Our time at the village was a short one (only 2 days) because I had an appointment at the U.S. Embassy to file our I600. I know many are interested in adoption timelines, especially if you are just beginning the process. I’ve posted our adoption timeline this far which gives you an idea of what really happens during all those months of paperwork and waiting.
This trip, on our first day we visited the orphanage and then we drove three plus hours to a small remote village in the Eastern part of the country. The first day in the village was just surveying the land and meeting the people and the second day was the start of the school construction. In total, this school will probably cost around $2500 U.S. dollars.
The photos above, with Faustina and Grandpa are some of my favorites from the trip. I thought Faustina would not dare interact with Grandpa because of how she was towards TJ our first trip.
When TJ and I first visited our children a few months ago, Faustina was apprehensive of him. She did not want to be near him or play with him at all. Towards the end of our stay she warmed up to him a bit and would play around for a little bit, but it was always a chore to get her to interact with him. I have heard this is very common in adopted girls because Ghana is a matriarchal society and more often then not men are not involved in their lives.
What was interesting, was one of the first things Faustina asked me this trip is…. “Daddy?” TJ must have been able to prove to her what having a loving father really feels like because she was missing him. One night, she was talking in her sleep and I was amazed to hear her say, “Daddy” and “Colton.” She must have been dreaming about all of us finally being together.
Things work very different in Africa. Many joke about “Africa time” which is generally about 3 or more hours later. The posts which were split palm trees, arrived in the afternoon.
This young man made an impact on my Dad. He was a hardworking 16 year old boy who came with us from the orphanage to help build the school. You will often find the kids that are not of adoptable age anymore stay at the orphanages to help.
Faustina wanted to help too!
These little guys were adorable and I can only assume they are brothers. The oldest one watched from a distance the days that we were there. I was very proud of my little ones when I witnessed their first act of sharing, which is typically very hard when you come from an orphanage setting.
I initially told them to go and give these boys suckers and they looked at me like I was crazy. Jonathan stuck a few of those in his pocket for himself, but they eventually ran over and shared with these boys. Throughout the day they would come ask me for suckers or little toys to share and I was amazed when Jonathan gave them a few of the little toys we brought for him.
By the end of the day, the posts were coming along. There was no team of construction workers, everyone pitched in to help.
This little one is an orphan, both her mother and father are deceased and this young woman cares for her. You’ll find this is common in Ghana and other countries. The relatives, friends or neighbors will take in a child when needed, but sometimes their own family grows or in someway the child becomes a burden and that is when children typically are brought to an orphanage.
You do not typically see babies as pudgy as this cute little girl in Africa. Some have speculated that she has some sort of medical issue that accounts for her weight.
Our time in the village was very eye-opening and I am grateful for the experience. We were only able to see the beginning of the construction, but Pastor has updated us on Facebook of the progress.
A family who went a few weeks after us and are adopting from the orphanage we visited also traveled to this village and were able to stay a bit longer. They brought backpacks and school supplies for each of the children and everyone was so grateful! You can check out her blog from her time there.
The kids are set to go to school this month, so hopefully the school will be finished by then. It’s amazing that $2,500 can build a whole school and although it’s not the nice school buildings we have here in America, it’s a place where the kids can learn and receive an education when many in third world countries don’t have that privilege.