| BIG NEWS | Journey to Congo
I've written, deleted, and re-written this blog post several times. Each and every time I seem to get emotional, in a good way. Even though our big news only affects the timing of our business, this next step for Soul Reflections Photography is a huge leap of faith!
The image you see below started it all for us. 2 years ago, today, we had this precious newborn session. It was in that session, while April and the mother spoke about their missions to Africa, that God told April "the time is now, you have a son in Africa!" I could see the overwhelmed and shocking look on her face (I remember it like it was yesterday), but I thought it was only the coincidence of the 2 moms having been in Africa that made her gasp. April kept it quite, as she planned to talk herself out of it on her commute home. It was also this day that, spoken through a friend, I heard the same thing. "You should adopt," the friend mentioned unprompted.
If you have been following our story through our Facebook page (new blog to come soon!) you know that it has not been an easy road. Due to political and other various reasons, a process that was to be 8-10 months is 2 years in the making, and we still wait to be reunited with our son!
Through the years our talents have taken us many places. We've worked with non-profits such as Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, 4 Breath 4 Life (an amazing trip to Nigeria), and others. We've had the opportunity to capture many public figures, Mike Huckabee, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, and President Bill Clinton to name a few. This is not to boast, but only to say that of all the opportunities we've had, none can match the excitement of our next service mission!
In January 2015, our family will pack a few belongings, and move to our son's country, Dr Congo! We will finally get to raise him and bond as a family as we await for the door to open for us all to come home! Once we land, he will live with us full-time.
As much as we long to be with our son, we also wanted to take this precious time and serve! We have began to partner with a few U.S.-based organizations who serve orphanages in Kinshasa, DR Congo's capitol city. In speaking with the director, getting good video and photo coverage in such places has been a challenge. We will get to use our talents to help promote awareness, as well as show love to the orphans of DR Congo! (photo courtesy of Andrea Stewert)
Will the Business Close?
NO! Our business follows a pattern of busy and slow seasons. Jason will fly back to the states during peak seasons and continue to work the studio in those times.
Will you earn money while living in DR Congo?
As of right now, there will be no source of income. We will rely on our busy holiday season, and various fundraisers to carry us through to the next busy season. (Right now, we are selling custom-printed metal cuff bracelets to help raise money for the adoption. They make great Christmas gifts!) Any work we do will be voluntary.
How long will you live there?
We don't have an answer for that. We are being told
that the DR Congo legislation is working on much needed adoption laws and restructuring. We do not know how long it will be.
Where will the kids attend school?
April will homeschool the children. Although there is an American school in Kinshasa, it is quite expensive.
Where will we live?
Although there will certainly be challenges (frequent power outages, expensive food, etc), we will live in a suburb of Kinshasa. It will most likely be a small, 2-bedroom apartment that rents in the neighborhood of $1500 a month!
What about my Payment Plan Order?
There are currently no payment plan orders that extend into January, so once those are paid, your orders will be delivered on time and prior to our move. However, any payment plans that are currently late and not paid in full by December 1st of this year will risk their order not being delivered until May of 2015.
Does this affect Fall Family or Christmas Orders?
No, all future orders will continue as planned (with the exception of no payment plan being available). Our turnaround is fairly fast on orders when paid in full (or half and half option). The only orders that risk not being delivered are those who are late on the payment plan. This includes Christmas mini sessions :)
We are eternally grateful for the love and support of everyone. This period of our life has been an amazing adventure... full of valleys and mountain-tops. We are truly excited about being able to serve in this capacity, and on top of it all, FINALLY have Sam join his forever family! We love you all!
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