Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hope

Well, our paperwork is officially in. We handed it off at the prime minister's office today and just walked away. Actually we then went down to the office of the minister in charge of adoptions to introduce ourselves and show that we were there, but it felt...it's just that we put so much time and prayer into those papers and then just like that, it's over. Out of our hands. But thankfully still in God's.

The other thing that we did today was to go visit New Hope Homes. This was so amazing. We visited all three of the homes and were able to meet all of the children. When we walked into a classroom in one of the houses, all the kids jumped up and gave us all hugs. It was really fun. We also got to hold some sweet babies and just spend some time talking to Chantal about the history of the homes and things like the health of the children and then, of course, how things are going on her end with the legal stuff having to do with adoptions. She was really encouraging about everything. I just wonder what the Lord has in store for us. We did take some pictures, but we ended up having to use Chantal's camera, so we'll get them from her later this week and post them in a separate post. Oh, and thank you all so much for your donations! She was so grateful.

Other than all that, it was just another really great day here, despite the fact that my luggage is still missing. (At least we finally remembered that we bought a little travel insurance, so they are helping us now with the hunt.) We even finished it off by teaching Brad and Kiki how to play pinochle...which is a big deal in the Dummermuth family. Oh, and we were able to get onto Skype again and talk to our girls. We weren't able to see them, but they saw us and we did hear their sweet voices. We miss them terribly...

So, tomorrow Anthony and I are going to the genocide museum in town which should be really interesting. Then off to our safari! So, I won't be posting anything tomorrow, but hopefully the next day we'll have some pictures to share.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. This has been a wonderful trip.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Generose


Today we had an incredible day. We travelled south of Kigali into the countryside to visit our sponsor child, Generose. I have to say this was one of the most humbling things that I have ever done. If you ever have the chance to do something like this you really should...you just can't imagine.

So, it took a while to even get to the place where we were to meet her and her family. But we had a really great worker from Compassion International with us, Eugene, who talked to us about all sorts of things from Rwandan culture to US politics. So, the time really went quickly. And the countryside was just incredible. It truly is the Land of a Thousand Hills. I think my favorite part about the car ride though, was waving to all of the people as we drove past and laughed as they all yelled out "Abazungu!", which basically means foreigner, but is most often used with white people.

When we finally arrived we were immediately greeted by about 50-75 people (mostly women and children). We found out later that not only were we the first sponsors to ever visit this site, but that we were the first "abazungu" that any of them have ever seen! It was crazy, they all found us so interesting and were even peeking in windows to look at us when we were inside.

Generose was a really sweet little girl, but so, so shy. She barely even answered the questions that Eugene asked her and could really not make eye contact with Anthony or me. I did catch her looking at me a lot though, mostly my arms, I think she was interested in my skin. Anyway, so we met her and her mother and baby sister (I think). You could tell her mother was really touched by our coming and was so thankful for the gifts that we brought them. We tried to go to see their house but when the roads got too bad to drive on the mother said it was still a 40min. walk to to their house, so we didn't go on. Maybe on another visit.

Anyway, I feel like there is so much more that I could say, but I want to make sure to get some pictures on here. Just know that it was one of those days when God just blows your mind. We are all just so blessed. And even these people, who seem to have so little, God has been able to bless them through us and that is an amazing thing to be a part of.


Anthony walking with Generose to the office.


Generose and her mom.


Generose wearing the necklaces that Adele and Elise made her and receiving a picture of our family.

Tomorrow we go to visit the US Embassy, New Hope Homes, and then to the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion's office to hand in our paperwork. It should be a full day.

Oh, and still no luggage...ugh.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

In Rwanda...at last.


We are finally here!

Tonight is our second night in Kigali. Our trip out was, for the most part, uneventful. We flew to DC on Thursday night and spent the night there, which was actually a really nice start to our trip. Friday was full of delay after delay and we found ourselves reaching Rwanda about five hours late. It wouldn't have been a big deal if all of our luggage had made it with us, but unfortunately my suitcase, which was actually a carry on that they put below at the last second, didn't make it. It, of course, had ALL of my clothes and our toiletries and camera in it. It still hasn't made it yet. Hopefully tomorrow. I'm lucky that Kiki (our friend we are staying with) and I wear similar sizes.

Anyway, we are here and mostly just glad that all our adoption paperwork was in my other carry on so it's here with us. Which is what is really important. We got the last bit of it on Thursday morning just a few hours before we left for the airport and are so excited about handing our dossier in this week. Today we met with a gal here who has helped a number of families adopt and she was really helpful. She went through our dossier to make sure that everything looked to be in order and talked to us about what all is going to happen...a play by play if you will. It was so exciting to talk about and made this all feel so much more real. After we hand things in this week there will be a period of waiting (hopefully just a couple of months) and then if we are approved it looks like things will go pretty fast after that. Only the Lord knows exactly how this is going to look, but it was really fun to get a better grasp on it all.

So, beyond that we have just spent some time hanging out and catching up with Brad and Kiki (whom we worked with when we lived in Colorado) and loving on their baby girl, Oliviana...a much needed baby fix as we are seriously missing our girls. We've also gone to a great Indian restaurant (what else would we eat in Africa) and gone to an amazing new coffee shop here. You all would be impressed by it. It's the happening place here in Kigali...or at least it must be because we saw the president of Rwanda's wife there!

Tomorrow we go visit the child we sponsor through Compassion International. We'll hopefully post some pictures from that soon.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Finally.

Well, I'm finally posting in this blog. I've had it set up for a little while now, but was waiting for our trip to actually post anything. It's so surreal to think that we are flying out tomorrow. I don't have a section in my brain yet that understands the idea of flying to Africa. Not to mention the idea of adopting a little boy. It's all just still a thought...but it will seem so much more real in just a few days.

Anyway, so the last few days have been busy packing, collecting donations for New Hope Homes, setting up a garage sale, and making my friends' wedding invitations. It's been beyond busy. Oh, and did I mention praying that the final pieces of our adoption paperwork would come back from the Rwandan Embassy in DC? They're supposed to be here by noon tomorrow...still busy praying.

But slowly things are getting done. The invitations were handed over yesterday. The garage sale is finally ready. The girls bags are packed with the exception of things to be put in in the morning. And I've finally decided that we have enough things donated. That's been hard, I keep thinking just one more thing, but we truly have so much and are pushing the 50lb. limit with each trunk. So, really all we have left is a couple of quick errands in the morning and packing our bags and we'll be done. I can't believe it is finally here.

My plan...note the word plan...is to update this a few times while we are gone. Maybe even with some pics, although I may have to add them when I get back, we'll see. It's going to be an incredible trip. Life changing for sure. We are both just so excited, although the thought of leaving my girls...well, let's just say I have cried a bunch today. I've never been apart from them this long. Not a single night from Lucy. But its a step closer to bringing our son home and I can't wait to be able to check in on him while he's sleeping at night, the way I will miss doing this week with the girls.

Anyway, so here is a picture of our donations...thanks to those who chipped in. Your generosity has truly been mind blowing. It will be fun to deliver all these goods when we get to Kigali. There is even one more trunk filled with American goodies for our friends that live there!


It's our first trip to Rwanda. The first of who knows how many. This country is becoming woven into our hearts. We pray it will be giving us our son. A son, our little Nathan, that we have longed for for so long and we will always love this incredible country, that we are about to know, for that.