Sunday, June 26, 2011

Congo--the good, the bad, and the sweaty--Part I

For those of you who have known me since BG (before Grace) you may know that I am not one for roughing it.  Not that I live in the lap of luxury or am a real high maintenance sort of girl, but I like a shower every day, I'm not a big fan of insect life, and I like to eat what I want to eat when I want to eat it.

Congo was not my dream vacation.

Brian went to Congo by himself when we adopted Haven.  I didn't have enough leave days to go with him, plus we weren't sure how Grace would do with no parents at home, and we didn't really know how long the trip would be.  It turned out to be just 11 days.  When Brian got home he said it was he like being on the worst camping trip you could ever imagine....but he couldn't wait to go back. 

And neither could I.  So when we decided we would be adopting 2 babies at once we knew that we would both have to travel.  And right away I starting making lists and plans.  I was packed and ready weeks in advance.  My big plan was to travel at Christmas.  The DRC courts had other plans.  One of boys was ready to go and one was not.  So we waited.  And with each new family that made the trip to Congo, the trip got longer.  By the time it got to be our turn to travel the trip looked like it was going to be around six weeks long.  Six weeks away from Grace and Haven.  Six weeks with no pay check.  Six weeks on "the worst camping trip you could ever imagine". 

Holy Jamoly, I started to panic.  All of sudden I did not want to go on this trip.  But I desperately wanted my boys to be home.  They were both about a month old when we got their referrals and now suddenly they weren't little babies anymore.  They were about to be toddlers.  They had both had cases of malaria.  They were growing up without me. 

So then it all happens like a tornado. You get the call from our director and she says be on a plane by Saturday, your appointment is Tuesday, don't miss your appointment.  Hurry, hurry, hurry.  And then once you are there....wait.........

I don't know how the plan was hatched, but just a day before we had to finalize our flights we decided that Brian would travel by himself to DRC for a very short trip to turn in our first set of paperwork and be interviewed by the US embassy.  I think we were the first family to do the two trip option.  So he flew in on Sunday and flew back out on Tuesday.  He got to see the boys.  And then he had to leave the boys.  So.Very.Hard.

When he got home we waited for the boys US visas to be issued.  Once they were ready we would go back to Kinshasa and wait for about 2 weeks for one last document that has to be issued by the Congolese government.  Piece of cake.  Two weeks in DRC.  I could do 2 weeks, right. 

Brian's first trip to Kinshasa and his first moment with Manny.

JoJo is really checking him out--"Are you my daddy?"

He is still a great sleeper.  Brian said it was at least 100 degrees in the foster families home that day.

Yep, he's hitting the Fanta bottle already.  Manny still goes wild when he sees a glass bottle. 

Be sure to stay tuned for Part II.

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