Friday, January 30, 2009

Court Date in Ghana

We've known for a while now that our case for adopting Saviour is ready to be presented in court in Ghana. It was supposed to take place by the end of this week. I guess it was postponed to Tuesday though. Kingsley doesn't expect any issues at hopefully we will have an official adoption decree by Tuesday!!!

Steve is planning on flying out within a few days of hearing we have an adoption decree. Our Visas (good for 2 years in Ghana) came today. Steve will file the I600 with the American Embassy when he goes, then he will spend time with Saviour, getting to know her in her environment. He will volunteer at the orphanage/school too and maybe do a little sight-seeing. I am not going to Ghana until we know Saviour has a Ghanaian passport and we have received word from the embassy that the I600 cleared. When I go, I will need to file paperwork for her Visa. I will stay for a couple of weeks with her too, then bring her home!!!

With all the confusion about Saviour's name, we were going to let her decide what she would like to be called. But we just found out we need to give the official name to Kingsley by Monday. Maybe we will be calling Saviour this weekend to discuss it with her. It's just hard to get her to talk on the phone, so I don't know if we will have much luck getting her to tell us what name she likes.

We got another email from Stephanie today...and more info about Saviour. Here is what she had to say:

"Saviour Anita has been a brave girl this week. She was taken to the clinic with 3 others and sent through a round of testing. When it came time to draw blood I thought I was going to cry for her. They poked and dug around and could find no vein. They finally went through her hand (where they put an IV) to draw blood. She held her eyes but did not shed a tear. Then she boasted later she was brave despite the ordeal. This girl is unabashed. She is now bold enough with me to demand chocolate or whatever else I have or she thinks I have. She loves to come around and play with my hair. She was upset that my hair was cut (she had seen pictures from when it was long). The new German girls have incredibly long hair and the other night she played hair salon. She has a fascination with hair and long hair. She wants long hair desperately. Last weekend a relative took her to get extensions and she likes it, but it is all braided and she wants "flowing" hair. She is quite clever and her English is pretty good. She is helpful with Samuel and likes to play with me (of course there is that hope I will bring out the candy!) She is so fun. Her measurements are 45" tall, chest 22" waist 22" Hips 25" neck to shirt length 19" hip to ankle 24" underarm to wrist 12" wrist 4.5"."

So there's your update. I can't wait to see a picture of her with extensions. I can't believe her hair is long enough for extensions....last picture I saw it was very short.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Saviour Anita's Name and Personality

Our friend Stephanie is staying at Luckyhill right now. Here are a few things she has told us about Saviour Anita:

As related by Stephanie's husband:
"So, why is Anita Saviour only called Anita on her birth certificate? Well, simply because there was a mistake made on her birth certificate, so it is missing the name Saviour. Despite that, everyone still calls her Saviour, or Anita, or both. Steph said that even though she is shy, she follows her around everywhere and that she is very beautiful. That also goes for many of the other children, they are also shy and beautiful."

From Stephanie:
"Saviour Anita (how most call her) follows me around and loves when I rub her head. She is beyond fascinated with my hair and said she wants hair like mine. She is constantly playing with it when I sit down. She likes to stand behind me. All of the kids (and adults asked why I cut it and like it long) - but especially Saviour."

I think she will be disappointed that Madi had her hair cut!

Here is a picture that Lois found. She thinks it was taken back in May. The little boy next to her is named Christopher and he is also 5. Although they look a bit alike, we have been told they are not related.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vaccines and Used Cars

We have to have the Yellow Fever vaccine before we can send off our Visa application for Ghana. I called around to several doctors and got the same answer. They don't have Yellow Fever'll have to go to a travel clinic. So I called around some more and found a travel clinic at the University Hospital that could get us in the next day.

Steve and I went together. Beforehand in the car, I told Steve we should only get the Yellow Fever and maybe Typhoid vaccines here, then we could go through our insurance to get any others we need.

The nurse called us in and went over a ton of information about Ghana. She went through each disease it was possible to contract there and how to avoid it. She also said things like, if you get (name of disease) there is a 80% death rate.

Needless to say, we were no longer surprised that there are so many orphans in Ghana. We also thought we better update all of our vaccines.

Steve got 7 injections. I got 6. The bill was just over $1200 for the two of us!!! We still need to fill our prescriptions for the anti-malaria medication. I am allergic to minocycline and so I can't take the cheap medication, Doxycycline....I have to take Malarone which costs $5 per pill and she said I'll need 22 pills.

After we left, I told Steve it was a bit like buying a used car. You go into the dealership expecting to pay the agreed upon price, but by the time you leave, for some reason, you pay a whole lot more!!!

On a more positive note, we have some new pictures of Saviour. The Westerbys are a family who just adopted from Ghana. They spent some time at Luckyhill and sent some pictures to us. Isn't she just so pretty....and yes, her ears are pierced. I have a feeling Savannah will want hers done too.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Charlie Brown-iest

We got a Wii for Christmas. One of the activities you can do is create people called Miis. We've had fun creating all our family and friends as Miis. I created a Mii that we decided to call Charlie Brown because of the resemblance.
We created this Mii shortly after Christmas and I had forgotten about it. Sunday morning we were eating breakfast and Sierra told me that Savannah kept changing all the Miis. Savannah spoke up and said, "Madison got mad at me because I changed Charlie Brown." I asked how she changed him. She replied, "I made him brown like me. He is supposed to be brown. He's the Charlie Browniest!"

Here is her new Charlie Brown Mii.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hair Day

(I wrote this on the 13th and am just getting around to posting it. I had a hard time getting pictures of their hair for the post....still not the best pics, but you get the idea.)

Saturday was hair day at the Emett house. Madison has been begging me to cut her hair short. I have been reluctant because:
1) Her hair is the longest it has ever been.

2) It's so easy to pull into a pony-tail for a quick hairdo.

3) She looks so much like her birth mom with her hair long like that.

But I gave in and began cutting. I put her hair in a pony-tail, then cut off about 5 to 6 inches. When I took out the elastic, her hair had a cute A-line. I trimmed it up to make it even and then let her take a look. She came back and said one word, "SHORTER!" So, I pulled it into a pony-tail again and cut off another 2 to 3 inches. She seems to really like it and it does look cute on her, though it makes her look even older to me.

(I know hot chocolate and swimsuits sound like a funny combo in January!)

Then it was Steve's turn. He has been cutting his own hair lately because I had surgery on my hand in November and my ankle in December. His cut went as usual....just starting to see more gray hair. ;)

I usually keep the twins' hair in extensions. I cut them out in September or October and they haven't had them since. They hate getting their hair combed everyday, so the big advantage to the extensions is that I only have to spray their hair each day with some moisturizer/oil spray. I have done extensions a couple of ways:

1) I have used synthetic hair that is straight and unbraided and then I braid that into their natural hair. This takes about 8 hours for each child. I burn the ends (of the synthetic hair) with a lighter and usually have very tender fingers afterwards, but the extensions last for 6 to 8 weeks.

2) I have also done latch-hook extensions. You buy the synthetic hair already braided and curly. I cornrow their hair and then hook in the curly braids with a latch-hook. It only takes 4 hours to do and it looks really cute, but doesn't seem to last as long....probably because I am not great at cornrowing.

I have read about yarn extensions from people on Yahoo Groups and on blogs. I decided to give it a try. The method of braiding is about the same as #1 above, but no lighter (no burnt fingers) and easier to work with. I also read that their natural hair is able to breathe better and there is less breakage when you remove the extensions.

I started Savannah's hair on Friday. I conditioned it well, moisturized it and sectioned it off. I did just some simple 2-strand twists in each section, so she had a cute hairdo for the day. This took about 2 hours. On Saturday, I began the extensions. I cut all the yarn in advance. I started her hair around 1:00 and worked on it until about 4:00. I had to go to work, so I called it a day. I got home from work at 1:00 AM Sunday morning and worked on the extensions again while she slept. I finished at 3:15 AM. The next morning before church, I cut them all to make them the same length (about 30 minutes). So all in all, it took about 7 hours.....maybe a little less since I gave her breaks during the day when I worked on it.

It looks great and it is so easy now that it is done. She calls it her "Madi hair". I'm not sure why. Maybe because she can put it in a pony-tail now???

Now I just need to schedule a time when I can go without sleep so I can do Sierra's! :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Text Me!

What's up with conversation hearts these days? You know, those cute pastel hearts with a little Valentine's Day message. When I was young, they said things like:

"Best Friends"
"I Love You"
"Say Yes"
"Hug Me"
"Be Mine"

I was at Walmart, my favorite store, (yeah right), when I saw a package of conversation hearts. I thought it would be fun to send some with my friend Stephanie to the Luckyhill orphanage. After all, they speak English and this would probably be something fun for them. Maybe she could tell them about Valentine's Day and how you leave a secret message for someone you love or admire and have the kids write a note to someone and eat some candy. (I always come up with what I think would be a great plan in my head and for some reason they never end up being very practical.)

I started to read the messages on the hearts. Some that I read were:

"Text Me!"
"You Rock"
"Email Me"
"You're Cool"
"Fax Me"
"Get Real"

There went that great, but not so practical plan!

So, if you read this blog...... "Comment Babe" ......Really, I'd love to hear from you!
"BFF" ;)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Christmas at the Emett's

I just love Christmas. I love winter. I think it is so beautiful right after it snows, especially at night when the moon is shining and the newly fallen snow sparkles like a million stars. Luckily, we had a beautiful white Christmas this year.

On Christmas Eve, we have some traditions. We always go to a restaurant for an early dinner. Then we go to the cemetery and light candles on the graves of our loved ones....our son, Dakota, my father, and my grandparents are all at the same cemetery. Then we go home, eat pulla (a Finnish sweet bread) and drink hot chocolate while we tell the story of Jesus' birth. Then we open a couple of gifts, Rudolph drops off presents at the front door, (pajamas), and the kids try to fall asleep, usually with much difficulty because of the anticipation.

This year we had to skip lighting the candles at the cemetery because I had ankle surgery just a week before and couldn't go traipsing through the snow. So, we went for a drive to see Christmas lights instead.

We thought our Christmas was going to be a bit different this year because we are saving money for our adoption. I have a part-time job in the evenings and Saturdays as a grocery clerk to help fund the adoption. We decided we were not going to dip into this adoption fund at all to pay for Christmas. So, we began shopping early at second-hand stores and found some great deals. We also shopped through classified ads and found exactly what Savannah was asking for. When I went to pick up the princess castle, I saw that the woman had a daughter who was obviously adopted. So we began to talk about adoption. She adopted her daughter from Vietnam when she was a baby. I told her about Lilly and our plans to adopt her. She was very kind and gave me an even better deal on the castle.

On Christmas Eve as we looked around, we knew that the kids would be so happy about our finds and what "Santa" had left them. Savannah asked for a princess castle. Sierra asked for a basketball and a diamond. Of course, every time she sat on Santa's knee and made her request, Santa glanced up at us with a look that said, "Good luck with that!" Madison asked for a volleyball.

Before the kids went to bed on Christmas Eve, we let them open their gifts from Madison's birth families. They opened gifts from Nana Pat and Papa Mike and from Grandma Holly and Grandpa Marc and then we let them open the gifts from Amanda. Amanda gave them a Wii and some games to go with it. Madison opened it and started yelling, "We have a Wii, we have a Wii!!!" I guess she knew what to do with a Wii. I think Steve is enjoying the Wii as much as the kids. I should admit that I LOVE to play's a lot of fun and good arm was so sore after playing baseball and golf. :)

The highlight of Christmas Eve for Steve and I was our phone call to Ghana. It was so great to talk with our sweet little girl and hear her say, "I love you." We wanted to send her a little Christmas gift, but as we thought about her circumstances, we decided against it. She lives in Kingsley and Gloria's home with their four children and about 20 other orphans. We felt it wouldn't be right to send something for her and not the others. So we were going to send candy to all of them. But after all was said and done, we decided to send money so that Kingsley can buy what the kids really need. (If anyone wants to make a donation to Luckyhill Orphanage, you can do so on the Luckyhill site. Any little bit helps. Our dollars go a long way in Ghana.)

Christmas morning was fun watching the kids enjoy their presents. Sierra saw the basketball hoop right away and then asked, "Where's my diamond?" I told her to look around some more. She found the large gem (pink glass, cut like a diamond) and smiled so big and said, "Thank you mommy thank you, thank you." After thanking me, she also graciously thanked Santa.

Steve's family came to our home and spent the afternoon with us. All of the grandkids live near us in Tooele, so a few years ago we started spending Christmas at our house instead of all of us bundling up the kids and driving to Salt Lake. We had a wonderful Christmas lunch and then opened more presents from Grandparents and Steve's siblings.

Later that evening, I called and talked with my mom who is serving a mission in Georgia, and each of my siblings. I reflected on how blessed and how rich our lives are because of our association with so many wonderful people, both family and friends.

When I think about Lilly Anita Saviour, I just want her to be here with us so badly. I want to have her home! I know that our Father in Heaven wants to have us home too. I marvel at the love He has for us. He wants us to come home so much so, that he sent His only Begotten Son to this earth to show us the way. I am so indebted to the Saviour for His life and death which paves the way for each of us to make it Home again to our loving Heavenly Father.

I love the video below. It was made by our Church, but someone took out the sound from the original video and added Amy Grant's song "Breath of Heaven". It's beautiful!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Anita/Saviour/Lilly is 5

We learned some new information about Anita/Saviour/Lilly on Christmas Eve. Her birthday is November 1, she just turned 5. The twins' birthdays are November 16, 2004...just a year apart. We really were (not so secretly) hoping that she would be older than the twins and ahead of them in school.

I am really hoping we will get her home by early Spring, so that she can have a month or two going to the Early Learning Center and summer school before starting Kindergarten in the Fall. I think that would help her out with her English and she is used to going to school anyway.

We talked with her a little after midnight our time Christmas morning. She has such a sweet little voice. She even said "I love you" which of course melted our hearts.
As for the adoption process itself, Kingsley said that they are working on our papers. He asked us when we are coming to Ghana and Steve told him after our adoption is approved by the court. We have a friend going to Ghana this month to stay until March. We are excited about that because I think it will be easier for us to communicate with her through email to understand what is going on. I still have a hard time understanding Kingsley and I think he has a hard time understanding us. This also means maybe we will get some more pictures of Anita.

Which reminds me....Kingsley said her name is Anita Torde. Kingsley calls her Saviour. We asked him where she got the name Saviour, but didn't really understand what he was saying. So we still don't know why she goes by both names....and we still don't know what we will be calling her. I called her Anita on the phone when I talked to her, but Steve called her Saviour. She responded to both of us.
Here is a new picture of her. It's the same picture; I just cropped the one on the right so you can see her face better. What a doll!!!! Madison sent her the bracelet she is wearing and Madi was thrilled when she saw that she was wearing it.