Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tomorrow is THE BIG DAY!!

Saturday August 18th  (4:40 pm CDT and 10:40 pm in Kinshasa)

Well, I am 5 hours off of the East Coast flying over the Atlantic and I am just thrilled and blessed to be on this journey to pick up my son.  The trip so far has been very smooth.  Katie and I left Nashville at 11 am yesterday, with a layover in Charlotte, then spent the night in Washington DC last night.   We had a fabulous meal at the hotel.  Crab stuffed mushrooms to start, then salmon with mashed potatoes and veggies.  We figured we would splurge on our last good meal before airplane and congo food. (Thanks Tim Chandler for the dinner and fabulous accomodations…xoxo!). 

Today, we had breakfast and made it to the airport.   We did have to spend some time rearranging things in our luggage because our carry-on’s were too heavy.  (Of course, after all of the work…they never even checked them.).   Then, because of the rearranging, I ended up leaving my new DVD player on the luggage cart.  GRRRrrr.   Oh well, if that is the worst that happens…we are doing great!!   Plus, I can still show movies on my laptop.

We have the most wonderful lady sitting in our row.  She is smart, witty, traveled, and has a heart of gold.  Her name is Mary Ellen and she is on her way to stay 3 weeks with a friend in Uganda who is in the final stages of breast cancer.  This is a friend she met while teaching in Uganda many years ago.  What a blessing she is to this friend!   

Mary Ellen, Katie and I just ordered a glass (or 2;-)) of red wine to celebrate my adoption!!  We decided we are going to have a party in row 33!!  Woo hoo!  

I have covered (and will continue to cover) a vast array of emotions.  From….”Am I Crazy”, “can I do this”, “I can’t wait”, “really…2??”, to “ I am not nervous at all now.  I am just ready to do this!”   God is at work and will give me everything and everyone I need.

August 19th  (10:45 am CDT…..5:45 pm in Kinshasa)

We just arrived at St. Anne’s where we are staying a few hours ago.  We walked down the street to a market and bought lots of bottled water for the room.  The place we are staying reminds me of the old dorm rooms at SewaneeJ, except we don’t have hot water here.    

I am not sure what I expected to see when we drove down the road…but what I saw definitely wasn’t it.   I have been to 3rd world countries and have seen the poverty, but I have never seen people living in such filth in my life.   There were hundreds and hundreds of people on the side of the road in the city standing in dirt, dust, sand, rock and trash.  There were Literally mounds of garbage all along between the road and the tin homes where they live.   It made me hold my breath for much of the ride from the airport.  Well….that and the fact that I was in the front seat with our driver Matthew who was scaring the crap out of me the whole time.  I just knew we were going to run over a pedestrian at any moment.

We are about to shower now and then have dinner at 7.  After dinner I am quite sure we will all be ready to collapse and the tomorrow is THE BIG DAY!!   I get to meet my son and never let him go!!  

Please continue to pray for our meeting tomorrow, the language barrier, the transition and all of our health and safety.

I will have pictures and video tomorrow!   WooHoo!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Long sleeves on an August morning?  LOVE IT!   

The last post being September of 2011 really shows how long this journey has been, but we are almost together.  Mine and Katie's visas are coming today and all we wait for is the "go ahead" from the Embassy to book our flight.  It is surreal!  The waiting, the paperwork, the tears, the stress will be all worth it when I meet my son for the first time.  It is hard to explain how you can love someone you have never met, but God has placed him in my heart and family and I am blessed beyond measure!  So now I gather for the trip.....his little clothes and shoes, toys, snacks, first aid stuff and things for the orphanage.  Come on phone...RING, or email....DING!!  I am ready:-).

The next big change since September is that this blog should say "Journey to find SONS".  That's right....2 BOYS!  HA!   Dwight is coming home too!!  YIPPEEE!   The last I heard from Jamaica is that it could be as soon as 2-3 months, which means I could have both boys by Christmas!  What a Christmas gift would that be?   A house filled with smiles, laughter, lights, music, food, Jesus and FAMILY!  That is what it's all about.

Am I scared?  Absolutely!!  Do I fully comprehend how much my life is about to change?  No way!!  But I know that I am living out the path that God has put me on, and because of that, HE will give me everything I need to raise these boys to be fine young men!  He will place people in my life when I need help.  He will place people in their lives when they need a male role model.  He will Bless us on this Road!

I wanted to start this blog back up so I can use it to keep you updated while in Africa and moving forward to Jamaica.  We will have sporadic WiFi, so I will update as frequently as I can!!

Thank you for praying and being constant encouragement!
Cindy, Christian and Dwight!   oh...and Sophie and Abner of course:-)).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Waiting for Christian

It has been a while since I have posted anything on my blog.  I have sent emails to friends, and posted updates on facebook but haven't written here in over a month.  On August 24th I got pictures of a precious little boy that is now officially my "referral"!  His name is Christian Enam Gentry, and I am already in love with him.  He was abandoned in the Congo without a name or birth certificate, but someone started calling him Christian.   I think his name is wonderful and all I could think was..."I prayed and prayed for God to bring me the right child, and he sent me a Christian!!".  I thought about using family for his middle name, but decided I really wanted him to have his African heritage in his name.  So, I searched for African names that had a powerful meaning, would be easy to pronounce and would flow with Christian.  Enam is what I chose, and it means 'Gift from God'!  Perfect!!!

Now...what comes next?  The attorney is working on an official document called an abandonment decree, and then he will have to have a birth certificate "created". The do not know his exact age, but estimate between 2 and 3.   Next, a court date will be appointed where the attorney will have power to finalize the adoption for me in the Congo.   Prayerfully this will be sometime in the next 2 or 3 months.   After the adoption is final, the paperwork goes to the Embassy to get Christian a passport, visa and immigration approval.  This takes another couple of months.  THEN I get to go get him!!  Woo hoo!  It is my prayer that it will be no longer than March when I can go get him.   I long to have him here!  I am ready to continue this journey with his sweet face!  I know it is going to be HARD, but it will also be the most rewarding experience of my life!

I thank you so much for all of your prayers, and ask you to continue to pray!  

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Jesus Loves the Little Children

This summer has been consumed with mostly filling out paperwork for grants.  I have now submitted grant applications to Lifesong for Orphans and Show Hope.  It doesn't sound like much, but they are very intensive.  Copies of W-2's, income tax returns, reference letters, essays on my faith and on why I want to adopt, cash flow worksheets, and itemized statements of all of assets and liabilities.  Whew..... I pray that God blesses me with some money from one or both.  But, even if He doesn't, He will provide in other ways.   I have also been at work on creating T-shirts to sell and those will be revealed very soon on facebook!!  I am very excited about them:-).

This weekend has brought good news to me.  I was able to have dinner with the couple who is directing the orphanage in Jamaica on Thursday night.   They are home for a break between year 1 and 2 of their mission.   They said that my little man there is doing great and he is starting to potty train..YAY!  They also feel pretty confident that I will eventually get to bring him home.  There has been another case-worker to take over all of the children's files at Robins Nest, and she is working diligently to do what is best for these children.   She is aware of me and knows I want this little man, and I will be calling her on Monday to introduce myself and make sure she can put a voice with a name.

I was also able to attend the annual reunion for Celebrate Children (the agency I am using for the Congo)  tonight, and got to meet several of the people who I have had email communication with.   I found out that there are only 3 FAMILIES ahead of me who are wanting little boys.   They actually want infant boys, and I am good with the age up to 3 years old.  So, if a toddler boy becomes available first, then I may get the call first.   I feel like it will be a matter of weeks before I get a referral!!  WOW!!  Praise the Lord! ......and get me some bunk beds, because I think 2 boys are coming my way!!!  What an amazing journey!    I know I have no idea how hard this is going to be and how much my life is about to change, but I also KNOW this is the right thing!  I am walking in God's will for my life and these little people will bring so much joy to everyone they meet!

The reunion tonight was awesome!!  I was sitting in large dining room full of children with all color skin.  It was beautifully diverse.....ethiopia, guatemala, china, united states were all all different ages.  What an amazing sight!   I felt like singing aloud, "Jesus Loves The Little Children"!

Keep praying for this process, for the grants, and especially for these 2 little men that are miles away tonight.   Pray they are well loved, taken care of, healthy, not going hungry, and that God is preparing their hearts to meet me, their MAMA!!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Journey Takes A Curve!

There were many reasons for choosing Jamaica, not the least of which is that God opened the door, and used a trip to start this whole process.   But, another appeal for Jamaica is that the cost is SIGNIFICANTLY less.   Like  $8000 compared to $25,000.  This is because there really isn't a country fee, and they do use agencies, so there is no agency fee.  This positive has turned into a negative.  There is no advocate over there working on my behalf so things just continue to move extremely slow (or not at all).

I have been contemplating all of my options and after doing A LOT of research, emailing, and reference checking....I made a decision to contract with an agency and I am seeking to adopt from the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa.   I am THRILLED!!  There are waiting children there so this process should move much more quickly.  Within a year, prayerfully.  And I get to travel to Africa and bring him home.  HOW AWESOME IS THAT!!   A ONCE IN A LIFE EXPERIENCE!

One of the most difficult parts of this decision was the fear of going against what God has for me and being convinced that I have a son in Jamaica.  So, I am NOT pulling my paperwork from Jamaica.  If God has a son for me there, and I eventually get a call from them telling me he is ready...then I will just have two little boys.  What a blessing!!  Still praying for the "little man" in the pictures.

Another hard decision was worrying about the financial responsibility that comes with the program.  I had a peace in church on Sunday morning that said...I can do this.    The money we have is not ours anyway, it is a blessing from God and HE will provide.    It is not like I am taking all of that money and buying a sports car or a bigger house, I am giving a child a home and really saving a life!  Plus...I get to be a mama! YAY!!

I will have some fundraising opportunities in the next few months, so stay tuned in!!!

Thank you for walking this journey with me!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

God Has A Plan

It has been a while!!   I want to send an update even though I don't have any exciting news.   The last few calls to Jamaica over the last month have not been very positive.   I sit and wonder if this will ever happen??   Most international adoptions are conducted through agencies, so there is someone in the middle being an advocate for you.  Jamaica does not work with agencies.  This is good, in that the cost is so much lower, but bad in that I have to deal directly with the government myself and they are not willing to give any information.  They just tell me "I am on the waiting list and they will let me know when there is an available child for me".   It is very frustrating, mostly because I have a fear of waiting 2 or 3 years and never getting a referral.

So...the wheels start turning.   I have been considering other avenues.  There are almost no other countries who allow singles to adopt.   I have considered going the birth mother route through the states, but I am not quite there yet.  I have always felt that my little one would be a 3 - 5yrs old.   On Sunday, I googled "Caribbean Adoption" and found a site with waiting children.  There was a picture of a beautiful sibling group of a girl and boy from Haitie.  They are 1.5 and 2.5 yrs old.  They are precious!!   However, when I called the Holt agency, I found out that even though they are waiting and available...the process through Haiti is still going to take 2 - 3 years.  On top of that, they do not speak english and the cost would be around $25,000.

For those of you who wonder, I have called Children Services in Nashville and have searched for available children in the states, and they are all older children which is not what God has put in my heart.

So, where am I today???  I am back to my resolve of waiting on Jamaica!!  This is where God lead to begin and I truly have to put my trust in the fact that HE has a plan!   There has to be a reason that I am going to have to wait.    I will continue to pray and save money and prepare my heart for the day that Jamaica calls to tell me my son is ready to come to his forever home!

Thank you for sharing in my journey!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I feel like this will be my title for many, MANY months to come.  But, I have gained a peace about the waiting process that I didn't have before.  I realize that fretting and worrying is not going to speed up the process nor is it going to change the outcome.  God also plainly tells us to not worry about tomorrow.  So, I wait!   I wait for the phone call or email to come.  I have found out that "little man's" file is back in the parish of St. James and I am not certain if the investigation has actually started.  I have been reminded that there is no guarantee that he will be mine.  But, I just had a few new pictures tagged on facebook of him, and my heart wants to burst open.  Absolutely they all are!!  

I wanted to give a short update just so you know what is going on in the process.  I go on with my life knowing that I will visit again either this summer or early fall, and continue to pray daily!  Please continue to pray with me.