Monday, July 30, 2012

Burning ?s!

Now that we have been in the adoption process for several months, I have gotten quite a few questions.  So, I wanted to just take a moment to answer some of those here in case it helps anyone else out!

1.  Will J speak English?
No!  We have gathered that for the first 2 years of her life she was probably spoken to in Swahili, but now at the orphanage they speak Lingala.  We will teach her English just like you would a baby- with pictures, pointing, books, videos, and lots of communicating.  Children pick up pretty stinkin' fast (most of the time).

2.  Will she need diapers?
The children do NOT wear diapers at the orphanage, so we won't fully know until we get her.  We are NOT buying diapers in advance because it could be a total waste of money.  My guess is that she will have "potty" experience so at the most she made need pull-ups.

3.  What are you going to do with her hair?
If at all possible, she will have a fro ASAP :)  They keep the hair short or bald for several different reasons.  Of course, lice and ringworm run rampant among children so no hair is better than a head full in an orphanage.  I will try to learn how to fix her hair once it grows in, but I'm pretty fumble-fingered, so if need be, we will visit the beauty shop!  I do visit regularly just so that I'll be informed on how to take care of her hair.

4.  Once she is here, when we will be able to meet her?
This is a pretty hard one to answer.  When you have a baby through birth, the baby naturally bonds with the mother and father, so you don't have to "work" at the bonding.  But, in adoption, families need time to attach, adjust, and bond together.  We are pretty much making up for the 3 years that we haven't been able to spend together.  It may be several weeks or even months before she is brought out into the "real-world" or it may not take that long.  Jared and I are preparing for the worst, aka being locked in our cave, but hoping that she adapts well.  When we do start introducing her to people, we will start with the people that she will see regularly, those closest to us, and then slowly continue introducing her to everyone in our lives!  You will get to meet her at some point, but we will make sure that we do what's best for our little girl.  We do not want to overwhelm her :)

5.  Can I babysit her?
NO... haha just kidding!  But seriously, our moms will have to fight you for that, so you can take it up with them :)  Does anyone really WANT to babysit anyways?!  I always did when I was a teenager, but I never got excited about it, haha!  In all realness, I don't foresee Jared and I needing a babysitter all that often.  She will go everywhere with us, except for the occasional date night :)

6.  Are you going to stay at home with her?
I will take a maternity leave just like a preggo would.  I don't really know all of the ins and outs of how this will go, but I will probably take 8 weeks off (including our travel time).  If I need to take more, then I'll make that happen also.  Jared will take a couple of weeks off also so that he can bond with J as well.  Thankfully, he can do a lot of work from home, and has a fairly flexible job.  But, we have both been saving up our days so that we have plenty to give.  When we both return to work, J will be going to a Montessori school in our neighborhood.  Her teacher is FABULOUS, and it has been a total God thing.  She is from Uganda, knows J's native language, and is very hands-on when it comes to teaching.  I couldn't be more thrilled!

7.  Isn't adoption expensive?  How much does it cost?
Ohmiword, yes it is expensive.  When you adopt internationally, you are probably going to pay between 30,000-40,000.  It really depends on which country you are adopting from.  But, can you really put a price tag on a child?  When you are right where God wants you to be, He will provide all that you need!


8.  When will you be able to get her?  What takes so long?  
Well, friends, sadly enough we have zero clue right now when we will get to travel.  In June we were told that it could be September or October, but a lot has happened since then.  The latest we have heard is that it could be March before we get to go.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of agencies (not ours) that are doing illegal business with adoptions, so the Congolese government is starting to crack-down.  Everything is a process, and you can't start one step until you've been given clearance.  So, we are in the waiting zone once again.  We do know that there's literally nothing physically we can do to speed up the process, so we just have to trust that God will work out all of the details.  His timing is perfect in every way.

Have any other questions for us, just let me know!  A lot of times people don't want to ask us questions because they don't want to upset us, but you won't!  We are very open about our adoption process, and are excited to answer any and all questions when it comes to our little girl :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Our daughter

Can I tell you a little bit about my daughter, and this is based on information that I have seen?  I totally understand that the documents in the Congo may not be accurate, but that's all we have to go off of.

*She is from the eastern part of Congo.  The part that right now is having a pretty large conflict as we speak.  This part of Congo is very rich in natural minerals and resources which leads to a lot of fighting, unrest, and war.  Ten of thousands of people have been displaced and are fleeing away from the rebels who are seizing towns one by one.  This is where my daughter is from.  This breaks my heart.

*When the sweet people from our agency picked up the children from this area in April, my daughter and 12 other children did not have 1 piece of clothing on their body.   They did not have diapers, they had nothing.  My daughter was 2 and had nothing.

*Early in July, we received court documents about J.  Her mother is "unknown," but her father's name was listed.  We will never know who her birthmother is, we will never know what happened to her, why she became an orphan, if she has any siblings, or anything other than her living situation was considered "condemnable" in the Congo.

But, by the grace of God, she is now being taken care of, clothed, fed, played with, sung to, danced with, and so much more because of our agency's orphanage.  She is thousands of miles away from the current conflict.  She has a roof over her head and several friends that she can smile with.  Watching her little personality develop through the videos and pictures we've seen over the past few months has brought me so much joy.  She interacts and gets involved so much more now than she did in April/May.  I can't thank the caretakers enough for what they are doing for our little girl.

As of right now, we have no idea when we are going to be able to travel.  Can we ask you to pray for that?  We are fully trusting that God will provide His perfect timing, and He will give us the peace and patience that we need as we are waiting.  Every day that we our travel is delayed is one less day that we get to spend with our child.  Thank you for being faithful to pray as we continue to try to bring our daughter home!

Monday, July 2, 2012

J's bedroom reveal

J's room is so close to being finished, y'all!  We still have a few things that haven't been delivered yet, but I just couldn't wait any longer to share with you!  Please keep in mind that she is getting new curtains... those dark blue ones are not here to stay :)  We also have a few accents that are on their way!  As soon as we get those things, I'll be sure to update :)

When you walk into her door, this is what you'll see.  Jared did all of the painting, including the turquoise furniture :)  The long, turquoise table is going to be a table/bench.  Jared's Granny sewed a cushion top that will go right on top!  Pretty cute for a table I picked up off the side of the road several years ago.
Bed:  Havertys
Bedspread:  Land of Nod
Rug:  Urban Outfitters
Wall Art:  Hobby Lobby
Paper Chandelier:  Pottery Barn

The first thing that you see as you open the door is J's little library.  I found this on Pinterest, and just had to include it in her room.  The shelves are actually shutters.  

And, because I'm a teacher, she already has some reading manipulatives in her shelves.  Every little girl needs a microphone to read into, a pointer, fun reading glasses, and bookmarks, right?!

Here's a closer look at her bed.  The trundle pulls out... and we can use it as an extra sleeping space or storage!  LOVE!

Another Pinterest inspired project... planters turned into toy storage!  I found these planters at Garden Ridge, they have TONS of different options there.

Here's the view from her closet (don't forget to ignore those curtains!).  We moved a chair from our bedroom into J's room.  Her initials came from Hobby Lobby... they were gold, so I spray painted them white.  Super easy.

 This is Daddy's little spot... a pillow that says, "Dad Rocks" and the giraffe he bought for her in New York!

This little table was in my classroom a few years ago.  It was originally lime green, then black, and now it's white with a scrapbook paper top!  My Mammaw gave me lots of really great silver pieces, so I put some of those on top :)

I'm really surprised that Jared hasn't figured a way to block Pinterest from my phone and computer because it made him work pretty stinkin' hard for J's room!  He turned an old dresser into a wardrobe closet, isn't it precious?!  I found that idea {HERE}.  The large pink frame came from Canton.  It will house a family picture as soon as we are able to get one!

It's intended use is for dress-up clothes and supplies, but we don't really have any of that stuff yet.  So, just for display purposes I put some of her clothes inside.  On the side it has 2 knobs for costume jewelry.

On the other side, Jared hung a mirror that I found in Canton.  A girl's gotta look after she gets all dolled up :)

And that's it for now!  I have to give A LOT of credit to Jared because he put a lot of work into this room.  Every time I had an idea, he just went with it, and didn't complain... too much, ha! ;)

Now, we just need our precious little girl!  Hoping and praying that happens SOON!