We are at an internet cafe using the internet, since the laptop is still refusing to cooperate and the battery will not charge. We have had a busy week, traveling, catching up on missed sleep, meeting M., going to the capital for court, seeing beautiful falls on the Nile, going to church, meeting friends in town, riding a boda (J's first time), shopping at the market for the orphanage.
We had a lousy day on Friday with our court date. We were the last to appear before the judge, and he did not understand why our case was filed there. He believed it should be filed closed to where M. is from. So that is what we are doing now. It was filed yesterday, and we will see what happens. This is very strange to us and our lawyer. I don't want to go into many details, but we need lots of prayers. There are many ways this can go, but it doesn't feel like this will be a smooth process.
We have heard from home a few times, and they sound like they are doing well. We are well too, enjoying being here together. We've seen some beautiful and ugly things in this country. So grateful to be able to experience life here and have time to learn and grow.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
We arrived here safely. We had good flights, no delays or problems, praise God! All 6 or our bags made it too. We are staying overnight at a local hotel, then will get in a taxi in the morning to drive to M.'s house. Hoping to be able to update after court on Friday. Please be praying!
Monday, September 20, 2010
kids pretending to be on the airplane to America!
We are leaving tomorrow!! I am mostly packed, have the house somewhat cleaned up and am a nervous wreck. Just spent the last hour answering emails about lodging, making phone calls, printing out visa paperwork, and had J. run some errands. Grandma is on her way across the state right now.
We have run into some small obstacles to overcome and could use your prayers for the next few days and months to come.
- Our oldest is home sick today with sore throat and headache.
- Our oven is not working properly and we don't have time to have it replaced or fixed before we leave. Hoping Grandma can work around it for a few weeks, or just plan to have the food take twice as long to cook in the oven!
- Our attorney wants a report from a doctor for court. We seemed to have a miscommunication and thought it was an optional thing needed. We didn't have time to do it while I was in country, but we did get a report from a different doctor. Lawyer still wants that report and we hope that it can get done this week before Friday.
Please pray for our flights, health, safety and protection. PLEASE be praying Friday (actually if you are living in the NW you should pray Thursday night, around 11/midnight) for our court hearing. Pray the judge appears in court, for a favorable ruling, and for M's behavior as we may need to sit and wait for several hours. Way too boring for a five year old. Pray that there are no delays and we can get a ruling very quickly. Pray that the passport and visa process goes quickly too, without any problems.
Pray for our children at home too please. They are making a great sacrifice too, having us both go to another country for several weeks. L. is even giving up playing fall soccer! And they are cheerful about the whole thing, for the most part. Pray that more helpers will come forward to bless these kids and their grandma.
On a lighter note:
C. celebrated her 12th birthday over the weekend. We bought her an inexpensive digital camera, something she has wanted for a long time. I think you can tell by the photo that she was really excited!
I was treated to dinner and theater by my mom on Saturday. We went to dinner at a tapas restaurant. We ate a lot of good food, then walked to the theater to see Burn the Floor. It was a mixture of different ballroom/swing/latin dancing. I really enjoy watching dancing and theater. When I was younger; before my interest in boys, then babies, it was my life and passion. I spent 13 years taking lessons, performing and touring with my dance team. Some of my greatest childhood memories involved dancing. This show really made me want to take some swing or ballroom lessons with my hubby, or even adult jazz/tap? Someday, when life is less crazy perhaps.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
E. had a great first and second day of preschool. He was so excited about riding the school bus. He seemed a little worried about it at first, but when the little yellow bus pulled up in front of our house, he started giggling and running toward it! He climbed in, met the driver and got buckled into his booster seat. I cried when they drove away. He rode to school and back (about 45 minutes each way) and was still excited about it the next day. He told me that he told his teacher he loves her. He made friends. He said he is learning "about how to walk instead of run", and "how to put stickers on the thing". This is going to be a year of huge growth for E., I can already see it.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I have been spending my days at home getting ready for our upcoming trip. J. will be gone for a little more than three weeks. Me, for as long as it takes to get M. home. I am praying less than a month.
It is hard for us to ask for help. I feel like a lot of people have thoughts like, "Well you decided to adopt again and travel, so you should arrange for your family to be well provided for." I can understand that viewpoint to a degree, but let me just say that we didn't really decide to adopt again on our own. It was something that the Lord prompted in our hearts to do. He called us to it. Really. In my prayers I actually had many questions, concerns and excuses for why we shouldn't adopt M. Lots of them. Friends and family have expressed some to us too. We know it is a lot to leave our kids without parents for a long time. To travel across the country when we couldn't afford it. To welcome into our family a child with extra special needs.
J's mom said she would come and stay as long as she is needed. My parents will most likely spend time with a few kids at their home when they can. My friend has offered to help as well.
***Also wanted to add this about my mother in law. She is willing to come here, to take care of her grandchildren. She lives across the state. She may even have to give up her job, and she is willing to do that for us! What a wonderful woman. One who will need and deserves some help. She is not likely to ask for it.***
It terrifies me to leave our five children. It makes me sad to think how much I will miss them and they will miss us. My girls get teary eyed just talking about it. My little boys are so little. One is still forming attachments and bonding with us. One has special needs. Ugh, my heart hurts just typing this.
We will need support.
We will need help.
We will need prayer warriors.
We will need encouragement.
There is a Care Calendar set up for people who would like to help us in practical ways. I don't want to give out the code publicly on here, but if you would like to help please contact me or Sarah at email@example.com to get the code to view it.
Here are some ways our local friends/family can lend a hand:
- offer to take one or a few kids for a break for my mom in law, even if it's to McDonald's Playland to burn off energy and have some ice cream!
- bring over a meal (even pizza is great!)
- offer to help with housework or yard work
- help in case something is needed with the house/property
- offer to run errands for my kids/ mom in law
- take a kid to an appointment or school if needed
- pray, pray, pray
- send us emails or Facebook messages with words of encouragement
- we may need help with unexpected finances while we are gone
Some ways out of town friends/family can help:
- call my family at home to encourage, check in, and pray
- send emails or facebook messages to us to encourage and lift our spirits
- send notes, letters, care packages to our children
- send gift cards to favorite eateries for a special treat (you know, the places kids love!)
- pray pray pray for us!
- put us on your prayer chain at church, ask anyone you know to pray
- we may need help with unexpected finances while we are gone
Thank you to all of you who have carried this burden with us so far. For people who have been praying. For family who have helped. For rides to and from the airport. For meals brought over. For special cards tucked in my luggage. For fundraisers held to benefit M. For encouraging words. For donations for us to bring to the kids at the orphanage. Even people in country have been so gracious. We really do appreciate it all!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
across the road
fruit from the oil palms
beautiful flowers outside my bathroom window
kids washing shoes
I love being home but images of my trip remain in my head. It's amazing I have only been home a week, but I am already back to the same routine (minus television since we cancelled our service before I left). I miss M. a lot and it sounds like she is doing well. She is excited to meet her Daddy and keeps talking about me pampering her while I was there. Not sure where she learned that word? I don't believe I ever said anything like that and I tried to keep things normal for her as much as possible. Of course, she loved the semi private room and the new (to her) clothes and shoes. And we got to go on some fun road trips with just her. But other than that...
Except for having to leave the kids, I am excited to return next week. I want to experience it all again with my love by my side. I hope to do a few more tourist type things while he is with me. I didn't get quite brave enough to go out on my own.
Well, I may have missed the first day of L. and K.'s parent partnership homeschool classes, but I did NOT miss C. and E.'s first days! This was due to a teachers' strike in their district. C. started sixth grade yesterday. Classes were delayed nearly a week. She rode the bus to school and we met her there for photos and to meet her teacher. She has a male teacher this year and he seemed nice. Today she got all her work in order when she got home and packed her lunch for tomorrow!
L. and K. go to a homeschool program outside of our district since ours doesn't offer anything similar. L. is going to classes three and a half days a week with other homeschooled jr. highers. K. goes to classes two times a week, and I will teach her the remaining days.
E. goes to developmental preschool in our district. His first day is tomorrow. He is going to be riding a school bus (for 45 minutes one way!) and can hardly stop talking about it! I really hopes he enjoys it because he will be on it a lot. He is going four days a week in the afternoons this year, which makes me a bit nervous since he sometimes is pretty tired or cranky after lunch. He can't wait to see his teacher again, and the friends he has in his class.
Monday, September 13, 2010
I made it back home with no problems. I actually got home on Thursday, but have just been enjoying my family and trying to stay off the computer. Being without it for three weeks was hard, but nice after a while! We bought a new adapter so we should hopefully be able to get internet this coming trip.
I am still getting over the jet lag, waking up every morning at 5 am. I have been going to be really early too, around 8:30 or 9. There is a 10 hour time difference so it really seems difficult! The way there was not too bad, I was over it in less than a week, but I almost always had a difficult time falling asleep.
I was staying in a guest room (actually the old bedroom of the director of the children's home), with M. We had two twin beds pushed together. It had a bathroom and shower, and was nice to have some privacy. M. and I usually went to bed around 7:30 pm. She would fall asleep quickly, while I spent lots of time reading. Then we would wake before 7 am to take her morning medication.
As far as her health: I imagined the worse case scenario, and was happy she was better than I expected. Her needs are great, and there is a lot of questions about what her needs will be long term in my mind. But she is a happy, funny little girl who loves attention. She is very active, even though her leg turns in and is weak on her right side. She slurs her words sometimes and is difficult to understand at times. She drools sometimes when she is laughing or smiling. She sometimes makes some impulsive decisions. And she cries about things very easily. This is due to her medications we think.
M. had two big seizures on the day I met her. One right after we said our hellos. It was scary for me, and I was really thankful her caregiver "mama" was there to comfort her and love her during the attack. It lasted a very long time, and then M. was very sleepy most of the day. The second was after we drove a few hours to get to the home. Our room was being made up and bedding was being brought in, and she fell on the floor. That evening she ate very little and vomited twice before bed.
While I was there I was able to meet with our attorney twice, and he was able to secure our court date. The judge situation there is still pretty bad, but the judge assigned us a date for the 24th. Please pray that he will show up. A friend had a date a few weeks ago and her case was still not heard. We really need God to do big things for things to move smoothy!
After our court hearing, we will wait for a written ruling. Then we can apply for a passport and after that a visa. We were able to take M. to the medical appointment for the visa. She had to go in for chest x-rays after a positive TB skin test, but it is all fine. Just an extra trip to the capital. The doctor at the medical appointment was VERY nice and was able to explain many things to us after looking at M's MRI and CT images. He agreed to write a separate report for us to use in court if needed.
It was a hard decision to make about coming back home for a short time before returning. The cost is big, but it was worth it to see my other children and husband again. Three weeks is a really long time to be away. I was so glad that ticket prices have dropped almost eight hundred dollars since last time, AND we were so blessed by the yard sale our church hosted for us. It was a HUGE help. My mother in law was also able to take a break and go home and to her job for a week while I am home. School is starting up for the kids, and I am happy to be home to help them get into the groove of things.
I have been SO blessed by people, situations and circumstances in my life recently. Church yesterday was so wonderful and amazing. I was moved to tears and very emotional most of the time! I can believe how much God has provided during this process. We are blessed with wonderful friends who brought over dinner a few times. Blessed by our family who were able to care for the children. And blessed by other friends and family who have prayed with us during this journey, who have contributed financially, helped with the yard sale, and sent good thoughts our way!
My friend has set up a care calendar to help with things on the home front since BOTH parents are going to be gone for several weeks. If you would like to help in anyway, big or small, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you the code to access the calendar.
Also, I am collecting donations for M's orphanage. There are 14 children there, from age 2 to 15. Most of the children there have special needs. I was so blessed to be able to get to know these children while there. They are all very special. If you want to donate to them, you may contact me or make a donation on the paypal button.
Sorry, no pictures of M. are allowed until after the court date. If you really are dying to see some, you can request an invite to our private blog. I haven't updated it yet, but will get to it soon.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
The court date has been confirmed, and I bought two round trip tickets to Uganda today. WOW! Hard to believe, but so thankful for Gods faithfulness and the love and support of friends and family.
Kim will be flying home later this week. Then, in less then two weeks after that, she and I will be flying all the way back.
Gonna need a lot of prayer on this one. Looking for safe flights, no missing luggage, and just 'cause we have a court date, doesn't guarantee the judge will grant us custody.
God is gracious and we have faith that His will shall prevail. We just need to remember to align our own desires with His.
Thank you Mom for being here and taking care of the kids while we are off traipsing around the globe. Thank you Nancy and Lanny as well, for your support and help with everything.
Sorry I haven't updated often. (I'm not much of a blogger really.) Kim will be back soon, and I'm sure will have more then enough to blog about for days on end. Without a computer the past 3 weeks, I'm sure she's just itch'n to get back at the keyboard.
Ya know, someday, Kim and I will take a big fancy trip somewhere, and not bring a kid back...maybe. They do make entertaining little souvenirs.