Two weeks ago my husband, Eric, and I had the opportunity to travel to DRC to meet our children. We have been home now for less than 48 hours and are trying to process through everything that happened on our trip. I don’t think I have ever been as nervous as I was when we got to the airport in Atlanta to head to DRC. My head was spinning with “what ifs”. What if our kids don’t like us? What if they fit the worst-case scenarios that we read about in all of the books? What do I do when I see them for the first time? Do I hug them? If I cry will it freak them out? The list goes on and on.
Two days later on Friday, March 13, 2015 (I will remember that date forever.) as I looked into their big brown eyes, all of my anxiety melted away. All of a sudden all of the pictures that we had seen of them over the past year came to life. They were amazing! Our little boy had never smiled in a picture that we had received from EAC. We were worried about him. Within 5 minutes of being with him we saw his big bright smile. He was shy and sweet and hated having his picture taken. Our little girl was exactly the firecracker that we had imagined, either really really happy or really really mad.
At first the days were long and we were exhausted. We were so thankful for the books we’ve read and the people who have walked ahead of us and shared their stories. We knew that the mood swings and fits were the result of their anxiety and completely normal. At some point during the week we hit our groove. (They loved swimming and selfies!) It was as if they’d been our children forever. Even though there were some exhausting tough times we just fit together. It all made sense. The process worked. Somehow we were matched with the perfect kids for us.
We had the opportunity to spend a good amount of time with Samuel from EAC. We loved him! He’s one of those people that you know right away that he’s a good guy. This was extremely important to us. Later in the week he toured me around the Sunshine House, which was great too. The nannies, gardener, and cook were so kind. I got all teary and emotional when I thanked them for taking care of my kids. The children were all napping while I was there. I did get to peek my head into all the rooms and I was greeted with a lot of smiles, especially from the older girls’ room.
Eric got the opportunity to sit down and talk with Laurent, our attorney in DRC. They totally hit it off! (My husband is a lawyer too.) Laurent is an honest ethical person who really knows the law in DRC and the US. Eric was impressed with him in every way. We are thrilled that he is the one representing us. It’s a relationship that I’m sure will continue beyond our adoption.
I can honestly say that I am so thankful for EAC and that we chose them to handle our adoption. (And, no, Debra is not paying me to say this.) As we met people throughout the week we heard over and over again how well our children looked compared to other kids that come stay at Sunny Day. As a mama, this made my heart happy.
Now we are home trying to make sense of the past two weeks. Our hearts ache for those kids like they never had before. We miss them every minute. We cling to the fact that God has taken care of them this far, and there’s no reason to think that He will stop now. We are full of gratitude for the wonderful people who are in our children’s lives, we are full of humility because God has chosen us to be on this journey, and we are full of hope for what the future will bring.