One year together (october 2012)
Our precious jack (January 2012)
It has been only three months from the day that we met our newest addtion, Jack Lambert Honegger. Huge transition? YES! Insane having 2 boys 10 months apart at the height of the crazy 2-3 year old phase? YES! A journey filled with exhaustion? YES (Joe and I often fall asleep at 9 these days)! A child that feels like I bore him in my womb? YES! I tell you, the almost 2 years of praying for him daily literally made me pregnant with expectation and longing. Recently, my dad, Jack's Papa, shared some of the feelings he had before Jack joined our family. He was unsure of his ability to love Jack like our other kids; unsure if he would accept him as his own. "When Jack called out my name, 'Papa', he had me hook, line, and sinker. God knocked me over the head. Isn't this how he responds to us as his children?" (and I love that Jack's given name is the name of my dad's dad-- my Papajack!)
Jack has us hook, line, and sinker as well. I am so enjoying the journey of getting to know him. I think of his birth parents almost daily- how I long to thank them and tell them, "He is alright! God gave him a different family! He is smart, tender hearted, thoughtful, and stubborn. He is going to influence many in his generation." It pains me that, barring a miracle, we will never know the generations of people that have now brought him to us.
People tend to have some strong opinions about adoption. For us, it was a PARENTING decision. We knew we wanted to parent a child through adoption and parenting is hard work no matter which way it comes. If you have been on the fence in regards to adoption, get off it. If this is something meant for your family, God will make it clear. But if it is fear that is keeping you, you are missing out. I can't imagine having missed the joy of my newest son because I let my (very real) fears keep me from following God's plan. Kids need families. Do you have a family?
Our Adoption Story: How God Rescued my two sons (august 2010)
Obviously, there has been some post traumatic stress since then, and also massive amounts of rejoicing for my son's life. But, most recently, it served to build my faith and to know God as Rescuer. I woke up a couple of weeks ago to an email that said, "I don't have all the details yet, but you will need to expedite all your Rwandan paperwork ASAP." I later found out that Rwanda made the decision to no longer accept any new dossiers (the huge "application' that tells of our entire lives and enables us to adopt). We had 4 business days to go to the secretary of state in Austin to get our paperwork authenticated, go to Hilary Clinton's authentification's office to be sealed, and then to the Rwandan Embassy to be signed and sealed in order to be permitted to adopt. And even then, we were getting word that the embassy in DC was refusing paperwork because they were overwhelmed.
At the time, my emotions were so mixed. We were at the very end of our paper trail, had invested so much money, prayers, and time, that I couldn't imagine it all ending. But flying to DC on the spur of the moment and trying to get everything done by their deadline felt impossible. Plus, at the time, we were hearing it was impossible. I sobbed like I was loosing a child, and Joe said, "Let's just keep moving forward. Let's just get it done.' I piled up the paperwork to take to the state office in downtown Austin. As I sat waiting on the paperwork to be authenticated, I heard a still small voice say, "I rescued your first son and I can rescue your second.' Tears ran down my face as I realized that God was the one going after this child more than us!
The night before all of this craziness went down, I read the story of the lost treasure to Amelie. The story ends by saying, "He wants that treasure, somehow. Even is he has to sell everything he has so he can pay for it. He quickly buries the treasure again, runs home, and sells everything he has. He takes money from the sale and goes and buys that field. Now he owns the field- and the treasure that is buried in it. Jesus said, "Coming home to God is as wonderful as finding a treasure! You might have to dig before you find it. You might have to look before you see it. You might have to give up everything you have to get it. But being where God is- being in His kingdom- that is more important than anything else in the world. It's worth anything you have to give up!' Jesus told them. "Because God is the real treasure.'
God had a treasure, too, of course. A treasure that was lost long ago. What was God's treasure? The thing god loved most in the world? God's treasure was his children. It was why Jesus had come into the world. To find God's treasure. And pay the price to win them back. And Jesus would do it- even it would cost him everything he had.'
Was my son worth the expensive last minute plane ticket, the inconvenience of leaving life on hold, of Joe managing the house, of taking the risk that it may all come to nothing? Those excuses are nothing compared to what Jesus did to rescue me.
So we did it! God supplied an amazing babysitter who was totally available at the very last minute. Out of 3 airports that I could have flown into, I flew into the one that was 5 minutes from my friends' house. My amazing friend who I knew from my Food for the Hungry days, along with her husband, picked me up at 12am. They hosted me, gave me their metro card, and prayed and contended for me. On the metro in the morning, I told Kim that I was nervous about finding the right office. The girl standing next to me said, "I used to work there. Do you want me to walk you?' (thank you random girl in the metro). I needed some one to meet me at the office because I had over the amount of docs they allow at one time. Another adoptive family and her friend found some one to meet me there (thank you Jennie Allen and Jessica Taylor.) And the some one who just happened to meet me? A girl who grew up in my old church, who has a passionate heart for Jesus, and who cried tears of joys with me when we got everything stamped (thank you Courtney McCrea).
The folks at the embassy could not have been more gracious. They were able to get everything done in record speed, so that I actually walked out of the embassy with all of the correctly authenticated paperwork. A process that had been taking a month took 2 days! Thank you to Vienny and Carol, who got it all done (that is them in the photo).
So you see, God works miracles because He LOVES his children. He has known our Rwandan son since the beginning of time. I cant wait for Him to introduce us. We have a lot of catching up to do.
We are expecting our third in an unexpected way! (December 2009)
The week after Amelie was born, I rocked her often in those wee hours and thought about how it required 3 adults (me, my mom, and Joe) just to take care of this one little person (that is my mom rocking her below). Amelie stopped our world. As I held her tightly in my arms, my mind drifted back to a trip to Mozambique we took 2 years prior to her birth. While there, I rocked another little person named Samuel. This 4 week-old infant, however, had stopped no one's world. His dad was long gone and his mother died in childbirth. He now lived in a babies' home with countless other little ones. He would never grow up knowing the security and love that comes from a mother and father.
Several months ago, Joe and I began to pray if God had a Samuel somewhere for us. The first day we prayed together about it, a friend invited me to a playgroup. Every single person in the playgroup was adopting or had adopted (not your every day mom's group!) The mom sharing that day has 4 children, 3 of whom are adopted. She looked at me and said, "A lot of people talk about adoption but not many people do anything about it." Later that day, I turned on a talk show (ok it was Oprah people). The show chronicled several families in Charlotte who had emptied an orphanage in Liberia by adopting all the kids. The next day, I got a call from a friend who said, "One of my friend's just called and said she had a dream that you were adopting a bunch of kids." This friend, of course, knew nothing about our recent prayers.
When you ask God to confirm something that is already written on His heart, be careful! Joe and I had already planned a trip to Uganda to visit a friend and volunteer at some children's homes. While being surrounded by literally hundreds of children with no one to call them son or daughter, we knew that God was calling us to follow Him down the road of adoption.
After exploring the many different options, we decided on Rwanda. Why Rwanda? We like that the government oversees the adoption process and doesn't charge anything extra, we can adopt without using an agency which saves a few thousand dollars, and Jessica has always connected to that area of Africa. After making the decision, some good friends learned they may be moving there. They connected us with some one living in Kigali who volunteers at the orphanage our child will come from, who just adopted from there, and who offered to help us with the entire process. I sent out an email to a few people I found online who were adopting from there. When I clicked on the blog of the first person who emailed me back, I was shocked! It was my roommate from college! Again, it felt like God was going overboard to confirm and secure in our hearts that He was guiding us. "For you will go out with joy, and be guided in peace." Isaiah 55:12
We are now in the middle of collecting the many documents that are required plus preparing our home study. Everything must then be notarized and sent to the Rwandan embassy in DC, then off to Rwanda where it will be translated to French and sit on the Minister's desk for several months. We will then find out if we are approved, then we will get an email with our child's picture and what little information they may have about him. Finally, we will fly to Rwanda to get him, his passport, and his visa.
Would you join us in praying for our son? We are praying that he will know the security and attachment that comes from knowing God as Father. We pray that the painful circumstances that will bring him to us can be healed through our love.