Thursday, November 10, 2011

It's a girl...and a girl!

Many of you might have heard already, but my family has now expanded! I applied to be a foster mother last March through Zimbabwe Social Welfare in hopes of eventually being able to adopt a little girl. This is a very difficult process for a foreigner, but is made easier since I have lived in Zimbabwe and plan on staying for as long as I am given a visa.

An officer came to do a home visit in May, but I never heard anything after that. A friend of mine from the United States is the administrator of an orphanage about 3 hours from Fairfield in a place called Mt. Selinda. One Saturday early in October, we went for a walk. She mentioned that they had twin one-year-old girls at her orphanage. My first thought was,
“I could never manage twins by myself!” Over the next few hours, however, I couldn’t stop thinking about them. We went to a program church that evening and through the songs and talks, I felt God saying, “You are right. You cannot do this alone. But you can do this with My help, and with the help of those I have placed around you.” My brain had automatically said no, but the Holy Spirit had whispered yes.

Four days later, I drove with Cecillia, our Acting Administrator, and a good friend, Julie, to visit Rumbidzai and Nomatter in Mt. Selinda. We instantly fell in love with our two little girls (now named Abigail and Grace). We were told by the Social Welfare officer that the mother had died giving birth to the girls. The father is still alive, but said he is too old to look after the girls. He brought them to Social Welfare offices when they were just five days old, when they were brought to the orphanage in Mt. Selinda.

I was told that it would be at least December or January before the paperwork was complete and they would be placed in my care. We went back the following Friday and located the father. He consented right away to give the girls to me, which made the process a lot easier. I didn’t realize until we were driving back to the office, however, just how much easier the first steps would be.

The officer asked if I was prepared to take the girls back to Fairfield right away. He did not like their situation at the orphanage because they were not receiving sufficient food and their development was behind. We all watched in amazement as he signed a half sheet of paper giving both girls to me under temporary place of safety. From there he will work on the foster care paperwork, and once they are under my care as a foster parent, he will immediately begin working on the adoption process. Within 2 weeks of initially hearing of the girls, they were making the 3 hour trip back to Fairfield with a very shocked mother!

Luckily, my friends here had thrown me a baby shower (although only expecting one girl!) back in June, so I did have the basics to start out with that first night. It has been one of the hardest but best weeks of my life as the girls get adjusted to their new home. They were far behind on their vaccinations, and this new mom learned that the first day in a new place and over 90 degree weather was not the best time to get them up-to-date!

But God blessed me with wonderful friends those first few days that provided meals when I was too tired to eat let alone cook, who offered encouragement and advice, played with the girls, found car seats and other necessities, and prayed with me. Grace and Abby are eating a lot, sleeping a lot, doing exercises to get them ready for standing and walking, and having a great time playing with all the Fairfield children. I can see improvement even in the short time they have been here.

I had already scheduled a flight home for Christmas for a few weeks and set up many speaking engagements thinking that I would not have a child before January. We could have left the girls at the orphanage until I returned, but decided that the quicker they could get the right foods and assistance the faster they would improve. They will stay in my house with their big sister Nyarai while I am away, with the help of all the wonderful mothers at Fairfield. Nyarai met her little sisters for the first time this past weekend and instantly fell in love. I look forward to the day the adoption process is complete (I am sure this will take a lot of patience and time!) and Grace and Abigail can come meet all of you at home. I am sure you will instantly fall in love with them as well.

I would appreciate your prayers as we begin this journey. I am already discovering motherhood can be overwhelming, especially with twins, but God’s grace is always sufficient for us. If any of you are going through a change or a difficult time, I pray you will also hear God whispering, “You can do this with My help and with the help of those I have placed around you.”

Wenyu Munashe,

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