Tuesday, May 28, 2013

This Momma Worries

This week has been hard. So much struggle around me, not just adoption related but all evidence of this fallen world. I haven't slept well, I am easily distracted and I find myself just wondering about so much injustice.

Officially Ghana adoptions have been suspended, but some regions are open and processing adoptions. The US side is placing more investigations which is causing delays. Some children will stay in orphanages because of the suspension. Some families are in limbo waiting if they should continue an adoption from Ghana, or look into another country.

Above all of this, one little boy went to heaven last week, someone very special to me. He had CP just like my Afua does and he had seizures just as we believe Afua does. He had access to the best medical care even before he was born, yet a seizure overcame his little body. While I mourn this loss, I think of my little one who is waiting and know this could happen to us too. I am letting my mind go to a place that scares me and I just want to hop on the next plane and bring her home.

We are still waiting to get an approval on our i600 application. Every day should be the day of good news, but so far it hasn't yet. I truly appreciate the encouraging words, the prayers and the support of everyone. This part is hard, but I know not as hard as for the one waiting in an orphanage.

She is loved by so many here in the US and in Ghana.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Honoring First Mothers Everywhere

Mother's Day used to be MY day. I would gladly accept a little extra sleep, kids gifts from school and my husband's carefully selected gift. There were years that I wished we had more children, or grieved a little life we never met, but I was a Mom and that's what mattered.

And then our family changed. Two precious kids from the other side of the ocean became a cherished son and daughter. And Mother's Day took a whole new meaning...

There was another mother that had carried them, loved them, protected them and wanted them. And as I began to parent my children, I was in a way sharing this journey with her. It was no longer MY day, it was now OUR day.

Last year, I didn't feel I could take any credit for their mothering, as it had only been 2 1/2 months. We kept our Mother's Day very low key and enjoyed a lovely day together. This year, with school and language development, they know what this weekend is about. I am pretty sure there are some cute gifts waiting for me, and we will take a picture of them and send it to Ghana for our extended family there to see. I still feel like I can't take all the credit for this day, because there is another woman who did the most sacrificial act out of love for them. And I want to be sure that she is acknowledged somehow too.

One way that I honor first mother's everywhere is to be intentional in my gift giving and choosing organizations that lift women out of poverty by providing sustainable income for them. Here are some organizations I love:

Beautiful scarves and a wonderful business model.

Light Gives Heat
Jewelry and many other accessories.

Delicate Fortress Creations
Many beautiful gift items from around the world

31 Bits
Jewelry that has been featured in many fashion magazines

Candles benefiting various social justice causes.

Other ways you can help women in developing nations:

Because Every Mother Matters
Sponsor a woman to start a business and reverse the cycle of poverty in her family

And my personal favorite:

The Fern House

Helping women in crisis pregnancy situation by providing safety, health and training for a career.

Happy Mother's Day! Let's spend the day (and all the days) finding ways to support mothers around the world!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Adoption Update

Late March, the US Embassy asked us for more documentation to continue to investigate our daughter's case. All requests were reasonable and understandable. All requests seemed doable. Out of 3 documents, we have made great progress with 2 of them. But 1 seems to be harder and I don't seem to have all the answers why. Other than that the document is in a far region and will take for someone to drive there to obtain it. Ugh. I hate this part. I want to be in control so I would want to just fly over there and do it myself. But that is not rational, doable and all that grown up stuff :)

So now, 6 weeks after the request, we wait for the document that I thought was easy to get. I know some day this will be a distant memory, but right now, it's tough. I am ready to see that smile and those sparkly eyes. My heart's about to POP!!!!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

When you say YES...

"When you say YES to adoption, you are saying YES to enter the suffering of the orphan, and that suffering includes WAITING FOR YOU TO GET TO THEM. I promise you, their suffering is worse than yours. We say YES to the tears, YES to the longing, YES to the maddening process, YES to the money, YES to hope, YES to the screaming frustration of it all, YES to going the distance through every unforeseen discouragement and delay. Do not imagine that something outside of "your perfect plan" means you heard God wrong. There is NO perfect adoption. EVERY adoption has snags. We Americans invented the "show me a sign" or "this is a sign" or "this must mean God is closing a door" or "God must not be in this because it is hard," but all that is garbage. You know what's hard? Being an orphan. They need us to be champions and heroes for them, fighting like hell to get them home. So we will. We may cry and rage and scream and wail in the process, but get them home we will."
--Jen Hatmaker

Right now our wait is hard. The closer we get to the end, the more resistance and slow down there is. I wish I could explain it all here, but it really is irrelevant as we wait here and she waits there. And then I saw the quote from Jen Hatmaker above. And my hard doesn't compare to my sweet daughter's hard. My wait is not like her wait. I wait in a comfortable home, I have unlimited hugs and kisses. I have food in abundance and medical care is easily accessible. And the same is my prayer for her. So we continue to fight for her and before long, we will bring her home. And she will know a love of a family, something that she has not had for the last 2 years.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Adoption Grants part 3

This is the 3rd post in adoption grant series. You can find part 1 here and part 2 in the 2 previous posts.

You may have seen the box to the right of my blog, with a generous amount of money displayed there. That is our grant that has been growing for Afua even before she was ours. It's absolutely amazing and awe inspiring to think that people were praying for her family to find her, donating to a grant to help with her adoptions costs and waiting to see who her family was. And now that they know us, they have continued to encourage us and support us along the way. This wonderful organization is called Reece's Rainbow

Reece's Rainbow is a wonderful adoption ministry that advocates for orphaned children around the world who have special needs. Over the years, they have helped 900+ children home by providing grants to lower the cost of that child's adoption. The grant stays with the child, not the family, and that makes Reece's Rainbow so unique.

Some special needs that the children have are minor, others are life threatening. Some children will need extensive medical treatments and therapies, others will not. All they need regardless of the special needs is love of a family.

I would encourage everyone to explore the possibility of adopting a child with special needs. They are overlooked and have very little hope in their current situation.

Among the children waiting for a family is:


Harry and Will (get it???)

Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names.  They are easier to ignore before you see their faces.  It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms.  But once you do, everything changes.” David Platt