Friday, August 30, 2013


Making A House A Home

Everything is done differently here in Ghana 
and that can be,at times, frustratingly humorous.
One has to have spent a little time here to 
truly understand what that means.
It's not unlike those idiosyncrasies of your 
loved ones that drive you crazy while endearing them to you at the same time.

Setting up home here has exemplified this point and makes the fact that we did it in under two weeks a true African miracle!

Acacia Shade home, Accra Ghana  

The home is now ready for its precious new occupants. 
It is, by no means perfect, but it IS the perfect home for us.

The doors will still hang crooked, there are cracks in the floor tiles, the finished paint job looks like primer, the water often just trickles out, while toilets flush only about half the time and the dim, weird florescent lighting leaves you having to feel your way around at night.
But it is affectionately warm, and shiny clean, with new little beds, and lots of kindly donated furnishings, supplies, and toys.

I know it will be a good home. 

If ever there's a day when the water has pressure, the lights don't blitz out, the fridge holds temp, and the toilets flush, it will have been a good day indeed. 

Better still however, are the days when kids are smiling, tummies are full, fingers are busy stringing beads or coloring pictures, while delicious smells waft from the kitchen, and laughter rings through the air. 

We plan to have many of those days here at Acacia Shade's new home. 

And so it is .....tomorrow we collect the children from the orphanage and bring them here to their new home.

We have had them in our thoughts each day as we unpacked, cleaned, arranged, purchased, and anticipated their arrival.

They may never know the hours spent readying this house,
or most of the generous and kindhearted souls who donate 
funds to make this happen. But it gladdens my heart to think that there is ONE thing that they will know for certain and that thing is....what it feels like to be loved and to be part of a family, 
and that thought alone is priceless to me.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013


They are not so different from us

The term "ignorance is bliss" has taken on new meaning in my life since meeting these sweet children and learning of their heart breaking struggles. Thoughts of them now shadow my days and the urgency to be doing more fills up my usual "down time."

When I went to the orphanage in Accra last October to select the most at risk children which we would relocate to our first home there, I came to understand how truly misunderstood these children are.

The customary belief in Ghana is that those who are born with a physical, or mental disability are considered to lack the very things that make us human....hearts full of emotions and brains which are capable of learning even the most basic forms of communication. They are thus believed to have no need for human interaction. 

It was astonishing to me as I met these children, 

 how anyone could deny that they had 
minds that can think and hearts that can feel.

 And now, nearly eight months after first meeting them, I visited with them yesterday while I'm here once again. 
This time with our Acacia Shade team as we prepare their new home.
And as they reach for my hand, smile and look in my eyes, there is no doubt in my mind that they can not only learn to communicate and interact, but that they also feel deeply and connect on a level that goes far beyond the "normal" capacity.

In a few days they will start a new life, in a new home where they will have the opportunity to expand, grow, and learn as never before. 

Even so, again... I have no doubt,

that it is us
who will learn the most from them.

 I for one, am anxiously awaiting those lessons.