Monday, December 26, 2011

Beautiful Post- Sunday

Oops, I am a day late on this beautiful Sunday. Yesterday was Chritmas, and boy what a great and tiring day that was! Matt and I always spend Christmas Eve at my mom's house and then wake up with the girls for SANTA! Yesterday Santa excitment got us up about 6:45. After Chritsmas with mom and the girls we quickly come home to drop off our stuff and go up to Matt's parent's house for another Christmas.

It is always so nice and so wonderful, but definately exausting. Next year this tradition might change- we will figure that out then. All I know for sure is Sara is bound to have a great first Christmas- she already received a basket full of toys from both grandparents for this one!

This "Sunday" is beautiful beacuse Sara is already loved by so many great people. It is beautiful because without even knowing her all our families have accepted her without question and unconditionally. Both Matt and I, and now Sara, are so lucky to have the families we do- they make our lives beautiful and wonderful in all ways....Merry (late) Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Home Stdu Complete!

We finished our home study this week! Our case worker said we did just fine. Tomorrow we hope to get the last of our papers notarized and have the dossier sent to the agency to make sure they are OK to get state certified. Now I am beginning to go crazy wanting Sara here. Christmas is in full bloom, snow is falling outside lighted windows, and I can't help but think she should be seeing this. Every day she is not here is another day she gets older and can't experience her life here. So tonight I will sit watching Top Chef on tv and the snow outside, thinking how nervous, excited and anxious I am for every step of this journey to be over...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Beautiful Sunday- One Little Christmas Tree

This year, I have bought almost all my gifts for people and even wrapped them! I have watched Mickey's Christmas Carol (my favorite version of this classic) and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. I saw Manheim Steamroller in concert and have listened to other holiday favorites in the car. It's a crazy, but good time of year.

As the days come closer to Christmas though, I can't help but think of the DRC and all the kids there who Santa won't get to visit.
How is this sad thought beautiful? It's not really, but the song below is, and it makes me think of Sara.

 This Sunday I think of Sara next year, making cookies, dreaming of Santa coming and waking up to her first Christmas morning. While this year is special because it is the last one Matt and I will have as just a couple, it will be so much more magical next year- what a beautiful thought!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Beautiful Sunday- How Could it Not Be?

This Sunday I really have no choice but to dedicate it to the people raising Sara. She is a beautiful little girl, living in a country that is beautful in it's own right. Her story and the women who have helped raise her so far are amazing human beings, even if I don't know who they are.

Sara's mom died two days after Sara was born. Local nuns took her in and nourished her for five days while waiting for other family members to show up- none did. The nuns then took her to a local village "orphanage"- a term used very loosly. There are 3-4 women at the orphanage (more like a house) who have helped Sara and her 8 "brothers and sisters" live as best as they can.

Stories like this happen everyday in the DRC. Even in a country ravaged by disease and severe poverty, people do what they can to help in the ways they know how. They are true local heroes saving lives without aknowledgement, without clean water and without money- but they make it happen. If only there were more of these amazing women and men all around the world, we would have a safer and better earth for everyone.

Thank you to all the beautiful heroes in the DRC saving the lives of so many! You are truly the most beautiful people on earth.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

She has Been Revealed!

13 blog posts, approximately 2 months, only two rounds of paperwork and years of thinking have brought us to the point that our daughter has been chosen! In such a short time we know who she is!!

Her name is Sara. She turned 3 on August 20. The adjectives that describe her? Joyful, capricious and likes to be put in charge." She is perfect!!

I truly believe everything in our lives happens for a reason. Sometimes we know that reason, sometimes it takes us looking back on events to see that reason. I believe with all my heart Sara was chosen so quickly because she was ment to be ours.

Are we freaking out? Of course! Did we think this could happen so quickly? Definately not! But, none of that matters. We will handle our daughter with patience and love. What may be a hard year for her when she comes into the family will result in a lifetime of opportunity and happiness she could never get back home.

Hopefully by summer we can meet this remarkle little girl and bring her home- WOW!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Beautiful Sunday- Housing

This Sunday I sit here cleaning like mad and wanting to purge the house of all the stuff Matt and I have collected in our 30-some years. We have our first case worker visit Wednesday night! True to form though, I sit here worried- do we really have a big enough house for Baby? Is it clean enough? Is there enough space for Baby to play and get toys out?

With all this in mind, I thought this Beautiful Sunday should be dedicated to housing. The average rent in Kinshasa is about $120/month; or a house will cost about $2545 total. Utilities run about $15 and internet is about $500 a month (no kidding!!!). For Expat standards of living, rent can go up to about $1000/month.

Most rural Congolese live within a family compound. The compound is a plot of land where family members build adjoining houses.  This type of communal living is ideal for raising families. Families share children-watching duties since parents may be miles away from the living houses for extended periods of time.  2002-46-Img05_edited

It takes patience and dirty hands to build a mud and stick wall for a rural Congolese house. The work can be done by women or men.  Strips of bamboo are tied to the supporting poles of the wall. The strips are put on both sides of the support poles to create a slotted wall.  They then make mud and press it into mud balls. The balls are put in between the slotted bamboo walls. The mud fills the wall to give it a solid appearance.

Electricity can only be found in about 10% of residences, and 3 out of 4 Congolese have to walk 2 or more hours to reach clean water- everyday! With all this in mind, our home is a million times better than anything Baby will live in back home....hopefully the case worker thinks so too!