Thursday, June 26, 2008


I wish everything could be as efficient as the Ghanaian Embassy in DC. Maybe I'm giving them too much credit, but I was floored by how fast I got my visa. The application said that processing time was 5 business days. I fed-ex'd it, paid for expedited service and boy was it expedited. The best $30 I've ever spent. I mailed it Tuesday afternoon and received it on my doorstep this morning (Thursday)! I enjoy gazing at the sticker because it helps it feel more real.

I spent several hours going through kids clothes at our church today. We have piles and piles of clothes left over from our 2 yard sales we've had and I shopped for the Eban House kids today. One of their needs right now is clothes. They have just had a huge number of kids join the home so there are lots of little bodies to clothe.

I'm hearing the clock ticking down the minutes until I leave for Ghana. Not so much because I'm excited, which I am, but because I feel like there's too much to do with to little time to do it. So what's new, right? I only have until next Thursday to prepare because we'll be leaving for the Lake of the Ozarks on July 3 and wont return until July 6. I leave July 7, ready or not.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Destination: Ghana

YES! I knew my new plan was a keeper. My ticket is purchased and I'm leaving for Accra, Ghana at 4:15pm on July 7. This is the sweet little face waiting for me on the other end. He finds out tomorrow that I'm coming.
I'm not really FEELING like I'm going because it's just too weird. I really only have 9 days to get ready because we'll be leaving to go to the lake on July 3 and wont get back until the evening of the 6th. The girls will at that time need to be ready to go for a week at Camp Wyatt Park and I'll need to be ready for my week at "Camp Eban House".
I'm glad I have stuff to keep me busy! The times going to fly!

Friday, June 20, 2008

New and Improved Travel Plan

My brain is in a continuous loop that it can't get off. How can my husband fall asleep while I'm talking to him when I can't stop THINKING?!!! Today I got the great news that Williams passport has been received which is one of the highly variable time frames when it comes to documentation. All we need now is the adoption decree and it's time to go file the I600 in Ghana.

This is where my brain is stuck. I think I've come up with a new and improved travel plan. Up until now Scott was planning on taking the first trip to Ghana to file the I600 and spend the week with Williams while I would be the one to return shortly after that to whisk Williams home to the US. The hitch in the plan is that the adoption decree should be to us around July 4. Well, Mr. Scott has a softball tournament with Hannah's team on the weekend of July 11. He's thinking that going the 14th would be great and I find that TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE!!!! :-) (I give it a smiley face, but it's still UNACCEPTABLE.)

So, anyway, here's the new plan which, by the way, is highly acceptable. :-) (That's a real smiley face.) I will travel to Ghana on July 7 to file the I600. It is perfect because I do not have to be back in the event that I get held up by paperwork. It's also perfect because Holly and Hannah are going to church camp that whole week so I would only have to arrange a schedule for Adam. Oh yeah, and Scott can be at the darned tournament, sheesh!

In early to mid August, when there is no softball, no soccer, no baseball, no basketball, no bobsledding etc, Scott can go to Ghana and bring the Wills home. Another bonus is that this way every dish in the whole house wont be dirty when Williams arrives since I'm the only one who can load a dishwasher or wash a dish, you know.

Excellent plan, I think! If Scott could stay awake when I'm talking to him, I'm sure he would agree!

Monday, June 16, 2008


No, I am certainly not speaking of myself. I am talking about Williams birth mother Martha. I have never felt such a mixture of emotions about a woman I know nothing about and have never met. I have trouble even thinking of the words to describe my thoughts.

Martha has made the most selfless, motherly decision a mother could ever make for her child. She has given him up to another mother in order to give him hope, safety, and a life that could not even begin to match anything he could have in Ghana. This is a decision that I don't even think most of us can even begin to fathom. It's like trying to contemplate "infinity". I feel like I start to get a concrete notion of it, and then my mind gets overcome by the vastness of it. My mind is not capable of grasping it.

I can not comprehend being in such a hopeless situation that the only answer is to give up your child. I can not comprehend no other way out. It is not something that my brain has any experience with.

I feel fiercely protective of this woman who has made this decision. When I feel that someone may be thinking she must not be much of a mom if she could give up her child after 5 years. I must turn the tables and suggest that she is like no other mother that I know because she HAS made the decision to give up her child. I fear that in my selfishness I would decide that even if my path was leading no where, or worse, at least we'll be together. I hope and am quite sure I'll never have to find out.

I find myself often struggling with guilt for bringing Williams into our family. I think, "why can't someone just give a little help to Martha so that she can keep her only remaining child?" It really wouldn't take much at all by our standards. One of the problems, I guess, is that there are a million other similar cases like hers. I know also that there may be more to the story than I know, but since I don't know it, I will continue to think of Martha as a hero.

You don't hear stories of mother's like this very often in America. Thank you God that we live in a country where mother's do not have to let their children go in order to give them a future. Thank you God that if Williams can not be with Martha, he can be with me. Thank you God for Martha. I pray that He will give me words to speak to her when we meet this summer.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Williams Johnston

This is Williams Kofi Nketia Ankomah JOHNSTON, our new son!!!! Our case went to court this morning in Ghana and our adoption was granted. We are now the proud parents of FOUR chillins. I have to keep repeating that to myself because it is so hard to wrap my brain around.

Our adoption coordinator called at 6:40 am to tell me the wonderful news and I've been on cloud nine ever since. Williams was able to celebrate with a couple that is visiting their daughter at Eban House. They took him out for pizza! I'm sure this was a very special trip for him.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I Believe

Awesome song!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Clearer Picture

Something happened to my other one. This one is a little clearer.

Court Happenin"!?

Things are looking pretty good for our case going to court this Friday. Williams mother filed the new form she needed to file at Social Welfare so there is nothing in our case that should hold us up. I'm sure there are a meriad of ohter things that can hold us up though. I'm holding out hope this time.

It looks like 4 families with our agency will go to court at the same time. That gives 10 children new families in America. That's a big deal. It also gives us a good chance of traveling with some fellow AAI families when we get to go see Williams

We have a time scheduled on June 24 that we get to make a telephone call to Williams. The idea of getting to hear his sweet little voice is enough to give me an ache in my chest. I'm not sure that it might not make the waiting even harder, but I certainly wouldn't dream of turning down the opportunity.
I found out it's ok to post a picture of Williams as long as he is not identifiable. I think this picture fits that description.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Court Ain't Happenin'

Our court date is our next hurdle to bringing Williams home. In Ghana, court is only held on Fridays. What happens in court? This is when the adoption is actually granted. We do not have to be there because the AAI staff will handle it.

Unfortunately, it is very common for court dates to be delayed. It is actually our case that is preventing this from happening Friday. Williams mother has changed her story about Williams father being dead. She now says he is not dead, but she does not know where he is. The problem with this is that all the paperwork now needs to be changed from a deceased father to a whereabouts unknown father.

The paperwork itself probably would have been completed, but DHS in Ghana has been without electricity for some time and has been unable to process things. It shows me how I take even having power for granted. Such a thing would never happen here. Thank you God for my never ending supply of electricity!

The good news is that there should be no paperwork delays for next week. Now other delays....who knows. Either way, eventually we WILL have our court date and Williams will legally be Williams Kofi Nketia Ankomah Johnston, our son.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Summer aka Birthday Season

Let the festivities begin. As the school year ends Adam's birthday is the 1st in a long string of birthdays to be celebrated through the summer. 5 birthdays between May 27 and August 31. We are so excited that Williams will celebrate his on February 15.

For the 2nd year, Adam decided he wanted to have his party at Build-A-Bear. I encouraged him to have a home party this year, but he insisted Build-A-Bear was what he wanted to do. There are 2 great things about this. One, no mess at home. Two, we only let him invite 3 friends, so the number of presents is greatly reduced.

This is a boys only party so Holly and Hannah stay at home and Scott and I head to KC with our Suburban full of testosterone. I laid the ground rules before entering the car, potty talk (ie poop, butts, toilets) must be kept to a minimum and no spitting. These were loosely observed on the ride there, but we're 100% ignored on the return trip.

Our plan had been Build-A-Bear first, then dinner at T-Rex. Scott was told by someone at work that T-Rex has a "stuff a dino" at the restaurant that is actually run by Build-A-Bear, so we decided on route that the entire party would be held at T-Rex.

The most fun was had on the way out of the restaurant on a grassy area where they ran around and wrestled while Scott paid the bill.

The drive home was one big dinosaur fight the whole way. Well, it also turned into a box fight, you know those big boxes that come from Build-A-Bear. None of them made it home alive, the boxes that is.