Wednesday, January 6, 2016


The greatest thing has happened: Clementine was finally allowed to join our family. Many of you who read this blog are my Facebook friends, but to others I suppose this news is quite a surprise! I hope to be back soonish to fill you in on all of the details that MIRACULOUSLY brought her home to us with 24 hour's notice, but for now you will have to settle for this post.

Right now, we are feeling OVERWHELMED.

OVERWHELMED by the mercy of God, who we believe moved mountains to allow her to join our family. Not just one mountain, MANY mountains.

OVERWHELMED by the sadness we have for those who still wait for their DRC children to join their families.

OVERWHELMED by the outpouring of love and JOY from friends, family, our DRC family of adoptive parents, and total strangers. We have felt your hugs of both the literal and figurative nature.

OVERWHELMED by the sheer number of people who prayed with us and journeyed along beside us in our heartache as we waited for this time of unity.

OVERWHELMED by the cost of redemption. Clementine is a hurting little girl. I am not going to sugarcoat it. In one day, she experienced more new and different things than most people endure in one year. She is mourning the loss of all she knows. We are so thankful that God can make all things new, and that He is using us to do so, but it is SO HARD and SO OVERWHELMING. Our family is in crisis. I know that seems like an exaggeration, but every one of us is trying to figure out this new "normal" and how to navigate through her sadness to redeem her past. Having a forever family will be better for her in the long run, but she does not know or understand that yet. Right now she is fragile and clinging to Brad because that's all she knows to do.

OVERWHELMED by the generosity of friends and family who have given and offered to do so much. We have meals dropped off on our doorstep (a huge blessing because cooking is one less thing for us to be concerned about), fresh and folded laundry, childcare for our other kids if needed, a nice new minivan (which I truly LOVE!), cookies with which to cope with the stress, clothes and haircare items and tips for Clementine. Our village is blessing us in so many ways. We are overwhelmed by this outpouring of grace and love.

OVERWHELMED by the adjustment that is required of our family and the thought of navigating through the parenting aspect. Quite a bit has changed in about 5 baby, new preschool, new sister from DR Congo, new houseguest (the 15-year-old). We are seeing some regressive behaviors in our boys (wanting to be fed, wanting us to put their clothes on, wanting us to brush their teeth, needing to be held, whining, etc.). We think that's pretty natural, but we also want to navigate with grace.

OVERWHELMED by the selflessness of the Goodbar's, who escorted her home on a LONG journey, and by the efforts of Jeffrey Karr, who translated the final document (an escort authorization) that brought her to our arms. Our hearts are overwhelmed with gratitude to these people.

Overall, we are just overwhelmed by a lot of love, a lot of mercy, and the need for a lot of redemption.

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