Thursday, June 20, 2013

One more flight!

I am in Frankfut, Germany just one more flight away from Ghana. It's been clear skies, smooth flights and no sleep. I actually watched two movies which is more than I have watched in a long time. My luggage weighed in at 48 pounds each, just under the 50 pound limit! All my clothes for the next few weeks are in my carryon, suitcases are full of donations and supplies for Afua. It's so surreal to think I am so close to seeing her again. It's been 6 1/2 long months.

The next couple of days will be very important. On Friday, I will have two important appointments that will determine how my mood will be over the weekend. It's hard to relax while that looms over me, but worrying isn't going to help either.

I haven't spent this much time alone in maybe 19 years? It's nice, but I miss my kids already and it would be nice to have a travel buddy. Last trip Emmi was the perfect companion, so excited to go to Ghana for the first time. On the way home, I will have plenty of company with Eric and Afua.

I hope to blog again once I get to Ghana. One more flight!

Friday, June 14, 2013

I have some news to share...

Over the last couple of weeks I have felt an unrest. It's difficult to describe any other way than that I felt like I needed to get my house in order. Get ready for THE trip. Get supplies etc. But everything around me said the adoption wasn't nearly to its conclusion as we don't have Afua's passport yet. And without that passport, we can't do the last 2 steps of her adoption. Still, I felt the need to get ready.

As I received concerning news and things seem to stall around us, Eric and I made a decision after much thought and prayer that I will be going to Ghana. One way ticket. Until she comes home.

Afua and Comfort doing their exercises

The decision is one we have complete peace about and we are mindful of the sacrifice of that decision. Emotionally and financially our entire family is sacrificing to bring Afua home. Our children were ok with that, because they know we would do the same for each of them. And they want their sister home before it's too late. Her health is in a delicate balance and we want to be sure we are not taking that for granted.

So I will leave next week and stay until we both come home. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Adoption Grants part 4 (fundraising other than grants)

I have had fun compiling resources for adoption funding. The process can seem so overwhelming especially with finances. Hopefully sharing about grants  has helped and this post will talk about other ways you can raise funds for adoptions.

1. Both Hands
Caring for the orphan and the widow at the same time. An opportunity for a family to raise funds for their adoption and help a widow at the same time. Watch the video on the website, it tells the story better than I could with words.

2. Lifesong for Orphans
Offers matching grants for adoptive families as well as interest free loans

3. A Child Waits
Interest free loans for adoption costs. Also offers grants to families.

Your creativity is the only limit to fundraising for you adoption. Well, maybe following the law may create some boundaries, but generally my creativity stops within the limits of the law:)  I have friends who have made crafts, art, jewelry, knitted or made body products to raise funds. Some have held pancake breakfasts, 5k runs, car-washes, silent auctions, restaurant fundraisers, concert benefits, family carnivals to name a few. Ask your friends involved in direct marketing companies (Scentsy, Mary Kay, Usborne Books, Thirty One etc) if they would donate their commission toward your adoption. Many are willing to do that. There are also some existing fundraising companies that will help those of us who may not be as creative (like me...). I like the ones especially that offer women in developing nations the opportunity to earn a sustainable living or give portion of their profits to humanitarian efforts.

- Apparent Project
-147 million orphans
-Ordinary Hero
-Just Love Coffee
-Adoption Bug

Please share your best fundraiser as a comment or send me an email at I will gladly update this post as more ideas are shared.

Friday, June 7, 2013


I was hoping my next post would be announcing my travel to Ghana. I have ordered my "travel essentials" aka bug spray and granola bars. And gummy bears for Eric. I have diapers, nutritional things for Afua, toys and clothes. I have donations already arranged in airtight bags to allow the maximum space for everything. All I really need is a "green light" to go. We need to know her passport is well in the process and I am off. We thought we were about 2 weeks from traveling, but as it turns out, we are not.

In April, Ghana adoptions were suspended, see THIS LINK Those who were well into the process already were considered "safe" and could proceed without much worry. Others who were just beginning were taking a calculated risk, but would likely make it through the process also. But what this has caused for everyone in the process is delays and slower timelines for everything. We passed court in December, nearly 6 months ago. By all reasonable timelines we should be done. Kofi and Joy were home 5 months after court and the typical timeline is 3-6 months. Many other families are worried and frustrated just as we are. Children do not thrive in orphanages, especially children with medical needs. We miss our sweet girl and long for her to be home. The uncertainty is challenging at best.

We will continue to clarify our timeline and make plans according to that.

Dear friends, please know that even though I don't have a perfect answer to when I will be traveling, don't hesitate to ask. I am glad you are thinking about Afua and want her home too. I may burst into tears (and I have many times) but that doesn't mean I don't want to talk about it. Right now, we just want her home and the delays are hard.

Eric and Afua 3 1/2 months ago saying their goodbyes

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Good news!!!

Friday, our long awaited i600 approval came. Afua's orphan investigation is done and we are cleared to the next phase. Our final adoption steps are:

1. Continue to secure Afua's passport
2. Visa medical exam for Afua (passport and a visa packet from the Embassy is needed for this)
3. Schedule visa interview with the Embassy after the medical
4. Visa interview
5. Visa printing
6. HOME!!!

We are getting so close to having her home. I will likely travel to Ghana somewhere between steps 1 and 2 which will lengthen the stay, but this way we can address some medical concerns and bond better witht Afua before we take on the long journey home. The end is in sight, the light shines at the end of the tunnel, but we are not quite there yet.