Ooops... it's been 11 days since I last updated the blog! I've been trying to do it weekly and usually I have something to say about once a week. Rob was out of town last week so I guess I was too busy taking care of the kids :) And too worn out to have anything to say. ha ha
Right now I've mostly been worrying about our upcoming non-adoption-related trip to Africa. I have never left the kids that long before and certainly never gone this far away before. I'm not handling it great. Well, after crying, stamping my feet, and telling Rob that I was no longer going on the trip and then making him promise to call Heart for Africa to see how I could get out of it (and somewhere in there trying to convince him that being apart for 21 days would actually be really good for our marriage!), I'm doing much better. And, for the record, my incredible husband duly called and discovered exactly how I could get out of said trip.
But I'm not backing out.
As hard as it is to leave my kids here, I know they'll be in great hands (they are ridiculously excited for the grandparents to come). And what a hypocrite I'd be if I didn't go. I can't just go around talking about how important it is for us to address the issues related to orphans worldwide and then wimp out of my plans to go actually work with them. Sheesh.
I am going to Swaziland. Just north of South Africa. We are not adopting from Swaziland. Not because we wouldn't want to but because we can't. Swazi government doesn't officially allow adoptions. And Heart for Africa does not arrange adoptions. Because these kids are the future of Swaziland and adopting them out to other countries might have serious repercussions for this tiny country (about the size of Delaware). They have a negative population growth. That means more people are dying than being born. Most dying of HIV/AIDS (which is totally treatable, may I add... but that's a different soapbox of mine). The kids in the Heart for Africa children's homes aren't just being fed & clothed. They're being educated and loved upon and taught about the love that Jesus has for them and how important and valued they are! And our hope is that these kids will be the future leaders of Swaziland and turn the trajectory of the country around.
In my honest opinion, this is a much better answer to the problem of orphans in the world. Obviously I think adoption is wonderful... but only in situations when a child truly can't be better cared for in his/her own culture. I think it just shows how much work we have to do.
So here I go... two weeks from today I'm leaving to go do some of that work. I'm going to love on some kiddos, plant some gardens (I won't tell them about my weed garden at home!), and try to help re-connect some communities. My kids need to know that the orphans in Swaziland are important enough for Mommy & Daddy to go help them even if it means leaving them at home for a little while.
And guess what else? My feet will touch the soil on the same continent as my son!!! I can't wait to pray for him while our feet are on the same ground! The thought brings tears to my eyes :)