Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Story of Kiefer Thomas Patterson, Part 3

The continuation...Part 3:

Mattie and I went back to the hotel Thursday night without our little Cookie Monster.  We were sad, but exhausted and starving.  We took Barbara Walker out to dinner, along with the two other adoptive dads who were all staying in the same hotel.  We had good conversation and got to know a little more about our sweet boy and his story.  We finished up late (around midnight), then got a fairly good night's rest, ate the breakfast buffet at the hotel, then took a $40 cab ride over to His House Friday morning, April 2, to get our sweet boy.

Kenwechtley was well taken-care of at His House by Christians who touched my heart with their sweet service to those in need. We were able to reunited with our little man, who we named Kiefer Thomas Patterson. (Matt chose Kiefer because our other boys happen to have first names that are actually last names and end in -er (Parker and Sawyer), so we kept the letter "K" from "Kenwechtley" and Matt came up with Kiefer, in keeping up with our Patterson boy tradition.) Kenwechtley was born in Thomas, Haiti, so we chose Thomas for his middle name. (God had told us that Kiefer's middle name would have to do with where he was born, so we were pleasantly surprised with the middle name of "Thomas" when we saw his birth certificate for the first time...much better than the possibility of Kiefer Port-au-Prince Patterson! :-)

This was on the wall of the play area in His House, along with Scripture, which was cut off in the photo.

Here is Kiefer first being placed in my arms at His House.  His caregiver is the man in the background, who was so kind and loving.  He touched my heart, and I was so glad he was taking care of our precious son.

The staff at His House brought Kiefer to the play area so we could be with him, and to our delight, Kiefer was HAPPY and content!  He played and laughed and wrestled with his little buddy, Kevens (age 2), from Ruuska Village, who had spent the night at His House as well.  We got to see him in action as he played and played and played (and snacked and sipped apple juice) throughout the morning. 

Mommy trying to play with Kiefer at His House.  He was timid at first, but quickly became a lively lil guy!

Here's Kiefer starting to warm up.

Kiefer and his buddy, Kevens, playing kitchen together at His House.

Mattie having a ball with her baby brother and his buddy, Kevens.

Kiefer and Kevens emptied this truck of all the Legos, then played tug-of-war with the truck.  (Kiefer won the tug-of-war...he's a bull with some major strength!!!  Reminds me of Ferdinand the Bull (story book)...such a SWEET heart yet he has the massive size and strength of a bull!)

Isn't he a cutie?!?

Mattie and Kiefer playing at His House.

When Kiefer laughs or smiles really big, he sports a crooked smile, which I adore.  (Sure hope he's not doing this b/c there's something wrong with his jaw, poor guy!)

Kiefer playing hide-and-go-seek behind the chair.


Kiefer wanted "new" clothes when his buddy Kevens got a new outfit put on him, so we changed him into a "Texas" outfit, which he was so excited about, and not even 3 seconds after putting his shirt on, he fell fast asleep in my arms, sitting up!!!

Big sis watched baby bro sleep for about an hour on this couch in the middle of noise and laughter at the His House play area!  One pooped boy!

We were happy to be told that all of our paperwork was fine and dandy (we had submitted it to His House a few weeks prior so that things would go smoothly), and we waited for all of the families to get their humanitarian parole paperwork so that we could all ride together in the His House van back to the hotel/airport.  It took hours to get some of the families processed, and we began to worry if we'd make our 4PM flight back to Austin.  Around 1:30PM, three of the families were ready to leave, so a kind His House staff person drove two of the families to the airport.  (We had left our luggage at the hotel since we were told our case would only take 1-2 hours for processing, and our flight wasn't until 4PM.)  Well, traffic was stopped on the highway, there was an accident at the airport, and we were struggling to make our 4PM flight, but God was so gracious and allowed us to make our flight with time to spare.

8 of us piled into the His House minivan and darted through heavy traffic to the airport, trying to get families to their flights.  Kiefer ate crackers (and smeared them all over his face) while Kevens slept on Mattie's shoulder.  Mattie was extremely car sick with the fast driving, slamming on brakes, etc. (felt like we were in Colombia!), plus none of us had eaten lunch and it was 2:30PM by the time we got back to our hotel.

Kiefer was a real trooper as he experienced this whirlwind of activity...until mid-way into our first flight, when he completely melted down.  I think the melt-down was over a French fry, which, by the way, Kiefer LOVES.  Kiefer had a little food infatuation, and he was inhaling French fries, swallowing them whole, 4-5 at a time!!!  I decided that this wasn't safe and held the French fries captive, asking Kiefer to just eat one at a time.  This sent him into the biggest, wildest fit I've ever seen.  It involved a lot of head banging, biting, hitting, pinching, scratching, wailing, screaming, kicking, head butting, slapping, spitting, and squealing.  I had to put him on the floorboard of the plane to try to keep everyone safe, including Kiefer!  The lady sitting next to me was NOT happy, Mattie was in shock (she pulled her feet up into her seat because Kiefer was attacking her legs from the floorboard of the plane!), and I was really wishing I spoke Creole!!!  This lasted for about 45 minutes, then Kiefer settled down somewhat, but never fell asleep.  We had an hour layover, and we managed to keep Kiefer awake.  He had loads of fun playing chase in the airport and hiding between chairs.  He also inhaled an entire banana in just two bites!!!  (Food infatuation addiction obsession Haitian-starving-orphan-syndrome coupled with Mom not wanting another meltdown over food control!!!) 
Pre-meltdown.  So happy to be going to TEXAS!!!

Kiefer was so happy to be off the plane after our first flight heading home!

We boarded our second flight from Atlanta to Austin, and Kiefer settled right in without a single tantrum.  He was almost asleep in my arms when he began to spit into his cupped hands and proceeded to give himself a spit bath!!!  I've never seen that before, but I wondered if this is something he did regularly to clean himself up in Haiti.  It was really gross, yet somewhat endearing...hard to explain.  (Kind of like the way a cat grooms himself before bed...kind of sweet, yet the hairballs are disgusting!)  After Kiefer's spit bath, he feel fast asleep in my arms where he slept the entire plane ride.  We deboarded and transferred Kiefer to his stroller, and he never woke up.  We gathered luggage and rode the tram to our van, and Kiefer never moved.  We strapped Kiefer into his car seat in our van, and again, he never woke.  We drove home to grab a few items before heading out to the campground to meet up with the rest of our family where our youngest bio son was having his 10th b-day party.  Kiefer slept through the short stop at our house (he was accompanied by Mattie while I ran in, then we swapped).  We drove to the campground, about 45 minutes from our house, and Kiefer never made a peep.  We arrived at the campground surrounded by eager siblings and my hubby, and Kiefer slept through it all.  We laid him in our bed in the camper where he slept soundly until 8:30AM the following morning, April 3.  He slept for a total of 14 hours without ever waking!!!

Welcome to AUSTIN, Kiefer!!!  (Sound asleep, of course!)

Kiefer stayed sacked out even when we put him into the stroller, collected our luggage, rode the tram to our van, and transferred him to his car seat!  One tired lil guy!

I was SOOOOO grateful that Mattie came with me to help with Kiefer.  She was AMAZING!  Look at her pushing the stroller and pulling luggage!  I couldn't have done it without her!!!

Still asleep in the car seat, all the way home, all the way to the campground, and then all the way through the night for a total of 14 hours of sleep!

Kiefer had a GREAT time playing with his new siblings at the campground.  He loved having so many people to play with, and he LOVED the sandbox.  Kiefer got to meet both sets of his grandparents, too, and everyone fell in love with our sweet guy.  Matt choked back tears and kept muttering something to the effect of, "Pure joy.  This is what joy really is.  Pure joy.  Thank you, Lorraine, for going to get our son.  Pure joy.  Thank you God for blessing us with this beautiful gift.  Pure joy." 
Saturday, April 3, Daddy got to meet his boy (when he was awake).  Yep, Kiefer is in the same Texas outfit...he slept in it during his 14 hour sleep marathon!

Pure joy!  Doing God's work is pure joy, but He makes it not feel like work at all because He heaps these amazing blessings upon us that move us to tears and take our breath away.  Seeing Kiefer stare with much adoration into the eyes of my husband was more than I could have ever asked for.  God is so good!  Pure joy!


So, I Begin this Journey...... said...

Adorable!!! Love your blog.

Megan said...

Rejoicing and giving thanks with you!

Anonymous said...

I cannot remember how I came across your blog! Love the story about Kiefer. How is the food control going?


Cindy Foote said...

what a cutie pie he is!!!! Love the name and can't wait to meet Keifer!

Debi said...

What an amazing story and precious son.
Love and hugs and prayers,

Laurel said...

Just found your blog. Can't wait to read more.

What an adorable BLESSING from Haiti!


Rebecca said...

I have been reading Chrissie's blog and now read this story. You mentioned Kiefer's crooked smile. It looks like my crooked smile. It may be a result of damaged/undeveloped nerves from birth, not a problem with his jaw. He shouldn't have any problems with it.

I'm glad he is settling in well.

Stephanie said...

I've finally been able to read Kiefer's story, and how beautiful it is. Our two little boys are also Ruuska babies and I could totally relate to the food inhalation upon arrival! Much love and blessings to your sweet family.

blog comments powered by Disqus