A lot of good things happened in Washington D.C. last week. I’ll briefly recap some of the events that took place.
We arrived in D.C around on Monday. We took the Metro downtown for a Monday night dinner with some of the other 55 families coming to D.C. It was nice to be able to get the feel of the DC area and make a mental map of all the places we had to be for the next day. We got back to our hotel room after midnight and fell right asleep.
On Tuesday we met with Senators throughout the day. We had to wake up at 6ish, be on the metro by 7, arrive downtown around 8, and be ready to go at our first meeting by 9. Then from 9- 5 we basically had meetings most the day. Other families from Indiana as well as a few other states were with us. We had a representative from Both Ends Burning with us, his name was Pete. I enjoyed talking with Pete and he was a lot of help. I was impressed with all the Both Ends Burning staff. They were hard working, friendly, but most important they had passion. You could see the passion they had to help these children be united with their parents.
When our last meeting was over we went to the candlelight vigil by the capitol. Reporters from CNN showed up and filmed a lot of it. We all had posters to hold up, and several people talked. It was very emotional to see 55+ other families all in the same boat. All of us desperately wanting to bring our children home.
Ashley met up with one of her friends, April, and the three of us went to dinner after the vigil. We then took the metro to the hotel, and fell asleep exhausted. Emotionally exhausted, but we also walked, and walked, and walked so much that day. My dress shoes aren’t the comfiest shoes. They are blister causing shoes.
A lot of people have asked us if we had time to do this…or that… The answer is no. This was a business trip. It was a loaded day. We didn’t have any time or energy to do touristy things.
Wednesday would be just as tiresome as Tuesday. We had meetings with mostly congressmen for the day. The meetings again went from about 9-5.
Many of the senators and congressmen met with us personally, but we had several staffers as well. I could usually tell, based on the staffer, if the congressman/senator thought this issue was important. I don’t particularly enjoy telling our story to a twenty year old that looks right out of high school. I also don’t enjoy when a staffer acts like this is an important issue- but doesn’t take one note. Thank you for wasting my time.
When it is all said and done though, I can look and see this trip was worth it. A lot of congressmen and senators realize this is an issue that must be addressed. Many of the congressmen did show a level of urgency as well.
You can see too, several congressmen, from the passing from the Foreign Affairs Committee of HR 588(video posted) that, as congressman Smith says, “Congress has your back.”
This can move to the floor as early as July to be voted on. I need everyone who reads this to help. It takes just a few minutes. First click on the link below and find out who your representative is.
Now call and say this:
“I am calling to let Congressman __________ know that house resolution 588 regarding the international adoption crisis in DRC just cleared the house foreign affairs committee without opposition. I would like congressman _______ to vote in favor of hr588 when it reaches the floor.
Also I am asking for Congressman _______ to call speaker Boehners office and ask him to move house resolution 588 forward to a vote immediately. This resolution is needed to resolve the international adoption crisis in DRC and there is no time for delay. Thank you.”
Please do this once or twice a week.
I can’t possibly recap last week without filling up a thick book. I feel like the last week was an entire year. Not because it was super busy- it was, but that is not why. Emotionally I feel like I cannot take any more. I feel like I have reached a peak of emotional stress. I know there are people that have experienced far worse situations, and worse levels of stress. Part of my problem is it takes over my thoughts completely. I become unable to put my focus on anything else. The emotional stress is so tiring that it makes me weak and tired all the time.
I can’t sleep. I will stay in bed for ten hours, but when I get up I feel like I didn’t get any sleep. My nights are filled with restless tossing and turning. The little sleep I do get is filled with nightmares that leave me scared and depressed. Nightmares that aren’t some silly scary movie, they are frightening realities or possibilities.
The helplessness of protecting my son is crushing. I am not there to love him, nourish him, and protect him. I have heard some devastating stories of loss from parents this past week. Stories of loss that all come from treatable problems. Some children have died from malaria- something antibiotics would cure. I even heard a story of a child not being fed correctly, so the child starved to death. These children should not be stuck there. These children have families that love them, but are being kept from them. Several children have died, and the sad reality is, the longer this goes on, the more children that will die.
I fear every day hearing this news about Chiza. We already know, from Ashley’s visit there, that Chiza was very sick and malnourished. What if he gets worse? We aren’t there to look after him. This eats me up every day. The reality that I am helpless in protecting my son.
I get annoyed some days when people ask, “How are you?” I usually respond in a generic way…” I’m fine, how are you…” Inside I think more along the lines of, “How do you think I am? My son is stuck thousands of miles away from me.”
People seem so removed from this situation. They tend so see a picture and think that’s a cute boy. Chiza, as cute as he is, isn’t just a cute boy. He’s our boy. He is our son. People don’t seem to make the connection to how crushing/exhausting this is. I’m baffled at the way some people treat adoption. They treat Chiza like an object. That he is an object that can just be returned at any moment. Or that he isn’t really my son until he is here.
We had a meeting with a congressman. He did not show up, we were told he was extremely busy. So here we are, sharing our story with a twenty year old, who didn’t take one note. Later that day I see that congressman on the news. Guess what he was doing all day long. He was in meetings, and talking to the news about why we need to impeach Obama.
Give me a break.
Here we are, with an issue that is affecting now 800+ families. With an issue that has children dying, and this congressman chooses to waste his time on something that will have no impact in the grand scheme of things. Makes me furious. Apparently giving Obama bad press is more important than the lives of children.
It is here, in the darkest part of me, that these feelings of frustration, anger, anxiety, sadness, and helplessness that I constantly need to remind myself that I serve a good God. I serve a God who sent His son to die on a cross to atone for all the sins I have, so that I can become a child of His forever. I don’t’ know how this situation with Chiza will turn out. I pray/hope he will be in my arms soon. Regardless of what happens, I know, I serve a God who is loving, just, and all powerful. I hold on to that. He is my rescuer. I cling to that. No matter what happens I have my savior with me.