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Monday, March 26, 2012

Their arrival...and we are changed

:) a long awaited post....
It's almost been 3 weeks since the arrival of our new children and it's without saying that we have been busy, but also without internet- making it very hard to keep everyone apprised of the many miracles we have recently witnessed.
So, let me start with a very big one...
The kids arrived on a Wednesday. Let me take you to the Saturday before;
I had started to panic about where we would live. A lot of people were telling me to find a place in Fremont. I started looking a few days before and visited a few options out that way. I even pushed hard to some landlords to get us into their places, but to no avail. It was like God was closing doors for us. Matt told me he no longer wanted to consider Fremont on Friday night as he felt that a body of water separating us from our community was not what God was leading us to.
On that Saturday I was foraging Craigslist for possibilities on the peninsula. I would not compromise price, as I knew we could not afford more. I had been sent a possibility in Daly City by many people that was $10 under our budget, 5BR, and seemingly perfect. I anxiously called the number and set up an immediate viewing for 45 minutes later. We drove up to see it and were overwhelmed with excitement. It was very small, but adorable. It was of humble means, which is something that I love, and very out door oriented, with 3 of the bedrooms leading to the backyard. Close to the schools, an easy commute for Matt....check, check, check.
We talked to the property manager about our story and he said we could move in immediately, probably on Monday. That would ideally give us enough time to prepare for the kids' arrival a few days later. It was the first time walking through a house that I was moved to tears, imagining our family living in that space. I was overwhelmed and for the first time in recent days of panic, had some hope.
The next morning we woke up and ventured up to church. I finally had some good news for our community. I finally can feel safe and stable. We are sitting in the pew together singing some worship songs. I look over at Matt. To my surprise, he is not joyful, but distressed.
I ask him what is wrong and he says, "The Daly City house doesn't feel right for some reason."
Down, down, down goes my hope and fast my heart starts to beat as my thoughts begin to roll. I am angry, confused, unwilling. I begin to cry. I am asking God, "WHY!!!???" I sit with this bitterness and fear all day, now unwilling to jump.
That night I get an email.
A woman I do not know....
She has heard about our story and feels like God may be leading her to buy a house to rent it to us. "and you’d have a Christian landlord with a heart for refugees (and pet-owners)"
Keep in mind it is Sunday. The kids are arriving on Wednesday. It takes 30 days to close a sale. And what if something goes wrong? Where will we stay? What about schools? "I don't want to wait!!!!", I tell God, "I want to feel stable and in control!!!" I remember that God asked me to jump. I can't decide at this point if my heart is willing. I give the reigns to Matt to follow up and lead our family in this risky endeavor of a decision. Thankfully, he is full of faith and joy and has the strength to take on this weight. He phones the woman, followed by a realtor, and then we wait. I tell him I don't have the strength to turn down the Daly City house and that if it's offered to me "tomorrow morning," I think I will have to take it.
Monday call from Daly City. Remember the property manager had assured me we would move IN on this day.
Meanwhile, the ball is rolling with our new friend and realtor. Together, they start looking at the market. They are zooming in on houses in Belmont and San Mateo, with options in San Jose.
I ask God, "Why would you have this great opportunity for us, only to still compromise on location? Why did you tell me Redwood City and then NOT provide!?" I am confused, angry, and scared.
I feel strongly against living in a hotel, but realize at this point that we will not be able to move into a house in time for their arrival.
My social worker calls with great news. There is a house in San Jose that we can temporarily stay in for about a month until we find a place permanently. It's a large house with 5 empty bedrooms. There is another Congolese family living there and will be able to speak Swahili with the kids as well as talk about culture and transition with them.
AHHHHH!!!!! Some hope, Lord! Thank you!!!! I am depleted at this point and needed this dose of provision.

Tuesday comes and we start to move into our temporary place. We forage through our 3 randomly packed storage units for what we may need for a month, searching for things that we have been saving for the kids. The ball keeps moving with our friend, but my heart is not ready for more hope.

Wednesday comes...
We don't know what the future holds for our family, but I tell God that I know He will provide. I am honestly angry that I don't have more control and that He has not yet revealed this secret to me, but I know I can count on Him. My worries start to get buried by the pure excitement and anxiety of meeting our children. We don't even have time to shower as we scurry around trying to make their bedrooms perfectly inviting with every last detail we can think of. Eventually, we have to agree that we did as much as we could and we switch clothes into something halfway decent and grab the keys to drive to the airport. We pray and laugh, and shake with the wait.
We walk into baggage claim and there they are; beautiful. I'm nervous, excited, insecure, hopeful, and not quite sure what to do!!! :) It's as awkward as a first date. We pile into the car and drive home, asking as many questions as we can think of at this point with our brains on overdrive. We show them around, give them space, start our meetings and then everyone leaves us to be a family. We have dinner, go to sleep, and it sets in. We are forever changed.

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