Two weeks ago TJ and I traveled to Ghana, West Africa to meet two little souls… two little children we’ve had photos of on our fridge, have been praying for each night and have been constantly thinking how our life will be like with them in it.
It was the strangest feeling meeting my children for the first time.. We already felt a connection with their picture while living half way around the world because we knew that these two little kids would soon be coming home with us. Both at 5, they have their own personalities, likes and dislikes, and strengths. Getting to know our children was an exciting and strange feeling.
For so long many of us have been content in our lives, including myself. We know about the orphan issue in many third world countries, but we choose to not make it a priority. It’s easy to not make it a priority- many of us won’t be able to travel over to a place like Africa to see all of the issues first-hand. We know the hunger, pain and orphan crisis is happening even here in the U.S, but we don’t feel connected.
After holding my two children in my arms- I feel connected to the issue. Their cute little faces, smiles and personalities are similar to the other 100 million+ orphans around the world that need a loving family and I now feel required to advocate for all of them!
Our trip, although short, was an insight into our children’s lives and culture. The food, the sounds and the sights are all something both my husband and I feel are a big part of this adoption process and is something to celebrate for the rest of our lives!
While we were in country we were supposed to attend court. The adoption process is definitely a test of patience and letting go of control- our court date has been rescheduled three times (after I started writing this post it has been rescheduled for the 4th time!!), which is very typical of the way things work. Our in-country representative will be able to attend court on our behalf and if everything goes well, we will “officially” be the parents of “J” and “F”. We will then be able to proceed to the second-to-last part of the process- filing the 1600. To file, my Dad will be traveling with me hopefully in November and I will be able to spend more time with “J” and “F” and he will be able to meet his grandchildren!
After court we will officially be the parents of three five year olds- people often joke that we are going to have triplets! In the beginning of this process I would have never even given thought to the possibility of us adopting two five year olds. I wrote here about how our initial ideals of the child we wanted to adopt changed from a small window to us opening our hearts to whatever child/ren came despite their ages and gender.
Now, even after meeting them and their big personalities (that will fit right in with our family!), the idea doesn’t seem as crazy to us as it does to everyone else….. THREE five year olds!
Hopefully within a few weeks I will be able to share the photos of all of us during our trip, but for now I’m sharing the wonderful country of Ghana. Most of these photos are in the city of Accra, where we were most of the time.
The streets were lined with small shops and always busy with people. The women carried heavy loads on their head- often without using their hands. I have videos I took of “F” playing and carrying things on her head, which will be fun videos to look back on when she’s older. I was also amazed when she broke off a palm branch during lunch and made it into a broom to sweep the dirty floor!
I am so so grateful for the time I was able to spend in Ghana, but one of the hardest parts of the adoption process is saying goodbye… us saying goodbye the first time and the second time, only to be able to bring them home almost a year later. The wait is hard!
Then comes the bittersweet time they have to say goodbye to their friends and their country. I will be so glad to be able to bring them home, but I know it will be a hard transition time for them missing the only country they know. This is a big part of the international adoption process and I think it’s important to carry on their Ghanaian culture and to actively celebrate where they came from and keep them connected with other Ghanaians.
So, for now I wait for the chance to see a glimpse of them in photos other adoptive parents take when visiting the foster home. I am praying that a 4th time’s a charm and court actually stays as scheduled this time so we can get moving to the next step!!
- One step closer!!