Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Update - Chapter 2? I am! I have resurfaced! We are on Week 4 of our adventure as the Fritchman Five. It truly is as if Zoe were created to fit exactly into our family. I'm not just saying that. (I don't just say stuff!) She laughs ALL day long! She giggles in her sleep sometimes! I LOVE it! She laughs at nothing! Amazingly similar to the rest of us! We have all marveled at the ease of her transition. I really believe that week we spent at the Cape just as a family made a huge difference in our homecoming.

I definitely had envisioned a few more posts between the last one & this one. My laptop died the week before we went to Ghana. I sent it to Tennessee with my Daddy-in-law and am awaiting the verdict before deciding Mac or PC. Although, we have a desk-top, it is in the back of the house and not conducive to watching my new 2 year old at the same time. Anyway - I digress. Bottom line, I am making excuses as to why I have not appropriately blogged details of our homecoming weeks!

I am trying to get my mind back to our trip! We did end up riding back to Accra with Emmanuel from CCBR. His taxi was air conditioned and that was all we cared about for the 4 hour drive. Much of what we did with our last day and 1/2 was fairly uneventful.

I have had many people ask about our last meeting with Zoe's birth mother. We met her at Zoe's foster home. We took lots of pictures. Her mother looked very different from the first time I met her in April. She is now out of work all together and lives with 2 of her brothers in a place that is not their home. We also took some video of her speaking to Zoe. The whole time was a little awkward for a few reasons. Her mother does not speak English. It is very limited. She is also very shy & reserved. So, paired with the Ghanaian culture of not showing emotions - the whole meeting felt awkward. Zoe knows her birth mom by her first name so she easily went to her and played with her. But when we got ready to leave, it was also clear that Zoe wanted to go with us. We will continue to update Zoe's mom with pictures and letters over the years through Zoe's foster dad. I was finally able to glean some information about her father from the brother of the birth mom (Zoe's uncle). I wanted a nugget to be able to give Zoe one day. Was he tall? short? quiet? boisterous? When I tried to ask birth mom about this back in April, she looked at me like I was crazy and simply said, He is dead. Thanks. Her uncle said that everyone liked the man. He was very friendly to people. He was not the center of attention and might not talk in a crowd but talked a lot to his friends. He made him sound easy-going. I don't know how accurate it is but it definitely makes me feel better to have a little something to tell her about her birth father.

Friday, I had Zoe's hair done before we left for America. Good glory! It took 6 hours!! The learning curve is STEEP here people!! She had braids done all the way around her head with small extensions to fill it out and make it even. She was adorable! How did she do for 6 hours? For 4 1/2, we had a nap, snack, tv, books, etc. For the last 1 and 1/2, we just screamed and cried a lot. I don't really blame her. I wanted to scream and cry too and it wasn't even my head. Zoe was starting to get sick. Runny, stuffy nose thing.

The boys squeezed in one more game of soccer with the boys from Paul's home before we left. Paul rode with us to the airport and it is always bitter sweet to leave. Going through the airport with Zoe's paperwork was a cinch. We originally had a 24-hour layover in Atlanta on our return flight which we never intended to keep. Mark worked his magic IN Ghana to have our flight switched as soon as we arrived in Atlanta. We only had a 2 1/2 hour layover in Atlanta. I love my husband. Nobody knew we were coming home on Saturday so it was kinda nice to just 'slip into town' and have an afternoon to sleep it off. Mark's parents were at our home holding down the fort when we got here.

So, here we are. Adjusting to life in America. With 3 children. I am totally learning how to do African hair. It is totally different from mine. I don't think I'm quite so bad. Is there a grace period? I have some lessons set up with a few different folks well-versed in the hair arena! If you're lucky, I might post a -do or 2!

Asa thinks everything Zoe says and does is hysterical. Eli loves to take care of her. Zoe's favorite family member by far is our dog, Anna. Zoe talks to Anna ALL day long. And the funnier part is that Anna obeys her. Zoe doesn't say it once to Anna. She says it until Anna listens! I love that she isn't afraid of her. One day I walked into the playroom and Zoe was sitting on the floor with her legs sprawled out in front of her. Anna's dog bowl was in between her legs and she was feeding Anna 1 piece of dog food at a time by hand. So sweet!

Any apprehension that Zoe had about Mark has completely faded. She loves her Daddy to pieces. A few days after we arrived home, Mark walked in the door from work and Zoe ran to him at the door yelling, 'Daddy!!!". He is completely smitten for life.

Zoe LOVES the bath. What 2 year old doesn't? But seriously- a 2-year old that only took baths in a bucket? Running water in a tub is like a water park!! She is in heaven. She is practically potty trained & I feel like I won the lottery in that area.

If we had any real issue to speak of so far, it would be sleeping. After about a week, we finally put her in her own bed. None of us were getting good sleep. She woke up every couple of hours every night. Crying out. Sometimes she was easily consolable and sometimes not. What breaks my heart is wondering how often in the past year has she cried out in her sleep and there wasn't anyone there? Honestly, this was the hardest part for me in our long visa wait. She had cried out both in April and in August when I stayed with her. We have been 3 nights with straight through sleep as of today. I hope this is a trend and that the security of the home and routine is setting in.

I am awestruck at how God created Zoe. I am overwhelmed that He is giving me the privilege of being her mama. What joy she is and I cannot even imagine our family without her!!

Look for more updates soon about our involvement with Nyame Dua, the non-profit formed for the foster homes in both Accra and Bolgatanga!