Sunday, February 28, 2010

Introducing Hutson Benedict Guosheng & Immaculée Elizabeth Esther

Dear family, friends, and followers of Clare's blog,

It is with great pleasure that Brycie and Jim introduce you to Clare's new brother and sister who will soon join our family.

Let us begin by telling you about the wonderful but convoluted adoption journey on which God has led us. We had a yearning to adopt beginning back in 2006 and were led to believe that all you do is file your paperwork and voilà, you'd travel in 8 to 12 months to pick up your smiling, healthy infant child. But God had other things in mind! After months of "paper chasing," we filed our dossier to adopt Clare in March of 2007. We soon discovered that it would take 5-6 YEARS to get a referral for a healthy infant from China. We prayed and deliberated and deliberated and prayed and made the decision, in early 2008, to pursue a concurrent adoption from Liberia, West Africa. We requested a 3-to-5-year-old girl. We thought she'd be home within a few months. All of a sudden, the Liberian government placed a moratorium on international adoptions (can you say "closed down"?!). By this point, we were rather discouraged; would God ever bless us with a child?

Fast forward to July 11, 2008. Brycie spotted a plea on behalf of a young girl with spina bifida from China who happened to have an adoption grant from Love Without Boundaries. Brycie looked at the picture and immediately called Jim saying, "I think this might be our child." Jim came home from work early, and within a few hours, our agency had locked her file for our review. We received the paperwork and immediately contacted our friend and future pediatrician to review the medical history. Things began to move quickly, and on November 7, 2008, we traveled to China to meet our darling Clare Isabella JiaQi. Most of you have already met Clare in person and through her blog. If you haven't, please see her story at and be sure to start at the beginning.

In mid-March 2009, Brycie discovered a handsome young man on Great Wall China Adoption's waiting child list. He, too, was born with spina bifida. As luck would have it (i.e., as God planned it), GWCA's waiting child program manager was on her way to Beijing, China, to conduct a "Hope Camp" that this young man was set to attend. She met him and took many photos and videos. He is such a fine young man! He will be 12 on May 18, 2010. Brycie will most likely be traveling to Beijing in May to meet our new son and bring him HOME. His name is Zou Guosheng. We intend to name him Hutson Benedict Guosheng. Hutson is Brycie's paternal grandmother's maiden name. Benedict is the name chosen by our current pope and that of a great saint. Guosheng, which means victorious country, is his Chinese name.

In August 2009, our Liberian agency, Acres of Hope, contacted us to tell us that Liberia is still closed to international adoptions but that they are now facilitating adoptions with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our agency director asked us if we'd be interested in a child from the Congo. We told her that we might be. Then, she sent us a picture, and that's all she wrote!! Esther Mulikuza Ciza was born March 12, 2006, on the eastern edge of DRC. For the past two years, she has been in a Catholic orphanage in Kinshasa, DRC, which is on the western side of DRC. We will name our new daughter Immaculée Elizabeth Esther. In the early spring of 2009, we became acquainted with Immaculée Ilibagiza,a survivor of the Rwandan genocide. In early August 2009, we had the opportunity to meet her and hear her speak at the Midwest Catholic Family Conference in Wichita, Kansas. Please refer to her link on our blog sidebar. After reading and hearing her story, we knew that our daughter's name should be Immaculée after our Holy Mother and Immaculée Ilibagiza, who lived on the eastern shore of Lake Kivu in Rwanda; our daughter was born near the western shore of Lake Kivu in DRC. We have chosen "Elizabeth" as her middle name as this is both Brycie's mother and grandmother's middle name. All things are in place for us to bring Immaculée home hopefully within the next 30 to 45 days.

Please pray for our family as we complete our adoption journeys and start the transition process.

And now what you've all been waiting for:

Hutson Benedict Guosheng

Immaculée Elizabeth Esther