"When everything is ready, I will come and get you,
so that you will always be with me where I am."
4 Years Ago.....Accra, Ghana, West Africa
After a long, long wait...
The Fritchman Family October 2010
So, we are a happy family of 5 tonight all sleeping in one bed!! Yikes!! It's only midnight so we'll see if this lasts all night long :) Don't worry there is a full-size mattress on the floor but for some reason.....there are 5 in the bed.
We have had a fabulous time! Learning about each other, learning new family dynamics. You would think Zoe is a professional vaudeville act by the way the boys laugh at her constantly. This could become hazardous in the way of teaching her not to throw things or say 'Shut up!" but for now apparently it is absolutely hysterical! Asa and Eli adore her. Want to hold her, tease her, kiss her, love her. If I were her, I'd be saying 'shut up!' too, for as many times as they call 'Zoe!' all day long! HA!!
So, as I am listening to a rooster cock-a-doodle doo out of my hotel window at midnight...let me tell you the FULL story!
I had much angst last week. Wanting to have faith that this would be our week yet preparing my heart and mind that we could be waiting yet another week. I stayed busy Monday & Tuesday. Hid at home Wednesday because I didn't want to complain nor did I want to pretend to be happy. So, I stayed at home and did pretty much nothing of significance. Thursday, I was volunteering at the boys' school all day long. The office needed some help with paperwork systems. Menial work, low passersby, little conversation..I'm in! Thursday morning, we totally overslept and the 3 of us dragged into school 30 minutes late. Nice, mom.
In my baseball cap and no shower, I go to work filing and updating forms. I make a new friend, Megan, the school admininstrator. We are having a blast. She is funny, how can we not be??!! I am laughing because after the day was over, Megan says 'Our friendship was put in the express lane' that day! Right before lunch, we begin to bond over our deepest woes. We talk about the adoption and her life. I tell her I am watching the clock because at 1:30 we will know that our wait is over for the week yet again. We both end up crying, hug it out and I go pick up Chick-Fil-A. Every girl's solution to any problem!
At 1:30, I simply note the time with a sigh. I feel a little numb but I'm trying to be more worried about the paperwork I'm filing. THEN, IT HAPPENS. At 2:00, I look at my phone and THERE IS THE EMAIL!! THANK YOU, LORD!!! I am nearly speechless!! The 'COME AND PICK UP YOUR DAUGHTER'S VISA" email!!" I jump up and down and run around the divider to tell Megan! This is hilarious! We've known each other about 5 hours! Thanks for being there, MEGAN!!!
Since I was at the boys' school, I was able to go down to their classrooms and tell them that Zoe got her visa. Both of them jumped up and down. "YES!!", they said! Hugged big! SOOOO excited! They ran to tell their classrooms who had been praying for Zoe since the start of the school year. SO PRECIOUS. My boys are awesome. I'm just sayin.
So, I run home to call Delta. :) The NICEST lady helps me. I immediately tell her we are going to pick up my daughter from Africa and she bends over backwards to help us find the right flights within our SkyMiles range! We can leave in 12 hours or we can leave in 3 days. Seriously? Do I even need time to think about that? 12 hours it is!
I run around the house and start throwing things in suitcases. Check! We leave with the maximum allowed for 4 international tickets. 8 checked bags, 4 carry-ons, and 4 'personal items' (that reads book-bags). This makes Mark very nervous to get all of this to Ghana with 2 children in tow. He has given me the 'you-better-be-glad-I-Love-You' look several times. Especially when he packed one car and then had to switch to the bigger car. The boys were AMAZING travellers. So helpful, carried their own bookbags and even rolled a carry-on a time or two!
Mark was amazing all the way through the Ghanaian airport - even with 72 bags and 2 children. Paul and Zoe meet us at the airport...SOOOO HAPPY!!! The boys are excited to meet Zoe. It is a little chaotic and we all make it to the taxis. The boys are at first more amazed that they don't have to wear seatbelts and that Zoe is not in a carseat than they are with their new sister! I am SO enjoying viewing life in Ghana from their perspective. It is not deep and philosophical. It just is what it is.
We all slept alot yesterday. We made it out for pizza & the playground at the Accra mall, and the ShopRite for a few groceries. Pretty typical day. We're easing the kids into this people. I LOVE watching people watch the boys. Pretty much all Zoe wanted to do at first was touch their hair. :)
Cold showers this morning. I was secretly glad it was finally a little uncomfortable for the boys. No sympathy from mom.
This morning, we were all recovered from jetlag, new family initial shock, and are ready to play! Paul and a couple of his boys come over to play mid-morning at the hotel. Asa and Eli love it. We talk with Paul for a very long time.
Paul is starting his own NGO (Non-Government Organization). It is called Nyame Dua and it will embody his foster home in Accra and his home in Bolga. He asked Mark and me last month to serve on the board for the organization. I could not be more excited about working with Paul and others to help these kiddos and Paul's family.
Lots more laughing. Rolling around on Daddy. Riding Daddy's back. Smacking the boys with pillows. Eating potato chips. Laughing. Looking at pictures from our previous trip. Laughing. Laughing. and More Laughing. I love my family. I feel such a GREAT sense of relief with the 5 of us together. We are thankful and blessed beyond measure.
Our POA is supposed to go pick up Zoe's visa tomorrow at the embassy. I will feel an even GREATER sense of relief once that is over.
Headed to Cape Coast for a few days. Will come back Wednesday evening. Thursday, we will get to spend some more time with Zoe's birth mom. Having her say goodbye. Taking more pictures. Paul says she was thrilled to hear that Zoe is now going home with her family. She will have to travel 5 hours to come tell her goodbye. I'm pretty sure I will be a wreck after that.
I do love Ghana. The people here are proud of their country. They are so friendly. A piece of my heart will always live here.
I cannot thank all of our friends & family enough. Even those of you whom I do not know but have met in passing and you say you read our blog or those that have commented...we are grateful beyond measure for prayers and encouragement. Mark and I cannot decide if we feel like this is 'finally over' or if we are 'just beginning'. We know it is BOTH. 'Finally over' in the immediate sense of the word but truly only just beginning.
We have had many friends comment on how Zoe and I look alike. Paul said that the hotel staff here was saying the same thing! Isn't that so funny?!? And so God.