Sometimes I come up with CRAZY ideas...
If you've ever spent time in Port Au Prince, it's no secret to you that it takes a long time to get things done here. Part of the reason is that it can take hours to drive across town. We've been without a working car for quite some days now...almost a week I think. We had a bunch of kids that needed medical tests, and I figured if we were dropping big money to rent a Tap Tap for the day, I should make it worth my while. So we found the children we needed to run blood tests on and made our lists.
This morning I knew things were going to be crazy when we couldn't even get out of the house without some elements of chaos. 10 children total. We had 10 children ranging in age from 2-9, one with what I think is Down Syndrome, one with a pretty big case of what we think might be autism, among other things, and one child who can't walk, or sit up on her own.
I got to the lab with two nannies and ordered tests for all the kids. They were so nice to me and offered to send the lab worker out into the hall. This was great, because I knew I would have some screamers. Since some of the children we had were difficult to manage to say the least, I had the two nannies stay with the group at the entrance to the hallway and I took the children one by one down to their tests. These were all blood tests and TB tests...all of which involve needles. Yikes.
Now, I'm not a mother, and I don't know what it's like to watch your child get shots, or have blood drawn. But I can imagine that one of the only things worse than holding one child through something like that, is holding 10 children through something like that...especially kids that can't all communicate with you. It was not easy. There was kicking, screaming, crying, chewing on my arm, yelling, a couple kids swatted the needles out of their arms. Basically, we were pretty much a circus...me, the crazy white girl, torturing children. A couple kids I had to wrap my legs around as well as my arms to hold them. I only had one child not cry...she was the youngest one. No children peed on me this time, but my clothes were soaked through with sweat...partly mine, partly theirs.
There must be some bonding process that goes on in these things. The children were all so happy to go one by one with me...then terrified that the needles stuck them...fought kicking and screaming...then unwilling to let go of me after it was all finished. Tonight I went down to see them before they went to bed and the kids who went with me today were asking when they get to go with me again...and other kids want to go along next time. Apparently they've forgotten the traumatic moments.
After we were done with test results, I had to have identification photos made of a few of our children in the adoption process. Think passport photos. This was ridiculous. First of all the put the boys in oversized suit jackets. Hilarious. The one boy threw a huge fit and it took us about 12 photos to get one we could use. The young girl, after witnessing the boy crying started to get afraid. The photographer did not like the outfit I picked out for her (which was totally hip and cute!) and asked me to find her another shirt. So I had to go out to the car and leave another of my girls half naked so the other girl could take a photo that satisfied the photographer. I sat the young girl on the seat for her photo and went to soothe the boy who was crying, only to turn around and see that she had peed all over the photographers stuff...either she was scared...or mad that he didn't like her outfit!
We got all that business sorted out and I made it home in time to help a young lady here with her Spanish homework. I still remember a little Spanish...enough to help her with what she's learning now. But her books are in French to teach her Spanish. So I had to take the Spanish, translate it to English so I knew what it was saying, then translate it to Kreyol so she knew what it was saying, and then help her translate it back into Spanish...all while following directions in French. There's part of me that's pretty excited I was able to pull that off...there's another part of me that just has a big headache!
Just another day in Paradise. My brother comes tomorrow. Can. Not. Wait!