Barlow Family - Haiti



The WHOLE crew


Ted & Rebecca


Tania Grace


Ana & Oliver











In Prayer, For...
  • the orphans in Haiti
    a smooth moving process
    calm during the transition
  • our kids -
  • Tynan & Tania in college
  • Ana working in Germany
  • Twins' homeschooling
  • the future "additions"
Donate Now with PayPal
If you donate here you will not get a tax receipt. Please click the links above if you want to donate through World Orphans.

Entries in Syndie (4)


another NEW day...

Today is Syndie's FIRST DAY at her new school...

                                       the first day of her first FULL year of school ever!

God in His mercy has provided the GIFT of a fantastic private education for her through our friends at Quesqueya Christian School.

She will be learning in English, but her teacher who has lived here for MANY many years speaks fluent Kreyol as well, so she won't be completely lost. We are still speaking Haitian Kreyol mainly at home. However, she announced a few days ago that she doesn't want to speak Kreyol or English... she WANTS to speak KRENGLISH!!! in exactly that language. We're ok with that too!

This ends up being a DOUBLE blessing for us, as it allows Rebecca the concentrated time to get her Midwifery Program studies @ FNU done this year as well.

Pray for Syndie, Rebecca, Emma & Tynan as they each continue their studies this year.


early navigation of in-country adoption


is a good way to describe this adoption in comparison to our others.

Agency adoption??

We've never done an agency adoption...

YES it's true we adopted SO LONG AGO that we were among the pioneers of independent adoption in Russia with an organization called Christian Adoption Project. This time around the content is similar, applications similar, but the process is very different. That said we are extremely GRATEFUL for Diana Boni @ All Blessings International who has experience with processing the unique cases of American-Haitian residents who already have met & often have custody of their kids. She has been a huge encouragement & we will rely on her knowledge and in-country staff to get everything moving along here very soon.

Bonding & Attachment??

We DO know a LOT now about THAT. However in our situation this time around we have a 2.5 yr long relationship with & actually have PHYSICAL CUSTODY of Syndie BEFORE we have legal guardianship or have begun the actual adoption process. It is a strange thing, but we have been entrusted with her care by the only legal guardian that she has, since her mom died in the earthquake of 2010. TOMORROW we all traipse down to IBESR to get the guardianship paperwork started!


Last time we learned very basic phrases in Russian & then studied and picked it up in Russia and upon our return with our girls. Thankfully this time around we have a better grasp of the language prior to kiddos entering our home...that said we've been on a sudden increased learning curve with our 6 yo chatterbug! Opposite situations in this realm however are the fact that we'll be raising kids in their native country, native language, but an American culture household. We're currently all speaking Haitian Kreyol at home, except for Ted & I between ourselves. So we're not at all sure when to start the transition or integration of English language acquisition.


is another word we use a lot here, but especially in regards to transitioning an older adopted child in their OWN home country.


Syndie is attending a local Haitian school...studying in Kreyol & French at present. She is behind her agemates and requiring specila tutoring. In order to be ready for 1st grade next year they say whe will have to work though the entire summer. At what point do we peel her away from the familiar & her native tongue to study in English & make sure that she will be at grade level in EITHER or BOTH countries that she resides in?


Hopefully this one will work itself out in time, but this past week it has been one of our BIGGEST challenges. One of the few "friends" that Syndie has among our family community here, that bridge her present and past, is our friend Jessica's little girl, Phoebe Kate. In fact PK is the ONLY kiddo here that ever visited Syndie in her orphanage over the past few years. We are blessed to have the girls together enjoying Syndie's freedom to visit Phoebe Kate at her house now too! The reality is that they are at the END of their backwards adoption journey at last & Phoebe is FINALLY moving to the US for the very first time on Thursday. We are happy for them, but will miss them tremendously!!!

Syndie has verbalized NOT wanting to visit anyone at her orphanage and yet has a limited ability to communicate and get to know any of our friends' english speaking kids.

School is the only place where she can communicate freely with other kids right now, but that has presented  it's own issues. This past week a little girl from school, who is quite a bit older than Syndie seemed to have befriended her & came by to "visit". This turned into daily "play" time which was HOURS long...  We thought at first that it would be good for her since she isn't used to being an only child surrounded by adults. Slowly over this past weekend that has gone downhill. BY the end I found myself struggling with giving grace & wisdom & compassion to her and feeling guilty all the same!

I was always the mom who kept an ear out when friends were around to make sure everyone was playing well & communicating appropriately. With a Haitian schoolmate that speaks no english I immediately felt some what disadvantaged at knowing whether they were talking and playing nice.  I decided not to worry too much, but check on them frequently, assess Syndie's countenance & see if she seemed ok. That worked fine. Then a few red flags started going off.

Frist of all, Syndie came in every hour saying she was hungry and asking for something to eat...even though she had eaten more than usual. Next the little girl who was twice her size came out with Syndie's clothes on...a sundress as a top here,  pajama pants as shorts there... we entered uncharted territory as I tried to give caring guidance! How do you NICELY ask a girl who probably has very little, to take off & return your daughter's clothes that are 6 sizes too small? How do you politely change the subject for the 4th time when your daughter asks for food, when you've already fed two full meals AND several snacks during a playdate? How do you ford the waters of generosity & yet NOT undermine or disrespect a little girl's own family who you have (by the way) NEVER MET? Is it even appropriate to ask to meet her mom/family down the road? 

Unfortunately this particular situation got out a little more out of hand... Fun turned into an "agenda", trying to steal Syndie's clothes and lying about it... Sadly, in the end I had to send her home and let her know that Syndie would only see her at school.

Poor Syndie was a trooper & said that she understood, but I struggle with knowing that this may be the norm when it comes to her trying to have local Haitian friends. And so the BIG changes in her life ensue and the valley of separation that we knew would be inevitable from her old life begins to grow wide and rocky and deep. If it wasn't for the joy, the hugs and seeing her SOAK up love & touch like water to one in a desert, I would grieve more with her...SHE would grieve more too. But I didn't see that on her face at the end of the day, just the smile and giggles of a well nourished, well rested little girl who is BRAVELY learning a new way of life and just feels GOOD!


Life w/ Syndie: day 2


Life w/ Syndie: gotcha day - greatness & grief intertwined

This LONG awaited day - which is a miracle to have ever come - arrived quietly and joyfully yesterday afternoon. 

Ted, Bekenson & I drove to Carrefour to meet up with Syndie's godfamily who have been fearlessly working on her behalf the past month to remove her from the unstable & dilapidated orphanage that has been her home the past 4 years.

Syndie's mother died in the 2010 earthquake at 17 years old. Syndie was 2. We had been seeking God in orphan care ministry & adoption back in 2009 & were sure that God was calling us to interracial adoption & kids with specific medical needs. We had no idea that he would call us to Haiti until a few months later.

While he has given us plenty of kingdom work to do here over the past 3 years, one of the biggest plans that he set in motion was the slow process of us becoming Syndie's new forever parents. We actually met Syndie on Thanksgiving day 2011, merely 3 weeks after we hit the ground here. We knew that God would bring kids along that he planned for us to adopt & that we would know it by the fact that they had the special needs that He had laid on our hearts. When we met Syndie & another little guy that we also hope to adopt, Kervensly...our first instinct was to dismiss that just because they fit the details that God laid on our hearts, that THEY were the ones that He had in mind. Is wasn't until nearly a year later that we felt sure that we were supposed to pursue being their parents & now 2.5 years until the first one has entered our care!

In the meantime God has allowed our hearts to be knit steadily together through monthly MD visit days, several outings & retreats with a sponsoring church group from FL, and shared time while visiting and playing in their orphanage.

While Syndie knows us & has some trust development already, this is still a HUGE change for her. While she was crying "I don't want to stay here!" about the orphanage a little over a week ago, she really doesn't know any other life to this point. 

Yesterday was a mixture of beauty and tears. Her godmother, grandmother, god-auntie and her two kids all rode across town to visit our home, to make sure they felt comfortable with Syndie living here & to celebrate her birthday, freedom day & gotcha day all-in-one! We ate Haitian food & had a "woz gato" (pink cake) with "krem glase" (ice cream). It was simple, but special beyond belief. I never knew that Syndie had a god-family and how much that they cared about her. While they have made it clear that they have NO intention of raising her themselves nor the means, they truly care about her emotional well-being, they pray for her, they LOVE her. She is blessed!

They could not have been more encouraging & said over & over again. "Li bon, Mwen TRE tre content pou Syndie!" "It's great, I'm so so happy for Syndie!" They spoke of how we love her & of how smart she is and that she can go to school now too. They talked with Syndie about how she can come see them and that they will visit her that she can call on the phone to them. We are glad to have them a part of her life and forever grateful for their hard work to remove her from the orphanage. 

here is a peek at our first day together-

What a "lucky" little girl to have so much LOVE!!! 

Despite the fun, our day wrapped up with a flood of tears, grief, anger, sadness... Receiving good things even love often causes a form of delayed grief in post-institutionalized kiddos. For her it was a mixture of relief and anger at her stressful past as well as missing the familiar no matter how much she didn't like it. I couldn't help but cry with her in her pain.

When the tears finally subsided, we all snuggled up together to watch Doc McStuffins on Netflix and called it the END of our very first day TOGETHER!