I am struggling today to find contentment in this place.
As I romanticized what our days here in DRC might be like, I imagined falling in love with Jecoah’s birthplace. I planned on soaking in the culture, trying a traditional Congolese dish or two, shopping the markets for local artistry.
Instead, I’m holed up in this tiny room, avoiding as much of the reality of our situation as I can. How can I enjoy a place whose government is essentially holding my son hostage? How can I spend money for a driver and a meal at a restaurant when I can’t know how many more weeks or months I may be here?
Still, I can find many things to be thankful for:

Our son is gentle and sweet and reserved and wonderful. I have no doubt that he was part of the Creator’s plan for our family from before the foundations of the earth were designed. He’s also stubborn and naughty and a lover of food. Yes, a Costain through and through. He prefers to be held by his mama to fall asleep and I wouldn’t have it any other way. He playfully grabs my hand and points it at me, then at Brad and finally at himself as I say, “Mommy”, “Daddy”, “Jecoah”. He smiles and giggles and we do it again and again. He’s so smart. It’s absolutely unreal how quickly he’s come to understand so much of what we say. He doesn’t say much aside from lots of indeterminable babble and giggles but he has mastered a few important English words. My favorites are, “Up, please.”, “Eat, please.”, “Thank you.” and “Love you”.

I’d worried that I wouldn’t remember how to parent a toddler. I do. It’s like riding a bike. And, I love it.

Of the 7 adoptive families who are staying at our guesthouse I am the only one who is here with my husband. I feel so fortunate….and we’ve only wanted to run away from each other once…..fine, twice. And, by “run away from” I mean “punch…hard”.

We’ve met nearly a dozen adoptive moms and/or dads and haven’t found even one who doesn’t know Jesus.

Our power has only gone out a few times and only for a few minutes meaning that we’ve had very reliable wifi. Praise be!

Many of our friends and family have iPhones. We can iMessage between phones for FREE….all the way from stinking Africa!

Yesterday, we had the privilege of spending the entire day with our friends’ (who are in the process of adopting) little boy. We even got to wake them up bright and early so that they could FaceTime with him! So amazing. We loved it.

The man who owns the guesthouse speaks English well and he takes very, very good care of us. His employees are mostly quiet but they work hard, hard around here rain or shine, day or night. I’m thankful for all of them.

I’m thankful for Target. Yep – the fancy Wal Mart. When I get home (let’s be real… IF I get home) I plan on spending a lot of time at Target. Because I can. Jecoah’s going to love it. I hope he loves it. He’ll learn to love it.

I’m thankful that Jecoah wasn’t hurt yesterday when he tripped me. Yep…tripped me. I stepped out of our room behind him and, when he stopped abruptly, I didn’t. I’m not sure exactly what happened next, but we both went down, he in the dirt and me, knee first into a metal grate. This is the result:


Awesome. I cried beyond what the pain warranted. Weeks of frustration presented itself in the half hour that followed and I had myself one heck of a good cry.

My guy has taken ridiculously good care of me. He’s cooked, cleaned, cared for our little guy, even done laundry…by hand. He indulges my introverted nature and allows me to hide out in our room while he plays with Jecoah outside. It’s given me time to read Comforts From The Cross, a gift from my precious Grandma Trumble, and mindlessly lose myself in Pinterest.

I’ve always known that my parents are pretty great, but the last three weeks especially have sealed the deal. They’re amazing. As much as my heart hurts at the prospect of more weeks away from my girls, I can’t think of anyone who will love them and care for them as well as my mom and dad. The love and support they’ve given us throughout this adoption process has been a tremendous source of encouragement for all of us. We are so blessed.

Facebook has been such a gift. My connection with our people back home has become a necessity. Your encouragement, prayers, willingness to harass government officials is admirable. Keep it up.

These are just a handful of things that God has used to show us His grace. There will be more tomorrow, more before I finish this sentence.

It is grace that will sustain us throughout this journey, regardless of how long it might take.


3 thoughts on “Thankful

  1. So well said, Shellie. I’m hoping and praying the latest efforts (today) by both Lamborn and Bennet will motivate Ambassador Swan to really push on your behalf. I hope you both take heart in Psalm 27:14:

    “Wait for the Lord;

    Be strong and take heart

    and wait for the Lord.”



  2. I am thankful to have the ability to read your words from so far away. You’re a wonderful writer. Even though I haven’t met you, I am so sad for your family, but thankful that this reminds me to pray for you all often. Your boy is beautiful!

  3. What an amazing journey God is taking you and your family through, Shellie. As much as He has filled you with love for your little son, imagine the love He is wrapping you all in, and underneath are His everlasting arms! If you can, read Jesus Calling for today. Such a good reminder of God’s faithfulness as He allows the hard things into our lives. Continuing to pray for His perfect timing in all this. Even as Jesus came in the fullness of time, you will bring your son home at the perfect hour! Love you, Shayne

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