From Haiti to Litchfield; Fauberson comes home
LITCHFIELD -- The sound of two little boys squealing with laughter as they run as fast as they can go on a hardwood floor explodes through Katy and Jordan Snider's home in Litchfield.
"Go-go!" shouts two-year old Jonas Snider.
"Go-go!" responds his two-year old brother, Fauberson.
The duo stops, giggles and launches another run through the dining room before tumbling in a pile in the living room where they start lining up Hot Wheel cars in a neat row.
"Life is absolutely wonderful," said their mother, Kathy Snider. "We are definitely complete."
Fauberson, who grew up in an orphanage in Haiti and was unharmed in last month's massive earthquake, arrived at his new home in Litchfield two weeks ago.
Since then, the family of four has hunkered down to get to know each other and bond.
The two boys play and tussle together "just like brothers do," said Kathy Snider. After figuring out "they were in this together," they even cried together when a favorite truck was put away, she said.
Arms raised up, Fauberson runs to Jordan and Katy, so he can be picked up and held. Jonas usually isn't far behind.
Raised speaking Creole, Fauberson can say "mommy" and "daddy" in English. But his favorite word, spoken with gusto, is "go."
The Sniders started the process of adopting a child from Haiti four years ago, before their biological child, Jonas, was born.
They received the adoption papers in July and spent the last six months "on the edge of waiting" for when they could get Fauberson.
They were repeatedly told the call would come "any day."
When the earthquake hit, the Sniders grew increasingly anxious to get Fauberson out of Haiti and into their own home.
Recent news about missionaries trying to take children out of Haiti without proper documentation upsets the Sniders.
"You don't just go down there and grab kids," said Jordan Snider.
The Sniders, as well as other American families who were in the midst of legally adopting Haitian children, sought political intervention to expedite the final process through humanitarian parole after the earthquake.
When the phone call finally came at 4:30 p.m. on a Friday two weeks ago, the Sniders had less than 24 hours to get from Minnesota to Denver, Colo., to pick up Fauberson, who'd been flown out of Haiti at the last minute with several other children that were being adopted by Americans.
The Sniders scrambled to pack their bags and buy airline tickets so they could arrive in Denver on time to meet their son for the first time.
"Of course I was crying," said Katy, recalling the first time she got to see and hold Fauberson.
The little boy was so exhausted from the plane trip that he didn't object or fuss to the gentle attention of his new parents, she said.
They spent a couple days at a hotel in Denver before returning to Litchfield, where he met his brother and played in snow for the first time.
Katy, a special education teacher at Dassel-Cokato Elementary School, is taking a six week break from work to help Fauberson make the transition. Jordan is a computer animator and stay-at-home dad.
They've kept a "low key" schedule the past two weeks to help everyone adjust. So far, they've "adjusted so well," said Katy, rapping her knuckles on a coffee table.
Check back when the boys are teenagers, Jordan said.
For those who want to help the people of Haiti, the Sniders encourage donations to the United States Foundation for the Children of Haiti which is a program of "Haitians helping Haitins," said Katy Snider. For information go to: www.usfch.org