My mother has been bothering me for years to write a blog. Every year I have the same answer… “What would I have to say that people would want to read?” I tell her when I have an answer for that question, I will write a blog. I seriously don’t know how people have time to write them. I don’t even have time to take a shower. Literally. It’s a problem. I don’t know how all these women out there write blogs. Not only are they writing blogs, they are writing blogs about all the crafts and food they make. How are they finding time for that? And most of them have more than one child. I only have one, and I need a shower, badly.
Now, I have something to write about. It’s been a long time coming and I stay up at nights thinking about it. I have been waiting for the perfect time, and I realized, there is no perfect time. I have to stop wasting time and do it …now. Four years ago, I went to Africa. Four years ago I made promises to people there that I would not forget them, that I would tell their stories. Four years ago. What have I done in four years?
My mom thought of the title “Before and Africa” and I actually love it. There are a lot of things my mom and I agree on, but usually when she has an idea “for” me, I politely turn her down. But this title struck a chord in me. I thought about all the blogs out there about style and fashion and craftiness and I thought about how my blog would probably be the antithesis of that. Maybe I do always buy the same long sleeved shirts at the GAP every three years when the old ones get holes in them. Maybe I do still have the same tennis shoes I bought for 30 bucks 6 years ago. Maybe I do only get my hair cut once a year. Maybe I am in desperate need of a style makeover, but I think this blog is more of a before and after of my soul. My soul before and now my soul (after) Africa…
So thanks mom, for the title and for recognizing there has been a change in me and that even though I have a hard time finding the words, it’s time to start trying.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Two years.

Today marks two years the ban on exit letters has been in place.  Most days I try to think of the way we were with him.  The way he was when we left him.  It hurts to think of him with so much time between us.  Two years.  Two. Years.  When I think of the 730 days we’ve missed with him…I can’t, I just can’t.   I can’t let myself dwell on the sadness of this.  If I felt the pain everyday,  it would be too much to bare.  But there are days….like today…when I feel it.  When I let myself look at the pictures and videos and cry all day.  When I let myself wonder what he will be like when I see him again.  When I let myself wonder IF I will see him again.  I wait for something beautiful.  I wait for a day I don’t know will come.   As I wait, I force myself to see the beauty in what is now.  The new life God has given us that moves and grows rapidly inside the mystery of the womb.  My eldest son that gives the extra dose of joy I need each day.  I am grateful, I am.  But today, I cry for him.  I ache for him.  Moses.

“Now, in the Bible a name…reveals the very essence of a thing, or rather the essence as God's gift…To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it as coming from God and to know its place and function within the cosmos created by God.  To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in it.” - John Piper

Originally we chose the name Moses because it meant “drawn up out of the water”, and I always loved the story of Moses in the Bible.  He was raised by people that were not his race but he went back to save his people.  He was literally “drawn up” out of his circumstances to a higher purpose in the overarching story of the God who loved him.   We always hoped that our Moses would feel at home with us but have a tugging on his heart to give back to the people and the culture that birthed him. We had hoped that he would also be used by God someday to be a great man for his people. 

We didn’t know when we chose this name how significant it would become to his/our journey. We didn’t know the long echoing cry of the patriarch of the Bible would become our cry.  “Let my people go” “Let our children go”  Very different situations, but to me the cry of desperation is the same.  He is one of God’s children, an Israelite and he has yet to be “drawn up” out of the water to fulfill his purpose.  But if Moses and the Israelites can wander in the desert for 40 years, we too can wait on God’s timing.   We may never see what God does through our Moses.  But we trust that God will do what He promised.  He will draw His people closer to himself and we will wait.  He will hear our groanings and he will not forget us.

These words have echoed in my heart all week.

I could just sit
I could just sit and wait for all Your goodness
Hope to feel Your presence
And I could just stay
I could just stay right where I am and hope to feel You
Hope to feel something again

And I could hold on
I could hold on to who I am and never let You
Change me from the inside
And I could be safe
I could be safe here in Your arms and never leave home
Never let these walls down

But You have called me higher
You have called me deeper
And I'll go where You will lead me Lord
You have called me higher
You have called me deeper
And I'll go where You lead me Lord
Where You lead me

 And I will be Yours, oh
I will be Yours for all my life
So let Your mercy light the path before me

-All Sons and Daughters

Monday, March 16, 2015

Call the White House!

For those of you that have asked for an update on Moses...there will be no update until the government does something.  And in order for that to happen, we believe getting our president to make a phone call to the president of the DRC is literally our only hope at this point.  Tomorrow the waiting families (500 or so of us?) are going to flood the white house with phone calls.  Will you join us?  Five minutes of your time...will make a world of difference for so many kids.   Let's get our kids home! Here is the info and a script:

CALL the White House on Tuesday, March 17, 2015.

The number is 202-456-1111. 

“I am calling to…

..Ask that President Obama intervene on behalf of all the children adopted by US citizens but prevented from leaving their home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

..Ask that President Obama call President Kabila personally.

...Remind you that on July 16 of last year, 167 members of Congress wrote a letter to President Obama, appealing for his personal intervention. His help is still needed!

..Remind you of the tremendous popularity and influence President Obama carries in the DRC, as our first African-American president, and to appeal to him to use that influence to help unite these children with their forever families in the US.” 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Moses Year One

Every year we make a video for Max's birthday...I never did take the 1 month 2 month 3 month pictures of Max, time just flew by and I take pictures when my camera happens to be there.  There really isn't time for nice photoshoots when you have a 3 year old.  Our photos are messy and silly and when I try to plan them...there are tears.  We are excited to start this tradition with Moses, and although we didn't get to spend his whole first year with him (only 10 days of it), we got a lot of precious video of our baby boy while we were there.

We received his picture New Year's Eve 2013.  One year ago.  So we are celebrating this amazing year of knowing this precious boy.

Happy New Year.

2015 is going to be a great year.  We can feel everyone's prayers.  He will be home this year.  We believe it.