Friday, August 27, 2010

A Bend in the Road

What a couple of days! As often happens in international adoption, the face of adoption in Rwanda is getting a makeover and its called Hague. Here is what what is posted on the Minister's website...

Temporaly suspension of new applications for inter country adoption

As a new signatory country of The Hague Convention on protection of children and cooperation in respect of inter-country adoption, concluded on 29 May 1993. Rwanda is in the process of putting in place the structures, mechanisms, tools and implementation plan.

For the reason of continuing protecting the Rwandan child’s best interests in adoption and at the same time combating possible abduction, sale and trafficking in children, the Government of Rwanda is temporally suspending all new applications for inter-country adoption as from 31August 2010. Applications from prospective adoption parents already received and those that could reach the Ministry or ANY RWANDAN EMBASSY before the above mentioned date will be taken care of as usual.

First off, I know of two families, one with their dossier at the Rwandan Embassy in DC right now and one who is planning to have theirs in just in the nick of time. So prayers for both of them are so welcome! They should both be okay, but what an emotional roller coaster the last few days have been!!

Our interest? Well, we've decided to switch things up a bit. Actually, the change came about after we watched that documentary I blogged about recently. It talked a lot about identity struggles for adoptees and the second it was over I turned to Anthony and said something about how I thought our last two adoptions should both be Rwandese.

I have REALLY wanted to do a domestic adoption, for a number of reasons. I looked forward to having an infant again and getting to work with a birth family (yes, I see that as a HUGE blessing even if the situation is difficult...that's a whole other conversation though). I have wanted that so badly, but I have always wondered in the back of my mind, what it would be like for our son to be the only black child in our family that wasn't Rwandese. And so when this issue of identity was raised by the documentary, I immediately realized that I needed to let go of my dream and do what would be best for our son. And I truly believe that that would be to not add any additional issues of identity. It just seemed right for him to also be Rwandese. And after I shed some tears and grieved the loss of my dream, a deep peace came over both Anthony and I and we haven't turned back.

So, here is our plan...and here is where the above announcement will affect us...

We are planning to start things in January. Have I mentioned here about what happened to Anthony? Well, he had a grand mal seizure last month and so we want him to have medical clearance before we do the home study. (He's fine by the way.) Our hope then is to do both adoptions at the same time. A boy and a girl. Matthias and Lydia. This is our hope. This is our prayer. We built this house with them in mind. We talk about them all the time. If you ask the girls who their siblings are, they will tell you about Matthias and Lydia...they are a part of our family.

We don't know what God's plan is for us. And we don't know how this change will impact us, but we will continue to walk forward in faith and trust that when unexpected turns occur (from domestic to international, non-Hague to Hague, and I'm sure there will be others), we'll keep our faith and keep on.

The journey continues...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Benefit Concert

So, a little over a year ago, the women's ministry at our church decided to take on New Hope Homes as a ministry partner. I've been on the committee for it and eventually we decided to do a benefit concert to raise money to build another home that would house 10 more children. It's $60,000. Luckily, our church has had a relationship with the incredible Sara Groves, who has been to Rwanda in the past, and she agreed to do the concert for us. It's so exciting!

So, two things...

Here is the link where you can reserve your tickets for the concert (which is free) on our church website. You can also just donate to the cause from there even if you can't go to the concert.

The other thing that I wanted to include, is this incredible video of Sara singing "I saw what I saw", which she wrote after a trip to Rwanda and which contains footage of her there. I love it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Adoption" the documentary

Last night Anthony and I watched this documentary. We had seen a clip of it during one of our adoption groups not too long ago, but I still wasn't prepared for how this would move me. As far as I am concerned, this movie is a MUST for anyone involved in the world of international adoption.

Here's the trailer...

I cried more times than I can remember and there were even a number of times when I was honestly angry with the views and ideas that some of the family members carried with them and I wanted to share two of them with you. One was when one of the families talked about how when they look at their child the don't see her color, but only their daughter. I struggle so much with this because I feel as though that is actually cheating the child out of being fully loved. Whenever I look at Nate I see that he is black. I am acutely aware that he never came from me. I wonder if he looks like his birth parents. And I am also in complete awe that he has been entrusted to me. That he is MY SON. I see the beauty in his color. And I wouldn't ever want to stop seeing it. It is a part of who he is. He is my son. He is Rwandese. And I love that about him. And I'm not about to pretend that that isn't who he is. My awareness of his being adopted doesn't cheapen my, it deepens it, because I am so blown over by the fact that God, in His infinite wisdom, brought this little boy from the bush of Africa into my arms. And I HATE that others miss that part. That they chose not to love that. Love shouldn't be blind, it should be all encompassing.

The other one was a conversation between the adult adoptee (Jen) and her mom. Jen was wondering what her mom thought about her birth mom and her mom said she didn't care about her. Jen was struck by this and said something about how she (Jen) was a part of her, so how could she feel that way. I too felt the sting of what her mom was saying. How could she feel that way? What was she afraid of losing by loving Jen's birthmom? I've blogged about this before I think, but I LOVE Nate's birth parents, in particular his birth mom. I thank God for her as I snuggle that sweet boy and hope that someday I might have the chance (perhaps on the other side of eternity) to hug her and thank her. And I want Nate to grow up loving them also. He is a part of them and therefore they are a part of our family and I truly, deeply care for them and love them.

Anyway, so I guess these are the things that run through the mind of an adoptive mother. This journey that we embarked on has cut deep into who I am and I will never be the same...thank God!