As you may notice, I am writing a post about this past Monday and how busy it was for us at All Things New. The funny thing is that I was planning on writing this blog Monday evening, but things have just been…well, busy. So I am going to try to remember all the things that happened on Monday and tell you about what my day looked like on the kids’ first day of school. The good thing is, this time, if you don’t believe me, you can ask Jenn DeLoach, Jenn’s son Christian, Karen Whalen, or Jill Atter because they were all there taking part in this crazy day.
As I mentioned before, and as you have probably seen on our Facebook page the past few days, Monday was the first day of school for our kids. Just like the tradition for most of you in America, we go down to the kids’ house early that first day and take individual and group pictures of all of our kids. When we arrive there is always a great sense of excitement accompanied by a little bit of fear and a lot of uncertainty about how the year is going to go. There are always people scrambling to get ready, boys realizing that they don’t really know how to tie a tie, and girls having belt/hair/shoes/etc. issues that pop up at the last minute. All of that to say that our day started off early and it started off fun. The first day of school with 28 kids is pretty crazy, but it is a lot of fun.
Usually the first day of school also marks the first day of routine and getting back to normal for our family as well. We can usually relax a little knowing that the kids will be occupied for the large majority of their day. This past Monday, however, did not go according to plan. Instead, I then made a quick trip to one of the schools to finish paying the last bit of tuition. I left from there to run an errand in Leogane and to purchase drinking water. On my way home, I was flagged down by our 6 older boys outside of the school. They had apparently not been allowed in because they missed a meeting 2 weeks prior and rather than small individual belt loops on their pants, they had one long piece of fabric going 3/4 of the way around the pants. I stopped and got them back into school and promised the Director that I would get their pants fixed. I was in a long line of other parents whose children had also been kicked out of school.
After leaving the school, finally, I came back home just in time to see Elijah’s and Jess’s new haircut (thanks Jen), to see Sophie get her very first haircut ever, and then to get one for myself. It was much needed for all of us, just kind of funny that it happened in the middle of everything else. Then we had lunch followed by a meeting with one of our employees which was then followed by a meeting with our nighttime security guards. We are changing their schedule around quite a bit and it took me a really long time to explain to them what was happening. When that meeting was over we walked down to the kids house at around 3:30 to make sure they were doing well and that everyone had gotten home ok. Jess had already been down there at 1:30 when they all arrived, but we wanted to find out how their day went. We told our security guard to call us as soon as the social worker arrived so that we could get back up to the house and talk to him about how to proceed with Ezekyal’s guardianship and then Visa. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that we have a social worker now that we are working with moving forward and we like him a lot.
At a little after 5:00, while we were feeding Sophie and Elijah, the social worker showed up. We thought we were just meeting to go over the next steps, but it turns out he was prepared to do our home study. What we thought was going to be a 20-30 minute meeting turned into an almost 2 hour one. We started the meeting while we were feeding Sophie and Elijah and then Jessica’s Mom, who was luckily staying with us, took the kids out to swing while we continued with the home study. Interestingly enough, a Haitian home study is very similar to an American one. When 6:40 rolled around, Jessica finally told the social worker that we really had to put the kids to bed, but that we could do a tour of the house and I could stay with them to answer any other questions. It turned out that the home study was actually finished, and the tour of the house was the last thing he needed to do. He and his assistant, and Mackenson who we called at the very last minute to translate for us, walked out of our door at about 6:50 followed directly by us bathing and putting Sophie and Elijah to bed. At 7:30 the kids walked in for service and at 8:00 our day was finally finished.
I know there have been busier and crazier days for us here, but I do remember at noon looking at Jessica and her Mom and saying something along the lines of, “I am really tired, this has been a really busy day already.” Little did I know that I was going to have an hour long meeting with security, find out that one of our security guards could not work for a week because of a broken foot, and then have a surprise home study done while we fed our children. Just so you know, the boys got their belt loops fixed, and it has been a wonderful first week of school. I can’t wait to update you on their progress throughout the year, and please keep praying that they study hard and work for their goal of graduating.