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Published: February 3rd 2014
The goal of today was to finally accomplish Frank’s two goals for this trip: do paperwork for the kids and finalize the land purchase. You know what they say about the best laid plans. We called it our “Terrible, Horrible, Almost Very Bad Day.”
We got out of the house later than planned, and the kids couldn’t come with us because they didn’t get their chores done. Frank, Rosemary, and I headed for the Ministry of Social Welfare. We waited for a while, then they told us to wait more. Then the man got mad at us for not coming earlier and told us to wait.
All of the waiting took place in the hallway. There were a few mismatched (but all uncomfortable) chairs along the walls. I felt like we were in a hospital from a WWII movie. Just needed a few nurses walking around in tight white dresses and a slow-moving ceiling fan.
I wandered around and took some pictures. One lady got mad at me for taking pictures without asking, then proceeded to lecture me about it. Oh well.
Frank is studying prelaw. And he is
fantastic at always doing research and knowing what’s what. He knows what needs to happen on both the Ghana side and the US side in order to bring the kids home. Between he and Rosemary, they had all the necessary paperwork.
We met with the man who was supposed to help us. He told us pretty straight off the bat that he has never done a legal guardianship, and also that it would be impossible. Apparently you have to be married in order to get guardianship, even for your sibling. And there is no way a man can get custody of a female child, even if it’s his biological child. (I didn’t quite understand that.)
The man told us to call a social welfare lawyer and come back tomorrow. We left rather defeated.
Our next stop was to the housing development office. Frank paid his final amount for his two plots of land. (We can only take so much out of the ATM each day, so we had to pay in separate installments.) On Friday, we were told that we’d get the site plan today so we could go see the
exact land he bought. They didn’t have it ready. The manager said we can have it Friday or next Monday. Again, disappointment. Finally we convinced them to have it for us tomorrow. Frank really wanted to see the exact land he was buying (understandably), and we wanted to go take pictures and plant a few trees on the land.
We drove over to the Ghana High Court to see if they had anything to say about the kids. One woman said she’d be able to help, but we’d have to come back tomorrow. She made it seem quite a bit easier than the social welfare people as well.
On the way home, we made an off-chance stop to see Frank’s mom’s lawyer. He wasn’t at the office, but he was set to be back soon. We went back a few hours later to see what he’d have to say about the guardianship.
Besides being a family friend- he knew all of Frank’s uncles as well as his mother- this man is one of the best lawyers in Accra. He said the process shouldn’t be too hard and agreed to do the
paperwork. We have to go back tomorrow and pick up a document he’s creating. Frank will get it signed and whatnot at home and mail it back. The wheels are turning to bring the kids home!
Rosemary, Frank, and I closed our no-kids day with a trip to the art centre. We picked up a few more things for each of us.
A hawker on the street was selling hats. It’s a silly thing, but Frank really wanted some hats from home. I vetoed the ones that looked like chef’s-hats-turned-berets, as well as the one made of 1972 brown shag carpet. He did get couple that he looks rather handsome in.
We went to new shops this time. In the first one, the owners/workers asked if we needed anything and invited us to look around. This is the only shop that has done so. It was amazing! Unfortunately, we didn’t really find anything we wanted.
A man joined us and wanted to take us to his shop. He went with us to a shop that was not his and started to sell us things at outrageous prices. I
wanted to get something for my nephews, and he wanted 75 cedis for it! (That’s $35 for something that should cost about $5!) It’s unfortunate. He was trying to make a few bucks and ended up losing sales for the store owner.
We kept looking. Finally, we found a shop with what we were looking for. After much haggling and whatnot, we were ready to go. It’s funny. I’m the foreigner. I’m supposed to be the one who can’t say no to things. But Frank is the one who buys things like crazy! He can be talked into stuff like I can’t believe.
Back in our neighborhood, we stopped at the tailor to pick up Frank’s clothes. I’m excited to see him in them!
We had planned to chill with the kids and get to bed early. It’s our last night here, and traveling will be quite the journey. As with the rest of our day, this is not how it went.
Frank had to run back to the tailor for something. (I think he’s having a dress made for me as a surprise. Not for sure though.)
He is the king of leaving for 20 minutes and coming back 4 hours later. I waited til 1:30 or so before giving up and going to sleep. At about 1:45, he called and woke me up.
Due to some (more) car issues, he needed some cash and didn’t have a debit card with him. I walked to the taxi rink, got a taxi, ride the 20 minutes to meet him, then saved the day. Kind of. Anyway, it was a VERY long night to cap off a VERY long day.
Of all the things that could have gone wrong and almost did, I’m pretty grateful that none of them really did. It all worked out for us. God is good.
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