As expected, the news that we are adopting from Congo has not come without many concerns and questions.  I’m going to try to address some of the questions that have been posed to us, though I would urge you to let me know any other question you might have.  Alrighty, here we go…


“Really, guys?  Congo??  Don’t you know that things over there are a little, uh, jacked up?”

Yes, Congo has its fair share of corruption and other issues.  Lots of issues.  Let’s be real- the DRC is not a tourist destination.  But we believe that it is where our child is.  As I mentioned in my last post, we have been put in contact with some amazing contacts in Congo who know the region and will have our backs.  We will likely not travel to the eastern part of the country (where the orphanage is and where there is some increased violence and tension) and will, instead, spend our in-country stay in the capital city, Kinshasa.  I’ve been told that Kinshasa is like any big African capital city– a place where plenty of Westerners live and thrive but not a place where you’d want to openly flash your bling or go out alone at night.  We’ll likely bunker down in our hotel room and spend the time bonding with our child.  We will need to leave for embassy appointments and what-not, but we have the option of hiring a friend of a contact as our “escort”.  I could keep on about the safeguards we will take in adopting from Congo, but I won’t bore you. The most vital piece to remember here is that we believe God has called us to this and that He is sovereign over everything.  Ultimately, we believe that we are far safer living within His will rather than in disobedience.


“Okay, so I don’t mean to be rude and all, but didn’t you say, like two years ago, that you believed God had called you to adopt from Rwanda?  Did He make a mistake?  Did you get it wrong?”

Ahh, good one!  The answer is YES–we absolutely still believe that God led us to Rwanda for a very distinct purpose.  Through the years of ups and downs, our faith has been stretched like nobody’s business.  The process has been one of sanctification for us, and ultimately, we have emerged with a more profound understanding of God’s character.  We believe that He led us through two years of waiting in our Rwandan process “for such a time as this”… so that we could have the faith to shift our adoption over the Rwandan border to the DRC.


“Dude, Catherine.  ‘It’s all about the Benjamins!‘  What about all of that money you’ve already dropped on the Rwanda process.  Don’t tell me that Rwanda took your money and ran…”

Good question, and glad you share my love of rap. 🙂  First and foremost, Rwanda has not seen a dime of our money!  That has been a very common concern, so I needed to clear that up right off the bat.  Now, the money we have paid to our previous agency is obviously gone, but they have been so, so good to us and have worked so hard on our behalf for the past two+ years that we don’t even bat an eyelash at that thought.  We have also spent a good deal of money on our home study and USCIS clearance, both of which can be updated/changed with very minimal costs.  So we’re not “out” a ton of  money, though we do have many more costs ahead of us.  Thankfully, it is far less expensive to do an independent adoption than adopting through an agency.  But more on that later.


“You have mentioned the corruption that is rampant throughout much of the DRC.  Don’t you worry that you’re going to get ripped off?”

Yes, I would…. if I wasn’t working with such an amazing advocate!  Seriously, y’all… God has been so good to us in placing Holly in our paths.  She knows this country and she is passionate about adopting ethically without contributing to the corruption.  She’ll be reviewing any contract we sign with the lawyer and any fee we pay to ensure that we’re not getting ripped off.  Through her guidance, we believe that we not only are going to have an ethical adoption but, furthermore, that our costs will be kept down.  We won’t be shelling out exorbitant amounts of money in bribes and other crazy fees… because that’s not good for anyone involved.


“So what’s all this about adopting independently?  Why not use an agency?”

I totally get this question, as I previously never would have dreamed about adopting independently.  However, we simply did not feel a peace about any of the agencies that facilitate adoptions through the DRC.  Now, I’m sure there are some good ones… but we knew that an agency wasn’t the way for us to go this time.  In adopting independently, we are intimately involved in every teensy detail of our adoption, know where every penny of our money is going, and will know more about our child’s story.  Our eyes have been opened to the realities of international adoption over the past few years, and we have become aware of the unethical practices that surround far too many adoptions.  Overall, through the transparency of an independent adoption (especially with Holly’s oversight), we feel confident that this is our best way to ensure things are conducted ethically.


“You have mentioned that your child’s orphanage is very poor.  What if you get him and he’s sick?”

This question is always difficult for me, as we all know that no pregnancy of a biological child ensures a healthy baby.  But with that aside, rest assured that we’ll be getting labwork and medical exams done prior to our travel.  And we are also mandated to get a medical exam done by an embassy-approved doctor in Kinshasa prior to the issuance of our child’s visa.  We do know that few children from an institutionalized setting emerge without developmental delays.  Malnutrition and parasites are other common issues, especially from this region.  We are expecting some medical issues… they just go with the territory… but I also happen to work in pediatrics, have an “in” with some great local resources, and have phenomenal medical care available within a short drive.  I don’t think that’s merely coincidence.


“I have noticed that you have been a bit vague in your reference to your child, without referring to a specific gender.  What’s up with that??”

We’ve been praying for and dreaming about a baby boy named Wyatt for years.  However, at this point, we didn’t want to limit our home study and USCIS appprovals to one specific gender.  We simply thought it would be wise to broaden our request at this time.  Do I still feel like we’ll be bringing home a little Congolese boy?  Well, yes… but my heart has also been broken recently for the violent reality that is so commonplace for women in the DRC.  Regardless, boy or girl, we are stoked to get this show on the road and bring our baby


What other questions do you have?  We know full-well that we are being quite unconventional here and there are certainly other questions and concerns that I have yet to address.  Don’t hesitate to let us know!  Our goal here is to be as transparent as possible, removing the mystery of international adoption.

3 Comments on some questions answered

  1. Love you, love the info, love your passion & transparency, love your commitment to obedience.

    Will be praying, duh. 🙂

  2. Hi Catherine,
    I am Natalie Winters’ best friend and she passed your blog password on to me since she knows that I enjoy reading it from time to time. My husband and I have also been in the adoption process for almost two years and have had to switch countries (Ethiopia to Taiwan) along the way. I think you did such a great job answering the “did you hear God’s call incorrectly” question. That’s probably been the hardest thing for us to explain to people and it’s really nice to read the perspective of someone who understands!

  3. Hey friend! Wow, I feel out of the loop because I haven’t read your blog since you made it private and I missed the good news! So excited for yall and your new path. 🙂

    Rebekah McGee

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