A little update and some BIG news
Bridget is adjusting beautifully - learning English quickly, making friends at church, playing with her sisters and being as silly as any 5 year old could be. She loves playing Barbies, watching Dora and Beauty and the Beast and reading the book "Pee-ew! Is that You Bertie?" A book about a boy with stinky farts. Yep, she's a Solecki!
Our time in Africa was amazing, overwhelming, frustrating, encouraging, beautiful, heartbreaking, stretching, welcoming, and just incredibly life changing.
Never in a million years did I think I would get to see the River Nile, stand in a field with giraffes or watch the sun rise over the African planes... It was like I was IN the Lion King movie - I could hear "The Circle Of Life" playing in my head - I kept waiting see Rafiki or Pumba come around a corner and sing while we were on safari! Uganda is beautiful and like no place on earth.
I never thought I would make friendships so deep - people that became family in a matter of weeks...We got to meet people from all over Uganda and Africa - each one with a story that could break your heart or revive your faith. These people there are strong. They have been through so much and it gave us just a completely different perspective on our life here in America.
The process there was hard and draining, but we also knew that going into it. When you go to Uganda to adopt, you must leave ALL your western ways of thinking at the door. Time in Africa passes on a different type of clock. As was the theme with adoption, while in Uganda it was very much a "hurry up and wait" process.
But through it all, God showed us His grace, His favor and His mercy. I was there just shy of five weeks - still within the 3-6 week window given to us. We met several families from around the country (and even globe) that were not as fortunate and were counting their time in months, not weeks.
God taught us so much during our time there - this trip was about much more than the adoption of Bridget - God taught us about His adoption of us - what lengths He went to make us part of His family - how deep His love runs for us. As with Bridget's adoption, my adoption was not easy. It came with struggle and sacrifice - it made the command of caring for the orphans and the widows so real to me, and much more personal too.
We were also given great opportunities for ministry while there - Mike was able to teach in several village churches, we were able to go to the orphanage and love on those kids, I was able to go to a women's fellowship group and enjoy the fellowship with my new sisters, we were also able to pray with so many that we met and see God move in their lives. One example was while at the passport office, I met a woman desperate to get her passport (she was scheduled to leave the country the next day) and she was in total despair - I offered to pray for her and at the end of the day, she found me and was crying because she had finally (after many weeks) gotten her passport. She just kept saying how my God had answered prayer and how she was going to be born again and go to church because she saw that God does indeed hear our prayers and listens to us. God gave us countless moments like that...it really was a beautiful experience that grew our faith and understanding of who God is.
And so we are doing it again. That's right - we are adopting AGAIN!!!!!!! The Solecki six will soon be the Solecki SEVEN!!!!!!!!!!
I can tell you this was not planned and it was ALL God. We had discussed adopting again in a few years, after we "recovered" from this adoption - but as the saying goes "We plan and God laughs".
And what's more - IT'S A BOY!!!!!!!!!!! Much to the joy of several of my friends (In particular, our social worker) we will finally have another Solecki boy in the house.
So, here is how this all came to be - we were able to go to Bridget's orphanage the first week there - at the time there were 28 or so kids there, and as we played with, hugged and loved all these sweet, precious kiddos, we ended up sitting down with a young boy named Joram and talking with him. After about 10-15 minutes of that first conversation with this precious 10 year old boy, I looked at Mike and mouthed the words "we need to bring this boy home" I stared to cry on the ride home after leaving that day, and that night we both teared up while talking to my best friend on Facetime about meeting Joram. Our hearts were instantly bonded with this boy (so much so that I emailed our social worker to inquire about adoption while we were still in Uganda).
Now, for those of you that know me, you know my heart has been content with having all girls. Not a fiber in my being has ever wished for or craved a son...until now. And let me tell you, I had a sense that I'd be tempted to bring another little African princess home and out of all the cute little cuties that were there in the orphanage, I NEVER EVER thought the one I'd want to bring home would be a boy...but it is. With all my heart, with all Mike's heart - we want this boy to be ours.
And seeing the bond him and Mike formed so quickly - talking about scripture and reading the bible together...my heart yearned even more to bring him home...
So, yeah. There it is. God is sneaky, and clever and laughs at our plans because He knows he has something so much more incredible up ahead for us - more then we could ever think, dream or imagine. I thought we were going to Africa to bring Bridget home...I had no idea we would also be meeting our son.
So, we find ourselves here again, under piles of paperwork, not knowing where the money will come from, longing for a child across the globe to be a permanent part of this crazy family...but we have a different perspective now. We saw God move on our behalf - we saw him bring Bridget home when had no means to do it ourselves. We know the child we will be bringing home, so all those doubts and fears about who our child will be are not there - but they are replaced with the heartache of having the child you know and love half a world away...This adoption will be different, but I trust God will teach us a lot of the same lessons - that He loves us, that He will provide for us, that He is in control and that NOTHING is too big or too hard for Him to accomplish.
Please be praying for us as we continue to transition with Bridget and move forward with the adoption of Joram. There is a lot to do and we covet your prayers! We will be fundraising again (and filling out countless grant applications, again) so stay tuned for the Solecki adoption: Take two!