We ended up booking a flight that leaves Des Moines this Friday evening as ticket prices were hundreds lower if we left on Friday as opposed to Saturday. This will also allow us a full day to ensure that the visas are printed without a hitch (since Ghana time is 5 hours ahead of us we will have the luxury of heading to the airport knowing that the visas are in our power of attorney’s hands). We will get into Ghana late Saturday evening. We will stay in Accra, the capital of Ghana, for this quick trip. There is a great hotel there that we’ve stayed at in the past, with a pretty good restaurant attached to it, wireless internet (!) as well as a clean and sparkly swimming pool. We will have 3 solid days with our girls in Ghana – Sunday, Monday, Tuesday – before boarding the plane for the U.S. late Tuesday evening! We only have one other task planned for this trip which I will likely be able to share details about afterward. Other than that we will be focusing our time on our girls, bonding and readying ourselves for the looooong trip HOME!!!! If we make all our connections and have smooth travels we will arrive back home into the Des Moines airport at 4:53pm on next Wednesday October 24th. WOW! That’s one week from today! Coming down that escalator in the airport into the greeting area is a feeling of triumph that I’ve grown to love! Can’t wait for those moments!
Jayla came into my room yesterday as I was putting the finishing pieces into the girls’ suitcase. She looked up at me with her big brown eyes and whispered with a squeal “I can’t wait for my sisters to come so we can play!” She is sooooo excited!
Many of you have wondered about whether or not we are changing our girls’ names as we did with Justice once his adoption was completed (you can read about his name change here and here). With Justice’s adoption we hadn’t even planned on changing his name until the Lord brought it up, put his new name in my mind, and gave me absolute solidarity that we were to change it. This time we are changing a name, but for a different reason. At this point we now have a theme going of us being all J’s in our family….
So for that reason I think now that the trend is going, we have to keep it rolling! I don’t want anyone to feel left out someday that they aren’t a ‘J’! In keeping with the theme, we have decided to keep Jennifer’s name the same.
We had waited to see if God would show us that Jennifer should have a different name, and we never got one so Jennifer she stays. :) Jennifer means “fair”; “smooth”; “pure”. All of her caretakers in Ghana called her Jenny which really suits her spunky self. We haven’t decided on her middle name yet – and we won’t really need to until we re-adopt here in Iowa which will come months later. Many of my friends have the name Jennifer, so this is a name that is already near to my heart.
Then we have Florence who we all easily have started calling “Flo”. Although we are changing her name, I am sure her nickname around the house will still be Flo…it’s just so catchy! We are changing Florence’s name to Jasara ~ pronounced juh - sah (the ah sounds like when you say ahhhh at the doctor) –ruh. We will keep Florence as her middle name.
The name Jasara means “boldness”. I originally found this name when I googled “African J names”. The name Jazarah came up but I didn’t like the ‘z’ for Flo. I substituted the ‘s’ because I thought it sounded lighter and more feminine. When I first googled the meaning of Jasara and saw that it meant boldness I wasn’t sure if it was the right fit. When we met her in March she seemed so passive and weak…anything but bold. But then! Then came the August trip! I wasn’t there but every single story that came from our tripsters about her just made me giggle….she sounded completely like she had a mind of her own and was going to let you know about it! I know the difference maker was that her body was getting good food and absorbing it. When we met her in March she was still on the heels of severe malnutrition….we just didn’t get to see her true self then.
Here is a sweet picture of our girls that we received last week...
Their faces and bodies look so healthy and strong. I notice a big difference in the texture of Flo’s hair – it’s really coming in and looking thicker now. And the loss of pigment she had along her hairline is completely gone! That’s what a little good nutrition will do for you! Yay!
Not sure if I will get to squeeze in another post before we take off on Friday, but hoping I will be able to post some pictures once we get to Accra since we’ll have internet access.
I’ll leave you with some sweetness from our kids. I asked them, “What do you think Jennifer and Jasara will like the most about coming here?”
JJ said: “Having brothers and a sister.”
Jayla squealed: “Having toys to play with!!!!!!”
Justice said with a knowing smile: “Having a bed to sleep in.”