So the most popular and obvious question people have about our adoption plans is why Ghana? I'm going to skip over all of the why not domestic US and/or foster care questions and just try to explain how we decided to travel to Africa to find our daughter.
Honestly, we've been considering adoption for a long time. It's been at least two years since the idea began tickling our imaginations. I started reading every adoption blog I could find and seemed to hover around families with adopted children, trying to glean the essence of their success. It just so happens that on my former block, three different families included internationally adopted children. None of these were from Ghana though. In fact, I didn't even know Ghana allowed international adoptions until recently.
Once we made the decision to adopt internationally (which basically happened after our brief flirtation with a Haitian adoption), we had to choose a country. Initially we looked at countries where they spoke Spanish and where there was an African presence. You know, we were looking for another Kinky/Gazpacho baby to join our tribe. We investigated the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba (Yeah Right!), and even Brazil, but found too many obstacles in the way. After that, we turned towards Africa and considered Ethiopia and Rwanda and to be perfectly honest, I nixed those two countries for the simple reason that I HATE to fly. I panic on airplanes. It takes me weeks to psych myself up to get on an airplane. Now I love to travel so I do what it takes, but knowing that I would be responsible for taking my daughter back to her home country so she can stay in touch with her culture made me so 'no way.' (I think the flight to Ethiopia is like a billion hours long. From Atlanta Ghana is a mere eight hours) I'd be like, 'mommy bought you a nice book about Ethiopia,' and hope she wouldn't hate me. Knowing I couldn't commit to keeping a connection to her home country made me say no.
So then we found out Ghana was an option and it was like a light bulb went off. Looking around my house, I realized how many beautiful statues and art from Ghana we have on display. We have a close friend from Ghana. And I've been dreaming about going to this writer's festival in Ghana. I started reading everything I could about Ghana and fell in love with the pictures of Ghanaian children (many who looked like me!!). And, while I don't know if my ancestors came from Ghana, there is a strong possibility that they did, which makes me feel connected to the culture and to my new daughter. And hopefully she will feel that connection to me and my family. We still have a lot to learn about Ghanaian culture but that's the exciting part. And that's probably why international adoption also appealed to our family. We love learning about different cultures and traditions. This adoption gives us reason and cause to dive deep into a new, yet familiar place.
And what about el esposo? How does he feel about adopting an African child? Surely his daughter won't look like him. And when he walks down the street with her, people will know she is adopted...or something like that. I asked him about that before we made this momentous decision. "Will you be okay having a Black child?" And he looked at me like I was crazy. "Have you looked at your older son recently?" he said. Oh right. Whenever el esposo is out with just my older son, even though I think they look very much alike, many people just see a White guy holding a little Black child's hand. He's been asked if his son was adopted. He's been stared at and questioned. In a nutshell he's used to it already. "It won't be anything new for me," he said. "She will be another beautiful child to love."
I am happy to report that el esposo is just as excited as I am..although he doesn't get all emotional about it like I do. And the kids? Totally excited about having a little sister, who currently is known as "baby sister." Apparently the little one informed his entire kindergarten class yesterday that the mail man was delivering his baby sister from Africa any day now. I'm happy they know so many kids who are adopted from other countries because it has normalized the experience for them.
So there you have it. I'm sure I've left things out, but since this entire process will probably take several long months, we have time to talk some more.
Thanks for all of your well-wishes and support.