Here it is...Sunny Days, Kinshasa DRC. You are correct, it is a beautiful place! The people are WONDERFUL, the place is immaculate (other than the messes our girls make) :). It would truly be a fantastic place to spend time. Here's the deal...we have been here for 40 days and in case you are wondering, that is TOO long!!! Thank you to our friend Eric DeHaan for allowing me to "steal" your photos :) Our room is the one with the door open in the first photo and the last photo is actually Eric and Cara's room (and the Wilson's and the Larson's...yes we have been here long enough to have 3 families stay next door and there have been several days it has been empty too) right next to door ours but it is very similar to ours.
came to pick up our girls having no idea what we were about to face.
Our first week went well, Brian headed to the US Embassy to request an
earlier Embassy appointment, as our agency had a miscommunication and
missed taking our girls to their appointment on August 5.
the Embassy was very helpful and we had the girls VISA's in our hands
one week and a day after our arrival here. The next step of the process
was the Bordeaux Letter (we have also discovered this could have been
started before we arrived). The Bordeaux office began to express
concern about us having 8 children at home and the fact that we are
adopting 4 more. We were even told that the Bordeaux office could
overrule the court who had finalized the adoption and that there was
even a very real potential that we could lose the girls. This was
obviously a definite "low point".
Our agency went to
work preparing reports and documents that showed our financial ability
to care for 12 children, letters from both our social worker and our
agency's case worker, photos of our family together and information and
statistics about the number of "large" Christian families in America to
show them that we aren't alone in our "craziness" :)
Bordeaux office wanted the Minister of Gender & Family to sign off
on our case herself, but unfortunately at that time we learned that
there is an actual law in the Congolese law book that states that you
cannot adopt more than 3 children at a time without a "Presidential
dispensation". Therefore, she also had to pass our case on.
have been some other "hopeful" ways around this "Presidential
dispensation" in the past six weeks (some of which I may share in more
detail in the future) but we hit a dead end each time. So, here we sit,
with an attorney and our agency working on our behalf to get our
I do not have a "good
excuse" for not updating our blog as the process has unfolded, all I can
say is this: the first couple weeks were both exhilarating and
exhausting reconnecting and getting to know our girls; the next couple
weeks were full of hopes that quickly turned into disappointments. I
was feeling too defeated, hopeless, desperate, impatient, depressed,
broken down, bitter, irritated, disgusted, discouraged, conflicted,
confused, lost, and distrusting. The list could go on but I think you
get my point. I did not have the emotional ability to even put into
words what I was experiencing.
In addition to the
negative emotions I was experiencing, I could go on and on about the
positive ones I was experiencing with my girls. They are the more
beautiful, hilarious, brilliant, and energetic than I could have ever
imagined. So the only heartache I really have had, is that I have eight
amazing children at home and in the last 6 weeks, we have missed
Joshua's 18th birthday, Jazmyn's 8th birthday, Mahlea's 14th birthday.
In addition, we have missed everyone's first day of school. Bailey
started her first year at Chief Joseph Middle School and Mahlea and
Kenzie started their first year at Bozeman High School. Dylon, Preston
and Jazmyn started their first year at a brand new Elementary School
(Meadowlark). For this mommy's heart, this journey has been unbearable
at times. I've missed soccer try-outs (and I wasn't there to comfort
two kids when they didn't make the team). I have missed flag football
games and volleyball practices. I have even missed HOMEWORK which I
will confess isn't my favorite "Mommy duty" :)
I have not even been capable of intelligently expressing my heart so for now, I will quote my very sweet friend:
ache for you, my friend, but am realizing once again how finite and
small my thoughts are compared to the large capacity of love
understanding and Grace our God has. I can still rest in the truth that
God has been, IS and WILL continue to carry my friend thru this season.
The truth is that with HIM you are home, you are with family and are so
abundantly loved that really the details to the rest of this story are
an inconvenience of timing.....mind you a very large and painful
inconvenience, but nonetheless in the big picture this is a short season
in the life of your family and in the life of the much larger story God
is writing for you. Do not give up, do not lose hope God is still in
control and can be trusted. Thank you God for giving us times and
moments of opportunities to grow in our faith in the most difficult of
ways - when we have no control. I pray for strength, endurance,
perseverance and abundant joy for my friends Danna and Brian today. Work
mightily in their hearts and draw them even closer to you. Amen"
will do my best to update from here on out. I am SO excited to post
pictures of our amazing girls but we have decided to wait until we are
home. If you would like to be added to our "secret" FB page (where I
post LOTS of photos and daily happenings around our motel), send me a
message and I will gladly add you. "Thank you" doesn't even begin to
cover how grateful we are for all our friends and family and your love,
support, prayers and fasting on our behalf. We have experienced the
beautiful picture of what Christ intended.