Sunday, March 24, 2013

For Zia Francoise

This information deserved a post of it's own... Through my adoption journey, I've met a few people with whom I felt a connection that defied the fact that we'd never actually met in person. Bonding through the trials and tribulations of adoption is pretty common, but there are some people that you just know you would love and befriend, with or without the adoption crazies. One of these people is my friend Brenda... she and I had hoped we'd travel to DRC together to pick up our children, but right after she got her final I600 approval for her four year old daughter Zia Francoise (and only a week after we got ours for Jonathan), the US Embassy instituted a new investigation procedure that set her case back by at least 3-6 months. I was devastated for her, and when I went to the Transition Home to get Jonathan, I spent a special moment with sweet Zia telling her that her momma was coming soon.

Since my time in country, some alarming medical issues have been discovered about Zia, culminating in emergency surgery and hospital stay in Kinshasa, all while her mother is across the ocean, aching to be with her daughter. Despite not yet securing an emergency medical visa for her daughter, Brenda is taking the colossal risk of leaving her job, home and family here to temporarily move to Kinshasa to be with Zia in the hopes that she can ensure she gets the best possible care and attention.

It could be an additional three months or more before the paperwork in finalized (though we are hoping and praying that is not the case - Zia needs to be home now), and Brenda will be living in one of the most expensive African cities. She'll also be faced with mounting medical costs, all of which will need to be paid in cash at time of service (this is not like the healthcare we're used to... if you can't pay, you aren't treated).

In an effort to help relieve one of Brenda's many concerns and uncertainties, I requested that she allow me to create a webpage to raise funds for Miss Zia. I knew that any donation or contribution could literally affect Zia's quality of life and well-being. How often is there a cause to which we can contribute and actually know that every dollar will be spent in the absolute best of ways? How often can we contribute to something and see the results smiling back from her mother's arms? I don't often fundraise, and never asked for contributions for our adoption, but this is one little girl who I can get behind helping.

So, if you are able, could you read more about Zia's story below and consider donating? She's a beautiful little girl who's faced more in her four short years than I ever have. She deserves to be under the care of awesome US physicians and to be able to literally breathe easier every day.

A Family...

As of March 13th, that's what the five of us are... a family. A whole, complete, on-the-same-continent, over-the-moon and happy-as-clams family. I left on February 28th for DRC, arrived on March 1st, and had Jonathan in my arms on March 2nd. It was, in so many ways, one of the most life-changing experiences I've ever had. I want to write more about Kinshasa and about our first few weeks with Jonathan, but, not surprisingly since I now have three children, I'm a bit short on time.

That being said, I had to put a few photos up of our first ten days all together. And I wanted to just check in and say that we are are doing so well and are so happy. Jonathan is seriously the perfect match for our family. If I were to have invented a child in my mind that would slot right in like a missing puzzle piece, I don't think I could've created a more perfect personality for us. He smiles often, laughs loudly, plays constantly, and just makes me tear up with joy sometimes when I realize how lucky we are to have him here, safe and happy.

So here are a few photos... more information about Kinshasa, my travel, meeting Jonathan, and our bonding to come soon-ish :)