Hello, all! So, in the month-and-a-half since we last saw each other, two mission trips have come and gone, I’ve been scrambling to meet deadlines for the curriculum I’m writing, our friend Whitney came for 50 days, and Jacelyn’s been slowly-but-surely kicking this semester’s patooty (Due to the impending parenthood, I’m trying to clean up my speach. Old, non-father-ish Nic would have said “buttooty”). The mission teams went off pretty much without a hitch. Yes, there’s always the influx of explosive and inhibiting digestive issues, but they usually pass (pun).
I did have a fun encounter with an elderly woman up in the hills outside Portsmouth, in a village called Cottage. The whole team and I were sitting in her living room, just chatting with her and her sister about life and enjoying some fresh guavas, when she suggested that we go get a fresh baby coconut, called a Jelly Nut. You may not have known this, but the term “coconut” is only used for the mature, ripened, end result of what grows on the coconut tree. To clarify, THIS is a jelly nut and THIS is a coconut. And if you were looking for the smaller, brown thing that is called a coconut, they are merely the seed found deeper in. HERE’S one of them. (For infallible, inerrant information about coconuts try THIS LINK at Wikipedia.)
Anyway, back to the old lady. I followed her outside. She was surprisingly fast, and when I rounded the corner outside, this is what I saw:
Yes, that IS a machete (called a cutlass, here) that she’s leaning on. Before I could say anything, she turned and darted off, which I photographed:
Then, apparently all the frustrations that had been building up inside of her over the past _,___ years came bursting forth as she ripped a jelly nut off the tree, and started to kill it mercilessly (if you click on it and let it load past the slow point, it’s hilarious to watch):
I guess apart from what I’ve called “The Cutlass Massacre of 2012”, the trips were pretty benign, so I’ll just move along to what you’re all waiting for anyway: the next chapter in our adoption story! Settle in, grab a bowl of molasses, and enjoy the ride…
…Then it happened. I walked into a coffee stall owned by a local woman and, as soon as I walked through the door, she said, “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN??????”
I replied that I’d not only been busy with mission trips, but had also contracted Dengue fever for a bit and she was basically like, “Yeah, okay, wimp.” Then she said the those five words we’d been waiting to hear: “I have caramel for you!” Wait. No. Sorry, that was what I was wishing she’d say before she actually said something much more gratifying: “I have KIDS for you!!!!!” I couldn’t believe it. She went on to tell me that someone she knew was in an abusive, poverty-stricken situation, was prone to leaving her daughters alone for 12 hours at a time, and was willing to give them up for adoption.
So, we scheduled a meeting for three days from then. When the day finally came, we were surprised at the mixture of nervous excitement and natural ease we felt while driving to the meeting. We found it surreal to be driving in a taxi on our way to a village to meet someone who might suddenly be our child, a major “life moment”, when most people experience that moment in their own car on the way to a hospital room. As we got closer, the woman who was acting as our go-between, whom I will call “Lisa”, began to tell us that the mom had recently been beat up by her boyfriend and father of her kids, and that he was currently in jail. She also mentioned that the man had said that he was 100% ready to give up all rights to his daughters.
As we arrived, our hearts were broken by the sight. The mother’s eye was swollen shut and her hair had been all but cut off by the abusive boyfriend. She was soft-spoken and very kind to us and to the daughter who was nearby. The mother said that she was interested in giving them up, but needed to think about it for a day or two and we agreed that that was wise, so we gave her our number and told her to feel free to call us whenever she made a decision. The meeting was short, but promising. As we drove away, “Lisa” mentioned that she knew of a lady just outside of town who had had 6 children, had given two up for adoption already, and was willing to give her youngest, a boy of 13-months, up for adoption. We figured that there would be nothing wrong with stopping by, since nothing was in stone with the prior mother, but also were a bit reserved, since we’d talked of adopting siblings who were a bit older.
The meeting with the second mom was brief, and the little boy was adorable, as was his 2-and-a-half-year-old sister. We gave the mother our number, telling her that if she was ever sure she was interested in adoption, we would love to hear from her. As we drove away, we asked “Lisa” if the older sister was available for adoption, as well, but she informed us that she was not.
Early the next morning, the first mom we’d met called me up to say she’d like to proceed with the adoption! We were so excited and began planning the next step, making an appointment down in Roseau to meet with the the mom and the social worker. Not long after the first call, my phone rang again from an unknown number. It was the second mom, calling to let us know that she was completely ready to begin the adoption process, even going as far as to ask, “When will you be taking the boy?”
If you pray, when you pray, pray for us.
On to the next thing…