Thursday, September 22, 2011

I have a son AND a daughter...

Finally, it's beginning to sink in. I have a son and a daughter! After meeting them in May, saying our sad goodbyes and coming home, I knew we would be waiting for a court date that would make them legally our children. I settled into a busy summer, organized our bedrooms and spent time preparing for when they would become a part of our family. Waiting has not been easy, but I have learned quite a bit about myself in the process.

I am so glad to call this sweet little boy my son. He is such a wonderful child, his smile lights up a room. I miss his tight hugs, the way he says "Mommy" and his giggles.

This little girl can be shy at first, but she is bubbly once she is comfortable in a situation. She will be a wonderful little sister and I know everyone will be wrapped around her little finger:) I miss her cuddles, the way she rubs her ears as she gets tired and the way she says "Mommy".

Eric is planning a trip to Ghana to file our I-600 form. It is hard to say how soon we will travel back to pick them up, so our focus is on the next step only.  I am jealous that he gets to see them and hug them while in Ghana, but I am happy that one of us is able to go and spend time with them.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

We passed court!!!

I was not expecting this good news today, which made it all the more special:) I came home from work this afternoon to find a message that we passed court today!!!!

We are excited to be a family of 6 officially!!!

Although we are still months away from K and A joining our family, this is a HUGE step for us.

Thanks you for all your prayers and encouragement while we were waiting to go to court.

God is good!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

While I'm Waiting

I have a special place in my heart for the song "While I'm Waiting" by John Waller. I can't think of another time this song has described my heart than today.

I have prayed like I have never prayed before, during our adoption journey. I know this is where God wants our family to be, but the journey is heartbreaking nonetheless. I am madly in love with the two little cuties that I hope to call my son and daughter soon.

Since I have felt God's blessing on this journey every step of the way, I thought this gave me the right to figure out a time line for our adoption. I had an imaginary timeline in my mind that was neither from God or from our agency. I know I have issues with control. And then things slowed down. I "patiently" waited through the slow process made even slower. I made a good effort to "go with the flow". But as soon as I found out that there was a chance we could go to court, I made up my mind that this was it. That we would pass. That we would be a family of six. That the babies I held more than three months ago would be my son and daughter forever. I prayed, I cried, I threw the biggest adult temper tantrum known to man ;) surely God appreciated my passion...right?

But God didn't answer. Not yet. He whispered "Wait on My perfect timing". "Trust Me, that I have orchestrated every circumstance according to My will". "You are not forgotten, or loved less because you wait". Wow, powerful words God. In my weakest moment, He is revealing more than I deserve.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Is she your baby girl?

Although my blog isn't huge, I want to do my part in advocating for this precious baby girl in Ghana. If you read this, would you please just share this link on your blog for others to see?

Baby Girl

There is a sweet baby girl with unknown (at this time) special needs that needs a family to love her as she is. I have worked with precious little ones just like her for years and I know the blessing they can be to their parents. Because of her special needs, her adoption can be a quicker process as Anita explains on her blog. Please pray for her and advocate for her.

Is she your baby girl?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Meeting "birth" mom

This day is one that I want to remember well. Not for my benefit, but for our children when they will ask me about their first mother. The term "birth" mom is really not accurate since "H" has cared for her children up until last January when circumstances forced her to make the hardest decision imaginable. I know she loves these children dearly and didn't just give birth to them. Thus the name "first mother".

In the morning, we enjoyed breakfast at our hotel and then headed for a quick swim (see the Swimming Pool post for details). After that wonderful experience, we got into a van with Ken, Michelle, Ryan and Kristen and all of our children (6 children between the ages of 3 and 6). Our first stop was the Kwahu foster home where the other families met their children's first mothers but "H" was not there. I was sad because I was worried we would not get to meet her and she wouldn't have that opportunity to meet us.

We went on a short ride to the site of the new orphanage that our children would live in until our adoption is finalized. It was absolutely peaceful and beautiful there. I was so impressed by all  the work that has happened there. It will be a refuge for so many children for years to come.

Once we returned to the current foster home, I saw Eric go inside and I stayed outside with our daughter "A". He came outside to tell me our first mom "H" was here! My heart began to race as I tried to gather my thoughts and clear my mind. I went from disappointed to excited in a nanosecond and I wanted to remember every single detail.

As we embraced, our girl climbed from my arms to "H"s back (in a true Ghanaian style) and began to play with the zipper in the back of her mothers dress. Since "H" didn't speak English, we smiled and embraced each other for a moment and found someone to translate. We learned a few key things we wanted to know. We learned about our daughters name and tried to remember all the details. As we were together, I wanted to be sure that this meeting was not for ME or about ME. This was for our children as they are old enough to hopefully recall this day. They were able to see their mothers and father all together in a loving setting. I don't know what I expected, but this was not at all the way I anticipated the meeting to go. I have such respect for "H" as she is a woman with such grace and kindness.

Someone had music playing outside the foster home and our son rushed over there to show off his awesome dance moves. An impromptu dance party ensued and I joined holding "A". As I was making a fool of myself (after all, my white girl moves are pretty bad next to Ghanaian dance moves), I saw "H" looking from the side with the biggest grin on her face. Not sure what she thought of us or our dance moves, but I glanced back and smiled. Adoption is messy, sad, hard in so many ways. I am glad our children will have this day when their mothers were together and they were able to show affection to both.

Eric at the hotel with "A" and "K"

Monday, September 5, 2011

Weekend with Friends

One of the greatest blessings of adoption are the friendships that are formed along the journey. One of those special friends is Christy. Her family is also in the process of adopting a boy/girl siblings from Ghana and our process seems to progress at a similar pace. When I have "one of those" days, she is there to encourage with words that come only from another adoptive Momma's heart. We celebrate the small victories along the way, share pictures and pray for one another.

Once we figured out that we live only a few hours from each other, we began to plan a get together for our families. This weekend, we had a fun filled time in Pittsburgh where our families finally met.

Our weekend included swimming

A trip to the Science Center

And fun playing games (I dominated at Farkle!!!)

And this was when I knew our families would get along just fine....

It was a wonderful weekend and we are so blessed to have found another Ghana adoptive family so close to us.

Christy makes fabulous bows at her Etsy Shop Ghana Go Curly to help raise funds for their adoption. I hope to be her #1 client once our little girl joins our family as I happen to know she loves headbands and bows!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Laundry Therapy

This past week has been slow. Each day I am hopeful that there might be good news on a court date or some other development with our adoption, but it turns into another day of no news. I am the type of person that likes to keep busy, likes to have a list of things to do and frankly, likes to be in control. Right now, I have no control over the pace of our adoption and no idea when our children will join our family. That is a tough realization and a helpless feeling.

Couple of nights ago I was folding laundry in the bedroom. I had my favorite music playing and I enjoyed a quiet moment accomplishing a rather boring task. I looked at the basket that was full of clean, unfolded clothes and couldn't wait to have it all neatly folded.

Instead of my usual style of rushing through the task, I took my time, enjoyed the music, folded each item  and placed it into a pile.
The task of organizing and smoothing out wrinkles seemed to do the same in my brain. I felt less anxious about everything for some reason. I emerged out of the bedroom and Eric sensed the difference as well. We jokingly called it "laundry therapy".

Tonight, I decided to try this method again. And it worked!! I took pictures for this illustration and now all the kids clothes are folded and put away (added bonus). I'm not sure why this task is soothing to my brain, but there is something about taking something unorganized and making something neat and tidy out of it.

As I looked at these pictures, I noticed Emmi's shirt with an elephant on it. A gentleman in Ghana hand painted it and it is her favorite shirt to wear. All around our house there are reminders of Ghana and of our children. From the various souvenirs we brought home, their pictures to a beautiful painting on our wall.

The other day I found "A"s yellow hairband that somehow made into our suitcase and I couldn't hold back the tears. I pray they know we are coming back. I pray they know the wait is out of our control....