Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Why Congo?

Since announcing our family's calling and decision to adopt, we have been asked it seems a million times this question, "Why there?"  Well, to put it simply it is because God lead us there. 

After Eric and I had the discussion of "we know we are called to adopt" the next discussion became "where to adopt from".  Africa has been on our hearts for a while.  It's hard to explain why or even how except God put it there.  So, we started looking at countries to adopt from in Africa.  Initially, we inquired about Ethiopia.  We had some friends that were adopting from there and knew of several other couples that were adopting from there as well.  At this point, things were moving along smoothly and quickly.  It seemed right.  BUT, right about the time we were fixing to say "let's go for it" there was a change to the program.  Now you would have to travel two times to the country instead of one.  (In the grand scheme of things, this is not that big of a deal.  If we had already applied or were in the process we would have kept with it.)  We discussed this and felt that it would be hard to travel two times with 2 small children (ages 2 and 4 at the time).  It wasn't as if we were saying this requirement was a deal breaker, but we just decided to look at more options. 

For about 2 weeks straight, I went into extensive research mode.  I looked at lots of countries, the requirements for each, agencies that others had recommended,etc.  Let me just say- it's a lot of work to adopt.  (Of course, completely worth it.)   There are many things to consider.  You really have to do your research.  Each country requires something different. 

Anyway, from the moment I started to look at other countries, Congo kept coming up and reappearing.  This wasn't just a coincidence- this was God.  You see, I really didn't know anything about the Congo.  I didn't know you could adopt from there, so I obviously didn't know anyone that was going through the process or had completed it.  I've never met anyone that has traveled there.  My only exposure to Congo is from the show ER (This was my absolute favorite show for years. I've seen every episode several times.)  In a couple of episodes, some of the doctors travel to Congo to do medical work.  In the episodes, several people are murdered.  Ok, so that is my knowledge of Congo. 

As I started to research, God started breaking my heart.  I would watch videos of people traveling there.  I would see the pictures of the children on the street.  I would see the statistics.  As I would share these things with Eric, his heart became broken.  We knew that God was telling us "this is it".  We knew that we had a child in the Congo that was meant to be apart of our family since before God created the world! 

Some statistics about Congo

  • There are approximately 5 million orphans (this in the entire population of Scotland)
  • 770, 000 are orphaned through AIDS alone
  • A civil war went on in this country for many years killing about 4 million people
  • Rape was used as a weapon of war- 25,000 cases reported in one year
  • Child soldiers were recruited- 30,000 have been reported
  • 1.1 million living with HIV
  • Congo is considered one of the top three deadliest places in the world to be born

Is your heart broken? Mine breaks every time I read these.

Children at a Catholic church service

Will you join me in praying for this country and for the children that live there? 

Although I have never traveled to this country and I have never met my child, my heart is full of love.  Love that only comes from God putting this in my heart and my family's heart!

 Take a couple of minutes and watch this video below!


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