Many of you have followed us through our last year and our two adoptions. At this moment one year ago today, I was sleeping in a guest house in Ethiopia. I would wake up in the morning and we would go to get Tamene. And he would be with us forever, from that day forward.
The girls have been home almost two months, and the weather outside reminds me of how far Tamene has come in that last year. I sigh to know a year from now there will be a special connection that we will have watched develop in the first year the girls are here.
Our journey to Ghana changed me. I have been called to take on new endeavors. More of that will be to come in the next few weeks and months, much of it relating to Ghana.
For now I will sign off from this blog. It will stay here a while longer in case I have more to say. But I will move back to updates on my family blog, and as Project Global Hope develops I will post more about how to find out about our work.
About 8 months ago I "saw her face" for the first time. And now When I see her face I know the love from the first moment was real love. "Her" is both of my girls. Her is the spirit of this adoption. I love the girls and I love Ghana. By the time Tamene was home 3 months we knew we would adopt again. Here we are, the girls home two months... we aren't ready to do a traditional adoption, but we met some people in Ghana that have become part of our family. We feel that we have a lot of work today in providing for the needs of our new Ghana family. So we'll continue on with our Journeys hoping to impact the lives of more orphans and other adoption journeys.
This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. Winston Churchill
Angelisa and Tirzah have enough hair for an entire village of children. Angelisa has some of the thickest "straight" hair you will ever see and Tirzah has some of the thickest "textured" hair you will ever see.
Trust me when I tell you that the fine folks at Super Clips for Cheap can NOT cut these girls hair. And trust me when I tell you that the fine folks and Million Dollar Do's are making a killing off these kids hair. Don't get me wrong, I recognize their time is valuable and they should be paid appropriately... but... I am totally in support of letting the girls grow their hair as long as they want, this should result in less hair cuts and reduced costs.
A post of totally random thoughts, some are mine, some are from other people.
No rhyme, no reason, no story. Just stuff.
“God places the heaviest burden on those who can carry its weight.” Reggie White
Don't pray for lighter burdens, but for stronger backs.
“If God sends us on strong paths, we are provided strong shoes.” A man in church told me this proverb of sorts. He's wise. I am glad for his words.
Now this next quote makes me want to do an end zone dance... Endurance is patience concentrated. Thomas Carlyle
I believe God's worked with me a lot on patience. I always thought I wasn't very good at it, come to find out, I just have a highly concentrated amount of it. (oh yes I do!)
Heroism is endurance for one moment more. George F. Kennan
I have looked back at my earliest blog posts http://www.beforeiknewyou.blogspot.com/ I go to them every now and again... mostly because I expect to read something new. As if someone is writing it still. Some days I wonder if I know the person who wrote that blog. Am I that person? Indeed I am. It was me before I realized the world was a lot bigger and a lot smaller than I thought it was.
If there is a statement or saying that I really hate hearing, it's the statement "You don't know what you don't know". I hate the statement. It's stupid and true at the same time. It instills anger and fear at the same time as irritation and bother. I want to know everything. And I hate that I know some of the things I do. I want to see the world through rose colored glasses some days, but I hate that I would be allowed to escape thinking about, what some people live. I live a good life, and I want to pretend everyone else has the privileges I do. But I know that pretending, or ignoring won't change anything. So I can't pretend or ignore.
I'm a mother. I AM a mother. I am A mother. I am a MOTHER. Tonight I tucked Angelisa and Tirzah in. They hugged me, they kissed me and they said night time prayers with me. Then they hugged me and kissed me again. They are my babies! I held Eden until she fell asleep in my arms tonight. And Tamene came to give me a good night kiss and informed he was the baby and wanted to be held. Naven wanted to sleep with me tonight, so I did the usual "Every one will sleep in their own bed tonight". And a hug and a kiss and off my baby went to bed.
This week I am trying to figure out how to explain Eden's age. She says she's 5 her birth certificate says she's 4. Trust me, she is 5. I don't want to explain it. Just trust me, I'm the mother and it doesn't matter how old she is. Everything is fine. And then I had to explain to a 3rd grade student that I am in fact the mother of Tirzah and Eden. Frankly based on the populations in the surrounding areas I don't understand why this child would question me, but she told me straight out I was not their mother. Tirzah and I decided next time this happens, we both say we are mother and daughter and walk away. They don't get any more info. I suspect Tirzah will be the kind of kid who makes up crazy answers when people ask ignorant questions. Not that the 3rd grader was being ignorant... just that Tirzah was pretty thoughtful about it and seemed less than impressed with the child's willingness to believe I was her mother.
Project Global Hope is in progress. I'll keep you all posted on the endeavor into the start up of a non-profit organization. I have known for many years that I would start a non-profit. I've just been waiting for God to say when.
I post a lot on facebook, so sometimes my blog misses day-to-day life. In the 7 days prior to yesterday, I was in the ER three times with the kids. Tirzah had a flu, but included ear pain, so we went to have it checked. Naven got frog in his eye... or frog juice... call it what you want, but he played with a frog and then touched his eyes and then started screaming in pain. Then Tirzah got her hand caught in the car door. I would say none of these trips REQUIRED a trip to the ER. But with Tirzah I worry that there is a language barrier enough to make something go haywire and I just want to protect her. For Naven, a little experience in natural consequences...pain from frog juice, then a horribly long and boring wait in the ER (the nurse tried to offer a movie, I politely declined on behalf of the child who should have left the frog alone), his experience was topped of with an less than friendly eye wash. Either he'll leave the frogs alone or he will wash his hands next time - or not...
I am still trying to help the orphans in Ghana. Thanks to a few more donations we have the oldest child in the house ready to go to school and paid for the first term. I'll be starting up a couple of fundraisers soon, so I hope to make the rest of the money. Once that is taken care of I can start helping to raise money so they can start supporting themselves through some small businesses/farming. For $50 USD you can send a Jr High student to school for one term, for $5 you can make a huge difference! Just $5 can help!. Food is the primary need, but if we don't help the children get educated, things will never change. If you want to help the orphans, or Project Global Hope, please contact me.
It's my bed time, or past it. Tomorrow is another day! Wooo hooo!
Nothing about my day was normal... which in itself actually makes it a normal day. It's some kind of irony thing is happening with what's normal in my life and what's not. Normal is the average of the extremes though right? So the question is what sort of extreme will I encounter in any given day.
The girls haven't been here a full two months yet. So we are still adjusting. I suppose my adjustment is nothing compared to what the girls are experiencing. Each one of us is learning a whole new way.
So I've been in the ER with the kids three times in 7 days... flu-type symptoms, frog attack, and van door attack. My mom has documented the address of the ER in case she needs to reach me.
Did I mention it is Tuesday? Frankly it seems to be all I know. It's Tuesday and the Schwan's man comes on Tuesdays.
A small group of friends and family are working with me to set up a non-profit that will center itself in helping orphans and missions.
I will have much more detail on this soon. For now, I have set up a blog to kick off what we are calling "Project Global Hope". Soon this will be a registered non-profit. In the mean time, the needs exist and I will be using it to post updates about the situation with the orphanage in Ghana that you all have been reading about.
If you have a moment to visit the blog, you will see a list of needs from John at the orphanage. If you are interested in helping please contact me:
Tonight the tooth-fairy will visit the Peterson House.
An interesting phenomenon at our house... three teeth out from three children. Oddly the tooth fairy was not appropriately summonsed. Tooth under pillow required. So two teeth fell out earlier in the week. But all three teeth will finally make it to that magical place until the pillow tonight... then the tiny girl with wings will come and leave money.
Adoption journey number 2. Last year we adopted and brought home our third child, a boy from Ethiopia. We are starting the journey again! The purpose of the blog is to do my best to document the journey to our new family.
I learned a lot in Ethiopia, a lot about the world and a lot about myself. This journey will surely take us back to Africa to learn more about the beauty of her land and her people. And surely I will learn more about myself. Thanks for joining me on the journey!
March 19, 2010 - Forever Day (re-adoption complete)
August 10, 2009 - First day of school
August 3, 2007 - My family of 7 sleeps under one roof!
August 2, 2009 - My family is all on one continent
August 2, 2009 - Depart from Ghana to return to America (total of 6 travelers)
August 1, 2009 - Saying good-bye to our new Ghana family
July 31, 2009 - Naming ceremony for Baby Trent
July 29, 2009 - Depart from America- trip #2 to Ghana
July 27, 2009 - 1:24:12 on the phone with Delta!
July 24, 2009 visa printed
July 22, 2009 - Additional documentation presented for visa approval
July 21, 2009, visa appointment - additional documentation requested
July 15, 2009 Visa packet pick up
July 10, 2009 - Embassy in Ghana indicates I600a is recieved and 1600 is approved
July 9, 2009 - NVC indicates that i-600a was forwarded to Ghana on 7/8
July 9, 2009 - Finally, someone who can help
July 6-9, 2009 - Contact every gov't official I can
July 6, 2009 - NVC verifies they have never received paperwork for Ghana
July 6, 2009 - Notified that I600a has not arrived in Ghana - there was never a chance for I600 approval during my 30 days in Ghana
July 4, 2009 - 30 days since the I600 was filed. No word
June 28, 2009 - Depart from Ghana
June 25, 2009 - Still in Ghana
June 22, 2009 - Still in Ghana
June 15, 2009 - Still in Ghana
June 9, 2009 - Es Passport delivered
June 4, 2009 - I600 filed
June 2-3, 2009 Arrive at Eban House
June 2, 2009 - Arrive in Ghana
June 1, 2009 - Depart for Ghana
May 30, 2009 - Received copies of court decree!
May 29, 2009 - Assured that there is a court decree!
May 28, 2009 - Verbal notification that Court Decree is completed
May 26, 2009 - Visa in hand (weekend and holiday included)
May 22, 2009 - Hoping for court decree and EE passport next week!
May 20, 2009 - Visa paperwork arrives in DC
May 20, 2009 - Re-fingerprinted
May 19, 2009 - Flights are booked
May 18, 2009 - Decision to book flights without court decree
May 14, 2009 - One Ghana Passport received (TS)
May 7, 2009 - We pass court! I'm officially the momma of 5! Official notice of approval for Medical Missions is received.
May 6, 2009 - ADP Passport arrives
April 16, 2009 - Welcome packages arrive in Ghana. Girls are notified that they have a family waiting for them!
April 20, 2009 - ADP passport applied for
April 7, 2009 - Dossier is with agency staff in Ghana
March 30, 2009 - Dossier arrives in Ghana
March 23, 2009 - I-824 filed
March 20, 2009 - Dossier received by agency in WA - (I missed an authorization - ugh)
March 19, 2009 - Dossier is in the mail!
March 14, 2009 - Referral accepted
March 13, 2009 - Referral received
March 13, 2009 - Home study complete
March 10, 2009 - First home study
February 25, 2009 - Decision to pursue Ghana adoption
February 19, 2009 - First sighting
Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it destination full of hope. Maya Angelou
While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God's creation. Maya Angelou
While the rest of the world has been improving technology, Ghana has been improving the quality of man's humanity to man. Maya Angelou