Don't freak out. We're not adopting 10 more. Sure, I dream of adding more Africans to our family, but we're not completely insane!! Or are we?
We received word yesterday that the Liberian refugee family that we are going to sponsor will arrive in Philly on February 11th. For those of you who haven't heard the story, in November our church was offered the opportunity to sponsor a Liberian refugee family that has been staying in a refugee camp in Sierra Leone. It's a mother, her 2 adult children, and her 7 school aged kids. They've been through some really horrific stuff that won't surprise you if you know much about the war in Liberia (or Sierra Leone or Uganda or the DRC). Peter and I only had to consider for about 2 minutes before agreeing to be on the resettlement team.
Resettling a family basically means doing everything for them for the first 4 months they are here. Finding them housing, jobs, English classes, and schools. Furnishing their new home. Clothing them. Teaching them to use electricity and running water. Teaching the older ones to drive. Applying for social security cards and social services. Taking them all to doctor and dentist appointments. Teaching them how to manage money. Teaching them where to shop and what to buy. You get the idea.
It's a huge job, but we have a great team of a dozen or so people who have committed to make it happen. So what did I do? I agreed to be the team coordinator. That means that I will be the family's primary contact, and I will have to make sure the team is doing everything that needs to be done.
And part of the family will be staying with us for the first week or two while we get them ready to transition into their own home. And it's likely that the whole family will be eating at our house a lot of nights during those first weeks. And I'm leaving for Guatemala for 9 days on March 7, leaving Peter alone with the kids for his first extended period of time. But we're all fine with it. No stress here. None at all.
I'll post more soon about the kids' reaction to all this excitement and a list of ways you can pray if you're into that sort of thing.