By the parents of Shayson Charles Savage
After what seemed an eternity of waiting (but was only 20
months from when we were matched with him), we made our second trip to
Haiti on April 3, 2008, to bring our son, Shayson Charles Savage, home.
Upon arriving in Haiti we headed directly for the Crèche. Having
traveled to visit Shayson in October 2007, we had seen Haiti before but
we doubt that we could really ever get used to the deprivation of this
impoverished country. As we had been to Haiti before, we were deeply touched
by the strength of the human spirit will be found in the Haitian people.
Our hope is that we can somehow help Shayson maintain the strength of
his heritage. We spent a day at the Crèche before leaving for home.
Based on both our time at the Crèche and from the development of
Shayson since coming home, it is clear that amazing things are accomplished
at the Crèche.
We also had the unique experience of meeting Shayson’s biological
mother, father, younger sister and grandmother. They had asked to meet
us and so we visited with them for about 90 minutes before heading to
the airport. Given the many ups and downs of the adoption process, the
request to meet with Shayson’s biological family presented some
concerns but was ultimately a great experience. We were able to learn
about his family and we will be able to share some information with him
as he grows curious about them when he is older. (At this point Shayson
wants nothing to do with Haiti and we occasionally assure him that he
does not have to go back.) We were also able to thank Shayson’s
family for their willingness to share him with us and allow him to have
a life that was otherwise unavailable to him.
The plane ride provided some interesting moments as Shayson experienced
firsts – things like putting an ice cube in his mouth, drinking
through a straw, and using airplane lavatories. Clearing immigration took
what seemed to be another eternity (can anyone explain why there are never
enough clerks in government offices) but as we walked out of the airport
in Miami, we knew Shayson was finally home. The next day, April 15th,
we were greeted by cold weather and Shayson’s five brothers and
sisters, his grandparents, and one of Gregg’s law partners who speaks
Haitian Creole. It has been a whirlwind ever since.
Watching Shayson acclimate and adapt to his new surroundings has been
an amazing experience. He is constantly on the go as he seeks to experience
his new world. His English has developed quickly, thanks to the foundation
provided by the staff at the Crèche, and he wins people over quickly
with his charming personality. He both annoys and idolizes his older siblings,
just as a younger brother should. Watching the developing relationship
between Shayson and his sister who is just 8 months older has been interesting.
We now have some sense of what it is like to have twins, but they seem
to be good for each other. Having shared most of his life with 60 or so
other children, we think Shayson would go stir crazy in a home without
brothers and sisters.
Shayson attends an ESL preschool and church every week. Now that summer
has finally found its way to Utah, he is constantly outside playing with
the neighborhood kids. He rides his scooter and bike as though he had
been born on them. He seems to have no fear and has learned to do flips
on the trampoline and has taken to swimming like a fish. We are sure there
will be more challenges, but we know Shayson is truly home and a part
of our forever family.
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