So we have been home 14 days and we really needed this because we haven’t had a date night in over 4 months and we needed an hour out of the house alone!! Thank you Kaden for watching the Littles. I am not a huge McDonalds fan but I will take a MCD Coke with my honey just about anytime!! Things are currently crazy nonstop crazy but we are home!!
So Gingerbread houses happened tonight they didn’t happen before Christmas but they are still just as fun after!! Now everyone is on a sugar high having a dance party before bed!! We usually make Gingerbread houses in TN during Thanksgiving break but we didn’t make it this year to TN so we are making some memories at home this year!!
The kids and Great Grandma Thelma she is 94 years young and was so happy to meet the new crazies!! The kids also got to meet Grandpa Mike and Kim and Great Aunt Julie and Uncle Tom!! They are doing exceptionally well with meeting all the new people and we are so so thankful that Christmas was spread out this year to allow us to visit everyone!! 2 more Christmas left to go!
Merry Christmas from Our Crazy Price Life to yours!! Thank you everyone who helped us get our children home from Haiti we could not of done it without you all!! It’s been a crazy fun day that we will always remember!! We are so blessed and Thankful to be HOME!!
So what did Christmas look like at our house this year!! It was like a dream that finally came true!! It was perfect in every every way!! We got to celebrate the birth of sweet baby Jesus with our new 3 babies this year!! What an amazing and crazy and tough and long journey we have been on!! We have had a wonderful Christmas Eve and I honestly can’t wait till tomorrow we are all ready for Christmas the kids are SO excited for Santa!! So many questions about Santa mommy where will he sleep how does he get in when will he come…. We made sugar cookies today we are now watching a movie and having Christmas popcorn this all doesn’t seem real!! We are blessed and so thankful the Lord made this possible all 7 Prices together finally in one house one country one state!
Here is a few pics from our Christmas Eve!!
So Christmas Day!! What fun we had!!! The Kids were so excited so much Joy in there faces as they came out to the Christmas Tree to see what Santa had left for them… Can you imagine being 8 or 5 and never experiencing that before there hearts must of been exploding they are home they have a family and now Santa has come!! Christmas Day we get up here at home and have Christmas then we go to my parents and have Christmas breakfast and opened some presents and then this year we came back to our home for Christmas dinner and finished up with the rest of the presents!! It was a big day! Thankfully we live right next door to my parents!! This year the weather was extremely warm for Indiana and the kids got to enjoy some outside time!! This is like unheard of on Christmas Day!!
Here is a few of my favorite pics from Christmas Day!!
We might finally be ready for bed!! And then again we might not be we are still eating sugar cookies candy and cake at 10pm on Christmas night!!
Christmas with Grandma Jayne and Aunt Amanda and Uncle Naren!! The kids got to meet Amanda and Naren and we had a fun time!! We are so so thankful to have time with all of our family for Christmas!
Got home last night around 12:30 after seeing the living nativity and christmas lights and late night Steak and Shake Milk Shakes then up this morning at 11 french toast for brunch then off to the Hospital to see my Grandpa who isn’t doing well Juvens prayed for him and we visited with family then to the Urgent care for me they say I have pink eye in both eyes!! SERIOUSLY pink eye in both eyes!! I honestly think I have the Zika Virus but who knows! Then to Chedders for some dinner!! Our kids were troopers today they got along well and for the most part behaved Derline did tell the whole restaurant “mom your going to pee your pants stop drinking so much tea” but other then that I can’t complain! We are blessed! I still can’t believe we are home and this is finally real!! For so so long it has been a dream of them coming home and now they are here!! What a miracle!!
Here is a glimpse of our first few days at HOME!! What a crazy past few days we have had!! I think we arrived home about midnight from the airport and the kids of course wanted to check everything out!! We let them see everything they were so so excited to touch and feel and see all the new stuff in our house! I think we went to bed finally around 2am and we were back up the next morning around 8am. I remember waking up and wondering if this was really REAL were we all really HOME!! I quickly realized that yes this was REAL and we are all finally HOME!
Our first day home we all got up and ate breakfast then we got Wesley ready for his school Christmas program and Zach and I took him and Juvens to school so Wesley could go to his program. Juvens loved seeing his school and meeting his classmates for a few minutes. We left Wes and we came back home to get everyone ready for the Christmas Program! Yes We took our babies who weren’t even a day old US Citizens to a Christmas Program where some 500+ people would be!! AND they did great!! The program is usually about an hour and we were prepared with plenty of snacks. It felt so so good to be at that program it is something I enjoy every year and I was so glad we made it back for Wesley!
After the program we all came home for a much needed nap and then we went to my parents house for dinner! My mom made Spaghetti the kids favorite and it was absolutely wonderful to all be sitting around my parents table for the first time!! After dinner we came home and put up our Christmas tree what an awesome feeling to be putting up our tree with all of our children!! Go God you did this you made this our new normal and we are so so thankful!
2111 days also known as 5 years, 9 months, 10 days after we sent our application to Haiti to start the Haitian Adoption Process and be matched with our kids we are FINALLY HOME!!!!! GOTCHA DAY is what this day is called in the Adoption World!! I have thought about this day so many times over these last 5 years… I have wondered how it would look how the kids would do on the airplane how they would do with all the NEW things they would be seeing for the first time!
What a day it for sure lived up to all my hopes and dreams!!! We had a 12:50 flight out of Port Au Prince flying to Miami so we had plenty of time to get up go eat breakfast one last time give our hugs and say goodbye to all the family we were leaving behind. A morning sure to bring lots of tears and instead of goodbyes it was see you later my friend! We had been fighting for this day for so long it was such an overwhelming day and I was just trying to take it all in. As we said goodbye to our little apartment in Haiti that we called Home for the past 3 months and all the sights, smells and sounds that had all become so so familiar. We loaded all our belonging up into the hotel van and off we went pulling out that back security gate one last time. As we drove to the airport I just looked and took it all in one last time as we traveled the roads we know by heart seeing some of the same familiar faces that we would pass by daily. I couldn’t help but think I am going to miss this place. I am going to miss the slowness of this little Island the simpler life of this little Island and mostly the people of this little Island we have called home for 3 months.
The kids were great they were so so excited they were going home whatever that ment and they were going to see Kaden and Wes at the airport! They were all so very very brave they watched airplanes take off and land every day from our little apartment and they have watched friend after friend leave and today was finally there day! They were going HOME!
We got to the airport and we all gathered our luggage and went on it. Of course we were swarmed by probably 10 Haitian men wanting to help us with our bags. I gladly took the help because lets be honest I had more important cargo to look after on this trip. So I gladly turned over our bags and the man took us quickly up to the ticket counter as if we were priority or something. At least that how he wanted us to feel. You see that way we would want to pay him and his men more $$$. So we waited our turn and I got us all checked in. The man then took us over to security he didn’t really need to walk us over there I knew where it was and we had already got rid of our big luggage but if he escorted us he would again get more $$$ Zach was ready for him we always have money already in our pocket so we dont have to get into our wallet and Zach handed over $40 and the man said can you give me some more Zach kindly said no and we continued on our way and thanked him…. The line for security wasn’t to long I always thought they would take us into some dark scary room and interrogate us before they would let us leave with our children. But this was not the case the lady took my exit letter stamped all our passports and said have a nice trip…. Wait seriously I was all worried and nervous for a “have a nice trip”
While waiting in line the kids spotted “santa clause” they were so excited to see Santa when we got to our gate to sit down we spotted him again and they got to talk to him and get a picture! He was a kind man who was traveling back to California he had been in Haiti for mission work and he was delighted to see our children going home! Juvens ask him if he would be coming to Indiana and he told Juvens he would be in a few weeks so he should be good and listen to his parents!! Meeting Santa and going HOME all on the same day these kids were elated!!
As for our flights the kids did really well. Derline on the first flight had a bit of a seatbelt malfunction and damn near chocked herself with her seatbelt (its Derline what else would you expect) Juvens Complained about ears hurting and Sophia not a peep out of her! They all stayed in there seats and played there tablets or watched a movie on there tablet had some food and just took it all in. I had visions of them being loud and unruly and crazy but seriously we got complimented on both flights of how well our kids did and how they must be seasoned travelers!! We had to tell the people No this was there first time flying and first time coming to America!! I am just saying thank you Jesus for letting these kids be good because we were in First Class and seriously y’all who wants some screaming unruly kid in first class when your sipping champagne cause your thirsty and washing your hands with a hot towel!!
Miami airport was really a breeze we sailed though customs and immigration and even made it out to luggage before it had came though. Since we had the kids and they were first time US Citizens we had to be taken to a small room where an officer looked over our paperwork and then they let us go! The kids again just really looked around at things. Juvens said “now I am US I won’t speak creole anymore” We got our luggage checked again and back through security and then off to grab something to eat before boarding our plane to Indianapolis! I grabbed a much needed Pumpkin Spice Frappaccino and off we went! This was the longer of the 2 flights we had our flight to Miami was only about 90 minutes this flight would be about 3 hours!! But the kids again did great and we finally touched down a little after 9pm in Indianapolis!! We were very anxious to see everyone!
As we got closer to the exit the kids started yelling for Kaden and Wesley it was so cute! They we could see Kaden and Wesley and Kaden the rule breaker that he is crossed the red line and almost got arrested he has security lights and sirens going off and the security guard yelling at him…. Talk about a grand entrance! The kids ran to Kaden and started hugging everyone I just wanted to see Wes and Kaden and then everyone else of course!! We had a great Welcome Party and the kids loved seeing everyone there welcoming us all home!!
I don’t even know where to start… As many of you know we boarded a plane on a one way ticket on September 19th to Haiti to fight for our children and to secure there Visa. When we got here we thought we knew what was going to be needed to fix the problem and bring them home. That has now changed numerous times. We are very thankful to have found some people down here who we trust completely and they are helping us with some of the things that need done. God has clearly placed the right people in our path… I know understand why our first week was slow God was allowing us some mommy and daddy time with our kids that we hadn’t seen in over 18 months I am forever thankful for that time and it makes since now!
I am going to tell you the first week we were here was hard nothing happened with our adoption and by the end of that week I was second guessing myself as to why we had come. I was missing home and my boys and all the things we take for granted… but after that first week it has been nonstop going here going there… If you ever have been to Haiti you know that just getting a few miles can take hours and you don’t get anywhere fast…. We have been in so many different offices we have got things accomplished and we are still working on things… We are believing that when we board that plane to come home our 3 children will be on it with us.
What we weren’t prepared for was paying for this adoption a second time… It really feels like extortion but if we don’t pay this ransom I believe our children will be stuck here for a long time…. I do feel like american citizens are being taken advantage of and I believe that the USA could fix this very easily and protect its American Citizens! It has taken everything we have to make this trip and now we are faced with coming up with the additional money for all the offices and for our coordinator down here to do the work. We are walking right along side here so we know where the money is being spent but we don’t have it. If anyone has ever thought about donating to our adoption and you haven’t yet now is the time we are starting back up our you caring campaign in hopes to raise some of the additional funds that we need… The problem is we need them fast…. We are saving lives when we heard God say go we listened we knew it would be hard and we had no idea what it all meant. But he spoke the words GO to me and it was very clear that we had to be in Haiti if we wanted these children to come home!
My friend Michael featured our story over on his blog I posted it below and you can also click on this link to view the story please share our story it will not only help us but it will help 100’s of other families.
One thing I am passionate about is helping to tell stories and give a voice to those who have no voice. The place I most often am able to do that is Haiti. I deeply love Haiti, it’s people and it’s culture. Being an adoptive dad who has one child from Haiti, I have an especially intimate bond with that country.
Today I want to share some space and tell a story to illuminate the mess, tragedy and struggle that is currently plaguing the Haitian Adoption system. It is a story that began in March of 2010 when the Price family chose to begin the adoption process in Haiti. Now more than 4 ½ years later, they are still entrenched in the battle and fighting to get their kids home. (You can read more about them by clicking here)
When Karena and Zachary Price started their adoption they never imagined they would be separated from their kids for so long without being able to bring them home. Derline was 7 months old, and now is 5 years old. Juvens, then 4, is now 8 years old. And, Sophia who was 1 is now 5 years old. The Prices have missed precious time, developmental stages and life events with their kids.
Why? Simply put, the system is broken. Between fraud, stolen monies and misrepresentation by officials the journey has lasted for nearly 5 years. And now there is more trouble plaguing their adoptions.
Just in the last few weeks the US Government, at the prodding of The Hague Convention and others, has changed requirements and laws once more. This time the change affected one small statement in a complex adoption process. Just 90 days ago our government was allowing kids to come home through adoption when their decree stated a simple adoption. Now, the requirement is a change of the word simple to the word plenary; which is a legal term for final.
What does this mean? It means lots more time, waiting, money and trouble. It means that kids whose adoptions have been finalized for months are no longer able to come home. It means that families essentially will have to pay for their adoption all over again, and begin waiting again. It means that children that should be in stable and loving homes will remain institutionalized for as much as another year. It means that those children and their families will face tougher transitions and less developmental victories.
It means that the needs of children have once again been placed behind the priority of nice paperwork and bureaucratic process. And, it means that the lives of children are the collateral damage of a broken and ineffective process!
Here are the Prices’ own words in this matter:
“I just wanted to update you all on the process so far as to what I have personally witnessed being here in Haiti for the past 3 weeks to change our children over to plenary cases….. we have been to numerous offices and it seems no one really knows what they are doing or understands what is going on.
There is no sense of urgency! My children have been waiting 4.5 years…. all offices are requiring appointments and they are not taking but a few each day. Most people are being turned away. American citizens have paid tens of thousands of dollars for their completed adoptions only to have them consider invalid.
Personally I am looking at an easy $15,000 or more to fix this problem for my 3 children.
I find that American citizens are being taken advantage of by the local offices and officials. If this isn’t extortion I don’t know what its I am very concerned for the roughly 100 or more families that are now stuck in this mess. Worse yet, there is no good timeline as to how long this is going to take to resolve.
American families are basically paying for another adoption because the US didn’t like the way a document was worded. Yet, less then 90 days ago American families with that wording were allowed to come home! how does this make any sense to anyone involved?
Children’s lives have to matter. American citizens should matter! Our children should not be held for this ransom in a broken system. It is time NOW for the US to step up and fight for American citizens and our legally adopted children.”
Here is what I am asking. We cannot on our own fix this. But together we can make a HUGE impact! We can make a difference.
Let’s not focus on the problems, but focus on the possibilities. There are hundreds of children who are going to be able to come home when this is resolved. There are hundreds of families who will finally be complete. This is something to join together and fight for! This is something we should hope to celebrate as an adoptive community.
Will you help us spread this story? Will you share this post? Will you load your newsfeed with the information we have here.
Let’s make it hard for the US State Department, The Embassy, USCIS, US Officials and Haitian Diplomats to ignore. Let’s join together as a team and demand that Haitian Adoptions be fixed.
Share this post via email, social media and use the hastag #haitiadoptions
Dear US Senators we need you to join the fight and help precious children come home from Haiti! You can fix this your office could lead this movement so OUR three children can come home and many others who are currently stuck because of something so small and silly! Even a humanitarian parole would be welcome, but as it stands today, there are at least 50 (??) American families currently paralyzed in their Haitian adoption processes, at the END – the all-important Visa-granting stage, all of whom have completed legal adoptions of our children in Haiti. Most families have been in their adoption processes for 4+ long years while our precious children have languished in orphanages all over Haiti, waiting for parents and homes of their own. Now, American citizens who have LEGALLY COMPLETED ADOPTIONS are being forced to wait because of a paperwork glitch with the U.S. Department of State. At this moment, if the official, stamped, adjudicated adoption decree does not contain the perfect wording of “full and final”, the Department of State is refusing to grant a visa to the lawful children of American citizens. Most Children have already been declared immediate relatives by USCIS in our case that took 26 weeks! For more than 20 years, thousands of Haitian children have legally been adopted by U.S. citizens and brought to the United States lawfully, and have done so without this clerical necessity. Currently, our relinquishment paperwork states “unconditional and irrevocable relinquishment of parental rights” but our legal children are being held from us, because the U.S. Department of State has now decided to demand a change in verbiage.
We need YOUR help TODAY!! We need congress to pressure the US for an immediate solution to this acute crisis which involves law-abiding American citizens and our legal children. We have been getting the run around for over 8 weeks! We are demanding that Congress – our elected representatives- fix this NOW!
Children should not be caught in government red tape – they have waited far too long.Thank you for fighting to bring our children home where they legally and rightfully belong – in a home where they will be safe and loved.Currently my husband and I are in Haiti and we plan to stay until this is resolved we will not leave our legally adopted children behind again in such an unstable and unsafe country!Sincerely
Zach and Karena Price