Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Dec 4, 2012 First Time Meeting Leyna

This post is long over due!!  Since we've returned from DRC we've been very busy and time has flown by.  I have a lot of catching up to do on the blog.  I've been thinking about the first time we met Leyna and how to put it into words.  I wish I was a brilliant writer but I'm not so my simple words will have to do.

Leyna is now 10 months old.  We met her 4 months ago on Dec 4, 2012.  We had so much anticipation and excitement on our flight to DRC.  I've read so many blogs that I was nervous to enter the country.  We landed at 3:00 pm.  We had to exit the plane on the tar mat and wait to load buses to the airport.  Landing we could see the huge city of Kinshasa.

I learned quickly to not judge too fast.  I heard a lot about police asking for money.  So when we got inside the airport I immediately thought everyone that was helping us was going to ask us for money.  We were filling out our cards to enter the country when a guard came up to Larry to ask if he was Larry.  Our in country representative had sent him to check on us.  He was very nice and helped us get through the first part of the airport.  Where we went to get our luggage was crazy.  There were so many people and the belt the luggage came on was very small.  We were starting to worry because our luggage took at least 45 mins to come.  During that time several different workers there came to talk with me while Larry was looking for our luggage.  The workers were so nice and helpful to us.  They wanted to make sure we had all our luggage.  Not one of them asked us for money!! I was humbled and was sorry to judge them all too quickly. We went outside and our representative, Etienne, was there waiting for us.

The car ride to St Annes is so hard to describe.  This is were I wish I was the brilliant writer.  After driving around there for several weeks I would call it organized chaos.  I can't believe in the 4 weeks I was there I never saw an accident or someone getting hit.  It truly is a miracle.  The roads are a combination of paved and dirt roads. There are no real lanes.  Drivers will make their own lanes.  So many people are constantly crossing the roads.  There are no crosswalks and drivers do not stop for them!! During our drive to St Annes Etienne was giving us a talk he probably gives every new family coming.  He talked how we need to be really strong while we are in DRC and things are a lot different than the US.  He said how many US moms cry to him so I need to be strong.  Oh looking back on that talk it was so true!!  He knew what he was talking about.  I do have to say I thought I did pretty good.  I only cried once to him and it was on the phone!  That doesn't mean I didn't cry by myself.

The day every parent dreams of is what it will be like when we see our daughter.  I didn't know if they would bring her to us the next day or not.  I really thought we'd get settled and then they'd bring her.  Well we got our luggage in the room and had a few minutes to grab the camera before Leyna's foster mom was at our door with her.

I was so nervous!!  Here she was after looking at her pictures for months.  She is so much smaller than I thought.  She was tiny!  She came to us without crying.  We talked with her foster mom for about 30 mins.  I will be forever grateful to her.  She was loving and kind.  Leyna just sat with us.  She wouldn't cry but just had a blank look.  I can't imagine what a change she just went through.  The pictures are the first time I held her and she slept on me.  I look at them now and can see a difference in her.  I didn't know how I'd feel towards her.  I was preparing myself that if I didn't connect right away that it's ok.  Bonding could take time and I tried to prepare for that.

It was so overwhelming after traveling for so long and now we had her.  I'm so thankful that night I had the strongest confirmation that she is our daughter and this is what I fought so hard for.  To think we almost stopped our adoption process several times for different reasons.  I'm so glad I continued to pray and receive answers to keep going.  I loved her the moment I held her.  I know this is a blessing to feel this so quickly.  The past 4 months with her have been amazing.  I hope to catch my blog up with more of our time in Congo.

So many people tell me how lucky she is to have us as her family.  I tell them no we are lucky to have her and she has changed our lives more than we could ever have imagined!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

So Many Emotions!!!

     It has been a long time since I wrote anything here.  I've been working full time until we leave to pick up Leyna.  It is such a blessing to have this long term sub job.  Our funds are depleting quickly.  Who am I kidding our funds are depleted and we are living on Faith!  We have our plane tickets bought and reservations made.  We fly out December 3 and return on Dec 22.  I can't believe we are so close.  In less than 2 weeks we will have Leyna with us!
     I have so many emotions right now.  If I went into a therapist they might diagnose me with something.  I'm so excited to be leaving soon.  I should be so happy all the time right?  But, I have such sadness too. Our gain is another mother's lose.  We don't know anything about Leyna's parents.  I know her mother carried her and loved her.  I know if there was any way her mother could have  taken care of her she would have.  I know her birth mother must be so beautiful because Leyna is.
     My heart is heavy with the thought of so many orphans in the world.  Today is Thanksgiving.  We will eat more calories in one day than many kids will eat in a month.  I think sometimes adopting can be romanticised.  Some think just giving a child a loving home is enough.  I know Leyna is only 6 months old and will not remember her time in Congo.  I have no doubt she will still suffer grief.  We are lucky that she has been in a foster home.  It looks like she has been taken care of well.  We will be taking her away from all she's ever known.  I pray often that she will grow up to know how much we love her.  I pray that she will know that she has a Heavenly Father that loves her.  So often people can turn away from God because they think he shouldn't allow so much suffering.  I don't know why I was born into a country where I have freedom and safety.  I don't know why others are born in countries that are so corrupt there is no chance of succeeding.  I do know that our Heavenly Father cries with me.  I know that He is aware of the suffering.  He is hoping His other children will help those that are in need.
     Right now in Congo rebels have taken over a city about 1000 miles from Kinshasa.  There are now more orphans.  There are rumors that the rebels will march to Kinshasa to take over the Capital.  What will that mean for all the children there?  How can we stop this?  It is so easy in America to put on our blinders and think someone else will help.  I pray that the rebels will be stopped.  We need more righteous people to stand up.
     I've had many people tell me how lucky Leyna will be to be in our family.  I hope we will be a good family for her.  I hope that she will feel loved and like she belongs with us.  I feel like I'm the lucky one to have her in our family.  I haven't held her yet but she has already changed my life.  I was content with 3 kids all in school.  I had more freedom. All our children can do a lot for themselves.  Now I will be starting all over.  Leyna has opened my eyes to another world.  She has taught me to listen to my Heavenly Father.  She has taught me to have Faith and Hope.  I know there will challenges to come but I know this is what we are suppose to be doing.  It has been a long journey getting here.  A new journey will be starting soon.  I can't wait to hold her and tell her how much we love her.  I'm so grateful for family and friends supporting us in our journey. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I600 is in Texas!!

We finally have all the paperwork needed to file our I600!!!  I mailed it off and it should be there today.  It is a relief but then I get nervous I did something wrong.  Did I put all the documents in? Did I miss anything I should've filled out?  Now we at the mercy of the US Immigration.  Hurry up and wait is the game of adoption.  I'm praying for a quick approval.  It could be 3-8 weeks before we are approved.  Obviously I'm hoping for 4 weeks!!  Once we have that we can have our Embassy appointment and then wait for her VISA.  So we are still several weeks out before we can travel.  I really really really hope we have her home before Christmas.  It would be heart breaking not to have her here with us.  I know we are getting close but it still seems unreal.  Our case is moving quickly compared to other that use an agency.  We are so lucky to be using DRC Adoption Services!  They help every step of the way.  Adoption is so confusing with so many steps and when to do things.  I've loved having such wonderful people help us bring our daughter home.  It gets harder harder to wait. I'm hoping we will have an update coming soon with some new pictures.  She is growing so much since the newborn picture we saw.  Oh and we have a date of birth! June 4, 2012!!  Now all I can do is wait for the next few weeks.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dear Leyna

Dear Leyna,

Friday we received a long awaited update and pictures.  I couldn't stop smiling all day.  You've grown so much already.  You are growing into a beautiful little girl.  You look happy. A man came to visit you in your foster home to check on you.  He said you looked happy and healthy.  Your foster home is a nice home.  He told you about your brothers and sister.  He also told you about your mom and dad waiting to come and pick you up.  We can't wait!!  We look at your picture everyday.  We are waiting for your Birth Certificate so we can file more paperwork to come and get you.  We are still hoping to see you in November.  It can't come fast enough.  Your sister Amaya talks about you to anyone who will listen.  Her teacher at school said she talks about you a lot.    A family is in Congo right now picking up their children.  I follow their story and look forward to the day it will be our story coming to get you.  We love you and continue to pray for your health and that you are happy.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Passed Court & 30 Day wait almost over!!!!

I can't believe it.  We found out August 20th we passed court.  I just looked through the documents that are all in French and saw the dates were Aug 7th!  I thought we were still waiting on a court date.  Our lawyer doesn't update our coordinator on every detail so this was a great surprise.  If I read the documents right our 30 days will be up this week!  So what's next.  We have to apply for our immigration I600, apply for Leyna's visa and birth certificate and passport.  All of these steps can take 4-8 weeks.  So it looks like Novemeber there is still a good chance we can travel in November.

My mind keeps spinning with how much stuff I still need to get ready.  We have no baby things. Then there is the lists of things we need to take with us when we travel.  I'm so lucky to be part of an online adoption community that helps with what we need to take with us.  It has been so encouraging seeing and reading other's journeys also.  It is a great way to get support.  Adoption is so complicated in so many ways that I love having others to ask questions. 

I look at Leyna's picture every day.  We pray for her as a family every day.  It's been amazing to see God's hand leading us throughout the whole process.  It has taken a lot of faith and prayers to get to this point.  We are so excited!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Waiting for Consent

We have all our documents in DRC now.  It is great to be onto the next step.  We are waiting for the Consent to Adopt from the Commune.  What does that mean?  The Commune (kind of like a county probably) reviews the petition that we want to adopt her and will give their ok.  Once we receive the consent our lawyer can file all of our paperwork to court.  There really is no set timeline on how long it takes to pass court.  It could be 2 weeks or 3 months.  We are really hoping for the 2 weeks!  Once we pass court we have to wait 30 days and make sure no relatives come forward to protest the adoption.  Once that is done we can start applying for the Visa and passport.  So we still have a ways to go.  We should know how things will move along within the next month.  This will determine if there is any possibility of us traveling before the end of the year.  That is what we are really hoping for.  I can't wait to receive pictures and an update soon.  It is so hard to not be constantly wondering how she is doing.  What is she doing.  How long will it be before we get to see her.  We just can't wait!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Letter to Leyna

Dear Leyna,

I've been thinking about you constantly and decided maybe writing a letter to you would help me.  I lay awake at night wondering what you are doing. I hope you read our journey one day and see how much we loved you before we even knew you.  Our adoption road has taken many twists and turns.  I believe they were to lead us to you.  I still try and guard my heart because I know nothing is certain in adoption until we have you home.  I pray everyday that things will continue to work out to bring you home.  It hasn't even been a month since we first found out about you.  There is still so much more I want to know.  We are working hard with the lawyer to have all the paperwork ready to go to court.  Hopefully the lawyer will have them in a few days and we can continue on.
We just received an update on you a few days ago.  I look at your picture everyday.  You are in a foster home now with a nice foster mom.  Your foster home seems to be nice with lots of toys and food.  That was so great to hear.  A volunteer will go and check on you every month to send us an update and pictures.  She said you like your bouncer.  You were playing and bouncing in it while she was there.  Your foster mom said you still wake up a few times at night.  You look very healthy from your pictures.  We pray all day that you continue to stay healthy. 
You brothers and sister can't wait to have you home.  Especially Amaya!  She wants to buy things for you all the time. Whenever we are in the store she thinks her baby sister needs something.  She is excited to not be the only girl. 
So until I can hold you I will write letters!  I love you and can't wait to meet you.