Monday, April 28, 2008

Compare and Contrast

If you haven't adopted children from a place like Haiti, then you might not understand the depths of what goes on in the hearts and minds of adoptive parents like us. In which case, you have no right to criticize us for our feelings and thoughts (i.e., to all of you who seem to get off on leaving hurtful anonymous comments on our blog: please don't leave any nasty comments to this post-- I'm just going to delete them anyway so it is just a waste of your time). Having said that... Braydon and I have minds that go-go-go non-stop ALL. THE. TIME. We can't help it, it is just the way we are. One whole category of thoughts that we can't halt is a running stream of consciousness of compare-and-contrast regarding our boys. We try to stay educated on what is happening in Haiti. We try to always be mindful of our boys' roots. Especially now, as they are so young, it is important that we do that because they can't do that for themselves yet. And so we do. There are thoughts -- many of them -- that we don't share on this blog and that we rarely share with anyone but each other. Mostly though, we just try to remember. The photo at the top of this post was taken by Troy Livesay (link to the Livesay Haiti Blog by clicking here). Troy took the photo recently in Port au Prince. Not that it even matters (all things considered), but the photo was taken in a part of Port au Prince that is not even the "worst" part. K & O were born in the "worst" part -- Cite Soleil. The photo below it is of K & O playing in our front yard on Wednesday evening. Click the photos to enlarge them. We try not to get up on our soap box... but for anyone who is considering adopting from Haiti -- please always know that you can contact us for support and encouragement at any time. Compare and Contrast. ~HBJ


Cindy said...

I am de-lurking to say Hi! and I am sorry that you are receiving hurtful comments on your blog. I have really enjoyed reading your blog and I think you say what a lot of adoptive parents are thinking beautifully.
Best Wishes.

Melissa - Anjewl's momma said...

Heather, I was shocked to see this photo on your blog as I had just been on the Livesays sight a few minutes prior. I wanted to show my son the picture and I had to get back on your site to connect from your link to Tara's and wow, there you had the same picture. The powerful statement this photo makes is unreal. Talk about a picture and 1000 words. I was so reminded of our blessings and things as simple as clean water that we take for granted every day.
We are excited for the birth of baby sister and we love reading your blog, always checking in along with Anjewl.

Michelle said...

I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling with people who feel it is necessary to leave nasty comments. I came here through a friend of a sister, and I LOVE seeing updates of your kids. It has confirmed that I would love to one day adopt a couple of kids and I will need to marry someone who understands that.

Just remember - the people leaving comments have not found peace in their hearts, and must feel they should bring others out of their peace and happiness. Misery loves company.

Blog on! ;)

Troy & Tara Livesay Family said...

Hi Heather -

We get mean comments here and there - and like you said, anonymous only.

Seriously - those people are so terribly bored and empty and without courage - we join you in hitting delete and never giving it another thought.

Troy and I are feeling what you and Braydon are feeling and we *cannot* reconcile the two worlds.

Even being in Haiti our kids have no idea how truly difficult/different their own siblings' lives are.

God Bless you these last couple of weeks of pregnant life. :)

Mom to 3 said...


So sorry that people are leaving nasty comments on your blog. That's the last thing you need right now!

I am not an adoptive mom, but I follow your blog closely. I have 1 year old twins and a singleton daughter the same age as your sons. Although we have never met, I must say that I can relate to a lot of your posts. Your boys seem so well-adjusted, loving, and appreciative. That has everything to do with you and Braydon.

Another reason I follow your blog is because my husband and I have decided that once our children are older, we will increase our family size through adoption. We have a very close friend who grew up in Haiti and would love to adopt from Haiti.

Stay strong!! I can't wait to read all about Baby Sister's arrival!!

Candis said...

How could anyone make cruel comments about adoption--oh wait! I forgot about those nasty little snipes people sometimes make about trans-racial adoption. We don't get those, being AA and all, but I did have a black woman loudly proclaim,"Huh. Now you KNOW that baby ain't yours, 'cuz y'all two completely different colors!" Well, you got us Einstein. We confess...
Anyway, your point about a heightened awareness of events in Haiti rings so true. We try to stay in contact with our Haitian connections (esp. Lori) regularly. The contrast between what is and what could have been is vivid and wrenching, and we are mindful--always. We work hard to to avoid burdening our Peanut with those concerns, because we want him to see Haiti for its beauty. Our fantasy is that he grows up to be generous and skilled, and that he returns to Haiti to share those qualities. But for now, a fourth birthday is calling for our attention. Thank goodness K's & O's birthday is a few weeks before the Peanut's. Your preparations are my reminders to get busy.


Malia'sMama said...

The anonymous crap sucks, Heather. Jealousy, pure and simple. I saw this pic on the Livesay blog, too, and as I told them, what's missing is the SMELL. You need it to TRULY do the contrast compare with ultimate impact. I am always blown away by the green, the trees etc that K & O are growing up surrounded by, immersed in, compared to Cite Soleil, and much too much of Haiti. It is truly a testament to the resilience of the spirit that Haiti produces artists and creative souls without the freshness, the calm of all that is and should be, GREEN.

Jen said...

I can only imagine how hard it must be to look at your beautiful boys and where they are and compare it to where they came from. Our son is still in Haiti and with every holiday, family vacation, and everyday fun, I think of where he is and where I am hard to reconcile within ones own head.

Tracy R said...

I'm delurking to let you know that while I know it's very hard to read hurtful comments, there are those of us who never comment who truly 'get' how you feel, respect it enormously and enjoy watching you parent your brilliant little boys.
My twins (adopted domestically at 8 weeks old) look enough like me to be related, but since I am somewhat older than they are, I get negative comments about being old and selfish and parenting children. It's always something. Mean comments sting for about a second, but then I consider the source and just get on about the business of raising my girls to NOT be like that!

Renee said...

Hi Heather,
I am sorry for the rude comments! I love your blog..your family is adorable..I especially love the way it makes me think about things I haven't before, or just in a different way. I am SO close to bringing our sweet sons home from Haiti! :)

Trish said...

NPR had a program today about the Haiti crisis. I listened to it in my car. When I finally went into Costco I looked around and all I could think was how I was surrounded by abundance but yet the people of Haiti are desperately hungry.
I have been thinking of you guys all day. Please give your beautiful joyful boys a hug from us.
We love your blog. We love you.

Ani said...

I have no words, really, to express what these 2 pictures made me think, feel and how shaken I was by them. Thank you for making me stop and think and take action.

Thinking of you all as the big #4 bday approaches and Baby Sister's arrival grows closer.

All the best.

Amanda said...

Hi Heather :~) I'd love to put your blog in my side bar if that's ok. I'm starting my blog so that I can interact some with you all. :~) Thanks!

Rose Anne said...

Those of us who have adopted from Haiti or another country understands where you are coming from! There are just people out there who just don't get it nor will they ever try....
when I came home from my first trip to visit Haiti I was slapped in the face with the over abunance and the need to want what we truly don't need. I am trying to get Saul to realize this for himself but sometimes it is hard for a 7 year to get it, he did start crying when we where getting the Christmas packages ready this past year he said Mommy can't we send enough for all the kids to have something! I told him I wish I could but we can make sure atleast a couple of them have something....
I enjoy your blog and the post that make you stop and think. More of us should because together we can help.
Can't wait to hear about baby sister finally getting here.
God Bless your family,
Rose Anne

Paige Mann said...

Our first trip to Haiti will forever be seared into my memory. It was moreso the coming home that did it for me. All of the times I had gotten upset that I missed that green light, that my refrigerator was 'empty' because we somehow unthinkably ran out of shredded cheese, that I sat in front of the TV watching something on the satellite while drinking bottled water.....I remember these things and so many others being put in persepctive on our return. Yet I know that reality is where WE live, plain & simple. We want to always respect the world Midrine came from as we prepare the world she will soon come to. Your photos are a stark reminder of how different those two things can be. And yet with everything going on in Haiti we received pictures today of our little girl smiling the biggest smile in the world playing with her extended family at the orphanage! Her heart is light as she waits for us and as we wait for her. Here's to yours being light as well.


Shaun said...

You have a beautiful family and I love reading your blog! Keep it up!

taylorchloejake said...

I am a fellow mom of adopted twins(from Vietnam). I found your blog through another and I really enjoy your updates. Your boys are beautiful! My husband and I want to adopt a little boy from Africa, hopefully in the next few years. We've got 3 under 2 right now so we'll wait at least until the twins turn 3. Anyway hope everything goes smoothly with baby #3's arrival!

This Mama said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I am also so sorry to hear that others have this extra time on their hands that they like to spend throwing out negative energy into the world. Nice.

You have a lot of readers and so I am sure you do not remember I us. We are adopting three from Haiti. Sometimes I struggle with am I doing the right thing taking children out of their country...your post just really puts things in perspective. There are beautiful parts in Haiti, parts that look like our version of paradise but they are still areas where to meet your basic needs is a struggle. Our three are from Port Salut - and what a paradise it looks like in pictures with the remaining .5% of tropical rainforest and long white sandy beaches...but extreame poverty exists even behind the picture perfection.

That photo of the kids in the garbage just sinks my heart.

glamah16 said...

I came across your blog from a cooment in another. I think you and your family are beautiful and how lucky all of you are to have each other. I only wish more followed your example.