Friday, September 4, 2009

Peep...Peep...from the Silence

Amazing how time flies.
Already it is September.
So much has changed.
So much is the same.
We are moved in,
but still living from boxes.


Pabbi LOVES his new job. He is already promoted and secure. Everyone loves him!
He has recovered from an unexpected knee surgery and is busy.


Mamma stays busy cleaning, unpacking, and lots and LOTS of One on One with the boys.
It is vital for attachment and security.


Kofi has decided after weeks and weeks and weeks of contemplation (and lists and lists)
to change his name.
His has longed to change his name for quite sometime -
his only worry was that changing his name he would forget Ghana. After explaining that remembering Ghana was not based on his name he was so relieved -
he could do what he desired
with
"NO FEAR".




Sufi is growing in leaps and bounds.
He finally made the "Zero" percentile of his age group in weight!
He walks as if he always had, he is potty training himself - faster than we can, and he is desperate to speak and gets frustrated that he can't!




Life is moving fast and before we know it - it will be a new year.
Until then we will enjoy our favorite season of FALL.




We send our love and regard to you all -
you are not forgotten even in our silence!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Radio Silence...

I wasn't sure what to title this post - so many came to mind:
We'll Be Back After These - Moves
Coming to the End of a New Era
Turning over a New leaf
Coming to the End of a Chapter
End of Times
Changing Paces
Whatever.
You get the point, right?
This blog is going on a silent retreat for some time.
For how long?
Who knows.
Is it because we are new parents and have no time?
NO.
Is it because we don't want to stay in touch with our fellow bloggers?
NO.
Is it because I have better things to do?
NO.
It is because our move has brought us into a whole new world -
well, actually it is an Old World.
We are living in a place where internet and other communications are limited.
We are living in the country far enough away from "Town," that modern technology and conveniences are limited. Even cell service is shoddy at best.
Living far from town will make running to the internet at the Public library a rare occasion. Impossible?
No.
But time will be limited.
And it looks as if blogging will take a back seat to other things.
It makes me sad. I had wanted to share more of our experiences of coming home after our adoption. Of sharing the good and the difficult. I had hoped to stay in touch and learn as much as I could from those of you out there who have been my inspiration for so long. I had hoped our story would inspire someone else on their journey.
But the Lord has put us on this path - a very different path than we had planned on being. I am excited to look forward and see what I can learn.
We hope to find some way to get internet access so that maybe we can continue sharing, but there are no promises. We are taking things one step at a time.
So instead, for a little while at least, we are going to take the time to get back to basics:
basics of living life with little technology and lots of time for other things.
We are loving our new little cottage, with lots of land to run and play on,
(now if only the rain will let up).
Our house is cute, simplistic, and cozy.
Our neighbors are few and far.
Pabbi has a 10 minute walk to his new job, rather than a 30 minute drive one way.
Kofi will have trees to climb, and a pool to swim in!!! (How lucky are we!)
Sufi will be able to stretch his legs and curiosity without the fear of cars and public!
Mamma will have the pitch black nights with croaking frogs to soothe her to sleep after a long day in the fresh air and sun!
We love suburban life; but we are glad for the country living after the past six months of constant change and stress (maybe we should include the last 7 years of hard studying and constant moving).
How long we will live here, is not determined.
Maybe in three months you will here some peeping from us, and the possibility of another move (Mamma prays that this is NOT so).
Maybe it will be a year or so.
We will try to get to our emails once in awhile -to keep up communication the best we can.
I will try to post if time and space allow it - but don't bet on it.
Sign up to recieve emails (see sidebar ---->) when and if I post - that way you won't have to keep checking if I do or don't post. I'll also try to check in once in a while.
But until our circumstances change, just know you are in our hearts! We thank you for sharing our journey. Thank you for inspiring us. Thank you for being a part of our world!
So until later comes, farewell.
Below are some recent pictures of our two boys!

Sufi has learned to hush a crowd.

Sufi has graduated from riding backwards to riding forward in his car seat. This is a relief for all, as we do a LOT of driving. This also means he has finally put on enough poundage to make this change...barely - but enough!
He has also learned the signs to Eensy weensy spider...
While Pabbi and Mamma get ready he struts around in his Sunday suit
(minus the shirt that wrinkles easily - which we don't put on until last minute).

Here he is in his Sunday suit. Such a cutie!!!
Grandma made this suit for him.
This is our goofy Kofi.
His feet used to be as tough as leather. But since coming home, he has only wanted to wear shoes and his tough feet are softening and becoming sensitive - this makes more fun for tickling them!!!
He loves clowning around!!!

He is also very - Cool!
Striking a pose.
He is handsome in his Sunday Suit!!!

How cute is this kid. He just melts my heart!

Kofi can't wait until he too can graduate from a booster seat to nothing. He is quite the lightweight -so we will see.
The two boys - Kofi loves his picture taken, Sufi doesn't.
Again,
Signing off for now,
Hope to be back soon!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Learning to Play...

What child does not love to play?
What child does not know how to play
(other than soccer)?
Ours!
Kofi is a smart
loving
helpful
wonderful
son.
He is mature for his age in so many ways.
This has its pros and cons.
It also has made his parents have to re-think how they see their children.
One thing that shocked us about Kofi,
was his inability to really
"Play."
He spends most of his time working and thinks that is what FUN is.
What normal family deals with this problem!
Most fantasize that their children love to work and think that work IS play.
But Kofi, he doesn't really understand the concept of toys and playing.
He is most adept at pulling toys apart and reducing them to their minimal size.
He is most adept at fiddling with anything -
whether it is a peice of plastic wrapping or paper found on the floor.
Give him anything round and ball shaped and he will soon be kicking it like a soccer ball.
But playing - that is a whole new art
that we are trying to teach him.
This is best exemplified from Kofi's visit to his Grandma and Grandpa.
His grandparents live in Wyoming,
in the country,
in a cabin on the river.
It is good old fashioned hard work that keeps things moving where they live.
While Kofi was there, several tons of sand were delivered.
This was to be laid down to prevent huge pits in their driveway.
Grandpa and Grandma were going to take their time in laying it just right.
As they worked, Kofi jumped right in!


(working hard to lay the sand)

After some time of working, and when a break was due, the Grandparents took a break and told Kofi to just play in the sand.
Yet, he continued to work.
Grandpa gave him a matchbox car and told Kofi to play with it in the sand. Kofi seemed to be baffled as to what to do. So Grandpa and Grandma had to show him how to make roads and buildings, and to drive this little toy car and
just play.
After some time, Kofi started to catch on.
Yet, it still took
encouragement
over the period of a several days to get Kofi to "let go" and
just play.


And as Grandparents do,
they SPOILED him.
They bought him more matchbox cars, gave him some butcher paper to draw his own roads, gave him large buttons to use as buildings,
and now
Kofi and Sufi
FIGHT
over it all!!
We really are a NORMAL family!
Here are some more shots of Kofi's visit to his grandparents.
While he was there they really did spoil him with individual attention and taking him to see the wonders that the West has.
Cowboys and Indians.
Pioneers.
Wildlife.
such as deer, moose, mountain lions, eagles, and buffalo.
Dinosaurs.
Museums.
Sledding.
Snow.
Water aquariums.
Libraries.
Adventures in living off the land.
He LOVED it.
This is Kofi seeing Buffalo for the first time.
He had been told over and over that they were these huge animals.
He saw one lying down and scoffed,
"They aren't so big."
Then it stood up and his eyes grew and grew!
Can you guess what he is doing here?
Yup!
Riding a horse as he once was promised he would do.
Okay, so not a horse - but a mule counts...
Doesn't it?
He doesn't know the difference!
Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for teaching Kofi so very much!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

These Feet Were Made For Walking...

The day before Pabbi arrived in Ghana, to pick us up and bring us home, the most amazing thing happened.

Sufi took his
First - without assistance - Steps!

He was about four steps from me and took them before he fell into my arms; the rest of us who witnessed these steps stared in shock and awe. It was so unexpected and so out of the blue. It was so sad that Pabbi missed his first steps
by a day.

But that seemed to be the end of the walking.

He insisted on crawling.

He would pull himself up and walk as long as he was holding onto something; he would even freestand, but walking by himself seemed to be the one time only.
Sufi just thought it was funny whenever we tried to practice walking with him, but he would just fall into a laughing heap on the floor. For a few weeks, he would take anywhere from 2-4 steps at random moments, but if anyone looked his way, he would get shy and throw himself into a giggling heap on the floor. We resigned ourselves to the fact that we would have to wait until HE was ready. I fugured it would be an overnight event!!!

Then this last weekend we went to the store to get a baby gate to help contain our enthusiastic crawler. We pulled a smaller gate down and were a little worried that Sufi could flip himself over it. So we stood him up next to the gate to measure him. After, our assesment, I left Sufi holding onto my pants, as Pabbi and I talked. At one point, I realized Sufi had let go. I looked down expecting to see him crawling off...instead we all stood dumbfounded as we saw this:

video
(This is a re-enactment of what we saw, we were too dumbfounded to grab the camera fast enough.)

Then he grabbed an item off the lowest shelf and did this...
(this is not a reenactment, we actually grabbed the camera by this point)

video

What was the item he grabbed:

A PAIR OF SHOES!

This boy knows what he wants and needs for his future!

Over the next several days he started doing laps around the house
(don't mind the boxes and bags - again we are in temporary living quarters - ergo "living out of boxes").

video

What did he grab there at the end...

yes, his booster seat.

This baby LOVES his food!!!

And HIS WALKING!!!

Looks like we are going to need more than the one baby gate!

He just will not be contained!

Way to Go SUFI!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Changing Things Up

We disappeared for awhile...

Can you guess why?

Does this give you a clue?

We just made a trek of 2,331 miles across the U.S. in FOUR days.

After Graduation, Pabbi was hired on in a small sleepy town on the east coast.


This move was a sudden change for us.
It happened right after returning from Ghana, final exams, and Graduation.

It was a difficult thing to leave behind our friends and family,

but

We are so blessed to have work especially in the current economic climate.

This move has impacted us for certain;
in fact,

we realized we have just undergone
several
MAJOR
life changes
in a short space of time.
  • We have adopted
  • We have become parents to not just a baby but an eight year old.
  • We have left behind schooling (Graduation)
  • and have now entered the professional world (Real Job)
  • We have made a major move, leaving behind family, friends, and familiarity.

To be honest, these life changes have been difficult, frustrating, tiring, and overwhelming.

Nevertheless,
we are here now,
settling down and we are finding some peace.

We are still in temporary housing and are looking forward to moving into something more long term very soon.
Until then we are waiting patiently and enjoying the small moments of life.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Personal Note: NIAW


One in every six couples will deal with infertility.
There are millions of couples dealing with infertility.
We are one of them.
Infertility is life changing.
It can be traumatic.
It is a deep wound that not many will acknowledge nor heed.
Hopefully, NIAW can help make others aware of the impact infertility has on
an individual,
a couple,
and a family.
As a blogging buddy said:
(and I will adapt to our situation)
Adoption cured our childlessness
It didn't cure our Infertility.
While, Pabbi's and my intent before marriage was to adopt in the future,
we never thought that it would happen when it did.
We never suppossed that our first children would be adopted.
We had planned to have biological children first.
When we discovered our infertility,
it was such a shock
and
broke our hearts.
We have never been through anything more painful in our lives.
Even more shocking was the lack of support and understanding we received.
We were looked down on, by those who thought we should immediately start a family.
We were told by others all the
"remedies"
(ex: adoption, IVF, just relax, try this herb or that, etc.)
for our heartache.
Our pain was minimized as we were told that having children was not all is was cracked up to be and we were better off with out them.
Even some of our friends and family deserted us in our time of need.
We were treated as ignorant fools because we did not have children and could not possibly "know" anything about them.
We looked into the few options we had.
We tried some.
Others we were strongly impressed not to do.
We hit a brick wall and
decided to come to terms and
be at peace with our childlessness.
We did not want to bring children into our home as a "cure" for our grief.
We felt we needed to grieve our loss before moving on.
We learned to cope.
Then one day last spring,
about this time,
a feeling grew.
We felt impressed to look into adoption in Africa.
We were led and guided by God.
We now have the 2 beautiful sons who bring us much joy and happiness.
This is not to say that our pain is completely gone,
that we are any less sensitive to our grief,
or that we don't still yearn for lost dreams.
Infertility is a lasting struggle.
However,
I have learned so much about
myself,
my husband,
my relationships to family and friends.
I have a deeper understanding of others' grief and pain
- and not just the obvious ones.
I hope that through all this that the Lord has been able to refine me to better serve Him.
For those of you who have never experienced the pain of infertility,
please educate yourself.
Please be there for those who suffer with infertility.
Please don't desert them.
Don't treat them as less than yourselves.
Don't brush away their pain.
As Christ taught,
Here is a brief article to read called
It is an enlightening article to read.
Included is a brief and helpful Do's and Don'ts
to help others understand how to respond to couples who deal with infertility.
We have found ourselves in each one of these positions.
We know (at least hope) that most people were well intentioned with their advice.
But if only those who had encountered us would have understood how their advice and actions added to our pain.
Our hearts go out to all those who suffer with infertility.
We wish that no one else had to suffer through this grief.
Our prayers are with you as you search for peace in your life
with or without children.
May God bless you in His wisdom!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Visit with a Friend

This past Wednesday, we got together with Friends; namely a friend from the orphanage.
Lilly and Kofi were good friends back in Ghana. It was only appropriate that their adoptions were done almost hand in hand. Lilly made it home two days before Kofi.
Since being home they have had a few chances to talk on the phone in Fante. Boy, is that a kick to see! Kofi has the phone in hand while running around, laughing, and talking at the top of his voice as fast as he can. He was so happy to talk with her!
They haven't had a chance to see each other until just the other day.
At first, they both seemed very shy and did not even want to talk with each other
(despite their mothers' encouragment).
But by the end of the visit they were running around playing and happy.
It was fun!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Brotherly Love (HOME)

Without other children constantly around these two have become each others'
playmate
and
friend.
Things that brothers should be!
They enjoy together:
Horseback rides,
Building Blocks,
waiting for Mamma,
walks to the Park,
photo moments,

playing,


Laughing,


and much much more.

Doing these things together has helped the


brotherly bond


deepen.

Brotherly Love (Ghana)

Sufi and Kofi playing one afternoon, after school at the orphanage. Usually Kofi played or worked with the other boys after school, and the girls took Sufi. But there were those rare moments where the two brothers played together. It warms a mamma's heart!
Here is the fun in action.
("And then there he is" refers to a cute little boy who vied for my attention anytime Samuel was out of my arms.)
video
Although, the brothers did not spend most of the day together, they did at night (at least for a couple of weeks). This is the bed the three of us would share on those hot hot nights. Let's just say Mamma got little sleep between the added heat and kicking by both boys.
But again, there were those moments that touched Mamma's heart.
They were both sound asleep when I walked into the room and saw this.

ONE MONTH ANNIVERSARY

One month ago today we drove into our driveay early early.
It was good to be home, and yet a little strange.
We were no longer
just the two of us;
we were now a
Family
of
Four.

So much has happened this last month:

  • a gazillion Doctor appointments (well it felt like that - between physicals, immunizations, and trying to clear up the infection on Sufi's face, it seemed like an awful lot of trips to the Doctors),
  • adjusting to not sleeping regularly (despite our comfortable bed),
  • phone calls galore from all those who wanted to catch up,
  • catching up on bills and errands,
  • trying to catch up on emails and blogs ;),
  • shopping for neccesities for the boys,
  • Pabbi running off across the country for a job interview,
  • accepting said job,
  • beginning preparations to move across the country by the end of April,
  • travel to see friends and family,
  • family dropping by,
  • Adoption Shower,
  • dealing with the crazy weather which kept us homebound
  • the beginning of Finals for Pabbi,
  • keeping up with daily stuff
  • adjusting to being a larger family
  • and so much more!

It has been a crazy crazy month.

But I wouldn't have it any other way!!

It is so good to be home and to have such a beautiful family!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pleading and Praying for Help

This little boy is William.
He is 9 years old.
He is an orphan.
He needs help.
A few weeks ago he sustained severe burns on his feet and his condition is critical.
Having been a burn victim myself I understand the severity of this situation. But his is even more dire. I was able to recieve good medical care which helped me to recover in time. William does not have the medical care that is necesary to recover from these burns. Right now he can not walk. He is in extreme pain. He cries all day in anguish because there is no pain medication to help him deal with it. The biggest worry is the possible infections that could happen. If this happens...well - I don't even want to think about what could happen.
He is such a sweet boy.
But there is hope.

One of the adoptive mothers who is a nurse will be leaving her family here to attend to William for a couple of weeks in hopes to stave of infections, help him with the pain, and in hope to get him walking again.
What is needed is bandages, medical supplies, and money to attend to his needs.
But instead of re-writing the messages and information I would like to direct you to these blogs for more full information and updates on his conditions and needs. Please click on the following and follow the Links to learn more.
And please, if you can help please follow the instructions or spread the word so others can help.
If at the very least, please pray for William and his sister Patience (11 years).
She too, is orphaned. She has been a great help, and I am sure a huge consolation for her brother. I fell in love with her during my time there; and am so saddened that they are going through this terrible trial.Our prayers are with you both!