Haitian orphan Stanley Hermane, 21 months, right, has finally… (Baltimore Sun photo by Amy…)
At first Stanley Hermane held up a toy phone to his ear as if an expectant caller had rung. Then the 21-month-old decided that the object was a baseball and threw line drives. Then it was a hammer that he banged with delight.
The Haitian orphan that adoptive parents Michael and Monica Simonsen just brought back from the earthquake-ravaged country has already latched onto a favored object — so much so that he seem unfazed by the reporters who keep coming to witness the latest chapter in his story.
Wednesday was the first morning he woke up in his new Baltimore home, and the Simonsens said that the first overnight in his own room went well, as he slept through it without a whimper.
"[Monday] he slept until about 10 am, but he hadn't slept in a bed in weeks," said Michael, referring to when the Simonsens brought him from Haiti to Orlando, where they stayed before flying into Baltimore on Tuesday night.
"Today, we got him up at about 8," Michael added. "He's just been hanging out."
Stanley is in the country under "Humanitarian parole," a measure that the Department of Homeland Security recently enacted that allows Haitian orphans to go to families who were already in the process of adopting them.
"For now, we are considered his foster parents," said Monica. "I don't know what the next steps are right now. We just received an e-mail from the Department of Health and Human Services, and we need to process it."
The boy enjoys his father's real cell phone as much as his toy versiom, holding it up to his ear and making a sound as if to say, "Hello." He sucks his thumb a bit, and Michael said immigration officials struggled somewhat getting a good thumbprint from him because of it. Monica said he rocks himself to sleep.
Stanley is a bit congested, and Monica said that his first doctor visits is Thursday.
"It will probably be a long visit, because we don't have very good medical records," said Monica. "We'll probably be starting from scratch.
"He's eating what we eat," Monica added. "The thing is, at the orphanage they start them on adult food pretty young because it's hard to keep bottles clean."
The Simonsens also have a six-month-old child, Dane, and he and Stanley met for the first time Wednesday morning.
"They were kind of looking at each other, scoping each other out, as if to say, ‘What are you doing in my house?'" said Monica. "But Stanley's only seen us give him our 100-percent attention."
But they said their wish to get Stanley here in time for his second birthday in April has been accomplished.
"Hard to believe," said Monica.