Friday, August 31, 2012

Adoption FAQ

Why are you adopting from the Democratic Republic of Congo? (and not China again)

The Lord has put a burning passion in our hearts to minister to others through adoption. We have been praying since Alyssia came home last September for clarity and wisdom as to if and when we should adopt again.

We do not currently qualify for China's adoption program, although it is possible that we could have gotten a waiver. Still, the Lord seemed (over and over again) to be directing our hearts to Africa. Brent and I began praying that we could either take a missions trip or adopt a child from Africa. We began researching websites and blogs, talking to missionary friends or adoptive parents, and learning all we could about the various countries and immense needs.

Last May, while at the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit in California, we spoke with a man who mentioned a church ministry that partnered with an orphanage in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He explained a little about the ministry and gave us the name. That night, in our hotel room in CA, we looked up the website and were first introduced to Compassion for Congo.

What adoption agency are you using?

We are not working with an adoption agency. Compassion for Congo (C4C) is a church ministry that networks with a national pastor in DRC who runs an orphanage from his home.The pastor and his wife (along with other staff) care for the children. (As you might imagine with a third-world country like Congo, the orphanage is in a very rural, primitive area.)

This is an independant adoption. While we did hire a Homestudy Agency, there will be no placing agency. Instead, we will work directly with C4C and the orphanage in DRC. The pastor at the orphanage will handle all of the legal paperwork on the DRC end for us.

Isn't adoption really expensive?

(Or, are you guys really wealthy?) :)

Yes. And no. Yes, adoption can be very expensive, and NO we are not wealthy. But our God is! We don't have the expenses for this adoption "figured out", but God has proven Himself over and over again, so we step out in faith. He will provide when He is leading.

Because this is an independant adoption, the expected fees are much lower....we anticipate a total of about $15,000. We do expect to need to use "alternative means" to get our little one(s) home, and that's okay. Their ransom is worth every penny!

How does this independant adoption work?

There are several steps involved. First, we complete a Home Study (our SW estimated it would be completed by the end of October). Next, we will apply for our immigration approval (US government allowing us to bring the child into the country). DRC is not a Hague country, so we only need an I600 this time. (for those of you current on adoption lingo, lol!)

Once we have an approved Home Study and I600, the orphanage will show us the files on any children we desire to view. We will be allowed to choose, and I don't know if this will be easy or extrememly hard. (I'm sure we'll want them all.....) We feel the most comfortable with an infant boy, but we've been told young siblings and/or twins are often available, and we're very open to that as well. Our Home Study will approve us for two children but only time will tell whether or not that is part of God's plan. :)

After we've been matched with our child, the national pastor will begin the paperwork process in DRC. Estimated time until travel is between 3 and 5 months. It is quite possible for us to have our new little one in our arms by early spring of 2013!

How will you work travel arrangements?

We've put alot of thought and prayer while considering our travel plans. I will remain home with the children while Brent travels to DRC to pick up our baby and finalize the adoption paperwork. Nathaniel (7) will be Daddy's travel buddy, providing he can earn/raise the needed funds for his plane ticket. He has started praying and working already and we're excited to watch his faith grow as God provides the money for his ticket. There is already five whole dollars in the "Congo money" envelope. :)

Isn't your house small?

Yes, by many standards, it is small. (and when the youngest three are fussing or crying at the same time, it feels exceptionally tiny! :)) In comparison to the majority of the world's population, however, we are living in a mansion. We would certainly love a larger home, but for now, this is where God has us, and we're going to bloom where we're planted (or maybe it should be grow where we're planted?)....

We usually co-sleep or at least share our room with our babies/toddlers, so we expect our newest little one will be in our room for quite some time. He can join his rough-and-tumble brothers when Mommy and Daddy have gotten our fill of snuggles. :)

Is this a Special Needs adoption?

Not officially. But we are open to various special needs, so it could end up that way.

Is it possible to be truly excited about children numbers 8 or 9???

Yes, yes, yes---and did I say YES! :)

The entire family spends most of our free time dreaming of Africa and our new little guy. When we only had Eliana, and I was pregnant with Nathaniel, I remember thinking, "How will I ever love a child as much as I love Eliana?" Of course, you all know that I fell as deeply in love with my second child as I did with my first. :) And the love just keeps growing!

I love being a Mommy. I love the chaos, the sweetness, the crying, the laughing, the disciplining, and the nurturing.....I am living my life's dream, and YES, I am just as excited about adopting a son from Africa as I was when I found out I was pregnant with my first baby. Each child is a gift from God, and every child needs the love of a family.

Like I've shared before, the paperwork part of the adoption is like the morning-sickness part of a pregnancy. It's not fun, nobody really hopes to go through it, but when you know that each day brings you one day closer to your child, it's worth every aching finger (or vomit in the toilet!).

Yes, we are truly excited about our adoption. :)

**I'm sure this doesn't anwer all of your questions, so feel free to comment on this post and I'll be happy to answer them! With all the scrutiny a family goes through to be approved to adopt, I feel like my life is an open book anyway. :)  Which reminds me, I probably need to revisit some of the questions from the Game Time post ......hmmm.....

Saturday, August 25, 2012


The entire Bergey Bunch is pleased to announce......

.....that there will soon be one (or two?) new little ones in our family!

Please join us in celebrating the addition of a little one to our bunch, arriving in 2013!We are in the beginning stages of an adoption from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa.

We are full of so many raw emotions as we embark on another adoption journey. Excitement, nervousness, fear, anticipation, anxiety, peace, and joy all fill our hearts at different points along the way.

But mostly, Brent and I are feeling love---sweet, overflowing, wake-you-in-your-sleep-so you-can-think-about-it-some-more amazing LOVE.  You see, we've fallen in love sight-unseen seven times before. We know how real and deep these feelings of love are. And we absolutely cannot wait to welcome another precious treasure into our family.

Just like a pregnant momma, I'm waiting.......anticipating the joyous moment when I see our child's face for the first time. Thinking about names, bedding, attachment and such things. Getting sentimental at the sight of a new baby, the smell of baby powder, or the feel of a soft, cuddly security blanket.

Unlike a pregnancy, though, where the baby remains safely near the mother's heart for the growing period, our little one is living in a country where 52% of children DIE before the age of 5. Did you read that and let it process for a second? FIFTY-TWO PERCENT.

 Oh, how it breaks our hearts to imagine a death rate so incredibly high. (Only 1% of children in the USA die before the age of 5!)

We cannot eradicate the orphan crisis alone. We know that. All we can do is say "yes" when God calls.

He is leading us to Africa, and we absolutely cannot wait to see what He has in store for our family as we joyfully welcome a new member into our "bunch". :)

In the meantime, a little bit of our hearts will continually be waiting and dreaming of our sweet little one so very, very far away......

***FAQ post to follow. :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Busy Busy

Today was a busy, busy day.

I rose early and woke the children.

I made and cleaned up three meals for my family.

I cleaned several rooms, kissed several boo-boos, worked on several "behaviors" with several children.

I homeschooled four children math, language, science, geography, Bible, violin and piano. Whew! :)

I babysat three of my friend Angela's children for half of the day. (Yes, that made the ratio of adults to children in the house 1:10.)

I worked on the computer for 2 hours, getting some much-needed projects completed.

I ran 3 miles in 32 minutes with my hubby.

I brushed 5 sets of teeth and put 7 exhausted, albeit happy, children to bed.

I sat down to blog, and I'm so exhausted that this is the best I can come up with. :)

Goodnight, dear friends. Tomorrow, snuggle your children, appreciate and respect your husband, worship your Maker, and have a blessed day!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Open Letter to Christian Mothers

Today, when your 4 year old missed the toilet and threw up all over the bathroom, and you held your breath, wiped up the vomit, changed your little one's clothes and tucked him into bed with a trashcan securely next to his head, I want you to know that Jesus cared.

"Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of my brethren, you have done it unto me."

Today, when you tripped over the toys that you couldn't see because you were carrying a stinky-bottomed baby, when you scraped spaghetti off the kitchen floor with a spatula and wiped up the third spilled drink of the day, when you read on Facebook of your friends going to Starbucks or getting a pedicure (and you were excited about fruit-loops for breakfast  or a 2 minute potty break alone), when the cries of "Mommy! I need you!" threatened to send you over the edge, and you stood still and acknowleged that this is indeed my life, when the mundane, seemingly pointless parts of mommyhood overwhelmed, frustrated, and discouraged you, I want you to know that Jesus knows.

"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted, like as we are, yet without sin."

Today, when you sobbed your heart out in the bathroom because the remains of your long-awaited pregnancy were being flushed down the toilet--and your hopes and dreams for this precious child seemed to be flushed down with it--when you fell to your knees, only to hear a knock at the door and a little voice calling "Mommy?" and you wondered how you could possibly continue to hold it together for another minute, I want you to know that Jesus heard.

"In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even unto his ears."

Today, when your newly adopted daughter refused to kiss you, when you were functioning on less than 2 hours of sleep due to jet-lag and a terrified-to-lay-in-her-crib baby, when you took your child in public for the first time and they ran around like a crazy child and people looked at you like you were insane, when you were criticized for adopting, ostracized for being multi-cultural, misunderstood by some of your dearest friends and family, brought to your knees by attachment issues the average mama couldn't even imagine up if she wanted to, and you wondered "Why did we do this? What were we thinking? How can we get through this and not lose our child or our marriage?", I want you to know, Jesus called you and has not forgotten you now.

"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless, and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you."

Today, when you thought about your marriage and how far away from Cinderella's happily-ever-after it had become, when you realized that your husband spends more time in front of his computer or working on his hobbies than he does with you, when you wished he would devote more time to his family or at least acknowlege how very hard you are working each day, when you let the soft whisper of divorce creep into your mental vocabulary and you wondered, "How can I love him? How can I forgive him one more time?" I want you to know that Jesus never asks you to do something He has not done himself.

"They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act....what sayest thou? And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, Until seventy times seven.

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, they crucified him....Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Today, when you stopped at the pharmacy, hurried home, went into the bathroom alone, opened the box....and closed your eyes, begging God to let there be two lines this time, only to be disappointed yet again......when you then hid the box so no one would ask you about it, when you stared with longing at the pregnant women and babies who seem to be everywhere you go when you're trying not to remember that it's not you that is pregnant, when you overheard your friends complaining about stretch marks, labor pains, and sleepness nights and you ached way down deep in your soul for just the opporunity to experience these things, and when you thought you just might explode if one more person sympathetically patted your shoulder and said, "Just relax. Then it'll happen." I want you to know that Jesus knows about the desires of your heart---in fact, He put them there!---and He truly is using this painful time for your good.

"Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

But unto Hannah he (Elkanah) gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hnnah: but the LORD had shut up her womb......and the LORD remembered her, Hannah conceived.....bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.

Hear, O LORD, and hve mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper. Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hst put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee forever."

Today, when you received the kind of news that seems to stop your heart, knocks you off your feet, devastates your family and alters the course of your life forever.....cancer, death, adultery, divorce, illness, unplanned pregnancy.....when you're reeling from the shock and you wonder where God is in the midst of the storm, I want you to know, Jesus allows the storms of life to come, but never without being right in the boat with you.

"And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. and they awake him (Jesus), and say unto him, Mster, carest thou not that we perish? And he rose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

But as for you, ye thought evil against me: but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

....the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."

Today, and every day, may you remember that the God who gave you life, also has a purpose for that life.

Today, and every day, may you know the intimacy of a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ.

Today, and every day, may you rejoice in whatever life circumstances you find yourself, knowing that the sweetest blessings of life come during the







and challenging

aspects of your life.