Sunday, August 26, 2012

Good Morning

Good morning Sunshine,
I woke up this morning thinking about you and praying for you and realized again how ready I am to meet you and bring you home. I have that realization every time I open my phone and see the picture of you waving back at me. I've never been more excited to buy airplane tickets and make our way to you.  We don't know the date and we may not know until just a few days before.  

This whole process, the privilege of adopting you, choosing you to be our little girl, so clearly captures  the journey of faith that I pray you'll experience in a real, powerful, life-changing way.  Sweetheart, in the same way that we chose you to be ours, God has chosen you, me, your mom, and every other little boy and girl - young or old - to be His.  He has chosen us to be part of His family and to celebrate all the blessings that come with being children of God.  

In the same way we have been waiting for you, God is waiting for us.  He calls us to Himself, but often times we just aren't ready to respond.  We're focused on our own agenda, our own priorities.  But, He's patient and loving through it all, knowing that His "gotcha day" with us is coming up.  And when it does, what a party - even the angels in heaven rejoice at this gotcha day! (Luke 15:10)

Through mountains of paperwork, we have had to be patient and wait for our documentation to make it through the process. But we know our gotcha day is coming soon, when we will forever be united as family.  Father and mother to their daughter.  What a day it will be!

I know there are challenges that we will face. We'll try every step of the way to put ourselves in your shoes and remember what you've been through. The separation, the transitions, the circumstances that brought you to an orphanage many months ago.  While they've given us the privilege to bring you home with us, they undoubtedly have not made the first 6+ months of your life easy. We know that we don't have a clue what we're in for but we promise to love you forever and guide you through the days, months, and years ahead, to hopefully help you be the happiest, healthiest little girl in the world.

Thanks to another blogger (thanks Jen Hatmaker for such incredible posts!), I have these words to be encouraged by and hope they'll encourage others who are going through the same process as us:

Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting through, and adoption is one of them. I can hardly think of something closer to God’s character, who is the “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy.” Certainly, we are his difficult children who spaz out and pull away and manipulate and struggle. We distrust His good love and sabotage our blessings, imagining our shame disqualifies us or that God couldn’t possibly be faithful to such orphans.

But He is. We are loved with an everlasting love, and it is enough to overwhelm our own fear and shame and humanity. In adoption, God is enough for us all. He can overcome our children’s grief. He can overshadow our own inadequacies. He can sweep up our families in a beautiful story of redemption and hope and healing. If you are afraid of adoption, trying to stiff-arm the call, God is the courage you don’t have. If you are waiting, suffering with longing for your child, God is the determination you need. If you are in the early days of chaos, God is the peace you and your child hunger for. If your family feels lost, He is the stability everyone is looking for. If you are working hard on healing, digging deep with your child, God is every ounce of the hope and restoration and safety and grace.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Almost there!

We received word last week that our little girl was transferred to the transition house in Kinshasa and arrived there safely!  This is a great thing because 1) it is run by our agency so their in-country staff will be able to better monitor her health and overall well-being, 2) we should be getting pictures pretty regularly, 3) it means it's almost time to go get her!!!  Our agency is waiting for paperwork from the courts so that they can apply for an embassy appointment and to start scheduling her appointments to get her Congolese passport and the necessary medical exams required to leave the country.

I celebrated our daughter's 6-month birthday with my family (and Marie Callender's pie - yum!) when I came out for a visit to California.  Hopefully we don't have too many more to celebrate without her.

My mom and sister (and some fantastic helpers) threw me a shower while I was out visiting.  It was so nice to see so many of the people from our past and present come out to support us and our daughter.  

I was also able to see some of my favorite colleagues and former students.  It's been so weird not preparing for a new school year but they reminded me that those ten years of teaching middle schoolers might soon come in handy!

I can't wait to bring our baby girl to visit CHCMS and out to visit St. John's.  So many happy memories from my second homes :)

We are busy crossing things off our "to-do lists" like painting the nursery and getting the necessary vaccinations for travel. 

"Hold an armadillo" wasn't on our list but who could resist?!?

There is still much to be done but we finally feel like the end is in sight!  Thank you for your continued prayers for us and our baby girl.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Judgment Day

I'll just cut to the chase - after two months of silence we received word that our favorite Congolese judge has reviewed our case and we've passed court!  She's officially our daughter!! And the good news continued today with some new pictures - she keeps getting cuter and bigger!

We're not quite sure where she got those sweet butterfly threads, but she's rockin them. :-)  

So now what?  We're still at least 8 weeks out from being able to travel to bring her home and it could be longer than that if the powers that be can't read the judge's handwritten judgment.  Yep, you read that right. Official judgments in DRC are handwritten. Gives you a little glimpse of what we're dealing with.

Our daughter's now 6 months old, and we hope that in 2 short months she'll be home with us!  Thanks for praying for these final steps in the process and for her continued growth and development.