The week after our first was born, I rocked her often in those wee hours and thought about how it required 3 adults (me, my mom, and husband) just to take care of this one little person. She stopped our world. As I held her tightly in my arms, my mind drifted back to a trip to Mozambique we took 2 years prior to her birth. While there, I rocked another little person named Samuel. This 4 week-old infant, however, had stopped no one's world. His dad was long gone and his mother died in childbirth. He now lived in a babies' home with countless other little ones. He would never grow up knowing the security and love that comes from a mother and father.
After having our second, my husband and I began to more seriously explore adoption. The first day we prayed together about it, a friend invited me to a playgroup. Every single person in the playgroup was adopting or had adopted (not your every day mom's group!) In fact, Jamie shared her story with us that day! She looked at me and said, “A lot of people talk about adoption but not many people do anything about it.” Later that day, I turned on a talk show (ok it was Oprah people). The show chronicled several families in Charlotte who had emptied an orphanage in Liberia by adopting all the kids. The next day, I got a call from a friend who said, “One of my friend's just called and said she had a dream that you were adopting a bunch of kids.” This friend, of course, knew nothing about our recent prayers.
When you ask God to confirm something that is already written on His heart, be careful! My husband and I already had a trip planned to go visit some friends in Uganda. It was my first time to visit an orphanage as a parent. Every child I saw or held could be an Amelie or a Holden. They deserved parents as much as any child. We knew then that we were going to explore adoption.
After exploring the many different options, we decided on Rwanda. Why Rwanda? At the time, the government oversaw the adoption process so, we could adopt without using an agency which saved a few thousand dollars. I had also always connected with that area of Africa. After making the decision, a good friend became the national director in Rwanda for International Justice Mission. They connected us with some one living in Kigali who volunteered at the orphanage Jack lived. She had also adopted from there, and offered to help us with the entire process. I sent out an email to a few people I found online who were adopting from Rwanda. When I clicked on the blog of the first person who emailed me back, I was shocked! It was my roommate from college! Again, it felt like God was going overboard to confirm and secure in our hearts that He was guiding us. “For you will go out with joy, and be guided in peace.” Isaiah 55:12
Since adopting Jack, our entire worlds have flipped! I started a company called Noonday Collection, and through that, am forever connected to Rwanda through a sewing co op we helped start there. My encouragement to newbies who don’t know where on earth to start, is to pray and believe God will show you the specifics. His story is about so much more than just this little tike on your heart. He will use the entire process in ways you can’t imagine. So step out in faith, and look for ways God is confirming your path. He WILL show you.
Jessica lives in Austin where she enjoys dance parties with her three littles, 2 biological and one from Rwanda, long dinners with her husband, and good wine with her girlfriends. She spends the majority of her days running Noonday Collection, a business born out of the adoption process, that creates sustainable income opportunities for vulnerable populations. It is a dream so amazing she could have never thought of it herself. You can join the story by visitingwww.noondaycollection.com