My sweet friend traveling with us had been waiting to meet the two little boys that would soon become her sons for six days.
Various court document snafu’s prevented their travel to us as was planned and by Thursday, a mere two days before we were due to head back to the U.S., it was evident that if we were going to lay eyes on those precious boys, we were going to have to go to them.
Off to Cape Coast we went early-ish on a Friday morning. I add the “ish” because Dana and I got a little preoccupied by the amazing baskets hand-woven by an elderly woman on the side of the road near the Pentagon Inn in Accra.
Sorry, Rachel. We are so thankful for your forgiving spirit and grace.
After the adoption coordinator drove us at break-neck speed (yet another moment during this trip that I realized just how much God was protecting us), we arrived in Cape Coast and checked-in to our hotel on a hill overlooking a mosque whose followers were in the throes of noontime prayer chants.
Cape Coast is a fishing town that sits right on the Atlantic, about 150 miles west of Accra. It’s the home of the “Slave Castle”, which I mentioned in an earlier post, and in doing some research, I discovered that Michelle Obama considers Cape Coast to be her ancestral home.
As I stood snapping photos across the street, I was overcome with the same eerie feelings I felt while walking through the Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany 15 years ago.
Suffering of this intensity just sits in the air. There’s always a silence surrounding places such as this, a silence that speaks of the unspeakable, that hints of the horror, the sadness, the hopelessness of those once crammed inside.
Hundreds of slaves were packed together in small rooms within the castle walls without enough room to even sit down. No food or water, no sleep. They had been purchased from all around Africa and waited their fate to a new land where they would work with no or little pay for generations.
I could practically hear the wails of the mothers separated from their children, the sounds of sickness due to dysentry, the cries of the scared and the hopeless. I could see the large boats sailing away, packed with those who had survived, being carried to a place that was completely unknown to them.
They were sailing away and leaving their freedom behind. For generations.
Several slaves that ultimately arrived in the U.S. passed through the “Door of No Return” – aptly named because those who exited never set foot on their homeland again.
Located next to the slave castle was a quaint seaside restaurant where we were to eat lunch. Somewhere along the way, it got lost in translation that we were going to be meeting one of Rachel’s boys here because as we walked in, we thought we were simply there to eat before we set off on our day of meeting the boys.
But there he was. Seated at a table intensely drinking a root beer and loving every minute of it.
And a mama meets her son for the first time. A different kind of delivery room than the four children she birthed, yes, but a delivery room of the heart nonetheless and an imprinted moment she’ll never forget.
Meanwhile, I was too busy marveling over the head and eye of the tilapia I ordered to be too caught up in the Kodak moment unfolding before my very eyes…
But most people do. I’m just a wimp.
Poor sweet Mary. I think she might have had enough of the abruni’s tomfoolery by this point…
But may I mention it was the best tilapia I have ever eaten?
So we leave the restaurant with our bellies full and our hearts overflowing at the hope, at the just knowing of this undernourished little boy who will grow by leaps and bounds very soon.
And we watch them walk down a hill but up to a new life together, creating a new path, one that is not his or hers but theirs. A weaving of two worlds.
A beautiful tapestry that reflects His hand at every turn.
As if we ever doubted for one moment.
To be continued…
Linking with precious Jen for the “Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood”…