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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

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

First Judgment Received - Check!!!

A major step is completed.  There are 2 judgments in Congolese adoption and we recently got word that our kids' case was heard in court (which we reported in June) and our first judgment was successfully served!  This judgment declares that N and A are in fact legal orphans and we can therefore move on toward the actual adoption hearing.

Both of the judgments are followed by a mandatory 30 day waiting period.  We are currently about one week into our first 30 day waiting period.  This first waiting period is to allow for any remaining living relatives to step forward and claim them.  At the end of the 30 days, if no other family claims them, we wait to receive a Certificate of No Appeal.  Once that certificate comes, we file for their first ever birth certificates to be drafted up for the hearing (they aren't typically born in hospitals and they rarely issue birth certificates).  Once we receive both documents, we file for THE adoption hearing!  We don't really know how long either of those documents takes to process but we will keep you updated.  Our 30 day waiting period is over after the first week of August.


M23 rebel army outside of deserted house after entering  Rutshuru
For those of you who read our first post about why we are adopting, I mentioned that our lives are a journey of learning to trust God as He stretches us beyond what we can bear.  Always in return, He reminds us that He is trustworthy.  We have yet another story of His power in our inability.  If you read the last post, just less than 2 weeks ago we were fearing for our childrens' lives in Goma.  There is a rebel malitia group by the name of M23, that had violently overtaken a town (Rutshuru, pictured above) just 25 miles north of their town and were presumed to be heading toward Goma.  What can we do from all the way over here?!  We can't legally take them out of the country yet.  In a country where murder of entire villages and rape of young girls to old women is commonplace, we could see catastrophe around the corner.  I had remembered reading Psalm 10 a few weeks ago and noting that it sounded a lot like what the fatherless are experiencing now in countries like the Congo.  The night I heard of this impending danger, all I could do was cry out to God and remind Him of what His word says about Him.  It says in Psalm 10 "Arise, O LORD, O God, lift up your hand; forget not the afflicted.  ...  you have been the helper to the fatherless.  Break the arm of the wicked and evil doer...  O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more."  I pled with Him for their safety and prayed His Word back to Him. That night and still today I couldn't help but think about all of the orphans who DO die in the hands of wicked men.  What would be the fate of N and A?  Does God rescue every time?  No.  Why not?  I don't know.  But I trust that His wisdom is greater than mine and we too as fellow humans have some great measure of responsibility in the matter.  Maybe He's waiting on us.

I am so relieved to say that God did shield and protect them!  This is an excerpt sent from another mother waiting on children who are in the same orphanage with our children.  Her Rwandan friend lives on the border and takes food in to our children. She wrote:
             "I awoke yesterday to a very upsetting email from our Rwandan friend saying that things were looking bad for Goma and that the war was very near where the orphanage was. He was asking for prayers for the situation. Today, I woke up and there was a much better email from him. He said that the troops for some reason had fled into the forest and had not gone into Goma. Praise God they didn't go where our children are :) I cannot tell you how relieved I am today. God is taking care of our babies and all the other orphans in Goma :) He did say that people were still scared and not going far from their homes and most shops were closed. Food is very expensive."

The bible tells of armies of angels protecting those who were trusting in God in dire circumstances.  Could the troops have seen some warrior angels that night?!  I don't know but I am certain that God had his hand in it one way or another.  The next morning we saw news reports that the UN had sent in troops to protect the city!  Sometimes, there are things in life that we just cannot control.  I am forever grateful that I know the God who holds the universe in His hands and who loves and fights for those who call on His name.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Rebel Fighting Imminent

The region where N and A are living is becoming increasingly unstable.  They are in a dangerous place as a rebel group is threatening their town of Goma and other surrounding towns.  Please pray for their safety.  Of course, if the city is under siege and at war they will be fleeing and suffering and not processing adoptions.  More urgently at this point, their lives could be in danger.  This is a brutal and very violent group.    Please pray for this nation and our hopeful children there!  This is the very reason these precious children are up for adoption, there are millions of orphans as the oppression has had little reprieve for generations.  How can this be allowed to continue?  God, arise and defend the fatherless!

Psalm 10:8 - 18  
 8 He [the wicked] sits in ambush in the villages; in hiding places he murders the innocent. His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;  9 he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket; he lurks that he may seize the poor; he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net.  10 The helpless are crushed, sink down, and fall by his might.  11 He says in his heart, "God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it."  12 Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up your hand; forget not the afflicted.  13 Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, "You will not call to account"?  14 But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands; to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless.  15 Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none.  16 The LORD is king forever and ever; the nations perish from his land.  17 O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear  18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.