I suppose that is a strange title considering what I want to write about right now. If only I were more articulate I could get my thoughts down here so much better. For most of my life I have felt the support and love of my family and friends as I have made various decisions. My wonderful mother, has stood by me as I went to college across the country (spending all my college summers away), as I decided to live on the east coast after college, as a married a man NOT from Oregon (yes, big deal!), and then as I moved to Congo with him and our baby. Though it has been hard, she has stood by me, loved me and supported me (and even come to visit twice!). When we started talking about adoption she has been behind us, supported us and been so excited! What means so much to me, is that she loves the girls already as her grandkids. (And she still has the picture of Moses...) For the most part, all our family and friends have also been supportive and loving, which I am so grateful for because though we are following our hearts and God, it is a hard path, especially here in Congo.
But....for the first time, I have felt both subtle and overt criticism and judgement. Whether it be because we are adopting internationally, interracially, or even because we are adopting two when we have two that are young, the judgement is there, hidden and quiet (sometimes not so quiet). I am someone who avoids confrontation at all costs. And add this to the fact I have always been a bit of a people pleaser, it's not a great combination. But...it is so good for me!!! Strange, but I am finding my self growing stronger. I find myself truly 100% believing in what and why we are doing what we are doing. I find myself standing tall and ready to defend our choices and decisions. I find myself caring less what people think, and more what God thinks. I find myself full of joy and peace about following my heart and being obedient to God. I find myself pulling away a bit from those who would judge and criticize because I know they truly don't understand what we are doing, why we are doing it, and who we are now. Living in Congo has changed my life. Adopting from here has changed my life. I am a different person than I once was before I came. I've wanted to adopt my whole life, but for the first time I really understand what it means, the commitment, the challenge, the honor, the grief, the joy, the guilt, the love, the hope, the worry, the gift, and the amazing grace I am given.