Thursday, September 20, 2012

Packing for Ghana

I have started packing today (I know I still have 12 days before we leave but I couldn't help myself...truth be told I have been packing the girls' bags for months now). My mind is consumed with memories of Ghana and thoughts of what it will be like to meet our daughters for the first time and see my African angels again. Is this really happening? Am I really about to become a mother?

Janet let us know our girls are staying at her house right now and being taken care of. Their sisters were there too but school started up again so they headed back to school. I don't know how I will ever be able to thank this lady who helped us find our daughters and has been taking care of them until we can bring them home. She is truly our angel.

We have met many angels along the way and know we have been so blessed. I know this has been a long journey and I want to thank you all for being there for us along the way. Every comment, email, pray, hug, and thought that has been shared with us has been what has kept us strong and has reminded us of how completely blessed we are.

My heart has ached for Ghana ever since I left and I can't wait to step off that plane and feel that hot African breeze knowing my heart will soon feel whole again.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Adoption Fundraiser


Don't forget our adoption fundraiser is this Saturday at Freestone Park. Optional Run/Walk starts at 7:00am. Silent auction goes from 8:00-10:00am and Live auction goes from 9:00-10:00am. Auction items include jewelry, clothes, furniture, Steve Young and Jerry Rice signed football, beach cruiser, many gift cards and so much more. We will also be having a flat screen T.V. raffle and food for sale. 100% of the proceeds go towards bringing Esther and Janet home. Thanks for all the support!!!

Tickets have been purchased!!!

So this is all starting to feel real now. We have our tickets and have started packing our bags. Only a few more weeks and we get to meet our daughters for the first time and get to see our other three little angels in Ghana. I have never been so excited for anything in my life...better the Disneyland. Thinking about getting to take our girls to Disneyland for the first time, might take the excitement level over the edge!!!

For those who want to be at the airport when Esther and Janet are welcomed home. We will be landing in Phoenix at 2:05pm on Friday, October 12....ONE MONTH FROM NOW!!!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Our Adoption Video

video
Thank you Maloree for making this awesome video...and thanks Jesslyn for doing such a great job as a hand model :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Poem For Esther...My Darling Etsi Grace

So I just got the gift in the mail I had ordered for Esther (Etsi) and it is a poem with her middle name, Grace, printed in the background. I saw it online and the poem is so perfect. When I saw it had her middle name, I had to get it for her. I was reading it to Clint yesterday and I became overwhelmed with heartache for my girl's birthmother and started to bawl like a little baby thinking about everything this dear mother would be missing. I also thought about their father who is giving us the greatest honor to provide a better life for his daughters but how difficult it must be for him to let his little babies go. We have been blessed with the greatest job on earth to be the parents of these adorable little girls and we will never take that honor for granted. I wanted to share the poem with you all because I love it so much, so here it is.

Once there were two women,
who barely knew each other.
One is in your heart forever,
the other you call mother.

Two different lives,
shaped to make yours one.
One became your guiding star,
the other became your sun.

The first gave you life,
and the second taught you how to live it.
The first gave you the need for love,
and the second was there to give it.

One gave you nationality,
the other gave you a name.
One gave you the seed of talent,
the other gave you an aim.

One gave you emotions,
the other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile,
the other dried your tears.

One gave you a family,
it was what God intended her to do.
The other prayed for a child,
and God led her straight to you.

And now you ask me through your tears,
the age old question through the years.
Heredity or environment...
Which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling...neither,
just two different kinds of love.


Friday, August 3, 2012

1 Mile Fun Run for Ghana - A race to unite a family

5K Fun Run for Ghana - A race to unite a family // YellowCheetah

Registration is finally up and running for our 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk For Ghana, a race to unite a family. To register for our run/walk or find out more information about the event click on the link above.

The event will take place on September 15th in Freestone Park Gilbert, AZ.

Prices
1 Mile Fun Run/Walk
$20 valid until 08/27/2012 
$25 valid until 09/12/2012
$30 after 9/12/12


Shirt included with the run/walk entry. 
You also have to option to purchase an additional shirt during online registration
Children 8 y/o and under can run/walk with a parent for free but a shirt will not be included.
To be guaranteed a shirt, please register for the run/walk before 9/8/12

Race Day Schedule



Race Day Schedule

6:00 - 6:50am- Pre-Race Packet Pickup and Registration
6:30 - Check-in
7:00 - 1 Mile Fun Run Starts

8:00 - 10:00am - Silent Auction
9:00 - 10:00am - Live Auction

Bring chairs, coolers etc to enjoy the post race festivities

Auctions
The silent auction will be set up at 6:30 am and bids will begin at 8:00 am following the race.
Bids will be closed at 10:00 am and winners will be announced after the live auction is completed.
The live auctions will begin at 9:00 am and will end at approximately 10:00 am.
If you would like to donate any goods or services for the auction to help bring Esther (Etsi) and
Janet (Cevi) home, please contact Calli at 801-368-3310.

Who knew putting together a Fun Run would be so much work. 

At least I will now be prepared to host fundraisers in the future to help others adopt and 
continue to help the people of Ghana.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Adoption Fundraiser Committee Meeting

Our first Adoption Fundraiser committee meeting is tomorrow at 7:00 pm at the Anasazi Foundation office located at 1424 South Stapley Dr. Mesa, Arizona 85204. Even if you are unable to join the committee but would still like to help, please join us and bring anyone who might be interested to find out all the different ways you can help. If you have to bring your children or show up a little late that is okay too we are just happy to have as many people as we can to help us make this fundraiser a success!!! Let me know if you have any questions and call if you need directions 801-368-3310. Thanks so much, I can't say that enough!!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Auction Fundraisers!!!


So I have some exciting news. We are now also going to be doing a fundraising event probably the first weekend of September here in Arizona. This event will include a 5k race, a breakfast, a silent auction, and a live auction. I will be working on getting all the details of the event in order this weekend and keep you all posted.

This is going to be big event (hopefully) so we are hoping to get a committee of volunteers together to help make this event a success. Let me know if you are interested in joining the committee, helping work at the event, willing to take letters around for auction item donations, have things you would like to donate for the auction, or have any ideas on how to help get the word out. My email is calli.joy2@gmail.com or you can call or text me at 801-368-3310.

P.S. We are still doing an online auction on Our Ghanaian Family face book page August 18th so those of you outside of Arizona can still get the chance to buy some goodies and help us bring our girls home.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What this all means

So I have had a few people asking questions about what is next so I thought I would explain it all since adoption can sometimes be so confusing.
So in the state of Arizona you are required to first be approved by the state to adopt before submitting the paperwork for international adoption to immigration and getting approved on a federal level. Clint and I are now approved to adopt in Arizona. We are now getting all the paperwork together to send it all in and in about 2 weeks we will be given a date to get our fingerprints clearance done. Our social worker told us that we can pretty much plan from that date we will be a month out and that would be the time to buy plan tickets and set court dates for Ghana. So we could potentially be bringing our girls home before the youngest 1st birthday!!!! I feel like I might burst from excitement, stress, happiness, anxiety, but most of all just pure joy at the thought of finally being a mother of 2 adorable little girls and the fact that I get to see my 3 little African angels again even if just for a short time :).

Monday, July 16, 2012

We Are Approved!!!

I don't have a lot of time to write all about how amazing Clint and I feel right now so I just wanted to share with you all that Clint and I received our certification letter in the mail today. That's right the state of Arizona found us fit to adopt!!!!! Needless to say, we are freaking stoked!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Meda ase (thank you)

First, I wanted to say Meda ase (thank you in the girl's native language) to everyone for their kind words and prayers. You have no idea how much your words have meant to us. Thank you for all your post, emails, and most of all prayers. We feel truly blessed to have so many great people in our lives and are so excited to have all of you be apart of our daughter's lives as well. 


We have had some people ask how they can help bring our bring them home. Sorry I am a little behind in updating our blog on this. We did have a paypal button on here before but we need to update it now because we have created a separate adoption account and need to figure out how to change that over. For now, if you would like to donate online you can do it through Forever Young Foundation's website at http://www.foreveryoung.org/donations.html. The link is also on the right of our blog if you scroll down you will see the picture. Just click on the link and it will take you right to their donation page on their website. Just make sure and note that it is for the Probst family adoption. They email me every time we get a donation so if you are wondering if your donation went through just shot me your email address and I will confirm. 100% of the donation goes towards our adoption and if you do it through Forever Young it is also tax deductible. 


If you prefer to send a check, you can send it to 1501 E Mineral Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85234. You can either write the check out to Clinton and Calli Probst or Forever Young Foundation and we will deposit the money directly into our adoption account to help us pay for adoption fees, attorneys, and international travel. 


If you are unable to make a monetary gift (and believe me, I completely understand with how tough the economy is right now) perhaps you can help by donating frequent flyer miles, help us with a fundraiser or share any good ideas or talents that might be used for a fundraiser, donate items to be used in online auctions, help share our story by mentioning us (http://ourghanaianfamily.blogspot.com/) on your blog or facebook, I have also created a donation letter if you would like to send it to friends, family or businesses you think might want to contribute, and keep us in your prayers. 


Please feel free to email if you have any questions. We are excited to start our family and can’t wait to send our first family photo to all those who have been apart of this adoption journey with us.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I know, I know

As many of you have probably already noticed, I don't proofread post before I post them and I am not good at all that grammar and spelling stuff anyhow so I'll go ahead and apologize for my ignorance now. Yes, I know I have a graduate degree and should know it all by now but I must have been sick or more likely day dreaming during those lectures :) so I'll throw a comma in once and a while and start a new paragraph when I think it might make post look nice. I know I embarrass my husband but I always tell him if he really cares that much he could edit them before I post them...he always decided to go ahead and just suffer through the embarrassment. Maybe someday I will have my sister in-law who is about to become a elementary teacher give me some lessons in basic writing but until then, I'm sorry.

Sorry for the Novel!


First, I probably should start off by giving a little summary of how we got to this point since our adoption has been kind of confusing. So here it is in a nutshell;

Our Adoption Story

I think it is important to first mention that ever since I was a little girl, I knew I would someday adopt. I would tell everyone that I may WANT my own children but I NEED to adopt children. Like any parents who couldn't wait for their daughter to have her own children my parents would say, "But you have to have you own too!!!" Can't blame them for wanting a mini me :). Not that I was ever against having my own, like I said I WANT my own, I just always had this feeling that maybe God put this desire in my heart because one day I would find out I couldn't have my own and I would find comfort in the fact that I always knew I was meant to adopt.

When Clint and I started dating (like seriously our first date), before I ever told him I planned for adoption, Clint mentioned he wanted to adopt. I am not kidding when I say this, that was the exact moment I knew he was the one. A man (and a hot one at that) who wanted to bring children into his home and love them as if they were his own, is truly hard to come by. I knew I found a keeper! We were engaged 3 1/2 weeks later and married in 4 months. When you know, you know :).

Before we had started dating, I was accepted by International Language Program to go to Ukraine to teach english to underprivileged children. I had tried to go the year before to China but the trip was cancelled because of the Sars (have no idea if I spelled it right) outbreak. As an aspiring social worker, I always wanted to serve in other countries who were less fortunate and kept trying to find a way but something always seemed to prevent me from going. Clint encouraged me to still go but I couldn't get myself to leave him for 3 months right after we first started dating. I told myself it would happen someday.

After 6 years of trying to find an opportunity and almost giving up, I was lead to the Forever Young Foundation. I was working at the Anasazi Foundation (next door) when I met Jenn Maygren and she told me about her trip to Ghana at the Forever Young International school. I thought, what the heck, I will go next door and see if they could use a social worker. And that was that, they told me they would love to have me go over and do therapy groups at the school and they would even pay my way. This was big seeing how not being able to afford it always seemed to be what kept me from going.


I was super excited and went right to work planning my groups. I felt really inspired to put together a group for children dealing with grief from the deaths of their parents or other family members.  When I finally made it to Africa, I knew why. In this group I met the 3 most amazing children and from my first group with them, I knew I loved them. I called Clint to tell him all about my African adventure and found myself only talking about Isaac, Emmanuel, and Rhoda. A crazy thought came to my head and I just blurted out, "What if we adopt them." From the moment I said it and heard Clint's response of "Alright, lets figure out what we need to do and do it," I had this surreal feeling come over me and I knew, nothing ever felt more right. As crazy as it seemed for us to adopt a 12 year old, a 10 year old, and an 8 year old, I knew inside there was nothing crazy about it. I loved them and they loved me and I knew Clint would feel the same and of course they would love Clint and that is all that mattered. Jenn had raised money the year before so Isaac could board at the school but the 2 younger children were staying with their aunt and she was really struggling to take care of them because she had her own children to feed. When I asked the aunt about adopting them she was so excited. She told me how the kids would come home from school and talk about how this angel "Madam Calli" has come into their lives. I was so excited to tell the kids that what had already started to feel like a family was going to last forever. Although it breaks my heart now, I will never forget the smiles and tears in their eyes when I told them they were going to join my family in America.


The next part of our story is hard for me to put in words. I hurts to even think about and to this day it surprises me that after almost a year since I left those 3 angels in Ghana, it still hurts just as bad as it did when I first heard I was not going to be able to bring them home to America. After returning from Ghana and starting all the paperwork, fundraising, and unbearable waiting, I got a call from the friend in Ghana helping us with the adoption. He told me the children have an uncle in Italy who has found out about the adoption and is trying to stop it from happening. Needless to say I was heart broken. I called the uncle right away to find out why. He told me he didn't feel comfortable making a big decision with his family like this when he was not there to talk to them in person. He said he would be going to Ghana in 6 months and then the family would decide together but not to worry because everyone wanted to adoption to happen. It tore me up inside to have to wait that long to find out if I would ever be able to bring them home but I knew I needed to honor his wishes. So I waited wondering if the kids were okay and if they understood why I hadn't come for them. Then on February 1st, 2012 we got the call we were both anticipating and dreading but unfortunately the news was not what we had been hoping for. I couldn't believe it, it was like a nightmare. I had tried to remain positive for the last 6 months and spent everyday imagining how wonderful our lives would be as soon as this wait was over and we had our children. I was not prepared to hear the words "we have decided against the adoption". Clint and I did have the talk about how we know we are still meant to adopt and there are other children who need homes if this adoption didn't work out but I honestly never thought it wouldn't.

Even though I know Clint and I will always think of Isaac, Emmanuel, and Rhoda as our children in Africa and if the uncle ever changed his mind we would come get them in a heart beat, we know we couldn't spend our lives waiting and wishing. During the whole adoption process we became friends with someone who was adopted from Ghana named Christian. He has truly been a blessing and tried to do all he could to help us with the adoption by being our translator. After we got the bad news Christian said to us, "I know you will need time to grieve your children but when that day comes that you are ready to adopt again a women named Janet who helped my family adopt me knows lots of children in Ghana who need homes and would love to help you".


We took some time to think and pray but realized we both knew adoption has always been our answer and because of Isaac, Emmanuel, Rhoda, Christian, and all the other amazing people we have had the privilege to meet, Ghana would always have a special place in our hearts. We contacted Janet and decided to start the adoption process again. Right away Janet called us and told us she had found 2 little girls who had just lost their mother and their dad left them with their grandparents because he was unable to take care of them. I was nervous to let myself love these children because of how bad it hurt to loss the others and in a weird way it almost felt like betrayal but I knew inside that we were meant to be parents and as confusing as it all was, it was right. I worried my heart was broken and I would never love other children the way I loved Isaac, Emmanuel, and Rhoda but when Janet emailed us the pictures of the girls, I looked into those sad little adorable eyes and knew from the moment Clint and I hold those beautiful girls in our arms they will never wonder if they are loved.


At the beginning of this story I had mentioned that I wondered if God placed this desire in me to adopt because I might never have my own children. Well, just 2 days after getting that picture of our girls I went in to the doctor for a follow-up after an exploratory surgery to see why I was having so much pain in my lower stomach. The doctor told me he removed a large part of both of my ovaries and it would be difficult for us to ever have our own children. I know I should be sad and I am sure there will be a day it will hit me that I may never experience pregnancy or the joy of a newborn but for now I feel blessed. I know God has always had a plan for me and now more then ever I know we were meant to find our Children in Ghana.




Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Our Reality

With all the words of encouragement, support and blessing we have received during our adoption journey, I still have more days then I would like to admit where I waking up wishing this world I am now living in without my 3 little African angels was not my reality. The truth is I miss them. Every single day I miss them. I don't know if I will ever stop missing them. I am so excited that I will soon be a mother to 2 very beautiful deserving girls but inside I know I will never stop being a mother to Isaac, Emmanuel and Rhoda. How do you move on when you know there are 3 amazing children still wishing you would come for them and take them home. My heart aches not just for the hole that is left in my heart after the dream of bringing my children home ended but it aches even more for the hole I left in 3 already broken hearts after their dreams ended of being rescued by what they believed to be "an angel that came into their lives to bring them to their home and family in America"(Isaac's words). 

After sharing our adoption story so publicly and having the unbelievable support and help it became clear there were so many people who couldn't wait for the day we would bring Isaac, Emmanuel, and Rhoda home almost as badly as we did. It was incredibly painful to let everyone down when we had to share the news that that day would never come. When we decided to move forward with trying to adopt again we were terrified to invite people to open their hearts and follow our story again when we know with adoption there is always the possibility of another unhappy ending. I told myself we would keep this adoption as private as we could in order to save others from the heartache of another adoption loss. But now I realize this was only partially true. Inside I think I was also so disappointed in my "now" adoption story. It is no longer the inspirational story of how I was lead to Africa to cross paths with these children I knew were meant to be ours from the first moment I met them. It is not even your typical happy "hey we want to share the exciting new that we have decided to adopt" adoption story. I was no longer excited to share our story because it wasn't a story that only had happy endings of a family finally becoming whole.

It hit me today that as much as I wish this wasn't my reality and the story of how we will finally become parents, it is OUR story and although it is full of heartache and disappointment it is also a beautiful story full of incredible love and hope. It is a story about a couple who experienced many road blocks on the path to starting their family but never lost their desire to follow what they have always known was God's plan for them, to adopt. So although I can't make promises about how this story will end, I realized it is still a story worth sharing.

There is a lot to share and I plan on going into all the details of how we came to the decision to continue to adopt from Ghana and how we found these 2 adorable little girls but for now my goal was to let everyone know I changed our adoption blog back to public (we decided to continue to add to our first adoption blog instead of starting a new one because no matter how it ends our adoption story began with Isaac, Emanuel, and Rhoda) and plan to share a very real and open account of our adoption story. I will leave you with the pictures we received on May 5, the day we will always remember as the day we first saw our daughter's faces.

 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Adoption Update

I just wanted to give everyone a quick update on how things are going with the adoption. There were a few complications that have made things take a lot longer then we were hoping but here in the next month or so we will be finding out more information about how to get back on track with the adoption and hurry and get out kids home as soon as possible. We had kind of put a hold on fundraising (Clint and I have just been focusing on saving as much as we can) until we got a little closer. Now that we could possible be only a few months away we plan to put our game faces on and start doing as much fundraising as we can. These kids have been waiting for so long now my hope is that as soon as the adoption is cleared we can immediately go get them and bring them home. If everything goes as planned this could be as soon as March or April. We still have quite a bit to fundraise so any suggestions or ideas for fundraising would be greatly appreciated. Again, I want to thank everyone who has already been a part of this journey with us, we are so blessed. I am so excited for these kids to not only be a part of Clint and I's lives but all of yours as well.