Adopting Ghana

Ghana: Day Four

In Journal Entries, Photography on October 21, 2009 at 3:27 am

This morning, I awoke to Seth tapping me on the forehead. He didn’t want to go to school again today, but I eventually persuaded him.  His foot wound does seem a little better. His shoes should help a bit…if he actually wears them.  I also got the keys to the infirmary from Kingsley today so I should be able to work on it in a more sterile environment with more and better gauze and tape.

I took some pictures and video of the kids in their classrooms again. Then I went on top of the office to devise a layout for the library Kingsley wants to build there. I figured God didn’t make me the son of a library director for nothing and put the good memories I had of growing up in a library to use.

It was easy to envision the entrance, the circulation desk and card catalog, rows of free-standing bookcases and shelves built into the walls. There would need to be natural light, since even if they did have grid power it might not always be reliable.  Good thing the building is oriented on a Northeast by Southwest transverse, allowing light to flow in through two windows in the morning and two windows in the evening.  With a skylight (Stephen says he can build one), the noon hour, which can be amazingly dark in a cinderblock building with no electricity, will also produce lots of light.

I showed Kingsley the plans later and walked him through the space. He is excited. Now to raise the funds at home to git ‘er done!

Luckyhill library with shelves

Partially finished model of Luckyhill library with shelves

Then, I went to the café where they have internet and power for my phone. I’m starting to get a little homesick.

Back at the school, I took more pictures and video. I was able to observe Seth in the classroom environment. He knows I’m watching out just for him and I can tell it makes him happy.

In the evening after school I asked Seth more about any siblings he might have. He says his mother and father are very much alive, but that his father abuses his mother which is likely one reason Kingsley has Seth now.  He says he has an older brother, Isaac, and a younger brother, Paul Isaac, and a “sister” by a different last name, Teresa Anta/Abe (?) who is actually here at the school.  I want to get more details on this for sure because a) this is different from what our U.S. liaison had told us and b) asking a 6 year-old for family tree facts isn’t likely to result in much accuracy.

Kingsley brought a neighbor boy over for treatment on a class cut on his shin. I’m becoming a regular doctor around here.  Wow, a software developer who is also a doctor and an architect. Mom will be so proud.

Seth cried again tonight. This time it was worse and not even an offer of food helped calm him down. Finally, after he did calm down, mostly out of exhaustion, I called Shannon (and his new siblings-to-be, who enjoyed talking to him).  Shannon reminded me of our adoption training and how each child goes through this as a grieving process for loss of the biological family and uncertainty of the future. I have mixed feelings (temporarily, I’m sure) about the adoption given that one or both of his biological parents are still alive and he apparently has siblings.  Though, I’m more confused than ever at this point since another bit of info I got from Kingsley, who also seems fuzzy on the details right now, was that Seth’s biological dad is possibly dead and his mom gave him up for indigent reasons.  He also said Seth has a nearly adult sister and two half brothers by a step-father. But, I also realize that it is not uncommon to adopt a child with living biological family members.  I guess it’s just that one pictures an “orphan” as someone whose parents are no longer living, when actually, it’s a range of circumstances.

Anyways, Seth spontaneously said, “I love you, Mom” to Shannon on the phone. That made it more real for her. He’s also an eating machine. He asked for his third snack of the evening just as I was going to sleep. Can’t wait to see him totally destroy the Golden Corral buffet.  They’ll probably charge us extra because he will eat more than one person’s quota of “all you can eat.”

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