Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Many Smiles Around Our Home Because of You Kofi

I have wanted to write this post for a long time....It is about a man named Kofi, who is our adoption coordinator and a very special man to our Ghana children who call him, " Daddy Kofi". We have spent many hours with this man and have come to appreciate his efforts very much for the orphan children of Ghana. We have adopted 12 children so far with Kofi and each time he has shown us how much he loves "his" children. I have spent months in Ghana and most of that time with Kofi....He has shared his country, his people, his schools and his heart to us as we have traveled miles and hours together.

We just brought home Sandra and Jr ( we are naming him Zeke Aaron) Monday after a long 1 year and 9 months process. It was not because of Kofi's lack of effort or trying that this was our longest adoption. It was not because of the court, legal system or social welfare of Ghana that this was our longest adoption. It was because of some other adoptive families who decided that the age of their children was off ( really some parents are upset if the child is not the age they thought , or eye color they wanted, or the children have issues they don't want to work thru ) . Some of these families made a complaint to the embassy and state dept about Kofi and our agency...However, we counter complained about these people because for us Kofi and AAC have only been totally legit, honest and upstanding during all of our adoptions. Have some of the children come home and have a diff. age - yes but not because of Kofi or his manipulating them to say that age. It is because of the birth moms and the sharing by these moms of birth dates that are not remembered or celebrated ever in Ghana. Even so to us it has never been about the age, color of hair, eyes or even the issues the children have when they come. It is about being obedient to the will of God and His desire for these children to be a part of our family. Just like with my bio. children , if the adopted child has issues we work thru them. We don't abandoned them and we certainly would never blame Kofi ( or any of our other country coordinators for other adoptions ) or our agency for the choice we made to adopt a child.

Anyway there were allegations of fraud and I left the Ghana group because it was poorly managed and other families who had a positive experiences like us with Kofi were being "shamed" by one particular woman on that group to not share. However, why would we not want to when for us it has only been very positive for us to use Kofi. We had Sandra and Jr's exit interview last March and we were put into admin. processing ( which has now become the norm for most families ) since these allegations were made by the few. I have seen this happen before in other adoptions and countries and it slows the process down for anyone after those who were unhappy with their children or coordinator make these allegations ( really without much proof but a lot of emotion ). I knew one family very personally and it hurt a lot to see how they were and have been....Very naive on their part to believe that they would not slow and even halt the process for those coming after them. It did and still is .

We received a NOID ( notice of intent to deny ) our children's visas in Sept.. All the allegations of fraud, and deception were there in it towards Kofi...However, we appealed and proved them all wrong and today those precious children are in my home - getting more food than they ever could imagine, medical care if they need it, lots of stimulation and education and more importantly attention and love for who they are from their family . We were so upset with the US embassy in Ghana we filed our own complaint as well about how they treated us and Kofi. It is so rewarding and good to know that we proved the embassy was dishonest, lied to us and just wrong about Kofi and our documents. It really was pathetic when we read their case to deny. I feel like we and Kofi Oppong have been vindicated once again.

You know truth does prevail...when God is in it, really, who can be against you. Kofi is a believer and he tries to walk the walk. That is all we all can do. We are so very grateful for Kofi and how thru his efforts he has blessed us with these precious children. We love you Kofi and Merry Christmas ! Many smiles around our home this Christmas because of you.

Monday, December 7, 2015

They will be home for Christmas !

It has been a week since we heard from the embassy that our children's visas were going to be approved. We had to do their medicals and Kofi, our coordinator will take them along with birth certificates, and the passports to the embassy tomorrow and we should be given a print date for their visas. We are expecting that date to be within the week...and because tickets are expensive and would be even more if we had waited...we have the flights for their pick up trip - Woo Hoo! This will be their first Christmas celebrated and Jr's bday is also 12/26. We are all very excited to get them home.

I have more to share about their process ... after they make it home though. Paul flies out Dec. 17 and returns with them very early, Dec. 21. Their rooms and beds are ready .  Paul will be traveling to an orphanage to visit and carry some supplies. I will be staying home this time because it is too costly to send me this time...We have spent lots of time with the kids and feel bonded well enough  that just Paul is traveling. I love traveling and sharing this time but the timing and the cost of tickets has made this necessary. We have been amazed at the Lord's provision for this trip and are very grateful to be at this point in the adoption. Praising God for being in this journey and now we begin another one....the transition into the family.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The day we have been waiting for - Jubal got his legs

At home showing off his new legs...He has always been interested in our feet and toes....I love now he has his own.

Getting fitted just right. They ended up lowering the legs even more than this. We waited while she reduced them to a better height for him . 

A physical therapist came over to teach us how to help him walk in his legs. She and our orthotist were great and very helpful. I love that they are local too- RPI in Martinsburg, WV we recommend.

What a stinker ...but you can tell he really did enjoy the new legs of his and especially those feet and toes.

We stopped by Mary Kate and Keith's house on the way home ( only 9 houses from ours : ) The kids were so happy to see Jubal and his new legs...Lucy and Lucas were precious- giving him hugs.
It was the day we have been waiting for....He has been home just 6 months...What a change. He will be walking on his own soon I am sure of it. Stay tuned for the next post about that.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Today he stood : )

We had Jubal's appointment today and they tried on his first legs...They are not the "real" ones because they are tweaking them. We all decided they need to be shorter for many reasons but one being it is easier for him to fall if they are not as tall. Also he can sit easier and move around with them shorter....Next appointment the "real" ones.

He loved standing and I know he will take off running as soon as they are done. Just thought you all might like to see - My heart overflows today seeing him stand for the first time.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Orphan Sunday - A Story that has been written 31 times so far in our family

Jubal in Ghana - months old

Jubal when I picked him up in May

Jubal - Loved, healthy, happy, content and given opportunities to be all that he can be. 

A story that has been written 31 times in our family so far - Each one was an orphan but no more. Loved and cherished - Miracles happen all the time, watching a child grow, overcome many obstacles and past lives to live healthy, happy and loved. Some continue to struggle thru their past but they are surrounded by a family who loves them and supports them.

So many people to love on them in our family. So many to encourage thru tough times and times of pain and hurt as they work thru the issues in their past...but always loved and always ours. Some have moved out and on to their adult lives, 25 at home for now, and waiting on at least 2 more to join us soon.

Life is crazy, intense and loud most of the time. However, watching the child learn they are loved and valued, seeing them transform into a healthy child and eventually knowing about a God who loves them is the only life I want to live.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Update about Jubal

Pre op the week before his surgery

Waking up in recovery

Paul, Joseph, Leah and I went to the surgery with Jubal....Can you say he is pretty special. 

He did so well at the hospital

Coming Home !!!

2 weeks post op and getting the splint off...looks great.
His stumps have healed well with no issues....We met for his first prosthetic appt. and got his "shrinkers" ( very tight socks to help keep the edema down ) He goes next week for his fitting for the liners to his legs....and then we choose the foot size and our little guy is ready to walk.

Just trying on some shoes.....He seems to enjoy that .

We are very excited to see him walk with his new legs/feet. His prosthetic feet are actually called legs instead of just feet because he has a short lower leg. He is very mobile now and everyone knows he will take off running once he learns how to use them. He has so much personality he keeps us all laughing at his antics....What a joy he brings to our family.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tomorrow begins a new part of life for our Jubal.....

This was Jubal back in March when I visited him.....
This was him in May on his pick up trip ....

My how he has changed......He has gotten healthy, chubby, mobile and really wants to walk and run . 

This was him at his pre op with Dr. Standard, our favorite peds. orthopedic surgeon. Tomorrow morning at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore Jubal will have this "foot" tissue removed and his r leg smoothed for the ability to fit prosthetic feet and then he can begin to take his first steps and eventually run......He is so ready to be more mobile ...to be able to walk and run ... to keep up with his brothers and sisters. Tomorrow begins that journey towards this . We are very happy for this next part to his journey but, we would appreciate your prayers for our little guy. He has a reflux issue and please pray that it won't be one for him during his recovery. Changes to his diet , and different things happening to his airway may trigger some of this ...We are hopeful he will do just fine.