Thursday, May 10, 2007
Most of you have seen little James by now but what you don't know is about our trip. I left for Accra, Ghana on April 25 and arrived on April 27 after a night in London. I had a couple of days by myself to acclimatize(if that is even remotely possible in 35 degree heat with 100% humidity) before the escort from Liberia brought James to the hotel. You can't imagine the anticipation of that moment. On Sunday, April 28, at 9:00 pm, I received a phone call from the front desk saying a group from Liberia was in the lobby. I walked down the stairs, heart pounding, to see a middle aged man carrying a very thin, scared little boy. The escort spent about 15 minutes talking with me, we had a confirmation call from the orphanage and as quickly as he appeared he was gone. To be honest, the next 12 hours were a mix: 1 part survival and 3 parts sadness for this little, frail boy with a big cough and a distended belly. First we had some rice from the cafe, changed his cloth diaper and spent our first night together. As immigration visas are processed on Mondays at the Canadian embassy, I took our sick little guy into Accra (a 1.5 hour hot, sweaty cab ride). We left early Monday morning and by 6:00 pm we were back with visa in hand. At this point his cough had worsened and he developed a fever with a temperature of 39.5 degrees celcius. Although I am no Doctor, it was obvious the best place for James was home and I was luckily able to change the flights for a Thursday departure. We spent the next couple of days recuperating at the hotel and when his condititon didn't improve by Wednesday, we saw a Dr. in Accra. She was very kind and prescribed several different medicines including a deworming liquid.
We started our journey home on Thursday flying from Accra to London at 10 pm. Unfortunatetly we had to spend the whole day at Heathrow airport in London before we could make the 10 hour flight to Vancouver. Upon arriving, we had to clear customs and finally immigration. Another 4 hours were spent at the Vancouver airport before we boarded the plane for a quick, 1 hour flight to Kelowna. James never cried once the whole trip and I am most proud of him. Aside from take-offs and landings, he spend most of his time sleeping on Dad, a habit we continue.
It has now been almost a week at home and Jame's improvement is remarkable. He is starting to say words, laugh, giggle, walk with energy but most importantly, those sad little eyes have been replaced by two big, curious brown eyes. Joanne and I are most lucky to have not one, but two very special little boys....