The past month has been a little crazy at the Carroll house to say the least. I've been deathly sick for about 3 weeks (at least I felt that way). Our friend from Africa has arrived and is living with us for 2 months. We're trying to finish our house which is a long way from being completely remodeled. Those are just a few of the crazy things going on.
We've got a few updates on our process this month. Our i600 was approved and should now be in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. For those of you who have no idea what an i600 is, it's paperwork that you fill out to adopt an orphan as an immediate relative. I don't think I've ever mailed so much paperwork as I did when I mailed our i600. So, it should have arrived at the US Embassy in Kinshasa (the capital) by now. At this point we wait for them to put our information in the system. Once they do that, our 3-6 month wait will start. The US Embassy in DRC will complete an investigation on the boys to basically make sure they are both really orphans. Once the investigation is complete they will inform us that we can travel to get them! Our agency has told us that we should expect it to be closer to 6 months for the investigations to be completed...but I still have hope it could be sooner!
We also just got updated pictures of our boys this week! Hooray! Canaan's photos always make me so sad. In all the pictures we have ever seen of him he has not smiled. Not even a slight grin. He was wearing the same shirt he has worn in the last 3 pictures we have seen of him. Soon Canaan. Soon you will smile. You don't know it now but your life is going to dramatically change in a few months and you will have much to smile about! Neema's picture was quite different. He was wearing a cute little outfit of a striped shirt and white overalls. And he was smiling!!! Hands on his hips and smiling! Justin and I were almost unsure if it was him or not because he has grown so much. He lost some of his baby fat on his cheeks and he looks taller.
Along with the photos we got a brief update form. It included their height, weight, and foster location. They are now in the SAME foster home!!! Hooray!!!! We've been waiting for this for a while! Also on the update form it said they were both in diapers. After talking with other adoptive moms, some of whom were adopting older children found out that their kids were also wearing diapers. We questioned our adoption consultant and she said that in the orphanages the workers just "let the kids go." She said that during her last visit there she couldn't count how many children she held or was with that were soaked. The thought of these children sitting in their own urine all day long made my stomach turn. Just another reason there are no smiles on their faces. Thankfully, once the children are moved to foster care this changes. Foster mamas are very good about potty training and keeping them dry. I just pray that all the kids who are in the orphanage get adopted so they can move to foster homes as well.
So now for the surprise. I will not be going to DRC to get our boys. I have cried and cried and cried because I realized I would not be able to go. Justin's dad is going to go with them. I am grateful that he volunteered to go because I can't. It's a day that I have played out in my head since the day we got their referral pictures. I imagined the foster mamas bringing them out and trying to fight back tears while glowing from ear to ear. I wondered if they would come to me or if they would cry for their foster mama. I day dreamed about the two weeks would be in DRC with them, trying to establish the very beginnings of our relationship. I have to let those dreams go because God has bigger plans for our family. I will not be going to DRC because.....
Yes, thats right. I'm pregnant. That was our ultrasound at 6 weeks and 5 days. I am now 11 weeks. Surprised? We were too. We had tried for almost 2 years to get pregnant. I even went on fertility meds for about a month. After we decided to pursue adoption first and then try for a biological child later we had stopped "trying." I wasn't even sure if we could get pregnant after Justin and I both went in for some testing. Thankfully, God has a MUCH better timing than do we. If I would have had this baby first, Canaan and Neema probably wouldn't be the children we would be adopting. We are due November 16th. So PLEASE pray that Justin will be able to get the boys before then!
I want to get something straight before I close out this post. I have had MANY people say to me, "Oh I knew you would get pregnant once you started adopting" or "That always happens." Ok, yes, it did happen to us. We did get pregnant while adopting. But it doesn't happen to everyone. So please don't say that to someone has been infertile and are adopting. Also, I want to clarify this: WE DID NOT ADOPT BECAUSE WE COULD NOT GET PREGNANT. We are adopting because God calls us (all) to take care of the fatherless. My boys NEED a family. We would adopt whether we have 10 biological children or 0. Adoption has NOTHING to do with whether or not we have biological children. Millions and millions and millions of children are sitting in orphanages right now, soaked in the own urine with hungry bellies and no one to call them son or daughter. This is why we adopt. We seek to make them our family in the same way that God has made us His family.
Soon Canaan and Neema. Soon you will be home.