Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Riley's Visit with Boys Today

For those of you who don't know, Riley's back in Congo for a quick trip. Today he was with our boys at orphanage & tomorrow morning is his embassy appointment. I received an email from him this afternoon sharing about his time spent with the boys today:

"Just got back from the orphanage and thought I would send you a quick update.
J was really doing great. He gave me a little smile when we first saw each other and was really happy the whole time. He laughed a lot and wanted me to hold him constantly. We played ball and he was actually throwing it a little bit (mostly with his left hand!). I asked about his testicles and PL said the doctor was not that concerned. He claimed there was "water" in there and that it would go away on its own without medicine. I checked for myself and I would say his right testicle was about twice the size of his left. The mamas said that it was smaller than it had been and it was getting better. I noticed he was a little uncomfortable when I held him on my left hip, probably because it pushed on his right testicle. Other than that, he didn't ever seem affected by it. Lots of smiles and hugs... you would have loved it!
G was a little more apprehensive when I saw him. He was being changed when I came in and he cried when I held him. He wanted to go back to the mamas. After a while (and a lollypop) he warmed up to me and he was his normal self. The mamas said he had "malaria" and that he was on a prescription for it. I asked to see the prescription but they said PL had it (he didn't stay at the orphanage with us). They said he had had a fever and chest cough. He still seemed to have a little cough but no fever. That might explain why he was a little fussier than last time. He took a few steps for me while I was there and the mamas said he started walking a couple of weeks ago. He can put 3-4 together at one time now. I also got him to say "ball" while I was there. The mamas said he doesn't really talk but I heard him gibber a little. J says "mama" and a "mai" (water). Probably a few other words too but I couldn't understand.
The boys both love playing ball and I actually got them to play with each other a little. J really likes to throw and he tries to catch like a big boy. G is happy to just hand the ball back and forth. I got a little video of it, but it doesn't do it justice.
I have all of the documents I need from PL and I don't foresee any problems. Hopefully everything goes smoothly tomorrow."


Thursday, April 4, 2013

On His Way

 Via confirmation this morning, Riley will be flying back to Kinshasa in a couple of days for an appointment net week with the US Embassy. He will spend a day travelling, a day with our boys in the orphanage, a morning appointment at the embassy & then flying back that night, home the following day. Phew!
Gideon meeting the family

This appointment is two-fold: (1) We apply (on behalf of our sons) to request their Visas to travel to the US & (2) We provide the English & French translations for ALL the Congolese documents that show Josiah & Gideon to be our children (adoption decrees, consent forms, birth certificates, death certificates of mothers, etc- 2 binders full of meticulous paperwork that Riley has put together!) While we could forgo this appointment & apply in the US, that process is longer & we feel an urgency to get this portion completed immediately so investigations aren’t delayed. Continuing, the US Embassy will review our binders & begin their investigations- interview birth fathers, confirm legitimacy, etc (remember, the birth fathers are on the other side of the country possibly in a war-zone so this is not a simple task). When the US Embassy is satisfied that J & G are our children legitimately they’ll issue the visas. At that time Riley & I (or just Riley) will return to DRC & wait up to 3 weeks for all to process & then bring the boys home!
Congo River

Please pray for Riley’s safety, the health of the boys, & the efficiency of this process. Feels good to be moving forward…


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring Clean

Help feed kids! Any Heart for Congo sales/donations that come in for the month of April will be going towards feeding these kids. I am cleaning & purging our closets, cupboards, garage, attic, shed, basement, etc this month & all profits will go towards feeding these children. My challenge to you is to do something similar... Spring clean!- Have a yard sale, sell on Craigslist, & use profits towards feeding these children.

For more information go here


Monday, April 1, 2013

Let Me Be With You

Josiah & Riley
Today was one of those mornings where everything felt meaningless. I was in the middle of single-leg squats in my basement & I broke down thinking, “What is the point of working out so hard when the results don’t last? I’ll be working just as hard tomorrow, and the next day, & the next!” Then the meaningless spread to my other daily tasks- “Why do we make our beds day after day? Why do I ask the boys to pick up their cars when the mess will be replaced by something else within the minute? Will I be doing laundry forever? Why am I always in the kitchen when these people devour my hard work within minutes!” I was making myself crazy. Resentment began to well up inside of me. I began to cry.

Clearly, I was missing the point. As I was staring out my tiny rectangular window with a bar on my back, a cool Spring breeze flowed into the room & the Lord whispered the word “RELATIONSHIPS” to me.

I started to ask myself those same questions in a different context: What if I was working out so hard alongside others, encouraging them & building them up. Then, would my physical work feel so pointless? No- relationships would bring meaning to it.  And, what about making our beds? Is it just a task or is there meaning behind it? My conclusion: I’m setting an example to my children in discipline. Hebrews 12:11 says, “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”  Same concept with picking up cars, chalk, putting covers back on markers, etc.  And is there meaning to the laundry & cooking? Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”  Food & clothing are provisions that should not stress me. I need to be thankful I am taken care of in these two areas. I need to be grateful I have abundant food & enough clothing that laundry is annoying. Period.

My pity party conclusion? Life’s not meant to do alone. We were created for relationships- with God & with mankind. Christ would retreat to secluded places to pray to his Father & other times he put himself out there to make himself available to humanity. I needed this reminder today.
Michelle & Dugheesha
And when I think about what brings me the greatest joy & what longings & deepest heartaches? All answers are relationships. I want my broken relationships to be reconciled. I want my sons home because I long to be in relationship with them. I want the highs, lows, laughter, tears, all those beautiful emotions that make us who we are! I want my sons home. How can I continue with such menial tasks when they’re not with me? I find meaning & invest in my present relationships!