The Basics

Hey there family, friends, and strangers,

I am starting this blog to keep you all in the know about this wonderful, crazy, terrifying, beautiful, exciting, ever changing stressful adoption process and to network (hopefully) with other families adopting from DRC, adopting from anywhere actually.

Until about February, when I became an aodoption blog junkie, I didn’t know a thing about blogs or blogging and hadn’t followed any so I have no idea whtat I’m doing yet. I thought that while I learned the basics of blogging I’d share the basics of my adoption journey with you. So… below is the letter I sent out to my fabulous family and friends (so anyone reading this has probably already read it) in early February to share my news and ask for their love, their support and their goodwill piles. What is posted below isn’t as pretty as the actual letter I sent out and it’s missing the pictures (because I’m not sure where they went while inserting it) but it works anyway.

THANKS FOR READING

Yay, I’m expecting!! It’s true, Africa delivers and in about 12 to 18 months I will be a mommy!!!! I could not be more thrilled to finally be telling everyone I know.

Those of you who already know have asked some really great questions and I thought I’d take some time to answer them right now for everyone. So, here goes!

Any symptoms yet, how are you feeling?                                                                    Well no morning sickness but the paper cuts are killing me! I quit smoking and joined weight watchers so I do feel tired and cranky at times and I’m no stranger to weird cravings.

Why adoption? Can’t you have babies?                                                                        Why not adoption? I have known adoption was going to be Plan A since high school, When I was a little girl I used to pretend my Barbies would find babies without mommies and take them home to love them up. My Fisher Price little people would feed the hungry kids they picked up in their school bus. The idea of adoption has been growing in my heart for as long as I can remember. In my 20’s I had 3 ectopic pregnancies and was left heart broken and unable to conceive. It took a while but after separating myself from the personal tragedy that is infertility I realized that adoption has always been The Plan not just Plan A. There are147 million orphans worldwide. That’s147 million children living in fear, with hunger pains, without clothes that fit or safe drinking water, babies without medical care. 147 million children without a safe set of arms to hold them when they’re scared, without kisses to take away their hurts, 147 million little ones worldwide without a family of their own, why not adoption?

Why Congo?                                                                                                                500,000 of those 147 million orphans are living right here in the United States foster care system so in the summer of 2009 I started the process to foster/adopt. I was approved, completed my home study and my hours of training, got my house ready and then for 20 months I waited. I hoped and I crossed my fingers that my case worker would match me with the right child! In August 2011 I found out my worker was no longer with the agency and had not finished my file or my home study. She hadn’t been working for the families she was assigned. I was devastated and so I stopped crossing my fingers and hoping and I started to pray like mad. I prayed all the time for guidance and I started my research all over again with no plan in mind, just following signs. Those signs led me right into the heart of Africa, the DRC.

War, genocide, malaria, malnutrition, AIDS tuberculosis, poverty, rape, and abandonment have left 5 million children orphaned in the DRC. These 5 million kiddos live either on the streets or in an orphanage and let’s be real here, neither is any kind of place for a child. In the orphanage as on the streets these kids have little access to medical care or education. In the orphanage they will be served one meal a day and if they are lucky as teenagers they will be taught a trade before being turned out onto the streets. It is common for young men in the Congo to be forced to be war soldiers and for young women to be raped and beaten. The Congo is known as the worst place in the world to be a woman.

Why not get married first?                                                                                                    I am absolutely certain that I am ready to be a mother, this is something I have thought about and planned for, I am not so sure I am ready to be a wife. The good news is that I don’t believe I have to be a wife to be a mother. I don’t think a child without a family is going to be upset about suddenly having a someone to love them! A parent to play and read and remember their birthday, someone to be their biggest fan and to fight for them, someone who will never leave. I don’t plan to stay single forever and I would love my child to have a daddy but in the mean time I think the real tragedy would be letting something like being single get in the way of giving a child a safe and loving home.

How is Hector taking the news?                                                                                    Like me he is having a hard time containing his excitement! He’s jumping all over everyone and everything and wagging his tail constantly. He licks everyone and he’s gotten so excited that he chewed all of his toys to pieces. Sometimes I’ll catch him sleeping in the baby’s room or running around in circles trying to calm down. I think that poor guy is going to have a hard time waiting for someone else to love!

Are you worried about having a child that’s African (black) and you’re (white) not?Worried? No, although I have had nightmares about having to shave her head because her silly white mommy somehow wrecked her hair. Hopefully I’ll be able to learn before she comes! Anything else that comes up, we’ll work it out because that’s just what a family does.

Now that I have answered some of your questions about my news I hope that you are just as excited as I am.

I know this may sound crazy, maybe even seem impossible because I’ve never seen her face, I don’t know her birthday or what her laugh sounds like, I’ve never held her or made her smile but I love her already. I long for Africa and for the child waiting for me there. I pray everyday that she stay safe and healthy, that she not give up hope, I pray she stays strong because I’m coming for her. I’m working and waiting and preparing for her. I can’t wait to hold her until she isn’t scared and to kiss all her hurts away but most of all I can’t wait to tell her how much I love her. I know I can’t change the world by adopting 1 child but I can change the world for 1 child through adoption. 147 million -1, that’s what I can do.

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