Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Meeting our SON!

I want to tell you ALL about Welly! But I don't know if I'll be able to write everything down. :) So many feelings, so many moments, so much to tell about him! When we walked into the room to meet him, emotions were running high for all of us. There are two amazing women that run the house where all the toddlers and big kids live at our orphanage. I wish we had been able to spend more time getting to know them. They both were in the room when we walked in. Molly was the one who took the amazing pictures, and Joyce had our video camera and videoed our meeting. I think they both were as excited and nervous as Welly, Lance, and I.

As you can tell from the pictures in my previous post, Welly was grinning from ear to ear when we walked into the room. He has waited for this day for a very long time as well. He is the oldest child at the orphanage. He has been there for almost 4 years. In a couple days, I will blog about that. It is so much fun when God lets you look back and see His hand and where He was at work and you didn't know it at the time. Sometimes we get to see His hand immediately and other times, it's years later when He lets us in on what He had been up to. :) And  there are other times that we never get to see. The key is to be content in all three of those circumstances.

Welly has been waiting for a family for a long time and for him to be able to hug his Momma and Daddy was an incredible moment in all of our lives. It was so cute how shy he was at first. All he could do was grin. And he is not a shy person! Just trying to take it all in was overwhelming. For us and him. Molly and Joyce gave us hugs and left us alone with him. Joyce brought us something to drink and checked on us periodically, but for the most part it was just us and him for the entire day. :)

We spent the first couple hours just looking at pictures and videos from home. I took video of different parts of home so he could try and get a feel for what HOME looked like. He loved it! The kids had taken video of the house and their rooms for him. He loved seeing them talk to him.

My mom had sent 2 baseballs for him, so when we were done looking at all the pics, we went outside to play catch. The moment did not escape me. He was playing catch with his Dad. Think about that. He's never had a dad. And now he has the most amazing Daddy ever. And he was playing catch with him. God sustained me that day. After the initial tears when I held him the first time, I was able to keep my emotions in check. The only way that happened was by the grace of God.

He also learned how to play his Daddy's iPhone. He was a natural! Ha!

They have a basketball goal at the Toddler house. Welly loves basketball. His eyes got huge when I told him that I played basketball. He grabbed a ball and we played a game! It's been years, but I was on fire! Ha! He was SHOCKED! :) It was so cute! He said, "You're good!" He beat me, and that's when I heard the most beautiful words. He yelled at Joyce while she was walking by, "I beat my Momma in basketball!" Once again, I held the tears at bay. :)

We stayed at a guest house that the orphanage has. The best part is that is is just 2 houses up from Welly. We had to leave at lunch so he could eat with all the other kids. We had lunch at the guest house. We only were separated for an hour. Then we were able to go back and spend the rest of the day with him.

We spent the afternoon playing Yahtzee. (Which he loved.) And then Lance spent time going through a Boy Scout handbook with him. He was enthralled. He looked at it backwards and forwards. Literally! He and Lance went through it page by page. He can't wait to start Boy Scouts when he gets home. :)

Like I said. He has an amazing Daddy. Welly loves to learn. And he loves to be outside. He couldn't have a better Daddy for that. Lance was pulled out his compass and taught him how to read it and showed him which way North was so he could know which direction we all were at home.

I think one of the things that has amazed me most about our adoption journey is how God knit Welly together in his bio mom's womb, knowing he would be a part of our family, and how much his personality is like Luke's. We are continually humbled each and every time we get an update about Welly. Our orphanage is AMAZING, and they send us an update at the end of each month with pictures and a little bit more info on Welly and what he's been up to that month. Each and every time we read it we marvel at the fact that you could take out Welly and replace it with Luke and you wouldn't know it was a different person. God knew they were going to be brothers and gave them very similar personalities and interests. I can not WAIT to see what kind of trouble those two will get into! Ha!

I have to admit something. I have always rolled my eyes when adoptive parents make comments about how their adoptive child has their eyes, or their daddy's nose, or grandma's smile. I know they are so in love with their child and are looking for similarities. And now, I am turning into one of them. But please bear with me. I swear to you. He has his Daddy's feet!! Haha!

Tell me I'm lying! Lol!
Our second day was spent going to the American Embassy and the Haitian courts to file our paper work. It was a loooong day. Thankfully we had another couple who is adopting with us. It made the time pass so much more quickly!

We only got to spend a couple hours with Welly that day. He was so anxious for us to get back. He cracked me up, because he was always trying to sneak up behind me and scare me. He got me once, but I got him back! Ha! When we were walking into the building from courts, I had rounded a corner and hear Lance behind me talking to Welly. I flattened up against the wall and waited for him to come around the corner. I jumped out and yelled and he screamed and fell to the floor laughing! It was so much fun just being silly with him and seeing how much he is going to fit into this crazy family of ours!

He did find time that day to play on Daddy's iPhone again. :) He really likes Waterslide. It was pure joy to see his face light up when Lance told him we would take him to ride a real waterslide. He will not know what to think when he walks into White Water!

And his sense of humor astounds me! Joyce and I have similar personalities. She is very funny and teases the kids really hard. She and Welly have a special bond, so he really likes to tease with her and play. When got to spend the entire day with him Thursday. When we got there, I saw his shirt and started laughing. When I commented about it, he smiled huge and said "It's bacon!" The fact that he understood that kind of humor made my heart smile.

You might be wondering. And I haven't said anything about it. But his English is perfect. There is no language barrier. He speaks English fluently. He even knew things that I would have never dreamed he would know. Lance was showing him pictures of a Boy Scout campout that he and Luke had been on. When he saw a picture of a snake they saw, he said, "that's a rattlesnake." I don't know how he knew because you couldn't see the rattles. And when he was looking through the Boy Scout handbook, he saw a picture of a skunk. He called it by name and when Lance asked him if he knew what it did, he said, "yes, they spray." He's a very bright boy!

He did get the chance to talk to his brother and sisters on Wed. It was another moment that I will never forget. The girls were beside themselves, and I have never heard Luke so excited in his life. We called them again Thursday and also talked to all the grandparents and a couple friends. We joked with him that he is the most famous Haitian in Arkansas!

When we walked back to the house after talking to the kids on the phone outside the gate (we got wifi from the guest house and could call for free). we saw some bags of rice and beans piled up against a wall. We had to get a picture of him with the rice.

That rice came from Stuttgart, Arkansas. I spent the first 11 years of my life 20 minutes from Stuttgart. He thought it was so cool he ate Arkansas rice every day!

And now is when it got hard. We had to say goodbye. He got really quiet when he realized it was time. He actually tried to just ignore the whole thing. He went to the bathroom and then to his room. Joyce called him back to the room we were in and we said our goodbyes. It's not a surprise that it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life. I hugged him tight and told him the next time I saw him, it was to bring him HOME!

So here we are. Prayerfully waiting to move through the courts and be granted his VISA and passport so we can go get him and bring him home where he belongs. The average wait is 6 months. We are praying for God to move mountains and get him home much sooner. It is so hard be sitting in my home with my family knowing my son is in another country waiting for me to come get him. So I ask for your prayers. For us and for him. Especially for his heart. He is an amazingly bright young man with a depth to him that is astounding. He "gets it" all. And he knows what he is missing and what is waiting for him. We just want him home to begin his life with a family that loves him like no other.


  1. Jennifer, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about yours and Lance's time with the newest member of your family. This piece is so alive! The excitement is all over this page in your words. It made me smile knowing how excited each person in your family is including your parents. That is priceless. Welly is so blessed to be coming into such a loving/accepting family. All of you will grow so much from one another as I can tell you already have in just the few moments you've spent together. Jennifer, I still see the Jennifer I knew at Ouachita in you now, all these years later. I have no doubt yal have a crazy family but I know it's a fun and loving crazy family to be a part of. I am so happy for both you and Lance. You two have truly been blessed with so much love all around you. Thanks for sharing your story so others can glow with you. (You are glowing through your writing, by the way!!!) Wendelyn

  2. I'm moved to tears, 3 times, reading this. I've prayed so hard, and didn't know his name until now. Keep sharing. God's given me a sweet burden for your family's journey and for that boy. God has turned his weeping into praise through your love.
    Deb W

  3. Your blog moved me to tears, repeatedly. God is great. He has turned Welly's weeping to praise through your love. I'm praying, it's effortless because God brings you to my mind so often throughout my day. I'm praying you're reunited with supernatural speed! Keep writing.

  4. It ate my comment before I was finished. I was saying that I'm praying, praying, praying that Welly's home in AR soon and very, very soon!!!