Mathieu has experienced a lot of firsts. We have sampled several restaurants with Chick-fil-A being one of his favorites along with Mexican food.
What has surprised me the most is how he really prefers for me to cook for him. And…he loves to cook, too! He was missing some good Haitian food, so he went to the grocery store with me and found everything he needed to cook a full Haitian meal. We were totally impressed. He did all the chopping, cutting, mixing, frying, everything. We had fried chicken, piklez, fried potatoes, and fried plantains. It was really good, too. Maybe he will have a restaurant one day.
Mathieu also had his first doctor’s appointment. This was extremely special to us. I literally couldn’t wait because our doctor is the reason we ever went to Haiti in the first place. He met Mathieu in Haiti way back 8 years ago. It was just the coolest thing to finally see him examining Mathieu in the USA! He even said the whole appointment was surreal.
We also took time for lots of fun. We went to Jumpstreet to jump on the trampolines and Climb Murfreesboro (a rock climbing wall). He has also been able to go to the movies with his cousins and ride their hoverboard.
Once he realized how much we liked his cooking, he decided to start charging for it. He cooked for some friends and earned his first $2 (and already spent it.) He’s gone bike riding with friends down the street and started school. The other students were so excited and welcoming to him. He has made several new friends. He is doing really well in school so far, and he loves it. We are so proud of him. He likes riding the bus and thought it was so cool that the bus comes to his house to pick him up in the mornings. He already had his first field trip to the bowling ally, and he LOVED it.
He’s already gotten his social security number/card. He asked me what it was when it came in the mail. I said, you can pay taxes now! He’s also had his first haircut in America. He wants it to grow out, so we just had it shaped up a little.
One of the sweetest things is bedtime. We talk about the day, pray, and read to him. We love this time together. The other day we wanted to nap, so he decided to read to us. He was reading a book that was written in English, but he was speaking it in Creole. We have been totally impressed with his language comprehension.
On top of all the celebrations of Mathieu’s homecoming, he also had his 12th birthday, his first birthday in America! He had so much fun and loved the attention. We had a full Haitian meal, cake, and gifts. He got a bike (and has gotten really good at riding), soccer equipment (he joined the local rec league team), and a guitar (a recent hobby of his. He really wants to learn to play.)
We have really loved our time together. Even though we have had such good times already, it certainly has not been perfect, and we learn how to live together as a family a little more each day. Mathieu’s pastor in Haiti said at Mathieu’s going home party, that God had always meant for Mathieu to live in America with us, and that Mathieu was brave and had strength and courage to wait. When our pastor here introduced Mathieu to our church, he said the same thing. God meant for Mathieu to be born Haitian and be in our family here in America. It was not Plan B. For us, it is so obvious that Mathieu was meant to be in our family, and we are so thankful for him.