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"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

Sunday, March 18, 2012

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...

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