We made it. Tuesday saw us go from the mission in Deschapelles to Montreal. Wednesday – Montreal to Calgary. Calgary to Kelowna. I promised to write about Ti Luc’s travel and send photos – so here it is.
The children saw us off at home. They stood, in their school uniforms, and prayed for Ti Luc before they rushed off to start their exams and we rushed off to Port au Prince.
|Ti Luc ready to leave for Canada. Kids praying for him before he left|
The trip to Port au Prince with Papa Luckner went fine. He said Bye to Papa at the airport and the rest of the trip begin.
|Papa Luckner seeing his boy off to Canada|
At check in for our flight to Montreal I was given two seats for Ti Luc and I in the middle row of the airplane close to the back of the plane. Hold on a minute. This will not do!! I presented my receipt showing I paid for seats at the front of the plane and on the side where there are only two seats. I had done this so when Ti Luc’s left hand moved of it’s own accord he would not hit someone or knock something over. I was told those seats had been given to someone else. I suggested they get them back for us. After speaking to a supervisor I was happy with the result as they had placed Ti Luc and I in the very front – in First Class. Thank you God. Ti Luc’s very first flight he would be flying in style and I would be able to relax about him accidently hitting someone next to him.
Such excitement on Ti Luc’s face as he looked at everything inside the PAP airport. We made it through security with no problems. Then Immigration. That part was not pleasant at all. This was Ti Luc’s first time leaving Haiti so I had paperwork with me that might possibly be needed. I presented paperwork upon request but was told it was not acceptable and I could not leave on the plane with my boy. I was spoken to in a very unacceptable manner. My questions and words to them were repeated by the two Immigration women and they would then laugh and mock me. Another case of someone having a job with a little power and determined to use it to control others at will.
I was running out of time to make the plane when finally one of the Immigration ladies said she would allow me go if I could give her photo copies of the paper work I had there. She told me to go get copies and come back. In the Port au Prince airport there is nowhere to make copies, so she said to go outside and look for somewhere. Ti Luc was sitting in his wheelchair. She told me to push him over to the wall and leave him while I left the airport for copies. I said I would not leave my son. She asked why on earth not. I said he needed me and I wouldn’t want anyone to take him. She laughed and said “Madam no one would want him.” That was it! Tears ran down my cheeks and I said “I want him. And I know many others who would too.”
I called Luckner. He was too far away to come in time to help but in true Luckner style he jumped into helping. He had Daniel call someone he knew at the airport to come inside, look for me, and try to make copies for me. I ended up with three guys running around looking for a place to make copies. Copies were made and I rushed back to Immigration. I could see one of the Immigration ladies, and was headed back to her, when a man called me to his booth. He had been watching what had been happening with Ti Luc and I. He took the photocopies, did not even look at them, threw them one side, stamped our passports, told me to have a good trip and to run as we had very little time left. We went straight to the plane and into our seats. All was well at last.
Our flight to Montreal was great. Ti Luc was amazed by everything. They gave us an iPad which Ti Luc thoroughly enjoyed to watch a penguin movie. He happy danced on his seat. He yelled with excitement when the plane was going down and he could see Montreal from the window.
|Sitting on plane for first time and in First Class no less|
|Posing with Air Canada attendants|
Our Canadian Immigration experience was very different – it was pleasant. I had the paperwork ready to present along with our passports and immigration forms. Our passports were stamped. Ti Luc was told “welcome to Canada” and that was it. Thank you God. Ti Luc kept saying “I am in Canada , right Mama? I am in Canada.”
We found our suitcase and headed out to an awesome ‘Welcome to Canada Ti Luc’ by Joan, Keith and Carol. Carol is a special lady who had been to HATS with Keith and Joan on a team and who has stayed in close touch. Needless to say Ti Luc was beaming.
|Welcoming party at Montreal Airport|
|Excited to be at Keith and Joan’s|
Wednesday morning saw us back at airport to fly to Calgary and Kelowna. While waiting for our plane in Montreal Ti Luc discovered in bathrooms hand dryers and toilets that flushed by themselves and with powerful suction and noise. He was amazed and loved the warm air from the dryers but was a little nervous about the toilets. He was interested in everything he saw and asked a lot of questions.
|Heading to Calgary and Kelowna|
|Mama this is nice. It is warming me|
The flight to Calgary with Air Canada went very well. Thankfully Ti Luc had a short nap as he was almost nonstop excitedly talking about seeing Liette at the airport. When he saw Liette he left on the run. We had a lovely visit including a delicious lunch she brought us. He had a great time with big sister, Liette, by riding the escelator – up – down – up, and checking out many things. Soon it was time to say ‘Bye Liette’ until the 17th when we come to your house.
|Short nap on flight Montreal to Calgary|
|I’m here Liette. I’m in Calgary|
|Riding escalator fun with big sister Liette|
Then off to Kelowna to visit big sister, Dana, and family for a week. This short Westjet flight was very enjoyable.
A very kind and thoughtful man offered me help at the plane door with Ti Luc’s chair, which needed to collapse to go underneath, and with Ti Luc. This same man, Dave, offered to change his seat with the person scheduled to sit next to Ti Luc so that person could have a more relaxed flight. Dave, was not the least concerned that Ti Luc’s hand might hit him in flight. He loaned Ti Luc his headphones, found something for him to watch, and kindly helped Ti Luc throughout the flight. When we landed he waited with us until others had left the plane. He then accompanied us, carrying Ti Luc’s chair, from the plane to arrivals. He stayed and waited with us until Dana and Alexa arrived. What a kind helpful gentleman!
We, Ti Luc and I, want to say a big thank you to this man for ‘everything’. Kindness and understanding hearts are around.
|On plane – Calgary to Kelowna|
|Very nice man, Dave, with Ti Luc at Kelowna airport.|
Ti Luc was thrilled to see Alexa and Dana arrive. We arrived at their house and within a few minutes he was in the pool with Alexa and Jared. He has been out on their ‘Side By Side’ several times now – with both Alexa and Jared.
|Just arrived and in the pool|
|Alexa giving Ti Luc a ride on the Side By Side|
Yesterday, Thursday, Ti Luc was up, dressed and went off to school with Alexa. He spent a great day and asked this morning to go back.
|Ti Luc going to school with Alexa for the day|
Ti Luc and I are looking forward to seeing Jim and Irene and other folks in Lytton tomorrow.
Thank you to everyone who has encouraged us and prayed for us during this long journey of adoption, passport, Canadian citizenship, and visa for Ti Luc. We could not have done it without you.
May God bless all of you.
~Karen and Ti Luc