I am not sure if you think we fell off the face of the earth or not. We intentionally disconnected from the blog for while. It became too much to keep up with and honestly what we were going through over the last 9 months I am not sure we had the words to express all that was afoot. To catch you up as quickly as I can....
August 2010 we began the adoption process of 2 yet to be identified children from DR Congo. Early 2011 we accepted a referral for S and T and were excited about the journey God had led us on as well as the prospects of bring S and T home forever. We had hoped to travel early that summer and experienced some paperwork issues that continued to grow and between governments here and there that date was pushed to early 2012 which then got pushed further. Also at this time Laura was pregnant with our fourth birth child. (We had another miscarriage between A an J.) Anyway the first week of April we miscarried, heartbroken we coped with what then the expectation was to travel Easter 2012. We were close to buying plane tickets and all left was Visa interviews for S an T at the US Embassy. Then we got the call, the Embassy requested more information (DNA testing) that turned into a 3 month delay with document travel between continents several times coupled with a lot of turnover at the Embassy. We finally got the call early July 2012 that all was finally in order only to find out it wasn't! The embassy had lost some of our information, wouldn't you know there was another Robert Davis adopting in Congo and a critical file for me was save under his file by USCIS.
We were borderline basket cases by now. All of the ups and downs, hope come to light only to be ripped from our fingertips, 2012 has a lot I almost wish to forget. Yet I cant forget, for all of the heartache it was also some of the greatest growth of my life. I learned I was not in control, I was helpless in the situation and God used these challenges like fire to steel to grow my faith in Him beyond what I could control. He has been so faithful in providing all of the finances...sometimes at the last minute, moving mountains...slower than I would have preferred, yet in the end we can see his plan and feel His love for us. He placed us in a situation where the only explanation we had was God did it, no one else!
Now on to DR Congo! We left on July 22,2012 about 2 in the afternoon, after connections in Newark, Brussels and Angola we arrived in Congo shortly after 8PM local time on July 23rd. After getting our bags and meeting our liaison, we got in to the car and had quite a surprise...our children! S and T were in the car waiting for us. We were not sure what to do, it was dark and they had never met us. I found myself pulling out my smart phone and thanks to our 18yr old back home I had about a 1000 pictures of our family complete with videos. The hour ride to the mission seemed to pass fairly well from there on. We arrived to our room, exhausted with 2 hours sleep in 2 days, an proceeded to bathe the children, treat their skin and prepare for bed. We survived the next week by Gods grace. Overall we enjoyed the country and the people. We felt safe most of the time with the exception of a couple of instances where police had the day off. We had several challenges with S an T which is understandable given what they were experiencing but compounded by our lack of rest which never we caught up.
Now we arrive back home on August 1,2012 to our family and other children at the airport. We were so exhausted but very happy to be home with all of our children, and desperately craving a warm bath. We get home around 10pm or so to find out our dogs got fleas while we were away and the house was infested! After 2.5 hours of cleaning and treatment we finally went to bed. From then each day had its own set of challenges. We all had to adjust to what our family dynamic was shifting to. We had to learn to communicate as S and T did not speak much English and didn't understand most of what they spoke. Anything from sibling rivalries to their place in the family had to be worked through. To be honest it found like one extremely long day for about the first 6 weeks or so. Then we had a good family day at Stone Mountain Park, followed in the weeks to come by more "peace" than conflict.
Things are not perfect now but they are night and day from what they were. S and T are adjusting well as are our other children. We feel more like a family, complete, fulfilled. We feel so blessed for all God has done to call us to our children, provide the way, and grow us in the process. We are very thankful for all of our friends and family that supported us through prayer, gifts, finances, and provided a shoulder to cry on with all we experienced.Thank you to our church family,Crossroads, and our community group! You saw God at work in us and have been His hands and feet throughout this whole process, even after coming home.
As difficult as this process was I could not imagine having to do it without the staff at One World Adoptions. Susan, Alex, Terri and Allison, we were truly blessed by your support, honesty, and prayers. Your in country staff is absolutely amazing! Thank you for allowing God to use you all to put our family together! We were blessed by ministries such as Show Hope and Promise 686 for partnering on our journey with us and being a huge part of God's story! Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we seek Holy Spirit for the direction He has for us going forward.
In His Grip,