I have been in my home for a little over 24 hours. I have had 11 phone calls asking me what I dealt with over there. Families are scared. I can’t say that it’s going to be ok, because I don’t KNOW each of your individual adoptions the way I had to come to KNOW mine. I know that for some of you, you have a really great advocate watching out for you, guiding you. For those of you with AAI, I’m going to put it out there…I really like Anita. She is a wonderful, concerned, advocate. She even offered to help me if I needed to start over while I was in Ghana. She has emailed me. We spoke, in generalities, about what I went through. I don’t feel it appropriate to give personal details. Changes are coming, AAI’s on it, and Anita’s going to keep fighting for your kids. Just listen, pray, and follow your heart. I learned that this is all you can do.
We did an independent adoption, so things are a little more complex. Other families won’t necessarily have the same issues we did. I didn’t have an advocate at first. I was told that going into it. I knew it. I did it anyway. We eventually found our advocate, in a lovely grandmotherly lady named Auntie Jane. Auntie Jane, you have a lovely care package coming your way, filled with your favorite Mary Kay products. It’s from your two new “grandchildren”. Auntie Jane held me when I sobbed, listened to my heart break when I thought I would lose my kids, and waited for us outside the temple when I returned with those visas in my hand. She was never harsh with me, even when I told her I was scared, and that I knew I was being ridiculous. She told me to “cool down” and then she rubbed my back while she explained what we would do. She told me she would never give up. She talked about what was best for my kids constantly. She told me that FPD and I were what was best for them, so she would keep fighting. She continues to help us guide other independent adoptive parents when we don’t know which way to tell them to turn.
The embassy. Even though I won’t EVER enter again, God willing, I love you. You gave my kids the thing they wanted most in the world, a chance at a life with us in the U.S. The guards came out of the embassy (ALL of them) to hug us when we had our visas. Even though it is viewed as a bureaucratic nightmare by some, I love the people I got to know there. Paul, Janelle, Smiley Guy (sorry, I don’t know your name) and Consular Evans, I’m sending you a shout out. I DO NOT consider you Satan’s roadblock. I know that hurt your feelings, so I’m putting it out there to clear the air. Thank you for watching my back when I couldn’t. I could tell you were all concerned for our safety and that we were doing things ethically for our kids. I promise you, we were, and will continue to fight for ethical adoptions. Thank you for watching out for the kids while you watched out for me. You are a wonderful example of quality customer service. Sorry I bugged the heck out of you. I think you all breathed a little easier as my plane took off. We all did.
I have been asked time and time again if I would do an independent adoption again. Yes. It led me to my kids. Am I angry about what I went through? No. I’m not “angry” at anyone. I have post-traumatic stress issues from what I lived through, so do my kids. We’re working through my inability to sleep or eat (remember the shrinking white chicken post? Well, I’m still shrunken) and the fact that my kids lived for three weeks with a crazy white woman who was NOT the mom they thought they were getting. I was an entirely different person than who they had come to know. The stress of the last three weeks is melting away, I’m starting to know my kids again, not the tightly wound little people who thought that at any second we could be ripped apart. We are working through the fact that we weren’t able to go and say goodbye in person to their mom. They’ve spoken with her several times on the phone. They seem ok with it, she’s ok with it. But, this has had a lasting effect. Am I sad about it all? Yes. Am I angry about it? No. It is what it is. I lost friends through this. Some people will never understand what I SAW over there, not what I THINK happened, but what I know happened. Some people choose not to listen. That’s ok too. I gained two friends who have now seen me at my worst and accepted me for who I am. We’re definitely “out of Africa” Kara and Raelynn, and I’m not planning on going back anytime soon. Will I eventually? Definitely. It’s still my kid’s first home. I love Ghana, my kids are Ghanaian. I don’t want adoption from Ghana to end. In fact, I think it’s only just really beginning. I’m not out to hurt anyone anymore then they already have been. Life just needs to move forward now.
who won’t speak of it on this blog again.