i first started this blog as a place to collect stories for our children. a memory box for them to open one day and find pieces of their childhood, and tales of our journey toward becoming a family. and then the journey got hard. and i sometimes found it difficult to navigate my way through my old life as it melted into this new one. and because i didn't know how to feel about it much less write about it, i stopped. today it is time to start again. today is as much a part of our story as any.
i have spent time in sierra leone each of the last five months working on our adoption. nine weeks total spread over three separate trips. i missed thanksgiving, trips we had planned to see our families, my husband's birthday, and our first anniversary. while i feel like i have missed an entire season of life here, i am so very grateful that i have been able to spend an entire season of life with my children there. i am grateful, but i am exhausted.
my most recent trip finally provided us with the target we had been aiming for: a court date. on january 16th i rented a van and we piled in. myself, mohamed, mamie, gerald, geraldine, my mom and dad (they were able to join me on this trip), our children's birth father, birth uncle, birth aunt and a social worker from the raining season. we left the center at 8am and headed to our court appointment. we found seats in the room outside of the judge's chambers and waited. the judge arrived at 11:30am and invited our attorney into her chambers. they spoke for about an hour and when he finally came up for air he whispered, "this is going to be difficult". we were ushered into the courtroom and were instructed to wait for the judge to meet us there. my children tried their very best to behave, and took turns sleeping in our laps and sneaking pistachios from my dad. when the judge called court to order we all stood up out of respect, and my attorney and i didn't sit down for the next two and a half hours. because of the knowledge i have acquired from those who have gone before me, especially my dear friend and the founder of the raining season, i knew how to fight for my children that day. again, grateful but exhausted. ultimately the judge decided that she needed more time to reach a decision and court was adjourned. i stayed in freetown for another week, and after no answer still i followed the advice of my attorney and came home to wait here.
for the last two years i have lived with a heart that's been keeping dual residency. i have had a front row seat to God's timing not being my own, and there have been both taxing and beautiful examples of that along the way. if there is one thing that i have learned from my journey it is that it is not mine alone. it belongs to everyone who has prayed for and supported our family. you are just as much a part of it as we are and i will never be able to adequately thank you.
a good friend of mine called this week to check in and reminded me that we never know who our story is affecting. she told me that God is slowly pulling together each instrument, and filling every single chair in the audience. she told me that when the symphony starts it will be absolutely breathtaking, and everyone that is witness to it will know that all of the glory goes to Him because we could never orchestrate something so lovely ourselves. i pray for each and every instrument, for every heart filling the seats, and i thank God for using my life in such an extraordinary way.