Friday, April 19, 2013

Yesterday was an odd mix of emotions for me.

I am over the moon happy and excited that we have accepted our referrals. That we have pictures to look at and specific kids to pray for. Picking out names, talking about room situations, reading books and educating ourselves on what is to come in our family - all of it is an amazing experience.

And then there is a little bit of sadness that creeps in. While we are excited and happy here our kids lives are being turned upside down. They're being moved in with foster families instead of living in an orphanage. This is awesome in the long run as they are able to experience family life, be fed, dressed and have attention. But, how confusing must that be? I will be forever grateful for my kids' foster family and I hope to be able to give them a hug and expressed my gratitude in person. So, yes, I'm happy for my kids that they will be living with a family but sad that they are experiencing another disturbance in their little lives. Another unknown, another new place, another new situation.

I keep reminding myself that in the midst of my excitement they may be filled with confusion. I hope the transition to a new home is smooth and I hope they are able to be happy and thrive there. I hope the family is able to love them unconditionally while we wait.

And while I'm excited there is also a longing. A longing to hug them, squeeze them, love them and have them know that *I* am their Mommy. That our home and our family will be the LAST new home they have to come to and adjust to. I want so badly for them to have that knowledge, to know they are loved and prayed for. Every day that passes is another day that I miss out on being their Mommy, another day that I miss out on seeing the daily changes in our daughter in these early stages of her life, another day that we don't get to experience as a whole and complete family. Every day we wait for more paperwork and progress on our case is another day they become attached to other people. People that we will eventually take them away from and the fact that we will cause hurt to them when we do that hurts me.

Adoption can be so beautiful but it doesn't come without loss. Adoption can be redeeming but it certainly isn't without pain. Adoption can be so romanticized sometimes but it is also hard. It comes with a mix of emotions for both us and for our kids we will bring home. So, today I'm praying and hoping for an expedient and ethical process. That we are able to bring home our kids as soon as possible. I'm praying for a loving and caring home and family for E & M to live with while we all wait for their government and ours to finish the necessary steps in this process.

Friday, April 12, 2013


Well, I think it is time to get these thoughts out of my head and down in writing.  This is more about something that has been on my heart than specifically about our adoption, but to me the two are married.

At Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012 a young man entered an elementary school and opened fire killing 20 children and 6 adults.  The media showed the country what had happened and we were outraged.  How could one man ever justify this kind of action? How was he able to do it?  What can we do to stop it from happening again?  The school locked down, the cops became more alert, and the politicians legislated.  I am not going to comment on whether I think the actions being taken are the right ones - just that this outrageous occurrence spurred people into action.  People from across the country looked at this event and it struck their hearts with sorrow, anger, and fear.  They hated that it happened, they sympathized with the pain the families who lost loved ones were feeling, and parents everywhere felt a little less safe sending their kids to school the next day.  At least that's how I felt.

As horrible as this was, it pointed out one thing very clearly to me: I am blessed to live in a country where the death of children outrages everyone.  Now here's the part I don't understand - why is it that the murder of 20 American children stirs nationwide outrage while the millions of children that die worldwide go unnoticed?  Since I know the most about the DRC statistics, let's just talk about that for a minute. According to USAID, there are 460,000 children under the age of 5 that die every year.  To put that in perspective - that is equivalent to the number of deaths due to the Sandy Hook shooting happening every 22 minutes all year long. And that is just the DRC.  What makes this even more concerning is that unlike our inability to stop every nut with a gun or other instrument of death, most of these deaths are preventable.

Why is it that we care so much for 20 American kids and not for all the kids dying around the world?  Is it the fact that it is happening so quickly that we have become callous to the situation?  Or maybe that the problem is so enormous that we don't think our caring about it matters? Or maybe it is because there are so many other people that care, we don't need to do anything personally?

Here is what I think is outrageous: every American has heard these words "We hold these truths to be self- evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness..." and so few of take them to heart.  If you believe EVERY man is created equal, then why do we care more for one American we don't know than for one foreigner who is equally unknown?  How do we justify the belief that all men have the right to life when there are so many dying from things we can help prevent?  How do we justify the belief that all men have the right to liberty when so many are oppressed by situation or by government?  How do we justify the belief that all men have the right to pursue happiness when there are so many that don't even have food to eat or clothes to wear?  How can we say we believe these things and then do nothing?

I am not saying we can fix the World - I am only saying you shouldn't give up trying to help people indiscriminately. Don't be callous to things just because you don't want to believe they are happening.  Let those little people who you hear about suffering and dying break your heart just like the death of the kids at Sandy Hook did.  Let it make you angry that there are children who can't even get one meal a day.  Let it be outrageous to you and move you to action.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Adoption UPDATE!!

As I'm sitting down to type this I have the "Announcement Song" from my camp days stuck in my head. As a staff we sang it every morning during breakfast when we had morning announcements about the day. Such a fun (and random) memory.

We do have a BIG announcement though so maybe that song is actually appropriate right now....

Awhile back my husband mentioned kids our attorney was hoping to refer to us. Long story short (very short) that didn't work out. There are many details but none that can or will be shared in a public forum. Suffice it to say we are confident God allowed us to be in the waiting season that long for a reason.

Now, for the BIG news.....(drumroll please!)

We have not one but TWO referrals! 

Here's the story:

In early March a few people from our agency were in country visiting kids, orphanages and foster homes. At this time we were so, SO hopeful we would see the first pictures of the kids we were originally hoping to be referred. We even sent a care package for them. Anyway, one of the many orphanages they visited had several kids waiting and available for adoption. I saw the pictures and one little kiddo totally grabbed my heart right away but I kept pushing that back telling myself 'No, we are planning to adopt these other two kids'. I showed the picture to my husband who was thinking the same thing as me. In the back of my head I was trying to rationalize the cost and craziness of bringing THREE kids into our family. It didn't take long for that to get squashed.

Fast forward a couple weeks and I had continued to look at the picture All the while waiting and hoping to hear that our other case was ready to move forward. I even requested MORE pictures from our agency. Then the crazy thoughts of three kids really got going - haha.

In the end our first case was not able to move forward. Both Mike and I were 100% ready to move forward and say YES to this precious little BOY! Yes, folks, Elliot will finally have a brother. E is around 3 years old and everyone who has met him tells us he is such a joy and so much fun. I cannot wait!

So, that was referral #1. The referral day I had read about and thought about so much for over a year ended up being nothing like I thought it would! We had not seen ourselves adopting an "older" child which means we have paperwork to update but, now that we've said yes I can not imagine not doing this. Does that make sense?

So, we had our first referral. We were over the moon excited. Now, the waiting for referral #2 started. I thought I had been a compulsive e-mail checker before but nothing compared to the way I was in the week between Referral #1 & Referral #2.

Monday (4/8) I had a random burst of motivation to really clean my one of my kid's rooms. Since this seldom happens I decided I better take advantage of it. I had Pandora turned on on my phone & plugged into our speakers we have in the kitchen. The kids love to dance & I figured it would keep them busy. So, I missed two phone calls from our agency. When I finally emerged from the now immaculate cleaner room and saw that I immediately called back. Most of our communication is through email so I figured it had to be BIG if I was getting called twice!

Sure enough, Referral #2 was waiting for us in our inbox. I had so many emotions running through me but all I could do was cry. And it was the ugly cry - overwhelming excitement, love, anxiety, etc.

I loaded all the girls up and picked Mike up at work so we could see this picture together for the first time.

We opened up the email and waited very impatiently while the photo loaded. Our little GIRL is absolutely precious! *cue more tears from me* She is 5 DAYS old in her picture. We never expected a referral for a baby THAT little. Little M has a full head of hair I'm going to need to learn how to style!

It has been an emotional roller coaster the past two weeks. We are buckled up and ready for the next steps! So, ready for this process to move along and already so excited and anxious to bring these precious kids into our family. Hopefully this means many more exciting update posts to come on this blog SOON!!