OK folks, we got Beatrice's passport today!! Now we are just waiting for sweet little Elias'. Our guy on the ground in Ghana will be out of town until Monday, so let's all pray that the passport gets processed tomorrow, and we find out on Monday (no labor day in Ghana)... whadayasay?!
But my good friend Fabu got hers! Head on over to Ghana Adopt Three and congratulate her family. We all heard early in the day yesterday that 'someone' got their passports. About 8 p.m. (longest day EVER) we got the great news that Fabu got her little darlin's. The good news for us is that passports ARE coming out, we just need to wait a little while longer. It literally could be any day, well, not today, being Saturday and all, but you know what I mean. Another of my good friends, that I had the pleasure of meeting in Ghana, is in my boat too. If you don't mind, please say a little prayer for both of our families, this waiting business is tough. The worst part is that we can't explain to our kids in Ghana why we aren't there yet. I pray that God gives them peace and patience.... and us too!!!
Well, we have been getting in lots of waiting practice lately. We are learning what real patience is all about. It has given me plenty of time to talk to God about how I feel about this situation, and for Him to talk to me about, well... me. Apparently this whole thing is not about me. God is much bigger than that.
The Lord has it all worked out the way that will be to His greatest glory, and He works all things out for good. It is our job to be still, get closer to Him and glorify Him in our waiting. Everybody doing that? Good, me either. I am at a peaceful place right now, though, and am waiting expectantly to see what He has for us.
Here are some reasons that have come to mind about why we may be waiting so long.
1. Every day that those kids stay in Ghana is one day longer that they are immersed in their culture, one day longer to cement in their memories their birth land.
2. Stella and Beatrice (and 3 other girls whose families are waiting for passports also) are the 'heads of the household'. They have been at Eban House the longest. They are the leaders. They know the ropes and are teaching the 'newbies' how the process works. Maybe someone there really needs them right now, even more than we need them here. Especially in light of the tragedy that they all witnessed.
3. Maybe we, the parents, need some time to REALLY miss them, ACHE for them, so that we can appreciate them, even in all of the struggles that may occur once they are home. So that we may never say, "This is too hard, what in the world have I done?".
4. Maybe our reactions to the waiting are speaking to someone here.
5. Maybe we are being taught a lesson.
6. Maybe there is a divine appointment in Ghana that we must keep, and the time has not yet come. A chance to witness to somebody, or meeting your next child perhaps... (Robin, you NEED a boy, Fabu, you have extra room now, right?) :)
7. Maybe we will never know, but God does. And that is always enough.
Just random thoughts, but they have given me a measure of peace through this, and graciousness to deal with the hundreds of people a day asking "when do you bring home the kids?".
Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
When contemplating having nine children, ones dreams and aspirations must necessarily change. My new take my breath away, gotta have it dream is this: Coming in a very close 2nd are the, to die for Whirlpool Duet washer and dryer: Aaaah, a 15 passenger conversion van with cup holders and a DVD player, and a washer and dryer that can wash 16 pairs of jeans at a time... a girl can only dream....
No news is sometimes bad news. My heart simply aches to hold them again, to bring them home, to their home. Lord, please allow these passports to be released and signed in your perfect timing and will. Be merciful Lord, and please allow it to be soon. Thank you for giving us peace and patience in the meantime. Amen.
This is the 'open air' church, to the right is the kids Sunday School building
Our 2nd day in Ghana was a Sunday. That means CHURCH!! The church the kiddos attend was directly across from Maa Guesthouse, where we stayed. We met them over there. All of the kids had obviously been dressed up and coifed to their very finest. They were all smiling and beautiful in their dresses and dressy shoes. Their Auntie came and dropped them off, then left. She said their teacher would be there soon. Okay. So now Steve and I have 35 kids ages 1-11, and we don't know their names, and can't even speak the language of all of them! Plus we weren't sure what was expected of us. Should we make them sit down? Are they allowed to go outside (which they were doing). Ultimately it turns out that children in Ghana are given MUCH more freedom than our American counterparts. When they need to go to the bathroom, they just go. No asking. They can go outside for a bit, then decide to come back when they want. It was truly freaking me out, though. Eventually the Sunday School teacher did arrive. She sang lots of African and American songs with the kids. They knew every one, even the new kids. Then another teacher arrived. She told Tater, Joby and Lulu that they needed to go to their class now, and Steve could go with them. They just hopped right up and followed. I was very proud of them. I stayed with the Eban House kids as we learned about "do not worry about your life". It seemed very fitting for children going through so much change and uncertainty right now. For the most part the children behaved very well. My Ishy fell asleep on my shoulder, as we sat by the open door (nice breeze). Sunday School was very pleasant. Afterwards the teacher came up and said "it is closed". I asked her what I should do, and she said "wait". Alrighty then. So now I alone had 35 kids that literally burst through the doors out into the courtyard. Right next to the open air church where service was going on. I'm thinking that any minute some angry Ghanaian man was gonna come out and yell at me to keep the kids quiet! Most of them ran around the corner, so I followed. There were Steve and the kids. Sitting in their class, an outside porch. The kids were laughing and carrying on, I was freakin out. Finally Sunday School was over and we all made our way back to Eban House. No one was mad, no one was in trouble. Ellen and I agreed, though, that the sun was "plenty" while we were waiting!
When we got back to Eban House, we brought Stella Beatrice, Elias and Ishmael back to our guesthouse to get ready, because we were going to the.... beach! The kids were excited to be going on an adventure. I was excited to have them out by ourselves... my family. We got the kids all dressed in their first swimsuits, thankfully I had bought the right sizes for everybody. Then our driver, Edward. came to pick us up and take us to the beach! The ride was hot and bumpy, but fun, to see the kids sitting in the van, smiling away. We got to the beach, found a secluded spot, and staked our claim. From what I could understand, the kids had never been to the beach before. That did not stop Stella Bella AT ALL. My girl ran right into the waves, got knocked down, came up laughing at went right back for more. It was hilarious, and heartwarming. Sweet Bea was a little more tentative, but would be slightly more daring if Joby and Lulu were there with her. Elias went out into the waves a little, but much preferred staying by the shore and getting tumbled a bit by the waves as they came in. Lil Ishy was not enjoying the water that much, but was liking watching all the fun in the comfort of Mommy or Daddy's arms. I was blessed beyond measure, watching 7 of my 9 kids getting along, helping each other, bonding and having a blast together in the Ocean... in Ghana. Whodathunkit?
A very, very good day!!!
So we are trying to "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12
Right now when everything in us yearns for four more little giggle boxes to fill our home, we are trying to count our blessings. We are trying to be joyful. We are blessed that these children WILL come home to us, they (we all) are healthy, it seems we will have a few more weeks of relative calm here, there are 2 Momma's in Ghana loving on my kids and reminding them how much we miss and love them, AND to top it all off, the Lord has us all firmly in His hand, and there is no better place to be... not even Ghana (although, it is running a close 2nd right now)!!
Check back next week for more Operation Passport updates!
I'm a Jesus lovin', husband adorin', stay-at-home Momma to 9 cutie patooties; 3 tummy babies ('95, '97 and '98), 1 adopted Domestically ('05), 1 through Foster Care ('06), and 4 home from Ghana (Sept. '08). We always have room for 1 more around here. That means you too, so thanks for stopping by!