Friday, October 11, 2013

You've heard enough from us about how wonderful we think our Africa programs are...

... hear it directly from an EAC family!

This testimonial was sent to us by a family who just returned from Congo.  We absolutely love hearing this kind of feedback as it confirms the efforts we have put into establishing our programs.  We hope this information reassures you as well!  EAC has always taken great pride in providing first class in-country service!

(We have elected to withhold the families name at this point as they have not yet completed their adoption)

"We weren’t sure what to expect when we first touched down in Kinshasa, DRC.  The nice passengers who warmed up to us during our eight hour flight quickly freshened up, changed their clothes, applied make-up, and pushed and shoved to the exit and down the steps onto the runway. We walked and shuttled to the airport, got into a line at immigration, and went to baggage claim to pick up our luggage. Thankfully EAC’s attorney Patrick and his associate were there to navigate us through the chaos and barriers that come from being in a third world country where most do not speak English. We waited for almost two hours for each of our bags to be placed onto the belt by hand. Patrick made sure no one took our bags, helped us to the parking lot, and drove us to the Sunny Day Guest House. The drive over was an adventure in and of itself. Millions of people lined the streets. Motor bikes - the equivalent of our “taxi system” and vans (which we later came to realize was the bus system) packed full of people hanging out of windows, on top, and out the back doors, swerved in and out of the non-existent lanes. 

We arrived at Sunny Day late into the night but were graciously shown our room. Sunny Day is the most popular place for adopting families to stay in DRC. This compound is very clean and completely enclosed. All of the adopted children play together in the graveled courtyard and pool and a driver is always available to take you wherever you need to go. What we liked most was that Sunny Day is very accommodating to the needs of these families and never made us feel bad for ruining more than our fair share of towels and bedding. The workers always talked and smiled at the children and we always felt safe…something that’s very import when you’re visiting a culture so different from your own.

The morning after we arrived Patrick along with EAC’s new Social Workers, Linda and Daniel, brought over our children. For two days, we were able to love on them and give them much needed medical attention. We were blessed with the opportunity to speak to eight other families adopting. All of these families expressed issues with their agencies and attorneys handling their adoptions. We felt very thankful that we had chosen EAC and that EAC was working with Patrick – someone who is knowledgeable about the adoption process, conditions in the DRC, and extremely dedicated to orphan care.


While we were there we had several opportunities to meet with Linda, EAC’s new social worker. She is very sweet and the children love her. She visits the orphanages several times a week and will be in charge of dispersing the clothes, vitamins, and formula we brought for the children. She has also done a great job in monitoring the health of our children, taking them to doctor appointments, and making sure they have the medicines they need. Everyone was impressed by EAC’s dedication to their children.

The hardest part about our trip was having to say goodbye to our children who had just started warming up to us. Although it was wonderful to spend this time with them, they had little understanding of who we were or why they could not return with us. We gave our baby boy a kiss and placed him in Linda’s arms, knowing he would not be held constantly when he returned home as he had been with us and we hugged our little girl who had been sitting in front of the door, new sandals on, holding a stuffed puppy, tears falling from her face, because she knew we leaving. No words were necessary for her to understand goodbye.

After the children were taken back, Patrick and his associate came back to get us. We talked them into showing us around and we soaked in the culture. As professionals ourselves, we had the opportunity to grill them both and walked away with a deep level of respect for them and peace that we had chosen the right agency and that our children were in good hands.
But to be honest, what won us over was that their willingness to walk us through the airport departure. No attorney in the United States would have put themselves through that type of chaos. Patrick and his associate walked us through the airport procedure and waited for several hours while we stood in line to check bags in a hundred degrees. They kept officials from accepting bribes, people from cutting in line, and were always there to translate and point us in the right direction. When we finally got our bags checked they walked us to a lounge where we could safely wait to board the plane. When officials wouldn’t accept our crisp newer than 2006 bills, Patrick traded his own bills with us so that we could wait in comfort.

Words can’t adequately describe our experience on this trip but suffice it to say, we are beyond words impressed with EAC, Patrick, in-country staff, and their dedication to these children and to the adoptive families who provide these children with a forever home"

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