Big changes for our family and my blog
Living in London is going to be hard. Exhausting. Overwhelming. At least at first. This has really hit home this week.
We moved our family of six from Seattle to London two weeks ago. At first being in London felt like a dream. Mark did not have to go into the office last week, so we spent our time exploring our new city. This week, however, Mark had to go into the office…and I had to learn how to do life in London as a mama with four small children. We had to register our children for school, meet their new teachers, and generally set up the details of life: cell phones, bank accounts, groceries, travel cards. We do not have a car, so we’re doing all of this by foot, bus and train. By the end of each day this week, I just wanted to collapse. I was too tired to cry. The whole experience is just overwhelming.
It is one thing to visit London. It is something else to live here with children. Especially as a white mama of a beautiful black baby. International adoption is uncommon in the United Kingdom. Likewise, the UK only recently changed the laws to allow families to adopt a child of a different ethnic, cultural or racial background. Furthermore, most families in London are small. The cost of living is high and life in the city is hard. As a result, most families have only one or two children – or elect to move outside the city. So our family stands out. Never in my life have I felt like so many people were watching me - questioning if I was a good enough mum or what I was doing with all these children. I’ve been asked over and over again if they are mine. And I always say yes. But it is still hard.
To follow our adventure in London, visit our new blog From Mom to Mum.
We knew that adopting while also moving to London would be a challenge. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been trying to figure out some final details of our dossier paperwork. We wanted to send our dossier to Eastern Europe about two weeks ago, but we are waiting on two things. While I do not need to get into the details, I would simply ask you to pray. God’s timing is perfect. Pray that we would rest in his timing. Pray that the paperwork would get done, that we could send it soon, and that we would be officially matched with Lana.
On Thursday night, Mark and I snuggled and watched a BBC documentary about sex trafficking in Eastern Europe. We don’t know anything about Lana’s birth mom, but she is living in a city where sex trafficking and forced prostitution are common. It is in some ways the Las Vegas of Europe, the place where men go to commit all sorts of sin. The city where Lana lives is beautiful, but it is best known as a place to go to get wasted and sleep with prostitutes. As a result, this city has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in Europe.
A few years ago, God broke our hearts for Africa. When we heard about this little girl in Eastern Europe, we knew he was calling us to pursue adopting her, but we were also perplexed. Why would God call us to adopt a child from Eastern Europe when we have such a heart for Africa? Little by little, God’s giving us his heart for Lana’s country. He’s breaking our hearts for the things that break his. He’s preparing our hearts to love Lana.
We’re hoping to be officially matched with Lana in the next few weeks. And we’re hoping to travel to bring her home sometime in September or October. There are a lot of details to work out, but we know God is at work.
We are so thankful for everyone who has given generously to help us bring Lana home already!
Friends, family and strangers have given around $7,000 to Lana’s Fig Fund through Project Hopeful. In addition, we earned approximately $4,000 through Noonday Collection and a little over $2,000 from our garage sale. We were able to use our savings to pay for some adoption expenses as well. We’ve paid for our home study, immigration approval and background checks, adoption agency fees, dossier fees and translation costs. Thank you to everyone who has made this possible!
We’ve come a long way, but we’re not done. Over the next few months we will need to pay our lawyer, travel expenses and visa fees. With moving to London, we also have to pay for a home study update and for our social worker to travel to complete the update. As it looks like our court date will not be until the fall, we may also need to pay someone to watch the boys here in London while we’re adopting Lana. The amount we still need to raise to complete the adoption and bring Lana home is $8,500. We need to raise $2,500 before the end of July.
We have a few things planned! From July 23 to 30, we will be doing a giveaway on Family Hope Love and on From Mom to Mum to help bring Lana home. I will explain all the details on Monday. Would you consider helping us by spreading the word?
If you have a blog, use Facebook or Twitter, would you consider helping me get the word out next week? We have a few awesome prizes including jewelry from Noonday Collection, prints from Naptime Diaries and even a new car seat from Britax! Likewise, if you want to donate something that we can giveaway, let me know. Ideas of things that would work in the giveaway include handmade items, books, jewelry, or even services like blog design or photography.
If you feel led to give to help us bring Lana home, you can give to Lana’s Fig Fund through Project Hopeful by clicking the link on my sidebar. All donations are tax-deductable and we’re totally accountable to Project Hopeful to make sure everything is spent on Lana’s adoption. Thank you.
With all of the changes in our lives over the last six weeks, I’ve had to put writing on hold while I focus on my family. This has been hard. My heart is completely in this book. I know it is something God has called me to do. But writing the book is less important than following Jesus and loving my husband and children. So for this season of transition, I’ve had to let it go. A little.
As we’re settling into life here, I’m hoping to get into a rhythm with writing again. We have almost six weeks before Mark begins grad school in September. Between now and then, I am hoping to finish most of the manuscript. I am also almost ready to send the proposal to publishers. For everyone who has offered to share their stories, to edit, or to otherwise be involved in this book project, thank you for your patience!
This post is already way too long. So I will stop writing now. Thank you for reading!