One In a Million Blessings

Friday, August 24, 2012

We're home!

It just occurred to me that I haven't updated my blog since we've been home. So, incase you were wondering....we made it home!

It is absolutely amazing to have our whole family together at last. I will update more later, but for now, just know that we are doing great. Elijah is settling in quite well, and he absolutely ADORES his big sister. 

Lili is in love as well.  This morning she came into my room while he was still sleeping and said, "Mommy, I'll be real quite, but can I just please look at him? I missed him last night".  

My heart is full and my eyes are heavy, so I'm logging off and catching some ZZZZ's while I can. The prayers and well wishes are much appreciated! 

Blessings to all!   

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Day 2 in Ghana

Darn the luck, Elijah finally caught what the other kids have been passing around for the past week at the orphanage. He woke up this morning with a pretty congested cough and some rattling in his lungs. Nonetheless, he's trying to smile through it all.

I found a pharmacy and was able to get him some meds, so hopefully they'll work. He's currently snoring contently on the bed next to me....let's hope this trend continues on the plane!

This morning was pretty emotional. Each of the children, as well as each nanny, said a special prayer for Eli. They put him in the middle of their circle and sang and danced for him, then sang a special goodbye song. There were smiles, tears, questioning looks, and longing looks from those wanting to be the one who gets to be in the center of the prayer circle. Tough stuff to swallow.

We are at the hotel now, and will head to the airport later this afternoon. We are so close to finishing this chapter of our journey, and are ecstatic about starting the next one.

Thank you for the continued prayers as we embark on an almost 24 hour trip back home.

Monday, August 20, 2012

First Day in Ghana

Well I can't believe it, but I am in Ghana and have just spent the most fantastic day with our sweet little angel. The only thing that could've made it better was if the hubs and our other little angel were here with us.

Eli was pretty quiet when I first got there, which I expected, but he warmed up to me very quickly and was laughing and playing with me in no time. He fell asleep on my chest within two hours of me being there, and by this afternoon he would cry if I handed him to someone else.  

Did I mention that it was a fantastic day today? 

This evening was tough. I had to say goodbye Vivian, Eli's nanny. I pray that I was able to convey to her how truly grateful we are for everything she has done. She has devoted this past year to caring for and loving on Elijah while we could not be here.  She loves him so much and has taken such wonderful care of him. My heart hurts for the pain that both she and Eli will feel once they are apart from each other. I wish I could somehow explain it to Elijah, but he won't understand. He will just miss her terribly for a while, and I know she will miss him too. Tonight is her last night to be with him. I have no doubt she is spending some extra time snuggling with him and giving him lots and lots of kisses. 

Tomorrow the children at the orphanage will have a prayer ceremony and goodbye party for Elijah, and then he and I will be on our own. 

We'll go to lunch, do a little shopping, and then try and get a nap in before we head to the airport. Our flight leaves Ghana at 10:10 Tuesday evening. We have a few very short (like almost-scary they're so short) layovers once in the states, so please pray for travel mercies and access to those awesome airport carts {that nearly run me over every time}. 

I was hoping to post some pictures with this blog, but I went off and left the cord to my camera at home (luckily I remembered the camera!). So, all the picture posting will have to be done once we're home and settled in. 

I'll try and post a bit tomorrow, but if not, I'll see ya in the states!!!!!

God bless, and again, thank you for your prayers, support, love, etc. etc. etc. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cocooning in the Schultz House

Friends and Family,

In case you were unaware, by nature, I am a people-pleaser.  I rarely say no when someone asks a favor of me and I  feel guilty for weeks when I do say no.  So, please know that the following post is not intended to upset anyone, but rather, to explain how our family is going to function for the next several weeks.

Our homecoming needs to be as low-key as possible. Because we want to protect Eli from any additional shock, we are asking that only family members meet us at the airport when we get home Wednesday. As much as I would love to have a huge crowd welcoming Eli home, we just can't say how he'll react to that, and we don't want to chance it becoming something scary for him. 

We will be laying low for awhile.  Our number one priority is to our son and building a strong bond with him.  It's so important to teach him that we are his parents and that Lili is his sister.  It is critical that this bond happens before he bonds with any other family or friends.  The way we will do this is by staying home for a couple of weeks {or longer} until we feel that Elijah is ready to be introduced to other places.

When you do see us, it is probable that Eli will get overwhelmed.  Places and people will be all new to our baby.  When we do venture out, we will likely not go to places with lots of people and may not stay long.  Please don't be offended if we leave early or quickly {good-byes may need to be implied}. 

We will do some things with Eli that will look more like what we should do with a baby than what we should do with a toddler.  Although Eli is already a year old, his "family age" will begin when I pick him up from the orphanage (what a beautiful day that will be!!!).  We will not potty train as early as we did with Lili.  We will continue to feed him very much like a baby {he still takes bottles and will most likely continue to take them for many months to come}.  We will hold him, carry him and rock him as much as he will tolerate, partly because this is essential to the bonding process and partly because we have missed out on doing that for his entire first year and WE ARE READY FOR ELI SNUGGLES!!!!

Tobin and I will need to meet ALL of Eli's needs. If he needs fed, changed, held, rocked, disciplined, or helped, we will need to do all of that for quite a while.  For those of you who will come to visit, please do not try to meet any of his needs as this is, again, essential to his bonding with us.

Coming to visit us will be different than normal.  We want people to come to visit, but please be aware of the previously mentioned things.  For the first few weeks, if you come to our house, we ask that you please call first.  We do not want more than one family here at a time so as not to overwhelm our little guy.  We also ask that you plan for the visit to be quick.  We will not feel comfortable asking you to leave, so please just do that on your own.  If you come, feel free to bring your kids with you as Lili would love to see her  buddies! :)  Many of you have asked about bringing a meal. This would be a huge blessing to us, but please do not feel obligated to do so. Our friend, Jen Chase, has volunteered to  organize the meals, so please shoot her an email ( if this is something you're interested in doing. 

All of this is essential before we can begin the prosthetic process. Our sweet Eli has been well cared for in his orphanage, but he does not know how to be a part of a family yet.  It is essential for him to have lots of time and opportunity to bond with us and understand that he is a part of our family forever.  Once we have his complete trust, we will be able to begin the prosthetic process. No doubt this will be a very scary time for him, so his unquestioned love and trust in us is an absolute must.   

Thank you for helping us through this process and for your continued prayerful support.  We love you all!

Now, if you 'll excuse me, I've got a plane to catch ;)

Monday, August 13, 2012

One Step Closer

WOW today was a long day! I woke up (yes, I actually DID fall asleep last night...sort of) fully expecting to have an email reporting how the court date went. 
It wasn't there.
I checked after breakfast. Nope. 
Before lunch. Nada.
After lunch. Zilch-o.

Have I mentioned how fantastic I am at waiting?

Finally after I put my sweet girl down for a nap the illusive email appeared, telling me the news that we had been praying for. Visa exit interview went great, and Elijah's Visa will be printed this Friday!!!

So, naturally, I had my plane tickets booked within the hour. I will be ON A PLANE to Ghana this Saturday! Whew, I think I need to say that again. I WILL BE ON A PLANE TO GHANA THIS SATURDAY!!!

I'm going by myself. Between the start of school and football, it just made more sense for Tobin to stay back here with Lili. I'll be gone Saturday - Wednesday. The flight home will be exciting...juggling our sweet baby boy, a back pack, diaper bag, suitcase, and stroller all by myself, but I am SO excited about it! I cannot wait until I step off the plane in Joplin and the four of us are finally together.

The support we have received through the ups and downs has been nothing short of breath taking. We are humbled by the friends and family who have taken this journey with us, and we are beyond grateful to each and every one of you. 

I have one more very important post that I will be sharing with you in the days to come, so please make sure to read that. 

God bless!!
PS - Elijah will be home in NINE DAYS!!! NINE DAYS!!!! :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Visa exit interview

Just a quick prayer request. Tonight while we {well, let's be honest, while YOU} are sleeping (2:30 AM CST, 7:30 AM in Ghana), Elijah will be taken to what we pray is his last court appearance. If all goes well, the embassy should have his visa printed by the end of this week, and I will be on a plane heading to Ghana on Saturday.
Please take a second to pray that all goes well in his exit interview, that they have all the documents that are required, and that his visa is printed by the end of this week.
Thank you so much for the prayers, they have been felt! I will update tomorrow once I hear any news.

Friday, August 3, 2012


This morning we got the email that we have been waiting for! A VISA exit interview date has been set for Monday, August 13th. This will take place in Ghana, and our POA will go on our behalf. Once the VISA interview is done, the embassy may ask for more info/docs (which in Eli's case is unlikely but still possible). If they request additional documents the wait continues...

But that won't happen, so let's move forward: The embassy then sets a pickup date for the VISA (this is the final step before Elijah is cleared to come home). This usually happens on a Friday. Sometimes the same week of the interview, and sometimes the Friday of the following week.

**Please join us in praying that no further information or documents are needed, and that we are able to get his VISA printed the same week as the interview. 

The embassy suggests  that plane tickets not be purchased until the VISA/passport has been picked up by our POA. Apparently there have been times that a VISA has not been able to be printed on said date, therefore pushing everything back an additional week.

So, as of this time I do not have an official travel date. If all goes well at the exit interview and they are able to print the VISA that Friday, I will hopefully be traveling to Ghana that very weekend (Aug. 17th-ish). We are praying that this is the case, as we are SO SO SO ready to have our sweet baby boy home and begin the next part of this story!