Monday, April 27, 2009

Final Part of My Trip to Ghana

Sunday, March 15th

We went to church on Sunday. It was Ward Conference. I was impressed at how well-behaved the children were at church. The older children, especially Vida helped with the younger children. I was also impressed that everyone from Luckyhill was on time. It seems I am always running late on Sunday with only 3 kids to get 4. : )

The church building is located just across the street from the Triple X restaurant, so not too far to walk from the school.

I got a bit emotional listening to all the Ghanaian voices singing together. They were singing "Ere You Left Your Room This Morning, Did You Think to Pray?"

As they were singing the words I kept thinking about how difficult life is in Ghana. I thought about the faith Ghanaians have. I remembered the signs all over Accra of various businesses with names like, "The Lord is My Shepherd Hair Salon" or "Love Thy Neighbor Furniture". Even though life is hard for many of the people of Ghana, so much so, that they choose to give their children to Children's homes and orphanages so they won't go without food and shelter, the people still seem happy. I think it may be because of their tremendous faith in Christ.

Tears came to my eyes and I had to stop singing as they sang the words, "When sore trials came upon you did you think to pray?" I don't even know about sore trials in comparison to what many of these saints have been through. Many of the members of the ward live in the Liberian Refugee Camp. I can't even imagine what life has been like for some of them.

Relief Society meeting was fun. The lesson was on strengthening marriage and family. It was interesting to hear about family life in Ghana and to know that some of the same challenges we face, they also struggle with. An example of this was a discussion they had about being honest with your husband about the income you make and planning or budgeting together how the money should be spent instead of hiding it and spending it as you see fit.

After church, I walked home with some of the children. It was a nice day. I got to speak with Steve several times during the day because he was trying to help reschedule flights for Stephanie and company.

Monday, March 16th

I had an evening flight. I stressed all day about whether I'd make it to the airport on time. Kingsley had to go to the Cape Coast area to pick something up. After experiencing transportation in Ghana, I was worried. An American woman who lives in Ghana and volunteers at Luckyhill had agreed to have me come to her place on Monday. She was going to take me shopping for souvenirs, let Lilly swim in the pool, and then take me to the airport.

Kingsley was trying to be back in order to take me to her house, but when he got back, he was having car troubles (imagine that!). He got a friend who has a tro-tro to meet us. With the extra room, Lilly's mother Ruth decided to come into Accra with us. We had to be at the embassy before 5:00 to pick up Steph's boys' visas so they all came along too.

We didn't make it too far when the stick shift completely fell off the tro-tro. The driver was literally holding it in his hand. So we pulled into a mechanic shop and they agreed to fix it for us right away. We were stopped for about an hour. Now we would be in Accra at the worst part of traffic. I was still very nervous.

We miraculously got to the embassy at about 10 minutes to five. I called Kathy (the American) again to let her know where we were. She said to still come by her place. She lives somewhere between the airport and the embassy. I had called her as we were leaving Luckyhill to let her know we were just leaving and I wouldn't have a lot of time. She had already ordered some items for me, so I told her I would still meet her to pay her and pick up the goods. She has a friend who makes dolls and nativity sets. She had this friend come to her house so I could pick out just what I wanted. Kathy was wonderful. I was so happy to have some items from Ghana to cherish over the years. I want Lilly to have little bits of Ghana in her home here.

We made it to the airport and I said an emotional good-bye to Ruth and Kingsley. I am so thankful for all that Kingsley did to make our adoption possible. He was heaven-sent. I was also very grateful to Abraham who helped me get things done to get a visa in time. Then there is Ruth. There just are not words to express the gratitude I feel for this woman. She is remarkable. She never wavered in her decision to let Lilly be adopted to an American family. She really wants what is best for her and we are honored to be able to provide a home for Lilly. Ruth is a true example of selfless love.

Well, you know the rest of the story. We made it home safe and sound and now stay tuned for some entries on bonding and adjusting!!!!


Heidi said...

Narda -- thanks for sharing your story. I have loved reading about them!

FriĆ°rikssonS (and Parents) said...

Ahh, the TRo-tro ride. What an adventure we had - not jsut on that one, but the other ones too! Reading about it, exhausts me still! I am just glad to be sitting on this side of the experience rather than stresing about Ghanaian trafiic and deadlines!!!
But it was still good times!

Janae' said...

Narda!! This is Janae' Thompson!! Todd's wife.. I just found your blog.. What a beautiful family.. I am going to be reading your blog often...