So our boy, Lovence, is going to be a rock star.
Or at least he’ll be on America’s Got Talent playing a frying pan with wooden spoons. He has a gift. I just know it.
That’s how we started day three. It began when we walked in to see Lovence and he immediately held out his arms and gave me a big smile.
“Wow,” said M. “He doesn’t usually do that!”
I felt a mama kind of pride and held him close.
We helped him eat some breakfast and then played ball before moving on to drumming the frying pan. Brian and he got their little rock band going and I was already projecting into the future to sound proof walls and a separate man-cave out behind the house – full of bongos, tambourines and electric guitars. You can check out the video here:
After the concert, we scooped up Lovence and set him on my lap. Brian had his i-pad and let him hold it. True to form, Lovence immediately began moving things around, opening and closing apps. I brought up the camera feature so he could see himself. Clicked a few shots.
Time was flying by, and our ride to the airport would get there soon. M gave us Lovence’s first pair of shoes and hair from his first haircut. “He wouldn’t take off his shoes when he first got here,” she said. “It was his first pair ever and he absolutely loved them. I want you to have them.”
We looked in the envelope that she also handed us. The hair they had cut was light in color from the malnutrition.
What an honor to have these mementos, to take them home with us to place in the room we will prepare for our sons.
We went from Lovence to the playground where a young woman was holding Laurentz. The minute he saw Brian, he reached for him. He was totally content as Brian cradled him in his arms.
Our hearts and minds were full of warm fuzzies, so we were utterly unprepared for the chaos of the airport. When we got out of the car, a sharply dressed young guy immediately grabbed me by the arm. “Come with me,” he said. He pulled us past a huge line that was waiting against the building and dragged us toward a much shorter line on the left.
He stopped for just a moment to grab Brian’s computer bag with his other hand. “Come with me, sir.”
It was tough to figure out what was going on.
Until his next words.
“You tip me well, right? I help you out. You tip me well?”
Brian and I looked at each other… wishing we could get out of this, but not sure if we should try. Brian pulled out his wallet and the man gave him a harsh look, “No sir. Not here. Keep it quiet.”
Meanwhile, he was pushing past folks as I was apologizing right and left. “Sorry, sorry about that. Yeah, he’s got me by the arm. Ew, sorry about your toe. Oops, forgive me.” I tried to wiggle my hand free, but he turned to give me a look. “Don’t get me in trouble.”
Me? Get someone in trouble?
An official man stopped our little train. “Are you in first class?” He asked me.
“No sir,” I said. Brian shook his head too. Nope, not us. Not in first class. I was actually hoping to get busted. Cutting in line is on the top of my no-no list. We didn’t sign up for this ride!
The official looking guy started yelling at the other guy who was dragging us along. Our guy looked at us. “See how much trouble I get in for you? I could lose my credentials!”
I was hoping the official guy would send us back…. but he was actually part of the whole show. He was just trying to scare us so we would be incredibly grateful (in a financial sort of way) to the guy risking his hiney to get us into the shorter first class line. “We don’t have much cash,” I told the guy, pulling to go back to the other line.
I am not a line-cutter!
He resisted and pulled me forward. “You got some cash for me?”
“Nope, don’t have much,” I said again. I gave him a five-dollar bill Brian had slipped me – really just wanting it all to be over. He looked down at it. “Five dollar? That’s not enough.”
He continued pulling me. Brian followed closely. We got to the entrance and the man pushed us past the guards into the building. He came up beside us and held out his hand again. Brian opened his wallet and gave him what was left, a handful of singles.
He gave us a look. “That’s it? I thought you say you tip me well.”
I shrugged my shoulders, feeling slightly defiant and a little grumpy. “No, I told you we didn’t have much.” And you just made me a line-cutter. I’m mad at you.
After he left (shaking his head), Brian and I tried to get our bags onto a security belt. It was a madhouse as people shoved past each other to get their bags on first. Finally we brought out our inner bullies and shoved our own way in.
First, line-cutting. Next, bag shoving. Who knew we had it in us?
An hour later, we got through all the lines and arrived at the gate. Brian and I looked at each other and promised to never allow anyone to drag us through the line again. It was time to learn our first word in Creole. “Non.”
“Non, non, non, non.”
This was a different world. Crazy and wild and beautiful and just a little scary.
But you know what? As eventful as our departure was? As much as the whole trip stretched us both and put us outside of our comfort zones?
We can’t wait to go back. We can’t wait to snuggle our boys. We can’t wait to learn their culture and explore the beauty of their country. We can’t wait to learn Creole and immerse ourselves in their language. We can’t wait to bring them back one day to show them where they came from…
And if we get swindled or bamboozled every so often, it’s okay. Who knows? Maybe that forceful young guy had a family to feed and a passion to bring home a few of extra dollars for some hungry mouths.
But we will draw a line. While we might get swindled out of a few bucks, we will not be bamboozled into cutting in line again. Some things are simply not right.
And so friends, we are back home. It’s been a week now and we can’t stop thinking about our boys. We pray for them every day and ask God to look out for them and protect them. We pray for the adoption process, that all would come together – that we wouldn’t have to wait too long to bring them home. We pray that we will be enough to care for them, love them and nurture them to adulthood. We pray… a lot.
Please pray with us.
Thank you. Tons.