Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sweet Clementine

In case you missed yesterday's post, we officially (by DRC court declaration) have a DAUGHTER. She officially has a forever family. We are excited to finally--17 months after seeing her face--be done with this part of the process.

I have mentioned that her given name, Clémence, means "mercy." We will call her Clementine, which is derived from Clémence and means "mild & merciful." Clementine. It's a sweet name for a sweet girl.

Each one of her pictures in our last update featured her beautiful smile, shiny eyes, full cheeks, and a wrist-ful of bright bracelets (and a round belly!). She is a dollop of sweetness in this sometimes bitter journey of adoption. 

We decided to alter her given name slightly because Clémence has proven difficult for Americans to pronounce correctly. As (former?) educators, Brad and I have seen the frustration of a student whose name is never pronounced correctly, and with all the differences Clementine will experience in her sweet little life, we don't want her name to harshly proclaim "I am not from here." This is a delicate balance. We want her to take pride in beautiful DRC, but we also want her to feel at home here. I tend to think part of that balance begins with having a name that reflects and respects her home country while also helping her feel at home here. (More on her name here and here.)

So Clementine it is.

Picture me singing "Sweet Clementine" to the tune of "Sweet Caroline." Because that's what I have been doing.

Dear Lord, please continue to be merciful with us.

We still have a LOOONG (months? years?), difficult road ahead to get her home, and just yesterday we learned of the tragic death of yet another child who was stuck in the court process in DRC. He, along with four others, died of dysentery due to unclean water. Our hearts ache for him and his family, who were never allowed to be together because of senseless politics.

(A bit of DRC adoption backstory can be found here.)