Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ghana go to School

Well, this was the week of everyone going back to school. I was really prepared for Rita and Racheal to be nervous going to school. Actually, I thought Racheal would be the one who would go kicking and screaming. Nothing....Nothing....happened! All of the kids just went on their marry way. I am sure everyone was a little nervous. We all are, even teachers.

School for Rita and Racheal is completely different than what they are used to. Here are somethings that are different for them:

* School is 6.5 hours long compared to 3 hours
* They eat lunch at school
* No naps (except Rita tried on Tuesday)
* Lots of friends (not only in your classroom)
* Man as a teacher
* No caning
* Lots of fun
* They have their own desk
* Cold in the classroom
* They get to see Mommy throughout the day
* Auntie Mary is their Librarian

I went back to work the week before this past week. The girls had a hard time with it, but did do better by the end of the week. Jennine called me and offered her hair assistance. She took a hair class on Saturday and learned how to do the flat and double twist. This was something that I really wanted to learn. I was unable to go to the class with her, but she brought the class to me. She came over and we worked on the girls' hair for 4 hours. Well, I kept going with Rita's hair and ended 5 hours. Karleigh joined in and learned how to do with me. She was so awesome! She sat and helped me finish Racheal's hair. She did a fabulous job! It was really cute, when she asked me to do her hair. Karleigh NEVER asks me to do her hair, so when the question came up, I jumped on it!

Karleigh sometimes gets frustrated being the older sister because Rita and Racheal just adore her. But, Karleigh sure does step in right away to help them. Below is a "girl's night with Hannah Montana". Karleigh introduced the girls to Hannah Montana. Now, they are in love with her. I got them each a poster of Miss Hannah and they love it. Below is a picture of them watching the show with their 3D glasses.

I love the girls' teacher....Mr. Gray. He is the type of teacher that laughs with and at the children. Rita and Racheal can make you laugh so hard that you will be rolling on the floor. Mr. Gray shared with me how they drew a picture of our whole family. That really means a lot to me because sometimes I think they don't quite understand what has occured in their life. I pray as they get older, God will give them peace about being apart of our family. They are our daughters and not vacationers. They will forever be ours! It is going to have to come from him, to help them understand what major change has happened in their life. They are lucky that they remember where they came from, who they came from, and what they left behind. I know other adoptees don't have that understanding or memory. So I am thankful that they have it to hold on to. Well, that was off topic....back on.

Karleigh looks so much older to me. I see her with her sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Evans, and she looks so much taller and older. I get really sad that she is growing up so fast. I feel like sometimes, I am missing out. I think I just miss her. I miss her little curls, playing with Barbies, and her sitting in my arms drinking her bottle. Now, she cooks, plays her viola, and paints her nails. Oh, how time flies!

The boys are adjusting to school and life really well. Kaiden has Miss Gonnerman. This is the year that he will be excepting more responsiblity. He is so funny and I absolutely love his humor. I can't wait to see him continue to grow. Karson has Mrs. Potts for 2nd grade. He is doing really well. She has more structure, which is great for him. He is very successful in that type of enviroment. I want him to continue to succeed. He has grown the most out of everyone. He is so tall. He reminds me everyday of my Grandpa Murphy. I don't know exactly what it is, but I see my grandfather in him.

Other news in our house.....

Our Sweety (guniea pig) is pregnant. She is literally due any day now. She is so incredibly huge. She looks like she is so uncomfortable. Everyday, we wake up hoping for 2-3 surprises. We counted the days but still nothing so far. Our thought is she can't hold them in forever, so it has to be soon.

Ending our first Week of School and our first month together as a family of 7!

Friday, July 25, 2008

My Heart Full of Sadness

This past Monday, we recieved some really horrible and sad news about the home that our girls live in for 9 months ......Eban House. I have thought about how to share the news, but there really isn't away to share to make it seem not so terrible. Here it goes:

Last Sunday night, the Eban House was robbed. There were 4 men that got into the house through the back door. There were armed. There were three aunties that stay over night with the children. One of the Aunties (Ester) was sleeping in one of the rooms where the babies sleep. The men pulled her out and raped her multiple times - until she told them where the valueables were hidden. She was so amazing to stay quiet during this punishment. The children slept through it, except 4 girls. They were brave themselves for not yelling or screaming. They prayed for the men to leave and asked God for forgivness.

Ester, who tried to save the valuables and the children is now still being punished. In the Ghanian culture, the husband will leave and divorce the wife if something like this happens to her. I can't imagine not having support (especially from your spouse)to deal with this situation. She has two children of her own.

I don't only pray for Ester, the children, and the staff, but I have also been praying for Ester's husband. He needs to be a man who loves his wife no matter what and will fight the cultural expectations to stay with his wife. She needs him so desperately.

If you could add Ester, her husband, the children at Eban House, and the staff to your prayer list, I would greatly appreciate it.

I have thought so much about all of them this week. It has taken a while for me to process this horrible event that happened to such a loving home and person.

I do have to count my Blessings that our girls are home with us. There are so many families that their children are there and had / have to deal with this situation. No child or woman should have to deal with this, but it happens. I strongly believe that Satan comes in to stir things up, especially when God is in the center of it.

If you would like to give to Ester, there is a fund set up for her. She needs time off work to heal (physcially and emotionally). If her husband (which she hasn't been in contact with) ends up filing for divorce, she very well could go into a lower poverty level. You can go to and click on the "donate now" button to find the special designation for Eban House and "Esther's Fund."

Sitting with some mush sadness!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Swimming with Selina

I have a very close friend that has adopted from the same home in Ghana. She adopted a two year old girl named, Selina. Now, this girl came into the home not being able to walk and you should see her now. She has blossomed into such a beautiful and happy little girl.

It is so awesome that Rita and Racheal know her and adore her. So our families get together so the girls can play or at least see each other. This will be even more awesome when my sister adopts a little boy. Then there will be 4 Ghanian children from the same House living in Gilbert, Arizona.

Here is a video of the girls when they just learned how to jump in the water. This video was taken in Ghana at the La Palm Hotel. You can tell Racheal is still a little more scared but Rita takes right over.

First swimming from Chalene Jarett on Vimeo.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Twin Power

Twin Power is very POWERFUL!

The girls have such a strong bond between them. They help each other with tasting food. "Is it sweet?" ....."Yes, it's sweet"......"OK then"

They like their hair done the same way.

They drink at the same time.

They wake up at the same time (7:45 WOO HOO).

They watch the same shows.

They speak Ghan at the same time.

They do the #2 one after another (gross but true).

The funniest thing with them and their "twin power" is that they tell stories about their past at the same time. One will begin the story and the other will finish the other's sentences. They also both laugh at the same place when telling the story.

Some of their stories are really cute and some are a little disturbing. But, this is their story and their memory. I wonder sometimes if some of the things they tell me are true. But, when you listen to them tell it and both are saying the same thing (literally at the same time) then you have to believe it is true in their minds. Some of the stories are 8 year interpretation of what has happened so far in their life. But again, it's their story and memory.

In a group that I am in there has been talk about whether or not to adopt an older child and whether to adopt one or more children. In my opinion, it is completely up to what the family can handle. I strongly believe that God knows that for each family that is considering adoption. We began our adoption journey with one child in mind. God thought different and layed on our hearts for two children. In my mind, I thought I was going insane to add two more children to our family. Jarett was the one who convinced me to open up to two children. He really believed that the twins (Rita and Racheal) would be perfect for our family. I had to trust him and God that they both knew what we were doing. So, if you are deciding on adopting and having figured out what God would want for you, then take extra quiet time with Him and He will let you know.

God has given us the TWIN POWER and the FUN that comes along with it! :0)


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Love Those PUFFS

This hair thing with the girls has been quite the challenge. I have bought so much products to use on their hair. The ones I have decided on are the baby butter curling cream, olive oil in a spray bottle with water, and Aveda Conditioner. These seem to be the best for their hair so far. I love to do the puffs in their hair because it is easy and fast. It takes me about 40 minutes to redo their hair, which compared to 3 hours - WOOHOO!

I tried the corn roll and I was told, "Oh Mommy, it doesn't look well". I had to agree because it wasn't tight at ALL. I can do corn rolls on my head but the girls have so much that it is hard to grab little pieces without grabbing more than needed. The girls' hair is so curly that I just love it. As it gets longer, I can do some twists and it will definitely stay.

Here is a picture of grandma with all the grandkids. The girls just love her. They were a little shy at first but shortly warmed up.


Monday, July 7, 2008

The First Week is OVER

Well, we have survived our first week with the girls. Or I can say, the girls have survived their first week with us. I do have to say that I don't remember the first couple of days. Everything seems like a fog. I was exhausted to begin the week and it didn't get any better until the last couple of days. They are finally not taking naps and they are sleeping to at least 6:30 in the morning. I will so happy if they will at least sleep until 7, but I will take 6:30 any day now.

The girls are settling down with us. I thought the "honey-moon" phase would last longer than a couple of days. NOPE - not for them. I am glad though because it gives us a chance for them to build their trust with us. I am actually liking the "fussing" that happens at least once a day with each one. It is really strengthening our love for one another. :0) The girls have started to share stories with me about their home in Ghana, mother, grandmother, father, and Eban House. It is so interesting to listen to them and see their perspective on things. Again, I wasn't quite ready for this because I was still thinking the "honey-moon" phase would be longer. But, I am thankful that they love and trust me to share things with me.

I do have to stay how proud I am of the girls. They have trusted and loved me enough to bring them on an airplane over here to a completely different country / life style.

*They trust me enough to give them time-outs.
*They trust me enough to feed them.
*They trust me enough to say "No" to them.
*They trust me enough to love them.
*They trust me enough to kiss them.
*They trust me enough to tuck them in.
*They trust me enough to share stories with me.
*They trust me enough to take them in the car. . . . . . They trust me!

Jarett is still new with them. They don't seem to pull as much stuff with him as they do with me. But, they have been with me more and he is back to working so they are with me ALL day long. I told him, don't worry, he will get his share when I go back to work in 2 weeks. He will be home with them all by himself for 4 days. I think he will feel really loved by them. :0)

I will be excited when school starts because the routine will be really good for them. We are not in a routine because it is summer. So I think this may a little harder for them. I am keeping to the eating schedule which is great for them and the sleeping schedule is getting better. It's hard when it stays light until almost 9 at night here. But tomorrow we will have to work better at the sleeping instead of the swimming. The girls are fishes. They are doing so good with swimming. Racheal basically has it. She just needs to keep practicing. She can swim to the wall but she seems to push off pretty hard to get there. Rita loves the float, so we need to get her off that and practicing swimming.

But......the first week is over and they are adjusting great. The three children are adjusting and trying to figure out where they stand. All we do is reassure everyone how much we love them and how God gave us each other. We talk about our feelings and definitely pray. :0)

Thank you to everyone who has supported us with this journey so far. It's not easy, but it is rewarding for everyone in the Baxter household.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

"Ghana" Go to the Dentist

Today was the trip to the dentist for all 5 children. Rita and Racheal did very well for their first appointment. They were a little curious about it, but we talked about the tooth doctor counting their teeth. We love our dentist. He is so good with children. They did very well. They had pictures of their teeth taken (X-rays). It was so cute because they would smile while getting the X-rays. Just as if they were getting pictures taken.

All the check-ups went well. Racheal is cavity free. Next week, she is going to get sealants on her back teeth. She has something stuck in between two teeth and it is irritating her gum. It must have hurt pretty bad because she cried and wouldn't let them get it out. So, we are going to try to use "bubbles" to help relax her and then they are going to numb it, so they can get it out. I am going to try to floss there sometime this weekend and see if I can get it out. It will be a one shot deal though because she won't let me do it twice.

Rita has the tooth that needs to be pulled. She has an infection under it and that is what is causing it to be painful. The tooth has a cavity that is down to the nerve and has gotten infected. She only has 3 smaller cavities, so she will be getting the liquid that will put her to sleep so they can do all of that. Hopefully, things will do great with this.

Karleigh is free and clear. Kaiden has 2 cavities between his teeth. We need to work on the flossing with him. Karson has teeth that are very low with enamel. He grinds his teeth at night and now one of them is cracked. So he has some work to get done. OUCH!

They are got floride and did very well with that. I just love our dentist and how they make the visit fun for them. Well, Racheal didn't care so much for it. :0)

On a separate note, I will definitely be spelling Richeal's name ...Racheal. Just with the dentist, they mispronounced her name everything they said it. They would call her "Richell".

Here is a picture of the girls on their first night with me. They love their "beauty" caps. They wear them at night to keep their hair beautiful.

This picture is of the "first" swim experience for the girls. They are fishes now.

The girls on the airplane. They did so well and felt right at home. :0)

This is right after we got off the plane. Big sis, took right over. They now LOVE their sister. She can do NO wrong! :0)

They all wanted to sleep together.

One Busy Mom of 5,

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Family of 7

We are now physically and emotionally a family of 7. The girls did well on the plane ride. They had a great time. They ate everything that was given to them on the plane. They watched movies, colored, and slept a bit. The plane ride from NY to AZ was good as well. The girls fell asleep before we even took off and slept the whole way home. I had to wake them up to go to the restroom and get ready to land. Rita was great with meeting everyone. She went up to her daddy and hugged him. Richeal was more nervous. I was holding her hand and her hand was sweaty. She went straight to Karleigh.

When we got home, they looked at their bedroom, the dogs, and the cats. They were afraid of the dogs at first. We showed them how to love them and then they were fine. All the kids slept together in the twin's room. The fell asleep around 2:30 am. We kept it calm the next day since everyone was tired.

We did have to go to Walmart to get groceries. We told all the kiddos that they could buy one toy to celebrate our family being together. Rita picked out a guitar, Richeal picked out a wedding barbie, Karleigh got a snowcone maker, Kaiden got some type of game, and Karson got a surf board for the pool. Everyone did well with picking out their toys. Then we went to the food part of Walmart. That was the challenging part. "Mommy, I like". . . . "Mommy, I like". . . . . ."Mommy, I like"
So I gave them jobs to help pick out what was on my list. Yes, you read it right, I made a list. I figure I have to make these trip fast, so I made a list.

The foods the girls have tried:
chicken nuggest: love them
spaghetti with meat sauce: like them
different types of rice: love them
carrots: only like if cooked
cereal: like it
french toast: didn't like
scrambled eggs: love them
skim milk: like it
Ritz cracers: like them
PBJ: love it
Just Plain Peanut Butter: love it

I am having trouble getting my pictures on my computer. I have a picture though of all the kids together. This is the picture below.