Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Congolese Women

Everytime I see Chad's dimples, I wonder if his mom had such a gorgeous face.  As I snuggle Ian into me, I can't help but think of all their birth mom is missing.  As I have spent a bit more time thinking of my babies birth mother, I can't help but be completely saddened by the whole situation.  A mother should be able to care for her babies until they are old and able to care for themselves.  Sadly, this is not the case for so many Congolese mothers.  So, I have been thinking of all those women in the D.R.C.  Those who simply have no means to take care of their kids due to having malaria, AIDS, etc.  Those who have died in childbirth.  Those who work harder than anybody I know to be able to take care of their kids. 

Congolese women are very strong, determined, compassionate women.  They love children.  I could see this in their eyes and with their smiles at Chad and Ian when we passed them in the streets of Kinshasa.  The orphanages are full of children due to illness, deaths, war, and extreme poverty.  Not because it is a country of women who do not want to care for their children. 

Congolese women carry water several times a day to their family.  No, not little water bottles, I am talking big 5 gallon containers of water!  And I am not talking about carrying them across the street, I am talking about miles to the closest stream, which could be several miles away.  This makes me not so eager to complain when I have two gallons of milk to carry in from my van parked in my nice sheltered garage.  They also are the ones who carry other supplies their family must use to survive.  Sometimes they pack up to 150 pounds!!!  All for the love of their family.

Many women must relocate because their house has been burnt to the ground or it is simply not safe enough for her and her family.  They have no choice but to carry everything they have until they find safety.

But it is not the physical burdens that are the most stressful.  It is the emotional burdens they must live through.  Can you imagine seeing your children die of preventable disease? 
Seeing your sister or mother die in childbirth. 
Or even worse seeing your family violated
and then.....
burned alive. 

These women are very strong women.  With our help they can do great things.  I encourage you to read Lisa Shannon's book A Thousand Sisters.  It will surely inspire you to sponsor a woman through Women for Women International

If by chance you don't know who Lisa Shannon is, she is my hero!  Shortly put, she was sitting on her couch watching Oprah one day.  The topic was the D.R.C. the worst place in the world to be a woman.  She was so moved by these women that she got her butt up and began training to run 30 miles.  All to raise money and awareness for the women of the Congo.  She has now been to visit her sponsored sisters and many more.  You can read more about her here in a recent TIME magazine article: From Oprah to Congo: One Woman's Attempt to Save Thousands.

In the hopes that more people will be inspired to act and maybe sponsor a woman, I am giving away a copy of A Thousand Sisters!  All you have to do is write me a message and I will enter you in a drawing.  The name will be drawn on May 5th (Chad's 2nd Birthday!).

Now, I am going to go and write Simupate (my sponsored Congolese Sister, mother of 6 children) a letter and let her know that we care so much about her and all of the other Congolese women.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Private is the Pits!

Well, as you all know already, I have decided to go private with my blog.  This really does sadden me.  Because the goal with my blog was to educate people about the D.R.C. and adopting children.  If you know anyone who would like to read my blog that I have not invited to please let me know and I'll send an invite out.

So, I thought I better give some reasons for making my blog private.

1.  Jilma requested it.  This alone is enough or me!  This is the amazing woman who volunteered her time and expertise to complete our adoption.  She also was our escort in Kinshasa.  Eventhough, we were delayed weeks, she stayed with me the whole time.  I love and respect this woman!

2.  I might be to lazy or maybe I just don't have enough time.  You see I could remove everything about adoption on my blog and then keep it open.  But I don't have the time!

3.  Even if I had the time, I just don't want to remove everything that deals with adoption.  The reason I started my blog was to help give someone the strength to say yes to LOVE and no the FEAR of adoption.  I know it has touched several families and they are now adopting.  I just can't imagine not sharing all of my thought and feelings on adoption and the D.R.C.

4.  Adoptions are becoming more difficult with the DRC government and with others around the world. The government does not want us adverstising to the world how we are doing adoptions, who is adopting, and whose being adopted.  So, in order to protect the integrity of the adoption process I have made my blog private.

And for those who were following regularly, I promise to try and be a better blogger!  I am still adjusting to mother of four (two of which are toddlers and climbing on everthing!) and volunteering with OFA.  One of these days, I will get my time organized a little better!  Or at least I really hope so!