Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Woman Inside (HOME)

Second Day at home:
I had been up all night with Sufi, who had been crying and screaming, and I was exhausted. Pabbi, the good hubsand that he is, took both boys downstairs to feed them and play with them. Yet, I kept hearing the cries and screams.
Then suddenly there was silence.
Just the soft tones of voices talking.
How had Pabbi managed to stop Sufi from crying.
I had to know.
I walked down the stairs and this is what greeted my eyes.
Pabbi was making sandwiches and Sufi was calm being carried in a way he is used to.
This is now a common sight around our house when Pabbi takes both children.
Ahhhhhh, the peace and quiet!
Now for an update on the adjustment of the boys.
Kofi is doing SO SO SO very well. He is stuck to Pabbi like glue. He loves his new home, his new room, and the way of life. He has jumped into helping around the house and being patient as we adjust to being parents. He has had a constant smile on his face. He still is trying to adjust to the sleeping schedule. He literally falls asleep about 4:30 -5:00pm everyday and then is up in the middle of the night. The food adjustment is going well, then again Pabbi and I are not pushing the vegetables yet.
Yesterday, we went to the store to buy some food. Amongst the purchases was broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, and celery. I was explaining to him that he would need to start eating these vegetables this week because they would make him healthy and strong. He immediately started pouting and protesting. I tried hard not to laugh at his pain. I calmed him down telling him we would just start off tasting them and finding ways to prepare them so that he would like them.
Sufi is having a much harder time taking to his new home. He is more clingy than ever. He is back to crying most of the time and not relaxing. I have been worried, and exhausted with this. It wasn't until yesterday when we went back to the Dr. for a check-up that I realized that this attitude may not be just adjustment issues- but rather that the meds he is on is adding to the anxiety.
Our second day home, we took Sufi to the Dr. to find out how to deal with sores on his face that were spreading down his arm and neck. In Ghana, we were told it was Heat Rash, but I had never seen it spread so fast and react so badly to creams and medications. So I worried it might be something else. The Dr. was a bit baffled and unsure what it was. He did not think it was heat rash and that is might actually be a staph infection. He referred us to the Dermatologist for a diagnosis. The dermatologist also was unsure what it was. He couldn't tell whether it was staph, a virus, or what? He boldly said that he was not up to date with skin issues in Ghana. They tried to take a sample from Sufi, who was not having any of that. So the Dr. gave us an antibiotic, anti-viral medication, and creams to help bring the infection down. I was warned that he might have to be committed to the hospital for 24 hour watch if this did not improve in three days.
Luckily for us, there has been no new outbreaks, and Sufi's face looks SO much better. It doesn't seem to itch and bother him like it was before. The color is back and he seems more content. Now I wait for when he is done with the meds and can have some space to calm down and adjust to his new life.
Until then, if you meet me in the street and I look dazed and frazzled, or you visit me and my home is in chaos, or you call me on the phone and I can't seem to pay attention, don't mind me, I think I will be better adjusted when the crying and screaming calms down!

The Woman Inside (GHANA)

Pabbi and I had planned, for a long time, to take time while in Ghana to walk the Canopy Walk located in Kakum National Park. Despite the fact that we both have a fear of heights we decided we wanted to brave the walk.

In order to make the walk one of us had to carry Sufi on our back, we both thought Pabbi the better choice. Not because he is stronger, but because he is sure footed. Raised in Iceland, one has to be sure footed as you leap around amongst the lava rocks. There were several options on how to carry him, but Pabbi thought the Ghanaian woman's style of carrying babies was BEST.

Within minutes of joining the group we heard giggles from the women who observed Pabbi carrying Sufi Ghanaian style. I think he felt a bit of pride from not shying away from this task!

So we set out to across the high Canopy walks.
There were 7 swinging bridges total: 3 short and 4 long.

It is quite a view high up above the trees.

Scary and exhilarating all at the same time!

Sufi loved the walk. In fact, he kept reaching out and and grabbing the ropes. After the walk he was exhausted (being carried around takes alot of energy you know) and quickly fell asleep.
On the way down we passed a few classes of girls who giggled non-stop or who pointed and exclaimed "Oh!" when they saw Pabbi carrying Sufi Ghanaian style. I bet they don't usually see men doing this. I had a hard time not laughing at all the surprised responses when Pabbi passed them by!
At the beginning of our excursion there was a woman who giggled at Pabbi carrying Sufi (who by the way was not liking it because he was not with Mamma), but she was helpful in calming Sufi and encouraging all the way. Her name is Peace (I just love the Ghanaian names). She was just a delight to get to know. She was there with her mother and brother braving the canopy walk. At the end she asked us to remember her, which would be no problem for us!
She is a wonderful woman!
(L-R:Mamma, Pabbi, Peace, Saviour, Peace's Mother)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Home At Last

Dear Family and Friends,
I know this has been a long time in coming...
So we would like to announce we are
Home at Last and as one Big Family!!
We have doubled in size and boy is it great!!
I have tried over the past two months to get information out to all of you and every attempt was foiled at one point or another!
But we are home and settling in.
We will catch you up on the news and fun as best as we can, just remember we now have two children to chase after and so our plentiful computer time will be more limited.
Here we are at the Ghana airport waiting to board.
Both boys were looking out the window at the planes and loving it.
Such excitement!
On the plane waiting for take off!
One of these days we will fill you in on the adventures of getting to the airport. Both boys traveled really well!! Even sweet little Sufi only had two melt downs (change is more difficult for him). We had really worried he would cry the whole time (crying is his favorite activity) but he did AWESOME. We think he loved the feel of the plane and the noise!
Home at last and sort of rested.

We are in Mamma and Pabbi's room.
We just woke up and decided for a family picture! Kofi LOVES his new room and his bed!!!

Sufi is currently sharing the bed with Mamma and Pabbi (until we get some things straightened out). Here you see him in more of his natural state!!! He is such a Mamma's boy - and has wanted to be held the whole time we have been home.
Don't worry about his face. He has a heat rash that got out of control (his scratching at it has not helped). He has an appointment with our Doctor tommorrow so we hope to see his face clear and more at ease very soon!!!

We want to thank the director, Abraham, and L.M. who helped us build our family. They have spent SO much time and energy helping us bring our boys home. We seemed to hit every roadblock possible and thensome, and due to that, they put in overtime in helping us sort through the whole thing. We are ever grateful for the patience and never-ending support and encouragement. The work is hard and they were ever willing to do it when our strength was spent! We are forever grateful to you!!

We also want to send out a Thank You to everyone who has supported us and helped us bring our boys home. We know we would not have been able to do this without your help.

We also want to thank our dear friend, Kristin who decorated our home for the boys return and made things so nice to come home to!!

We love you and Thank you all!!!

We will be seeing more of each other!