Sunday, June 26, 2011

There is no other God like mine

Psalm 146:7-9
 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
   and gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free,
 8 the LORD gives sight to the blind,
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
   the LORD loves the righteous.
9 The LORD watches over the foreigner
   and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
   but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

Psalm 68:4-5
4 Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
   extol him who rides on the clouds[a];
   rejoice before him—his name is the LORD.
5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
   is God in his holy dwelling.

He tells us "Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.Zechariah 7:10

God's heart for adoption

Proverbs 31:8-9

 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, 
   for the rights of all who are destitute. 9 Speak up and judge fairly;
   defend the rights of the poor and needy.


Throughout this journey of adoption I am going to record our steps, funds and heart here on this blog. 
(the paperwork, home prep, legal steps etc.)
I want to record this for anyone that may be contemplating adoption, but is wondering what the whole process entails

(costs of legal fees, home prep, homestudy, travel etc.)
basically we have to raise EVERY SINGLE PENNY for this adoption.

i want to record this for 2 reasons:
1. anyone contemplating adoption to have a ballpark idea of its cost
2. to show what a mountain it is that we have to climb so that all the GLORY due God is given to HIM!

(the heart of our family on this journey)
I want to share...
1. what we are feeling thru this process
2. things we are doing to prepare our family and home
3. What is going on personally during this adoption process

Friday, June 24, 2011

Nantew yiye- BLOG NAME CHANGE!!!!

Ok, so originally this blog was "Agoo Little one".
 But being the newbee that I am to all things Ghana-I made a mistake.

"Agoo" was the word just below "Nantew yiye" on the translation website I was looking at.
"Agoo" means to call attention. And "Nantew yiye" means "safe journey". THUS the Blog name change to "Nantew Yiye Little One".
These are words from the Twi (pronounced 'chwee') language. Specifically Ashanti Twi is a language spoken in Ghana by about 7 million people. 

Nantew yiye is pronounced "Nan ti yeah".

(found here on this fun website)

Over the last few days and the first step!

We went over a little bump in the road over the last few days. At first we were told Ghana was shut down for adopting! Then a few hours later we were told it was in process of going hague. Which means you can't do private adoptions, you have to go thru an agency. And after all this we find out that it will end up being better in the end going thru an agency because the children are more protected and we will be able to apply for grants!
So now we are picking our agency. We have been referred to Genereations adoption agency, so we will probably end up going with them.
We finally received our homestudy packet in the mail from Sunnyridge Family Center so we can take our first step to completing our TO DO list of adoption!
What is a homestudy? The link I attatched will have info on that, but basically the homestudy takes 3- 6 months and entails.....
  • Educate and prepare the adoptive family for adoption
  • Evaluate the fitness of the adoptive family
  • Gather information about the prospective parents that will help a social worker connect the family with a child whose needs they can meet

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Another family in process of adopting

I am really enjoying this blog by a family Josh told me about who are adopting from Haiti. I had to share this entry with you and you have to watch the sweet video that is posted at the end! Below is a picture of her with her son while visiting him in Haiti. They are still waiting to bring him home!


This is what I have learned about the area our little one comes from so far 
A Brief History 
(found here)
The ancient and historically significant country of Ghana is one of the five African nations along the northern coastline of the Gulf of Guinea. It is bordered on the west by Cote d'Ivoire, on the north by Burkina Faso, and on the east by Togo. The country consists mostly of low-lying savannah regions, with a central belt of forest.

Ghana's rich history centers on the once-great Ashanti Empire, which rose to power during the late 17th century and continued to prosper as a center of the 18th century slave trade. The Ashanti capital, Kumasi, was one of the finest and most advanced cities in Africa, and the Ashanti state even employed significant numbers of Europeans as advisors and administrators. The European presence in Ghana is also marked by the multitude of colonial forts that dot its coastline--strongholds that anchored the European trade in gold, ivory, and slaves. Although Ghana, then known as the Gold Coast, was largely considered a British territory by the latter half of the 19th century, it wasn't until 1900 that the British succeeded in defeating the Ashanti and the area's other strong kingdoms.
If Ghana was late in coming under European control, it was also the first African nation to win back its independence, in 1957. However, corruption and internal military strife proved to be apparently intractable problems, and Ghana went through an extended period of instability in the 1960s and 1970s marked by military rule. The country has since then been moving steadily toward political and economic stability and is currently one of the most peaceful nations in Africa.  Unfortunately, Ghana’s economy is currently struggling and many of its people live in abject poverty.  Numerous Ghanaian children have been orphaned by the conditions that their families live under, with parents who are unable to feed or clothe their children.

Some Orphan Statistics in Ghana 
(found here and here)

The orphan statistics in Ghana are at a staggering 170,000 who alone have become orphans due to HIV/Aids. Many of these children are taken in by extended family and friends, but the remainder must either live on their own or in orphanages. It is a very sad fact that these children must look after themselves, and those blessed enough to be in an orphanage must always deal with the fact that they are no longer with their parents. 

  • Two in five children who start primary school in Ghana do not complete fifth grade.

  • 1.1 million children in Ghana are orphans or have lost one parent.

  • 90 percent of children and adults in Ghana lack access to improved sanitation facilities.

  • Nearly one-third of children and families in Ghana struggle to survive on $1.25 a day or less

  • In the West African nation of Ghana, lies the largest manmade lake in the world, Lake Volta. The surrounding villages in this region are plagued by poverty, waterborne diseases, malaria, and illiteracy. These misfortunes often lead to an increase in orphans, abandoned children, and even children sold into forced labor. These children are especially vulnerable to exploitation in the fishing communities. Children are not often valued beyond their ability to provide immediate income and, as a result, are not given the opportunity to fulfill their lifelong potential. Trafficked and at-risk children need safety so they may grow into dynamic and caring members of society. They need someone to advocate for them, as they are unable to voice their own right to freedom.  
    (found here and here)
    Lake Volta 
    (found here )
    Lake Volta is the largest reservoir by surface area in the world, and the fourth largest one by water volume. It is located completely within the country of Ghana, and it has a surface area of about 8,502 km² (3,275 square miles)
    Many of the fishermen who ply their trade on Lake Volta are known for using child slaves trafficked from both within Ghana and surrounding countries. Challenging Heights, a Ghana-based NGO that helps rescue child slaves, estimates that over 24,000 children in Ghana fall victim to the worst forms of child labour annually, many of whom are forced into dangerous work in the fishing industry.[3] According to the international NGO Free the Slaves, some of the reasons these activities persist despite anti-slavery and anti-trafficking laws is the lack of funding for law enforcement, the lack of a strong social stigma against the practice, and the lucrative nature of the business
    image from (here)
    -You can watch a 30 minute documentary on 2 children rescued from Lake Volta here.

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    The Journey Begins

    About 4 months ago Josh came to me telling me he had been hounded by the theme of adoption from every angle. He was unsure of what it meant, was it for us personally or for our church? So he asked me to pray about it. 

    Over the course of the next few weeks 

    the theme kept coming and

     our hearts were moving toward the idea of another little munchkin in our family. Our 2 daughters, Elly and Lucy were excited about the idea of having another sibling. Our hearts were there, but the actual process was quite daunting to me. 

    At this point we are all talking about it being a POSSIBILITY. This "possibility" was a HUGE mountain in my mind. There are so many questions in my mind I can't even begin to list all of them. As of now I feel like I'm standing at the bottom of a mountain I am told I might have to climb to the top of. I am a person looking up a steep mountain and I have never gone to a rock climbing class, have no gear, no guide, and am dressed in flip flops and a sundress. SOOOOOO ill-equipped and unprepared! Asking the questions, HOW, WHEN, WHERE??

    Then Josh goes to a conference. Out of all the Pastors at the conference he could have been seated next to, he sits next to a man who tells him that he and his wife were finishing up their journey adopting 2 children from Ghana (and now they are actually adopting a 3rd). Josh comes home and has this look on his face......

    Now mind you, my husband is a passionate, vision casting person. But he is not one to jump on bandwagons, invest, motivate and not follow thru. The last time he felt like God was talking to him THIS strongly was just before we moved to Chicago. And now look at us!

    Back to the look on his he walks in the door, with this look and tells me about the man he sat next to. 2 nights previous we had watched a documentary on "The Lost Boys" in the Sudan. It was very moving and put faces in my/our minds. 

    If I hadn't watched the documentary what he said to me might have made the mountain seem huger to me.

    He tells me about Ghana. And instead of making the mountain seem bigger I felt like now I knew what was on top of the mountain, the mountain seemed like something I now wanted to conquer! THEN, he told me this man gave him his information and that he and his wife would be happy to walk us thru our adoption process!!! I feel like God just showed up as my rock climbing guide and handed me my gear I need to climb the mountain in this couple! Ok, Ok, maybe this is what God wants us to do?! He seems to be clearly placing signs in our path directing us I just need to get out of this sundress and flip-flops!

    2 days later, after processing all of this, Josh and I are talking and he asks me where I am at about taking that first step in the process. Actually making that first phone call. After a good long conversation we decided to take the first step! The first LEAP of faith. Keep in mind, we have NO MONEY for this journey. We are just taking a huge step of faith. Trusting that if God wants this child in our family it WILL happen. We have lots of tangible ways that we are going to try to raise money and there are some matching grants available out there. 

    So my husband, children and I put on our mountain climbing clothes, are all geared up and following our ALL SUFFICIENT guide up the mountain!!!

    I am going to keep everyone posted thru this blog. If you want to join us on this journey, "climb the mountain" with us please comment and check back for updates!!!