Jun 3, 2010

This Last Year

May 23rd marked the one year anniversary of the day that Brian, Josephine and Comfort stepped foot on American soil and became American citizens and FINALLY joined our whole family in person not just in our hearts. What a joyous day!!! After 2 1/2 grueling weeks in Africa and many trials, I was ecstatic to reach the US. However, the trials weren't over BUT God was ALWAYS faithful. Over the next few posts, I thought I would tell the story of our last year, some of it has already been told, some will be a surprise.
Let me back up just a little so you get an idea of the miracles that God produced to get us home. Keep in mind that being in Ghana wasn't just an inconvenience for me it was a life or death ordeal. Comfort's heart was failing and she was going to die soon if we stayed in Ghana. There were times when she would have severe chest pain and be gasping for breath and all I could do was pray over her that God would sustain her life. There was no 911 and even if there would have been, there was not a hospital to take her to that could do anything for her. What a faith building experience for me. For those who don't know, when I was 6 years old my mom had her first open heart surgery. That was 1972 and the doctor told her she had 5 years to live HOWEVER God told her different. She had amazing faith and survived many more surgeries and procedures, many, many trips to the ER by ambulance and finally 2 years ago she was taken by ambulance to the ER for the last time. My mom was in the hospital for 4 days before being ushered home to be with her Savior. In 1972 her life looked hopeless, but 36 years later she was a proud grandmother of 9 and a great grandmother. Her family and her Lord were the most important things to her. She used to tell me all the time how she saw Jesus in the operating room standing behind the doctor with His arms wrapped around him guiding his hands making sure that the days of her life were numbered not by doctors but by Him. She was such a woman of faith, and I am starting to understand why. Our faith is built not by the peaceful days, but by seeing God's faithfulness during the trials. When you need Him the most and have nothing else to count on, nothing to fall back on, He is faithful. That was the biggest lesson I learned in Ghana. No one can ever tell me that God's not real or that He's not faithful to help when we cry out to Him. I have lived it.
Okay, now on to the story.
Thursday May 21st was the day that we finally received the last thing we needed from the orphanage director to get us out of Ghana. Brian's passport!!! On Wednesday I had been praying about his passport and I saw a picture of the passport with chains all wrapped around it and I got the feeling that someone was holding his passport and we needed it to be released. I told the kids this and Josephine prayed, not just a little prayer, this was a heart spilling, on her face before God, crying out to Him prayer that Brian's passport would be released to us so we could go home. She did not want her brother left behind and we knew that if Comfort really became critical we would have to leave Ghana and possibly leave Brian behind. None of us wanted to do that. The very next day we received a phone call that the passport was ready and it was finally released to us. We knew that we were cutting it short, but off we scrambled to MedLab to get his medicals done before the weekend. The next Monday was a holiday so we knew that would delay things a few days if we didn't get them done that day. After we filled out paperwork and paid the fee, the man at the desk informed us that adoption medical appointments were over for the day but he would let us go late this one time. Don't worry, I won't be back :) From MedLab clinic we rushed to MedLab lab a few miles away to complete the steps needed for the medicals. Thankfully God provided a friend who knew the doctor who reads the tests at MedLab. She knew how desperate we were and called in a favor to this doctor who completed and read the tests THAT DAY. This truly was a miracle, nothing get's done in Ghana in one day :) The next morning I got up and packed and told the kids be ready, I think we're going home today. I had my doubts, but wanted to be ready just in case. Laurel stayed at the hotel with the kids while Daniel (who I owe many thanks to) and I rushed off to MedLab 8 AM . On the way I called the American Embassy and asked them if we could get our visas today to be on an evening flight leaving Ghana at 4 PM. At first she said no, so I explained to her that I was out of money (true) Comfort was going to die (true) and I had no choice but to be on that plane. By god's grace she had mercy on me and said 'Okay, Mrs Pearson, if you can get here by 9:30 I can process your visas today'. YAY!!!! One problem taken care of, now on to problem number 2. How do you get medical reports from a lab in Ghana to the medical clinic in Ghana in an hour?? Seems impossible......ahhhh, nothing is impossible with GOD! After arriving at MedLab clinic we found out that the medical report was finished but needed to be transported from the lab to the clinic and that it would be there sometime 'later'. Okay, 'later' in Ghana can mean next week so I called the lab and was told nothing could be done. I hung up and prayed then I called back and was told by the second person that nothing could be done. I hung up and prayed then I called back and finally the third person told me that if I got permission from MedLab clinic I could pick up the results myself. YAY!!! Keep in mind I would not be so pushy if my convenience was the only thing at stake. I took a deep breath, knowing I had to face Mr. Nice Man at the desk and into MedLab clinic I went to explain my situation. The look on his face was priceless. It was a nice mixture of compassion and irritation. It took him about 10 minutes to make the necessary calls and then we were off to the lab which was about a 10 minute drive. We picked up the super top secret, sealed and double sealed packet. The funniest thing about this is that the packet contains the results of Brian's stool sample. Yeah, super top secret stool sample results. The other funny thing is that we had the stool tests redone in the US and both Brian and Josephine had Giardia that MedLab missed (that explains the severe diarrhea and vomiting they had in Ghana). At this point I was extremely hopeful that we would be leaving that day. Things were moving fast! With the newly acquired medical results in hand we sped off to the Embassy and yes, Mr Nice Guard Man I do know that I don't have an appointment but could you please let me in anyways? After a few phone calls the guards decide that it's okay to let me in and we are in and out within 2 hours visas in hand!!! I called Mark and told him we were coming home then I called my dad. It was his birthday, my kids had taken him out to breakfast and I got to tell him 'Happy birthday dad, I'm bringing your new grandkids home today!' I also called the hotel and told Laurel and the kids to get ready we'll be on the 4 o'clock plane!! What an amazing day. My head was spinning and I couldn't believe how much had happened in just a few short hours. 2 trips to Ghana, weeks of waiting, many tears, worry, doubts and in a few short hours it was all over. We were headed home. I truly believe that God moved mountains to make this happen. Things just don't happen this quickly in Ghana, but God had a plan that played out according to His timing. He knew when we needed to be in America and made it happen. Next time I'll tell about our interesting arrival :)

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