I loved getting your letter in the mail and I think writing back and forth will be a great way to keep in touch until you are able to secure your internet access. Every once in awhile it hits me that you are actually all the way across the world, probably getting up early to head to your job, or working at your store, decorating for a wedding or doing some cooking! I am positive that Nana Yaw MUST miss your flavorful, homemade meals so much!
Right now Nana Yaw, Jake, and Coach Julian are at a tournament in Kansas City with all the teams. This is the last tournament for the year for Nana Yaw's All Iowa Attack team since high school will be starting in August. Nana Yaw has been to so many different states this summer traveling for tournaments that it is getting hard to keep track of everywhere that he has been. In July alone they have been on the road for two long trips....each 10 days. Jake moved Nana Yaw up to the top team for the 17U division, so he has been playing some tough competition. Nana Yaw has gotten to be great friends with one of his teammates named Treyvaan. They get along really well and stick together on the road trips. Nana Yaw has also gotten to spend some time over at his high school coach's house...I am sure he has told you that they have a gym hooked onto their home! They also took Nana Yaw to their lake house for a weekend so he got to jet ski for the first time (with a life jacket on of course!). Nana Yaw's high school coach has really enjoyed having him practice with the teams, and he has kept us informed, and Nana Yaw involved in all the summer activities that the high school team has been participating in. Nana Yaw helped out at one of the camps that the highschool was running for the little kids, and Jake said that when he dropped Nana Yaw off on the first day, all the little kids ran right up to Nana Yaw and wanted to give him high fives. They already knew his name and everything. I know that he is going to be a big hit at his school!
Jake just got an email this week that Nana Yaw's visa paperwork is being processed. Jake is quite sure that it will all be approved and we should get the final answer sometime in August or maybe even before. Jake has been working hard to create a hosting program so that other kids in Ghana like Nana Yaw will be able to come to school here in the U.S. He was just able to get a visa approved for a young man in Lebanon, so he will be the next to come, and he will stay with a family in Jake's All Iowa Attack program. Jake is tentatively planning his next trip to Ghana for October of this year. He really wants to spend some time with Issac and get an idea of his program and meet more of the players who are eligible to come to the U.S. I'll let you know arrival and departure dates once he decides for sure.
I haven't gotten a chance to give you an update on our adoption process since you left the U.S. At the end of March we found out that little Solomon's family decided not to give him in adoption. It was a very hard few weeks after that, but after a lot of prayer and spiritual growth God really gave both Jake and I a peace about it. We know that God is in control and will bring us the exact little boy that he is thinking of for us, all in His timing. Currently our adoption agency is finding a new child for us to adopt....still from Ghana. So, we are waiting to hear from them, and once we have word of a new child, we can then move forward with the adoption process. We are hoping that we can work on the adoption in October when Jake plans on coming to Ghana, but we will have to see where we are at in the process by then. Jake and I both still feel that God led us specifically to Ghana for this adoption, and so we are at peace knowing that we are looking in the right place....but being patient with the process has proved to be difficult, yet a great learning experience.
You wouldn't believe how much JJ is talking now! We just celebrated his birthday this week as he turned 3. JJ and Nana Yaw have become quite the buds, so much so that sometimes Jake has to remind JJ to let Nana Yaw work out when they are at the gym together. Sometimes JJ just wants to play and run around with him even when Nana Yaw is wanting to practice! Nana Yaw is so good with the kids! Whenever Jayla sees him she usually goes right up to him and begs for him to pick her up. She likes to poke him in the eyes and hit his cheeks with her hands! I am sure Nana Yaw told you that Jayla just started walking a few weeks ago. I think everything got so much easier now that she can just walk around and explore! She is so much more content now that she can get to where she wants to go.
I am including some pictures of the kids and Nana Yaw with this letter. I am also hoping to send you a DVD soon of one of Nana Yaw's games. You wouldn't believe his skill level right now....he was able to catch on so quickly and fix the movements and footwork that needed to be changed. He looks like a completely different player! Jake is thinking that Nana Yaw should hopefully be able to get some Division II college scholarship offers after this year if everything goes well. So exciting to think about!
We hope you and your family are doing well! I am sure you miss Nana Yaw so much! I will keep sending you updates and photos! Take care!
Janel (and Jake, JJ, and Jayla)
Headed to the gym for a work out.
Playing in the Sunday summer night league with Des Moines Christian.
Jayla helps Yaw update his facebook.
JJ introduces Yaw to the Doodle Bops.
We introduced Yaw to our love of ladder golf...he played the all-time champion (me) and won....but it was getting dark by the end of the game so I didn't have my best game face on....we'll have to have a re-match in the daylight. :)