There are some posts that are hard to write. This is one of them. Because how can I put it down in words? And what more can I say that I haven’t already said in years past (click)? This was our family’s 5th annual year of attending our “Haiti Families Reunion.” I want to re-name it: HAITI FAMILY REUNION. It feels like a family reunion. Except that in this family you always fit right in, no matter who you are, and no matter how different you are from every single other family/person there… because you’re all in this really special and unique boat together: this Haitian Adoptive Families Boat. This is a wild and wonderful boat—a boat that is tipsy turvy; a boat that sails on a tumultuous and thrashing, crashing sea; a boat that is hard to navigate; a challenge to keep on course; but this is a beautiful awe-inspiring life-affirming full-of-miracles boat that you wouldn’t trade for the grandest yacht ever made. This boat, while at moments crushing under the weight of the massive burden that it carries, is also brilliant and centered and somehow (amazingly, assuredly, unquestionably) on course.
This year what struck me most was what a treat it is to spend a weekend feeling “normal.” We always feel “weird”; we always stand out; we’re almost always “the only one” (because we can be in the most “diverse” place in the world—and we may even see many black-white bi-racial families there, yet we almost never see families that look like ours)… but… twice a year we get together with this very special extended family where we actually are just like everybody else in the most obvious way. That is a gift that each of us five J-Ms cherish in our own unique ways. It is a special, special, special treat. It is like your favorite kind of ice cream on a hot summer night (which, by the way, we actually have at the Haiti Reunion: ice cream sundaes on a hot summer night).
What also struck me this year was the reminder of just how amazing each and every one of the people is in attendance at this reunion. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Each family represents miracles. Each Haitian-American child a SURVIVOR and a precious gifted soul. Each non-adopted sibling is a rock-star! Each parent has moved mountains to make their family. It is amazing. It is awe-inspiring to be around. It is a reminder that it really is what it is, and it is special. Sometimes in our day-to-day we forget that. It is good to remember.
Kyle and Owen can be around Haitian people at other times of the year, but it is really only during our reunions that they have the chance to be around other adopted kids who lived part of their lives in Haitian orphanages. Meera can be around other biological siblings in adoptive families, but it is really only during our reunions that she has the chance to be around other kids whose siblings are the special dark-skinned-brown-eyed beauties that are the Haitian Sensations. And Braydon and I… well… we can be around lots of different people/parents/peers, but it is really only during our reunions that we can have that cosmic connection that comes only with others who have spear-headed a Haitian adoption (Haitian adoption is tough, it is gritty, it is a unique journey). This reunion is special. It really is. And it is so, so, so important to the soul of our family.
And so, we hope, that this one was our fifth of many.
Thank you to all of our dear friends who join us in this Haiti Family Reunion year-by-year. We’re together in this boat. You know who you are. We love ya! ~the J-Ms.
Each year I buy new Haiti t-shirts for the bambinos to wear to the reunion. This year, for the first time, K & O picked out the design and wanted Meera to wear the same. To mark our 5th anniversary of the reunion, here they are in their shirts, on the morning of the reunion, for the past five years!