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!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sofi Snapshots

Sufi is trying to adjust to his new changes. He still prefers to be held and within eyesight of Mamma (going to the bathroom has been a difficult challenge for the both of us). His face is doing much better and is on the end of the healing phase. Between his face, cutting in 4 new back teeth the past two weeks, and catching a bad cold the past few days, he is doing well.
Here are a few snapshots when Sufi is content and happy.
Eating always brings a smile to his face. If you want to hold him without him crying and screaming to go back to Mamma, better have some food in hand!!
Hanging out while Kofi gets his haircut!
Bathtime is his second favorite activity!

Here he looks quite American don't you think?
We are preparing to go off the the Doctor's.


Pabbi is the better chef in the family, and one way to keep Sufi from screaming until dinner is to take him for a ride during preperations. However, here he snuck a fry from one of the plates Pabbi was preparing. No wonder why Sufi likes to help make dinner!

And despite the fact, the Sufi does not like watching TV he loves to play with the remotes and pretend he knows what he is doing!

A Kofi Klip

Before leaving Ghana, Kofi's other caretakers wanted to give him a haircut. But due to time (or lack thereof) he came home with a headful of hair. Within a few days, and after some begging on his part, it was decided he needed a haircut.
Kofi's before shot!
The mid-cut shot!
After all the hair is gone -but what is that spotting his head? Some is dead skin -Most of it was dirt! And he had had several baths before this haircut. Even Mamma did a thorough scrubbing of his hair-but apparently not good enough! However, that was not even the biggest surprise. While picking up his clippings, I noticed one of his curls moving.
YIKES!
It was not a curl...
but a spider!!!!
His curls are so tight and woven that this spider had been making a nice home since Ghana.
Here is the handsome boy!
He is quite jubilant!!!
He likes to have his head shaved and clean!

Unsung Woman (Ghana)

During my stay at the orphanage (children's home and school), I learned to appreciate alot of things I took granted: regular running water, electricity, variety of food, comfort of soft furniture, stove, microwave, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and so much more. Things that are such a part of my life, but I hardly notice the ease it gives to my daily living.
During my two month stay there, I learned to appreciate not only the comfort I had back home, but the strength and endurance that the women in Ghana have. They would do all the chores I did back home, but they would do it without the appliances or convenience that make my life easier. On top of that, they did it for 200 children (only a portion of which are orphans, the rest are students).

One of the women, who you hardly ever hear about, was my salvation in so many ways.
Her name is Madam Salina.

(Madam pictured here with Abraham. Madame is actually holding 18mos Kobi on her back. They are preparing for day at the beach with the orphan children.)(Unfortunately, I lost alot of pictures and video due to computer and camera failure and so do not have the other photos or video of this wonderful woman!)
This is a woman who was up before I was (and I was up at the break of dawn), who went to bed after I did, and worked endlessly cleaning, cooking, and caring for the children (especially those under the age of five) as well as helped me clean and take care of Sufi and myself.
Every day she insisted on sweeping and mopping my room, even when I protested. She would take Sufi's clothing and bedding (that he had pooped all over -nightly) to wash before I could even finish feeding breakfast to Sufi and eating myself. She ensured that after my clothes had been hung to dry, that they were folded and put back in my room. She often bathed Sufi along with the other children, and when I was ill she took on caring for Sufi without hesitation.
This was all in addition to the fact that she fed the youngest five children all their meals, washed and bathed these children morning and night, changed diapers, swept and mopped the main house and the grounds around, washed clothes for most of the children (and that is ALOT of laundry on a daily basis and takes hours to do), help monitor the students, cooked meals over coals or logs, and so much more. There was hardly a moment when she sat down to relax. Yet, she was always so happy, never complained, and was always asking how else she could help me.
I never thought of myself as a lazy or slow worker. But watching Madam put me to shame. My admiration of her is so great. She does all that I do, at home, without the luxury of appliances and other conveniences that I take for granted. Not only does she do it without these things but she does it for so many more people and children than I do.
So for those, who go to the orphanage,
look for Madam Salina and know that she is
MY HERO!!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

ADOPTION SHOWER

Dear Friends are throwing the
Gudmundsson Family
an adoption shower.
You are invited to attend this Open House.
Come celebrate the adoption of these two precious boys.