Thursday morning we took a long taxi ride to Biriwa, near Cape Coast. There we met the woman who brought the Enam and his twin brother to the orphanage. Then we walked through a bit of the village to the family home of his maternal biological family. We met his gradparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and older half brother. He seemed to recognize them, it was the only time he would willingly go to anyone but Jacob or myself. I figure the grandmother must have been his primary caregiver, he was always reaching for her, even when another family member held him. There was so much I thought to say later, but at the time I was a bit overwhelmed. They did not speak english, butthe adoption worker translated for us and the family was very happy and positive about his adoption. We plan to exchange email to send them pictures and updates. I'm so thankful that they wanted to meet us. I think he will love this part of his story and the pictures as he grows up, knowing that his biological family allowed us into his family to love and care for them out of their own love and care for him.
(left: grandmother, right: older half brother)
Friday we waited at the US Embassy for about 2 hours to pick up his visa, packed up and headed to the airport early. We got through everything at the airport smoothly. Enam slept most of our international flight; Jacob and I, on the other hand, was another story. We had a 10 hour lay over at the JFK airport, so we changed clothes, took turns napping, watched movies, and played with the babe.
When we arrived, Keiran and Rylan were waiting for us with signs. Keiran came to us, but Rylan just jumped up and down and said, "I'm here, I'm here!" A group of people from church were also there to welcome us. It was great!
At first Enam did not like the car seat, but the boys entertained him and cheered him up. We grabbed Little Caesar's Pizza (they donated pizzas to feed volunteers at our fundraiser last year) and took our family home. Enam really enjoyed playing with the boys. Rylan just kept saying, "hello Enam," and waving even when right beside him. It was really cute and sweet.
He has a very sweet and fun-loving personality. He LOVES his brothers, and they very sweetly adore him also. Rylan tells everyone that "Enam is our baby brother." He has warmed up to me a lot and seems very comfortable in our home. It seemed our house was his first time for him to be barefoot on carpet. He's been pointing at the windows, and it was finally warm enough to play outside. We had a great time blowing bubbles, riding toys, the swing set and trampoline games (they run and wrestle more than jump).
At night, after we read a book as a family, the boys each give him a hug and kiss, and Enam just beams! His homecoming has been so incredible sweet, a great redemption for the difficult journey to get him home.
Thanks everyone for your support in so many ways: prayers, financial support, encouraging words, scripture, facebook likes and comments, emails, and texts. Also thanks to my sweet neighbors, Michelle, Keziah, Stephanie, Ann Rose, and to our friend Chelsea and my mom for taking care of the big brothers while Jacob and I where out of country.
Jacob is back to work and school now, and I am gradually getting back to my 3 day a week schedule. It is different jumping in with a toddler and aligning our expectations. But he is great and it is much easier than a newborn at this point (certainly not the case before the homecoming).
We still have an adoption "to do" list and expenses ahead, but it is a much lighter load to carry having my family home now.
I can't say thanks enough. Hopefully the cute pictures help :)