Saturday, February 28, 2009

Steve is Home

Steve got home on Friday night (almost Saturday morning)...his plane landed just before midnight! It was so good to see him. I first noticed how tan he was, then I noticed that he lost weight...8 lbs in less than 2 weeks. Not a bad diet plan. :)

He had a wonderful time. We talked until 2:30 in the morning and then slept for 4 hours, then talked for another 4 hours about his trip before going to Salt Lake to pick up our girls at Grandma's and Grandpa's.

Here are some pictures from his trip.

This is Steve's first look at Lilly. Several kids swarmed the car when they pulled up. Lilly is on the right (in gingham).

This is Lilly with her mother, Ruth.

And here she is with her Grandmother.

A couple more cute pictures of her. She tried on Steve's glasses. Steve told her, "Now you look like the teacher" to which she giggled.

We got a really good deal from Maceys on pop rocks, so Steve took 100 bags to share with the children. He said it was fun to watch them eat it. Their favorite way to eat it was to dump it into water, watch it pop, then drink the "juice". Here is a picture of Samuel and Kobi eating them. He said they were popping all over their cheeks and hands, but they loved them!!!

These are some of the children at Luckyhill. They liked having their pictures taken.

They are adding on to the school right now. They have the second level on this building and now need the roof.

The school has 2 huge storage tanks for water. Good thing too, since sometimes the water shuts off and there is no running water. They went for 2 or 3 days without running water while Steve was there. People from the community would come to the school to get water from the storage tanks. The people in Ghana carry things on their head. He said this girl was probably only 16, but she has about 5 gallons of water on her head!

This is where Steve went to church on Sunday. The church is near the Liberian refugee camp.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Kid Magnet

Madison could add her Dad to the "sticks" column on her magnet science fair project. (See entry below).

I just received these pictures from the Larsen family. They are adopting a girl from Luckyhill. They just returned from Ghana. I laughed when I saw these pictures since Steve looks a bit like the Pied Piper. (Maybe he had candy???)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sticks...Doesn't Stick

Madison decided to do a project for the Science Fair this year. She partnered with her friend from next door, Hanna. They did their project completely on their own. They used a magnet and then tested items from around the house and took a digital picture of their results. They made a poster listing what sticks and what doesn't stick.

They ended up winning 1st place for their age group. Way to go Madi and Hanna!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Success at the Embassy

Steve was able to file the I600 today. He also has Lilly's passport in hand!!!! He met a lady from Utah at the embassy who said her I600 was approved in 1 day....but then she had a letter from Senator Hatch and Lois said she has been waiting since October for it, so I'm not sure of the full story.

Now I'll be checking my email several times a day anxiously awaiting our approval! Once we have it, I'll be off to Ghana!!!

Steve has really enjoyed the spirit he feels at Luckyhill. He said when he arrived back to the school one night, the children were singing hymns. It's something else to hear them sing, I guess. He has also been attending devotional at 5:00 each morning. It's a good thing it's dark in the room, since he is sitting in the corner with misty eyes.

I talked with several of the children on the phone today...Dorothy, Sandra, Junior, and Patience. They had never spoken on the phone before, so they liked saying "hello" and hearing my response. Steve said he has already talked the older boys into playing pranks on me during my visit. I'm just afraid the pranks may include spiders, frogs, mice and lizards since I hear there are plenty of them around!!! Just what the kids need to learn from to be a tease : )

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Another Update!

I talked with Steve again. They didn't have all the paperwork needed to file the I600 today. They have another appointment on Thursday. Kingsley is going to try to meet with the lawyer tomorrow to get the rest of the paperwork they need.

Steve is having so much fun. I can hear it in his voice. He is so impressed with all of the children. He says they are really special kids. He is definitely in his element. He loves interacting with children and really wanted to be a school teacher.

He said it is hard taking pictures because all the children, especially the younger ones, surround him any time he gets out the camera. But he has managed to get some good ones. (I can't wait to see them!!!)

Saviour isn't as shy as he thought she would be. She is getting better at sharing his attention with the other children. I guess the first day, she was a bit jealous when he tried to talk to or play with any of the others. Yesterday Steve said he had met Saviour's Aunt and Uncle. Today he said he found out it is actually her mother and the uncle is a member of their tribe, but not literally an uncle.

We sent some of Madison's old soccer shoes with him. He said the kids loved having them. Since there were only 2 or 3 pair, they have split them up with each other....each child wearing one shoe, so they would go further. (I don't think these children will have issues with sharing, like my kids do!!!) So any of you reading my blog...if you have any old soccer shoes, I can take them with me when I go! (Hopefully in about 2 weeks).

Monday, February 16, 2009

Steve is in Ghana

Steve left Sunday morning for Ghana. I just spoke with him. He said that Saviour is beautiful and a good little girl. He met her aunt and uncle. I guess her uncle works at the school. Saviour was a bit jealous when she saw a pair of shoes in Steve's suitcase that another family had sent for their daughter. I guess she wanted a pair of shoes too. She fell asleep in Steve's lap tonight. (I am so jealous, but happy she is with her daddy!!!)

It's probably good Steve and I are travelling separately. Last night, we were driving to Steve's parents' house for Sunday dinner and I looked in the rear view mirror at Madison. She had such a sad look on her face. I asked her what was wrong, then the flood gates opened. She started crying and said, "I just miss daddy!" To this Sierra replied, "I like it when dad is gone." So after only 12 hours away from us, the kids had mixed emotions. I don't think they would do well with both of us away.

There is a little boy named Kobi who is 15 to 18 months old. I have been thinking that maybe he is supposed to join our family as well. We decided not to make a decision about another child until we have both been to Luckyhill and met the children there. So, I asked Steve if he had met Kobi yet. He said yes but that he hasn't been able to hold him. He calls Vida (an 11 year old girl there) "mom" and follows her around. Here is a picture of Kobi and Vida.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

We Have An Adoption Decree!!!

Yes!!! We have our adoption decree. Friday I got a call from Lois saying that the judge's father passed away, so no court on Friday. It had been rescheduled for today. This morning I got a call from her that everything went well and we have our adoption decree. YEAHHHHH!!!

Steve is flying out on Sunday. He will get there on Monday and hopefully be able to submit the I600 on Tuesday, the 17th. We are so happy that Lilly is officially our daughter.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Court Rescheduled

We don't have the adoption decree we were hoping for today. Someone who needed to appear in court today was running late. By the time they arrived, court was already in session, so our adoption case was moved to Friday.

This morning while waiting for Lois's call, I couldn't sit still, so I went shopping. What else is a girl to do? Eat Chocolate??? Don't worry, I only bought stuff we need for our trip. I picked up our anti-malaria medication, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, and travel-size everything from laundry soap to first aid kit. I also picked up vitamins for Lilly. (She's a bit anemic, so I thought Steve could start her on some vitamins with 100% daily iron .) Here's my stash of goods.

I spent a lot more today than yesterday and I got a lot more yesterday. My friend called me yesterday and told me there was a sale at Sweet Pea (a store in Tooele like Kid-to-Kid). They had 3 tables set up and you could fill a bag for $5. Also their $1.00 rack of clothes was only 25 cents. I spent a total of $6.25. I got 30 items. When I totalled what those items should have cost it was $116. I can really pack a bag. I'm sure my packing skills will come in handy trying to take all the donations we have received to the orphanage. :)

Oh, and by the way, her official name (at least on the adoption decree) is: Lilly Anita Saviour Emett. Try saying that 5 times fast!!!