Sunday, April 20, 2014

Remember the cost

This was my first Easter as an adoptive parent.  I started writing a rather long post yesterday to try and explain the thoughts I have been having, but instead want to leave you with just these two nuggets:

1. Jesus' death was the price of my adoption.
2. Through Jesus' victory over death through his resurrection I can be part of my true Forever Family.

Joyous Easter everyone - may we all remember what was paid for us.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Going Public and a Great Community

If you know my husband and I you will know that neither of us are super gregarious, outgoing people. We tend to be quiet and mostly keep to ourselves. We are both, by nature, introverts. However, when the call came for us to reach out to local media outlets I was all over it. Anything to help my kids. So, I sent an email to someone I had rather randomly connected with awhile back. Right away she was on board and quickly got the green light from producers to move forward.

While we were in St. Louis at an Empowered to Connect Conference we found out our TV interview was going to be much sooner than we originally expected. A few of our friends ended up "breaking in"to our house and getting it all cleaned up and ready for us. Seriously....we have the best village of people here.

So, Shelley came on a Monday morning. By that afternoon the TV station was running 'teasers' and on Tuesday night we were the lead story on the news. It was so surreal to see ourselves on the news. Shelley and her cameraman were here for about an hour and a half so we were curious to know what clips they would choose to use. Overall we were very, very happy with the way our story was portrayed. HUGE thanks to Shelley Russell and the KWWL team for helping us to get our voices heard and letting people know that our kids matter! The next day the NBC news station in Des Moines picked up the story and our story was also covered on WHO Radio. For people who definitely do not try to live in the limelight this was pretty crazy for us!

Here are some links to our video and story and the Congressmen's responses:

Since starting this campaign with Both Ends Burning and Kelly time seems to be going at warp speed. Our petition to Congress was overwhelmingly successful and the Congressional Letter released by Senator Landrieu's office garnered well over 100 signatures (the original goal). All six of Iowa's Congressmen signed on to the letter!! For our specific cases we have been very pleased with the response from Sen. Grassley's office but even more impressed with Rep. Braley's office. My husband has spent quite a bit of time on the phone with his office and they are actively inquiring on our specific case as well as advocating for the larger group of families waiting to bring their children home.

Next week a delegation from the DRC will come to the United States. Many families who have already brought their children home are making last minute arrangements to make it to meetings with members of the delegation. It is our hope they will see how well these children are loved and that they are thriving in their new homes and their new families. Families who are currently stuck in this process are not able to attend meetings but we have hope the delegation will hear how committed we are to loving the children of their country.

Over the last few weeks I have continued to be amazed at how this community has, for the most part, come together in support. This is hard for so many of us and many people are hurting and emotions are running high. However, we have been able to unite and form a cohesive front to show that these children we love really are the most important. People are not "attacking" or lobbing accusations based on agencies or attorneys used. Walls are being broken down and new friendships are forming. These friendships will, in the long run, be great for our children. What a blessing to be connected with many families with ties to Congo & we hope to be able to keep those ties for our children!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


This is something we are very excited about!! Follow the link to check out our t-shirts and place your order by April 19!! We are still a few short of our goal.

Bolingo = LOVE in Lingala

We appreciate all of your support and love. This is a chance to wear it as well ;) 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A few facts

My family is sharing our story with a wide audience as of late. We have two children stuck on the other side of the world. We are legally their parents. They have clearance to enter the United States and yet they aren't being allowed to leave their country. Those are the facts.

It's also a fact that I love those two kids very, very, very much. I love them enough to make the hard decisions if it would come to that.

It's also a fact that besides their dad and me (and a very small handful of people involved in investigating their cases) NO ONE knows their story or the details surrounding the circumstances that led to us becoming their parents.

It's also a fact that we will continue to advocate on their behalf and fight for them to be united with their forever family. Every child, regardless of their place of birth, deserves to grow up in a loving family. Every child. For some kids that means adoption is their best option.

It's also a fact that there will always be people who don't 'get it'. Who try to drag people down, rain on their parade, piss in their cheerios, or whatever other little saying you want to throw in here. They may throw sweeping accusations at you. And, if you're secure in the knowledge of your case and your conscience is clear you will find those accusations laughable. It's also quite possible that will drive the people who don't 'get it' CRAZY. I'm ok with that.

In short - as my family gets ready to share our story on a wider scale and as it reaches people who don't agree with us or what we are doing I want them to understand THIS: They can throw accusations at us, they can say we have done awful things or participated in corrupt things, they can say we are awful people, they cn say we should not adopt outside our borders, they can say we don't have the money to do it, they can say we shouldn't ask for help, they can say whatever they want really.

But, in reality these people don't know the facts. They can quote generalized facts. They do not know the facts surrounding my family, my finances, my kids or any of our stories. Haters will always hate. We will not engage in a campaign to change their minds as that will be draining our resources from fighting for our kids and doing what we wholeheartedly believe to be the right thing for them.