In March of 2010, I googled “Rwandan adoption blogs” in order to learn more about how the process worked there. I emailed a few of the bloggers, and the first person to email me back was my roommate from college, Emily Schulz! Around that same time, some other friends, Lane and Anna Mears, were quietly in Rwanda considering working for International Justice Mission. They emailed me about a woman, Jennifer Jukanovich, who helped others facilitate adoptions there. Within a month, we began the paper journey and prayer journey that has led us to today.
So much has happened “in the waiting”, including my mom randomly sitting by a very well known Rwandan on a flight to Chicago, my friends taking the job with International Justice Mission (where we are staying now), and Jennifer and I now collaborating for Noonday Collection on sending women to sewing school here (go like us on Facebook so you can be a part of that!).
Falling asleep in bed the last few months, I pictured our son laying between us in bed and me rubbing my head against his. What would his head feel like against mine? Tears would come as longing filled my heart.
Today that longing was filled! As I saw Jack walking up the steps of the outdoor corridor, holding the nun’s hand, I ran to him! I swept him up in my arms and never wanted to let him go! During the adoption process, you ask yourself a lot of questions. Will I love him as much as my other kids? Can I learn how to parent differently? Can I walk with a child who has been abandoned and possibly traumatized? Most of the time, I felt pretty inadequate when answering these questions, yet knew (and God kept confirming) that our son was in Rwanda.
I was so worried last night as I fell asleep, wondering what I would feel when meeting him today (I am keeping it real, people). I wasn’t a quick bonder with my last 2 (their need to keep me up at all hours did not give me warm and fuzzy feelings and my natural births took every ounce of energy I had). But as I squeezed our son in my arms today, he felt like ours. There is a LONG journey ahead (experts say it takes one month for every year the child has been abandoned to trust and feel a true sense of “place”. Jack is almost three.) But today, I feel so much hope for this journey and love for Jack.
He can’t leave the orphanage with us until we have passed court. Miraculously, we got a court date tomorrow, which means good things could be happening soon. We would love for you to pray that this process gets expedited, so we can start the fragile yet fierce bonding process.
He is shy in a really cute way, and smiled for the first time when we said “I love you “ in Kinyarwanda. He loves Noonday all ready! He pretended like my necklace was a hat and just giggled and giggled. It took him time for him to warm up to Joe, but bubbles and a cookie lead the way. He kept pointing at the car over and over again because he wanted to go! “Let’s get out of here!” it felt like he was saying!
I find myself completely humbled by all the ways God brought us to our son. For just a moment today, my world stopped and I think I heard the angels clapping and saw the heavens opened as one of His children joined a new Covenantal family. “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He pulled me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy for they were too strong for me. God brought me out into a wide and spacious place. He rescued me because He delighted in me.” (2 Samuel 22:17-20)
(We can’t post photos of his face until after we pass court and he becomes legally ours. Pray that happens soon!)