Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chapter One: The Beginning

We are going to have a son!!!

His name is Sufi
and he is 7 months old.
He is from Ghana.

We hope to have him in our home by the end of the year!
This has been a miracle all the way around.
Pabbi and I had finally given up hope of having children.
IVF was too expensive and the chance of success was slim to none. Adoption was the last thing on our mind.We had investigated adopting from here in the states, but again, it is so expensive and soooo risky. We know many who were going to adopt and the birthparents changed their mind, or the baby never made it through birth, leaving these couples broke, in so many ways. We knew we could not undergo such a strain. We had quickly dismissed the thought of adopting internationally was too way out there, to even consider it in our condition.

We were exhausted.
We had undergone so many failed treatments, and we were emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially ehxausted. We decided to settle on being happy as just the two of us.
But a few months ago, I had been watching movies and reading books set in Africa. All of which discussed and portrayed the plight of the children in many regions of Africa. My heart wept for these children who were abandoned and lived with so little. We had all this love and no one to pour it upon. Pabbi felt much the same as I did, when I told him how I felt. We don't have alot, but we do have each other, and as poor as we are as students, we have so much more than those dear souls in many areas of Africa.
We felt we should at least look into adopting from Africa! We didn't have to respond or act right away. We felt we should just take our time and look at our options and the situation. Pabbi would be done with school in one year and what did we have to lose? We only had to gain!
We heeded these promptings, and started asking around.
One of my friends, Cherish, had been to Kenya a number of times doing humanitarian aid. She had sent me pictures and told stories of her adventures in Africa. I was sure she would know about orphans and who to talk to. I asked her if she knew what the situation was with the orphanages and adoption in Africa. She told me of another friend of mine (Jenn), whom I had not seen in quite some time, but who had just come back from Ghana. She was engaged to a Ghanaian, and while she was there had been to the orphanages.
When I talked with Jenn she told me of her fiancé, Abraham, who was good friends with a man who actually owned and ran an orphanage near the capitol city Accra.

The Director had started the orphanage which was begun in 2001, and serves around 80 children,
plus 300 that come there for school! 
So we contacted this man via email.
We asked a number of questions, as we did not even know how or where to begin the process of adopting. He gave us contact information for a woman named L.M. who was helping other couples in the Utah area with the adoption process. She lives in Heber, a city on the other side of the mountain from Provo.
I called her.
I introduced myself and Pabbi. L.M. had just recently started working full time to help the Director find homes for these children, as well as help couples on this side of the adoption process. In telling her our story we discovered that she was also of Icelandic descent. We do not think this to be coincedence. It seemed the more we looked, the hand of the Lord became more and more clear.
L.M. told me that she and her husband had adopted the director's 4 yr old niece, 10 years ago. She talked of the joy she had found in her daughter. She also emphasized that the Lord has a hand in bringing our children to us in a number of ways. I loved that. I felt very much the same. Up to this point I could not understand why I would be so cruelly denied having children. I had always wanted to raise a very very large family. Pabbi felt the same.
L.M. was quite excited to talk with me!
She told me she had just been going through pictures of the orphanage that morning, from a woman named Shelley. Shelley had just returned from Ghana the night before, after picking up two girls from Ghana. Due to this and my call, L.M. was quite enthusiastic and excited to tell me about the children, and her experiences. It lit a fire within me!
L.M. and I also talked about the process and what would be needed.
She said the cost would be minimal, not including airfare and the home study. This money, however, is going straight to the orphanage and the paperwork/legal fees. None of that money was going into the hands of the director or L.M.’s. This comforted me. I had always disliked the idea of an agency etc., because it made me feel like I was ‘buying’ a child, not adopting. Knowing that the orphanage was getting that money for taking care of the children directly was so wonderful.
L.M. then asked what we were looking for.
I told her we wanted a boy and as young as we could have. She became quite excited about this. She told me she had just been looking through the pictures when she came upon a picture of a young baby boy. She did not know anything about him and would have to call to find out more. The director later told her he didn’t know who she was talking about, but would find out. L.M. sent me the picture(s). This little boy looked exactly like I had imagined. I sent the pictures to Pabbi, and then told L.M. we would wait to hear from her.

When Pabbi came home for the week, from his internship, we became excited and decided to call the orphanage director ourselves and see what we could find out. The director told Pabbi that this little boy was 7 months old, and that his mother was giving him up. The father would not acknowledge this boy as his, and the mother could not afford to raise him. He then said his name was "Sufi*."
I heard Pabbi repeat the name, "Sufi", and I started bawling!
In all these past years of discussing having children, Pabbi and I had only chosen 3 names for our children. Two were boy’s names, and one was a girl’s. One of those names was Sufi.
Hannah, from the bible, has always been a heroine to me. This woman had suffered with infertility but longed for children. After many years of suffering she was blessed with children. I have always held onto the hope I would one day be blessed as well. Due to this favorite bible story of hope and blessings, we named our blog the Book of Samuel, as a reminder that God does remember and the blessing of children comes from Him.

Pabbi talked more with the director about what the situation was.
Pabbi then mentioned to him that I had been thinking of going to Ghana with Jenn, in the end of October. (I was originally going to go be with Jenn, and just scope out the orphanage and the children.)
The director said we might be able to even pick up little Samuel at that point! I was in shock!
We could have our son by the end of October at the earliest! We hope for then, but plan to get him at the end of the year. We have so much to do before he comes; it will all depend on how fast we can get it done. So the rest is left up to us. We need to raise that large amount of money
and we need to pass the home-study;
which we are willing to do.

It will just take time.
So that is the beginning of our story.
We are sure there will be more will follow.

*Most names have been changed on this blog to protect identies.