It's a boy..... and a Girl!!!
Monday, Jan. 28, 2008
Today, I became a mom again. What a day!!! John had arranged for Martin and Wasaka Goo-Goo (our driver)to take us to town that morning and so we left at 7am to arrive at 8:30. Though it was only 7 miles, traffic was very congested so we arrived at 8am. As we drove into the parking lot of the High Court, Jana and I noticed a large Maribou stork perched on top of the building. Confirmation that I was giving birth in my heart today. We awaited upon the balcony, with butterflies in my stomach as I went through all the emotions of what this day would bring. "Would they like me? Am I sure I can handle two more children? What am I doing? Do they understand what is going on? Will skin color matter to either of us? Will the judge agree to let me be their guardian?" A little later, Karla and Becky arrived from HFU. A few moments later, In drove a SUV carrying Allen, Andrew and Karla's little girl, Stella. My heart pounded as I strained to see them through the car window. They parked and got out and came running up the stairs. First, they ran into Karla's arms and when she told them, "There is your mommy", they ran into my arms and what a meeting! All the questions that had been running through my mind melted away as I felt love flood my heart and I had MY children in my arms! They were beautiful! They knew who I was. It was awesome!
As we waited for Mr. Nyombi, I met the grandfather, Godfrey, the social worker, Angela, the teacher, and Dorthy, the HFU coordinator. Thankfully, they all were in good enough health attend. Mr. Nyombi arrived and directed us to the court room which was actually and room the size of an office with 10 chairs around the wall and the judge's desk and 4 chairs around it. We were told to turn off cell phones, and not to hug or touch the judge or his desk or papers. If you do, it is a grand felony and you get carted off to jail! Hands clear here! We went in and the judge was very stern. We listened to two cases, then ours was up. I am assuming it went well as the conversation between Mr. Nyombi and the judge was soft spoken and fairly mumbled and we were trying to keep Allen and Andrew quiet. I heard Mr. Nyombi say, "Your lordship, the applicants will comply with the declarations of this court." To which he replies chuckling, Well, I suppose they have no choice do they?" To which all in the court room, laughs.
After more words exchanged, I hear, "I will issue the decree in writing on Feb. 5, 2008. At this point Mr. Nyombi motions for me to go out and follows suit. He then informs me that I need to go downtown and get passport photos of the children and then go drop them by his office and let the children sign their passport applications. We go off with both children with us. WE HAVE BEEN GRANTED CUSTODY AND I AM A MOM AGAIN!!
We left Karla, Becky and Stella still in court as their case had not been heard yet and headed out to do what Mr. Nyombi had sent us to do. We were dropped off to get the photos and then walked up to the attorney's office to sign the passport applications. Now if you have never tried to cross 4 (supposed to be 4 but maybe 5 or 6) lanes of traffic in a large African city, you have not experienced life! I thought China traffic was crazy but African traffic has it beat. Jana is getting better at not gasping so much and grabbing the handle less! Ha!
The kids did great writing their names. They had to copy what we wrote on another paper but did well.
The secretary then informed us that we needed 3 more passport pictures that were larger for the U.S. Visa. So.... We walked back down to the photo place, crossing through the traffic again safely thanks to Martin. We arrived to find that they couldn't get them because the electricity was shut off. (This is a regular occurrence here) So... we headed back to our house as our medical appointment was not until 2pm and as I nor Jana picked up the money belt before we left. This gave us almost two hours to chill out and rest with the kids. (Did I say rest?) Allen doesn't believe in it! We arrived at our house and the kids shouted "America!!! America!!!! They were totally disappointed when we had to explain that this was not America but we would go soon.
John came back to get us and we headed to the clinic where the kids were scheduled to get their physicals. We had to first stop by the American Embassy to pick up medical forms and they dropped me off and I disappeared into the interior. After going through many security places, I finally reached an empty room and waited for someone to come to the window. I explained what I needed and they had no clue, took my passport and told me to have a seat.
I waited for some time and fell asleep. I was awaken by a man telling me to come to the third window. I did so and he wanted to know what I wanted as he flipped through the file he had on me. (I was happy to see that the file had already been wired to them) He seemed amazed that I had adopted before. I told him I needed medical forms to get visas for my kids and that I had an appointment with the Consulate Mr. Flook tomorrow. "I am Mr. Flook" , he replied. "Let's just do your appointment now. " He proceeded to tell me everything I already knew. He was very business like and seemed bothered that he was having to deal with this. I was very cordial and appreciative for his help. I asked him for directions to the clinic and then I was on my way. When I came out, John and Martin were inquiring at the window about me. They were so happy to see me. They had gotten worried and thought they had lost me. Jana said they were REALLY getting worried in the van and thought something had happened to me. She said it was quite funny.
Anyways, I came out and we arrived late at our appointment to find out that Karla and Stella were no there and nobody knew about our appointment after I had called 2 times to confirm. We were not able to get in touch with Dorthy from HFU and after seeing the medical assistant Joseph, we found out that we needed the 2x2 photos and vaccination records and might have to wait 21 days to do the physical in 2 parts because he couldn't find that the children had ever been there. Martin took off to get the photos for us and we finally reached Dorthy who told us that she had the children's vaccination records; she had forgotten to go give them to us and we could come get them. She also told us that she forgot to tell us that our appointment was at 3:10pm. Joseph said no such thing and told us to come back tomorrow with records, photos and a large sum of money at 9:30am. As Martin had left with our driver, we had to wait for him to return. We enjoyed the courtyard as we waited and visited with John and Andrew snapped pictures of flowers everywhere when he heard that his daddy like pictures of them. When Martin returned we headed to Garden City to buy a few fresh vegetables and water at the grocery store as well as change money for the physical. We then headed to Emmaus House to meet Dorthy. We found it with minimal problems and found out that Dorthy was not there. She had gone to Garden City. (NOTE: Since fuel is so expensive due to the Kenya war, trips into town have to be arranged to complete everything in order so as not to repeat roads and waste fuel.)
John, was not very happy and we were a little frustrated. We had to retrace our steps but we needed to have those records by the morning. So off to Garden City we went. We called Dorthy and found her in aisle 10 and retrieved the records.
Happy we had them, we returned back to the house all exhausted with our two new ones who troopers all day. Everything fascinated them. They came from a village that had none or little electricity. They were taking it all in.
Esther received us with much excitement and had fixed spaghetti which they seemed to really like. We retired to the house, got the kids PJ's out and gave them a bath. You have never seen the likes! What fun! I love first baths! We put Allen in first and finally Andrew couldn't take it anymore and he stripped and jumped in! Jana was videoing and crying and I was laughing and soaked!
We have already discovered that Allen is a, can we say, DRAMA QUEEN? What a rounder. She didn't get to sleep til midnight.
Needless to say Jana and I were very tired by the then.