Adopting Ghana

Ghana: Day Eleven

In Journal Entries, Photography on October 28, 2009 at 9:29 pm

I waited for Kingsley to be available to take Enoch to the clinic for an appendicitis scan. Turns out that he also had plans for gastrointestinal panels and other checkup tests for Samwell, Eugenia, Seth, and Joy.

The road to Nsoubri

The road to Nsoubri

Before we could go, though, there was a call from an adoption volunteer in the States to go over some difficulties with an adoption and then Kingsley had to discipline some school kids that had stolen some money.

When we arrived at the clinic, we got the kids’ examinations underway and then Kingsley and I made a side trip to the village where Seth was born to meet his birth mother and family. The village is northwest of Accra starting in Kasoa and is named Nsoubri (en-SOO-bree). We drove up to one of the many adobe huts and asked for Seth’s mother. (Well, Kingsley did the asking in the Ga language and I stood there playing the role of the clueless Obruni).

Seth's biological mother, Patience Quaye Serwa

Seth's biological mother, Patience Quaye Serwa

It was awkward meeting her at first. Someone had to go and bring her from elsewhere and there were so many people that I didn’t realize at one point that she was sitting right in front of me and nursing a boy I later found out was one of two boys from Seth’s stepfather.

As much as I was able to piece things together from Kingsley’s interpretation of their dialogue, here is what I now know about Seth.

Q: What would you like us to know about Seth?
A: He is quiet. He doesn’t like carrying water on his head [like everyone else], even lighter things. They tried many times but he prefers carrying things with his hands. He can eat anything with no allergies [at least not in Ghana].

Patience Quaye and Seth's step-grandfather (I think)

Patience Quaye and Seth's step-grandfather (I think)

Q: What is your name?
A: Patience Quaye Serwa. Because Seth’s biological father didn’t accept responsibility for the pregnancy, she gave Seth her maiden name.

Q: How old are you?
A: Thirty-five years old [some hesitation indicates that this is a guess].

Q: What is Seth’s father’s name?
A: Deferred by Kingsley to another time due to topic sensitivity.

Q: What are the names of Seth’s siblings, if any? Have any passed away?
A: Seth has only an older sister [likely a half-sister] who is 17 years old and is named Patience Quaye after her mom. Seth has two younger half-brothers by another man she is now with. Seth’s birth date is April 6, 2003.

Patience's smile and good humor mirrors Seth's

Patience's smile and good humor mirrors Seth's

Q: Who are Seth’s grandparents?
A: Alaba Ekwam is his living maternal grandmother. Nii Armah Quaye, his maternal grandfather, died in 1987 (Source: Seth’s paternal step-grandfather)

Q: Any aunts and uncles?
A: Patience has 5 brothers and 5 sisters.

The rest of the visit was very pleasant with lots of laughter and friendly greetings to me. I took pictures of me with Seth’s mother, grandmother, and step-grandfather along with a bunch of others I cannot name because there wasn’t that much time.

Seth's somewhat older childhood playmate

Seth's somewhat older childhood playmate

I got some good, solitary photos of Patience as well as an older childhood friend to Seth, and also took some candid photos of Patience and a short video.

I had hoped to capture her talking to and about Seth, but she asked to defer it until tomorrow, when she might come to Luckyhill for paperwork, so she could think about what to say.

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We said “until later” and Kingsley and I drove back to the clinic. They hadn’t done the appendicitis scan as requested, so I convinced the head doctor to permit it by telling him I was an “assistant” to Dr. Sean Curzon in the U.S. and was being his diagnostic eyes, ears, and hands (which was the truth, actually). The scan came back negative for appendicitis but instead indicated a bladder infection of some type. The prescription was amoxicilin of which, thanks to the inventory I had felt inspired to do and had with me, we already had a large supply in the Luckyhill infirmary. No extra money had to be paid for that prescription!

One more restaurant lunch with Seth and Dad

One more restaurant lunch with Seth and Dad

On the way back from the clinic, I had Kingsley drop Seth and I off at the restaurant so I could recharge my phone and have one more lunch with Seth. I’m going to miss him when I go home, but hopefully all will go smoothly with the adoption and he will be with us soon.

At Luckyhill again, Seth and I played for a while (until he got bored of me), then I went out to play soccer and handball with the older boys. We had banku for dinner, which is a sort of fermented cornmeal dough, Kingsley conked out on the couch, and I went to bed.

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