How do I describe what is was like? How do you describe the moment where you look into the eyes of the child(ren) who will be yours forever? The child you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God ordained for your family. The child you have dreamed about and longed to meet. The child who is putting their whole life in your hands. The child who looks at you hoping beyond hope that they are acceptable to you and that you will love them like they were birthed from you. Well, you can't. You just can not describe it. It's a moment that has to be felt, has to be experienced, but I will do the best I can to take you to that moment with me.
After 24 hours + of travel by plane and bus, we were in Offinso (Ghana). We had been told we would be picked up at the bus stop, then taken to a hotel to rest for the night and then meet the boys in the morning. (Ha! Like I would have been able to sleep!!) But when we were met at the bus stop, the orphanage director told us we would drop off our bags and then go to meet the boys.
WHAT!!! I about hyper ventilated thinking in just minutes we would be hugging our boys. I could hardly contain myself. We stopped at the hotel, dropped our bags and I attempted to make myself look like I hadn't been travelling for 24 hours, but it was no use. Somehow I didn't think it would make a whole lot of difference to the boys. I grabbed my camera and the photo book we made for them and off we went!
It was about 8 o' clock at night, but pitch black, so as we pulled up we chuckled a bit because we couldn't see a whole lot. We saw the outline of two young boys with beautiful skin that blended with the night, the smiling whites of their eyes and two huge smiles with gorgeous white teeth. There was one street lamp with limited light which helped a little.
As I think back to the moment of seeing them through the car window, and watching them move to the car as we were climbing out of the back seat, I can only cry. There was so much emotion wrapped up in that moment for all of us. The boys just looked at us with the biggest grins. The younger one, Attah, with a bit of apprehension mixed in, but yet both invited our hugs, wrapping their arms around us. All I could think was, "They are beautiful. They are precious. They are ours. And we are blessed. Beyond measure."
We said our hellos and introduced ourselves~ how surreal is that? "Hi. I'm Tammi. I'm your mom." Wow. Wow! It was...indescribable.
At that instant, I had a flashback to a moment in the hospital with the birth of our son~ fresh little bundle, laid on my chest. I remember looking at his eyes blinking from the bright light and watching him trying to focus on my face and take it all in. I remember saying "Hello, sweet boy. I'm your mommy" and bonding instantly.
And then I was brought back to the present moment, in Africa. Two boys looking intently at me, focusing on my face, trying to take it all in. Introducing myself as their mom and bonding instantly. The circumstances so different, yet so much the same. It was amazing.
We knew they were so anxious to see their new brother and sisters, so we quickly brought out the photo book our kids had designed for them. Here they are looking at it, so intently studying their siblings' faces. It was precious. ( I love the look of pride on Chad's face here)
Next we went inside Mary's home (she's the orphanage director) for a meal. The boys came in with us and we took a few pictures...
Kadre on the left with a big smile. Attah (on the right) was getting used to the flash and all that was happening :)
but it didn't take long...
(and in case you're wondering~ that little pumpkin who snuck in the picture is Michael. He lives in the States now)
Here they are holding hand print signs that our kids made for them and we had laminated...
and this was a little later as they were showing off their new family. Kadre is sitting down with the book, pointing out who's who!
That night we left and felt completely in awe of the way God orchestrates our lives. We were reminded of the scripture from Psalm 68:6 that says, "God sets the lonely in families." We felt so grateful that God had chosen our family for these boys and these boys for our family. I don't think we could have slept had we not been up for 24 + hours. :)