Now, let me tell you more about the day and how we got to spend time with her. We were picked up from our hotel by our social worker, "K". K took us to the government buildings where our hope was to meet the man who could give us clearance to take Abiella to the hotel. Unfortunately, he was not there. (K has gone every day last week to get this arranged and he has always been "very busy.") While we were there folks looked over our paperwork and asked us questions. "Why do you want to adopt from Ghana?, What do you like about the country?, Why do you want to adopt a special needs child?" Every time we answered, "We love the country, it's so beautiful, you have a rich and wonderful heritage, we have an amazing support system at home, a wonderful hospital specializing in special needs, great schools for children with special needs, unique opportunties, strong family and friends, much, much love,.... we love her already, etc." Everyone was nice but stern.
Next, we were taken to the orphanage. Traffic here is intense. Motorcycles driving through lanes of traffic, people walking in the streets selling items from baskets on their heads, we stopped at one street vendor to pick up office supplies for K. It was a shelter with roosters walking all around and a man chopping coconuts outside. So interesting. We finally made it to the orphanage. Sean and I had a wonderful peace. We met one woman who worked there. She spoke only to K. We did not understand their language. Eventually a woman walked in with a tiny baby covered in blankets. I couldn't see the baby's face. I asked, "Is this her?" and they nodded yes. I stood up and they handed her to me. It was beautiful. She is the most amazing bundle of joy. My biggest prayer has been that she would be joyful. She is. She appeared to be just waking up, but she came to and her eyes would roll around pretty lucidly but she would focus in and then make a connection. She would listen to me talk and then glance over at Sean and listen to him. We told her how much we love her, how beautiful and perfect she is. She smiled really big 3 or 4 times. I handed her to Sean. She loved looking up at him and listening. She smiled very big at Sean. She seemed very okay going back and forth between us.
We asked permission to take pictures. K asked on our behalf and they agreed. We were able to get about 6 photos. So special. They did not let us take her to the hotel, as we didn't have a signature from the person we were looking for earlier.
Eventually K said we couldn't take her and that we would come back tomorrow and the woman came back and took Abiella. We told her we'd be back and how much we love her and then she walked away with her.
After we left, we had a few more stops to make with K. Eventually K said, "I'm sooo hungry. I have to get something to eat." So Sean and I followed him. We walked across town and then back through this alley where there were women with huge pots and business men eating under a tent. We followed K down this hallway. He asked if wanted anything to eat but Sean and I had been eating granola bars all day and weren't hungry so we declined. Seemed like he didn't plan on us eating this food anyways. He told us to wait outside. We didn't know where to go, we were directed out of the small hallway back into the courtyard. We stood. A group of business men told us to go sit in a chair. They were very friendly. (Everyone has been so nice.) K came back out and ate his food. As he ate he taught us the Ghanaian way to eat the dish. Wash right hand with the bowl of water and soap on the table, eat with clean hand, pick off piece that you can swallow (not chew). He ate a massive bowl in about 5 minutes. Good thing we didn't order b/c I would have NEVER been able to eat all of it and we were in a hurry to get back to a certain office. After the meal, I asked if there was anywhere I could use the bathroom. He pointed to an alley behind the cooking area. (Blocked off only by cinder blocks.) He smiled, "You may not find a WC there. Just a trough. You just go." I said, "Okay. No problem. Is it for men and women?" He said, yes... So off we went . Sure enough, just a public trough in the ground. We did as we were told. Wow. Interesting. Before he dropped us off at our hotel K showed us how to walk from our hotel to an art center. We may do that another day. We were too exhausted today.
That was our day. Very, very good.
Bottom Line: our meeting with Abiella was heavenly and wonderful and special and overwhelming and peaceful and joyful and more than we could have ever hoped for. We are so thankful.
She is so beautiful.