Sunday, July 1, 2012

Day #3 - Saturday

6/30/12

Again took advantage of the unlimited (though still not super fast) Internet - was up I think 2-4 or so. Very ironic - Nick chatted with me on Facebook - with our locations reversed. He was in Ridgefield and I was in Haiti. Thankfully he'll be coming back 4 or so days before I leave so I'll get to finally be here at the same time as him and hang out a little - the only complicated thing will be that Wedley at that point will be mostly totally transitioned to me by then so we won't want to be hanging around Nick and Nikki that much so we'll see how that goes.

One thing I wanted to mention that has probably already caused confusion to anyone reading this. The "official" spelling of Wedly's name is "Wedly", however even through the last year everyone in the States automatically spells it "Wedley" and in English the "ly" is more of an adverb thing so we have been considering/planning changing it to "Wedley" at some point. So in the meantime all the official paper work is Wedly, and sometimes I use that and sometimes I'll add the "e"! We'll figure it out before we having him start write his name I guess.

This morning I slept in again, 7:30. I was worried about sleeping before coming, but haven't had any problem - so very thankful for that. Quick shower and shave and headed up to find Wedley already up (We'll use "Wedley" today!). I walked through the door, and Wedley shouted "Nikki, Daddy's here! Daddy's here!" They had already had breakfast so we went out played the back and forth with the tricycle and Cozy coach. Then I asked Wedley if he wanted to read so he went and picked out some books and we sat in the rocker and read a few books. When reading point out all the different key items in the book (Dog, sheep, cows, cat, moon, books, trees, etc etc etc). Also will count things - he does surprisingly well, I'm not sure how high he can go yet - most of the things are in the 5-8 range. We practice colors while reading as well. He's best with Yellow and blue, struggles a little with Green and Red. He loves to repeat words of new things - one favorite today was "lady bug". After reading the books we got our shoes on and went out for a walk with Nikki and Eventz. We walked over to the neighboring compound (Manna) - they are gone for the summer so it’s totally pleasant, cool, and vacant over there. We tried to get the boys to run around and expend some energy - though it Wedley at first wasn't up for it - he was insistent of keeping hold of my hand. Gradually he warmed up to being ok with walking around separately and we did some chases and races as well. Also did some swinging of both the boys - they love it and as typical of children everywhere come right back with "AGAIN!". Quickly, especially since we were in the sun I got too hot and started to sweat so needed to take a break and get in the shade before it got out of control.



We walked all over the compound - Eventz pulled us back to the Land cruiser ('Truck') - he has an extreme love for trucks. We looked a lizards crawling on the building. Toby and Priya, 2 of the dogs, came with us and were chasing some chickens that were over there. Priya (Roxy's daughter) did finally catch one of them much to Nikki's chagrin. That bird/chicken didn't make it needless to say. At one point Wedley picked up a branch that looked a lot like a pitch fork (3 pronged) and spent a good twenty minutes "raking" the leaves as we walked around.Next we walked back to COTP and was able to grab some oatmeal while Wedley played with Eventz in the courtyard. Oatmeal was very good - I could eat is in place of my regular version of Oatmeal breakfast. Next we went to the playground area and had some play time there - really just trying to spend as much play time with Wedley as possible - he may get spoiled with it, but that's okay - it’s the best for the transition and attachment. Activities included the teeter-totter, zip line (Nikki got some videos!), and then under the play structure loading a dump truck and moving it and emptying it numerous times. That one was tough to leave - Wedley really enjoyed that. Got some pictures there too - I set the camera up and took a picture - then Wedley insisted that I take a few more.




Finally coerced him to move on and we did a little more walking around the mango tree and then headed to my bedroom on the first floor / guesthouse where I've been staying (Nick and Nikki, and thus Wedley live upstairs). I took him into the room to start to familiarize him with my room - mentioning that he would nap in there and stay with Daddy. Wedley grabbed some books and we read more. The first book Wedley grabbed had a big airplane on the front. Wedley kept pointing and saying "Daddy, Airplane!". Was a perfect book to talk about taking a ride on the airplane together. I pointed to the people in the airplane and said "There's Wedley, There's Daddy!". Right in the middle, Wedley stopped me and said "Daddy, Airplane!". I said yes, Airplane - but he tilted his head to the side and said it a couple more times. I realized that he was hearing an airplane pass over head! I didn't notice, but he was keenly aware. Wedley then spotted the toy that I brought for Wedley for our ride home (Thank you Matt and Emily Whitton!) - I showed it to him - it is a little plane on top of handle (with candy in it, be we didn't look at that part) - you pull the trigger and the propeller turns and makes wind and the front makes really really cool lights (I mean cool - Daddy wants one too!). Wedley was enthralled with it. Might have been a mistake, was difficult to go back to the reading. After that we read I think 7 more books. 



Breaking from the book reading, we walked around the courtyard a bit and went into the baby house and grabbed a bowl of cream of wheat from the baby house. Wasn't sure what it was a first - the top had a nice thick crust so at a glance I thought they might be bowls of hardening grease! But one of the Nannies handed me a bowl so I realized it was lunch! Wedley was eager to eat (as usual) so we took it into the volunteer house and began the meal ritual (clothes off, wash hands, get water, eat). Wedley is a clean eater, not sure why but it surprises me. I ate some more oatmeal (cooler now after sitting out for a bit, no complaints!). We finished eating, cleaned up (washed hands, face), changed a super soggy diaper (negligent daddy), and we both laid on the bed for naptime. For a few minutes we laid there and Wedley kept looking at me and looking around. I then offered if he wanted to sleep next to me - he jumped at the opportunity and snuggled up next to me, laying on my arm. I was staying with him so that he would fall asleep and before you know it I had drifted off. I woke up and he was asleep! (Yesterday by himself in his own room he hadn't been successful at falling asleep). I decided to make the attempt to get out from under him so I could get up and work on some things and was successful and he was left peacefully napping in my room. Another step in the process!





While Wedley was napping, talked with a couple from Wyoming (Nathan, here with his wife Lisa). They are working towards adopting a special needs boy (Moses) who was abandoned in Port of Prince. They however have a rough situation as they are just starting the process and just in the last month all the Haiti adoption rules have been thrown in a lurch so there is so much uncertainty on how things will turn out, how long things will take etc. Under the old "known" process they would likely be a year+ away and who knows under the new changes. They are here for a week or so and are realizing how hard it is going to be to love on Moses for a week and then leave not knowing how long it will be until they would be able to bring him back. They also have a number of items where they don't qualify (at least against the "old" rules") - so they seemingly have some risk of road blocks as well. I can tell it’s going to be very hard for them, praying God will give the grace they need.

Came into my room after quite a while and Wedley was awake, just quietly laying on the bed. I sat down and he slowly got up - first thing he did was point to the bag of diapers - "Diaper." Then he walked over to the sheet on the floor that we're using for a diaper changing place, and laid down. Sure enough, needed changing... After nap we tried to go outside, but Wedley kept pulling me back into the room and saying something, but I couldn't figure out what it was. He said it over and over and when I tried to go out with him he started getting agitated. Then Carla who was outside suggested he might want a snack, and I realized that is most definitely what he was saying. So we had a snack and things seemed to get better. Then we also got out the airplane toy again and he played with it for a while. Eventz came in at some point and Wedley shared it for a little bit. After all of this tried to go out again, but on the way out Wedley saw some of the volunteers working on some vitamins and snacks for the kids and so he wanted some. Wedley has had some significant food issues, from which he has improved quite a bit - Nikki says there was a time when he would eat until he was sick. Now still if he sees food he wants it - so I told him he already had a snack and couldn't have it he started to pull me back very strongly. I picked him up and headed outside where he broke into a stronger cry. I sat down on the stairs and cradled him holding him close while he cried. He slowly wound down as I held him and I started walking around the courtyard while cradling him. He became quiet, but very sullen. After a bit I started walking out from the Mango tree toward Manna still holding him. I walked over there and walked the shaded paths for probably 15min and then sat next to one of the vacant for the summer houses and sang a number of songs still cradling him tight. Wedley just sat pretty much expression less burying the side of his face in my chest and holding on to my back with his right arm. It’s very peaceful, quiet, with lots of space with no one around over there - so a nice place to get away. In the middle of the singing I was momentarily interrupted by a huge thud about 10 feet away - a large coconut fell from a tree, probably from 20+ feet up. Yikes, wouldn't want to be under one of those. At some point Wedley broke from his trance when he saw a bird. "Bird Daddy Bird!". From then on we started pointing out the various lizards and birds, a chicken in the bushes, ants working feverishly on a decaying mango fallen from the trees above (these are a common sight).

We got up and walked around, I offered to put Wedley on my shoulders and he gladly accepted. We played a little walk around game where wherever he would point I would go. He started pointing us back to toward COTP - first through the school which is between COTP and Manna. He asked to get down and tried sitting in 4 or 5 different school desks that were positioned throughout the open air classroom. Then the request to go back on the shoulders, with the reminded "please" and we were up and walking again. Through the gate to COTP and by the laundry area. Multiple Nannies greeting us (mostly Wedley) and lots of smiles and hello's in Creole and English both. We continued on through the play pavilion, past the play structure, past the rabbits (and of course noting them) and toward the new construction. We stopped to look at the goats and cows. (of course all along - "Cow Daddy, Cow... Goat, Daddy, Goat". "Baaa" "Mooo". We said Hi to Wilson (one of the Haitian staffers) on the to reaching Nick and Nikki's new house which is not finished, but pretty far along. Once inside we played some construction. Wedley grabbed some snips and we spent some time cutting leftover scraps of screen material - making sure to keep my fingers out of the way so as to not get them snipped - I held, he snipped. Then he worked some imaginary nuts with a large crescent wrench. The Dewalt flashlight was fun and bright, though he struggled with the switch, which was a little hard to depress. Next we found a tape measure and Wedley would hold the end to each wall while I pulled the tape to the other side of the room and called out the measurement. I think we hit most all the rooms in the house - including Eventz and Josiah's room which a recent youth pastor artist has painted a 2 wall mural of a jungle with nearly perfect Madagascar characters, especially Chris Rock's Zebra! Is classic, I should get a picture.

Done with the tools we headed back - how can I say "No" to a sweet little request to go on my shoulders again. We walked back and went in and got some water and Sat under the big mango tree and re-hydrated. Wedley sat in the Red Rider wagon and I pushed him back and forth (while I was sitting) for a while. Then we decided to go on a Wedley directed Wagon ride - as we passed the gate he asked to go outside the compound, so we did and headed down the bumpy gravel road. We got a ways along and noticed that we were being followed by Eventz trying to catch us running along the road - Nikki and Josiah not far behind. Turns out that Eventz saw us leaving and asked Nikki if they could go "with Wedley". We all walked further down the road and stopped at a place where there used to be a pond that the kids would throw rocks in - no water now, but rocks were thrown anyway. When stopped, several young males stopped by and started bugging me to give them something - this is pretty common. Lots of the locals probably only know a few phrases, something to that nature "Give me something", or they rub there tummy and point to themselves. These guys had some more phrases - "Mister, give me something." I motioned that I didn't have anything (which was true) - except - then he started pointing to the ring on my finger that I give it to him. Right, I didn't see that happening. Nikki wandered over and spoke to them to help fend them off. It is interesting as well, that walking around with Wedley I think that I can feel the people looking at me a little strangely - I'm sure that it is something that I will need to get used to. Back home we are going to stick out like sore thumbs and will get stares all the time with I'm sure some comments as well.

After a little more rock work (Wedley had a dump truck with him so we filled it with rocks and dumped it a few times) the kids hopped in the wagon and we started moseying back. Most of the way back we came across a bunch of guys getting ready to play some soccer in the field. I think it was a "Practice" actually, potentially was going to be a game. The one with the whistle was either a coach or referee. We sat down to watch. Wilson from COTP arrived (to play) on a Moto and before he started Eventz was hoisted to the Moto and they went for a little ride. Realizing that it was already 6pm (dinner time) and since the biting ants had started doing what they do best to my legs - I asked Wedley if we should go back to get some dinner. He of course was on board for that plan. As we left we watched Eventz (endless energy) race off after the soccer ball that the men were using. Then they were doing laps (jogging) for warm ups. There was Eventz falling into line and running as well, was pretty funny - I guess he did like three loops with them. A number of the guys (in addition to Wilson) knew him and were cheering him on. Later the goalie that he kept stealing the ball from though I think got fed up. :-)

We got back to dinner and there were thankfully a couple bowls of something at the baby house. We grabbed one and brought it back to the volunteer house. Went through the hand washing, water filling, and shirt off procedure, prayed, and then Wedley dug in. He was at full speed tonight - food was gone in no time. I cooked up a couple fried eggs and had an egg sandwich. After grabbing all the stuff I thought I needed for Wedley sleeping in my room (tooth brush, shampoo, kid toothpaste, books) - we got ready to start the bath/shower routine, but found no water. Turned out that something was wrong with the water and it was out (was later remedied) - but the Wedmeister didn't get a bath tonight. 



But we did the rest - read the three books, sang alphabet song, amazing grace, and prayed. One thing was that in the picture book, there is a picture of Wedley's Moose stuffed animal - he saw it and immediately looked around for it - it was something I forgot to grab out of his room - so later retrieved it. Then we turned the lights out and started trying to go to sleep. Wedley was restless - I drifted off a little and when I woke I could tell he was still squirming. I wasn't sure if he was partially out or not so I tried to sneak out (to work on this blog, pictures etc) - as I grabbed the door handle I heard a whimper - so that wasn't going to work. Back to bed. Tried multiple different things to see if something would help. Tried Wedley right on my chest for a while, he seemed to like and probably great for bonding, but still he was squirming every minute or so - changing positions. Then moved him off to the side again with my arm around him (like at nap time). Still he was squirming. So I tried humming "Go to sleep" over and over. He seemed calmer - I don't know how many times I did it, as several times I was putting myself to sleep drifting off. Once or twice I stopped and he started to rustle a little so I started again. Then I did drift off, when I awoke he was asleep. 2.5 hours to go to sleep! It was now past 10:30. Hopefully that will not be the norm, I'm sure it was due to such a big change. One of many Wedley - get used to it! Then I was able to slip out for a bit to get some things caught up. Tomorrow we go to church with Wedley's papa, that should be interesting...

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