July 02, 2009

It's Official...We're Adopting!

Well folks, if you've made it this far, you know our big news! We're adopting a child from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa! After almost a year of praying and researching we are certain that this is the direction God is leading us. When we began telling our family and friends about our plans to adopt, we were shown such overwhelming support, but were asked almost everytime what in the world brought this about. The answer is really simple and really complicated all at the same time. God literally yelled at me in the car one day last fall and told me he was "preparing me for this" (those were his words!) and the desire to adopt a needy and orphaned child has not left my heart since. I would like to say that typically I am not prone to hearing God talk to me like that or to talk to me at all, but probably the more accurate statement would be to say that before this, I don't think I was really listening to what his plan for my life was.

When I heard the calling to be an adoptive parent, I had just dropped my son, Noah, off for his therapy playgroup. So many of these children at playgroup have such a wide array of special needs. Because of where I was at the time I immediately assumed," Hmmm...God wants us to adopt a special needs child. And probably since there are two deaf children in Noah's class, he must be calling us to adopt a deaf child!" Eureka- I must be brilliant to interpret God's calling like that (Or so I thought at the time) In fact, my children and I threw ourselves into learning sign language. We actually got pretty good at it. I researched and asked all the right questions, but somehow in the middle of my quest to do what I thought God wanted me to do, I somehow forgot to talk to him about it. That was my first mistake in this crazy adoption journey. When I really began to pray about it, it didn't take long for me to realize that this was not where God was calling us to adopt. Don't you love how so often we take his will and just bend and mangle it all up into what it is that WE really want to do!

So now we knew that Kamron and I wanted to adopt (did I mention that I have an amazing husband who did not flip out in the least when I came home and said, "Honey- I talked to God about it and he said he wants us to adopt a baby!") but where in the world were we supposed to go to do this???? Then one day Kamron came home and said that Tim Ott, a mutual fund wholesaler that he sees a few times a year, had been in the office and they had just adopted a little boy from Africa. When I heard about their little Joshua and began learning about the people of Congo, my heart could not let the story go. It was as if I had fallen in love with this impoverished, war-torn, and spectaularly beautiful country. I was also disappointed in myself that I knew very little about what was going in this part of Africa that is involved in the bloodiest conflict since WWII. Almost 5.5 million people have died here from rebel armies, genocide, rape, mutilation and other horrors we can't even imagine confronting on an everyday basis. You know at the end of the movie "Hotel Rwanda" where one of the final screens says something like, "Rwandan army forces rebel malitia across the border" and you are so happy for all of the Rwandans. Well, for some reason it never occured to me that "over the border" meant the fighting simply moved into the Congo. Finally, this journey took on the feeling of peace that passes all understanding. Congo just felt so right. Suddenly, this blurry vision became so clear. This was it- this is exactly where God wants us to be!!! Part of our hearts were there already, with a child that we don't even know yet, but already love immensely. So Kamron and I got in touch with the agency and asked about a million questions and found out that it only takes 6 months to a year to complete an adoption from here. WHOA! I guess I had in my head that it takes years to adopt. We know people who have been on waiting lists for children from China and Russia for several years. This new knowledge seemed to make everything even more right. We can make a difference right NOW!

Kamron has been a rock through this. I am the impulsive one- when I have an idea, I want to do it right now. But Kamron is a different story- very calm and methodical. He's the exact balance to my whimisical chaos. So when this all came about last fall he knew that it just wasn't the right timing for our family. Not that it wasn't the right thing, but that it just wasn't the right time. So after waiting 9 months (I've been chomping at the bit the whole time!) NOW feels like the right time to both of us. So here we are, beginning the process! We are beyond excited. This is kind of like finding out you're pregnant (on paper, at least!) It is the most awesome feeling to be doing exactly what you know is meant for your life!

We know that there will be tons of challenges on this journey: having a multi-cultural family, transitioning home, just having 3 kids in general instead of 2. And don't even get me started about how quickly my mamma bear claws come out when I hear racist comments about the beautiful child we'll be bringing home! But we're up for the challenge, in fact, we are downright thrilled about it!

I decided to keep a blog about our adoption process for a few reasons. Every New Year I vow that I will keep a journal of all of the adorable things my kiddos say and do, and every year, I fail miserably! So I thought this way would be a better and easier way to document our lives. And secondly, the blogs from other Congo families have been a lifeline for me the last year. I have loved reading their stories. I have cried happy tears with them when they see the first pictures of their children when they receive their referrals. I have rejoiced with them when their babies come to their forever homes. I have laughed with them when their new children flip out at the first sight of Target. I've been amazed at how quickly their little ones pick up English... These faithful bloggers have touched me deeply-so thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being a wealth of knowledge and a well of love.

Thanks for taking the time to find and follow our blog. We'll update it with the day to day happenings of our lives with two crazy kids and put up new information about the adoption as it comes in!

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