I used to pretend that I went to orphanages and adopted all the children. Of course, I was always home by the time my husband got home from work. I also had a pretend dinner on the table complete with a centerpiece of fresh flowers. I also had pretend biological children and was pregnant most of the time (but not showing yet, because my mom was tired of seeing me stuff my shirt with a pillow). I was probably around 6 or7.
Fast forward a few years.....when Jeff and I were dating (the second time-story for another time), I had had some health issues and possible auto-immune disorder. We decided then we wanted to adopt. We both had a desire to before we even talked about it, or even before we dated.
January 2004- Jeff and I got married and planned on starting a family after 5 years.
June 2005- We bought our d
September 2005- We lost our first baby at 16 weeks. (Another story for another day) (baby #1)
December 2005- We found out we were pregnant with Thao.
August 2006- Thao was born at 41 weeks. He worked at his own pace even then. (baby #2)
Augst 2008- Ava was born at 39 weeks. She was not happy about this. (baby #3)
April 2010- We lost baby #4.
July 2010- We lost baby #5. During these hard times, we really had to cling to Christ and understand that He would get us through. We always had adoption at the back of our minds, for later, when our children were older. (I wonder why this is so often the case?)
November 2010- We found out we were pregnant with Liam.
July 2011- Liam was born at 40 1/2 weeks. (I'm not big on posting my "birth stories", but if you have questions, you can email me)For some reason, I was starting to feel like he was my last. I really enjoyed our family, the dynamics, the ages, etc. Still, "someday" wanted to adopt.
December 2011- Thao got very sick.
January 2012- We unexpectedly lost Thao. (you can read more on that in past posts) Jeff and I both felt that after meeting with doctors, losing Thao and recalling Thao's medical history, and tests, it was most likely a genetic issue.
March 2012- I had always prayed for peace for the time when we wouldn't have any more biological children. I prayed that God would take that desire from me and I would know (this is huge! I loved being pregnant).
May 2012- Jeff and I started foster care classes.
June 2012- Finished classes and decided that this is not a good time for our family to do this. We don't want Ava to go through another loss of a sibling while still trying to understand the loss of Thao.
July 2012- Started working with Illini Christian Ministries to pursue a domestic adoption of a newborn. During this time, I spent hours researching adoption options. We found that we did not meet the age requirements of many countries and therefore pursued domestic adoption.
December 2012- Finished homestudy, received license. Still praying about direction. Through all this time we prayed for clarity, for doors to open and close, for undeniable direction. We were praying about adopting a special needs child from Russia.
January 2013- God closed the door for us to adopt from Russia. But domestic adoption was not settling right. I struggled with being on a waiting list while there are children waiting in orphanages for families. Jeff and I kept praying about this. I came across the Democratic Republic of the Congo again. I had mentioned it before but for some reason we never did much with it. After reading for a little bit, we both decided to pray about it. Very quickly doors seemed to open, we both had peace about this. And not only that but we are both excited!!!
That's where we are: updating our homestudy and pursuing adoption from the DRC....unless God closes the door. He has led us in perfect timing. Adoption is a new adventure for us, but not a new dream. We are excited and we hope you journey along with us!
I know many of you will have questions and concerns. Please post only positive comments publicly. If you have concerns that you'd like to share with us, please email me privately.
Here's just a few facts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa:
- There are over 5 million orphans mostly due to death, poverty from their civil war that lasted until 2003.
- An average person makes 30 cents per day. They cannot afford to feed their families.
- The official language is French.
- The average cost (that we've found) of adopting from there is $25-30,000.
- Only one trip is required and only one parent must travel.
Many people have also asked about a timeline. They say to expect 18 months start to finish. But, we are already a little ahead of that (hopefully) since our homestudy only needs updated.
We will be doing more to raise money towards our adoption. All the money from my canvases goes towards the adoption. :) You can check them out on Facebook or Etsy.