Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Different Kind of Christmas...

I love Christmas. Absolutely love it. I love the way the Christmas tree smells. I love the bright tacky lights outside. I love wrapping presents. I love watching 'Elf" countless times. I love going to my Grandmas's house. And of course- I love eating!



Christmas has been just about the same for the past several years. We've rushed around shopping for everyone. Talked about Santa Claus. Spoiled Malorie with way too many presents. Bought very expensive things that she really doesn't need. And in short just spent way too much money.


This year is different. Not bad, just different. Since the recent travel to Ghana & back (bringing our kids home), we don't have the ability to spend ungodly amounts of money like before. Of course, everybody is still getting presents. Just not as much (or as big) as we had planned.


But- it's okay. Christmas isn't just about presents. It's been a different kind of Christmas. We've tried to shift the focus off of presents and on to other things. We have been baking things for our neighbors EVERY day. (I am no baker, but everything has been good so far.) The kids have delivered the cookies & pies, and even went caroling last night! (Their idea, not mine.)


We have read stories about Jesus being born. We have watched Christmas movies. We have made Christmas ornaments and listened to Christmas music. It has been kind of nice, actually.


When Konto was praying last night, he told God 'thank you that we make things and share with the people'. It was so sweet. They said that at the orphanage, there were some Muslim people who lived close by. On Christmas, they would cook and have the children come over & eat with them. Five children at a time would go and eat from a large bowl there. They have also received those gifts in a shoebox at Christmas. But I guess this is the first time they've been on the giving end.


I hope our typical Christmas starts to look a little more like this one. (Not the being broke part.) The simple part. Just hanging out together. Doing things for other people, just because. Remembering what Christmas is really about.


Now I'm off to sleep. All of the kids are sleeping on the living room floor. I used to love doing this as a kid. Staring at the Christmas tree 'til I fell asleep. Christmas really is the best.
 
 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Grocery Store....

I know. It doesn't sound too exciting. But I love going to the grocery store. It is so much fun to watch people's expression when I'm out shopping with my 3 kids. We are in the south, afterall. Inter-racial adoption isn't as common here as it is elsewhere.

When Serwaa or Konto call out "Mommy!", everyone within earshot watches with unabashed curiosity to see if I respond. They will then stay on our aisle just to watch us.
What makes it even funnier is what usually comes after "Mommy!" For instance, "What is THAT!!???" To anyone else, it is just a pack of hotdogs. People stare in amazement at the fact that these 9 & 7 year old children have never seen a hotdog before. Then comes the next string of questions. (My kids know the words 'hot' and 'dog'. Imagine what must be going through their minds at that point!) Haha!

Next example: In Target, Konto asked me to buy a pack of crackers. (My default answer is NO.) So, when I actually picked it up, Konto said (very loudly) "That is my MOTHER!!!!" Then proceeded to dance down the aisle right past the onlookers.

We also went to McDonalds recently. I absent-mindedly asked if they wanted chicken nuggets or a cheeseburger. Totally forgot to explain it to them in the car. We had to step out of the line so that I could explain a cheeseburger. Got some weird looks for that, too.

I have to say, grocery shopping & fast food have never been more interesting!
 
 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Two Waters...

There are two waters in Ghana. One is a bad water. He does not like the people of Ghana. If you ask him to help you make someone die, he will help you.

The other water is a good water. He thinks the people of Ghana are good. He will not help you to kill someone.


The water can take the shape of a man.

One day Lordina (a girl who lives at the orphanage) & her friend were walking along a path. They saw an old man. He was poor, and had little clothing. Lordina's friend laughed and laughed at him. But this man was the water. He cursed her for not treating him kindly. He said that she will never have children because of this. Then, he turned back into the water, and disappeared.

The girl often walks the same path looking for the man. She wants to apologize so that the curse can be lifted, so that she can have children one day. But, she has never seen him again.


-As told to me by Serwaa, December 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Konto...

Konto is such a fun boy. He has the cutest laugh & a great smile. Plus, he's just plain adorable. He has done really well adjusting so far. Maybe it's easier on him since he's a little younger than Serwaa. He doesn't usually cry. When he does, it's pretty short lived. However, he is a major pouter. He could out-pout anyone I know.

He could also out-eat anyone I know. He will say 'Mommy I'm hungry' at least 100 times a day. And part of the time he's lying in the floor moaning as he says it. Even as he stumbles into my room half-asleep in the morning. Those have been his first words EVERY morning since we got home!

I still don't know how to tell how well they kids are doing with attachment. They seem to be doing okay. Konto actually told me 'I love you' last night as I tucked him in. First time he's said it at night here. He has yet to say it while making eye contact, but we'll get there eventually.

This morning during church he fell asleep in my lap. It made me wonder when was the last time he's been held as he slept. My guess is about 4 years. A friend once told me that he slept on her on one of her visits to the orphanage when he was about 3. So sad how long they've gone without any individualized affection. He really does loves to be hugged and carried around.

I FINALLY got his lab results back. They said it's all good. Not a single parasite. I'm a little skeptical though, since the results seemed to be lost for so long. Hopefully the lab didn't just say it was all normal just because they didn't want to re-do it! (Konto was a mess at the lab. Four people had to hold him down. And he cried the whole time.) The doctor was also suprised that it was normal. Konto's spleen sticks out a little, so the doctor thought there would be something there that would cause it. But he said maybe it's just because he's so skinny.

I really do love this boy. He's so sweet. Every time his clothes are too small, he asks me to mail them to Eugene or Amankwa (his friends at the orphanage). He even put 'washing machine' on his Christmas list because ours broke! He's really just the best son anybody could have!
 
 
Konto Wofayaw Knight

Friday, November 25, 2011

Stories...

The kids had so much fun today! We made Christmas lists. Maybe we shouldn't have tried to explain Santa Claus. (Or Christmas Father, as they call him.) They know who he is, but had no idea he brought presents. They wanted to know how he gets in, how he gets their letters, how he knows which house is ours... They are so confused!


Serwaa & Konto talked & talked today. I love to hear their stories. Serwaa told me about catching birds with her older brother. (I didn't know she remembered him at all. They were seperated when she was 4 years old.) They would go into the woods, and he would shoot them with a sling shot. Or, he would 'walk small-small' (sneak up on the bird) and put a basket over it!

They also told about their friend Yadudu raising a baby chicken names Janet. When it grew up, it had three babies. They named them Janet, Felicity and Jennifer. Then, Yadudu ate the mother.


Another girl named Serwaa also raised a chicken. It had one leg. The girls would sneak some of their food to the chicken everyday. When it died, they all cried.

They talked about Ghana's presidents, and their opinions of them. Then they quoted a poem about Ghana they learned in school.



They told about how well Yadudu can break dance, how Faith and Eugene write left-handed, and how the cooks don't like Amankwa because he cries when he is hungry, and when he eats okra.


I know the stories are pointless to everyone else. But I hope my kids will always remember them. (I had to write them down, because I know I'll forget!)



And last but not least, Malorie taught them to slide down the stairs...
video

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Serwaa...

Well, we are finally done with all of the kids' lab work! So glad to be done collecting urine & stool samples!!! Monday we got the results for Serwaa's labwork. The doctor said it was all pretty good! He said they did find two 'things'. He said in all of his 20 years, he had never heard of them. He looked up the first one (don't even know the name). He said treatment is controversial; so if there are no symptoms, he will do nothing. The other 'thing' that showed up as positive wasn't even in his medical book. So if it's anything important he will call back to let me know (once he finds out what it is).




Serwaa is really a very sweet, loving girl. I am so lucky to be her momma. Although she can be a drama queen, she is also very quiet alot of the time. If only I knew what she was thinking.




While she seems generally happy, she does cry sometimes. She never says why. She did tell her friend once that she dreamed she was being choked. She cried & said her throat hurt most of that day. She also cried when trying to write a letter to her 'Ghana mother' (her Aunt who raised her until age 4). I really think she doesn't know how she's supposed to feel about her. She didn't know what to say. She asked me to write a letter, and she would just copy it. So I did. The only line Serwaa added was "I am very happy". Later, we wrote a letter to send 'Grandmother' (the orphanage directress). I also wrote that letter. But Serwaa did add "Here is good. Thank you for helping me to come here. My father, mother and sister are very good. God bless you."




She is starting to try more foods, although she still doesn't like most of them. Especially vegetables.


On Saturday, she went to a birthday party with my daughter. I know you're supposed to stay with your children non-stop for awhile, but I let her go. She actually had fun. When she got home, she ran in to hug and kiss me a million times. So sweet. She also still tells me she loves me almost every day. I am so blessed with this girl.



Serwaa Akweleyaa Knight


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

So Far, So Good...

It's been 2.5 weeks. Everything is still going great! I'm not sure when all that awfulness I have read about & prepared myself for is supposed to kick in. But honestly, it's all good right now. So here's a quick update on it all.


Food:
Serwaa is still VERY picky. She refuses to try almost everything new. If she refuses to try the food I've made, I refuse to make anything else. If she tries it & dislikes it, I will give her a few more options. However, even when forced to try something, she will lick it, then say she doesn't like it. Konto still eats like a starving man. Serwaa knows how to make a few things from Ghana. Yesterday they made 'ato' (I think). It was boiled & smashed ripe plantain mixed with 'nkatemali' (peanut butter) & raw onion. We even sat in the floor & all ate from the same bowl with our hands! She has also made plantain fried in palm oil.


Brother/Sister Relationships:
The kids generally love each other. Malorie told me the other day, "I love having a brother and sister!" The girls tell each other "My seesta, I love you!" about 5 times a day. Konto tells them "I don't love you oppossite." The hitting is decreasing, but we still have a long way to go. Malorie spent half of the day doing hairstyles for Serwaa. Poor Serwaa. The kids even made a 'siblings club' in the attic today. These 3 have been really fun!


Health:
Konto's toe still looks awful, but at least it's not infected now. Maybe one day he'll have a real toenail. Serwaa went to her 1st checkup on Monday. Her hearing, sight & hemoglobin are all good. She will have lots of bloodwork done once I return her stool sample to the lab. (Parenthood is so glamorous, I know.) Also, after the Dr looked her over completely, he said he would assume she is around 9 years old. And a huge relief: Konto has gone a week with no pullups at night, and Serwaa has gone 3 nights! I have read that this problem sometimes re-surfaces, but I'm so glad to not be buying pullups this week!



General Behavior:
The kids are both pretty shy at first. They tend to look down & not speak when people speak to them. They never approach strangers or anything scary. However, they will attach themselves easily to people who buy them things or give them gifts, and are not shy to keep asking people to buy them more things! I imagine this will die down once the memory of having nothing fades. They obey pretty well. (Except for lying, we have a long way to go with that one!)


Funny Ghana Behavior:
Never closing the bathroom door
Eating rice with hands
Urinating in public
Running around naked after baths
(We haven't even bothered to try to change any of this yet. All in good time.)


Attachment:
This is still a non-issue for me. It's just like the first time we were together in Ghana. They don't feel like new kids. They really feel like they've always been my kids. I have yet to get frustrated with them like I would with someone else's child who lies or pouts. Maybe this wears off after the 'honeymoon' stage. I'm not gonna paint a fairytale, so I'll let ya know! For Al it seems easy too. Of course, he's usually not home during any negative behaviors, so that helps! He's like a big kid. He has 2 more people to play with, so he couldn't be happier! For Malorie it's been much easier than expected. Maybe this too is part of a honeymoon stage. Serwaa & Konto- I'm not sure how to judge their attachment to us. They seem attached. They like to snuggle with us. They look me in the eye when talking. (Serwaa is better about it than Konto though. He doesn't hold a gaze for too long.) I guess time will tell.
 

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Week...

I can't believe the kids have been home a whole week now! (Actually, a week and two days.) It has really been good. Konto went to his first doctor's appointment on Friday. (His toe is infected where his toenail should be.) He did really well, and the nurses all liked him.


They are trying more food, but still loving their regular foods. So, we try to have a mixture of both. (Like hamburgers with ampesi, or Pork Chops with rice & shitor.) Konto eats more than any person I've seen in my life (even myself)! Maybe it's because he didn't have the option to eat alot before. But man, he doesn't stop until you make him! He's gonna be huge in one month!

The kids still hit alot, but maybe it's getting a little better. All in all, the kids are getting along well. Of course they fight sometimes, but it's not too bad. The girls are still trying to pick out matching clothes everyday. They insist on taking their baths together. And they are always playing tricks on their brother.

Konto is loving being the baby. He wakes up early every morning, just to lay in our bed for a couple more hours. He is also daddy's boy. On Saturday night, we went to the mexican restaurant. When Konto saw that daddy had gone up to the front for karaoke, he ran up there to give him a hug. Then, he stayed up there and danced through the entire song! He was breaking it down! So funny! He is also a pouter. If he doesn't get his way, he is definately gonna pout/ not talk/ not walk...


So, that's how it's going now. Over all- very good!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Living in a House...

It's so funny to watch the kids as the learn to live in a house. Of course, they lived in a 'house' before. The orphanage has a girls house & boys house. But, it's so different. Most of the day the kids are outside. They eat outside, bathe outside and play outside all day long.
Here, we are inside alot. Things are so different, so there is alot to be learned! For instance- when the kids have trash, it is thrown in the floor. When Serwaa was tired of chewing her gum, she spit it in the floor. Konto threw a golf ball at the wall in his room. After playing outside with sidewalk chalk, Konto brought it in & started using it on the carpet! He also got red ink on his hand accidentally, so he wiped it on the carpet! Dirty tissue paper is put in the trash, not the toilet. Doors are NEVER shut, whether they are changing clothes, bathing, or using the toilet...

It's all so funny! They aren't being bad at all, they just don't know otherwise! Also- today we were leaving a friends house. We all got in the car, except Konto. He went to go pee in the neighbors front yard! I quickly stopped him, so he went to the vacant lot across from it to pee instead. (He didn't mind that the construction workers could see him!) Never a dull moment!
 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Knight, Party of 5...

It is so good to be home with my whole family. We got home Saturday night after spending about 36 hours between airplanes & airports. It's been really nice so far! Sunday morning we went to church, then out to eat. It was so much fun when they asked 'how many?', & we FINALLY got to say 5 instead of 3!

Malorie, Serwaa & Konto are all getting along pretty well. There is still alot of hitting, even though much of it is just playing very roughly. The kids are slowly learning to eat more than just rice, bread & soup. But suppertime is still a struggle. Usually I just make one thing they like, and one thing everybody else likes. And Konto- he eats like a grown man! He wants at least 3rds of everything he likes, & eats everyone's leftovers!

They are loving all the toys here. I'm sure things will get rough eventually, once all the newness wears off. But now, it's very good. Sometimes one of them will just start refusing to do what I ask, but it doesn't usually last too long.

A wonderful lady at my church gave me lots of samples for the kids. Lotion, shampoo, conditioner, scalp oil... lots of stuff. And gave me a short lesson in how to care for their skin & hair. So thankful to have people like that around! But, I'm sure I'll need lots more coaching along the way!

Also, the kids got to skype with an old friend from the orphanage today. They had SO MUCH FUN! I love it!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Things I've Heard This Week...

A little girl who lives at the orphanage: "Don't mind them. They're only villagers."


Another girl from the orphanage: "I also have a white human. Her name is Janet." (She was joking, she doesn't really have a white human.)


Serwaa, upon seeing the ocean: "O! It is tooooo big! God can do aaaanyting!!"

Then this morning. We were landing in DC around 6:30am. It was still dark. Serwaa said: "The sun? It does not come to the US?" (It's up before 6am in Ghana) She was concerned!


Serwaa, once we landed: "Will we go to Obama now?"


Another girl at the orphanage: "Why did God make you with nice skin & nice hair, and he made us like this? Please, next time you come, bring the lotion." (The kind that lightens black skin.) Such a sad thing to come from the mouth of such a beautiful little girl. Who knows where she got the idea that they are less beautiful. Could be that half the billboards in Ghana are promoting skin lightening cream. So, so sad.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday...

This hotel is pretty nice. It has A/C (which I have to keep cutting of b/c it makes us cold), hot water, a fridge, tv (with satelite) and a towel! It even included free breakfast for one! (Which we all ate.) When we left the hotel we first went for some bread that has onion & meat in it. Then we headed to the beach. It is so nasty! But- the kids were amazed! Konto said, "This water is bigger!" They couldn't believe it was so big they couldn't see it all! They stood in the edge & ran from the water. They climbed on the rocks. We even rode a horse around. (Although I ended up paying 5 cedis each!) We saw the fishermen emptying their nets. We saw several people using the bathroom on the beach. And you had to always look where you were walking so as not to step in people poop. Ew.
After we came back to the hotel for awhile, we went back out to get Serwaa's hair done. It was looking pretty scraggly. And believe it or not- it was done in an air conditioned building! And- it only took 1.5 hours! I was prepaired for way more! Even better- it only cost 5 cedis! (About $3 USD) After that, we went to a spot for chicken & rice. We all shared a plate & all had soft drinks. It was expensive, but fun! The kids got to try sprite for the first time, and loved it! I should've recorded that first face! There are SO many firsts with these two, it's exciting!

Now we're in the hotel again. They are drawing pictures of my house, which is really cute! Then we will watch TV, read books, and go back out for supper!

I can't believe tomorrow is our last day here! "Grandmother" and "Ghana Mother" will come here tomorrow to see us off at the airport! It will be hard to watch. Grandmother will be fine, she's a strong lady. 'Ghana mother' (their previous caregiver, technically their Aunt) will be sad. I know it is hard for her. But she is glad they are going. She is glad about all of the opportunity they will have that she'll never be able provide. Opportunities she never had. It seemed that it was harder on her than it was the children. (We already said goodbye once at the orphanage, before she decided to come see them off.) I guess it's because the kids were younger when they left her. But, I'm sure it's still hard for them.


I really am excited to get home with them though! And a side note, Serwaa keeps staring at herself & her new hair in the mirror. She knows she's gorgeous! Her & Malorie will get along well!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Long Post...

Hey- I haven't had internet access for almost a week! So, where to start... The flight I guess. It was long. Since I'm usually relatively calm, I suprised myself by feeling anxious. Nervous. Fearful really. When we left America, I stared back at the land until it was completely out of sight. Like I was trying to hold on to my previous life as long as I could. I was shocked that I felt that way, because I'd tried so hard to get to this point! "Grandmother" (as the kids call her) met me at the airport in Ghana. She's the orphanage directress. We went straight to the bus stop, then on to Kumasi & eventually Offinso. My plane landed at 1:30pm. We got to Offinso at 11:30pm, so I went straight to the hotel. Same room as last year! I went to sleep with the same apprehensive feelings. (Hate to admit it, but I'm just being realistic for those who may feel the same thing in the future.)

The next morning I went to the orphanage. When I saw the kids, all of that anxiety went away. I really love them so much! Serwaa said, "They told me that you will come yesterday. So I stayed up all night, but you didn't come."

We've had a good time so far. The kids haven't been begging me to buy everything this time. And they don't pout when I say no. I've also been able to spend lots of time talking to 'Grandmother', and the kids' "Ghana Mother" (not their bio mother). I feel like finally I've been able to unravel their whole history. I'm glad to know all I can.


The kids seem excited most of the time. But, Serwaa did cry herself to sleep last night. So sad. But- they are happy today, and wanting to go to the airport already.


This morning we left Offinso for the last time (for now, I plan to visit again one day). Now we are at Ocean Sky hotel. I'm pretty sure it's right on the beach. But it's so dark outside, I'll have to wait til morning to find out! The room is great! (Despite the bed being hard as a rock!) We have soap and a towel!! Love it! We also have cartoon network! Which is nice, because I killed the DVD player. I borrowed an adapter to plug it in. It was the wrong one & it fried. Which I hate because we will go to Accra airport 6 hours early, then have a 7 hour layover in DC. Ugh!

I have much more to say, but I'll save it!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Other Side...

I am SO excited to be on the way to Ghana to FINALLY bring my children home. It still doesn't even seem real. I can't wait to hold them again. I can't wait for them to meet my husband and daughter. I can't wait to tuck them into bed at night, or snuggle on the couch watching movies. I am thrilled beyond measure!


I know Serwaa & Konto are excited that I am coming. (They know I am bringing them candy & gifts!) I know they are excited about America. But- I can't help but feel bad for them. I can't begin to imagine how scary it must be to leave EVERYTHING. I can't imagine going with someone I barely know to a new country, where everyone looks, sounds and smells different. It's sad enough to have to go through the events that led to them living in an orphanage in the first place. And now- they have to experience that loss again. The orphanage has been their home for over 5 years. The people there are like their family. I know this time has a happier ending. I just hate that they are about to lose everything, again. I am so glad they have each other.


Please keep them in your prayers. It's going to be rough. But- it's going to be wonderful at the same time!


I can't believe they will FINALLY be ours, forever!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

One Million...

Wow. Saw this on another blog today. So sad. But so true.

Friday, October 14, 2011

At Last....

I can't believe it's finally here! I will be flying out in about a week to go pick up my kids!!! I'm so excited, but at the same time it doesn't even seem real yet. Honestly, I never expected to get a visa printing date only a week out! I thought I'd have several weeks to plan! But I'm glad I don't!

Everything is in fast forward right now. Trying to find a flight. Deciding what to do once I get to Accra (take the bus or fly to Kumasi). Trying to really decide what all I want to get done while I'm there. This whole time I'd been planning to stay about 3 weeks on the pick-up trip. That's just not realistic anymore. I can't pay for a hotel and taxis for that long! So my trip has been shortened to about a week. I hope it will be enough! I wish my husband and oldest daughter could come this time! They are missing out on so much!!

I'm actually almost done packing. Just need to find a few more pairs of sandals, and all of the stores seem to be out! I've already gotten about 20 frantic calls from the orphanage, making sure I don't forget to bring 'toffee' (candy)!


I really can't believe I'll be seeing them again in about a week!!!
 
 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Silence....

Ok. I'm gonna have to be a drama queen for a minute. WHERE ARE MY KIDS AND WHY IS NO ONE ANSWERING THE PHONE IN GHANA!?! The last embassy appointment was supposed to be yesterday. My rep ALWAYS answers her phone. But I have called all day today with no luck! It's so strange that she wouldn't have called yesterday to tell me how the embassy appointment went. I need some info! I need to know that her & the kids are okay. And some good news about their visas would be a nice bonus.

I HATE living on a different continent than my kids! WAAAAAAA!


Okay. I'm done now. And to all of my real life friends, whom I graciously spared from verbally hearing my drama queen moment- you're welcome.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tuesday It Is...

My rep in Ghana will be going back to the Embassy on Tuesday, October 11th to turn in our paperwork. A whole day early! You know it's sad when I'm really that excited about one day. It's just one day! But I guess after waiting 'one more day' for 657 days, that's how people start acting!

The kids must know it is close. Joseph calls constantly to see if I know when I am coming. I'm not sure who is more excited- my children, or him!

On Monday, I got to speak to Yaa Serwaa for a minute. Usually, she will ask to speak to her "seesta". But this time she said, "I want to speak to Malorie". It was so cute! I didn't know she knew Malorie's name! (She must have learned it from the drawings & cards Malorie sent to her.) It totally made Malorie's day. It's so funny though- they just say 'hello' back and forth a few times. That's their whole conversation pretty much!


So now to the ever-asked question: When do the kids come home?

Well, who knows! Several people lately have had their visas approved on the spot. Their visas are being printed within a few weeks of their visa interview. Others have turned in all of their paperwork at the visa interview, and are still in the 'administrative processing' stage for months & counting. So I guess it's like the lottery. Everybody knows how our luck has been so far, so say a prayer for us on Tuesday! We need it!

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week...

I used to love that book: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. It was funny then. Not so much when your whole week goes that way!

Everybody knows the visa interviews didn't go as planned. But to add to the frustration- the cost to FedEx the new piece of paperwork was $117. Not to mention the extra $500 that had to be sent to finish the adoption. (My rep lives 8 hours from Accra. So every time she goes to the embassy she has to take the kids, spend the night & eat there. Which is all more expensive than it is in Offinso.)


Then, last Friday, my van's transmission broke. I just bought this van 2 months ago to accomodate my soon-to-be-larger family. After getting quotes from dozens of mechanics, I made a decision. Of course, they found something else in the transmission that was broken. So my $1,400 repair is now a $2,400 repair.

The whole week has been so frustrating that it's almost comical! Just like the book.
 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Big Mess...

Sadly, that's what I think about our embassy right now! I hate to say that, because whoever answers the email seems pretty nice. But man, are they not on the same page over there!

I had emailed them recently about our follow up appointment. First, they said the problem with the first visa attempt was that my rep provided a photocopy of the POA, & all they needed was an original. That wasn't true. She had the original, notarized copy- it just didn't have the birthdates on them.

So I told them that the embassy officer at our interview asked for birthdates on the POA. I also said I had mailed it to Ghana & asked when my rep could bring it in. They promptly emailed back to say she had been given an open appointment, & could bring it any Monday, Tuesday or Thursday at 1pm.


I called my rep today. She said the embassy officer had given her an appt card for October the 12th, not an open appointment!

So there you have it- a big mess! It seems that this particular officer is doing her own thing, and the embassy has no idea! It's a little ridiculous that the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing!


The point of all this rambling is: I don't know when our rep will turn in the new POA. She is scared that she will travel 8 hours to Accra, pay to spend the night there, and then not be let in if she goes before October 12th. Do better America!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New POA & the Embassy...

It's in Ghana. The new power of attorney letter with the kids' birthdates. Our representative said that FedEx called her yesterday to say that she could pick it up in Kumasi today.



In other news- I had emailed the embassy to ask why they scheduled our next appointment for Oct 12th, instead of giving us an open appointment- which is the norm. They actually emailed back very quickly to say that we were given an open appointment. The new paperwork can be brought in any Monday, Tuesday or Thursday! So, I'm not sure where the Oct 12th idea came from. Maybe the officer had told our rep wrong. Maybe that's just when she planned to return. Who knows.

But anyways- I asked our rep if she could just go straight from Kumasi today & spend the night in Accra so the paperwork could be turned in immediately. She said she wasn't sure, but would decide today after she picked up the paperwork.

So, that's where we are. I hate not knowing when our paperwork will be turned in. Hopefully I will find out sometime tonight. Hopefully it will all happen sooner than later.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Another Month...

The kids did not get their visas this time. The embassy officer asked that I send a new power of attorney letter, this time with the children's birthdates listed on it. I'm not sure why, it's on their birth certificates, passports, social welfare report... Does it really need to be on the POA too? Appearantly so. I hate that something so small is keeping my children at an orphanage for another month. But- I can't change it. Their next chance is Oct 12. Maybe that one will go better.



Sunday, September 18, 2011

Soon...

Well, here I am. Sitting outside, staring at the Atlantic. Just on the other side, my other children are about to get up. This is it. The visa interview is scheduled for early this morning in Ghana. I am hoping and praying for good news. It could be very soon. Within the month I could be on the other side of this ocean looking back toward America. I can't wait.

Monday, September 12, 2011

One Week...

Just one week. I can't believe the visa interview is so close! I am so anxious to hear what they will say. I hope they won't request any additional documents. I hope they won't ask us to wait a few months for 'administrative processing'. I just can't wait to see the kids again! It's been SO long! I also can't wait to see Ghana again. I just love that country. I am so sad that Al & Malorie aren't going. I think they would love to be there, to play with the kids in their own country. I hope we can at least all return one day. I know they will fall in love with it too!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sweet Baby Girl, Waiting...

I just read this post: http://gillispiefam.blogspot.com/2011/09/baby-girl-o.html . It's  about a sweet baby girl, who doesn't have a family. They've gotta be out there somewhere. Just trying to spread the word....

Monday, September 5, 2011

When It's Not Enough...

Lately I've been packing my suitcase. Trying to get in as many donations as possible without going over 50 lbs. I'm excited to bring the small amount of donations I have to Ghana. I love giving things to those beautiful children.

But what do you do when it's not enough?


Don't get me wrong- they will LOVE anything they get. But for one particular boy, I know it's just not enough. He wants more.

I remember when he first told me, "I wish I could come where you are." The lump in my throat. I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach.


This morning my daughter, Serwaa, called. I could hear that same boy in the background telling her what to say. He wanted her to ask me if he could come to America with us. He was too embarrassed to mention it again himself. I didn't know what to say. I think I stumbled through some random words, then thanked God that their phone ran out of minutes right about then.


He wants to come to America. To be in a family. He is desperate. But his chances are small. Older boys are pretty much on the bottom of the totem pole in the adoption world. Especially when they have a brother.

I don't know his story. Maybe he's eligible for international adoption. Maybe he has living family somewhere that he could return to if they are supported financially. I will definately find out all I can. I will do all I can. But sometimes it's just not enough. These days are hard.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

While I'm Waiting...

It's 3 weeks until Serwaa & Konto's visa interview. I'm excited. I'm nervous. But I'm ready. I've made & frozen lots of soup. (They seem to eat alot of soupy stuff and rice at the orphanage.) So far I've got a couple bowls each of Groundnut Soup, Eggplant Stew, Banana Soup, Groundnut/Chicken Stew and Spicy Yam Soup.




I also have plenty of chicken legs in the freezer. (Thanks Nana!)

Next I intend to find out what kind of meals freeze easy. (Any ideas?) Because I'm pretty sure that some days it's just gonna be too hectic to cook!


The girls' room is pretty much all the way ready.


Konto's room is (finally) painted now. And he has new blankets. I still have to get some curtains & stuff. (I'm trying to get curtains made with a strip of kente at the bottom.) I'm gonna pick up some more paintings in Ghana for his wall, as well as a big basket for his toys.


So... that's my pointless blog for the day!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Visa Medicals...

Joseph called yesterday morning (at 6am) to tell me that the Serwaa & Konto had gone to Accra. That means they are getting their visa medicals! They will be there for 3 days. I totally wish I was there with them. I am just dying to take them to the beach. (I don't think they've ever seen the ocean.)


Joseph also wanted to remind me about the Iphone he requested. I finally told him how much they cost, and that he may not get one. He didn't argue. He's so sweet. But, I'll keep looking- just in case.
 

Friday, August 12, 2011

YoYo...

This morning I got an email from the embassy confirming the visa date I requested: September 19th, 2011!




Then, 20 minutes later, I got another email stating they were recalling their previous email.



Five minutes after that, I got a 3rd email. This time confirming (again) my appointment for September 19th.



So, I guess that's it! The kids are set to have a visa appointment one month and 1 week from today! I hope I will get to bring them home before September ends.



Unfortunately, the embassy has recently told someone that they will be taking an additional 1-2 months to process visas. I hope that doesn't happen. I was planning on it taking about 10 days. I am SO ready!



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Complicated Question...

'How old are your children'? Usually, it's a one word answer. When your response starts out, "Well, they're about...", people start to look at you in a weird way. It really is a complicated question. From the first we were told they were 5 & 7. That was two years ago. According to their birth certificates, they are now 8.5 & 11. My guess, from the few weeks that I got to spend with them, is that they are around 7 & 9. Also, based on stories from when they came into the orphanage, they should be around 7 & 9.




So- that's my answer. At least for now. Konto is 7. Serwaa is 9. Malorie is 11. Can't wait til they are all together on one continent!
 

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Dreaded Email...

Well, I sent it. The dreaded email. The one asking the embassy to schedule our visa interview for Sept 19th instead of Aug 29th. Thought it was gonna kill me to hit the 'send' button. But- I did it. Now I will wait for a response. I just hope they'll give me that date, not a later one!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

But Not Today...

So today I emailed the embassy again. This time to ask for a visa interview date. And again, I got a response SAME DAY! Unfortunately, they offered a date on Aug 29th! I was hoping they'd give me a date in mid-September since that's when my POA will be back in the US. It's just gonna be such an awful feeling tomorrow when I email them to ask to back the date up by 3 weeks! Ugh...




Anyways, I can't believe how close we are! Still doesn't seem too real though. Today I almost panicked about not having the kids' rooms finished. I almost panicked about how drastically our family is about to change. I even almost panicked that I will be forever committed to driving a minivan. But not today.



Not sure at what point it'll officially seem real. But not today.
 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Visa Packet...

I awoke this morning to a phone call from Ghana. The embassy email I had forwarded to our POA was not received. Panic. (Can't pick up the visa packets without the email.) She was already in Accra & it was nearing 2pm (the time the packets have to be picked up). So, I re-sent it. This time she got it. She was unsure if she'd be able to get it printed from the internet cafe & get to the embassy in time. But she did it! She never ceased to amaze me with her efficiency!

So, next week while she is in the US, someone else will take the children to Accra for their medicals. (They will actually have to stay there 3 days. Also, I think the Acai House has raised their prices. So...we get to Western Union several hundred unexpected dollars. Not my favorite thing to do, but I've never seen my POA spend any money on herself. If she asks for it, I know it is legitimately needed.)

Best part- now I can request a visa interview date! As much as I want to request one NOW, I'll have to request it for mid-September when my POA returns. But if that goes smooth (don't laugh, it could happen!), we'll have them by the end of September hopefully!

Seems like maybe I can see a light at the end of the tunnel!
 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Just in Time...

I sent another desperate email to the embassy this morning. I wasn't very hopeful since the last 5 went unanswered. BUT- they emailed back! They said my visa packet is ready for pickup. It can be picked up any Wednesday at 2pm! Since my POA will be leaving next Tuesday for the US, we pretty much only have tomorrow. So I called to see if it can be done. (It was around 7pm in Ghana when I called.) She is going to try to make it tomorrow! She'll have to leave pretty early in the morning to make it to Accra. I'm so thankful that she agreed to something so last minute!




Furthermore, she will only be staying in the US for one month! I think she originally planned a longer trip. So I'm thankful that she'll be back by mid-September when my visa date will probably be! All that worrying for nothing! I'm sure there will still be plenty of mountains that need to be moved, but at least there is a small light at the end of the tunnel.



And to make the day better, I got to see an old friend that I haven't seen for 8 or 9 years today! It was so nice to talk to her again. And to know that there are still truly selfless, genuine, giving people like her in the world!


All in all- not a bad day!

White Flag....

At least in a war you can surrender. A race you can quit. And in 'Say Uncle' you can.... well, say 'uncle'.

But you can't quit in adoption. You can't give up, even when you feel like there's nothing else you can do. It seems like every force in the world is fighting against us...

My agency kept my dossier 7 months before it went to Ghana.
USCIS moved offices & lost my paperwork for 7 months.
We waited 5 months on a death cert the agency was suppose to have a year ago.
I was given the wrong ages for the kids, so I had to have my homestudy amended.
Our fingerprints expired and had to be re-done...
And a few other more devastating details I won't even go into.

Last night I was told that our POA will be leaving the country next week. I don't know how long she'll be gone, but I'm sure it will be a while. She is the one who was going to do my visa interview. But I can't be mad at her for leaving. This trip was planned a LONG time ago. She's already put it off several times trying to finish the 2 adoptions she was working on. Unfortunately, mine was going too slow. I guess she got tired of waiting on nothing.

So...I have no idea when the kids will be home. We're getting close to the 2-year mark for this adoption. I am too tired to fight anymore. Too tired to pray. Too tired to cry. I feel like Moses in the battle of Rephidim. Can't even hold up my own hands, even though we're losing the battle.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Maybe Next Week...

Still haven't heard from the embassy. It's been 2.5 weeks since our approvals were forwarded to Ghana. A month since they were approved. Seven months since I've seen the children. Twenty months since we started the adoption. I thought for sure this would be the week. Maybe next week...

(Checking out their mail.)


Monday, July 25, 2011

New Pictures...

Today I got some new (adorable) pictures of my kids! Enjoy!

Serwaa looking gorgeous, as usual.

Konto with his missing tooth.

Man, I miss these guys!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Waiting Child's Lullabye


KISSES IN THE WIND



I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.


You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.



I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long.

But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.



Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...

Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.



May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.

I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.



Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.

But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.



May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.

And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.

--- © Pamela Durkota
 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

NVC...

Just spoke to the National Visa Center to see if my I600 approvals were forwarded to Accra yet. She said yes! They were sent about an hour ago! So, I have emailed the embassy to ask when my visa packet can be picked up! The NVC went way faster than I expected! Yee-ha! (Hey- I'm from SC, I can say that if I want to!)

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Very Small Dream...

I think about Ghana alot. I think about all of the people I met. About the things they said to me. There is a beautiful young lady who lives at my children's orphanage. I remember being so alarmed when she told me she was Konto's mother. But soon I realized that one can have many 'mothers' in Ghana. She simply meant that she cares for him. She proudly showed me a small bag of his clothes in her room. She washes them for him. She has such a sweet, quiet sp‏irit. One day she told me, "If I grow up, I will name my baby after you." If..... It was in that moment I realized the magnatude of the dreams I had always been afforded. That is something I will never again take for granted.



Saturday, July 9, 2011

God Bless the Mailman...

We got the I600 aproval letters in the mail yesterday! I am just SO happy to be done with that whole part! Woo-hoo! Wouldn't it be awesome if the kids made it home before the summer is over?! The visa interview dates had been being scheduled two months out. But a few people lately have been given a date within one month! And others have had their dates moved up to July out of the blue! So, I'll let ya know as soon as we hear anyting else! (Insert big cheesy grin here!)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Approved...

Our I600's were approved on June 29!!! That's what I was told when I called USCIS a few minutes ago! Thank goodness! Hopefully I'll get the approval letter in the mail today. Next I will wait for the embassy in Ghana to get my approval so someone can pickup my 'visa packet'. Then we'll get a visa interview date!
 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Reviewing...

I called immigration again today. Big surprise, I know! I had previously been told that the cases are worked 'in the order they are received', which couldn't be further from the truth. I have communicated with people who filed after me and have been approved. All the while, my file hadn't even been opened! I asked for a supervisor this time. He was nice. He said he that the officer assigned to my file would open it today and begin reviewing it. He said I should hear something by the first of next week. Please pray it will be approved without any additional paperwork being requested! I will be so glad to get past this step. I have unusually bad luck with immigration! My I600 took over 6 months for approval. (It was approved in one day, it just took 6 months to open my file!) It then took another 5 months for the approval to be forwarded to the National Visa Center, who would forward it to Accra. (At least I hope it got to Accra. I never heard anything from them.) I know the next step will be even more difficult & time consuming. (Visas) But- I'm ready to get started on it! We have held out for so long. I miss my babies!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Powerless...

Well, my I600 is still pending. We are almost to week #7. I always wonder why some are approved so quickly & others aren't. I know they are tired of me calling for the status everyday. But at least I'm nice. What I really want to do is yell & scream until I get my way. I suppose that wouldn't be the adult thing to do though. (Not that that would stop me if I thought it would do any good!) It's so frustrating being powerless!

That's my boy on the left. This is 2009. I copied the picture from the FB page of a friend who met my son long before I did. He's just so adorable! I can't wait to see them again! (Hopefully it'll be before they are old enough for college!)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Good Wishes...

So, the '100 Good Wishes' page has been acting up ALOT lately. We did not lose any of the money that was donated, but it won't allow any new donations. That's why we have the 'Chip In' thing now. The Good Wishes link is still at the bottom of the page, because I'm going to try to keep it updated too whenever it works. (I like it because it lets people leave comments. So, if you leave a comment in chip-in as a 'note to seller', I'll eventually put it on the Good Wishes page too.)




Anyways, we are totally DONE with all international adoption fees (I think)!! All we have left to save is airplane tickets! Then, of course, we'll have to re-adopt them in the US once they get here, but that's another story!

Nothing New...

I called the USCIS again today. My I600 is still pending. It was assigned to an officer close to 3 weeks ago. I hope she will have time to review (and approve) it soon. I filed it 6 weeks ago today. I am SO tired of waiting!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

One Small Request...

Last week Joseph called. The other kids were not around. After asking how I was doing several times, he had one small request...



"Do you know the iPhone?".

"Yes Joseph, I know the iPhone."

"When you come, if you bring one to me, I will be very happy."

I'm sure he has no idea exactly how expensive they are. Or he just thinks I'm filthy rich. (Which I am, comparitively.) But he was so sweet. So nervous about asking. In fact, it's the first time I've heard him ask for anything! Even while I was at the orphanage, he never asked me to buy him anything. I wish I could, but doubt I'll come across an iPhone between now & whenever I go back!
 


Monday, June 13, 2011

Today...

Today I miss Ghana. Of course I miss my children. But I also miss the country. I think about Ghana off and on. When it's hot and raining. (I was there during the dry season, but it rained several times none-the-less.) When I'm listening to my Ghanaian music. When I eat chicken and rice.




But today- it was the fumes of a bus. There were 3 buses beside me at the redlight. The fumes were unbearable. The traffic was at a standstill. And it was hot. I couldn't help but think about all the hours the kids & I sat in the car under those same conditions.



And I miss it all- even the unbearable fumes.




Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fingerprinted, Again...

Yesterday we had fingerprints taken at the Charlotte Homeland Security office again. We had them done last year, but they had expired. I'm not sure how drastically one's fingerprints can change within a year's time, but I guess ya never know!

We have also been told that our I600 case was assigned to an officer around June 2nd. The officer has confirmed receiving our homestudy update also. So, that should be everything. I'm hoping it'll be approved any day now!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Simply Adorable....

Konto called this morning! (I was ecstatic to hear his voice, despite the fact that it was 3:30am here!) This time I asked him in English, "How are you?" I could hear the other kids in the background instructing him: "Say 'I am fine' to her". So he confidently said "I am fine to you". It was simply adorable!


(Then, of course, he asked Joseph to ask me when I am coming. Again. Joseph told me, "I tell them not to ask when you come again." But hey- at least they haven't given up on us coming back!)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

More To Do....

I called the USCIS again today. Our files still have not been assigned to an officer. Unfortunately, that's not the only issue. Since our adoption agency provided us with incorrect ages for our kids, we had to get a homestudy update for their ages. (At the time of our homestudy, we were told Serwaa was 7. Our homestudy approved us to adopt up to a 10 year old. She legally turned 11 earlier this month.) So, our AMAZING homestudy lady did the homestudy update very quickly for us. It has been sent in.




In addition, we will have to be re-fingerprinted at the Homeland Security office in Charlotte, NC. (The fingerprints we did last year have expired. I also credit that to our agency, since our dossier sat on their desk, untouched, for 7 months of that year.)



Our new fingerprint appointment is June 9th. I hope to just show up at Homeland Security next week & beg to be fingerprinted. Hopefully that will work.



Furthermore, the person who will be handling our visa appointments will be out of the country from July to September! I may be able to do it myself; I may not. So I have no idea when the kids will get home. Every time someone asks me, the projected homecoming is further away. I think people are starting to suspect that the kids don't even exist! I've been saying "It should only be a few more months" far too long now.
 


Monday, May 23, 2011

When....

So, I have mentioned recently that my kids have been calling fairly often. Serwaa has asked to speak to Malorie several times. But the main purpose of the calls seem to be one resounding request: "Please come." You would have to hear those quiet, accented voices for yourself to really understand how heartbreaking it is.




Yesterday I was at the flea market when Joseph called. This time he did not say 'Konto wants to speak to you', or 'Serwaa wants to speak to her sister'. He simply asked, "When do you come?"



I tried to explain it would be as soon as possible. I tried to explain I was waiting on our government's approval. I tried to say how I hoped it would be soon.



Once I gave my uncertain answer, he simply said "Ok. Byebye" (in typical Ghanaian fashion) and hung up.



The worst part- I know he did not understand my reason. Even if he had understood all of my english, I'm sure they don't comprehend the whole process. All they know is that I have not come back for them like I said I would. It has been 5 months since I left them. They must be starting to wonder if I am coming back at all.



I wish they knew how hard I am trying. (If only the USCIS were trying so hard...) My case hasn't been assigned to an officer yet. I will call again tomorrow.
 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I-797.....

Okay, okay. That doesn't really mean anything. It just sounds important. I got the electronic version of my "Form I-797" Friday night! It's a 'receipt notice' for my I-600. For most people, it's not significant enough to even mention. But given the extremely unlucky, slow way our entire adoption process has gone- I count it as a small victory. My I-600 didn't get lost in the mail! (Way to go UPS!) It's not even lost in the CIS mailroom!



The next leg of the journey for my precious paperwork: It is being forwarded to the National Benefit Center in MO. Why it must be mailed to TX, only to be forwarded to MO.... the world may never know.



Either way, here's to good ol' UPS! And please, continue to pray for my beloved paperwork, that it might find it's way to it's final destination- quickly, safely and completely intact.
 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Joseph....



I just love Joseph. He is around 13 years old. I have been told that he has always been sort of a 'big brother' to my son, Konto. He helps to look after him. Joseph has taken care of Konto since he arrived at the orphanage around the age of 2.




Joseph is a very handsome, respectful boy. He was the boy who told me that he 'likes my manner. Most people who come here do not want to touch us'. He is quiet and polite. I just can't say enough good things about him!



It is Joseph who has allowed me to speak to my children in Ghana. He has a cell phone. I'm guessing it was a donation to the orphanage. It is very inexpensive to buy minutes for your cell phone in Ghana. So, every once in a while, he must get a few cedis from someone. And instead of buying something for himself, he gets minutes for his phone so Konto can call me. For that I am very thankful.



I think when I go back I will bring Joseph a new phone. (His drops the call about 90% of the time.) Maybe I'll get a camera phone so he can text pictures to Konto. And I'll buy a ton of minutes, so he can call anytime he wants.



I know my son will miss Joseph. I will miss Joseph. There is just something special about him.
 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Finally Filed....

Well, it's off! My I600 was mailed today by UPS! (No, we don't get a discout just 'cause Al works there! I was just too late for the post office!) I sent it along with a pathetic letter BEGGING them to process it quickly! (My homestudy expires in 3 days, my fingerprints in 6! I'm hoping that will all be overlooked. Unsensibly optimistic, I know.)



For those of you who don't endlessly stalk adoption blogs, let me clarify:



The I600 is a petition to classify an orphan as an immediate relative. It is sent to USCIS (immigration) for approval. They say it should take no more than two months to be processed. Assuming it is approved, the approval is then forwarded (electronically) to the US Embassy in Accra, Ghana.



The Embassy then supposedly sends a letter or email to let you know that your child's visa packet is ready for pickup at the embassy. (I have a friend stuck at this stage, waiting for word from the embassy. So we'll see how that works out. Hopefully quickly.)



Once the visa packet is picked up, I think a visa interview is scheduled. (The interviews are currently being scheduled a month or two out. Hopefully that'll start moving quicker too.)



After the visa interview(s), the visas are printed in about a week. (As long as the children have passports. I need to check on that again.) At that time, you are free to take your children home!



So, that is the process as I understand it. I could be wrong. Or it could change (which happens more often than not). But it seems like we may be nearing the end of this whole process. Thank God. I am exhausted!
 


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Unexpected Phone Calls....

Well, this was one of the best Mother's Day weekends yet. (Although I'm sure next year will be better, since all of my kids will be on the same continent!)




Malorie (my daughter) and I went to visit my mom this morning. (Who, by the way, is the best mom ever!) After we got back home, Malorie painted my nails for me! But it gets even better-



Serwaa & Konto both called today!!! I usually only get to talk to Konto, because his 'big brother' is the one with a cell phone. So, about an hour after I had spoken to Konto, Serwaa called! We spoke for a second, then she said "Where is my seesta?" So, Malorie got to talk to her sister on the phone! I'm pretty sure they had no idea it's Mother's Day! It was SUCH an awesome surprise!



And, to top it all off, I FINALLY got the all-important death certificate (yesterday)!!! I'm filing my I600 tomorrow!
 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Total Misunderstanding....

Oops. I feel like such a moron. I just found out that the long-awaited death certificate was never mailed. The sender thought that I only needed it for the embassy. So it is being held in Ghana until I get to the embassy! Unfortunately, I need it to file the I600 first. I had thought it was being mailed. It was finally obtained, but never mailed!

Not the sender's fault. Not my fault. Just a total misunderstanding. Either way, after the Easter holiday, it will be express mailed.

In more exciting news- I was lucky enough to meet someone who will be adopting from the same orphanage! And the child she is adopting is so special and sweet! I am just thrilled that he is going to get such a nice family!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Jealousy...

I have to admit it.

I am jealous.


Not just a little jealous. I'm talking about unbearable jealousy.


I have followed so many people's adoption journeys online. There is not one person who started this process the same time as me that hasn't had their kids home for months now. Months.


I'm glad their kids don't have to wait. I'm glad they have families. I'm glad they are finally home.


But what about my kids? They have lived in the orphanage for 5 years now. Almost a year and a half of that time I have been fighting to get them home.

I am tired. I ache for my children. I'm sick of being happy for everybody else. I want to bring my children home.
 
 
So there you have it. Pure, undiluted jealousy.
 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Holding My Breath.....

Today is the day that my children's bio father's death certificate is supposed to be picked up in Ghana!

I hope it is ready.
I hope it is picked up.
I hope it is correct.
I hope it makes it to me soon!

So I am holding my breath...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Birth Certificates.....

We got the corrected birth certificates on Friday! One more thing checked off the ever-growing list! Now if we can just get the elusive death certificate, we can file the I600! I am so sad to say that I will have to file it in the US. We just don't have enough money to fly to Ghana again to file it there. Period.

I absolutely HATE to file it here though. From the time I filed our I600a until the time the NVC forwarded it to Accra was one year! Twelve. Full. Months. I cannot imagine my children living in the orphanage for another whole year while we wait for approval. It kills me. We've been trying to get them home since December of 2009! (And they had already been in my heart for a few months before we decided to go for it!) But we have no choice. Hopefully it will go quicker this time. Please.




Monday, March 14, 2011

Still Waiting.....


For our beautiful children
to come home...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Court Decree....

We received our court decree last Friday! I was so ready to file the I600. But unfortunately, we still aren't ready. There is an error on the children's birth certificates. New ones have been requested today. The errors will have to be corrected, the birth certificates reprinted. Then mailed to us. We are also waiting on a death certificate for the children's bio father. That was requested around the first of December. No one knows how long that will take. It seemed like there was a light at the end of the tunnel. But now with all these certificates that we need.... I just want to bring my kids home!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Just Because......

Man, I miss my kids! I am still waiting on the adoption decree so I can file the I600. So, in the meantime, here are some pictures of my beautiful children!
My baby boy.

My little princess.

The playground.

Me & my children.