I woke up a little dazed and confused from jet lag, but as soon as I realized where I was at I was very much awake and excited…. TODAY was the day I was meeting my son and daughter for the first time!!!!
Kristin and I went and had our breakfast of french bread and cheese, okay I think I just had breakfast that day, Kristin’s tummy didn’t agree to well with the food in Congo.
Our kids arrived around 10 I think…. they rode in on the backs of their foster mom and foster grandpa because a normal car couldn’t make it to where they lived.
I will never forget that moment when I saw them, and the fact that my best friend was able to be there with me and also capture these moments for me to treasure for always… well, that’s priceless. Evie all bright eyed and bushy tailed without a care in the world. Ezra timid and scared and very clingy to his foster mom and MUCH smaller than I had thought he would be.
It took a little coaxing and a blue sucker to get Ezra into my arms. Evie was happy as a clam to be with whomever was holding her.
It was really happening. I was taking them into my arms, never to let them go again.
I remember calling Dan and telling him how awesome these babies were…. I also remember telling him to go pack some 9 month clothes for Ezra… he was much smaller then we had planned for.
Now, 365 days later….. I’m sitting here holding them while they drink their morning juice and Ezra is wearing 4T p.j’s and Evie is wearing 3T p.j’s. So much for the small babies anymore. They are huge and healthy and MINE!!!!
Someone asked me this week how adopting Internationally has changed my life…. This is what I responded…
They truly have brought me more joy than I could have ever imagined. I knew it would be crazy and busy to have 4 kids under 4 in my home. But I didn’t know how fulfilling and satisfying it would be. I’m in awe at how God took what we were making work month by month as a family of 4 and yet it is more than enough for us as a family of 6.
There is just something that happens inside of me whenever I look at them thriving and know first hand where they came from and from what dire circumstances. It’s not uncommon for me to be overwhelmed by emotion on a daily basis because of the extreme contrast of their lives before being adopted and now. They were orphans, now they have a mommy and a daddy. They were a temporary number in a foster home, now they are a little brother and a little sister. They were hungry and sick, now they are well fed, growing like weeds and healthy. They were sad and hurting, now they are full of giggles and smiles and when they fall down there is someone to pick them up and comfort them. They were just 1 of 5 million on the other side of the world, almost forgotten, now they are 1 of 6 Chappells that are thought about every moment of the day.
I shouldn’t be but I’m constantly surprised at how much of an impact they have made and continue to make on the lives of total strangers as well as friends and family. I’m always amazed at how people everywhere of all walks and faiths can’t help but to smile and want to engage us and hear their stories whenever we go out with them. My family has said how they feel connected to not only our children but of all people of another race…. to all people of another country.
I think sometimes we tend to think that heaven will be filled with people who all look just like us and who live just like us. But it will be gloriously diverse, colorful and beautiful. So while I know it doesn’t even come close to the reality that one day will be ours….. I do feel like adoption has brought a glimpse of heaven to our earthly home.
2 weeks later my sweet husband joined me in Africa and these were from his first meeting with them. Already you can probably tell a difference in Ezra’s demeanor. It was such an amazing time.
I want to go back so badly.
I will go back.
For those of you who want to know more or know someone who wants to know more about Adoption from the DRC (Congo) HERE is a great place to start.
And if the only thing stopping you from going forward in adoption is finances and you feel like God is pressing your heart to adopt…Or you have put your YES on the table and you are in the midst of coming up with the money needed for this adoption journey you are on then THIS is a post that might encourage you where you are at right now.