29 December 2013

DRC Update

This is not a big update, but I wanted to write it anyway. The State Department has issued another alert suggesting that even the grandfathered-in cases will proceed slowly because people have been forging documents. The emotionally violent part of me wants to go BEAT some sense into these people! I know you're desperate to bring your child home and I don't blame you for your feelings, but give a single moment's thought to the hundreds or thousands of families you're affecting by further damaging the United States' relationship with the Congo.

Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

It is possible that, because of you, we won't be able to bring H home. It's horribly selfish, which is a terrible way to start your parenting of a hurt child. It also makes you look just like a trafficker. Just fyi. </disdain> </rant>

Okay, I'm not talking to them any longer. Frankly, their selfishness will incur wrath more frightening than my own, for who loves orphans more than the Most Holy God? Who placed in mothers the fierceness of protection? Children are literally dying every day in the Congo for want of aid and protection, and these people are making it worse. It will be a dreadful thing on that day.

Honestly, I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to do whatever it took to get H here. But then I think about having to tell her, eventually, that she was smuggled here. That she was, essentially, trafficked. It's no good. Besides, H isn't the only child in the DRC who needs a family. How could I live with myself if my actions caused a country to close down its international adoption program? I sure hope anyone realizes this, and I desperately hope they feel the same way.

Katanga region. Rainy season. Beautiful.

In the same alert, the DRC also warned that the suspension of issuing exit visas may last past the original term of one year, so things aren't looking any better for us. But hope does not disappoint, and I believe steadfastly that the Lord will use our adoption to advance the Gospel, just like He used Paul's imprisonment, from where he wrote the epistle of Philippians.

18 December 2013

On Fear

A few weeks ago, I started having stress dreams again. It takes me a while to recognize that that's what they are, but at some point the light bulb goes on and I realize, "oh, I'm afraid."

This round, the dreams were about losing Ezra (sometimes physically, sometimes to CPS, always with the threat looming but never fully realized. When the light bulb goes on, that's when I realize how hard our adoption process has been. My subconscious is scared, like a rabbit in the deep dark woods or something. In some ways, this adoption has felt like several miscarriages; there have been several paths we were sure would lead to our child being home with us, only to have the door close and the path cut off.

I have dealt with those losses individually, but I guess not with the point of view of the future. But I cannot deny that a small part of me is terrified (sobbing, crazy-eyed frantic) about us losing H. That she will be an example to our community and the world of a child who isn't "chosen" (even though she is), who doesn't have the dream come true, who is left on her own. What if our story is one of "we wanted her and weren't allowed"? What if that's the testimony, that things need to change, that children are often run over by governments and powers-that-be?

I can't. I don't know if I can handle it. So God invites me to walk in the garden with him, and my breaking heart is comforted on his shoulder. We probably won't know for months. I need his strength and his hope, because I have none of my own.

09 December 2013

Adoption Update

I should have written this like 2 weeks ago, but this semester has kicked my tail. So tired.

Those of you who've been following our adoption closely (I mean, if you're here, I'm assuming that's you) know the halt with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. So we've decided to wait to pursue adopting H. Our DRC adoption program director thinks the suspension is likely to last the whole year (so until the end of September, 2014) and that the Congo will likely introduce more legislation on their process to adopt internationally. So, if we were to continue the process now, it is possible we would adopt H legally and never be able to bring her home, which would be devastating emotionally and crippling financially.

So, we're going to wait and see how it goes. We will reassess in April or May to see if they've made changes to the laws or if changes seem "in the works." If the DRC lifts the suspension early, we will probably continue the process immediately. We don't want her waiting longer than she needs to, but we cannot afford to have a child living in a different country.

This could end poorly for us: the DRC has plenty of rules already in place; it is entirely possible that they will add a requirement we simply cannot meet (in-country residency, being a national, specific income amount). But we remain hopeful that the Lord's favor will be upon H and our family.

02 December 2013


Ezra started saying water yesterday.

I mean, he'd say "wawa" before, and technically he says it "wataaaaa" now, but the point is he's so proud! Yesterday he ran around the house yelling "WAAAATAAAAA! WAAAATAAAAA!" and would ask for it a lot (though of course it always turned out he wanted juice).

I'm sure it's nice to have a child that hits all developmental targets on time, but, honestly, I love that Ezra's been behind in language. It makes every word more precious. It makes every time he tries more special. It makes me even prouder that he works on it even though he isn't currently "gifted" linguistically.

It also makes for some hilarious sounds, like how he says milk "malt" or "molt." So the scenario plays out like this:

Me: Ezra, you can't have juice right now, but you can have water or milk.
Me: You want water?
E: Molt!
Me: Okay, you want milk?
E: Uhhuh MALT!

[Yes, he does yell that much.] But really, I'm glad to have the opportunity so early to learn to let him show me how he learns, to let him develop on his own pace, and to be okay that he's not above average at everything. And to figure out how much prodding is too much for him (hint: almost any is too much).