Monday, February 04, 2013


We began our day with a trip to the Guyana Child Protection Services (which is basically the same as FACS in Canada).  It is the place that decides whether or not we are allowed to go ahead with the adoption application.  Not quite court, but just as important.  We are incredibly thankful for our liaison, Shaneika, who is walking us through this crazy process.  She, and her driver Jermaine, always seem to know who to talk to, what to say and where to go.  We would be lost without them.  The woman at the CPS was quite incredulous at why we would want to adopt a child, from Guyana, when we have 4 already.  "Isn't that big enough family?!"  Explaining the size of my family back home, five didn't seem that large to her anymore and that seemed to alleviate her concerns.  Then it was off to the Red Cross Convalescent Home to meet Akeem. 
It felt almost surreal walking into the place.  Like we were in a dream or something.  We looked over a gated door into a room full of about 10 little boys, between 1 and 3 years old.  We didn't recognize him at first, until they pulled him out of the little crowd and lead him to us.  He was beautiful.  He just looked at us, sucking his thumb and staring at us with his big brown eyes.  I picked him up and he clung to me.  Both arms around my neck tightly and his little face right up next to my cheek.  It was quite the moment!  Derek went to rub his back and he slapped his hand away and clung tighter.  He isn't used to men at all and for the first few hours he stared suspiciously at him.  He wouldn't take anything from Derek, it had to be passed to me first.  We got in the taxi, and with Akeem in my lap we drove to the hospital to get our medicals done.  The medicals were more of a formality than anything, and we passed with flying colors.  We had to get some lab work done for Akeem and once we got the results the doc signed our medicals as PASSED.  During this time Akeem fell asleep in my arms and I had a chance to pass him to Derek.  When he awoke in Derek's arms he was still a bit suspicious but in a short time he was quite comfy sitting with Derek.
After the medicals we went out for lunch with Shaneika and Jermaine.  Akeem wasn't a big fan of the rice, but he ate more chicken than Derek did!  I had to give him small amounts at a time because he filled his mouth like a little chipmunk so he wouldn't miss out on any food. 
We brought him back and the car ride was a lot of fun.  Akeem had discovered the power window, something he had never seen before.  He started laughing and giggling everytime it went up and down.  It was the first time we had seen him smile.  He has a beautiful smile and a contagious laugh.  It was very hard to bring him back to the orphanage and leave him there so soon after meeting him.  He clung onto his stuffed puppy our kids had picked out for him.  Luckily it was time for ice cream at the orphanage and so our leaving wasn't really a big deal for him.
It was a day of very mixed emotions.  Joy at meeting the child who will hopefully be our son.  Sorrow at knowing where he has been all this time, hearing the story of his life and the difficulties he has had to face.  It was sad seeing all of the other kids at the home, knowing the uphill battles they face in life. 
When you go through a process like this, there are always things that don't go according to plan.  Our day went very smoothly, but there will be some major hurdles up ahead.  We originally had been told that there would be a 2-3 month wait between this trip and our next trip/court date.  Today we were told it would be more like 5-6 months.  This was a huge disappointment for us.  It could be faster, but it's not likely.  We were also told at the beginning of the process that the second trip would have to be 3 weeks.  Today we were told that they expect us to be here for 5 weeks.  It could be 4, but not likely.  This is also incredibly disappointing, and is causing us a great deal of anxiety.  We will get through it, God has lead us this far!  But the thought of leaving my other children for 5 weeks, is terrifying.
Akeem is an awesome little boy.  He has a big belly and chubby arms.  He has huge hands and feet.  His eyes are black as coal and the white of his eyes are pure white.  We both felt a bond with him by the time our day with him was over.  Tomorrow we plan to go back and visit him again.
It's easy to let anxiety take over when our emotions are all over the place, the road ahead seems very daunting, and there is so much at stake.  We are so thankful that God has a plan for us, and that we can trust in that.  When we look at how our story has unraveled so far, in all it's details and complexities, it's impossible not to see God's hand in it.  So we will just keep looking to Him!


Amanda said...

Praying for you guys!

Cari and Raleigh said...

Wow what a process! We will pray for peace and understanding along with the swift hand that only God can bring

Wilma Pennings said...

So sad that you have to leave him for maybe 6 months! I wish you could bring him home now. We don't understand God's timing, but we have to trust it. Not always easy. Praying the the time will pass quickly, and possibly be shorter! It will be a hard time for you and your kids, but when you look back, it will be short, just a blink in your memory! Stay strong!

Anonymous said...

Wow, so overwhelming! I can't imagine all the emotions you guys must be going through. So glad that you got to meet Akeem and that it went so well! We have been, and will continue to pray for your family... God bless you!
Jannyne :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, so amazing and so overwelming. Cant imagine the emotions you are experiencing right now. What a long process but in the end you will be thankful you went through it. We are praying for you and your family, God has a plan for you, He knows what's best. Praying for patients and that everything can be shorter. Your kids are in good hands back home :), they will miss you but they are getting spoiled and they have the excitment of a new brother! Have fun :)... so so every excited for you all

Maria said...

Wow, Val, you guys are doing such a neat thing... May God continue to strengthen and uphold you and your cute little guy!