We wake up to the sound of roosters and vendors out on the street, the buses moving, horns beeping, people sweeping the swish swish swish of the evening dust that has settled from the streets. Its a hot day already. We have AC the whole night so we don't know what awaits us outside the door until we opened and a cloud of heat and humidity hit us....WE ARE IN GHANA! I'm nervous, but we decide to walk to CKO. There is a little boy there that has attached himself to Selene. When we came into the gates of where the children's homes was (they spent the last couple of months with a foster mom, Auntie Ruth.)
Eban house belonging to Adoption Advocates International close the doors in April the children left were put into homes of Aunties that worked at Eban house. CKO an organization lead by my friend John was blessed to move into Eban's old house. Because they have some of the kids that AAI we wanted to go meet them. It was bitter sweet, we knew that many of these kids had families, but there were some that have aged out past 15 and will never have parents. A few that do not have moms or dads. Anita is working on it ;)
We get picked up to drive to go meet the kids! I am so calm for some reason, oh yes I prayed! We get picked up by a 4 door Toyota that I am surprised its even moving! The windows are rolled down the car is filled with the smell of exhaust from the cars in front of us. There is Ghana music playing on the radio. I feel overcome by what is about to take place.
Finally we pull up to a very small complex. I have my camera but can't really take pictures because I don't want to miss the moment. The taxi driver drives away but hits a HUGE pothole and gets stuck so Selene runs to help him out. I can't wait, so I enter to what turns out to be a small kitchen and the toilet and shower in the same room (with a small divider wall:). Very cozy!
I can see my kids being served lunch their plates on the floor, they were just being served water when E, my boy sees me. They yell "MAMMI!" and run to me almost pushing me to the ground! I hug them, look at them, hug them, look at them, hug them again. Then they go and sit down and eat lunch like if nothing has just happened. They are smiling at me the whole time. Very shy smiling.
I make small talk as best I can not knowing their extent of language, mostly about the food they are eating. The next thing you know Auntie Ruth is getting me a great big bowl of Jolof. Its a rice dish that has small pits of pasta, fish and chicken.
We eat our first meal together the plate on my lap sitting on the hot sticky floor. I could feel the sweat beading up on my forehead. It was a hot day in Ghana. We spent a few hours just chatting with Auntie Ruth and getting to know the kids. Watching them dance, and speak in GA. I had learned parts of the body, my numbers, and general greetings in GA so, once I began to speak them they were so happy! It was a connection. Auntie Ruth asked if we should do something today all together. YES! I can take the kids to the beach. I told Auntie Ruth that she can stay home and enjoy her day and I would take my kids to the beach.
There is a little sweetie who is waiting for her family to go to court and get paperwork done to get to her. She was weeping when we were about to leave, which made Selene cry which made Auntie Ruth cry. Next thing you know we had a third kid hanging with us that day.
I could not believe how fast the kids ran for the taxi, they wanted to go so bad. Then we went to RYE Manor to go and get suits. The children ran out of the taxi, rang the bell ran up the stairs and went right to room number 7. How did they know? ''Daddy, stay hea!'' Frank stayed in the same room back in February and they remembered. They were super excited and overwhelmed. We get our suits and off in another taxi to the pool!In the taxi I am showing a picture of our family to G and she says thats my mammi. Yes thats me. Selene says to me, Nat, have you taken your hat off, she may not recognize you, what?! I had a hat the whole time with my hair stuck inside me hat. I take my hat off and shake my hair out and say G ''its me, I am your mom!'' She makes a big scream and says "its you, mammi!'' We think she really didnt understand I was her mom. Even thought Auntie Ruth told her, even though she yelled ''Mammi' at me,but she sat down right after looking at my face and didnt say much to me. They were tears in her eyes, I was so surprised.
We get to the Coco beach pool pay our fees and are ready for swimming, when Eric wants nothing to do with the water. If I walk towards the pool he is on the other side of the property. 30 minutes later we get him to wet his feet, and then 10 minutes after that the kid is a fish!
I was doing this, it was all good. UNTIL.... G my new daughter who is 8 and had an issue with little 'R'', the little girl that lives in the foster home with her, and decides to smack her, we are not taking a little hit here, we are talking full hitting more than a few times. To which little 'R' bless her heart is so upset, she even hit Auntie Selene really hard trying to get 'r'. So, I take my first action. Time out of the pool. Maybe it was not a good choice at the moment. I wanted to take her away from the situation so it seem the best thing to do right? Little miss 'G' decides that not only will she not speak to me or sit where I have asked her to sit. NO she will stand and take every article of clothing off that I have given to her down to what they call in Ghana her knickers! She stood there in her knickers with a frown on her face for one hour. Until Jennifer a mom who has been living at CKO waiting on paperwork for 5 weeks who knows G well, went over grabbed her hand, sat her next to her and just started to hug her. G was cooperating with her. And not talking to me. She missed out on ice cream because she would not come to eat some when I called her, so she was asking for ice cream again. When I told her that we were not going to eat ice cream because we all did together and she didn't come, she gave me the silent treatment for another little while. My boy E, decided to run from me a few times while I was there, more hitting, more silent treatment and this mom was wiped out from day.
We returned back to the hotel gave the kids baths, to where you would think the kids were dancing in money they way they were jumping up and down in the tub, sliding all over the place asking for more water on their faces. Tub baths in a real tub was a first for them. They other thing they were fascinated about was the flowing water from the facet. E keep turning it on and off on and off. My big day at the embassy was the next day and so the kids could not sleep with me this night. To which they were very upset at me for!
Auntie Ruth came and brought Auntie Comfort, I will write a post about her, she deserves one for sure! Auntie Comfort came in and embraced me with a giant hug and said "God Bless you" She reminded me of my grandmother, she had me at Hello! Comfort asked me about me day, when I told her in all honestly that it was very stressful. She very softly looked at G, my girl, and began speaking in GA her home language. G began to have tears in her eyes and then rolling down her sweet brown cheeks. I didn't understand all the GA, but from the words I did know. She was giving G a lecture about how she treated me this day. Then is English she says to G, 'CHILDREN"....G says "OBEY YOUR PARENTS IN THE LORD!'' and they began to recite many more verses in English. Then G comes to me very resentful and says 'please mummy Isarry''
I hugged her, oh sweet girl, Its going to take some time to heal this one. They left with Auntie with no fights or issues.
And that was day two!