Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ghana Trip #2 Part 1

Instead of writing a day by day account of Eric's trip to Ghana, I will write some special memories instead. Since I didn't travel, these are "second hand stories" so I will consult my husband for any missed details.

Meeting the Children

When Eric met the children, they had been in the car for 3-4 hours from Kwahu. They likely slept the entire trip since it was still morning when they arrived. Our POA brought the children to the hotel and the children instantly knew him. There was a little bit of time before the Embassy appointment and Eric changed the kids clothes and gave them a few treats. Our POA took a few pictures and helped to get the kids ready. They were both pretty shy and quiet, but this didn't last long.

 All dressed up for the US Embassy

Next was the trip to the US Embassy. We visited the Embassy last trip and witnessed two families visa appointments. The families weren't there themselves, but their children and bio families were there and we saw all that happens there on a daily basis. Eric went in with the children and filed our I-600 application. He said it was "quick and painless" and he returned to the hotel with the children.

 Movie Time: Cars or Veggie Tales?

One of the favorite memories for Eric was to watch movies with the children after their bath in the evenings. Kofi loves "Cars" and they must have watched it a 100 times. This started the first night and continued every night during the trip.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Lately, I have been suffering from "writer's block" of sorts. Too many thoughts swirling in my brain and I have felt the need to sort some of them out first. After Eric came back from Ghana, God has been speaking to us about our future and how Ghana will fit into it. Our intention has never been to just "go get our kids" and then live our lives like nothing happened. There has been discussions about helping those children who are not going to be adopted and supporting individuals or organizations involved in these types of programs. Also, Eric spent a precious day with our children's first mother and we have so much compassion for women in Ghana who have no other options available to them than placing their children for adoption. So family preservation efforts are also close to our hearts. We are in prayer for the right direction and I hope we will have some things figured out soon.

I have also been in prayer during this time of waiting, that I could trust God FULLY that His timing is perfect. I am by nature a control freak and the anxious type. I have felt a marvelous shift in this tendency and God is leading me through the waiting with less anxiety and less worry. Thank you God!!! I am not perfect, but it's great to know that God doesn't think I'm beyond help, LOL!!!

So we are still waiting on our I-600 approval and we might be waiting a while longer. The last step after that is the visa processing and then we can travel to Ghana to bring our children home!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

And we wait...

All of our papers are now submitted for our I-600 application. We received our "corrected" birth certificate and the Embassy is now continuing the process. Once again, we received a different age for our son, they range from 4 to 7 on various reports. One report states ages 4 AND 7 on the same page.... TIA!!! I know he is not 4 and I doubt that he is 7. Either way, he is our precious boy and we can't wait to have him and his sister here.

Eric has gone through many emotions since his return home from Ghana. His exhaustion has now turned into processing all that he saw and experienced. We are preparing ourselves for the holidays without two of our children and it is hard. It seems that I-600 applications are once again taking a long time to process so we set our sights on early next year for our next trip to Ghana. I do better when I can do something to help the process along like during our home study process. But this is the phase when we just wait...and wait...and wait.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ghana trip #2

Eric is home safe and sound. He came home absolutely exhausted after keeping up with two energetic children and taking care of adoption business at the US Embassy. We are missing one piece of paper from our I-600 application so our application will not move along until that comes. Once again, I rely on God's timing in this. Not an easy thing to do for me, but God is smoothing out a lot of my rough edges with this journey.

I have spent the last few days looking at pictures of his adventures and watching videos. He was so thoughtful to take all the video for me as he knew I would enjoy them. He also braved the markets, with two children and his new friend/taxi driver as his guide. The high pressure sales can be intimidating at times, but he got some great deals!!!

Highlights of this wonderful trip included:

Our children saw the Atlantic Ocean for the first time

He witnessed how our daughter's English has improved since our last trip. She has the cutest accent as she would loudly declare "Good Morning" as she woke up.

We learned more about our children's past and their circumstances that lead them to the orphanage and international adoption. Not only am I absolutely convinced that adoption was the only choice for them, we can also prepare specifically how to help them process these past hurts. I have read and heard so much about ethical adoptions as some countries struggle with their international adoption programs. Some agencies even now limit the contact you have with birth family. Personally, these meetings have been the reassurance that we need to proceed with our adoption and we can tell our children that the option of staying in Ghana, staying with family just was not possible.

These children are so resilient so sweet despite all that they have been through. I will share more about Eric's trip soon as it had left him changed forever.