Sunday, October 31, 2010

Around the House

The girls have taken to climbing partway up the hill (mountain) that is our backyard. keith and I hiked it up to the ridge last week and it took us about 35 minutes to get all the way up and about 45 to get down. It took the girls like 45 minutes to get 100 feet up the hill and about an hour to get down...oh the hilariousness of the conversations yelled back and forth that we could hear in the yard!
Zebby displaying his pout for the camera while Keith was cleaning the nine million pounds of leaves off the pool cover. Zoe being cute as ever


Benjamin deep in thought about something sneaky and super cute



Zebby posing for the camera. He said..."mom take a picture of me" and then he ran over to the table and laid down and said "hurry..I am cute". yes he is.


I LOVE our house and our great big yard. Every time the kids go outside and run around and play I am reminded just how lucky I am and how much I LOVE our house.

We finished off our night with a delicious grilled dinner in the bbq pit in the phoenix room, and one piece of candy from trick or treating for dessert (I am sooo stingy with the candy).
Everyone went to bed pretty good tonight...I guess all the running around and no nap worked to our advantage (so far...the night is young)

Halloween costumes.

A little princess right before I put her coat on her...brrrr it was a brisk 68 degrees
Lilianna ladybug putting her emergency pants on!
Zebby...oh that smile!

Benjamin and Zebby had matching monkey outfits...they were toasty warm while my princesses froze!


There is a toasty warm princess before we left the van!


We went up to prestonsburg for about an hour of trick or treating. The kids just love to dress up. Next year we hope to have a nice warm trunk or treat somewhere!




Siblings meeting each other...

Ben refused to join the fun on the couch...he is lounging Everybody loves Fairytopia

Alex listened to Lilianna's ipod until it ran out of batteries



The Girls first day home!

Mom, Alex and Zoe vegging out in the media room watching Barbie Mermaidia Zoe playing in the Phoenix room

Alex playing with the dollhouse in the Phoenix Room

Getting ready to leave the airport in Charleston, WV





DId someone say pictures?











A sign that you are barely holding it together!

This morning we woke up...everyone got dressed, clean clothes, brushed teeth, had breakfast...we were on a roll. We all piled into the car and rolled into the church parking lot at 10 minutes until 11...almost a record time for us.

We all got out of the car, walked inside. No one hollered for a donut. Alex had decided she wanted to go to kid's church with Lilianna...so off they went. the boys went to the nursery with no major meltdowns. Zoe, Keith and I went out to pick up some coffee (Yes my awesome church has French Vanilla Creamer)...and we strolled into church during the first song.

Yes it went without a hitch. After church we got back to the car and had left both doors on the driver's side WIDE OPEN. I laughed so hard.

Friday, October 29, 2010

a new day

Today I am like a new woman....clean clothes, brushed teeth. A trip to the Dr's office for the girls and then to Ben and Zeb's school room for a halloween party. They trick or treated to all the classrooms of the olders kids. They were both dressed as monkeys....so cute. We went for the halloween parade and party.

When the boys got to Lilianna's classroom she was soooo excited to see them..."I am giving candy to my cute brothers" she hollered and then ran up and hugged them. Then she saw we were there with her sisters and she was even more excited and gave alex a great big hug.

Then we went back to the baby room and the stickifying sugar hep up began. Yikes....when is that sugar crash supposed to be?

This morning we did some work on basic math with some flashcards, a little bit of geography with Alex. She did NOT want to do any schoolwork today...that girl is stubborn and melodramatic when she wants to be that is for sure!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Glamorous life...

So...the real reason I wanted a big family was the glamour. Seriously, what is more glamourous and changing dirty diapers every 20 minutes? What is more glamourous than cleaning up the same room 5 times a day? What is more glamourous than being so exhausted that you can't even find the energy to pull together a new outfit (that hasn't been worn every day for the last 3 days)...ok...I only own like 2 pairs of pants that aren't scrubs and I still can't come up with a new outfit.

I never knew how difficult it was to sweep, cook, do laundry etc with a 2 year old wrapped around your left leg. I am exhausted. I am doing everything wrong...seriously. I read all the books - yet I am sure I am doing everything wrong. OK everyone is mostly happy and mostly following the rules of the house...but I am still sure I am doing everything wrong.

I felt totally sick today most of the day...maybe because I am overtired, maybe because I am a little jet-lagged, maybe I have malaria since I totally forgot to take my malarone yesterday and didn't remember today until like 5 minutes ago (OK I really doubt that...). My point is I am a mess and that is the opposite of GLAMOROUS!

Yes...I know I should be posting how perfect everything is and then finally post my pictures....but come on...I can't even remember if I brushed my teeth today...I am a ways from posting pictures.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Meeting new sisters

We got home around noon and my parents stopped by to pick up the mini van and meet the girls. Then they went to pick up Zeb, Ben and Lilianna from school.

I was changing Zoe's diaper when they got here, the kids all came in and shyly said Hi to Alex and then came into the next room where I was. Ben was just excited to see me and gave me a big hug. Alex and Keith were playing on the thomas train table and Zeb and Lilianna went and started playing with them. Zeb said "I like your bracelets, Alex" and Alex just smiled shyly. Lilianna is such a social butterfly and immediately engaged Alex....want to play with wedgits...this is how you do it. Then she asked Alex if she wanted to go play in their room. When Alex and Lilianna left the room, Zeb turned to me and said "Don't worry mom, Alex is just kind of nervous".

I do think that Zeb felt a little bit left out - despite his startling insight. Zeb was sooo excited to have new sisters. I am not sure if Zeb or Lilianna were more excited. Zeb started playing with Zoe and ..as you all know....Zeb is about 2 years older than Zoe so he couldn't figure out why she wasn't playing with him like another 3-4 year old does. I was reminded today...again....how completely sweet and loving my little zebby zeb is most of the time.

The kids also bought a cake that said Welcome home to our sisters Alex and Zoe. We had jambalaya tonight and introduced the kids to hot dogs...one of the staples of the diet here at the cox-byrne house. The kids seemed to go to bed really easily tonight....the night is young though!

On the airplane

Yes...bad blogger...pictures tomorrow - i promise.

yesterday we left the hotel around 6 and got to the airport a smidge early - apparently that is the way we roll. My biggest worry of the entire flight was going through customs in Ghana. I had visions of people asking for bribes, people yelling at me that I was stealing babies and trying to take my children. I suspect thatone of my daughters bio father's works at the airport...so I worried about us running into him. I think she was looking for him....very weird. Yes, I had some worries. We did have to go to the back room and clarify documents, they asked to see the copies of all of our documents which I gladly showed them. The whole process took about 15 minutes. So off to the terminal. After 4 hours of waiting around we finally loaded onto the plane. It was over half empty. Which of course meant it was over half full of empty seats! Keith and Alex sat in a row of 3 empty seats and Zoe and I sat in the 3 seats in front of them. Our plane was done loading at 1030 so we took off early. Zoe and Alex were both out like lights by about 1100 and slept most of the night.

Zoe had a clean diaper to start the flight but had drank a ton of water out of her new sippy cup. I guess water tastes that much more delicious out of a sippy cup - who knew. So she ended up peeing so much while she was asleep it soaked her clothes. I knew it was getting full...but I didn't want to chance waking her up. She finally woke up around 4 am and so I changed the diaper

Alex had to go the bathroom around 530 - right before the plane landed so I went back with her, opened up the door and told her I would be standing right outside if she needed anything..it was our second trip to the bathroom on the airplane. A few minutes went by and she didn't come out, a few more minutes went by and she still didnt' come out so I peaked in and she was standing there and had peed in her pants because she didn't know how to lift the lid. It is soo easy to forget all of the seemingly easy concepts that might be foreign. So the moral of the story is that We did some serious pee stinking travel in the last 24 hours. I did have new clothes for her, but no new shoes....oh well. It was by sheer coincidence that I had a spare pair of underwear.

The craziest moment of the night happened around 3 am...Keith leaned up to tell me something that Alex had done..a way that she was acting that was definitely showing a pattern of behavior that is going to be very challenging. So at 3 am I sat there by myself (with a sleeping 2 year old!) and for the first time ever in growing my family I had a brief feeling of "What have I done to my perfect and blessed life". All of the scary possibilities ran before my eyes, all of the worst case scenarios, I couldn't believe that I had burst forth into this adoption without seeing so clearly how devestating and terrible the worst case scenarios are. What had I been thinking. I was tired, I was alone, I was hungry and exhausted at 3am over the Atlantic Ocean and desperately trying to figure out how to handle all of these worst case scenarious. Nevermind that it this is one of the most emotionally exhausting days of my daughter's lives, nevermind it was 4 hours waiting in the airport at 11pm, I was ready to start planning therapy, interventions...I was making diagnoses. Yes, I was teetering on the edge of complete insanity.

I am not a great parent, I have the good fortune of parenting great kids. I had the feeling that my cover might be blown now! So I did some serious praying and was reminded that I was being crazy. I may or may not be equipped for advanced parenting....I may or may not need advanced parenting skills. I will figure it out and will find the skills I need.

It was just a totally odd, new and somewhat disconcerting feeling to have such a strong sense of self-doubt....even though it only lasted about 3 minutes....the longest 3 minutes in my parenting history for sure.

We got to Dulles and spent about 20 minutes at immigration. There was no backroom, the agent at the booth ripped into our immigration envelopes and then proceeded to tell us that there was a form missing from the paperwork regarding immunization history....ok now the longest 30 seconds in my life as I pondered the possibilty that she may say...sorry...the girls can't come into the country. Then she said "it's not my problem" and stamped us in anyway. However, she did warn me that immigration was probably going to call me and not issue their citizenship papers. Well....we shall see what happens...all I know is that all 3 of my daughters are sleeping upstairs in their bedroom right now....I am tempted to sneak in and take a picture of it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Gotcha morning....

I will upload pictures later...the girls and Keith are taking a nap before ou ovenight trip home.

We got to Beacon House a little late (we are consistent with that!) and Alex came running over in her school clothes to say hello and even Zoe walked towards us. We sent Alex back to school and Zoe got a quick bath and changed into her new outfit we brought. The shoes we brought are about 3 sizes too big. We just kind of guessed that she and Ben would wear the same size...but they don't.

We met with Bernard and got all of the original documents they had been using to gather all of the priceless pieces of paper in our sealed immigration packet and signed the discharge paperwork. Then we took a ton of pictures.

Around 11, Alex took a shower and changed and all of the kids met in the big living room of the house for the ceremony. I cried like a baby. All of the kids gathered around with Alex in the center and Momma Shelter led the ceremony by asking the kids if they knew what they were doing...and they all hollered out...praying. She asked why? and the she told them that when your friends are leaving you pray for them to be well...
So then 7 of the older children took turns praying for Alex and for Zoe....they spoke so softly that I couldn't hear what all of them said.
After the prayer they all sang a song and hugged Alex, Zoe, keith and I. Some of the kids were crying.....I am sure they were crying for many different reasons. Some were crying because they were going tomiss Alex and Zoe...some were crying because they were tired of waiting for their own prayer ceremony.

I know that I was crying because there were so many little children that my daughters would miss, and for many of those kids...my daughters became another person they cared about that was leaving their life. So much loss and sadness in the world. I was also crying because this is what meant my daughters were really coming home. As I type this...of course I am crying again...this is what mom's do right?!

We went to Simple Brother's for lunch and brought them the pictures we took last time of them. Then we ate and Alex watched her favorite movie on the computer....Barbie and the Diamond Castle....while Zoe took a nap. After the movie, Alex crashed too and Zoe is still asleep.

We leave for the aiport in 3 hours and we are all packed. I am hoping the kids sleep for a while longer so that they are well rested and pleasant for the check in and waiting. Our flight leaves at 11pm and then I would love them to sleep.

I just acquired my no caffeine headache...so I will be glad when we get to the airport and I can get a coke!

Next blog post will be from home (I hope!)..and i will post some pictures.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The trip

We left the house an hour late...to this look of displeasure...hahaha. We always get stressed out when we are leaving the country ...usually because we are running late! Thankfully that look didn't last too long! We got the Charleston, West Virginia airport way too early. We went to Target first and got some hoodies for the girls so they wouldn't be cold when we got there. We also got Alex a booster seat and a couple of odds and ends. Then we decided to head to the airport because we didn't know where we were going and didn't know how difficult the airport would be.

let me tell you what...the airport was not difficult to find or difficult to get through. We were there WAYYY too early!

Our flight to Washington DC was on a propeller plane that was sooo loud it gave me a headache and I get a smidge sick to my stomach from it. The airplane parked at what can only be described as a bus stop. It looked exactly like a bus stop. We booked it into the airport and had to go up and down about 20 escalators (I am not really exagerating here) and ride a subway thing to get to our terminal and we got there just as they were starting to board - so we checked in and then Keith ran to get a sanwhich and made it back to the line when they were on seating section 5 (we were 3) so it was an amazing airport sandwhich turn around!

The flight was pretty good. I sat next to a woman from California who was headed to Nairobi to help set up a farm for an orphanage - she was pretty interestig but I learned way more about her than I usually like to learn about people flying next to me. I enjoyed our conversation - but I am not really an airplane conversationalist! The whole in flight movie situation on united kind of sucks. They have channels that have like 2 movies and acouple of tv shows that just keep looping. I prefer the free payper view style movies where you get to choose what you watch and when you start it.

We arrived around noon and all of our luggage made it! Yeah! Our hotel van didn't though - so we had to take a taxi. No big deal...just 15 cedi's we couldn't use at Simple Brothers! Which is exactly where we went for lunch after we got to the hotel. It was delicious. We had taken pictures last time we were hear but I forgot to bring them today. So when we eat there tomorrow for lunch i will bring them their pictures.

Then it was off to Beacon House







We had a great visit. We took them 8 solar lanterns, 2 hand crank washing machines and flashlight and some diaper covers, baby formula and books that some really great people had donated. We picked up the visa paperwork, passports with visa's and spent some time hanging out with our babies.
Alex took a bunch of pictures while we were there of kids and things around the house. We will take a lot more pictures tomorrow. We head back there at 10am.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

running late...

Keith is making us late again. haha. I am closing up the computer and packing while Keith is taking a shower...in his defense, I made him go to the store because we were about to leave the kids with my parents and no food in the house...or any trashbags.

We are off as soon as my husband is decontaminated.

Friday, October 22, 2010

tomorrow!

I did a ton of packing last night. I was on call but made it home by about 730 and wasn't called in all night...yeah!

We are almost done...we have basically 3 1/2 suitcases of donated items and some stuff we are carrying over for an internal medicine dr at my hospital for his daughters who live in Ghana...and then a 1/2 a suitcase of stuff for us! We are only going to be there for 35 hours.

So the girls are getting one Ghana (warm weather) outfit, two travel outfits, their dolls and some airplane distractions...including benadryl! We will by flying mostly at night with them so hopefully it will all go smooth.

I have to bake 3 trays of brownies for Lilianna's fall festival tomorrow (that we are going to miss). We are also going to miss Lilianna cheering on Monday night...but I got her schedule for cheerleading and we will have lots of opportunities to see her.

I am off to finish packing, bake brownies, pick up money, and try to clean up the house so we will return to a clean house...however, he kids will be in the house while we are gone so I have not a whole lot of hope that we will come home to a clean house...oh well! It won't be clean for a while!

I am very excited...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

$13 billion

I don't know if any of you watched the video I posted at the top of my blog. It is great. I have seen lots of moving videos designed to educate and impassion viewers about orphan care. This one is so spectacular because it really address the last few words of James 1:27....Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

OK....American Christians spend $11 billion on coffee and $21 billion on soda pop when it would take $13 billion to feed the starving people in resource poor areas of the world. I personally don't spend $21 billion on soda...but I am sitting here drinking a diet Dr Pepper and we have an entire refrigerator devoted to soda and capri sun. Since there is no Starbucks in Pikeville...I have dropped out of the big coffee spending zone.

I think it is safe to say that I have not successfully kept myself from being polluted by the world. But change starts with realizing there needs to be change in your life...in my life.

I LOVE giving money away. Most people don't love it the way I love it. I keep trying to tell Keith that my spiritual gift is giving away money...he keeps trying to tell me that my spiritual gift is saving money and doing laundry...haha..not really....although I do fold a mean fitted sheet.

I am digressing...my point is that even when we are impassioned about orphan care and have our eyes and hearts open to the plight of so many hungry, hurt, exploited children in the world...we forget the part about keeping oneself free from being polluted by the world.

I am going to work on that. What do you think?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

one more week

Call is still going smoothly...I have to go in for a 4pm case....a short case.

Just posting quick note that in one week from right now we will be at Beacon House seeing our daughters! I have sooo much to do in the next 6 days...I really have only 5 days to get ready and packed. I think it would have been easier to just hop on a plane the day after we got our visa's and get them. Preparation is like a gas...it will fill up whatever space is there....2 weeks, one month, or 12 hours!

Ben is fighting his nap...must go and be monster mom. His superpower is cute so he is going to get away with a lot in this world,,,but not he is NOT going to get away with no nap today! too much to do!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

one week

I am on call this weekend and so far it has been great. One epidural and no cases (yet!). As I was driving back from the hospital I drove by the turn off to Charleston, WV. That is where we are flying out of in one week.

I am having a hard time believing that we are actually going to go pick up our daughters in one week.

The weather is soooo beautiful. I took some pictures of the mountains from our yard that I will have to download and post...but everyday the colors get more and more beautiful.

I am just kind of stream of consiousness-ing here....but just wanted to say that i am sooo excited to have real travel dates. We have our flight's booked, I have a big pile of stuff in the corner of my room to pack, and I am getting ready to start my to do list. I have to call in our malarone and get our travel first aid kit together, make our packing list and then pack clothes etc. I have to decide what we are going to try to bring for Beacon House. Have to make doctor's appointments for the girls, double check that our new health insurance has the right info.

I want to double check that the girls' room is ready, I want to look through my Global Mama's cookbook and make some things on Friday that will keep in the fridge until next week after we are home...you know like peppe sauce.

I am still working on what we should bring to keep the girls occupied during travel. Keith and I have been very preoccupied this month with all kinds of stressful situations and now some of them are finally starting to ease off and I can actually enjoy the excitement of bringing home my babies!

OK...off to make lists, find my cookbook, go through my packing pile...hopefully I won't have to go into the hospital!

Friday, October 15, 2010

bad blogger...

I hve gone an entire 5 days with no blogging...bad blogger! There is nothing too exciting going on around here this week...mostly waiting for next week!

We had a clean a thon at the beginning of the week and the house has stayed manageable all week...that is a miracle! haha.

The biggest miracle this week is that I passed my board exam...so I am one step closer to being a board certified anesthesiologist. The oral exam is all I have left and that will be either in April or the fall...likely the fall.

Zeb and Ben got haircuts. I will have to get some pictures. We were sitting at dinner and Keith and I starting commenting that Ben looked like he had a mullet. He did have a mullet..I don't know who we were kidding. Jessica (our super awesome neighbor who is buying our house in Alabama) used to cut Ben's hair and his hair is really thick and bodifull(a word?) so she would layer it and style it....it grew out into a mullet. So before getting down from dinner...I chopped the mullet off...no it is not straight and yes...if you look at it closely...it looks like maybe Ben did it himself...but there is no longer any hit of mullet-ude.

So then Zeb got a haircut by dad and his clippers. You might notice that dad shaves his own head so I am not sure why I thought he would do anything different with Zeb's hair. Poor zeb is like that poodle that gets the summer buzz cut...only it is just getting cold and his little ears have no protection at all. I am not a fan of the zebby buzz cut and he will not be getting it again even if I have to beat dad away from him with a hairbrush and a spritzing bottle. However, Zeb loves his haircut and walks around telling everyone how daddy shaved the hair from around his ears. I guess Iam lucky that Keith didn't shave a lightning bolt or nike symbol into the side of Zebby's head.

The best part of the haircut night was when Lilianna freaked out with jealousy that Zeb didn't have any hair anymore and asked Keith to cut her hair....Lilianna is not a fan of keeping her hair brushed! She was totally serious about shaving it off...I am definitely going to have to keep an eye on her...she has crazy hair ideas encoded in her dna!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Suckerpunch

Don't you just love it when you go to church and hear a message that you totally need to hear. Today it was about being prepared so when you get suckerpunched (which will happen) it will hurt less.
We have been suckerpunched in the neck in a couple of ways in the last couple of months. From the outside our lives look great. I know they do. But when we got hit with a $29,000 bill (unexpectedly) from the contractor doing the home renovations...we went down like a 90lb weakling with a glass jaw. We were totally unprepared. We lived on the ragged edge before we moved and we kept on with the same behavior.
There are lots of areas in our lives that are going to get whipped into shape because of this. When we first got this bill...there was a ton of anxiety, regret, and the big one...GUILT!
and NOTHING GOOD comes from guilt...EVER!

Now we know we have to be prepared and we have to GET prepared...financially, with our time management, with our activities.

We are so committed to making our lives right...making ourselves lean and mean and totally prepared for anything. But man it sucks to get up and dust yourself off after that suckerpunch...and that is what we have been doing for the last 2 weeks.

So suckerpunches suck...but what a blessing to be lulled out of that false sense of security so we can be prepared enough to prevent a bigger suckerpunch later!

OK...NOW move on to the next post and see the awesome pictures of my daughters!

Pictures.

I Can't believe how much older Zoe looks. She is even more beautiful and has sooo much hair! She looks huge...I am not sure that all the 18m 24m clothes are going to fit her! She is just soooo gorgoeus! UG!!! Here is my biggest girl...ok for real...this picture made me cry...she is so full of attitude it is great to see a real and soft smile.

I just can't get over how much babyfat Zoe has lost...she is like a little girl not a baby anymore!



Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saturday morning flag football

We went to flag football this morning for Lilianna to cheer and there were 2 other girls there to cheer and no coach. So ...yes... I stepped in and did some cheerleading coaching. It was pretty funny..I even did a cartwheel. I haven't done a cartwheel in several decades. I do think I pulled something...but I didn't fall on my head. I thought it would hurt my wrists - but it did not. So maybe I will work on my cartwheel some!

The girls cheer for about an hour and then we headed home for lunch and playing outside. The kids are watching finding nemo right now. I have probably seen that movie about 300 times (without exaggerating) and I still cry at the part when the pelican flies in and tells Nemo how his dad is battling sharks and jellyfish and swimming all the way to Sydney to save him. Don't we all want our children to know what we would do to save them? Don't we all hope that we would do what Nemo's dad does to get to Nemo? Anyway - I love that part and I cry like a baby! haha.

My parents are stopping by tonight and bringing us KFC...yummm. I bet they will do some other very important things too...like Laundry..since our rip off contractor lied about plumbing the closet they were supposed to use as a laundry room!

Friday, October 8, 2010

abundance..

Yeah I totally have that. The weather is super beautiful right now. We picked the kids up from school and about $100 worth of Schwann's goodies that we ordered through a school fundraiser.
We got home and the kids had some ice cream and then all headed outside to play. We are going on hour 3 of unbridled outside kid playing. Bikes are being ridden, acorns are being collected, imaginary animals, babies, rocketships and houses are in full effect.

I LOVE that my kids can run around our 2-ish acres of flat ground - ride on our ridiculously long driveway and I don't have to worry about the street, cars, neighborhood child kidnapping perverts...you know the usual stuff. I don't have to worry about that and my kids can run around and be kids. We also have about 12 ish acres of wooded hills for the older, more adventurous trouble maker (insert Zeb's name here)...for later.

The sun is starting to go down, I am almost done with dinner, the kids are going to be exhausted for bed and it is Friday.

I booked our flights to Ghana, our POA has the visa's in her possession - yeah!

We are leaving on Saturday Oct 23 and arrive Sunday Oct 24 around noon. On Monday Oct 25th our little girls will be on their way home. I just found out about 10 minutes ago that someone who has been slugging it out with an independent adoption from Ghana will be on the same flight home with her new children that we are going to be on. I am soooo excited to meet her in person and share the trip with another family. It is really exciting!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Nesting....

Things to do...things to do! We have entire rooms of our house that are not fully unpacked even though we moved like 3 months ago.

I can't even think about packing yet...I tried last night and just felt like I wasn't packing enough and too much at the same time. We are only going to be there 3 days. We leave Saturday night (Oct 23) and arrive on Sunday around noon. We can visit the girls between 4 and 6 pm.

On Monday we will have their going home ceremony and 330 and then they will come home with us.

Tuesday our flight leaves Accra at 11pm and arrives in Washington DC at 6am and then we arrive at our nearest airport at 10ish on Wednesday morning...a 2 hour drive home and we are home for lunch on Wednesday Oct 27th.

So really HOW much do we need to pack. I don't know sizes of clothes so I am going to pack an assortment of sizes for Zoe...she was wearing 9mo clothes in February...but she looks a lot bigger now...so I am going to bring 2 summer outfits each at 12m and 18m and one 24m. I am going to bring 4 wintery outfits (2 18m and 2 24m) and one pair of jammies.

I have no idea what size Alex is in ...she was in 7/8 in February and anyone who has bought clothes of that size lately will notice that there is no 9/10...it jumps from 7/8 to 10/12. It is very frustrating. So I have 2 pairs of pants in the 10/12 family and 4 pants in the 7/8 family because I think it will fit her better...she is so slim but very tall. She asked for red dresses...I am not entirely sure why...but we have 2 red dresses for her.

We have the dolls we bought like 6 months ago and some Uncle Funky's Daughter curly magic, a tangle teezer is on the way (I had to buy blue because they were out of pink!), a little lavendar lotion pack from Carol's daughter and some diapers for Zoe.

We are ready.....too bad I can't leave tomorrow! haha

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

VISA'S!!!!!!!!

Yes this is the real post....our visa's are approved and the passports are at the Embassy. Thank you to everyone who prayed with me!

Hopefully our POA will have them in her hands by Friday. I have started scouting out travel plans and we hope to have our babies home this month. Of course, my passport expires in less than 6 months so I have to get a new passport!

I am just so relieved to have some new problems to deal with instead of waiting...waiting ....waiting!

I can go buy clothes for Alex and know that she will get to wear them, I can make plans for November and know all of my children will be here.

I am alternating between relief, excitement, joy and sneezing.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Desperation..

Ok...how many times has our POA gone to the embassy to try to get visa's. Tomorrow is our most desperate attempt.

Our appointment is at 10 am our time (2pm GMT). She is bringing more "evidence" to prove to the embassy that our daughter's bio mother is truly dead. She is bringing every piece of evidence that could be found...death certificate, hospital bills, affadavit from family head (they already interviews this family head 6 months ago). If we don't get a Yes tomorrow - I don't know what we will be able to do.

My knees are hitting the floor tonight and I am going to be praying hard - if you feel compelled please pray for my family, pray the consul at the embassy will grant us visa's for my girls, pray their little hearts are not broken by this cruelly long wait. At 10 am (EST), throw up a little prayer for my daughters.

I don't want to have to move to Ghana - the commute to work would be very hard!

20 minutes

Whenever I am having a marginally bad day and may be a little sad or depressed or whatever...it takes about 20 minutes of playing with my kids outside on our long driveway to snap out of it.

They just play with so much abandon. Who knew that running down a driveway could be so much fun....or that rolling backward down a shallow hill on a tricycle could produce such 3yr old glee.

Bicycle riding outside with the kids is the best remedy for a sad heart!

The weekend

We worked a lot this weekend. We are trying to get my parents house move in-able. There are so many things I would like to get done before they move in...but we are not going to get there. I really wanted everything to be finished before they got here...but it wasn't and I wanted everything to be done before they moved in...but it won't be. I really feel like the contractor we used totally hosed us.

It kind of goes along with how I feel the US Embassy in Accra has hosed us. But...what can I do? The family that is in Ghana right now...the family that went to court on the same day as us...has a blog and they posted a picture on their blog of their familiy hugging and goofing around. My daughter is at the side of the picture just watching them. When I look at that picture my heart just breaks thinking that she is wondering why we aren't there too. I am amazed at how our lives just keep going on....going to flag football, making plans for school events, putting in vacations requests etc...while my daughters are sitting there and I don't know when I will be able to bring them home. It is kind of surreal.

Our POA has an appointment tomorrow and three things could happen:

1. they look at the evidence, approve it and issue visa's for Friday
2. they take the evidence and say they will get back to us...and we wait for like 4 more months to hear anything
3. they look at the evidence and say it is insufficient and they need more evidence

I am not entirely sure what further evidence we could provide - they have a death certificate, interviewed the familiy, have an affadavit from the head of her family, and all the hospital bills.

I will just wait until tomorrow and see what happens. When we went to court in February, I never ina million years thought I would be praying they would be home by Christmas. It is becoming increasingly difficult to not be depressed about something in every aspect of my life right now and that stinks!

I think I need some more coffee! Coffee makes things better if it has French Vanilla creamer in it!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

dwelling...

I am trying not to dwell on the fact that our daughters have been waiting to come home for so long. I am really trying. I am trying to see that there are a lot of other things in our life that need resolving...we have to get my parents into their home and out of ours, we need to organize a lot of stuff in our house...we are still not moved in, we need to get our financial plan in order. We have a lot of things to work out. Maybe all of those things need to be resolved before my dughters can come home - I don't pretend to know God's timing.

I do know that the family we travelled with for court has their visa's and are in Ghana right now picking up their children. I am extremely happy for them - but I can't imagine what disappointment is going through my daughter's head as she sees the children she went to court with come home with their family and she is still sitting there waiting.

My heart is breaking today for that. Today is a tough day.

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power