This is the follow-up to this post.

My heart has always been in Africa. Ever since I was a little girl I was always intrigued with the safari, giraffes, the dark skin and white teeth of the continent of Africa. I may have also been swayed towards Africa because I had a pen pal from there, Lilian Njuguna from Kenya, Africa. A woman from my church had gone to Kenya as a missionary and connected some of the girls in the school she was teaching at to some of the kids at my church. It was exciting and exotic to receive post with beautifully colored stamps and Lilian's unique script. I wish I still had one of her letters, but I know they are long gone now. Writing to Lilian helped my 5th grade brain expand to understand that the world did not just include my little town. The world was much more vast and diverse then I could fathom.
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I don't know when the desire to adopt became a part of my life, but I don't remember it not being there. Somewhere deep inside me I knew that I would one day, whether or not I could have children myself. This idea of adoption was never presented to be directly and I did not grow up knowing any families who had adopted, but nevertheless, it was in my brain. And even though I have two beautiful children of my own, the desire to adopt has not left and I don't think it will ever leave.

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Craig and I would like more children. Even though some days are hard and our frustration is through the roof, we still want more kids. We've talked about the possibility of having more children ourselves, but after two emergency c-sections, the risk is greater to try for another child. A third c-section is a very risky procedure, so we have talked about the idea of having a home birth with a midwife attending the VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). I have done a lot of reading and am well informed about the risks and the benefits, so know that we are not going to do anything rash or dangerous for me or a future baby. But our hesitions are these:

  1. I HATE being pregnant!
  2. I am finally loosing the last of my baby fat, 2 years later.
  3. We are not sure we are alright with another c-section if the VBAC is unsuccessful.
  4. Our insurance doesn't cover pregnancy or birth.
  5. There are already kids here in central Florida that need parents.
  6. And I'm an actress! There aren't many parts for pregnant ladies! 
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We have contacted several agencies about adopting and are leaning towards adopting children from the foster care system. Those children are stuck and need a way out. We have a home, food, and love. Why can't God use us in this capacity like God has used Francis Chan's downsized home? I am not naive thinking that it will all be flowers and smiles during the process. The children that are in foster care waiting to be adopted have come from horrible circumstances that I can not imagine. There will be baggage and obstacles along the way, but I can't imagine not responding to that need. We are not the wealthiest family, but our hearts are eager to give what we have to help others and if that means opening our doors to several children from other parents for the rest of their lives, then we are ready.
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Me on the far right with the core group of students who lead the Invisible Children movement on campus.

In college, I was an activist for the Invisible Children. Based on a documentary about the war-torn nation of Uganda, Invisible Children was filmed by college students who began a movement to end night commuting. I became a part of the movement by raising awareness, money and support to help stop the vicious cycle of child soldiers. My heart broke when I saw the film and I could not stand by without doing everything I could. A friend of mine actually joined the Invisible Children team based on the work we were doing on our college campus. Unfortunately that season in my life did not allow me to help more, but it softened my heart even more to the people of Africa.

We all didn't speak for the day to promote the movie screening.

Art work done by James Cernero, which was later turned into buttons that people purchased to support the Invisible Children.

Our group with the actual Invisible Children team and their tour RV.
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Today at the park, a mother was there with her two blond children and her two Ugandan children. Three of her kids were four years old and they all just warmed my heart. The little Ugandan boy kept saying to me, "Look at me! Are you looking? My mommy and daddy's names are mommy and daddy. We are eating pizza. Are you looking? Watch me!" My heart melted and I was charmed by his smile and warmth. His older sister gently told him to speak so that I could understand him instead of speaking Ugandan. I could understand him perfectly. He was speaking out of his exuberance for life and I was right there with him.

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Maybe all of these things are connected. There might be a reason I have always wanted to adopt, always felt drawn to Africa, and now have a heart for the people of Uganda. We aren't doing anything about these connections today, but within the school year we are making a decision about the size and by what means our family will go from four to possibly eight. We are putting our faith into action and trusting God to lead us. If you see that my status update says I am flying to Africa, I'm sure you can guess what I am doing! Until then, we will continue to pray and think and dream about our bigger family, while enjoying and loving the one we already have.

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