Thursday, March 5, 2009

Saturday, Feb. 14th

The day I had waited on for months & months was finally here- I was going to see my little girl for the first time in 9 months and it was the first time going knowing that she was my daughter. It was such a long travel day. We left Knoxville at 11pm & had an uneventful trip to Atlanta. The flight to Miami was ok (I still do not like flying!) but as we were landing the plane all of a sudden started going back up. There was a truck on the runway so we had to fly around until the runway was clear. After a quick breakfast/lunch we got on the plane to head to Haiti and ended up sitting on the plane for about an hour & a half while they looked for a piece of luggage that did not belong to anyone on the plane and then after all that they said that they had to get a new pilot for us since our pilot had been on shift to long so we had to get off the plane and were told we would not take off until 2:00. I was so disappointed, by 2:00 if our plane had been on time we would have been most of the way to the mountains. I was so close to getting to see my little girl but it seemed so far away. I was worried about the girls and their disappointment that we were not going to be there when they expected us. I know they probably spent most of the day watching for us and then we didn't come. We finally got to Port-au-Prince around 5 (if I remember right) and after a very long three hour ride on the tap-tap we finally could see the orphanage lit up on the top of the hill. Finally I was home again. I was so physically and emotionally drained at this point that I wasn't sure if I could handle it. I felt like I couldn't take a full breath. I climbed off the tap-tap and took the walk in the dark up the stony path to the orphanage. All of the girls were standing on the front steps singing and waiting our arrival. I can't tell you now what they were singing because I was looking hard to find Odette in the dark. There she was half-singing while she was looking around. The second her eyes met mine she jumped from where she was standing and ran over and gave me the biggest hug. She grabbed my hands and started rubbing my arms and touching my face and just could not get enough of just being there in the moment with me. If I ever had any doubts about the adoption path we are taking all doubts vanished in this moment. She is my daughter just like Taylor, Abby and Molly and I couldn't believe she was finally in my arms again. I kissed her over and over and told her I love her & she said "I love you Mama Allyson". Finally the words I had been waiting for months to hear in person.

I quickly wanted to focus on the other girls too because I didn't want to miss a minute- all of a sudden that energy I was lacking and the long day it took to get there was forgotten and I couldn't wait to get my arms around little girls that I missed more than I can say. Linia was grinning at me from the steps and when I said her name she ran and put her hand in mine. It felt so good to finally be back with my Haitian family. I found Madam & Pastor Gaspard who were waiting by the door with big hugs for us all. We made our way upstairs and Odette took me in her room and quickly found my lap. Wow how I had missed that. We took lots of pictures that night and gave lots of hugs. Since there was not room at the orphanage for such a big group we stayed at a Kamatin- a church and school about a 20-30 minute drive from Coq Chante. When it was time to head to Kamatin the four girls being adopted (Odette, Valancia, Benita & Dieula) got to go with us. After we finally made it to Kamatin we unloaded the tap-tap and found our rooms. Odette and I roomed with Benita and her family. Odette was so happy- she just kept looking at me and giggling. I was sad about not staying at Coq Chante but as the week went on I was very thankful for this one-on-one time with our girls. It was late that night and we all fell asleep quickly. Odette was laying on the other side of the bed but had to be touching me with at least one hand. By morning she was cuddled up next to me and had pushed me to the edge of the bed. Andy if right- she is a bed hog!

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