Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Trip!

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 He is starting to say words, laugh, giggle, walk with energy but most importantly, those sad little eyes have been replaced by two big, curious brown eyes.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....


Teri said...

that is awesome. i can't believe that they left so quickly after bring james to you.

you two will always have an extra special relationship and that is awesome.

i was adopted and i know how important it is that you have a family, whether it's biological or not. that part doesn't matter - the love is what matters and obviously you guys have lots and lots for both your boys!

Chris said...

You are heroes in my books!

TerryO said...

Michael, another tear felt blog. As I mentioned in my last comment, you can see the changes in Jame's face. His eyes, those beautiful huge eyes are starting to sparkle and his little sad face has brightened, evident of the love and caring that you and Joanne are giving your son.

Nicole said...

You guys bring tears to my eyes every time I read your blog. You and Jo are truly amazing people. What a gift.

Can't wait for our visit!

Simone said...

Thank you again for sharing the pictures and your incredible story. I think of you every day and wonder what's happening and am so incredibly overjoyed to see that things are going well.

The first time Joanne sent us a picture of James I could see the face that we see in the pictures now. It was just hiding in the shadows of the drawn face and sad, huge eyes but I just KNEW that love and comfort and a special bond could light those eyes up and that when that happened they'd be the most beautiful eyes you'd ever seen.

You've saved a live. You've created joy and connectedness where none previously existed. Chris is guys are heroes and Parker and James are so blessed to be your sons.

The sparkle in your eyes and the obvious joy in the words you express in the blog are your reward and I am so glad that parenthood is proving to be everything you always hoped. I can't wait to see the first family photo!!!!

Nicole said...

Hi Jo & Michael,
Nicole forwarded your Blog to me. Congrats on your geogeous James, and Parker of course. Your years ahead will be so blessed with your two boys. I am so touched to think of what a beautiful life James will now have thanks to the two of you.