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.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Tony goes to Africa...

This week has been a mess of anxiety and hope as a few very big things have come together.  We have been waiting for Tony’s visa to get into the DRC for over 9 weeks now, and had heard from the embassy it may take months.  We wanted one of us to be there for an embassy appointment with Moses’ biological aunt.  She has expressed that she wants to meet us and will give up her rights once she comes up for the embassy appointment.  So we applied for Tony’s visa thinking it might take two weeks.  When it was taking so long, we weren’t sure if we should go ahead with the interview without one of us there.  This is a risk, we are afraid she could not follow through if she doesn’t meet us.  But we were prolonging the approval of our adoption because we were waiting on a visa.  So that was our dilemma.  We decided to step out in faith and schedule the embassy appointment if Tony’s visa wasn’t here by the end of June.  Then we gave it one more week.  Nothing.  So we set up the appointment for this past Thursday.  Just after I wired the money for our lawyer to go down to the region where Moses and his aunt have been living to bring them back to the city….I got an email that Tony’s visa would arrive last Saturday…and it did!  Wow.  The timing, as always, was crazy. 

SO…we booked a ticket and Tony is head to the DRC…THIS SUNDAY.  As of now we don’t know how long approval will take after the interview so we don’t know if Tony will be coming home with Moses.  What we do know is the interview is scheduled for July 18th at 3:00 and Tony will be there the night before.  So right now we need some major prayer.  

Both of us are stressed beyond belief trying to pack and get everything ready for leaving here on Saturday.  We are stretched thin in so many ways...financially...emotionally...physically.  We are excited but nervous.  Please pray for Tony…that he would be safe and that Moses would bond with him….Moses doesn’t remember us, he doesn’t speak a lick of English and he is leaving everything he knows…Pray for Moses too.  Pray for me as I wait from afar…it was a really hard decision not to go with Tony but we decided if things didn’t work out, the one who could emotionally handle that should go.  Obviously it isn’t me. And financially it just didn't make sense for us both to go. 

We have been blown away by the recent support of friends…such a reminder that God is still in this and that he still CARES and so do the people surrounding us.  I got a letter with a check from a friend just this week  that said 
“The Lord your God himself will fight for you” Deuteronomy 3:2
“In life we may not know which battles we’ll have to fight, but we can always be sure of who is fighting them with us.  God’s love and many prayers are all around you—now and for as long as it takes. “

She said “So many times I have wanted to reach out to you but my words were at a loss.  I’ve wanted to help but had nothing to give….I’m so happy to finally send something” along with some other very heartfelt very much needed words.  God continues to provide at JUST the moment I (we) need it most.  

I can honestly say that in the past few months I have questioned if we should still be fighting.  I mean I would die for this boy but how long should I fight for it if I’m not sure of the outcome…As LONG as it takes.  

Thank you Kirsten for reminding me not to give up on God, on Moses, on our family…and for reminding me there are so many people who haven’t given up on us.  

Thank you Denalyn and fam for supporting another DRC mama (and fam) when you haven’t even met us in person.  If you are anything like your brother, I want to be your friend someday (I mean like real friends who have face to face conversations…although I feel like I already know you).

Thank you friends who have randomly felt the tug on your heart to send money and prayers our way…You have NO idea what it means to us to open the letters from you.  It literally keeps me afloat when I feel like I am drowning.  You have supported us financially and with your time when we aren’t even ASKING, you continue to GIVE.  

 If it goes well next week they will approve his orphan status and we can officially apply for his visa.  This is our last big hurtle folks.  My anxiety level is at an all time high as I sit here tonight thinking about all that is about to go down in the next couple weeks.  But my faith is also at an all time high thanks to those of you that have been supporting us.  Let’s bring him home…I really want him to meet you.

With love

The Schmids
I found this luggage tag on the suitcase when I got it out to pack...the last time we used this bag was August 2014 when we met Moses.  Can't believe I am packing it again almost three years later. 

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