so I don't have to wait the full 3-4 weeks. I think Chania's adoption is waiting only for this.
Chania, 8 months old.

For those of you who didn't know, Caleb's adoption got signed Feb 6 and less than a week later I got all the paperwork. I still need to make him a Haitian KORNELSEN passport, but I'm kinda waiting for Chania's to do them together.
I took both of them into Port a few weeks ago and got a medical done that had to be done by a specific doctor since it was for the Canadian immigration. These forms get sent to Canada to be reviewed by a doctor there, and they told me it takes 6 weeks. Sadly, at the rate we're going, that shouldn't be a problem getting them back on time.

Caleb, 24 months

The weather's been getting warmer, and we've started going into the pool more this week. For awhile, believe it or not, the water was just too cool. I haven't taken Chania in for a long time, because she was having so much trouble with Bronchiolitis. But thankfully after hitting her 6 month mark, she hasn't had a bad episode. Before that, she seemed to have it every month. They say they outgrow it but can keep getting it up to 2 years. I've also been more diligent in suctioning her if she is too stuffed, and that has helped tons!!!!



Yesterday, The Canadian Embassy put on a 'meet and greet' here at the bar at Club Indigo. They've put "wardens" in each area and this was so those of our area could get to know each other betther. So basically a 60 km range maybe of Canadians were invited and some of the Embassy staff of course. The Ambassador and his wife were there too. Had never met him before; I was always dealing with the Vice-Consular. It was fun. First drink was on the Embassy.
Caleb had fun playing with his friend Olivia Rolling, but Chania on the other hand wouldn't go to any stranger, except for Ed Cashman (Vice Consul). We've met several times, and he knows my kids. :)


Canadian Ambassador Henri-Paul Normandin

On Wednesday, the President here signed a new law, initiating Daylight Savings time and yesterday (Sat) he announced it to the country, affective TODAY!!!! Talk about quick work!! I personally can't see why. The light doesn't change THAT much. I guarantee a lot of people had no idea about it. Apparently Haiti has tried it before in differnet administrations, but it's never been very successful. I'd be surprised if it were now. But I suppose it's more useful in the city than here in the country, where people rise with the light and go to bed when it gets dark, since few people have electricity. I don't think this will change those people's lifestyle much. :)

Another thing that has happened here in the last couple months is an English Christian church was born. They've named it Montrouis International Fellowship. I do believe there was a need for this, because there are so many English speaking people in this area. Even if you're involved in your ministry, it's just good for missionaries and anyone to go get an English message and worship once in awhile. I'm hoping it will cut down on so many missionary problems. Watching all the other missions around here, I've been amazed how Satan attacks everyone! And usually it is in relationships, often if not usually with other missionaries. Instead of binding together, the opposite so often happens. That is definitely something to pray about when you pray for "missionaries".
I've been really enjoying going to these. Didn't know how much I missed it. And God has been speaking to me a lot through this.

The Red Cross has been setting up these huge tents in the (my) backyard. (I can't see the sunsets now :( ha!) They've even 'built' a couple small buildings/lean-tos. I expect this week they'll be having a huge seminar or something. Can't believe they would have so many people working for over a week setting up, just for a 4 day seminar, so maybe there's information I'm not privy to. I do kind of hope these tents won't be here for very long.

The Reeves family (my neighbors) moved away from here last week. They found a house in St Marc. It's so empty without them. Poor Caleb has been missing them SO MUCH! Every day, often after climbing in my bed in the mornings, waking me up, he'll turn up his hands and shrug and say "where Justice?". Justice is his age, and they played together SO MUCH. He's trying to compute why people he knows aren't around. He'll to that with other friends lately too. One being Naomi, who's teaching at Canaan. She comes and spends the night almost every other week, so she's a "regular" here, especially when she leaves a towel or something that Caleb recognizes as hers. "Where Yaomie?" Then he'll answer is own question "Yaomi bye bye", or whoever he's talking about. It's kind of sad :( He's definitely feeling it, not having playmates around. Still, he's able to play by himself too and that's good. I just have to spend more time outside with him. Before, the Reeves' nanny would watch him sometimes too, so I could do things inside.

As you can tell, my babies are my life right now, so that's what I write about (lol). They are growing so much, and I'm really blessed to be able to spend my time with them now. Caleb is picking up on a lot of words; my he's gonna be a jabber box! Chania at 8 months, is finally learning to roll from belly to back!!! Took her awhile. She sits well though, and now that she's learned she can move herself, she's picking up fast. Sitting, she'll lunge toward what she wants. Not so safe on the bed/couch anymore! I love watching Caleb's reaction when she reaches out for him; he turns all gentle and lets her do whatever she wants. Even laughs when she grabs his hair. She loves to eat, and gets so impatient when the spoon isn't right at her mouth the minute she's swallowed!

OK, by now you're probably thinking making it up for not writing for so long by writing a long one isn't worth it :) so I'll let you go. Ha!
Thanks for reading, and please say a prayer for Chania's adoption to be finished quickly and for me to have patience!!! Thank you!

Elsie Kornelsen

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011/2012

Hello, everyone!

Here's hoping everybody spent happy holidays, and is ready to face a new year! I personally can say I'm excited to see what this new year will bring. Yes, I have several plans. But continue to remember that God directs our lives and I want to walk in that plan.
Some of the things I hope to see happen this year are 1) finish my two children's adoptions 2) move to Canada 3) visit Costa Rica at some point with my babies. 3) find a place to live 4) find a way to support myself and kiddos

I think that's a lot of changes for a year, and though some of them a bit scary, they're also exciting.

I find a look at a new year very different than I used to. Now, my thoughts go to "I wonder if anything drastic, any 'act of God' will happen this year". I always remember 2010, and how shortly into the year, with the earthquake, all of a sudden my life looked SO different. So many changes happened in less than a minute, that affected so many people. Could something like that happen again? Praying nothing so fatal, but it is exciting to think life couldchange in an instant, or over the year,in a good way just as well.It is so wonderful to know our livesour in God's hands and and He has a plan. But I also remember, if I want something tohappen, I may have to be the one to take a step of faith. 4 years ago I did that, and it definitely changed my life drastically over the long term. To the point that now I am a motherand responsible for two precious little souls!

Looking back over the last year, it's hard to believe it really is a year. So many things happened, especially emotionally for me. As a quick recap, I went from living at Canaan with a 10 month old last January, relating to a group of missionaries as well as kids and Haitian staff, to a trip home in May, to moving to my apartment in June, to starting Caleb's adoption in July, to getting newborn-size 7 week old Chania in August, to having relatives (my mom and a cousin) come visit in Sept, to patiently and impatiently waiting for the adoptions to go through to where I am now. A great year!

One thing that stands out to me that God was teaching me this last year is RELATIONSHIPS! A lot of drama and testing in that area!!! I did learn a lot, and hopefully I can go on and apply that to my life in the coming years.




Using a ticket somebody had given me, I was able to join friends for a meal at Club Indigo for Christmas eve. It was lovely! They had the candlelight tables set up by the pool. Being close, I was able to put tired Caleb to bed after he ate and return to finish dinner.

Loves her little doll. It's soft, and also like a little rattle.

Caleb has learned matching. He can now match a puzzle like this of animals. Hasn't quite learned how to make them fit.

LOVES swings.

Christmas day we went over to the Creshe. I enjoyed their little service, and all the kids got a nice gift. They were so excited. That's an awesome place! After an early lunch there, Kris and I went over to other friends of ours, where those of us missionaries that meet regular that stayed here for the holidays got together for a wonderful Christmas dinner. Awesoeme!


Both babies were sick the week after Christmas. Caleb got sick with fever on Christmas day. Monday he was fine again, and Tuesday and Wed. fever again. Chania had been coughing again for quite awhile. So I found my way to the clinic, where a Doctor friend of mine was visiting for a week. Caleb had an ear infection - easy to get rid of, and it happened to take away his runny nose as well. What a relief! He was like a faucet. Chania's problem may be a little longer lasting. Bronchiolitis. Doctor said she could be getting this very frequently till she's two or more. Don't like that! She is so congested and can't get rid of it. I've been trying to Nebulize her, but don't think it really makes a huge difference. She got worse but today her choking coughing episodes were a little less I think, so maybe she's getting better.

Kris juggling feeding Clare and Cole at the same time.

Yesterday, My friend Kris came over to spend the weekend with her two kids (1 year old twins) she's adopting. Caleb loved having company, but doesn't quite know how to treat them. Kris brought food for soup and salad and we invited another couple over for supper last night. Man, she's a good cook! That baked potato soup was amazing!!!! Then this morning she made breakfast. I don't mind having someone else cook in my kitchen :), if it can be called that! I keep the food simple. The day went fast! Our friend Heather joined us before lunch and afterwards we did a movie and had great chats. Since we're all adopting, we have a lot in common!!! It was great to spend the weekend with friends.
Oh, and last night, at midnight, I saw a new thing (probably common to a lot of you, but a first for me). Club Indigo put on a HUGE party, and gave everyone what I call a burning paper air balloon. I'm sure they have an official name but I don't know what it is. It's like a 3 ft or more paper? balloon, open at the bottom, connect to something that they lighted. That fire propelled the balloon into the air, all lighted up. They had hundreds of them, so they sky filled with floating, bright lights. SO beautiful!!!! Of course, I always enjoy the fireworks as well. Not so much their extremely loud music till 3 a.m. Didn't seem to mind the kiddos. All 4 slept right through it!!!

Excited for the coming 2012 year!!!
God bless and guide and protect you all!!!!

Elsie, Caleb, & Chania

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hospital visit

Monday, November 7, 2011

This morning as I packed up my kids and took a moto out to the Creshe, I realized how long it’s been since I left here. Over two weeks I think. About time!

I left my babies at the Creshe, and went with Heather to Saint Marc. Mondays is her day thatshe often goes to the St Marc Hospital to help. How this woman does everything is beyond me!She will go there and just do whatever she can. More often than not, it’s holding dying babies. The Haitians do not like holding their baby while it’s dying. They think there’ll be a curse of something.

Since she isa legal Creshe, they’ve called herseveral times already when they had abandoned babies there.

I had heard her stories, and wanted to see the situation for myself. I’ve been to this hospital before – lots of times, but not to thissection. They’vedone some building and remodeling.

We walked in, and Heather’s contacts, an American Pediatrician and his wife, told us we could continue bagging a 3 day old baby that had come in about half an hour before. Or we could just hold him, as he was going to die anyway. So we went to the bed in the hallway (thankfully this was a daythey had oxygen. Often they don’t have oxygen for the babies there). Here they had this little (I guess not more than 4 pounds) baby. They had stopped doing CPR.He had had a pulse of 40 when he came in (should have been 120) and then it stopped completely, so they had been bagginghim for like 20 minutes. As weapproached, a visiting pediatrician informed the doctor that he was actually breathing quite well on his own. The doctor’s like, “if this baby survives, it’ll be a miracle”, and the other one responded, “I think a miracle is happening”. He was still holding his own when we left an hour later. This baby had not been given anything but water for 3 days. Mom said she had no milk. And being smallanyway, that was too long!!!

It was kind of emotional being there. I went into the rooms – so many thin and malnourished kids!!!! They do have a malnourished program there, so that’s good. The PROBLEM is the babies under 6 months, that don’t qualify for peanut butter. And they have so many!!!! The parents are responsible to feed them, so if the mom doesn’t breastfeed, they’re in trouble. Lisa (the doctor’s wife) told me that she frequently finds a baby hasn’t had anything for a couple days. And these are often premature babies!!!! Can youimagine????

She said the hospital wouldn’t supply formula for them. Sometimes they have individual people giving, but not usually.

It was heartbreaking!! These little bitty babies, and nothing to feed them???

Another sad situation is theundependability of oxygen there. It causes a lot of deaths. They said over the weekend, 5 babies died.

The other difficult situation is the lack of staffing. I don’t know what the capacity there is (if there is such a thing in Haiti) but Lisa said they’ve sometimes had 1 nurse for 40 patients, though usually there’s 2 or 3. Usually they have one Haitian doctor and one American. They also do a lot of outpatients too. Can you imagine nursing like that? And we’re talking some are babies born at 6 months of gestation!! I saw no normal size baby – all were either too small or preemies, or other problems, like heart, etc. She said basically the only thing nurses can get done there is give meds.

What to do??? Yes, they have people trying to find solutions. But in the meantime……

If anybody would like to help donate money for milk, I would suggest going through Heather, whom they call sometimes if they have an abandoned child and she’ll give them stuff.

Heather’s website should be up this weekend, but you can still go there; I believe it directs you. Just let her know if it’s specificallyfor that.www.GivingHopeHaiti.org

I just gave my baby her fifth bottle of the day. Can’t help but think of the little ones I saw today, who haven’t had any...


Experimenting play with the fork, post dinner

My cutie pie

Saturday, October 29, 2011

My little family

Good morning,

A cousin reminded me that I haven’t posted since August. I went online and I guess it was true! I apologize to my faithful readers. Time has sped up I think, from what it used to be. I will blame it on that. J

I did however find a started blog from September, which I have just posted now. Sorry!

I feel very blessed of God. I LOVE my life. Having said that, of course it’s not perfect. I am definitelyin the waiting period. But sometimes I wonder why God gave me such a great place to recuperate. I say recuperate, because I feel like emotionally I am recuperating. I feel like I am being healed in a lot of areas; at the same time, I am learning lessons that I wonder if most people don’t learn about 20 years earlier in life; Namely, relationships with friends and fellow workers. Although, a lot of the relationship issues that I’m having probably wouldn’t come up quite that young in life; At least not my life. So I am trying to learn and be faithful to God as I go. I am grateful for the chance to learn these lessons.

Yesterday, a lady that lives here as well asked me if I don’t go stir crazy here. I told her ‘No’. I love it here. I think I get around a lot more than she does, despite my two babies. And also, I guess my focus is different. She’s waiting for a place to live to be done. I live here and am busy with my babies. I’ve always wanted to live somewhere on the ocean for awhile, by myself; me and God (and now my kids). It’s giving me a chance to get to know God better.

Having said that, yes, I do feel like I’m in a waiting period, and when you wait, you have to be strong not to get impatient. I find myself waiting anxiously for all the paperwork to be done. Not sure why, since I love it here (beside the expensiveness of it) but I think part of it is just wanting to have all the paperwork done and not worrying anymore, “what if”. In Haiti anything can happen, and I want to be free to take my little ones whenever, wherever. It’s not so much what I’m going to (although it will be good to see many of you again) since I don’t even know where I’m going, but just being able to close this chapter in my life.

OK, enough ramblings….. and down to logistics.

Caleb’s adoption is still just waiting on the judge to sign the adoption decree. This should have been done the about a month ago, but the Judge went out of the country, on vacation. And now, apparently because he was gone longer than he should have been, they have fired him and are replacing him with another next week. Our lawyer plans tomake friends with him (that’s her way of getting things done, making good relationships with key people) and hopefully get him to sign it next week. That will mean after that, he’s legally mine! YEA!!! I will celebrate somehow!! Of course, there’ll be more paperwork to do afterwards, like name changes, new birth certificate with me as mother, and of course a Haitian passport.

Chania’s paperwork has been held up more than I liked too because of the authentication of the mom’s death certificate. There's too much fraud - people making death certificates of people still alive. The dad finally did show up yesterday (He lives way up close to the northern border of Haiti) and he brought the death certificate, so now that is ready to go into IBESR, the Social Service that has to approve all adoptions. That can take awhile in there normally, but hopefully hers won’t, since I’vealready been approved for adoption.

I was happy to meet Chania’s dad (Eddy) and ask more questions about Chania. He seemed happy to see her doing so well, and that I’m adopting her but when I asked if he wanted to hold her, he said “no”. It’s gotten me thinking about emotions. What do the parents feel when they give up a child? I think not holding them is often a protective issue – they’re protecting their hearts from being attached to the child. I can see this dad can’t afford Chania, since he’s poor and has 8 other children (which is a whole different issue in my book - birth control L.) His other children are ages 4,6,8,10, 14,16X2, 18.

I don’t understand why the mom died. She had the baby in a hospital; everything was normal. She went home, ate and drank something, and then died. But God had a hand on Chania, and I’m grateful she ended up all the way over here with me. It really can only be God. Makes me realize more than ever that God intended her for me.

Vanessa, a missionary from Angel Missions who worked at getting medical visas for kids needing treatment in the US, was way up north visiting a friend for 20 days. Her car had trouble and Eddy (a mechanic) ended up working on it. He told her about his wife dying and his newborn baby. She offered to help but since she couldn’t keep her, she asked him to find a lady to take care of her, and she would provide the formula. After 15 days, she found out little of the formula actually went to Chania. The lady was giving it to other children as well. She was feeding Chania other foods too, gerber, etc.(Yea a newborn!) They said she almost died. Vanessa took her than and kept her for 5 days, and then returned to Port au Prince with her and put her in an orphanage. Again the formula she provided was given to other babies as well, and she wasn’t being taken care of well – dirty, no diapers, etc. When Vanessa met Heather (from my Creshe), she asked her to take her and give her a home, and Heather took her for me.

Yes, the first month was difficult – she was very anemic, and didn’t know how to suck, and was full of gas. But now… She is a different baby!!! So easy to take care of, and smiles so easy. (I must be the most beautiful person in the world to her, cause all it takes is seeing me, and she smiles J ) I guess that’s how that unconditional mother love gets developed, eh?

My first step in sponsoring them to Canada is done too. I just heard from Canadian immigration yesterday, that I’m eligible to sponsor them. I think now we have to wait to finish the adoption before I can do the next phase, although I can definitely get all the paperwork ready. Right now I feel a little lost of all that I need for that, but I’m hoping the Embassy will guide me in that. They get notified from the government of my eligibility, and tell me what I need, I believe. So that will be my job in the next few weeks.

So my prayer requests I guess are obvious: A quick Judge appointment to be able to finish Caleb’s adoption, fast proceedings in IBESR for Chania, and for me to know how to get ready for the application for Permanent Residency to Canada for them.

May God bless you, guide you and give you a good day today!!!!

Elsie, Caleb & Chania

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hi

Blessings from Haiti!’

Life continues busy here. My baby of 5 weeks ago is a darling, but does take up a lot of time. Although she is a LOT better now. She is taking her bottle like a normal baby, burps almost regularly, and sleeps better in between. Now I have to be very careful because Caleb also LOVES her, but lacks the wisdom in knowi ng how to care for her. His hugs are quick bumping her, seeing her in bed is a challenge to mount her and start “burping” her roughly, and when she cries, he knows the solution is the pacifier, so in it goes by force. So cute, but unsafe.

So I borrowed a play pen finally, thinking now she’d be safe. Would you know it, the first day, he found a way. He was like a cat, looking at a mouse. The screen keeping him out was strange. He’d put his nose or feet or hands to it, thinking it would give, but no. Then in a moment when I left the room (in all security thinking she was safe) he climbed my bed, and through himself in. Thankfully she was on the far end. We obviously have some training to do.

He’s also getting more bold outside. Today he headed to the ocean for the first time on his own, and actually entered it. OK, that scared me. Up until now, he wouldn’t go so far without me.

His will and reactions are also climbing, making me pray harder for wisdom and knowledge to train him. Hopefully his zest for life and energy can be channeled into proper activities.

Chania’s dad came to the Creshe on Sunday. He’s from very far away. FINALLY we were able to get some information about her. I didn’t get to meet him though and he didn’t see Chania. She is his 8th child – there’s 4 girls and 4 boys. No wonder he gave her up! That’s a lot for here. She was born in a hospital. He said her mother ate and drank some after the delivery, then died. They don’t really know why, but figured she didn’t have enough blood (a common cause here if they don’t know. After all, so many women are anemic, and don’t eat right). He had a birth certificate already made, so legally her name is Love Na├»ca Jean. I’m still planning to change it to Chania Delea, so that’s what she is to me. She is a full month older than what I thought; born July 3rd, 2011. Almost 3 months. Now that she’s gained weight and is more responsive I can believe it, but she sure didn’t seem like an almost 2 month old when she came. Makes me wonder what they were feeding her. 7 lbs at 7 weeks! She didn’t know how to suck, so they either spoon fed her or used a bottle that they cut such a big hole into that it was basically pouring in. That is, if they gave her formula. I personally doubt they did; At least not the first month, before she was at an orphanage. I have heard so many things that they feed babies here (less than a month olds) when the mom dies or is sick and they can’t afford to buy milk that nothing really would surprise me anymore. Some things they’ve told me in the past are: only tea, cookies, (these are soaked and water added to be able to drink it), flour water, rice water, etc.

So I wonder what my baby had…. Thankfully her belly is becoming more normal again. She still has a harder time getting the gas out, but that’s coming too. She was very anemic when I got the blood test for adoption done, so I’m giving her vitamins with iron, and will need a blood check basically every month. It could take quite a few months to build up. But again, I hope it was from the lack of food, and not an internal problem, which will then be solved more quickly by good formula and vitamins.

I have had some great help this last month with my babies. My cousin Jessie from Manitoba came for a one week visit and we were able to get quite a few things done in preparation for the adoption. It’s easier taking two babies out on tap taps and motos when there’s two of us. J

Then a week after she left, my mom came from Costa Rica for a little over a week. She finally got to meet her two future grandchildren! She also did some baking in my little toaster oven (a 9x9 doesn’t fit in it). AND she did my laundry by hand!

Yesterday we walked to the clinic to get a medical certificate for Chania’s adoption. It is great to see the staff there. I miss them! But I’m really glad I can be a “stay at home” mom during this time. They change so fast!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My daughter

Well, this has been an interesting week! And life changing for me.

God gave me a daughter!!!

For some time now, I have been thinking and praying about another child. I felt Caleb needed a brother. I hated the idea of him growing up as a single child. I can’t imagine a life where you’re the only one. Of course, this is me, the 3rd of 8 kids. But I just felt he needed one more, and a boy would be best so he’d have another male figure to rump around with.

So after I moved here, I have been waiting for God to send me a baby, “if it be His will.”

We plan, but hopefully we trust Him to direct. So it was with a struggle, that none of the ladies giving up their babies had boys, except one, who decided to keep her baby for 3 months “so she wouldn’t kill him”. Finally all women had delivered that would deliver before September, and I gave it up to God. Only Caleb. Well, I told myself, it’ll be easier when I leave. Settling in a new place with 2 babies would be a lot of work. I started wondering if I had made a mistake in saying I wanted only a boy. What if God had a girl for me? Was I open to that? And all of a sudden, it didn’t matter so much. Still, I didn’t know any baby girl available either. I also had a desire for one as young as possible. Living where I can take care of them right away, I wanted the bonding process to start as young as possible. I always loved it that I had Caleb from 2 weeks old.

I talked to the lawyer doing Caleb’s adoption and she said if I have another baby before his adoption is done, then she can almost tag it with his, at least a lot of the paperwork. Later would make it take a lot longer. Also, later in the year there is a chance that the law will change again, for single women. They will need to produce at least a boyfriend. (Hey, I guess one could always hire one for a few months J)

Also, there’s a law or something about newborns not being able to be adopted till they’re 2 months old.

So I gave it up to God, feeling like it would not happen. I had about a 2 week period max I figured. This is (hopefully) the last week, since I’m hoping Caleb’s adoption will get approved by IBESR this week. (fingers crossed)

Then on Tuesday I saw a note from Heather (in charge of the Creshe that does the adoptions) saying they have an almost one month old baby girl. I told her I want to see her and she brought her over.

And in came a beautiful, 3 week old baby girl. My first thought was “she’s beautiful”. (I’ll admit, I’m not one of those that think every baby is beautiful; Loveable, yes. Beautiful, let’s be honest. J) But my first impression was – beautiful!

Heather said I could keep her overnight, and pray about it, and get a feel, whether I want to keep her. And I hope she’ll never go out of my life again.

When deciding such a monumental thing, it’s hard to be objective when you have one day to decide. How do I know I don’t make my will God’s will?

But as I watched Caleb’s reaction to the baby, I just felt that I would be depriving him of something special if I did not take her. He already loves her; is thrilled with her. Of course, I still have to watch how he expresses that. His first instinct is to grab at her face; Then, her feet. But he already watches what she does sometimes like a big brother making sure she’s ok. He loves stroking her downy soft hair. (Haitian babies’ hair is incredibly soft).

He can imitate her cry as well. Sounded just like a little baby. And he’s been pretty good at not claiming my lap if I hold her; instead he’ll lay his head against my legs, and make me feel a little guilty, he’s so sweet about it.

So I feel peace about it, and have decided to adopt her.

I went to the clinic to weigh her today. OK, that’s not as easy as before, but I did it. You can pretty well do what ever you want if you want it badly enough. (Did you know that?) Any way, she’s 3.46 kg (about 7 1/2 lbs). Measures 19 ½ inches.

She was born the first week this month. I don’t have the exact birth date yet. But she’s 3-4weeks now.

I also don’t know her name yet. I think they had done a birth certificate, but if it hasn’t been ‘archived’ yet, we can do another and I can name her.

I don’t know her story very well yet but this is what I was told:

Her mother died. (I don’t know when or why)

She was left at a dirty orphanage in Port au Prince. She was there about 2 ½ weeks.

Vanessa from Angel of Mercy Mission rescued her and she was kept at their clinic till now, while they looked for a family. They thought they had one but it fell through.

They are associated with the Comfort Ship (They do the consults there). Heather had to take one of her babies there and when they found out she has a Creshe, they begged her to take her and find a family for her.

I think God picks your family, whether by birth or otherwise. He picked a couple beautiful kids for mine.

So my prayer requests:

1TThat the adoption will go smoothly and quickly as I start this. Most of my documents are good for this one too, and will make it easier. Her age is good too. Since she’s already almost a month, we only have to wait about a month, and hopefully that’s all the time it’ll require to finish it up.

2) That we will adjust as a family – Caleb since he doesn’t have mami all to himself any more and me to being busy and not getting full nights of sleep, and it being harder to get out for grocery shopping, etc But God provides friends to help, and I’m grateful!

Happily,

The Haitian Kornelsens

Elsie, Caleb, & “baby girl”

Enjoy the pics!