Ezra has been spoken to in Lingala, which is one of the major languages spoken in the Congo. French is the official language and Lingala is similar to French in a lot of ways. Ezra has been spoken to in Lingala and French....our sweet bilingual baby :)
Mbote (mm-botay) means hello in Lingala. But the only word that our baby Ezra says is "Au Revoir" - Goodbye. At first I loved hearing his sweet little voice say "Oh vwah" over and over and wave his little hand. But then it hit me. The only word he knows is Goodbye. My heart broke for him at the realization. He has said au revoir too many times. Well babe, no more goodbyes. Mbote from now on.
We are together, all 5 of us, together! It has been months and months of dreaming and waiting for this day. And it is here. And it is beyond wonderful.
On Thanksgiving day I received the call that Adam and his mom, Cindi, would be able to leave the Congo that night. So I was immediately on the phone with the travel agent trying to get them a flight home. It worked out that the only flight out that night landed them in Chicago the next evening for a 9 hr lay over, not leaving for Fort Wayne until Saturday morning. With some help from family members, I worked it out to surprise Adam when they got off the plane in Chicago. I booked a flight to join them on the last leg of the journey. My father-in-law drove me all the way to O'Hare. I can't even begin to explain how I felt on that drive. I knew I was about to meet Joyce. It was like I was in labor, months and months of loving this child, anticipating his arrival, knowing that life as I know it is about to change forever, for the better. But this, this was different and exciting in its own crazy way. Unique and special- this boy God bore in my heart. I didn't have a physical connection with him until THIS day. This day was the day I would touch my son for the first time, hold him and kiss him. But I also knew the reality that for him- it has been a scary, anxious arrival. He was just ripped from the only people and country he ever knew, a beautiful country that we will forever cherish. It gave us him. I was hurting for him in two very different ways. Anguish and joy co-existing.
It was so great to see Adam's face as he came off the plan and had no idea I would be standing there. Here are a few photos of that great moment in Chicago O'Hare Airport.
Maxwell Johnny is 4 months old! Time is flying by. He is such a joy and gift to us, always ready with a smile! Crazy how a parents heart just expands with love, I'm crazy about this little man. Max is a big boy weighing in a 16 lbs., only two lbs. less than is new brother Ezra. He is just so cuddly and soft, Adam often calls him "squish"... because he's just so..well squishy!
I got a call (face time call) from Adam and 3 am, I jumped out of bed because he must have had something to tell me to call so early. I answered and was SO happy to hear that the DMG issued their exit papers TODAY! That meant they were free to leave the country with baby Joyce. I was shocked! We were told it would take 7 days and here they were on day 3 with papers ready. So much to be thankful for today. God has provided above and beyond anything we could have planned throughout this process.
So they were able to get a flight out and they boarded a plane this evening. They will be home Saturday morning! Thankful for so many things today, can't believe I will have all 4 of my boys under the same roof in 36 hours.
We will post photos of greeting them at the airport and hopefully more details about the trip from Adam. Thanks for all your encouraging words, love, and prayers! I feel so lifted and carried right now.
Adam said today Joyce/Ezra is a totally different baby. Smiling, lots of singing, and babbling...much more expression today. I got to hear his sweet voice over Face Time this morning. Such a sweet sound, he sounded happy and was saying "babababa" to me on the phone. Adam and Cindi are doing well and trying to really enjoy their time there. They were able to go back to Arms of Love today and spend the morning with all the children. They took lots of photos that we will upload and get to families that are matched with the children as soon as possible. I remember that being SUCH a huge blessing to us when families did the same thing. Can't wait to send them that same blessing. Adam had such a great time at Arms of Love with all the kids. Cindi told me the entire time he was there he just played and played so hard with them. Made up games, jump roped, threw balls, and sang and sang. He got back to the hotel totally exhausted. I'm so proud of him, giving every ounce of himself to them for the short time he had there. Love that.
Adam says the television in the lobby/bar of the hotel is always covering the devastation of the rebel army taking over the city of Goma in the DRC. Everyone feels sad and on edge about it. Adam obviously isn't able to understand the coverage or what people around him are saying, but he gets the general sense of fear and such sadness over this happening to their people and beautiful country. Although I'm sure this is the norm for them.
Also, Adam and Cindi have just gone on and on about how wonderful their guide/translator John is. They can't imagine doing this without him. The best money ever spent they said. They have said he is so great, has a great sense of humor, he loves the kids, and speaks English really well. They have total confidence in him and his leading of them. I have been really happy to hear that. They said, there have been families at St. Anne's there with them, who have gone through different agency's, and haven't been able to even leave the hotel. They have no guide or help around the DRC. Adam and Cindi are so grateful they have been out to eat, to the markets, and back and forth to the orphanage because of John. MUCH thanks to our agency Wasatch Adoptions for hiring John for their families!