Dear Family and Friends,
We have some exciting news we want to tell you about! While we would love to talk to all of you in person, in the interest of efficiency we begrudgingly resorted to the dreaded mass communication. It’s a bit lengthy, but after reading we think you’ll understand why we chose to include so much detail.
As of this past week, we have officially begun the process of adopting an infant from the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is a desire that has been growing in us over the last couple years, but until recently we have been unsure of when the timing would be right. For many, the idea of not having a biological child may elicit a degree of sadness, but for us it is a feeling rather opposite. Although we are not opposed to having bio kids, we both care deeply for children born into destitute situations and this has motivated us to adopt internationally. Although we both have felt “ready” to start our family for some time (surely this sounds hilarious to those of you with children), it was not until recently that we learned that we qualified to be adoptive parents through the Congolese program.
We plan to move through the adoption program as quickly as possible, which could be in as little as 6 months but up to or over a year. We have chosen to adopt an infant between 0-3 months at the time of our referral, which means they will most likely be 3-6 months by the time we bring them home. Currently we do not have a preference of gender and we’re still praying that God leads us to make the best decision for our family.
Our passion for adoption stems from a number personal experiences, which we believe have readied us to make this decision. Throughout the scriptures Jesus has a lot to say about taking care of orphans and widows, and while we know that everyone is called to contribute differently, these verses have done much to shape our worldview. Above all we have chosen a Congolese adoption for this reason, not simply because it‘s a program for which we qualify. For us, the situation in the DRC is too dire to ignore. The country is currently considered the most dangerous in Africa, and many years of war have left over four million children orphaned. A large portion of these kids will inevitably become child soldiers and sex slaves. Seventy percent of all females in the DRC are violently raped at least once in their life. Knowledge of facts like these have repeatedly reaffirmed and impassioned our decision.
Last week, we drove to Indianapolis to meet with the African Adoption Coordinator at MLJ Adoptions, one of two stateside adoption groups working in the DRC. She was very professional and informative which put a lot of our fears at ease. MLJ Adoptions is Hague Accredited, which is an international organization purposed to help agencies, families & children through international adoption. The Hague Convention basically established international adoption law. All of this information solidified our decision to work with MLJ. We have also been getting loads of advice from the members of an Adoption Support Group we’ve been going to at Mars Hill. They’ve been a wonderful support and help.
Although we are certain of our decision, there are many unknowns ahead for us. Issues of funding and expense will of course be a legitimate concern, but perhaps our biggest challenge will be emotional. This is going to be a life changing decision that not only affects us, but will also be affect our family and friends. We want and need your support through every step of the adoption process, but more importantly we will need your support once we bring our baby home. We understand that we are creating a multi-racial family and are prepared to face the challenges that will come with that. We hope that you can understand how important this decision is for us, and we’re hoping that you’re willing to support our family just as if we were having a biological child. More than anything we ask for your prayers.
Thanks for taking the time read up on our ongoing story. Yeah! We’re going to have a baby!