Sunday, June 29, 2008

Last Day in Ghana

Today for our last day here in Ghana was relaxing and fun. We went to the La Palm Beach Hotel (mini America). I absolutely LOVE this place. It is very expensive but so worth the money. We got there around 10:30 and left at 4:30. The girls swam literally all day. They got to the point of kicking and moving their arms in the water. They are now offically swimmers. :0) The only time they got out of the pool was to eat. It was an awesome day because there were so many children playing in the pool. The girls were not shy to make friends. They all played together very well. There were all different ethnic groups of people so it was fun for them to play with all types of people. There was a guy with his family and Rita said "That man looks like daddy". It was sweet. The girls really can't wait to meet everyone. They are so excited to leave and come to America.

I do think we allowed them to swim way to much. It was difficult getting them out and boy, were tantrums coming out of the wood work. So far, it has been one girl at a time with a little tantrum. Today it was both and it was harder. They are pushing to see how far they can go. They are quickly learning "not far" at all with me. I reinforce how much I love them, but I won't allow them to run away or throw themselves on the floor. As soon as I say that, they are ok. So I think they are testing and see where the boundaries are and also seeing if I still love them. The minute I express I love them, they calm right down. So............

We ate FUFU today for dinner. This has been my least favorite thing to eat. It was hard to eat but I got enough down to last until tomorrow.

Well this will be my last post until we are HOME FOREVER! I will post pictures as soon as I can.

Please keep us in your prayers for the safe flight home.


True Shopping Girls

The girls showed me yesterday that they are true shopping girls. They fit right in the other kids at home. They knew exactly what they wanted. They did very well with not asking for everything. They just knew what they wanted and moved on. Good Girls! I bought them a Ghanian hat, soccer shirt, doll (two headed - you flip the skirt and one side it is Ghanian and the other is American), and 2 drums. The gentlemen that Leigh Ann bought drums from on our first trip saw her and grabbed her to come back. We did and they even gave us a show with the drums. I, of course, video taped it. :0)

After shopping, we went to see the lawyer. He met with us and talked to Percy and Leigh Ann. He is so nice. He really cares for the children and seems to do a fantastic job. He told us that he will take the case and he will talk to the director of social welfare. He told us no worries that he will convince him because this is a special case. He also said this is the last single woman case he will do. I guess this is really hard to do. We just thank God that He jumped in for Leigh Ann and Akwise.

Last night was a little scary for us. As we were driving home, there was a lot of traffic. This means that it took us an hour to get back to the guest house. This is only a fifteen minute drive home with no traffic. Our driver decided to take a short cut and we ran into a street that was having a funeral of one of their leaders. In the Ghanian culture, they will carry the body (not in a casket) but holding it up in the air. They do this so the body will direct the people to all their favorite places before being buried (this is what our driver told us). Well the body decided he wanted to come our way. The people on the side of the street were yelling at us to move. They get VERY ANGRY if you don't listen to them. We were told they will smash your windows and egg your car. We even saw a guy with a huge gun walking down the street. Our driver said they mean business when a funeral of a leader is going on. So we turned onto a side street. Well, that street was a dead end. So we went back up that way. The body at that time decided to go another way. We just squeaked by as people were yelling at us. We did make it but it's a story for us. Since I still don't have a 3 inch roach story, I will take this one.

Today we are going to "mini America" and spend the day in the pool and beach. We plan to be back by around 4 or 5. This will give us time to pack, eat, and get to bed early. Percy is picking us up at 6 am to go to the airport. The traffic is very bad so we need to leave to be able to make it. Our wonderful friends here at the guest house will have breakfast for us. That is so sweet because this is early for them. I tell you how much I adore our friends here. One of them asked me for my flip flops. I may leave them for here. They are old but would look good on her feet. :0)

What has been so much fun with the girls is seeing their "first" of everything. Their laugh makes me laugh. They are so playful! I just love and adore them. They rode the elevator for the first time the other day. Going up was scary for them but now they laugh at it. I can't wait until they see America - boy, are they going to have a blast.

I don't know if I will be able to blog again until we are in America. I will try but if not then you will hear from me when we are in America again. YEAH - I can't wait. :0)

**** Mom - the girls know the video word by word, even the part that Karleigh jumps in and says "She spoils us". They laugh every time. They know the words to the other video that Karleigh, Kaiden, and Karson did for them. :0)

I know there are probably lots of errors in these posts, but I have to type fast or I will have a little helper at some point.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Eventful Day

Today was such an eventful day! The girls slept in until 6:45 (WOO-HOO). We got to the Eban House aroung 9:30 or so. The girls went to school and we painted. Muna also painted with us. She told us that she loves to paint. We painted the hallway a cream color. It is really pretty. It took us about 3-4 hours because we had to do 2-3 coats. The children wrote on the walls and it was harder to cover it up, so we did more coats. The girls "took" a nap at the House. We were still painting so I thought they could join the group and slow down a bit. Well, nap time was very fun to watch the older children who didn't want to take a nap. More of the story to come later.

We then went to the Palm Hotel to take the girls swimming. The is the hotel that Jennine stayed at with Selina. All I can say is OMG! It is beautiful and so much fun for families. It is just how Jennine discribed it "a little America". The girls were so excited to swim. They got into the pool and say on the steps. They splashed around. They finally got the courage to let us hold them to take them into the water further into the pool. They screamed while laughing! Rita was the one who did the first under the water with her face. Racheal saw and did it too. It was so fun to watch them be in the pool. They absolutely loved it. By the end of the 2 1/2 hours of swimming, the girls have learned how to go under water by themselves. Rita is almost about to swim. She is right there! We are planning on going all day Sunday. They have a place to eat lunch and get ice cream. You can also get to the beach out of their gate. So we will spend most of the day there. It cost $10 per adult and $5 per child. It is so worth it because the girls had a BLAST! I wish I would have experienced this on the first trip then I would have saved up more money to have a couple of days there for the girls. But that is ok since we love our guesthouse we are at. They are so awesome with the girls and they make us our meals.

Tomorrow we are going shopping and have our last couple of hours at the Eban House. Leigh Ann would like to her soon to be little boy one more time to say "good - bye!" That is going to be so hard since he has cried the last couple of times we left the House. I hope and pray that he will trust her and know she will do whatever it takes to bring him home. He needs so much love and one on one. I especially can't wait for my sister to be a full time parent - she has her work cut out for her - Ha-Ha! :0)

The girls are asleep so I have some extra time to get caught up on emails. We only have 2 more days until we leave. I am ready to be a little more into my own routines and I miss my kiddos so much!

Hi Baby Girl (Karleigh)
Hi Big Boy (Kaiden)
Hi Karson-Warson
Hi Hun
I miss you all so much. We can't wait to come home! See you Monday night!


Thursday, June 26, 2008

God's Miracles Today

Today was a day full of miracles that only God could have provided for us. Here they are:
* My sister has fallen in love with one of the boys at Eban House on her first trip. She is single and in the Ghanian law, they won't let single women adopt. Well, we met with this lady at Social Welfare today. We all went (me, the girls, the boy, Leigh Ann and Percy) to talk to her. The meeting was emotional for all of us. The lady pull the little boy up to talk to him, then she talked to Leigh Ann. Her first words were telling us about the law and what it says. My sister spoke up and talked to her. She did begin to cry (as Americans do). Then the chain reaction began: I cried then the little boy cried. We were all crying! The lady even began to cry with us. Her final words were "we will make it happen". Wow - what powerful words that only God could have given her. The little boy said in the van while we were driving "TT is going to be my mother". Such precious words from him, if you only knew his past and the hard life he has expericenced so far.

* I met the girls' family. I especially wanted to meet with their mother and grandmother. They were so grateful and happy to see how well they were doing. Of course, that was emotionally as well. The girls were running to everyone when we got there. They were so excited. I was very surprised but they kept coming up to me and holding my hand and wanting to be held. They acted proud of me. I almost lost it about 3 times. I held off until I hugged their mom and got into the van. Oh Boy, that was hard but in a good way hard. We got pictures and I even got a video of their mom and grandmother saying a message that they will treasure one day when they are old enough to really under what is going on.

* The little boy that is afraid of white people that just came to Eban House, did not hiss or pinch us today. He actually smiled and walked up to Leigh Ann and hugged her. He even let her put the straw in his juice box. That was a miracle!

* We had the girls' going away party today as well. The children ate biscuits (cookies) and drank from juice boxes. They also did some dancing and singing. Of course I got some video of that. :0)

* We have not experienced any tantrums yet. I thought for sure we were going to because the girls didn't eat until 2:30 and they didn't get a nap. They were very tired and almost lost it but didn't.

Well, that's it for today and guess who just walked in so I for sure have to go.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The First Day Has Ended

Well, today was the first full day with the girls. They woke up at around 6:30. They were so good as they just played quietly with their toys as we woke up. I was awake but my body wasn't. It was hard to sleep the first night. I listened to them breath and watched them roll around. Racheal is definitely a flip flop type of sleeper. She kept ending up by me. I had her foot on knee and her head under my arm. I wonder if she used to sleep like that where she would move until she came across the wall. I think that because she did the same thing when we took a nap. Rita is a very still sleeper. She only turned once, at least while I was up (most of the night).

We went to the Eban House for about an hour and a half. Rita and Racheal were so excited to see everyone and show them their new shoes. The Aunties said they already look like Americans. The girls seemed to miss the Eban House a bit. So we are going to try to do short visits. After their nap, we went again and this time they asked to leave to go home. Now I am thinking they are beginning to understand us being today. I took pictures of the girls by their bed that they slep in at the Eban House. Racheal got her welcome bag back and her photo album. Rita said she didn't have hers because they (| think Percy) is going to show it to her mother. I said the stupidest thing, "I am your mother". She said "My mother in Ghan". That was so sweet and touching to hear. She recognizes that she has 2 mothers. I am so glad because I know the day will come and she will begin to ask questions.

Tomorrow we are going to an appointment and on our way we are going to stop by the girls' grandmother's house to ask permission to come and visit with everyone. Percy told me that their mother is in the home. I am so looking forward to talking with her and getting pictures. I am hoping to get video of her and their grandmother as well giving a message to the girls. That will be a treasure for them one day.

I think we are doing the going away party for the girls tomorrow. I am not sure how long our appointment is going to take. The girls want to go swimming so we are going to do this Friday morning when all the children are at school. I am also hoping to go to the beach and shopping in the next couple of days. I am watching how the girls are responding to what we are going.

New things for them today:
going to the restroom at a resturant: there was no toilet paper for the #2 thing. This was new to me too, so I let the girls use my hanking (yes, it was thrown away.)

Eating out: we have done this before but they are more comfortable with me, so we are working on trusting that I will feed them and they won't go hungry. I take snacks with us and make sure we eat at the same time they are used to at the Eban House.

Blowing Bubbles in a coke bottle: we learned that the fizz from the bubbles can get all over us and form a puddle on the chair.

The children at the Eban House all got their envelopes of cards and pictures. They loved them. Especiall little Victoria - she carried her pictures (of herself) all around. Thanks to a mom that visited a week ago for getting those pictures together for the children that don't have referral just yet. They loved them and felt very special. I haven't been able to capture a lot of sayings from the children because the House if full and it is very hard to talk to each one and give one on one attention. We are trying but it is difficult.

That about it for now. We just ate chicken and rice for dinner and took our baths. We are smelling really good now. :0)


I Have Delivered Two 50 Pound Baby Girls

Boy, this was the BEST labor ever delivering 2 fify pound baby girls. It was a Blast! They smiled so BIG when I first saw them yesterday!

It was a late start to our day. We got to the hotel and unpacked everything. I got the girls' things put away and placed all their toys on their bed. I was hoping they would feel like it was Christmas because they deserve it. Auntie Charity did the girls hair. I helped braid their hair. It was funny because the Aunties kept watching me. They seemed to approve of my braiding because they kept letting me do it. On of them told me I braid better than her. I have to disagree but it was a nice thing to say. Rita and Racheal came with us tonight. They walked into the room and went through all their toys and put on their backpacks. They went through their clothes and right away took off their clothes and put on their sleeping clothes. They both tried on their shoes and they FIT! Boy, that was a worry for me. I kept using Karson as my shoe model and he did great! :0)

rrrrrrrrttrrrrrr251rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (This was Rita getting "r" happy)

Anyways things new to them:

shower: they had a blast playing in the shower. They were giggling and washing themselves.
Blanket: they loved it but threw it off when they fell asleep.
Taxi ride: That was an adventure with the driver we had
Hair Caps: They wore them and loved them

Todays plans are relaxing. We are going to the Eban House to play with the children for a while. We are planning for their going away party to be tomorrow. I hope to meet their family on Friday. The girls said they want to sleep with us again tonight. I don't know that they fully understand what is going on but we are taking it slow with them. :0)

Rachel is now playing with the mouse so I think I better go before things shut off.




Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's All Coming Together

The count down has begun! I am 3 days away from leaving. I know I leave on Monday which is technically 4 days, but I have to wake up at 3:30 in the morning to go to the airport because my plan leaves at 6:00 am. So I am not really counting Monday as a real day. :0)

I have finished the second coat of the paint on the girls' wall. Jarett worked on the flowers and green stripe today. He did the flowers all free handed! :0) Butterflies are the last bit of art on the walls and then we are completely finished. Here is a picture of phase 2 of the painting. :0)

Ok, so I may be a bit of a procrastinator. This picture are some of the things I am planning on packing for the girls. As I have bought things and I knew I wanted to take them with me, then the old bed would be my holder. Not to worry, I will eventually (for sure by Sunday) organize the stuff.

I am planning on taking custody as soon as I get my first hug and kiss. The girls are ready and so am I. There are around 30-35 children total in the Eban House. I can help out by taking 2 beautiful and loving girls off their hands the minute I see them. :0)


Monday, June 16, 2008


Sometimes I look back at this journey and ask God, "Sir, really this is happening?". I do that because about a year and a half ago, we really didn't belong to a church and our faith was in a "still" moment. We had been like this for about 2-3 years. Jarett and I are believers but we were in a time where we weren't connected to a church. We belonged to one church for about ten years but we were changing in a direction where our church wasn't. We felt we weren't connect in any way to our church. I am not sure why that happened. We did continue to attend our first church but we were just doing the motion not really engaged.

We attended our now "home" church, The Grove. On the second time we went to service there, they were talking about mission trips to Africa. There was one trip that spoke to me, Malawi. This was a trip that was working with children in orphanages and feeding programs. I remember sitting in the chair and talking to God about this trip. He told me to go. I did and now look where our family is: we are adopting 2 twin girls. Jarett and I have 2 new daughters and Karleigh, Kaiden, and Karson have 2 new sisters. I knew in my head that if you listen to God and do what He calls you to do, then He will bless you in a way you never thought. Now I know in my heart exactly what that means. Both Jarett and I love these two girls unconditionally. The love we have for them is unbelievable! God has Blessed us in a very "surreal" way!

Below is a picture of the girls' room (well one wall) half painted. We are going to work on the rest this week.

This is a picture of their bedding that I have talked about.

This is a picture of the type of butterfly that Jarett is going to paint on their wall. It will all come together.

6 more days until I leave to bring Rita and Richeal HOME FOREVER!


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Being a Single Mom

As some of you know Jarett has been in Liberia for the last 2 weeks. I am so excited that he will be home tonight. I have been a single mom for 2 weeks. This is the first time where I have had this call of duty for this long of a time period. I do have to say that my parents (especially my dad) has helped me through it because I have also been taking a physics class.

I know of some amazing single moms and boy, to be amazing at this job you have to work your tail off. I was up every night until 12:00 cleaning and staying on top of everything and I don't even feel like I was close to be as amazing as the single moms that I know. So to my single moms that are so AMAZING, how much I admire you.

I do though have to express how EXCITED I am to see Jarett. I miss him so much. I am hoping for a HUGE hug!

My mom and I are painting the girls room. I have completely changed the colors that I was originally thinking. I found exactly what I was looking for. Tomorrow I will post a picture of their room - hopefully it will be finished. :0)


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I've Have Dialated to a 9!

After a couple of phone calls to the Embassy in Ghana today, I got to hear the words I was hoping to hear, "We no longer have your file, it was approved and sent to the consolate department". For some reason I had this huge feeling of relief come over me. It was so peaceful. I think it was peaceful because I know that I get to sleep tonight. I have such a hard time going to sleep knowing that I have to wake up at 2 am to call and then try to get back to sleep. I am taking a class this week and next week. I have to get up in the morning at 6:30 so when I finally fall back asleep, I feel like I haven't had any sleep at all. Thanks to Diet Coke - it has helped me through the day. :0)

This picture is of us on the last day that I was in Ghana. I was holding back the tears big time. Richeal's face has a creme on it for a virus she had that day. She didn't like it on her face and kept trying to rub it off. I told her she looked beautiful and now she even looks more like mommy. She laughed and left it alone for a while. Rita was more quiet that day and before the picture. Boy, I just can't wait to see them again! :o)

My mom is coming over this Saturday to help me paint the girls' room. I am excited to be completely finished with their room. I still need to get a couple more things for them but I still have a little while to do it. I know the procrastinating Chalene is coming out. I am working hard to not procrastinate this next trip which is in a week and a half. :0)

I do want to take a moment to personally thank my parents. They have gone above and beyond the call of parenting by helping us out with taking care of the children when we needed it. My mom has helped me get more organized (some of your know what a chore that could be)with our house. My dad has been watching the children this week and next week for me so I could take this class. It is saving us so much money, so for him to do this for us is awesome. So thank you so much MOM and DAD - I love you very much and I will be forever grateful that you have helped us during this time of our life.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Taking Custody

Today we got an email about how soon we could take custody of our daughters. I get to take FULL custody right away from when I arrive there (as long as I have the I-600 approval). I am very excited and can't wait since the girls kept asking me to go with me when I was there the first time. They are more than ready and so are we. I am hoping to find a hotel that has a pool and is close to shopping, eating and the beach. I am looking for PARADISE! I should be able to find something like that!

June 23 is the day my sister and I are off again to Ghana, Africa. As long as everything goes well, we will be home on July 1st at 11:30 at night. This is going to be a hard time to come in but it is what is available at a good deal. We will all definitely be tired the next day but that's ok because we are just going to relax and bond as a family.

I went shopping the other day for the twins. I have been holding off because I really didn't know what to buy them. I didn't know their sizes for clothes or shoes. I didn't know what type of toys they would like, so I have held off until now. My class chipped in an gave me gift cards and money for the twins. This was amazing since we are pretty much broke at this point. :0) I bought the girls underwear, shoes, socks, PJ's, some outfits, and some toys. It was really fun to shop for them because now I feel like I know them enough to know what they would like. I did find a cute shirt that has the United States on the front of it. I am saviing that one for the plane ride home. :0)


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Your File is Under Review

That is what the lady had told me when I called at 2 AM to the Embassy in Ghana. It was what I was expecting since I had a feeling that this wouldn't be the week of approval. I have a feeling that next week will be it. They are asking for all kinds of documents that weren't asked for before. I know they are doing their job but this can get frustrating. I wish I could sit with them and go over the paper work with the person who is making the decision. That way if they have any questions then I am there to answer them in person (since I was there once before). It would be great to be able to call and the lady tell me that yes it was approved. What a releif that phone call would be! A friend of mine, emailed me an email that says "Whatever problem you are facing today, God will handle it". It said more but was nice to read because literally I don't have any control over this, so giving it up to God is the only way I can go. He has planted the seed of adoption in our family and He has been completely involved in this so I can't stop my faith now. Lord it is in your hands now!

Keeping the Faith!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Making Our First Phone Call

Above is a picture of the girls with their aunt (who we call TT). They love their TT. If mommy was busy holding one of the girls, the other one would go to TT. She was called "their second mom". She was like that! She loved them and played with them just like she does our other children. This is the TT that Richeal said "Mommy, TT needs a new hand to eat with". She is left handed and it wasn't approved just yet with Richeal for her eating with it.

This morning at around 2:00 am, I will making our first phone call to the Embassy in Ghana. Now this is the phone call that I am not expecting much information. First, if I get through and speak to someone - that would be a miracle. Second, if they give me any information - that would be another miracle. So this phone is..... I am thinking is .....False Labor. You know "false labor" that is getting you prepared for motherhood. I know the first couple of months we may have sleepless nights and very tired days, but I would still love to hear that the I-600 was approved. I am not very hopeful just yet until I hear those words. I know it will happen and hopefully within this week, but again I will wait for our loved ones.

On a side note, Jarett emailed us and it was very exciting to hear from him. He is doing great and having an awesome time. Yesterday they painted the girls dorm room and he said it looks really good. I am so excited and proud of him for stepping out of his comfort zone to service God. This is an amazing opportunity for him and I am so glad that the Lord has provided it for him. I love him so much and we are so grateful that God has given him to us as our leader of our family! He is amazing father and husband. I love you Hun! xxooxxooxx