Jan 24

We got the great news last night! Our dear friends are able to travel to Ghana on Saturday to pick up Zion’s siblings Freedom and Ezekiel! They have been in the adoption process for a little over a year, and now the time has come! We are sooo excited for them, and Zion is giddy with excitement to see his siblings again!

Jan 24

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!

Jul 29

I cant believe it! its almost that time!!!! We are waiting to get a final date once Zion has his visa exit interview on August 8th. We are hoping we will be able to pick him up that Friday the 12th, but need confirmation that his visa would be printed by then. We are so excited! We have been spending the days getting ready for his coming, doing lots of things around the house that have sat dormant for a long time. Painting, weeding, getting his room ready, and even ripping out old fashioned woodwork in the house (which really has nothing to do with Zion coming, but its keeping me busy and helping to pass the time!)

We have spoken to Zion a lot on the phone lately. He has been asking to talk to us, and his very awesome caretaker has emailed us when he asks to talk, and then we call. Poor little guy had a bad fever last week, and had to get all kinds of shots and medication at the clinic. So happy to say that he is feeling much better now, and is doing well. They have told us that he is really excited to come to America, and has been asking for us alot. When I spoke to him yesterday, he asked, “When you come for me, Mama?” Its so hard to be away from him, and I so wanted to answer “Im coming right now!” and just hop on a plane right then. Its hard waiting for government officials and procedures, and my mama’s heart just needs him home now.

We have raised the necessary funds to complete our adoption, and for upcoming travel, and we would like to really bless Zion’s orphanage with food and supplies when I travel in the next few weeks. They have really struggled to provide food, and are always in great need of food to feed all the children at the home. We have set up a Chip In button on our blog, so that if you are interested in donating, I will bring over the funds raised, and buy a bunch of food for the orphanage when I arrive in Ghana. Since i will be traveling alone, and can only bring 2 suitcases, I wont have too much room to bring supplies, and it would be easier to purchase food and supplies once I am there, vs. trying to bring it over. Any amount you are able or interested in giving will truly help to fill their tummies and help them with the overwhelming task of feeding all the kids. Thanks to all of you who have sacrifically given to help bring our son home. We truly appreciate each and every one of you who have given us encouragement, love, and support. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

I will update as soon as I have the exact travel dates! Woo hoo!!!!

Jul 11

Its hard to believe its been so long since I last updated the blog! I have been posting everything real time on facebook, and sometimes its hard to remember to post on the blog too with so much going on. Anyway, we ended up getting our I600 on June 2nd. Then we had to wait 30 days for it to be forwarded to the embassy in Ghana. Now we have a visa exit interview scheduled for Zion in the first week of August. If all goes well, we should be able to bring him home 2-3 weeks later. We are somehow hoping and praying that we can miraculously get an earlier date for the interview, but for now, we wait until August. We are just happy to have movement on the case, and are sooooo excited that he’s coming home! 🙂

Jun 5

I spoke with our case worker at USCIS, and she said she is about to approve our I600! Woo hoo! Next step is filing for his Visa at the US embassy in Ghana. This next step could take a few months, but we are hoping for sooner! Once we get his visa, we can pick him up! Will post more info as soon as i get any news!

May 5

We are in the waiting game, just waiting on different paperwork procedures to be processed. The time is going so slow, and its super hard to be away from Zion. Please join us in prayer for speedy processing through the various government offices that are processing his immigration papers and visa to come home. As soon as all that is ready, we can go pick him up! We are anticipating that it will most likely be July when he comes home, but we are praying that it will be S O O N E R! We will keep you updated as soon as any news comes in!

Mar 27

On Thursday, Zion was officially adopted in court! We are sooo excited and thrilled that he is now a part of our family!! We are hoping to bring him home in the next 6 weeks! We are almost finished with our fundraising- we just need to raise an additional $1500. Help us bring home Zion and spend some time shopping in our store! 🙂 Thanks to everyone for all your love and support! More updates to follow….

Mar 23

We started a store on this website! It has super cute items that were hand made by women from India who are a part of the Fair Trade Association. All proceeds from the sales will go towards our total to bring home Zion. We have some cute cute hand bags and necklaces available. Click on the word “Store” above this post, to see all the goodies! And Happy Shopping!!!!!

Mar 23

We are in awe. Yesterday upon getting the mail, I was dumbfounded to open up a letter that enclosed a $3,000 donation to the adoption. I stood there, in the quiet, the wind blowing, as I held that check in my hands. It was overwhelming. Just like that, $3,000 towards bringing Zion home. I ran into the house, without saying anything, and showed the check to Todd. We stood there and stared at each other with our mouths gaping open. THANK YOU JESUS! And thank you to the person who so generously sacrificed to give Zion a home. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!!!

The final total needed has been changing a bit these days due to the prices of plane tickets fluctuating, which are now currently much higher than my original guesstimates when we posted our final total needed. At this point, where the price of plane tickets are at, we will need to raise an additional $1600 to bring him home. It is our anticipation that he could possibly come home sometime in the late April or early May time frame. It all depends on how fast paperwork on our government’s end gets processed. We are pushing for an expedited status, due to some medical concerns that we have for him, and are hoping to get him home sooner than later. I will update you all on that as soon as I have any information.

On another note, our court date got delayed today, and he will be going to court on Thursday. Please join us in prayer that court can go smoothly on Thursday without any further delays.

Thank you so much for your encouragement, support, and love. We so appreciate your prayers! Hopefully more updates to follow soon!!!!! Until then, God bless you!

Mar 8

Not much to update these days! We are just waiting for paperwork proceedings from government agencies. We cant wait to get our boy home!!! We are hopeful that we could have him here in 2 months, but it all depends on how fast things are processed. Its in God’s hands! We are still plugging away trying to think of fundraisers to raise the last $3,000 needed to bring him home! Thanks to all who have given selflessly to help Zion come home! We appreciate it so much! Thanks to all who have encouraged us, prayed for us, and given us so much love and support. We couldn’t do it without you! I will update as soon as I have any good info! Until then, God bless you!