Blog Description

"God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure." Ephesians 1:5
"We love because he firstloved us." 1 John 4:19

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Info on Congo

Want to know more about what life is like where our kids are living?  We've been learning about the Congo over the past 7 months and here are the highlights.

First of all, it has many names: Congo, the Congo, Congo-Kinshasa (as opposed to its neighbor to the north, Congo-Brazzaville, differentiated by their capital cities), Democratic Republic of (the) Congo, DR Congo, DRC, and formerly Zaire from 1971-1997 (as well as a few other names before that!).  Any of these names besides Zaire is acceptable.

Congo is the second largest country in Africa with an area about the size of the US east of the Mississippi River.  Recently a New York Times journalist said what many others have believed, Congo is the least developed nation in the world.

The country is divided east to west by impassible jungles; this divide has created difficulties for unification and security.  Eastern Congo, the area where our children live, has felt the effects most.  National conflicts, undisciplined soldiers, local militia, and rogue armies like the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) have directly or indirectly caused the death of approximately 5-6 million people over the past 15 years in this part of Africa.  Those who have escaped with their lives have been displaced from their homes, brutalized and stripped of dignity and livelihood.  Eastern Congo is known as the rape capital of the world, where it is estimated that 40 women are raped every day.

Thankfully there are rays of hope in the midst of seemingly endless despair.  God has servants ministering to the hurting and homeless like the couple who founded and run the orphange where our children live.  Praise God for them and ask that he would continue to grant them safety, energy, and resources to maintain and expand their work to orphans and war affected women.

Below are some pictures (not of our children - we are not allowed to post those yet), an article with some photos, and a video report if you'd like to learn more about Congo generally and specifically the area where our children live, Goma, North Kivu.


Video report - one of my favorites
National Geographic article

Monday, March 26, 2012

Laundry laughs

Well, for your enjoyment, here's a "mommy of the year moment".  Not so much related to the adoption as a day in the life of the Hetzlers.  I care for a couple of cutie brothers aged 2 yrs and 6 months 2 days per week, both of whom are in diapers.  Baby Joel naps in Nathanael's room while he is at school.  Nathanael's laundry basket is next to his trash can in his room.  Well...  let's say I'm not such a great shot from across the room and apparently threw a diaper into the laundry basket last week.  No big deal unless you throw the whole basket in the washer a few days later, diaper and all.  That's exactly what I did and as I went to move Nathanael's clothes over from the washer to the dryer I found that they were covered in some mysterious gelatinous stuff.  I mean covered.  I finally figured out what it was and found myself in the back yard this morning shaking out each and every piece of clothing in the basket, white stuff flying, even the socks were full of diaper filament!  Annalise thought it was pretty funny and captured the not so great mommy moment on her hot pink camera she got for Christmas.  So, the clothes are back in the wash for a second round and we'll see what happens.  Nathanael, sorry buddy.  Hope you aren't gonna be wearing diaper fibers to school the next two months.  Maybe spring will save the day and we'll just move on to shorts.  Linda and Jane, if you are wondering why I showed up to Annalise's parent/teacher conference today looking like it had snowed on only me, now you know why.

I imagine our laundry mountains are only going to grow as we add our 2 more children!  I had better start stepping it up.  The last time I found myself scrubbing laundry in the outdoors was during our time in Uganda.  This morning as I was shaking diaper out of our Nathanael's clothes I couldn't help but think of another laundry laugh moment so I dug up the picture.  Notice the Ugandan girl in the background.  Shortly after this picture was taken, she walked over and said, "you look like you could use some help?", which was her gracious way of saying that I clearly did not know how to hand wash my clothes!  I'm surprised they didn't catch on fire as fast and furious as she scrubbed.  I watched in awe and humbly received her instruction.  What would she say if she could see me today shaking disposable diaper gel out of our clothes?!  N and A, our family is far from perfect and often even a mess in many ways but we promise we will love you and have lots of fun together!  Hurry up and get here.  And I promise, I'll try not to wash your clothes in baby diapers.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wewe unasema Kiswahili?! ( you speak Swahili?)

Just finished a double-header Swahili lesson with our dear friend Brittany Cesarini!  We had chakula cha jioni (dinner) together and then hit the masomo (lessons).  Brittany, also known by her Swahili name, Karima meaning compassion, is a graduating senior at Princeton University and is in my bible course through PFA.  She is fluent in Swahili and was just awarded a fellowship for a 1-2 year project in Tanzania and will be leaving at the end of the summer.  We are SO very thankful to have her.  Thank you Karima!  Can you imagine what it would be like for us to try to learn Swahili living in our beloved former homes of rural KY, IL, St. Louis, or AL?! Anybody speak Swahili around there?  We are also blessed to have Princeton friends Moses (from Rwanda) and Trent (Swahili student who has spent much time in Africa using his Swahili) to keep us laughing at ourselves as we try to use our limited Swahili with them.  Asante sana sana sana.  If that's not enough, a new friend Jane at our church is Kenyan and Swahili is her native tongue.  Annalise and I love seeing her every Tuesday morning as she joyfully speaks way more Swahili to us that we can understand.  But each time we leave knowing something new and feeling very loved.  Wonders never cease...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Growing Pains

      -written Friday, March 16

As the outside is dreary and rain trickles slowly down my living room window, so do the tears today trickle slowly down my cheeks. For this I am so thankful! I just dropped off Nathanael at Kindergarten and Annalise to her pre-school and have a rare morning of no appointments so in this quiet morning, all the feelings stirring underneath are afforded the opportunity of release. When we started this process of adoption, I feared that I would not FEEL a deep attachment to these children. Today, possibly still many months from finally receiving N and A home, I miss them deeply. I cry over them as their mother and they may not yet even know that I exist. I can't even begin to grasp the dangers they are in and the loneliness and confusion they may feel. What have they seen and experienced? At the very least, they have lost both mother and father at the same time. How do children process such a thing? Especially without their mother and father to help them process it? I don't know but I DO know that God has answered my prayers in giving me love for them and I trust that He is answering our daily prayers that they feel His love and know His protection. When an earthly father can do nothing to protect his children, his prayers are a mighty tool in the hands of their heavenly Father. When an earthly mother can't scoop them up into her arms and cover them in kisses, her prayers surely beckon to them the presence of the Creator of mommies! How long will we have to wait? Today, it feels that the wait could be indefinite. 

     About 4-5 weeks ago we heard the good news that they are in fact HIV negative and we signed on the dotted line to accept their referral. We also learned that we could correspond with them via internet through our attorney and wrote them a letter trying to explain adoption and our love for them. Since then, silence and a stall in the process. (Chuck just came home and told me that our attorney in the Congo has been extremely ill and will hopefully be back to work in a couple weeks.) At that moment of accepting the referral I feel like life's longest umbilical chord was stretched from Princeton, NJ USA to a dusty and lava covered orphanage in Goma, North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo. They are at the foot of an active gigantic volcano that could erupt again at any time, on the edge of Lake Kivu which is filled with poisonous gasses, and surrounded by brutal, hellacious war and disease. Yet, I am saddened but not worried. Our heavenly Father loves us and these children more than we can begin to muster, and He has put it in our hearts to love and pursue them. He will see them home if this is in fact where He intends them to be. I feel the kicks and growing pains in my heart this time around rather than in my womb. In the same way that they were not always comfortable when I carried Nathanael and Annalise, they were then and are now a welcomed sign of life and love to come. As for all the other orphaned children ... I am growing uncomfortable with the fact that I don't yet feel the same love for them. I pray that God will fix that in my heart and in the hearts of all of us. Now, off to grab that illusive shower while I can!

We Have a Match!!!

Two days ago (Wed. December 14th) at 4:40pm marked the beginning of the next chapter of our lives and of our family. We finally got the call we had been waiting for. That afternoon I briefly checked my email and wanted to take a quick glance on the internet at some sweet little Congolese orphan faces. The same faces I had looked at many times before but felt a hunger just to look at the faces of OUR Congolese children. Until later that afternoon, they had just been in our hearts and our hopes, and a face previously seared into my memory (see How Did We Choose the Congo?). Saddened by the idea of longing to see them but looking at other children similar to them, I decided to get back to work but offered up a quick prayer that it would be soon that we finally got to see our own. Meanwhile, as Chuck walked into the house he later told me that he had this strange feeling that we would hear from Heather, our liason with the adoption agency, that they had found our children. He dismissed the thought, knowing that our papers had only reached the Congo a week or two before.

While I was juggling the needs of Nathanael, Annalise, and baby Caleb, trying to make Christmas cut-out cookies for the students coming over, etc. etc. Chuck stuck his head into the kitchen, with his eyes wide open and told me Heather was on the phone with some really good news and wanted to talk to both of us at the same time. I immediately felt my soul well up within me and knew we were possibly about to learn about and even see the children God has been growing in our hearts, to put it as our adopted friend, little Zoey says. The kids knew this was serious and they didn't even attempt to act out as usual for our attention while we were both pre-occupied on a very serious phone call! They too were wide-eyed, hearts pounding too I am sure. Heather told us there were 4 kids they wanted us to know about. There was a boy and girl sibling pair, and two unrelated 2 yr old boys. Heather began with the brother/sister pair and it was all so fitting and exactly what we had thought we would want from the beginning. A bit surprising was the fact that they were in the especially unstable Northern Kivu province and would have to be brought somehow across the country to Kinshasa for us to receive them. So, we begin hearing details about an estimated 5 yr old boy and his 4 yr old sister whose family had been displaced to the bush during the widespread conflict and life-threatening social and political situations.  

Heather told us she would send over more information about them and a picture of each of them as soon as we hung up.  I had to get Nathanael and Annalise to Awana at church but I was dying to see these pictures and learn more about them.  I didn't want to just glance at them and run out the door so I forced myself to wait until I got home from dropping the kids off and really allow myself to have a moment!  Chuck on the other hand could not wait and told me right then and there that he was not waiting for me to get home, that he just couldn't!  Of course the question in my mind was, "is she the little girl I saw in that vision?"  (see jounal entries in "How did we choose the Congo?")  I rushed home and tried to not read too much off of Chuck's face.  I sat in front of the computer, offered the fastest millisecond prayer and opened their pictures.  When the little girl's picture popped up on the screen, I just laughed.  She was SO intense.  She had those same big beautiful brown eyes, same features all around, round face, same cheekbones and mouth.  However, her eyes though the same were so very different.  She was so sad and intense where the girl I saw in the vision had eyes dancing with joy and love.  We had made a deep emotional connection that day that forever changed me.  This little girl's eyes told a different story.  The little boy too is adorable!  He looks like he doesn't want to smile but almost cracks a little skeptical smirk.  Maybe he has never seen a camera before?  They look a lot alike and are about 12 months apart, biological brother and sister who were separated for about 2 years and were recently reunited at an orphanage.  I think there was no doubt in either of our hearts that we wanted these children to be our children.  The only thing we now wait for in order to officially accept the referral was for someone to get to them through the impassable war-affected North Kivu region and set up testing for HIV.  We were warned that this could take some time.  We finally heard word on February 22 that they are in deed HIV negative and we accepted the match right away!!!  I wish I could post their pictures and names here but we are not yet allowed to do that.  We may soon be able to publish their names but I'm not sure.  I will say, we had planned to give them new names until we saw their given birth names!  They are very similar to the names of our own biological children and we know they were given to them by their birth parents rather than the orphanage so we will most likely not change a thing!  The girls even have the same stocky build and the boys are both lanky.  It was as if they belonged here all along...

How Did We Choose the Congo? ... we didn't, it chose us

     Well, to allay the suspense, I will say in a nutshell that after much begging and pleading with God to somehow lead us to "the right" children, He spoke!  We were in Uganda at the time, the Democratic republic of Congo's neighbor to the east.  I will unfold the details as we remember them as God shifted our focus from Uganda to the Congo.  Don't miss the journal entries at the bottom, as they reveal the catalyst for change.

     Our original plan was to take steps in the only direction we felt drawn to in our hearts.  Chuck was feeling pretty sure about Uganda as he already had a love for the country and it's recent history.  They have an estimated 3-5 million orphans and had been traumatized by the LRA and the Aids epidemic.  I saw Uganda as a place of great need and had no other place in mind, so we set off to find a reputable Adoption Agency with a Uganda program.  We settled on Lifeline Children's Services out of Birmingham, AL and could not be more pleased!  We shortly thereafter began filling out the mountains of paperwork and making a financial commitment.  Simultaneously, we had the opportunity through Chuck's campus ministry work to accompany a group of 15 Princeton students to Uganda to do mission work and begin gathering information and experience for developing a long-term relationship and ministry and service work among them.  We were thrilled to go along and thought... maybe we will even meet our children there and then know who to adopt!  I also was hoping for more clarity because I was still spending many days and nights wondering what didn't feel right.  Were we doing the right thing?  We prayed many times that this trip would help form for me some attachment to the people and country of Uganda and that I would gain a peace and excitement about Ugandan adoption.  From the time the plane landed in Entebbe, the very opposite happened.  I began feeling very uneasy and an inexplicable feeling of "this doesn't fit".  I did gain a deep love and appreciation for the beautiful and exuberant people of Uganda.  But, as far as adoption was concerned, each day felt more like our children weren't here.  We were learning on a moment by moment basis that the Ugandan people were making great strides to care for their own orphans and considered international adoption a last resort.  In a country where 70% of the population is under 30 years old, many Ugandans are courageously taking up the mantle of caring for these orphans and see them as the future of their own country.  We saw astounding projects and children's homes caring for tens of thousands of orphans.   Meanwhile, I was taking every opportunity to form bonds and relationships with the beautiful people of Uganda.  And this I did with great joy.  Despite their daily struggle, there is a characteristic "Ugandan smile" that has enough wattage to light up any dark place.  Our time in Africa became for us a paradox of gracious welcome and unity among our new Ugandan friends alongside our own inner struggle and confusion concerning the adoption.

Living Hope - a ministry dedicated to help restore dignity to women either HIV+ or war effected
This little boy was roaming around outside at about 10pm.  He came with me, spoke not a word of English, and snuggled in my lap for over an hour before he headed back outside.  Where was he going I wonder?

Who says I don't belong here?  A fabulous group of University students who lavished us with love.

This little boy from one of the Watoto Children's Villages was so very proud to show off his dominoes.

An impressive 8 yr old girl with a heart the size of Africa itself.  She could do anything we could do!

Where are their mommies and daddies?  Double time for Chuck today!
These Ugandan babies are fortunate enough to be in the Watoto Church "system".  They will be placed in a Watoto village which provides a permanent home with a widow as "MaMa" and cared for through college.  All supported by the local church!

One of Watoto's babies' homes.  GENIUS.

     As you can see, we loved our time with our Ugandan friends.  All the while, something just was not right.  It was like Chuck and I both had gates over our hearts saying "these are not your children".  Though it was easy to just love on the children in front of us, we felt lost and a bit unsettled.  Where are we going?!  Three days before the end of our time in Uganda, God broke through and answered in an unexpected way.  Below are excerpts of my journal entry of what we now understand was God's hand reaching into our lives to bring us to the children He intended for us all along.  They weren't in Uganda, but right next door.  Our own "Macedonian Call" ( Acts 16:6-10 ) was the catalyst to our shift from Ugandan adoption to Congolese Adoption.  In this passage, Paul saw a face and was told a place and the same thing happened to me! I too saw a face and was told a place!

Journal Excerpts recording the events that led to an undeniable shift to the Congo, aka "Zaire"!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011  "So many vascilating thoughts about adoption, particularly Ugandan adoption these past several days.  Been praying for the Lord's good and perfect will to be accomplished no matter what.  I had a great time with the Lord this morning early before others awoke.  He gently and kindly revealed to me that I haven't been trusting Him.  His ways are always good! He is fully trustworthy.  I have no need to worry or be anxious..."

Thursday, August 25  "Last night, Wednesday, we prayed with our dear friend and student, Sabrina.  We were praying specifically (at her offer) for the Lord's guidance in leading us to potential Hetzler adopted children.  As we prayed I saw a picture of a girl in my mind.  I am not certain this was from God but I will record it.  It was a picture with motion at the beginning (like live action video a few seconds, maybe 5).  This little girl was so beautiful, sitting in the back of what I understood to be a wagon.  There were other children in front of her and she was squeezed in the back but I only saw her. She was darker than us, possibly even light/golden skinned black.  She had beautiful brown eyes ... and her hair was very dark.  She was smiling and laughing and I remembered thinking she IS the right fit, she BELONGS with us.  Even though I think she could be mixed or a different nationality, brown skin, she somehow"belonged".  She was about 4 years old.
     She could still be Ugandan but her features were not much like what we have seen here and her skin was not the same color.  So we are wanting to remain patient and wait on the Lord.  I also remembered wondering "where is your brother?" and kind of looking to see him but she was close up and I could only see her.  I got the impression that he could have been near by but I'm not sure.  She had striking brown eyes and a very round face.  We have prayed lots that God would lead the way.  We know that what He has for us is right and good and we certainly don't want ANYTHING but that!  His ways are unsearchable and He is so good and loving and kind."

Thursday, August 25th pm  "Well, I'm here on the bed in Kampala, Uganda under the mosquito nets listening to the soothing beating of rain outside our open window, trying to piece together crazy bits from this crazy day.  This entire day has seemed very long and we even contacted our travel agent to see if we could move our flight up a day sooner.  Kampala is pretty filthy and the air is difficult and even painful to breathe at times. 
    I have much less peace bordering on discomfort.  Uganda feels wrong for adoption for our family.  Instead of clarity, there has been confusion.  Instead of confirmation, Ugandans really desire and work toward keeping their own orphans in their own country...
    On the flip side of things, one thing I did not mention with the vision of the girl was that the country/word "Zaire" also came to mind, more than once.  I know nothing about Zaire and hesitated to mention it to Chuck because it seems so wierd, crazy, out there and the most significant event was the vision.   I didn't want him (or me) to discount the vision for the craziness of a random "Zaire" popping into my head.  Eventually I couldn't stop thinking about Zaire and blurted out to Chuck "where's Zaire?"  He wasn't sure but he looked at a map (later of his own volition) and learned that Zaire was the former name of the DRC - Democratic Republic of Congo. 
     We spent all day kind of moping around, feeling lost and out of place, and discouraged that we had had a plan and now we don't.  Still adopt?  Domestic? How do we know?"

     Chuck suggested that we ask God if He in deed was speaking to us, that He would confirm.  So, we prayed and He confirmed twice in the same day!
  • We went back to Lifeline Adoption Agency's web-site to explore other options.  To our shock, alongside the Uganda and Ethiopia programs was now listed CONGO.  Chuck kept hitting refresh and I was wondering if I was still in the twilight zone.  Was I seeing this for real or seeing it in my head as I had seen the girl and understood that she was in Zaire?  When we returned to the states we called the agency and were told that they had been working on a Congo program for months and had just posted it that week.
  • As we looked at pictures on the internet of Congolese children versus Ugandan children, there are distinctly different characteristics.  I was floored and my eyes teared up many times as I saw different facial features that matched that of the little girl in my vision.  There is also a distinctive "Congolese eye" that is undeniable.
Still, this was a big change to be made and we wanted to give it some time to settle before making the change for sure.  After we had been home for a few days, we called our agency and made the change.  By God's blessing, had we been successful in completing our home-study before leaving for Africa, we would have been country specific and locked into Uganda.  By God's grace, though we tried, our agency representative was booked for final interviews until we returned from our trip.  The final confirmation was in my heart.  Ever since that day in Uganda, the uncertainty about the adoption has gradually come to an end.  I was realizing that this was meant to be.

We live in a natural world and we are accustomed to the natural.  When the supernatural reaches in, we don't always know how to recognize it.  I now understand that God was being kind in whispering Zaire rather than Congo because I would have always wondered if the Congo was my own idea.  Since I knew nothing of Zaire, I know I didn't come up with it!  I laugh at how well my Father knows me and loves me enough to use my weaknesses to reveal His plan.  We pray because we believe God answers.  Our faith is not a religion but a relationship with the God who is our Father and the Father to the Fatherless.  Now we believe even more and recognize that the supernatural Creator and Sustainer has indeed reached in and changed the course of our lives and the lives of 2 precious orphans in the Congo who are awaiting a home.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Why Adoption and Why Africa? - Karen's perspective

 written June 2011

I often ask myself the same question. Chuck and I have a history of learning to trust God and often He takes us out of our comfort zone and calls us to take steps of faith and sacrifice, only to pour any “sacrifice” back into our own laps ten-fold. I quickly learned that this is NOT about sacrifice but about God's desire to give us a precious gift if we would just let go of what was in our hands in order to take hold of this better gift instead. This is the story of our lives as we make intentional leaps of risk to trust Him. If you are one who knows the biblical God personally, through faith in His Son Jesus Christ, you may know what I mean. If any of my thoughts and comments about God seem ridiculous and foreign to any others of you, I respect that and I just hope you will be like one who gleans from the edges of the field, all I have is yours. I hope you find it to be sweet to the taste and nourishing to your soul, even if it is something you have never tasted before.

So, sensing these nudges that there is more to our family, that the plight of the orphan often goes ignored (by us as well, sadly enough), maybe another pregnancy would test my health further, that there are many millions of children already here on this earth without a mommy or daddy, home, hope, love, safety, education, or a future, it seemed that having another child, at least for now, would be missing a different path that God is maybe intending for us to take. This direction of adding children to our family by adopting them some days seems enthralling and other days, more than a bit overwhelming. I have enough difficulty being the mom I want to be to Nathanael and Annalise! How in the world will I do with more?

We have for many years thought that adoption was something we might want to do "one day".  Then we had many years that we never thought about it or even felt that our family was done!  We had more than we could handle at the time.  Long story short, about 2 yrs ago we each began thinking about adoption a lot and had many instances over many months where we were compelled to consider it anew.  Unable to step forward until I had a greater sense of certainly about what I might be getting myself into, I set apart 3 days to fast and pray and seek God’s thoughts. Whenever I was praying and waiting and listening, my concerns and fears stilled. I was at peace as if God was smiling over these little children that He loves so dearly, not just our two hopeful adoptees, but all of the millions of orphans that He Fathers through the scary nights, hunger pains, and lonely days. When I wasn't praying and just going about my normal daily tasks, I became overwhelmed and doubtful again. That in itself was an indication of whose voice I might really be hearing on the matter, God's and my own.  They were in contrast with each other and I have learned which one is more trustworthy. So adopting became more certain in my heart and mind, though the country of adoption was unclear. 

When I had a few months prior asked Chuck where he thought we might want to adopt from, he immediately said “East Africa”. I was a bit bewildered, for one because I had no inclination toward one country or another while he seemed so certain and specific and this was the first mention of it. For two,  Africa of course raised other questions and concerns for me because obviously everyone in mainland Africa is black and we are white. I want to love all children, whether black, white, yellow, red, green, or purple deeply enough that I would welcome them into my own family. This must be a deposit in my heart from my Lord, who died for all people and grieves over the injustices we humans bring upon one another out of our pride and selfishness. As far as our family is concerned I am thrilled about the opportunity to live out what we say we believe concerning the equality and value of all mankind. It’s a beautiful picture and I can’t wait for a real little African baby girl to replace the beautiful black baby doll that my blond hair blue eyed 3 yr old baby girl tucks into bed beside her many nights. And for our 5 yr old son to begin to see the world through the lens of his Creator by giving him the opportunity to call a little orphaned African boy “friend” and better yet “brother”. All of this aside I had concerns for how our adopted children might feel being raised in a white family, how they may one day wonder if they really belong with us, and how other people might misinterpret our family. This is the joy of knowing God personally! You get to lay all these fears aside because He replaces them one by one with a new and better understanding. For me, the specific understandings He gave were that when He knitted this little boy and girl into their mother’s womb, it was with the intent that they were in fact our children, Hetzlers on purpose and not by accident. They really do belong to and with us. They make complete the Hetzler family that He intended all along. Secondly, for about the 5th time now, He brought to mind a passage in His word (it makes sense that this is one of the ways He still speaks today since our words are a primary vehicle of our communication!). The passage is Isaiah 54:13 which reads “All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.” When I first read this passage in the Fall of 2010 after being compelled to get out of bed and ask what God was trying to tell me, I prayed and opened a book of bible promises. As I read, the word all jumped off the page and took on new meaning that made my heart skip a beat. I knew there would be more than the 2 we already had and that there would be children grafted in. This was the first time I had considered adoption seriously and it would be many months until we took any steps of action. So as we considered whether or not to adopt, I was reminded that I can trust that He will take care of ALL of my children, identity issues and all, and that in spite of the identity issues that all of us face at some point or another, He will be the one teaching them and He will bring them the peace that only He can bring. This is what they will learn I trust - the mystery of God and of His adopting us into His family as sons and daughters through the ransom of His Son’s death in place of ours. None of us “belong” in God’s family either but He offers the call of adoption to all who will come. We trust that they will find the Prince of Peace. When I lay these thoughts and concerns side by side I now ask myself, how can one even compare living in an orphanage or on the streets with even an imperfect life in a white American family who loves and adores them, offers them all the privileges and inheritances of a son and daughter?! So I lay these questions to rest. Lastly, I had some frank conversations with God, He likes that I think, telling Him that I will walk on in faith and obedience, trusting that He better stop this in it’s tracks if in any way we have contrived it or it is detrimental to any of the children or to us. So, we walk on. Yet again, as we thought we were sacrificing all the things that are most important to us, He has turned it around and we see that He is the one giving the gifts to us, not us to Him.

For more answers to Why Adoption and Why Africa?  see "Info on Congo" and "How Did We Choose Congo"

Starting our blog!

We have been intending to start a blog pertaining to our adoption for months, and finally it's here!  We'll be posting updates on the process and sharing thoughts along the way.  For those interested in learning how we made it to this point in our adoption (we have already been matched with two children from DRC), we will be going back in time and posting crucial developments over the past year or so.  We're excited to start and bring everyone up to date.  Thank you for your prayers and support!