Last year when we traveled to DRC we had the wonderful fortune of traveling with several other OFA families. When you take a trip for an adoption it makes the whole thing so much more wonderful if you have a network of other families to share in the ups and downs. But this year our travel schedule got thrown off track and we ended up the only OFA family traveling all by ourselves.
I must admit that I was very sad about this. My dear friends Kristie, Chelese, and Lauree all started our adoption process this time within just a couple of weeks of each other and yet we ended up missing all of them. We were the last to be ready and so we had to go it alone.
Well, little did I know that I would meet some of the nicest folks around on my trip to Kinshasa. I had the great pleasure of being at St. Anne's the same time as this wonderful lady named Britta and her father, Eric. Britta is one of those people who truly has the gift of hospitality, even though she was far from home. We spent many meals, beers, and sweaty afternoons together. She loaned us a million things that I forgot to pack or never even thought I would need, including a roll of nice soft American toilet paper for when Brian was suffering from his dread disease! She even organized our pizza parties from La Poeta. She was in Kinshasa adopting an adorable set of siblings. I loved that her dad traveled with her. Eric was there as assistant baby wrangler, but he was taking it all in like a seasoned tourist. He was great company, always relaxed and jovial. A wonderful person to have around when things were getting stressful.
|Eric, Britta, and sweet little Nat one morning at breakfast|
|Eric and Katie enjoying some time in the lounge|
|A lovely couple still in process|
|Heidi--one tough cookie|
|Jeremy and Joseph|
Below is our feeble attempt at a "red couch" photo. In China at the White Swan Hotel, there is a great big red couch that every family takes a photo on their last day in China. We tried to get a shot of all the kids that were there together, but seconds before everyone arrived in the lounge for the picture Katriel dropped unconscious. Wiggly toddlers do not make great models.
As I've mentioned before, I had a lot of fun in Congo. I didn't get to see a lot sights or eat at fancy restaurants, but I met some wonderful people and have some memories that I wouldn't trade for anything.