My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Our Toddlers

Some of the highlights of my life are brought about by some very busy little toddlers. Justice, Malvin, and of course, Edwin are a part of my daily life here at City of Refuge. They are on the go 24/7 and keeping up with them is a job in and of itself!

Edwin, well, if you've been reading my blog long enough, most of you should know about Edwin. Edwin was brought to City of Refuge last spring. When I arrived, we hit it off pretty well and when we moved to Doryum, Edwin moved in with me. My blog has been pretty devoid of Edwin comments lately as he has been staying with Daddy Joseph and Mama Theresia since I was planning on leaving and the back and forth from my room to theirs caused some big sleep issues. In any case, Edwin is quite a joy! Everyday, I'm surprised by something new that he has learned to say. He certainly is growing up! Since I've come, he has grown so tall! We see more and more of the person he will grow up to be each day. He loves to dance and to sing. He loves to go on walks and he loves to hug and cuddle. His twos have proven to be a difficult stage and the stubborness and fit throwing can be overwhelming at times, but we pray for him dialy that this would be a stage that he would grow out of easily (and quickly!). Many of you know that I have been praying about adoption with Edwin, but there are so many things to consider as I look into the situation. His mom is part of our program for single mother's in Tema New Town and though she is HIV positive, part of our role with her is to empower her to care for her children. My prayer continues to be "God's BEST be done for my boy, Edwin" and I pray that he will reveal His best for Edwin when the time is right. For now, he's my boy and we'll see if it is just for a season or God's plan for my life!

Malvin is 2 today. You wouldn't believe that he's older than Justice, but he is! This adorable little boy has just started to be comfortable around me...it only took 8 months! He definitely gets attached to certain people and does not like strangers, especially if they're white. But, since we've been living together, he's grown to like me! He is pretty cute and has such a funny personality. The receding hairline and the fact that he is so mild-mannered makes him seem like he is an old man! He sits in his little chair with his legs crossed and tattles on the other babies. It's too funny. He loves to be tickled and will often come up to you with armpits exposed waiting for a good tickle and his laugh is just contagious! He is absolutely in love with Daddy Joe and Mama Theresia and when Daddy is home...no one else exists!! Since Mama Theresia has been gone at the hospital with Baby Princess, Malvin has been pretty fussy and it seems that only a few people can calm him down. I've been one of his "chosen" and have even backed him a few times to get him calmed down. I felt pretty African with him on my back and baking cookies and working with the kids. One of Malvin's funniest moments happens usually at night when the kids are getting ready for bed. He gets a little goofy and plays this funny "I'm going to hide if you talk to me" game and hides behind his hands or just closes his eyes with a funny little smile on his face. Too cute! He's turning into quite a two-year old!

Justice is the toddler's ringleader for sure! He has leadership skills up the wazoo, but the only problem is that sometimes he leads the other boys straight into trouble. Whether it's playing a game of "atooooo" (which means hug) where they all crowd around each other and hug (TOTALLY CUTE!), or whether he leads them in a game of pinch and slap (the trouble I was talking about, he is still as cute as can be! Justice is known for never wearing any clothes and it's difficult to even put him in clothes because of his distaste for them. So, most of the time, you see this little blond-headed cute waltzing around in just his diaper. Justice can also get dirtier than any of the kids in a matter of seconds! His favorite place to play is the dirtpile out front and the dirt usually ends up on his head. He is almost two and has an amazing sense of humor. He likes to laugh and tickle and play chase games. He makes hilarious faces and poses just like his Nigerian papa. Two of his most famous stories of silliness include his muscle man phase where he went around showing his muscles, the veins popping out of his head while he grunted to give us the best pic of his big muscles. To funny! Of course, all the other babies got in the action too. And now, the latest one has been his marching. John will call out, "left, left, left, right, left" and him (along with the other babies) get in a line and start marching. When "attention" is shouted, they all put one foot down with a stop and "salute" brings about a very cute salute (Justice's salute is done by grabbing his nose and them throwing his hand out--don't know how he got the nose idea, but it is funny!). In any case, this little leader will definitely grow up to do something fabulous!

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