Thursday, November 10, 2011

GHANA—Day 10

Our hotel doesn’t offer wake-up calls, but it isn’t hard to wake up at 6 a.m. in Ghana.  Our hotel window is about 20 feet from the busy road and the sun rises really early here.  Another free courtesy wake-up call comes from the incessant taxi honking that starts at dawn.  So it was a piece of cake to make sure we were awake and ready for our trip into Accra to visit the temple.  It was like being right at home and was such a lift to our sagging spirits.  We met 3-4 elderly missionary couples from places like Rupert, Burley, Huntsville (Utah), etc. that are serving missions here.   They took us under their wing and made us feel so welcome; it renewed our resolve to finish our time in Africa with a positive, optimistic outlook.  Such a blessing!

We offered up some pretty fervent prayers last night and this morning.  We also got some really helpful pep-talks from Brandie and Grandma Jonie.  I may be 37 years old, but Mom still knows how to make me feel better when things get really rotten.  And Brandie has “been there, doing that” with adopting kids from Ghana, so who knows better how to respond to the kids than she does?  They were so tender, sweet and encouraging; I felt better by bedtime.

Our prayers were answered today in small steps.  After we returned from Accra, which turned out to be a 7 hour trip with the 2 hours and 15 minutes of high-traffic travel, we hooked up with the kids.  They were still subdued and a little distant.  We just did what we could to love ‘em like crazy, and little by little, they began to come around.  Courage and I are collecting soda bottle caps (to give to Emily from the orphanage; she is planning a furniture project with them).  He and I look everywhere we go for caps.  Delight joined us in our search efforts while we were at dinner and that seems to be when she and I turned a corner and started being friends again. 

After we ate, we endured a super-stinky, sweaty cab ride through the streets back to the hotel  (John, both kids and I were all crammed into the back seat of the smallest car approved for human transport).  The kids watched Johnny Lingo (again) with John while I completed our  i-600 paperwork to be submitted to the Embassy.  By the end of the movie, we were having some good laughs, Courage especially.  They got really excited when we gave them some toothpaste, soap and toothbrushes to take back to the orphanage with them.  Simple pleasures…  Just before we took them home, we knelt by the bed and said family prayer to end the day.  It was perfect and at that moment, we were happy and all was well.   

One of the Adoption Education DVD series we were asked to watch and study was called “Eyes Wide Open.”  We kind of made fun of it, but are rethinking our jokes and eye-rolling.  We are committed and determined to go back and watch it again, paying much closer attention now that we have specifics to apply to the things we were being taught.  Live and learn, I guess…

Today was a better day.  Thank you to all of you who kept us in your prayers and/or sent phone calls or email messages of encouragement and wisdom.  We needed it last night/this morning more than any other time so far.  We hope to return the favor to each of you someday.  We love you all so much!

Juan Blanco has a few things to add:

Ok, I’m not sure where Juan Blanco came from, but I’ll take it.  I’m only half way awake right now, so if my words run together and I have more misspelled words than usual, please forgive me. 

I can’t remember if I wrote about it yesterday or not, but we took a taxi home from court and became good friends with the driver.  His name is “Divine.”  He has a 2002 Toyota Corolla, with A/C, and it is very clean, and was a huge blessing after our meeting with “Jabba”.

I got this guy’s cell phone number yesterday and called him.  I asked him if it would be possible to come to our hotel at 7:00 to take us to Accra this morning.  15 Cedis in an Air conditioned cab?  That is the best  10 US Dollars I have ever spent. We thoroughly enjoyed our morning and like Jenny said, we came back rejuvenated and ready to take on the world.  When we walked into the orphanage, Courage was the first one to run up to me and like Jenny said, he was very subdued.  I think he had just gotten up from his nap (it was like 2:00pm).  I looked out across the courtyard and saw Delight lying on a mattress pad under a tree. I hadn’t ever seen any of the kids do that but I thought it probably was a much better place for a nap than with all those kids in the stuffiness of an upstairs bedroom.  I walked over to her and watched her sleep for a while.  I just kept thinking about last night and wondering if I should have walked back and tucked her in.  I sat down beside her and started to rub her back to wake her up. (Just like I do to wake up the kids at home.)  She quickly woke up and was very pleasant and sat up and gave me a huge hug.  I told her that I felt bad about leaving the way we did the night before, and she said it was ok.  She asked me if Mommy and I enjoyed our trip to Accra. I think that was her way to let me know that she kept track of what we were doing and we had her blessing (almost like getting her permission. Lol)  I saw that she was in a very sweet mood and we stood up and walked into Emily’s office where Jenny was booting up the computer so we could post yesterday’s blog entry.  We all four sat at the little table and I asked them what they wanted to do with the rest of the day.  We voted and decided to go back to “Next Door” the restaurant from the other night.  We went with Job, and had a wonderful dinner.  I had “Red-Red” (a plate that Jason recommended) and it was wonderful.  It was a healthy serving of black eyed beans with a super killer red hot sauce.  My mouth is still burning.  It was served with a stack of fried plantains, and a chicken leg and thigh.  I really loved my meal and wanted to take a picture of it but the SD card was out of my camera so I couldn’t. L

The kids had the usual, (Fried Rice and Fried Chicken.) and Jenny had grilled Chicken and Chips (Fries).  Job ate Goat Soup and Foo-foo. 

After eating, we all walked down to the beach and climbed around on the rocks and looked at the little sand crabs that were walking around on the rocks.  It was quite enjoyable down there and we had a good time talking as we walked.  I was just so happy that things were back to how they have been all week.  We came back to the hotel and Job went back to the orphanage.  While Jenny was filling out our I-600 we watched Delight’s new favorite movie again. (Johnny Lingo)  I really enjoyed watching them react to the funny and sad, and serious parts of the movie.  They were very comfortable with me.  Courage was laying down on the bed and using my back like a pillow, and Delight was holding my hand.  It was almost like we have been together for years.  I was just eating it up. 

While we were eating dinner, we were watching the kids collect the bottle caps for Emily’s table she is making.  Job made a comment that I wanted to note.  He said, “I have never seen a more noticeable change in the behavior and personality of a child as I have seen in Courage since you arrived here last week.”  He reminded us that Courage was always the quietest one at the home and that no one really even got to know him because he always stood off by himself.  We talked about this while the kids were searching for bottle caps.  We watched how he and Delight were getting so excited whenever they found one, and he would start up with that infectious laugh he has.  He is truly a happy kid.  As I have mentioned in other posts, I know the Journey for him is just starting, but he has really made some big strides and I am so excited to be able to watch him and Colton play in the back yard and be true brothers.  Colton has waited for that his entire life.  I am more excited to see that than anything else.  After the movie, we walked the kids back to the orphanage and they were very happy, with full bellies, and good spirits.  I’m looking forward to tomorrow. 

Well as I look up at this post I see a sea of red and green squiggly lines from spell and grammar check .   I’m going to hand this back to Jenny to correct them while I slip off into Sleepy Land.  So tired. J!!!!!!


  1. Ohhhhhhh, that is my sigh of relief. I have been watching for the latest post anxiously to see how things went today. So glad everything is going better today for you guys. So I'm just wondering if the kids speak really good english? The posts seem to make me think they do. Where did they learn english and do all the kids know it? Just one of the many questions I've been wondering about! Think of you guys often and hoping you have the kids home by Christmas....wouldn't that be a fun Christmas present for Emily, Abby and Colton!!

  2. Just like Cherie I have tons of questions too. I think during Thanksgiving break we need to have a q&a session. Hudson asks me everyday, "Can we check on Cephas?" I have been correcting him that it is Courage. We are so anxious for your return. I am very jealous that you got to go to a faraway temple, but happy for you nonetheless. (I know, I know, it is a far cry to use big words like you the two of you do).

  3. So happy for you guys. I am sure it will be many days of roller coasters, but I like your statement "I can do hard things" I am officially adopting that one for our home! We love you guys!