Two nights before we were to come home my husband told our sweet son he would have to wait for us in Ghana. He got very quiet, but said nothing. Later that night after Helen was asleep, the 6 of us sat on the bed, Mom, Dad, Sydney, Keenan, Aiden and Samuel Richard. I pulled Samuel Richard into my lap and he sat there. I told him how very much I loved him and how I wished we could take him to America with us, but we were not allowed yet. I couldn't see his face, but suddenly I felt tear drops falling on my arms. I cried with him. Tears ran down my face as they came faster down his. I rocked him back and forth while everyone else sat with us. I told him repeatedly, "I love you. I'll come back for you. I promise I'll be back." I cuddled him like a newborn baby and relished in the moment I never had when he was small. We stayed this way, crying silently for a long time. I held him as each child came over to him and hugged him. They told him they loved him. Priceless! This is what Jesus is all about. Love, unconditional love that is lived out by these precious children who GET IT!
Two days later we were scheduled to fly home at midnight. We didn't talk about leaving with Helen and Samuel Richard. However, that afternoon as we drove closer and closer to their foster home, I watched my sweet son's face change from a smile to an OH NO. He looked at Righ and said, "Daddy, you go in with me, right? Daddy, go in with me?" Righ assured him he would. We all got out to their "home" and their foster mom. Righ and I hugged her, prayed with her, and thanked her for loving our children. For taking care of them in their time of need. Samuel Richard climbed in the chair when he realized we were leaving and cried silent tears. I held Helen close to me. Then, I gave her to Righ and knelt with my son. He cried and cried. I tried to make him look into my eyes and understand I would be back. I'm not sure he ever understood me. I think he felt abandoned. His cries went from silent to loud. As I cried with him, I heard Helen screaming. Her daddy had left. He had gone to the car with our youngest, Aiden. Sydney and Keenan stood in the room, not knowing what to do or how to feel. They understand. They watched their brother and sister cry for us and their hearts broke. I gave my sweet boy a last kiss, told him I loved him and took Helen. I rocked her and she tucked her head into my neck. I kissed her over and over. I told Sydney and Keenan to give them one last hug and go to the car. I watched them leave reluctantly. Then, I handed my baby to her foster mom, hugged the mom, and walked out the door. All I could hear were my children screaming my name. They were screaming for their daddy. They wanted us to come back. As Uncle P got in the car, we were all crying. Righ asked him to get us out of there ASAP. As we drove off, we could hear them crying for us. That's the last memory we have of our children. We pray we will return soon. We pray for God to grant our petition and our visas. We pray for their foster mother as she nurtures and cares for them. And finally, we thank our God for her and Uncle P filling in for us while we are away.
About ten o'clock that night, Aiden, our 3 year old walked over to me. We were getting ready to leave for the airport, but he said he had something important to tell me. He said, "Mama, the woman who is keeping Helen and Samuel Richard just sent us an email. She said we can come pick them up to take them home with us." If only it were that simple. He is 3 years old and he understood. He missed his brother and sister already. This is what I am thankful for! Those precious 12 days we had in Ghana bonding as a family of 7. Thank you, Jesus, for choosing our family to be on your journey!