The Adoption Post I Don’t Want to Write

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  James 1:2-3 ESV

I have not updated you in a long time, but there is an update.

You know, James didn’t say that trials are something we just need to suck up and force ourselves to be happy about it. He said facing trials is pure joy. Not even just a source of joy, pure joy.

My family has experienced a few trials this year, and I know I’m heavy with it all. Adoption is a part of that.

This news is bittersweet. It has joy.

Our adoption case was still in the original stage: we were waiting for our son Z’s personal investigation. In this phase, the lawyer works with the city to create the child’s backstory, answering the questions about where the parents are, how the child became an orphan, etc.

For many weeks, we got no news, as the adoption process in the DRC is quite stalled right now, awaiting (prayerfully) new legislation.

Then, a few weeks ago, we found out Z does have a biological parent living. The bio parent must give consent for the investigation to continue. Our agency told us that it wasn’t clear why yet, but the bio parent wouldn’t sign the consent.

From the moment I found out about the bio parent, I’ve been praying that they would want to take their son home. Not because we don’t want to adopt him, quite the contrary. Any child with their original parent is a blessing when it is healthy, and the DRC adoption landscape is so unclear right now…

My prayer has been answered. Z’s parent came and took him home.

This is a blessing to me to know that his parent wants to nurture their child. We don’t know any more of his story, and we never will. Perhaps the parent wasn’t able to care for their son, and now they can. Perhaps one of the parents died and the other made a choice that they can now overcome. Perhaps DRC orphanages are a temporary social welfare system when needed. I honestly don’t know. But I’m 100% supportive of this parent to take their child and raise them. I’m overjoyed for Z.

And I’m brokenhearted for myself and my family. This son is already in our hearts forever. I will always pray for him to know Jesus and to be well.

As I shared with a few close friends, I received the most wonderful confirmation on our place in Z’s story.

I expected people to react in this way, “Oh honey, there’s another child out there.” “I’m so sorry; why can’t you find out more?” Etc. I feared it with everything in me. But instead, the friends said, “I will continue to pray for Z.” And you don’t know how much my heart was comforted that we are not the only ones who love Z without ever having met him.

As hard as this news is to bear, we are called to stand up for the oppressed and the orphan (Psalm 82:3). And we did. It doesn’t look like we thought it would. But we did. If we hadn’t stood in that gap for Z, he may not be home yet.

Our adoption journey is not over, and our connection to Z will never change. Thank you for praying for us and continuing to pray for the son in our hearts.

We are seeking out other ways we can serve and love orphans in the DRC and elsewhere, and we will update you when we can.

Review of LeapFrog LeapBand

LeapFrog LeapBand Review
Disclosure: LeapFrog provided the LeapBand to me to review.

I love LeapFrog! Their toys are always age appropriate and educational!

The LeapBand is a fun toy that gets my kids moving, and I love anything that keeps them active (and I just get to watch!). My 4-year old is kind of particular about wearing things (doesn’t like hats, itchy tags, etc.), so he doesn’t wear the watch. Since he’s not super attached to this toy, I leave it out so he will pick it up and play with it.

He loves that the LeapBand gives him a variety of ways to move around, and he even started making up his own, like doing the “Pac Man”. I personally love the nod to energy with the “joules/jewels” wording, and my son likes to collect them. I do think that the “next step” of the app – using the joules to do certain things with your pet either on the watch or the apps – is a little complicated for my 4-year old, but some kids may really enjoy that strategizing.

I could definitely see other kids wanting to wear this and play with their pet all the time, but my son doesn’t seem to play with it as much as his legos or LeapPad Ultra.

I love that the LeapConnect app lets parents see exactly what their kids are learning and playing, but it seemed like I had to download a new version of the app, which was a hassle to me. I also like that you can turn the pet care off during school and sleep hours.

We Have a Child Match! Time to Send a Stack of Papers

We’re so excited to announce that we’re matched with a child in the DRC!!! We will call him Z. We will not be posting any photos online or using his real name to ensure the integrity of our case. But if you see us in person, we’d be happy to share!

From this point:

- . . . → Read More: We Have a Child Match! Time to Send a Stack of Papers

We Don’t Need to Add to the Suffering of Sin

The consequences of sin are many.

So why do we feel the need to make them worse?

When someone hurts us, we change who are. Despondent. Unconnected. Unwilling to move on. Or maybe we’re loud; verbal abusers. We want to hurt them like they hurt us.

Once we’ve decided to forget (instead of truly forgive), . . . → Read More: We Don’t Need to Add to the Suffering of Sin

How Do We Experience God’s Promises?

Floored. That’s how I feel.

I shouldn’t, because, you know:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23, ESV)

Do you ever feel like you’ve heard all of the Bible quotes? Or you’ve heard every sermon/translation/interpretation? Do you ever feel . . . → Read More: How Do We Experience God’s Promises?

Fighting the Comfort Idol

Part of the reason I chose my word of the year last year had to do with fighting my idolization of comfort.

I love to just be my old self. The fleshly self.

I have always been a very negative person. When I’m just seeking my own comfort, I can see it staring at me through . . . → Read More: Fighting the Comfort Idol

Adoption Fundraising Efforts

Please continue to pray for the DRC to open up exit visas for the adopted children! Your prayers are being heard – let’s nag the Lord as he calls us to do!

We are so thankful for your continual prayers on behalf of our adoption. We are thankful that God is leading us to move . . . → Read More: Adoption Fundraising Efforts

Word of the Year 2014

Last new year’s, I decided to do a word focus for the first time. My word was Gratitude.

I absolutely loved this. For me, this practice was so effective. Throughout the year, I didn’t have to do anything special, but moments where I needed to return to gratitude presented themselves all.the.time. (I’m a very negative . . . → Read More: Word of the Year 2014

Adoption Update December 2013

Only 5 days after we excitedly announced that we are adopting from the DRC, we found out that the Congo has closed exit visas for adopted children. What this means is that, while Congolese children can still go through the entire adoption process, they cannot be removed from the country.

The Congo says that this . . . → Read More: Adoption Update December 2013

Announcing the Next Member of Team Pete!!!

We’re so thrilled to announce that WE’RE ADOPTING!!!

We are already in the process of adopting from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, commonly called the DRC. I’ll let this video answer some of your questions:

We thank 620 Studio for their video design!

We will post soon with more updates, but for now, . . . → Read More: Announcing the Next Member of Team Pete!!!