My husband Kamron and I have 2 biological children. They are the loves of our lives. But for some reason, as Kamron and I spoke of adding a 3rd child to our family, I felt pulled towards adoption. Originally, I was dead set that our third little tot was going to be a special needs child adopted out of the foster care system. In my head, I could picture us having a deaf child and so my children and I threw ourselves into learning sign language. I believe whole heartedly that each of us has a path, but no matter how badly I wanted our path to include adopting a deaf child, it seemed that every imaginable obstacle was placed in our path. So we began to rethink our plan to include adopting internationally.
In came the conundrum of just how in the world to decide where to go to adopt? With so many agencies and countries and programs, it is hard to know where that child that you already love so immensely in your heart is from! I will say with all that I am that when we started looking at the big picture that the Democratic Republic of Congo chose us. We heard of a family who had adopted from the Congo. In all honesty, until we came in contact with this family, I had never even heard of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I couldn't have pointed it out on a map for all the money in the world. But this family's story captivated me and I wanted to learn more.
I started googling the DRC. What I found out about it broke my heart, made me mad, and gave me hope all at the same time. My heart was broken because of the 5 million orphans that live in the Congo, without enough food, clean water, or anyone to take care of them. I was mad because the Congo is at war- a war that has claimed the lives of over 5 million people and I knew nothing about it! The conflict in the Congo is being called the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Holocaust. Women are being raped and mutilated and children are being brainwashed and turned into child soldiers. Children are being trafficked while the world ignores this trajedy. How in the world does that happen and not get any time on the news? The more I learned about the beautiful yet tragic country the more I fell in love with the people and the culture. I knew at that moment that my baby was there in the Congo waiting for me.
Once my eyes were opened to the atrocities happening in the Congo, I knew that this adoption journey was about so much more than just bringing home my son. It was about raising as much awareness as I could about these orphans that so desperately needed an advocate. An orphanage is never a great place to grow up, but sadly, in the Congo, the children who make it to the orphanages are the lucky ones.
As luck would have it, we stumbled upon an organization helping families to adopt. The mission of this organization lined up so much with what our hearts were telling us about this adoption being not only a blessing for our family, but also to make our little corner of the world see what was happening in our sweet boy's birth country.
From the time we first became interested in adopting from the DRC, to the time our son, Miles Dieudonne, came home was just 7 months. He has been home for a month now. He is 16 months old and is an amazingly resilient little boy. He came home severely malnourished and infected with parasites, but is otherwise very healthy and is growing by leaps and bounds every day. He is adjusting to having a family just beautifully. He fits in here so perfectly, it is as if he was always meant to be a part of our family. His brother, Noah, and his sister, Sadie, are absolutely in love with little Miles.
Our journey to Miles has awakened something in our family. That tiny child that was pulling at my heart from across the globe has created an awareness in our church, in our community and in parts of the world we never thought our story would reach about the plight of the more than 5 million orphans desperate for families in the Congo. In every sense of the word, the Congo chose us and I am so thankful that it did!
Our complete adoption story and DRC resources can be found at www.terryhousehold.blogspot. com
Other Resources for Adopting from The Democratic Republic of the Congo: