LOVE: June 22, 2013
We are in LOVE. Shadrach is amazing. He smiles, laughs, makes funny noises…puts up with Wayne! And then there is a serious side to him as well. He will feel around our faces, necks, hands, arm, clothing. He loves to lick things to feel them.
We have been working on having him reach out a bit when we pick him up. He hasn’t quite caught on yet. He doesn’t scare easily, so we are able to pick him up without startling him, or giving him a warning. I am sure we will learn so many more things to do with him in the coming months.
The whole compound we are staying at is so intrigued by Shadrach. Many are still leery of his blindness. We are choosing to be matter of fact. And let them know in America he will get much care, and love. But some are still scared. The will go up the whole road and tell people there is something wrong with his eyes. Then they really stare when we use the stroller. NOONE uses strollers around here. We finally had the neighbor kids come and ask if they could push Shadrach. And one of the boys was singing to him. Shadrach turned to hear him singing better. I think he loved to hear the African song.
We were a little worried that Shadrach wouldn’t play and would always want to be held. But he loves a good mix. He loves to cuddle, and then will play for a bit.
We are having concerns about getting paperwork done. We just now found out that he doesn’t even have his passport. Apparently it didn’t print right. But to make his Visa appt. we need his passport numbers. So it will take many prayers and and a miracle from GOD that we leave this Wednesday! They are assuring us everything else is in order. JUST PRAY!
Apparently at home we lost 20 trees the other night in a big thunderstorm. We got out of that clean up…for a beach out our front door!
We met Pastor Peter last night. HE lives about 20 minutes from us, but apparently it is the BUSH. I think we will get to see his place before we leave. Possibly Monday. This is the same Pastor who was taking care of Daniel who Jessica was trying to get to the US for medical purposes. He swallowed Lye 3 years ago, and it burnt his esophagus. Well….Jessica called this afternoon and said, about 1 am our time, Daniel past away…..so shortly after Pastor Peter left our place, Daniel died. Wayne was suppose to place the NG tube in Daniel on Monday….this little boy literally starved to death….so sad. And unfortunately it is all to common here. Children get into Lye thinking it is water, and end up with eating problems. And the Liberian hospitals cannot do anything for them. Jessica and her family are heart broken.
We had lots of down time today so we walked the beach. It is so hot, and sticky…our joke has come to be….Shannon: Does my hair look ok? Wayne: NO! The hot humid weather is not good on my hair. If I am in the compound, I wear a hat. Or outside the compound a scraf….horrible! I told a little girl today that I need the braids she has in her hair done! Then I wouldn’t need to worry for a while!
Yesterday in the grocery store, we walked in and everyone was giving us the stare down. They have isle attendants. When someone grabs something you they would fix the shelf and make it look good. We found out when we were checking out that everyone in the store was telling the next person that Shadrach was blind. So by the time we got up to the register, every worker in the store knew. And Wayne just simply started talking to everyone about it. So many people get such a sober look on their face and say….oh I am sorry. We just say, no need to be. He will be ok. He uses other things to communicate. He is so happy!
Shadrach hates being cold. Doesn’t like water. And I don’t believe he has ever had his feet in the sand or grass. So we are slowly working on those things. He either cries or raises his legs as if to say….no way!
I will try to post pictures….but otherwise when we get back home we will post!
June 23rd, 2013
And the rains came down and the floods came up…..It started raining very early morning and has nearly been raining all morning. It is currently 11:30 am. Church in the ELWA Compound was at 10:30, and beings we forgot our umbrella’s we didn’t go. I wanted to experience an African Church service.
Shadrach hasn’t been feeling the best today. We think he may be trying to get a tooth through. He has been very snuggly. Drooling a little, and chewing on his fingers. So we have just spend the morning taking turns snuggling with him.
He is definitely ready for food. But he simply hates to eat with a spoon. I am thinking once we get home we will try finger foods. We have some funny video of him eating food….he looks as if he has a sour face. The orphanage gave us two bottles. They cut the holes bigger and give him a bottle with formula and cereal. While I hate to do that, he simply needs more than just formula.
Nate from Watertown gets in today. We hear he should come in at either 2:30,3:30 or 4:30. Wayne may try to get to the airport with Rebecca to pick him up.
In our guest house, we are surround by such Godly men. They have all prayed for us. Prayed with us, and we found out yesterday that a Bible study group prayed for us even before we came so that we could get the paperwork done in the week that we are here…..So we are still praying for the miracle!
SUFFERING?: Patience June 24th, 2013
Well, last night Shadrach and I didn’t sleep well. I think he is trying to feel secure? No matter how good an orphanage is, which his was clean, well run….but it still isn’t the same as when you have two parents loving and caring for you.
I don’t think the orphanage allows the kids to put things in their mouths, or for Shadrach to have felt around. He started in the last day or two putting his fingers in his mouth. And he has felt our faces with mainly his fingertips. Early this morning he felt me with not just one whole palm but with both. A small little bit of him trusting me for his care. So, so awesome…..
I let him sleep for 5 hours yesterday afternoon. So he was very restless last night. I will not be letting him sleep that long today, and will be digging out the melatonin tonight! Four nights with not much sleep is catching up with me.
I spoke with someone different with Acres of Hope yest. He is assuring me we will have our Visa appt on Wednesday. The only thing that will get in the way is if they would like to speak with the birthmom. So our prayer right now is that the US Embassy is ok with the records that Acres of Hope has done. Then we will be on our plane on Wednesday at 6:25 pm.!
Speaking of his birthmom, we did not see her at the orphanage when we picked up Shadrach. But she came to our guest house with her sister last night. She had a very hard time understanding me. So her sister helped her a little. And another house guest Songe, who just arrived and is doing mission work, he lives in South Africa, he came over and was thrilled to witness this whole scenario. He really helped to break the ice. And helped me understand. Shadrach has an older sister. Grace. She is 4. Shadrach’s birthday is JULY 4th….which I think is pretty right on. We will arrive home 1 week from his birthday! His dad Daniel left the home when Shadrach was born. He wanted nothing to do with sweet little Shadrach. I am guessing his mom named him. She almost brought his sister Grace to the orphanage also. But her family talked her out of it. So many amazing stories. His mom Martha has been crying, reading her Bible and worried over who was taking Shadrach, and would he be ok. She went to the orphanage last Thursday or Friday and found out that he was already taken by us. She said the nannies didn’t understand how she felt. So when Queen, the gal who cleans at the guest house, called and said she could come meet us, she felt so relieved. She handed off shadrach to me like she was at peace with this. And when I let her hold him again, she then handed him off to Wayne. She said through Queen that she feels ok with us taking him, and can see we love him. She sent us off with a blessing. Amazing….Songe says he wants to stay in contact with this story…he felt he was witnessing a miracle….I simply happen to agree. God has been painting this masterpiece for a while now….a nice watercolor with a soft glow of His light shining through all the muck…..We truly feel that getting this Visa taken care of on Wednesday is nothing short of GOD working…..
Our day starts with getting Visa paperwork taken care of. Paying the Visa fee. And then possibly tomorrow visiting the bush with Pastor Peter/Teamwork Africa.
Currently Shadrach is listening to music. He loves stuff with a fast beat. So Toby Mac is one of his new favorites. He is also yawning, so maybe he will catch a few zzzz’s soon, and I can take a snooze for bit! No matter how extremely tired I am I cannot help but feel God is sustaining me. And now he is singing! His world is opening up!
Nate arrived last night. Wayne went with Rebecca to pick him up….which Nate said was so reassuring that he was there. A familiar face….we know how that feels! Not knowing what Rebecca looks like! Nate gets to meet James today. He will have him during the day to start out. His hands will be full! He also brought a stroller…so we won’t be the only ones getting weird looks.
I better close while Mr is happy. We are so ready to come home and share Shadrach with everyone….my five kids, and two grandkids are a huge blessing….and Shadrach is a gift. He will touch ALL of your hearts….be prepared. Once you meet him you won’t be able to get enough of him. His sense of humor! When he laughs and smiles you cannot help but smile and laugh with him…..
Kaelyn and McKenna, I have NOT SEEN ANY MONKEYS! I keep looking. I have seen a ton of dogs! Tomorrow if we get to the bush we will probably see a monkey or two. I will have my camera ready!
Post more later!
PEACE: June 29th
We have had quite a few days. From Doctor Appointments that last two days, on a second floor, with loud tv, bench with the wall for a back rest…..has NOT been fun! But, the two boys, James and Shadrack have been cleared to leave and will have a report that it is medically necessary for them to get to America for medical treatment. All by a US Embassy proffered doctor.
And while I was at the doctor, waiting and waiting on Friday, Wayne and Nate were able to tour downtown Monrovia with Rebecca….so not fair! Wayne found a fire station and talked with the guys. He left them his smelly Clear Lake fire shirt. But we are in Africa and they don’t care. Ironically enough they have Brooklyn Park helmets. I guess Brooklyn Park has gear for them, but it is so costly to ship over here. So they fight fires in their street clothes.
Last night, Roosevelt, the gentleman who came over here to get our boys home, took us out to eat. He is quite the character. He has stories to share. We enjoyed the time…although we had to bring Shadrack back to the orphanage. The only peace in that is the kids were so very excited to see him. They have missed him. There are some boy twins about 6-7 who wanted to hold and carry him. They seem to be a big help at the orphanage. One of them snuck in our picture that we took there. So cute…I said I wanted to bring home Faith and Favor, the twin girls who are around 1. But I have changed my mind. There isn’t one precious little child that I wouldn’t bring home. They all need a mom and dad. So heart breaking.
Shadrack is doing good. He is starting to sleep a little better. He seems to be constipated with the change in formula. So we are working on that. I think he will be even happier once we have that taken care of.
Roosevelt is pretty confident we will be able to get a Visa. I am 90% positive that we can make that both boys will be on the flights to the USA on Wednesday. As of right now, the way things look, Tuesday they will issue the Visa. Wednesday we can use a packing day…again….and we will be home for Shadracks first birthday on JULY 4th…..It seems like forever away. But I am thankful we are here to get him home. He is the sweetest thing. He loves to feel skin. He seems to have started reaching out past his own little bubble. He responds when others talk to him. And when I have been away from him for a bit, he clings to me like I am his lifeline….I just cannot wait to share him with you….Shadrack has a story that we keep unwinding the more people we meet that knows about him. We learned Roosevelt and Patty went up to get him and his sweet mama. They were far up in the bush. If he would have stayed there, the tribe would have sacrificed him. He was witchcraft. CAN YOU IMAGINE….just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abendago…from so long ago, God spared this little boys life. Such an overwhelming thought….He cannot see, but he knew I got out of the car last Wednesday to leave him here to fight for him from the USA….And when I came back he clinged to me the whole ride home. And this little boy should have been sacrificed? I am so glad that GOD is BIGGER than all of this!
James tube site is doing better. I am hoping to put some pictures of both boys up today. Christina has not seen any pictures yet! So, internet willing, I will do that. If you don’t see them, I couldn’t get it to work!
We miss you ALL! And miss our kids more! We found out that Tyler and Kendra will be moving back to the area! YAY! So we will be able to see them and Raiden and Laila more!
Wayne wanted me to note that yest. At the clinic, there was this teen girl who was waiting for a LONG time to see the Doctor also. With Malaria. They say mosquitos are bad here. I get bit more in Minnesota than I have seen mosquitos here! We didn’t bring malaria pills. WE have been drinking water with Lemon essential oil in it. And we have been doing good. We have probably even eaten food that we shouldn’t have and are doing ok with it also. So, the lemon oil is working for us! And so much better for us too!
Everywhere we go and people inquire about 2 white people carrying a very black boy. They hear our story and that he is blind. And they thank us for taking him to America to help him. They know the health care here stinks, and they know it is better in America.
For the economy minded lovers. Talking to Roosevelt last night. The Chinese and Lebonese are taking over Liberia. The Chinese are the only ones coming to to repair roads. They are the only ones putting in bids. And they hire Liberians and pay them minimum wage…..get this….70$ a month. The government won’t do anything about it, because they are in compliance. So our of 2 million bid, the Chinese bring back close to a million back to China and simply don’t help Liberian people become stable. The Lebonese are building businesses all over….restaurants, grocery stores etc. and not paying taxes. They owe something like several hundreds of thousands of dollars, and pay off people in the Liberian Government to get them out of paying taxes. So they pay 10-50,000 to someone in government for a 200,000 dollar bill or more….So sad. So they are not helping the Liberians become self sufficient. There is money to be made, and can be done with empowering the Liberian people. Training them to run your business. Starting to pay fair wages. The people are willing to work. And if one person isn’t, there are others looking for a job. A good wage is 10,000 a year….Crazy!
Also, another interesting tid bit I have seen. When we send clothes, shoes, backpacks etc. over here. The markets are full of those items for sale So they get these clothes for free, and sell them at the market and earn wages. It is a very Americanized country as for clothes. I had a hard time finding African fabric. I paid 17 dollars for the equivalent of 6 skirts.
All of our pastor friends have left or are leaving today and tomorrow. Kind of sad to see them go. So many prayers have been said with and for us over the last week and a half. Some will be following our story still. Facebook is wonderful for this!
Songe helped break the ice with Shadracks birth mom. And he was so thrilled to be a witness to what he called a miracle from Gawd….Love the African accent! He is from South Africa. Hear empowering the local pastors that are here to spread the Good News. He is the only Songe in Facebook, so it will be fun to connect with him!
Better get moving before Shadrack wakes up again. We are meeting with Roosevelt in 3 hours, for the afternoon. Then will have tomorrow off. It will be so very nice to have a day off! MUCH needed!
Have I mentioned you will all love Shadrack?
KINDNESS: June 30th
Well, after we waited around for 2 hours past the time Rebecca and Roosevelt were to pick us up yesterday. Liberia time.
We spent the day learning some of the history of Liberia. Seeing things that were damaged during the war. Seeing how it has affected Monrovia. We were able to go to the 8th story of the first 5 star hotel in Monrovia that was taken over by soldiers and is now majorly damaged. They plan to restore it. But probably not by Liberians. So again it may not be the best for Liberian economy. The hotel looks over the ocean, port and fishing village. The fishing village is called West Point. Apparently fisherman came in and settled in a very beautiful area. They won’t move, and will basically escort you out of there when you come in. They have made their own village and know if you do not belong….us especially with white skin. The hotel also looks over Monrovia. After driving in downtown so many times, it was fun to see it from the 8th floor. We have pictures! And will post them from America.
There was also a big monument by the hotel of the first President, Roberts. Then along the bottom it tells the story of Liberia up until now. We got Shadracks picture by that. Kind of cool.
We also toured a few other places. We have some opinions on the last few days. If you think over the frustrations we have had, you can read between the lines. More when this nightmare is over!
Today, we will GET TO INTERNET! Then to the grocery store. And to visit Waynes and Nates wood carver friends. And walk the beach. We have not had much opportunity to walk the beach the last few days. So I am eager to do that again.
Shadrack is listening to his Toby Mac again. I had my ipod on shuffle and he was content. But when I put just Toby Mac on, he sits and smiles. Guess we need more Toby Mac songs!
With our switch in formula, Shadrack is constipated…maybe TMI for most of you…but pray we can get it cleared up! J He hasn’t been eating much, and seems to be in pain every once in a while and doesn’t sleep the best. We found orange juice that someone left. So hoping that will help.
Tomorrow we go see Paul again at the US Embassy. Our prayer is that he looks at our supporting documents and says ok, here is your Visa. But it can take until Tuesday or Wednesday to get it. But we do not want to cut it close again. I hope we can have a boring Tuesday and pack Wednesday and be done!!!! So please pray hard and often!!!!
We are off soon after the next rain clears to do our errands…my first Liberian taxi ride! EEEEK! They just pile the people in and charge around 20 cents! Fun stuff!
We get in July 4th at 10:30! We go through customs in JFK. We hear that we have to get our baggage and go through customs, and recheck our baggage again. And we have a baby this time, and 3 hours. So I am sure it will feel harried! But our last little bit of this journey.
More in the next couple of days….