Aug 25, 2008

Authentic Ghanaian Meal

Today my wife went to an authentic Ghanaian market that is only 5 miles from our home! It is owned by a man from Ghana named Samuel who was so helpful and full of information. She bought all the ingredients to make a truly authentic Ghanaian meal just like our kids in Ghana would eat. We thought it might be a good idea to try some of the Ghanaian foods before we get there. We had Palm Nut Soup with Fufu (that is a really hard texture to get used to), Black Eyed Peas, Boiled Plantains and Sweet Potatoes, Avocado and Lime, and Rice. It was funny to watch the kids trying to swallow the okra in the soup quickly before it got too slimy! Maggie even ate with her fingers like the people in Africa. I was expecting it to be more of a 'flavor' experience, but it was really about getting used to the textures of the food, except for the black eyed peas which I think taste like dirt. I think we just might survive our trip to Africa. The good thing is that I need to loose a few pounds anyways.

Footnote from Lanae: I used the cookbook pictured above "A Good Soup Attracts Chairs: A First African Cookbook for American Kids" By Fran Osseo-Asare (published in 1993)who is married to a Ghanaian man and has lived off and on in Ghana for many years. I highly recommend this cookbook for anyone wanting to cook authentic Ghanaian food. My new friend, Samuel, at the Ghanaian market looked at all of the recipes and said that it is a very good cookbook.

Aug 22, 2008

100 Degree Day/Talked to The Kids!!!!

What an awesome day we had! We started out our day by talking to our kids in Ghana! I had such a hard time not crying when I heard their sweet little voices with their really cool African accents! We had a good conversation and I was surprised that Brian actually asked us questions about our family. I guess I imagined him being shy and us having to coax him into talking, but he was very articulate and I think he had been thinking about these questions. And cute Josephine proudly proclaimed "I am six years old!!" We talked about school and football (soccer) and Brian said "I am very happy to meet you!". My heart was bursting! When we got off the phone I felt like I needed to leave right then to go get them, you know that nagging feeling that you have when you are away from your kids? Even if you are having a good time, you keep glancing at your watch and thinking "I should go Pick up my kids". Well I keep glancing at my watch thinking "I should go pick up my kids". But they are in Ghana, not at grandma's house! What a strange feeling.

After all that excitement, we left to go hiking but it ended up being too hot to hike, so we had a picnic next to the river (sandwiches, homemade macaroni salad and fresh peach pie, yum!)and then the kids went swimming in the swimming hole. It really was 100 degrees, so the water felt great! And what a beautiful spot. A great day all around.


Hiking in the clouds

WOW, can you believe that my family hiked high enough to be above some of the clouds? The foggy stuff in the picture is a cloud too! It was surrounding them. Then there is my husband with his feet firmly planted on the rock! Hmmmmmm, interesting.


Aug 19, 2008

The Email That Made Me Cry

This email is from our closest friends who are serving as missionaries in Papua New Guinea. They have been there for over a year and we miss them deeply. We keep in touch by email and I received this email today. Alex is their 13 year old son who is serving with them in New Guinea and 'Big Nathan' (as opposed to 'Little Nathan' our son) lives close by us in the US. Alex received some emails from our kids yesterday talking about our adoption. I am deeply, deeply touched and humbled by this selfless act of faith and obedience from a young man who obviously loves God and has a heart that hears Him. Oh, that I would hear so clearly and have the faith and obedience of a child.

Dear Lanae;
Listen I just have a moment now and will write back when I can sit down and collect my thoughts somewhat intelligently. I wanted to let you know that Alex is donating the 45 American dollars that he has been working on here to get a Wii to give towards the adoption of Brian and Josephine. He read the e-mails from Tyler, Maggie and little Nathan and came to me and asked if he could give his money to the adoption instead. So I have e-mailed Big Nathan to send you guys a check for that amount as we don’t have another way to get it to you. Alex said he “felt” “something” and motioned to his chest area when he read about Brian and Josephine and so after all his planning and wishing for a Wii he would rather give it all for the adoption. I wanted to tell you because it has greatly encouraged me and it should encourage you as God is working through you guys for His benefit using people from all over the world.

We love you guys


Aug 12, 2008


This is the first picture that we received of our kids. Aren't they adorable?
We did get some news about the adoption this week. I feel like I sould say "do you want the good news or bad news first?" Actually it's not really bad, just tedious. We found out that our homestudy has to be updated, because of the country change, not just corrected. That means another visit from our homestudy guy, more paperwork, more copies of tax returns, another background check (in case we have committed a felony since our last one 6 months ago) more money (of course), and an additional 12 hours of adoption education classes that are now required by our homestudy agency. However, we do not need to write the 26 page biography explaining everything about our lives, past, present and future, again. YAY!
The good news is that the orphanage director's meeting with the village went well and he was able to get a date to pick up the kids birth certificates! YAY!!! He then decided it was time to tell the kids that they are being adopted, and he wants us to call and talk to them this week!! Isn't that amazing? So now we are all wondering: What will we say? Will they like us? Will they be afraid? This is so exciting!

Aug 10, 2008

An interesting article on what can happen to children in Ghana

What's happening?

Here is some info on where we are at in the adoption process.
So far we have our homes study done and have pictures of the kids that we are adopting. However...because we changed countries from Liberia to Ghana, we are in the process of getting our homestudy updated to reflect that change. Once that is done then we have to send it along with an I 600A application in to the US gov (this is an immigration paper) along with a whopping check for $910(for one application!). Then, after our gov. reviews our papers, they will send us the papers we need to send to Ghana along with a stack of other papers that we gather (birth certificates, marriage cert., picture of our family, personally written letters about our interest to adopt, tax returns, etc..) This is called the dossier. At that time we send part of our country fee which pays for paperwork, attorney, travel fees, food and care for Brian and Josephine, etc. in Ghana.
Then we have 3-4 months to wait for everything to go through before we get the okay to travel to Ghana to get our kids!
On the Ghana side: The orphanage director is meeting with the Chief in the village where Brian and Josephine are from. Apparently this is a very formal process and during this meeting the director will ask for birth certificates and death records (of the parents) so that once we get all of our paperwork done, we are set to go. Then we will be traveling to Ghana!!

The Orphanage

Here is a link to the orphanage where we are adopting. It is located in Accra, Ghana, which is in West Africa.
Brian and Josephine had been attending school at this orphanage while still living with their mother (their father had died years ago). This last January they came to live at the orphanage when their mother suddenly became ill and died. My heart breaks for them in losing both of their parents. Psalm 68:8 says 'God places the lonely in families' Isn't that awesome?
Ephesians 1:5 it says 'He (God) predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself'. Wow, God Himself has adopted us as His own children through belief in Jesus! His heart is for adoption!

Here I am, mom!

Isn't this a great picture? That's Brian in the middle waving! We received this picture when we were deciding on what kids to adopt. A friend of mine told me that God would make it very clear to me who our kids were and another said 'look for the ones that look familiar to you'. When we were looking through the pictures, the very last one was the picture that we put at the top of our blog with Brian and Josephine right out front dressed in blue (everyone else is in red)! When I saw this picture I immediately thought, "Oh, I know those kids!" (familiar). Then I went back through the pictures and noticed in 3 of the pictures Brian was waving at the camera. It looked like he was saying "MOM!! Here I am! Come and get me!" That was it for me. I love how God works!

Aug 3, 2008

Great day of hiking!

I thought I would post these pictures of our family hiking at Lake Kachess this weekend. Yes, we did hike to the top of that rock! It has a beautiful view (once you catch your breath). What a great family day. It started out with picking up Tyler from Mission Aviation Training Academy's weeklong summer camp where he got to fly an airplane everyday, then a quick trip over the mountains to Mark's family reunion picnic on the shores of Lake Kachess, and finally a heart pounding hike to the top of 'the rock'. We can't wait to get Brian and Josephine here and take them along on our fun family adventures.

Aug 1, 2008

Here we go!!

This has been a really long journey for us. It all started when God asked us to adopt. At the time we had 5 young children, no money, no time, no sleep, you get the picture. We were already overwhelmed, how could we possibly think about adopting? Well, we chose to believe that if God was asking us to do it, He would not leave us hanging. He would provide.
Over the last few years we have prayed, grown, changed and matured in the Lord. We have learned to trust Him in the midst of hard times, in times when we lacked faith, and times when we had doubt and fear.
We have also developed a love and compassion for orphans and believe James 1:27 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress". For us, this means adoption into our family.
Please prayerfully consider what that verse means to you. Is God calling you to adopt? Is He calling you to be part of an adoption by supporting someone through prayer and/or financially? Maybe He is calling you to a short term mission to an orphanage or to monthly support of an orphan? I know that God is faithful to use you if you submit yourself to Him.
We are excited about our adoption journey!! I'll try to keep updating as often as possible.