Yesterday was such a beautiful, autumn day. The sun was shining and there was just a slight chill in the air. Noah and I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood to see how many different colored leaves we could find, but somehow that turned into a berry picking trip instead. We have 8 holly bushes in our front flower garden that are just full of bright red holly berries. Noah decided that he wanted to pick a few of those to put in his collection bag. One berry turned into 2 or 3 and the next thing I know, he had spent 45 minutes picking holly berries. One. By. One. It was very Blueberries For Sal, minus the bears. We had just heard a sermon on Sunday about finding joy through simplicity, and if that wasn't simplicity, then I don't know what is! He had the best time being focused on those berries and watching his baggie get full. A few times I heard him mutter, "Sadie's really going to be proud of me!" It just goes to show, you don't need fancy toys, or elaborate trips to check out the fall foliage. All you need is a sunny afternoon and a Ziploc bag to find pure bliss!
We capped off that great day by having a birthday dinner for Papaw Gary (Kamron's dad). In the middle of dinner, Gary pulled out his wallet and took out Miles' picture and put it up on the ledge next to our table so that baby Miles could join us for supper. I thought that it was such a cute gesture, and so sweet that he already had Miles' picture in his wallet. I love that our new son has such proud papaws!
Today brought about lots more fall fun with Sadie's field trip to the pumpkin patch and a hiking trip to Papaw Johnny's farm. It is always special for me to get to spend one on one time with our kids. Sadie and I got to spend our special time taking a ride on a hay wagon, and choosing our Halloween pumpkins. Sadie's favorite part was the corn maze- she really felt like and explorer. I don't think that she realized that every single path took you to the exit of the maze- as in: you couldn't take a wrong turn or get lost in there if you tried. I didn't have the heart to tell her, since she really felt like she accomplished something huge by making it through that maze! Then after school we headed over to Papaw Johnny's farm. We hiked all over the woods and took in all the beauty. I felt like we just had to soak it all in before winter! (Mom- I was being Frederick!) We walked up and down the dried up creek bed and gathered pockets full of walnuts and rocks. We found a fallen down tree in the forest that made a great balance beam and provided a whole afternoon of great entertainment. It truly is the simple things in life!
This week is the second annual "Congo Week". Congo week was designed to raise awareness about the ongoing war in the DRC that has taken over 5.5 million lives and counting. Our sweet, precious boy lives amidst the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Holocaust. So much of this war is caused by the fighting for control of mineral mines and the trade of these minerals. The minerals mined in Congo make up components in nearly all of our electronic devices. Unless you are an incommunicado hermit, we've all (myself included) purchased things that are fueling this war. The war in the Congo is ripping families apart, creating child soldiers, perpetuating the rape of women and young girls and destroying an entire country. It has been said that "kids in Congo are being sent down mines to die so that kids in Europe and America can kill imaginary aliens in their living rooms.” One of the most important things we can do is educate ourselves and those around us. Recommend this blog or any other "Congo family" blog to people you work with. They are a great way to raise awareness in a non-threatening way. Click on the resources to the left to learn more about the war and our role in it. Make responsible consumer choices about what electronics companies you will buy from. Recycle your old cell phones, laptops and other electronics (many zoos have electronics recycling programs). Take a few minutes to email your senators about creating transparency for electronics companies (specifically ask them to support bill s.891). Because, while our baby Miles gets to escape the chaos, millions of other children won't get that opportunity. Where you are born should not determine whether you live or die. So do what YOU can to help these kids. Because there are LOTS of things that YOU can do. Visit some of these links to find out more:
The War the World Ignores
War, Rape, Murder: All for your cell phone
Thank you all so much for the support you've given us during this journey. And thanks in advance for what you are going to do to help make the Congo a better and safer place for the children we'll have to leave behind. If you are doing something to help, I'd love to hear about it (and applaud your effort!) Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what awesome things you're doing!