Welcome! As we step out in faith to adopt from Ghana, we started this blog as a way to share the story of our adoption journey with family and friends. Step by step on this journey we are learning to trust in and rely on God all the more.
If you would like to start reading about our journey from the beginning start with the January 1st post, "How it all Started".

Saturday, August 13, 2011

June 3rd – Court Day!

Once again we woke up to the rooster calls at around 6 and got ready, as we did yesterday, for court. As we waited for “K” to arrive I started getting nervous. We had no idea what to expect. What court would be like? What the judge would be like? How would the kids act? I was nervous we might say, or do, something wrong.

“K” arrived about 8:30. When we climbed into the car, Kwame was quick to announce that Vivi wore “bumpers” at night which made “K” & birth mom laugh. Yes, thanks to Rebecca sharing some of her daughter’s diapers, I was able to enjoy waking up dry. Thankfully Vivi was good about wearing them. Kwame  also touched my heart when he tapped his mom on the shoulder and said, while pointing to Ken, “My daddy, my daddy.” She smiled and shook her head, yes.

As “K” led us down the path to the courtroom, he briefly introduced us to our social worker. He then led us into the courtroom. The room had rows of wooden benches with backs. There was also one row of benches along the side wall. In front of the benches there was a podium and in front of that had a raised floor where there were two desks. One was for the judge. The room had no air conditioning or fans, so it was very warm. The room filled up quickly.

Our family, along with Ryan & Kristen’s birth mom sat in the back row. Ryan, Kristen and our birth mom started out on the side benches. They moved to the row in front of us when they were forced to move because guards brought in handcuffed prisoners to sit there. Hmmm.

As we looked around we noticed the sign on the door. It said, gender based violence court #5. A guard stands by the door. Are we in the right place? We are all asked to rise as the judge enters the room. We sit and listen while several criminal cases are brought before her.

Vivi and Kwame were amazing. They colored, played quietly, and neatly ate snacks as we waited. Ken & Kwame drew together on the magna doodle, and Vivi & I played with her new Princess Tiana doll. Birth mom frequently looked back at them and would gesture to look at that toys the kids had. She would then look at them and give them back.

There was a break in the cases and Kwame informed Ken he had to go to the bathroom. Right before they walked out we heard it announced that adoptions would be heard next. Great timing! Shortly after they left, “K” gestured for us to come forward. I quickly started shoving toys & such into bags. We had two backpacks several big bottles of water. Plus, Vivi had her bag. Ryan, seeing me struggle, came back to help me drag everything up to the front.

“K”, Kristen, their boys & their birth mom were directed up the platform and into the judge’s chambers by a guard/bailiff.  As Ryan, Vivi, our birth mom & I approached the platform he made us stop. I wasn’t sure what to say, if to say anything; I didn’t want to get in trouble. Several minutes passed and “K” stepped out of the judge’s chambers and called for Ryan to come. By that time Ken & Kwame were back.

Not too much time passed and it was then our turn to go into the room. Ken, Kwame & Birth Mom sat on the couch that was along the back wall of the judge’s office. Vivian, “K” & I sat on the couch that was along the side wall. Diagonally across from us sat the judge at her desk. Our lawyer, the one we hadn’t met, and the social worker sat in front of her desk.

Then judge called off each of our names and we signaled to her that we were there. As our lawyer proceeded to present our case to the judge I watched. I watched my husband and my almost-son sitting next to each other holding hands. I watched their hands and tried not to get emotional. I watched Birth Mom, wondering what she must be thinking and feeling. Watching Vivi in my lap, excited to almost be her mother, but also wondered what she & Kwame understood of what was happening. I watched as the lawyer told the judge about our family. I watched, listened, and was moved by how our lives were about to be changed forever. It was exciting and sobering at the same time. Finally we heard what we have been waiting to hear for a year and a half. The lawyer petitioned the judge to grant us the adoption and the judge spoke the words that were music to our ears, “It is granted”. I wanted to yell out for joy, I wanted to run and give the judge a hug, I wanted to cry, but instead we each said thank you and walked out of the room. Solomon Kwame Okia and Vivian Afua Teye are now Solomon Kwame and Vivian Afua Bechtold.

I knew our time with Birth Mom had to be almost over and there were things I really wanted to ask. I asked “K” to interpret for us and we were able to get a few of our questions answered.  There were so many more questions I did not get the chance to ask, things I will never be able to pass along to the children. But I am very thankful for the questions I was able to ask & the answers I was able to get.

It was then time to go. Ken, the kids, and I got into a taxi and headed back to the hotel. Ryan, Kristen, the birth moms and “K” went to try and pick up some documents that Ryan & Kristen still needed. We were going to go out for lunch when they got back. A lot of time passed when the phone rang and it was Kristen asking if we wanted to meet up with the rest of the group and have lunch at a place “K” was taking them, a Chop Shop. Of course! So off we went again. I had hoped it would give me an opportunity to ask more questions of their birth mom, but that was not to be. We did get more pictures, which was nice.

Ken eating fish & rice. I only ate the rice & sauce.

 After lunch we got in “K’s” car and he took us to his home and his brother took the birth moms home. After visiting for a bit “K” took us back to the hotel. 6 adults and 4 kids piled into his 5 passenger car. Thankfully his car was air conditioned.

When we got back to the hotel we had a chance to Skype with Charmaine and a couple of her kids. We also got to Skype with Jacob and some family. We then took a much needed nap and chilled the rest of the day. We ate Peanut butter sandwiches for dinner; they were a hit.
We are so happy that we are now officially a family of six. What an amazing life changing day.

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