As you probably know, this past week was a busy week of making final decisions about where we would move our kids. It looks like we will be moving them on Wednesday or Thursday of this week and we are all very excited about it! There are some difficult things that we will have to face to start with. In the beginning the kids will not have consistent electricity which is ok because they used to not have any at all and I brought A LOT of flashlights with me this time that we will leave with them. We are still trying to figure out the water situation and we will begin by purchasing 5 gallon containers for drinking and using well water for bathing. Jess and Sophie will be moving down soon, but we will have time to fix these issues prior to their arrival and we have already begun to work. I have updated the “our needs” page to include some of the things we will need to have in place prior to their arrival if you would like to donate towards that end, please click here. The bottom line is we are ready to move and we are excited about the place we have chosen. Here is how we ended up where we did…
As you recall, I made a trip in January that culminated in a decision to move into 2 houses where 1 would be for the children and 1 for our family (click here to read about that decision). After thinking about the decision, we realized that the house where our kids would stay was only 1 floor and we were not comfortable with all of the children staying in one house with no clear dividing area. So our new plan was to move the boys into that house (we will refer to it as the “green” house because it was green) and the girls into the house that our family was going to move to (we will refer to it as the “new” house because, you guessed it, it is new) and they would live in the same house as us. This was the plan when I returned to Haiti last Thursday (Feb. 11) but things changed pretty quickly.
When I arrived the people who owned the houses were difficult to get in touch with, and especially the owner of the “green” house was nowhere to be found. In the meantime, 3 other options looked like they might open up as follows:
- The owner of a huge house (we call it the mansion for obvious reasons) that we had seen on an earlier trip called us back. Initially they were not open to having kids live there but they changed their mind and asked for $10,000/month. If you are thinking you are not reading that right, you are. It was $10,000/month. So we said no but we started the negotiation process.
- We approached Christianville with an offer that would allow us to stay on their campus .
- We saw a place in Santo (a village close by) that could easily house all of our children and our family in separate buildings but on the same campus.
So, the stage was set. We had 4 options on the table and I had no idea how things were going to turn out. Right before I left we sent out an email asking for help moving the children if anyone could come down on short notice to help. Exactly 1 person answered that email and Tracey Deavers, the missions pastor at FBC LaGrange, came down to help. In all honesty if more people had come it would have made things more difficult and if Tracey had not come it would not have been good either. When he made the decision to come down he thought he was going to be helping us move, but when he actually came down it was for far different reasons. I truly believe GOD knew I needed someone else down here with me seeing each house and weighing out the pros and cons of each different possibility we had. If it had just been me going to every place I really might have had a nervous breakdown. In addition to Tracey, our friends Frank and Jan came along and our House Mom Manager, Gina, was with us every step of the way too. It was very needed and each night when we came back Tracey and I talked out each of the options we had seen that day. Tracey even drew out some blueprints to send to Jess so she could see how the houses looked.
So all 4 options seemed to be real possibilities and I had no idea which one to choose. We were waiting to hear back from Christianville, Santo was a little too far away but really nice, the huge house was only down to $5,000/month which was still too expensive, and the owner of the green house had finally contacted me back and we had a meeting set for Thursday. In the meantime, the owner of the “new” house was really on the ball at this point. He had already sent a contract for us to look over and had begun to make plans to fix some of the issues that we needed to have fixed prior to us moving there. At this point in the decision-making process, we had options but none of them were great. They were either too expensive, not a sure-thing, or too far away.
On top of that, I have had a big time crunch hanging over my head. Not the time crunch to be out of Hope Rising by March 1 (though that played into it) but the fact that our adoption finalization hearing is scheduled for March 1! We are so excited that things are moving forward and hopefully Jess and Sophie will be down here soon. But, I really need to have the kids moved before I can go back and I will be back for the finalization hearing no matter what. This is exactly where I was sitting last Tuesday. I had not made a decision nor was I very close to making one and at the same time I was up against a very important deadline. It was at this point last week that, had Tracey not been there, I might have lost it just a little (you can ask him if I ever did but I don’t think so).
Anyway, the reason that this is part 1 is because I am going to leave it at that. If you have read this far, I plan on posting part 2 tomorrow to show you the final decision that we made and how GOD worked everything out for us at the last minute. Stay tuned…