Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Home of Hope: Where our kiddos are right now!

I am dying to meet our kids! Some days I feel like I will explode from the inside out, but that would make a mess so I don't:) Even Adam dreamed about getting our referral last night and he NEVER (I mean NEVER) remembers his dreams. I've copied a post from a family that adopted from Rwanda this summer. They have started a non-profit to help Home of Hope where our kiddos are right now!!!

For more info- this is their website http://www.four4-more.blogspot.com

Laurel (adoptive mom):
Ever since Peter and I left the Home of Hope the last day with our precious Myles Mugisha , we have been haunted by the images of the children we had to walk away from. To finalize our adoption, we were in Rwanda seven days. Three of those days we had to return Myles to the orphanage by 5pm every evening. Peter encouraged me not to enter the orphanage until the final day that we had our son and could take him home.

The last day came, and we carried Myles down to the orphanage room where he spent about 5 months of his life, to say "goodbye." As soon as we entered the hallway that led to the different rooms of age-grouped children, I was hit with a smell-mix of dampness, wet diapers, and musty unopened windows. There really is no explaining it. When I entered Myles' room, I saw dark aqua walls, the smell of urine-soaked mattresses, rows and rows of tiny basinets, each one holding a child, an orphan with a story, a child who needed/s a home. Most of these tiny beds had a string across the top with dangling toys for the babies to look at. The only empty basinet was the one that had held Myles for those months of waiting. It was the length of his little body, no wonder he still, at 7 months, had no idea how to turn on his side. After spending some time visiting with the babies in the room, and trying to control the depth of anguish I felt for the orphaned children in the room and for the 2-3 care takers who were trying their hardest to feed, clothe, bathe, change, and care for the 35 infants in the room, we left to look into the other rooms of the orphanage. Next we walked into the 12-24 month room. Oddly enough-and I've never experienced anything else like this in my life, but I have NO memory of this room. I believe that it was too hard to see these children and my memory is blocked. The other room that I remember was full of 2-5 year olds (I think) and there were many rows of cribs, 2 children to a crib. It was 11am when we were there and you could have heard a pin drop in the room. It was nap time, in the morning. I took in the room for a moment: nothing on the walls, not toys to be seen, nothing. Nothing. A few children saw a visitor standing in the doorway (me) and peaked up without moving their precious heads, smiled, and did mini-waves.

There is so much more to write, but the end result is how we felt when we left. As we backed out of the Home of Hope driveway, I vividly remember waving to a small group of 2-4 year olds--and remember especially a bright-eyed little girl in a worn yellow dress, smiling and waving to us as we left. While we were so happy to be leaving with Myles, we were leaving many many more.

Coming home: I shared with my friends the grief we felt (and many other families feel) for those children left behind. What can we do? How do we start? My friends Christina and Heather, right away, responded with: "we can." A month and a half after we had settled into our new life with our baby Myles, they began talking about the action plan again. "We can do something." Even if it's sending an excersaucer for the infant room, which I got approval for...Myles had very little muscle tone in his legs from non-use.. The sisters at the orphanage and I found a small spot in the infant room where an excersaucer would fit perfectly. My mind went back to the children waving goodbye to us, standing in the dirt outside the Home of Hope, they weren't wearing shoes. "We can" send shoes. We can work together, with the help of others who have same-heart-desires for change.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Speak Rwanda

I almost forgot that I found this great website where you can download audio to learn simple phrases in Kinyarwanda. There is a small fee for the lessons, but you can listen to the first one for free:) The website address is www.speakrwanda.com. I'm still looking for somewhere to purchase a CD with children's songs in Kinyarwanda as well- let me know if any of you have any leads!!! Have a wonderful weekend!

Still waiting...

No news this week, but maybe next week!!! Praying for our little ones & dreaming about them every night. We will let you all know as soon as we know anything:)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

No news yet...

Hi everyone! I know that many of you check my blog for any shred of news and I don't have anything substantial to offer other than our POA talked to Veronique (at the Minister's office) yesterday and she said that they had not picked our kids yet. She assured him that she will contact us via e-mail as soon as they do, but he will check back next week just to be sure they are working on it:) Adam and I are keeping busy, which is good, but I can't wait to drop everything and head to Rwanda! As weird as it may sound, I miss these two little ones that I have never met so desperately that I feel that my heart may explode. Oh the joy of actually getting to meet them face-to-face!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

So many emotions...

Hi friends...once again I am asking everyone to pray for the families (including ours) that are waiting for their adoption referrals from Rwanda. There are several families in Rwanda right now picking up their children and I read this on one of their blogs today- I was driven to full blown sobbing tears. Oh I pray that they are working on our match and that we can travel to pick up our kids soon!!! In the meantime- God please hold them in your hand.

This is what they wrote on their blog...
"This morning Nyanja took us to the genocide memorial here in Kigali. It’s hard to even express the depth and range of emotion that I felt. I have studied Rwandan history and know all the facts about the genocide, but … well, there are some things that books and movies can never convey. One of the last exhibits is dedicated to the children who were killed. I had made it through the museum up until that point, but as we walked out of there into the gardens, I couldn’t help but weep. Not just a few tears … I was sobbing. I surprised several gardeners with my blotchy, wet face. The garden area is very beautiful and peaceful with neatly groomed hedges, flowers, and pathways. They have 258,000 victims buried there in mass graves. There are still fresh flowers being placed on the graves and signs that say, “Never forget. Never again.” Nyanja said that before the genocide, there were only 3 orphanages in Rwanda. Now there are 300. Only 29 of these are registered, and only 1 has all the proper paperwork in place (hence the reason all the referrals are coming out of Home of Hope). Now, those children who were orphaned during the genocide are having babies that they can’t take care of and creating more orphans. Nyanja did tell us that Rwanda is a much better country after the genocide than it was before. People here have had to learn how to reconcile and move on. They are committed to healing and improving their nation.

We went to pick up Moses right after that. I’m sure he wondered why I held him so tight! While we were there, the police brought in a baby that had been found just hours earlier, abandoned on the side of the road. He was days old. This is the second baby that’s been brought to the orphanage just in the three days since we’ve been here."

Saturday, September 5, 2009

"It's what we do while we wait..."

A friend of mine from the worship school I went to in Colorado posted this on my facebook and I LOVED it!!! He said, "It's what we do while we wait that prepares us for the adventure ahead." This is a picture of what I did today- I have work I should be doing, but instead I put the word "miryango" on my wall and hung up an empty picture frame (that I got on clearance at Target) that will eventually hold pictures of our kids:) Miryango (Meeryahngo) means family in Kinyarwandan. I've been praying like crazy and cleaning and organizing so I will be ready when we get the good news. I think that is a good use of the waiting??? My adorable nephews' pictures are on top- aren't they cute:)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Another non-update update:)

Hi everyone- this week has been CRAZY at work, but I am grateful to be employed and I am fortunate enough to love the place I work at and the people I work with so I won't complain:) The latest news from Rwanda is that The Minister's Office will be contacting the social worker who did our homestudy some time before October 12th (hopefully) with our referral. It seems like such a long ways away, but I keep reminding myself that IT IS SOOOOOOOOOO WORTH THE WAIT!!! Please continue to pray for the nuns at the orphanage and the people at The Minister's office as they make decisions regarding who will be our future children. I dream about them almost every night and Adam and I just can't wait to see their beautiful faces. God is good beyond words all of the time and I am so very grateful for His grace upon my life.