Saturday, December 22, 2012

A little heads up...

In hopefully a couple of weeks, we will be re-entering the United States with our son.  We CANNOT wait to introduce him in person, through skype, or even just in pictures to the many, many friends and family who have cheered us on, financially given, or prayed our son home. 

Since Tyson has spent the first five months of his life in the hands of a very loving foster mom, we realize that he will be grieving the loss of his first family.  We will have some time to bond with him while in the DRC, but we will be very intentional once home to continue that bonding period.  

So what does that mean? 

Well, we aren't exactly sure.  But what we DO know is that it is extremely important that Tyson knows WHO are his mom and dad.  We want him to learn to rely solely on us for his needs, so Brian and I will be the only ones feeding, bathing, changing, and holding him.  So when you hold out your hands to hold him, don't be surprised when I squeeze him tighter and instead give you a good ol' high five. 

I know that seems a little weird, but this little one is going to have a LOT of change happen in his life in a short amount of time, including caregivers, country, and pretty much everything else, so our number one concern will be his adjustment and attachment to our family. 

I'm going to ask you to head over here to read this post, because it gives some great insight to life before and after adoptive families bring their children home.  Though each experience is different, Jen Hatmaker, the author, paints a pretty accurate description how to help, what to say, and how to pray.  

Because Tyson is still an infant, our adjustment may be quicker than those who have brought home older children.  Or it may not.  We aren't sure and we're going to take it day by day until we know he's confident that he's in his forever home. 

For the many that have asked if we need anything now....we really don't, unless you want to come give our dogs a bath because they stinking smell like feces.  (Don't worry, Mom Word, they'll be smelling pretty by the time you get here.) 

To our amazing community of friends and family, we are so grateful for you.  You have encouraged, given, and prayed for this day for the last two years.  We love you and would not be at this point without you.  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I Have Kept All of These Things In My Heart. . .

"They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.  All who heard the shepherd's story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often."  Luke 2:17-19

For five months, our son has been in the care of a stranger, in a country thousands of miles away.  Very rarely, once a month at most, have we caught a glimpse of him and even less have we been told about his growth or development.  

So, you can imagine, that we cling to every update we are given, in hopes of learning more about our Tyson.  

When you cannot hold your child in your arms and care for them personally, all you can do is pray.  

We have prayed that since he has entered the foster home, that his foster mama would hold him regularly. 

We have prayed he would be loved.  

We have prayed that his foster family would interact and play with him.

We have prayed he would be healthy.

Every picture and every word that has been spoken of our Tyson, I have held close to my heart.  And though our son is far from the Savior that Mary birthed so many years ago, I resonate with the short passage where Mary's motherhood is so eloquently described.  "She kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often." 

What few things I know of my son, I ponder them often, and because I have so little information about him, it makes me appreciate those small glimpses of him so much more. 

Today, a fellow adoptive parent who is currently in the DRC, kindly offered to visit the foster home where Tyson lives. 

She met his foster mother and the other children who live in the house. 

She said it is VERY evident how much his foster momma loves him and cares for him.  He is healthy and so very happy. 

In these months when I could not be there to hold my son, another strong, courageous woman has done that for me.  

She has loved my son since he was a few days hold.  Given him the gift of attachment.  He has been held.  Rocked.  Feed regularly.  Loved. 

I have kept all these things in my heart and think of them often. 

Next week, I will meet my son and hold him for the first time.  I will be taking him from the woman who lovingly cared for him for the last five months.  I do not take that lightly.  

As a foster mom, I understand what is about to take place next week and it breaks my heart. 

I am OVERJOYED to meet my son.  I am OVERWHELMED at the thought of how well he has been loved by another family until we could get there.  And I am OVERCOME with sadness that I am breaking a bond between him and the woman who loved him first. 

Thankful that one day I will be able to share with Tyson just how very loved he was by all three of his mommas; the one who made the ultimate sacrifice so he would have a chance at life, his loving foster momma, and me. 

I have kept all these things in my heart and think of them often.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Let the packing begin. . .

Cause we're leaving on a jet plane real, real soon. . .

Friday, December 7, 2012

Drumroll please....

This week ended our hand-made ornament fundraiser.  Before I give you the total raised, let me quick tell you how it happened in the first place.

January 2010, I met my new friend Joy for lunch.  She's an momma to bunch of biological, adoptive, and foster kiddos.  I had just started the process and wanted to pick her brain about life in Montgomery as a trans-racial family.

Joy had also invited Layla, a local blogger/photographer, who was interested in starting the adoption process.

At that point, I wasn't much of a blog-reader, so I didn't realize just WHO this sweet, kind, and oh-so talented Layla was.

Little clueless, I was.

Layla writes the Lettered Cottage blog....which has like, over 30,000 readers.

Yeah...people know her.

So, when she asked if she could blog about our lunch and post a few pics, I was thinking about 15 people in Montgomery would see it.


Lots of folks saw that blog post, which in turn sent them over to check out Waiting on a Word.  And by one simple lunch, I had people from all over that had heard our story and have stuck with us through the last two years.

Enter Jessica.  

She is a fellow adoptive mom who lives outside Atlanta.  Last year, they hand-made ornaments to fundraise for their own adoption.

It went so well, they wanted to do again this year and donate all of the proceeds to another family in the adoption process.

Jessica had been following my blog and our adoption story since she saw it on the Lettered Cottage.

Out of the many, many adoptive families all over the country, she and her husband chose us to be the family they would fundraise for this year.

Jessica sent me an email, explaining their offer, promising she wasn't a stalker, and we humbly said, "heck yes!!!"

They bought the all of the supplies, posted the information and our story on their blog, started making the ornaments on Thanksgiving and shipped the first batch out on that Saturday.

Jessica and Greg spent countless hours and resources making the ornaments and carefully wrapping them and shipping them all over the country.  Jessica even made us ornaments for our boys with their names on them.

All for our family.  Complete strangers who share the bond of adoption.

That is amazing.

One lunch.  One blog post.  Two years later.

One REALLY big blessing in our lives.

Our ornament fundraiser brought in $1680!

We had additional $355 donated in the fundraiser...

Which brings the total to $2035! 

First, a big THANK YOU to those of you who purchased the ornaments.  We hope that this year, as you look at the ornaments, you will pray for our process with Tyson as we are hoping to travel SOON to finally meet our son.  In the years to come, we hope that the ornaments will be a reminder to pray for the many children worldwide who are waiting for their forever families.

Joy, thank you for being an honest, vulnerable example of living life as a transracial family in our town.  You continually encourage and challenge me.

Layla, thank you for having a blog that everyone on the planet reads.  Thank you for including me that day in your blog post- it really should have been a post all about Joy and her amazing family, but you were gracious to add me too.  Because of that, you were a big part in helping us raise over $2,000 for our adoption.

And finally, Jessica and Greg, thank you, thank you, thank you for choosing us.  We are so grateful for the many, many HOURS you spent making sure that this fundraiser was successful.  One day soon we will meet in person and I will get to hug your necks.  Thank you for being obedient to what God was calling you to do and for being willing to do this for a family you've never met.

We are continually amazed at the way God has provided for us in this journey.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Current Events in the DRC

The past few weeks have been quite unstable for the eastern part of the DRC.  

Our hearts are broken anew for the innocent Congolese who yet again are dragged into chaos and instability.

From a recent CNN article
"The U.N. has labeled the DRC, Africa's second largest country, as the "rape capital of the world" because of the pace and scope of the use of rape as a weapon of war by proxy militia gangs fighting for control of Congo's easily appropriabl
e and highly valuable natural resources, destined for sale in Europe, Asia, Canada and the United States.

The wars in that country have claimed nearly the same number of lives as having a 9/11 every single day for 360 days, the genocide that struck Rwanda in 1994, the ethnic cleansing that overwhelmed Bosnia in the mid-1990s, the genocide that took place in Darfur, the number of people killed in the great tsunami that struck Asia in 2004, and the number of people who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- all combined and then doubled."

That is incomprehensible.  

Yet it is reality. 

This article in Time Magazine explains just why the DRC has been given the name, "Rape Capital of the World." 

In a country filled with beautiful faces and courageous people, it's heartbreaking and sickening to think that this is still an everyday reality for millions. 

Tyson is safe and currently living almost a thousand miles away from the fighting.  But this is his home country and it makes us ache to get him sooner.  

Will you join us in praying for the country of the DRC and for the safety of the many women and children whose lives are threatened daily in that country? 

Our travel dates are approaching quickly - please pray that our paperwork approval would continue to go smoothly and that we'd know the best time to book our flights to head over to meet our son!