Jan 24

Update

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Wow, its been such a long time since I updated the website. Let me try and remember everything that has happened since then! Well, through a series of miracles, we ended up getting Zion on August 13, 2011. It was a crazy ride as I flew out to Ghana by myself, and stayed for a week while we worked out stuff with the embassy.

It was fun to go by myself and have an adventure with God through all the airports. On my way, our flight was cancelled and they put me up for a night in a big fancy resort in Pennsylvania, overlooking the Potomac River.

When I got to Ghana, our representative picked me up at the airport and took me to the orphanage to pick up Zion. We pulled up into the yard, and all the kids came running but Zion wasnt outside. So I ran into the orphanage and screamed, “Zion Bridge! I have come for you!” and little Zion came running and jumped into my arms.

It was so special. He looked sooo little and malnourished. Even though he was 6 years old, he looked more like a 3 year old. He had a terrible scabies infection and big chunks of his belly skin were falling off and he was extremely itchy. Thank Goodness my doctor friend here diagnosed him before I left through a picture of him, and we were able to bring scabies cream, which cured him in a few days.

Zion and I stayed at the Pentagon Inn in Ghana, which I highly recommend. It was a great place to stay, and the guests end up becoming friends because you eat breakfast downstairs while the innkeeper cooks for you. We made friends with a very nice grandpa who was there on business from California. We also became close with the hotel staff, and they really helped me to navigate being in another country.

Our days were filled with napping, eating, and going out in taxis to drive around the city. I got super homesick, and a week felt like an eternity. Zion did well through the whole transition, and was really excited and anxious to get to America to meet his family.

On the day before we left, we were able to spend time with his grandmother, who came down from the village with Zion’s two other siblings Israel and Gideon. It was a really special time to meet such a brave, amazing woman, and I was filled with so much love and respect for her. Up until that point, I knew that Zion had some older siblings, but I didnt have much information on them. It was really really good to meet these two boys. Israel is 16, and is too old to be adopted, but Gideon was only 10. He struck the chords of my heart so deeply during that visit, I knew that I had to advocate for him to find a family when I got home. His grandmother told us of how she lost both of her daughters within months of eachother, which left her with 11 grandchildren to try and raise in a village with an inadequate food and water supply. She was very overwhelmed and was so relieved that some of her grandchildren were going to be given an opportunity to thrive in life. We spent the day together, and went out to lunch. They were all so sweet and wonderful, and I will always hold that memory in my heart. We dropped her off at a bus stop, where they would make the long journey back to the village.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, it was time to leave. We drove to the orphanage and said goodbye to his friends. They sang to him, and had nice words for him, and after lots of tears and hugs, we left.

Zion had no idea what coming to America even was. He thought the Ghana Airport was America. Every 5 minutes he would ask if we were in America yet. About 30 hours later of traveling, we finally made it home, and it was really special to see the bonds form with our kids at home.

He was amazed by our house, his car bed, and all the amenities life here has to offer. Todd took a week off work, and we spent the time doing things together as a family to bond. It has been 5 months since we arrived home, and it has been full of adjusting. He is definitely still in transition mode, and we are working hard to eliminate an orphan mindset, and help him to realize he doesn’t have to compete for food, attention and love. He doesn’t have to earn our love, he already had it before he did anything, but he feels a strong need to try and impress us.

He is such a sweet, helpful little boy. He is definitely settling in well, and it will take time before I think he feels completely secure to let his guard down and just be. In the meantime, he attends school at a charter school 2 days a week, and we do school at home the other 3 days.

He loves playing outside on his bike and the trampoline, and is getting along well with his siblings here. We love Zion and are so thankful to all of you who held our hands along the way to encourage us, pray for us, and give funds to make his homecoming possible. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!!

On another note, when we got home, through an amazing series of events, we found a family for Gideon! They live 5 minutes away from us, and are the sweetest family ever! THey are thrilled to make him a part of their lives, and are working tirelessly to bring him home. It looks like he should be home sometime in 2012. We praise God for literally making Zion a bridge for God’s people, to bring them home into families! We are so blown away and thankful at all He has done!

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