THE NEW HAMMETT FAMILY BLOG!

4 Sep

We have moved to a new blog!

http://www.hammettfamilyof3.wordpress.com

Come read about our 7 month experimental mutiny against excess  in our lives.
Less of us…More of Him!

 

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Gotcha Day

5 Jun

Dear Liv:

I woke up  filled with anxiety, hope, fear, joy, sadness…every emotion that God had put in me.  This day was the day that I had been waiting, praying, hoping and crying out for since the day I first laid eyes on you.  I woke up in St. Ann’s Convent in Kinshasa, DRC… and packed my bags full of baby toys, blankets, snacks, formula and tons of other things I assumed (but didn’t know) you would need.

We met Mayal, our in country escort, downstairs at 7:00 am.  We wasted no time, we were ready to meet you.

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We shoved four adults in the back seat of a car and began the hour journey into your neighborhood, Kimbanseke.  Each turn and bump brought us closer to you….as we drove  into your neighborhood I began to realize what God had rescued you from.

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As we wound our way deeper into the neighborhood the car came to a stop.  All we could see was a huge rusty, red iron gate and a wall that surrounded the orphanage on all sides.  We knocked on the iron door and a gentle-eyed orphanage worker opened the door.  The next few minutes will forever be a part of me.  I was standing in the only home you had ever known, standing face to face with all that you knew of family.  I am so thankful that God allowed me those moments.  I could hear school age children singing, cars honking, the loud sounds of Kimbanseke….but above everything else….BABIES CRYING.  That’s all I cared about because I knew that one of those babies was you LIV.  The tour of the orphanage was a blur.  I was ready to see you.  I didn’t care about anything else.  I just needed to find you.

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Mayal could sense my anxiety and told Victorine, the orphanage “mama”, that it was time to see the babies.  So they led us through a narrow hallway and into a room.

And there you were.  They brought you around the corner and immediately I began to weep.  You were (and are) beautiful.  You were the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.  You had giant brown eyes that didn’t match the size of your tiny body.  Your eyes told me everything.  You were quiet at first, no crying or fussing, just quiet.  You stared at me and your papa for the longest time.  You held your pointer finger and thumb together and started tapping the different textures and fabrics on us. You were already learning who we were.  That sweet tapping would be the way that you explored your new life.  You touched our faces and smiled.  You played with your toy elephant and then you fell asleep.

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We learned  you had only been fed every other day, about 8 ounces.  As the shock of joy faded away, what set in was the reality of your life.  We looked at how tiny you were, only 10 pounds at 9 months old.  You were lethargic and limp.  BUT,  YOU WERE ALIVE.  God had chosen to breathe life and breath into your lungs until we got to you.  YOU WERE KEPT ALIVE BY THE HAND OF GOD.

We met the workers who took care of you.   We met and played with all of the friends that you grew up with.  They sang us songs and even sang to you.  They are such beautiful friends Liv.  They adored you.  You were definitely the favorite.

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Your orphanage was small, one room that all of the children slept in.  There was no roof or windows, just four walls.  You shared a bed with your best friend Matthias (Oaks).  You two were the youngest babies in the orphanage.  Your orphanage had no bathrooms, no kitchen, no bath tubs.  There was a concrete slab where the meals were prepared and a hole that was used for a bathroom.

We shared a meal (I couldn’t eat), packed our things up and began to make our way to the big iron gate.

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This was it.  We were leaving with you.  Although joy and inexpressible gratitude filled my heart, a piece of me hurt more than I can explain.  You see baby girl, this moment, leaving the big iron gate, was the first step for you out of what you had known, your heritage and your home.  No matter how terrible a home, it was yours.  I was walking you into a new, foreign world.  I felt the weight of this responsibility as we left the gate that day.

IMG_5268(This pic is the last moment those who raised Liv had with her.  This is them telling her goodbye)

Out of the gate.  Into the car. The moment I had been waiting for an entire year.  You were ours.  From the moment we met you, OURS.  You loved us completely and we loved you.  There was no hesitation in you to let us take care of you.  You were not scared or timid.  You were not alarmed by your new world.  You took each second of each day with such courage and curiosity.  You never acted as if two strangers had just pulled you from your world.  You accepted it and loved us.

We spent the next month of our lives cooped up in what quickly became our safe haven, St. Ann’s Convent.  We played, read, sang songs, laid on the blanket and repeated it all the next day.  We learned so much about your personality and began to realize that not only had you been kept alive, but God had protected your personality, your mind and your spirit.  You were not dead inside.  You had a light in you.  You were (and are) so smart and aware.  And we also realized what would become our favorite thing about you:  YOU ARE HILARIOUS.

Today we celebrate your GOTCHA DAY.  The day that changed all of our lives forever.

We don’t just celebrate the adoption of you into our family.  Today we celebrate your mom, your dad, your country, your story and your heritage.  Your mama and papa are not ashamed or afraid of where you came from.  We are proud to have a piece of DRC in our home.  Today we celebrate that our God is a God of rescue and redemption.  That His love for us goes against all odds and proves that He will do whatever it takes to save His precious children.

You are precious to us and we celebrate you everyday.  Your mama and papa will ALWAYS fight for you.

You have found a family where you fit…where you are valued and where you will grow into the woman that God has designed for you to be.  You were wanted by a loving God…and you are wanted by us.

Happy Gotcha Day Liv Nima Hammett.

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“And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born.

“And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I made you flourish like a plant of the field. And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full adornment. Your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown; yet you were naked and bare.

“When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine. Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil. 10 I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with fine leather. I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk. And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor that I had bestowed on you, declares the LordGod.”

Ezekiel 16

Just Being Honest

31 May

I’m sure people read this blog and think why the duce do the Hammett’s write their blog to their kid. I’m sure it’s annoying.  Oh well.

Cassie and I read a lot of adoption blogs and love keeping up with everyone.  Sometimes I wonder if anyone other than me is freaking out!  I’m breaking the ice.

I’m scared to death y’all. Now, it’s been a long time fear of mine that I would have a child and then wake up the next day with pleated slacks and a combover.  That’s not really what I’m talking about (although that is still a fear).  When we decided to adopt from the Congo, all we heard about the country was negative.  War, rape, murder, greed….blah blah blah.  Y’all, we ran from it!  We told our family that we were adopting a boy from an Asian country, but we only said that out of fear.  We both knew that we were supposed to adopt a little girl from the Congo, but we were afraid for ourselves. It was something that God had to break us of.

For the longest time, I have felt like I was adopting a fake child from a fake country. It was all theory.  Some adoption agency has a direct connection to my wallet and it will never end!  Now it’s here! It’s evidently real. This is happening, but guess what….we are both still scared.  We are worried about the food, we are worried about safety, money, culture, air travel, becoming parents, we both have business back home, unknown return dates….. The list is probably a million reasons long of why I constantly feel like throwing up.

After our $600 Target run for our trip and us both spending an hour breathing into paper bags, I really felt a peace.  I can name one million reasons of why I’m scared. I can name one reason why I’m adopting.  The 1 some how outweighs 1,000,000.  God called my family to adopt a little girl from the Congo.  No matter how many times I want to crap my pants, I’m reminded that God told us to do this.  He will take care of us. In scripture and in our lives, we’ve seen God prove himself faithful over and over again.

I think a lot of us adopting parents feel this pressure to rescue our children from this “hell” they live in. Through this process, over and over, we have learned that GOD ALONE WILL RESCUE!  This is His story, His love, His grace, His safety, His power and we get to be a part in it!  I’m looking at the odds. 1 to 1,000,000 and I’m going with it.  The calling of God on our lives over fear. The safest place my family will ever be is in the center of God’s will.

-B

Dance!!!

2 May

Hey Baby Liv!

We have been waiting 5 weeks for a typo to be fixed on your documents.  It has been the worst 5 weeks of our whole process to you.  I just want to always be honest with you.  The last 5 weeks have really pushed us, challenged us and just about wore us out.

But we chose last night that we were going to begin waiting more gracefully.  We want to be parents who are more in love with God than you or anything else!  We truly do trust Him.  We love Jesus so much.

God has called us to fight for you… and a fight it has been!

Today we received word that your documents got fixed and we can start the final stages of bringing you home.

Your dad and I went into your room and we DANCED!!!  We did a few minutes of victory dancing!

WE LOVE YOU LIV!!!  We have so much planned for your arrival.  We are SO honored to fight for you.  We will fight for you forever!!

Love
Mom

2 May

 

Dear Sweet Liv

Sometimes other people can say it better than we can. I just want you to know that we are doing everything we can to get you home. EVERYTHING!

See you soon 🙂
Dad

Speechless

27 Apr

Hey little Liv.

About a week ago your dad and I got two new pictures of you.

There are literally no words to say how beautifully perfect you are.  You have the most amazing eyes and have the coolest hair!  I was literally speechless when I saw you…no words only tears.

You are my child.  You look like me…which I know is odd because you’re black and I’m white, but you do. You look like your mama.

You are sitting up in the picture!  We want you to know how we cheered for you sitting up like a big girl!  We are so proud of you for doing that and we hope that when you did it the first time everyone cheered and clapped!!

I am so thankful for whoever taught you to sit up.  We are so happy that someone sat down with you and helped you learn how to do that.

I am so sad that I am not with you as you are learning to do all of those fun things.  I love you so much sweet Liv.

The day I got your new pictures, something happened in my heart that I have not ever felt.  I have never loved anything or anyone (besides God and your dad) as much as I love you.  You have changed my life.  My heart is tethered to you.  God has made me your mom and I am so honored.

You amaze me.  You are beautiful.

love

your mom

CONCERNED

5 Mar

Hey precious Liv:

Your father and I have an overwhelming concern that we wanted to share with you.

As we are preparing to become your parents, thinking about what that’s going to look like, thinking about all of the things we are going to teach you and do together…we are frozen with fear over something.

This something, if our fears are realized, will stare us in the face everyday…and will follow all of us around…

YOUR HAIR.

We have NO clue how to do your hair.  I know not one thing about doing ethnic hair… not one thing.

We don’t want to be those white parents with the nappy headed child.

We don’t want to get sad glances and pity looks.

We want you to know that we are researching, learning, PRAYING and asking questions about how best to handle the situation.

I ask every woman I see with hair that I love … “excuse me mam…can you tell me how you did your hair like that…. ”  and I whip out my phone and take notes.

Liv, we love you too much not to handle this issue with urgency and seriousness.

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE ARE AFRAID OF:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9RhU6oMWeo&feature=related

We found a blog that could be a life-line for us…and you:

Chocolate Hair, Vanilla Care

http://www.chocolatehairvanillacare.com/

DO NOT FEAR…we will be ready when you get here.

YOUR mom and dad