Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ghana Trip 3

I wanted to share a few pictures of our quick trip to Ghana last week. Now that I just typed that sentence it sounds kind of comical! Who gets to just run to Africa real quick and bring home a new son? Well, I guess WE DO! Anyways, our two-day stay in Accra was my 3rd and Jake’s 4th trip to Ghana. We purposely planned this trip very short because the main focus was to get Justice home and that was it! Jake is currently planning his next trip to Ghana in which he will be taking a few coaches from his staff as well as any Kingdom Hoops players who are interested in going and are able to raise the money to cover their expenses. The trip is tentatively planned for this December, right after Christmas time.

During our short stay in Ghana, Prince ended up hanging with us the entire time.

One afternoon Prince really wanted to take us to meet his futbol (soccer) team and coaches, so he took us to his practice that was scheduled for the afternoon. Here are some sights from on the way there:

We parked in the main market area and then walked to his practice ‘field’...

And this is his practice field….off to the right of this picture:
All of that mud and water is where they normally play. Since it had rained and there are drainage problems with a creek next to the field, practice had to be canceled.

Here is one of the goal posts:

Train tracks and housing are on the other side of the field:

Even though practice was canceled all of Prince's teammates had still come to the field so Jake got to chat with them:

One afternoon we also went to Esi’s dad’s house to meet some more of her family and have a homecooked meal!

Esi also took us to meet some of her and Nana’s friends who are going to be helping us with an upcoming project that I will be blogging about later. The wife is a fashion designer in Ghana and she has a little design school in which she trains young women to sew and create beautiful clothing. Here are some of her students:

And a few other random pictures that survived the deletion episode…

Justice writing out his new name:

And Justice and Prince the night that we were getting ready to leave Ghana.
It was hard to say goodbye to Prince this time around. Just plain sad. Jake and I had been praying about what could be done for him since his student visa had been denied again. Esi had offered Prince the opportunity to come and live with her when his visa was denied, but at the time he had turned her down. The night we were getting ready to leave, we talked to Prince about the opportunity with Esi again, and this time he opened up and said that he was scared and that was why he had turned her down. One of the main problems with Prince’s current situation is that the school he goes to does not teach English. He can speak very little English, and if he is ever going to try and apply for the visa again, he is really going to need to be able to communicate. By the time we left, Esi had made plans to take Prince in and help him get into a good school, so I will have to keep you updated on him.

Kofi had also gotten in touch with Justice’s birthmother to let her know that Justice had gotten his visa and would soon be leaving for America. Kofi said that if she would like to say goodbye that she could come down and see Justice before we left on Friday. Friday morning Justice’s birthmother traveled down from their village up in the mountains with a few of the ‘uncles’ that we had met previously. Justice’s little brother, Kwasi, came too and we all had breakfast at our hotel. Our time with Justice’s birthmother was perfect. She was so happy and excited for Justice. His birthmother doesn’t speak English so it’s hard to communicate (Kofi wasn’t there to interpret) but she recognized a few words like ‘airplane’ and ‘Samuel (Justice) is so excited’. We took about 30 pictures with Justice’s birthmother and little brother. And, I am sad to say that every single one of them were part of the bunch that got accidently deleted when Justice was using my camera. If you press the delete button on my camera there is an option that says ‘delete all in date range’ and then if you select it they are all wiped out in an instant. You can imagine that I was pretty disappointed. However, if there is a bright side it is that I do have a bunch of pictures of Justice’s birthmother from our first meeting back in December, so at least we still have those. Going into this international adoption I never dreamed that I would ever get the opportunity to meet our child’s birthparents. In my amateur knowledge I honestly thought we would adopt a child who had been abandoned to an orphanage and have no idea who his/her parents were. Getting to meet Justice’s birthmother has been one of my cherished memories of this entire journey. It’s like discovering a piece of your child’s being that you otherwise would never have record of. To end our time with Justice’s birthmother we all stood in the hotel parking lot holding hands while Jake prayed for us and thanked God for intersecting all of our lives. Then the last memory I have of that morning was Justice taking a picture of me and his birthmother…..and then I remember her and I hugging and her walking to the car waving and saying ‘Bye!’ which is the only English word she is able to say. I know we will see her again. I can clearly picture us taking Justice back to Ghana in a few years for a visit. What a joyous day that will be for them to be reunited sometime in the future. I’ve said it before, but as far as I am concerned, this is an open adoption, and we will keep in touch with Justice’s birthmother through photos and eventually visits. For now we are oceans away….
But we will see her again.

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