So some of y’all have asked for an update regarding our adoption. I’ve been hesitant to post something because a)there just isn’t much to tell, b) what there is to tell is sad, and c) I’ve cried and prayed and chatted with folks who’ve been in similar places so that now, I’m kinda done with it and am moving on.
But part of the whole purpose of this blog to tell my story so that I can’t forget all that God has and continues to do in our family’s life.
At the beginning of August, we learned about a sibling group, K & N. K, the boy, is a few months younger than Henry and N is 15 months younger than Grace. We found out about the pair of precious children on the eve of K’s 5th birthday, so we bought cupcakes and sang for him with some friends. I cried imagining that my boy was somewhere alone on his birthday. We began dreaming of bunk beds for the boys and the plan to move to a larger house was born.
We soon learned that the kids were in fact waiting to be in an orphanage. So we found ourselves in place we never imagined, praying our kids INTO an orphanage. At the time, they were living with a gaggle of kids at the rural “hospital” where their young widowed birthmom left them when N got malaria. So we prayed for their health and safety. The village where they were was roughly a 4 days journey for our agency’s workers as there are no roads, phones, cell coverage, computers, etc. News on their well-being was shotty. But we continued to trust in the Lord.
We prayed for K’s transition into our family. We never really worried too much about N, really. She’s young. She’s a girl. But what had K seen? What had he understood? Who was he longing for? Did he even want a new forever family? Over and over we looked at his picture on our phones. His smile beckoning us to bow down at the throne of grace over and over on his behalf.
We learned that N had recovered from her illness and had been moved to a foster home. A foster home! But we also learned that the relatives from their deceased father were blocking K's adoption. Did they want to raise him? Was this just a power play? Was this a ruse for something in return for a signature on a form?
We agreed with our agency that we were unwilling to even entertain any unethical requests. Our facilitator made the journey once again to plead to keep the kids together, only to find that the family members who had initially said, “Yes, we will sign,” were no shows. Our facilitator felt uneasy. It was becoming more and more apparent that the sense of urgency we felt was a foreign concept in Africa. And meanwhile, N waited in foster care. Unable to be adopted by anyone because she was part of a sibling group that was potentially being split.
We prayed. We cried. We begged for wisdom. We spoke with our case worker. Over and over again. And we suddenly knew that the reason we had imprinted on that dear boy’s smile was not because he was our son, but because we were to be the ones to pray for him daily. We chose to walk away.
Walk away isn’t really the best way to describe it. We will not be a party to preying upon the poor. We will not “buy” a child when it’s very possible that his uncle wants to raise him. I mean, if we die, our kids will go to their uncle. That’s what family is supposed to do. But we are also mindful of what can happen to a boy in Western Africa. So we pray that K will never hold a rifle. We pray he will never have to be anything other than a boy with a smile so brilliant it reached across the ocean and stole my heart.
Please join us in this prayer. And for all boys like him.
I will say that emotionally, this has been hard. Harder than my miscarriages. Harder than the lost referral of J. Because it felt so hopeless. It wasn’t that it wasn’t us who was adopting him, but no one. I found myself faced with the following question: Do I really believe God is the Father to the fatherless?
Like most difficult things involving grief, the hardest part was telling the kids. Gracie really didn’t get it. She has prayed for K & N nightly, but she also prays for her stuffed animals. But Henry, he cried. I held him on the bed that had become known as K’s bed and we cried. But it was in my simple and truthful answer to him that Jesus met me.
“Mommy, why can’t K be my brother?”
“Well, because he has a family member who wants him.”
“So he is not an orphan?”
I was stunned. I had never really thought about it like that. I was only thinking of how I would never get to hold him.
“No, son. He is no longer an orphan. God has heard our prayers.”
We also found out on the same day we told our case worker we would fight no more that J, the referral we lost from China, had been matched to his forever family. So two little boys we had and will continue to pray for, were orphans no more.
So with tears in our eyes, we rejoiced.
So now we wait. We are grateful to be working with an agency that hires investigators and seeks to operate ethically in a country strife with corruption. And let me say that I do not believe that the corruption in the DRC is unique. Corruption is everywhere. And extreme poverty feeds it. But we will not.
We are currently waiting upon receiving another referral for another sibling group. Today I went to get new paperwork for our dossier with our new address on it, so there will be no hold ups with immigration. Once we receive and accept our referral, there will be another big check to write and approximately 6-9 months until we travel to get our kids.
BUT…once we get that referral, we can start sending care packages. We can send a gallon size Ziploc bag to each kid once a month. My bags are out. And Henry has picked out a train for his little brother. And Grace a dolly for her sister.
Mes petits enfants, we are waiting for you. Ever trusting Jesus to bring us to you. K & N, you are not ours, but you are HIS.