|Merline arriving at the airport in Knoxville|
Since I'm an "expert" now, I will share a few things I've discovered about my new family, Haiti, and adoption.
1. Understanding each other is tough.
I am impressed with how much English Merline is already speaking, but crossing the language barrier is still a big hurdle. The other night we spent about an hour trying to figure out what "Maggie" is. We exhausted all our iPhone apps, let her go through literally everything in our kitchen cabinets, and called three different Haitian friends before we finally learned that "Maggie" is one of those little cubes of Chicken bouillon. Go figure.
Some of the misunderstandings are nice though. She says lots of things that just make me smile. I think my personal favorite is she says "yesternight" instead of "last night". I don't plan on telling her the correct way just yet because for some reason it just brings me joy when I hear her say it. :-)
2. I now know real zombies don't look like the ones on tv.
They look "normal like an alive person, except their eyes are totally black and they carry snakes in their coat." And they don't really eat brains - that is just for movies. In reality, zombies satisfy their appetite by eating babies. This was all good information for me to learn.
3. Finding food she likes has been tougher than I imagined.
Merline is seriously confused about why all restaurants in America don't offer rice & beans on the menu. I'm also amazed by how much salt and sugar she wants on her foods. And generous amounts of it too. Sugar in milk. Sugar on frosted flakes. Salt on pork. Salt on rice. Salt on spaghetti. It's becoming much clearer why we see so much diabetes and high blood pressure at the Les Anglais clinics - because Haitians apparently put sugar and/or salt on EVERYTHING.
Names of food are confusing to her also. We went to sonic a couple nights ago, and she thought when we ordered a corn dog for Emmie, that we were actually feeding her dog.
4. Adoption = Loss.
|Merline with Cuadise, her birth father|
Now she spends her days learning new family parents, new siblings, new technology gizmos at every turn (like escalators, water dispensers, & automatic doors) new foods, new schedules, new language, new friends, new culture, new rules, etc. And the fact that we have a giant dog that not only comes inside the house, but he actually sleeps on our beds!? That one is really hard for her to figure out.
It's all new. It's all unfamiliar. It's all steps to regain some of the things that she lost. And it's baby steps.
5. My family is awesome.
|Emmie, Merline, Riley, & Molly|