Friday, October 29, 2010

fo sho yo!

Well after speaking to dear lawyer last night I learned that yes, we indeed must have our case heard in the smaller local town. Yes, we must wait for the judge to take bench at the beginning of November. No, dear lawyer has no idea how long it will take to get a court date. Yes, he is aware of the timing issue and we more than likely will have to wait until the new year for a court hearing.

YES, as of last night, I am for sure leaving soon. In just four and a half days to be exact. I need to come home. My little boy is sick, J. is tired and so is grandma (she hasn't complained but I am sure), my kids need a mom, and I miss my family and friends terribly. I am so anxious to get home, regroup, and spend some good ole' quality time with my people. It's been great being here, but I MISS HOME. I have missed nearly all of my second favorite season, autumn. I am missing trick or treating, carving pumpkins, yummy food, and harvest activities with my kids. But I am sooo looking forward to Thanksgiving at my parent's house with my mom's excellent turkey dinner.

See ya when I am home and settled in, yo!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


No news, just in case you were wondering.
Dear lawyer was not able to meet with important person today. Will try tomorrow. If he can guarantee us a favorable judge we shall go with that.

I have no idea what that means.

In other news, my baby S. is sick. He's had a fever for two days. J. took him to the doctor to rule out vp shunt issues. The doc said it looks like a virus. I feel so bad I am not with him while he feels lousy.

Speaking of sick, there are about 5 kids I am living with here who have been sharing their germs with me. I feel like I have been fighting this bug off for a week.

I am ready to get off this crazy train. Right about NOW.

So now what?

Yesterday was supposed to be a day with some answers. But after checking the email and carrying my phone around with me all day, I heard that our attorney was not able to do what he said he would. I believe there was some situation that he didn't have control over that delayed his actions. He said today he will try.

But my return flight is getting closer and closer, less than a week away. My people back home really want me there (and I do too)! I reminded dear lawyer that I am planning on returning home if we don't get word of a court date in the very near future. If this happens, we most likely will not be returning until after the New Year. This makes me sad. We feel like our hands are tied. And for some reason the timing we desire does not seem to be God's plan. So, soon I will be back home and try to resume normalcy for a while. And pinch pennies yet again to save for another trip to Africa. Maybe by this evening I will have WONDERFUL news of miraculous proportion. But I am not holding my breath. Too many lets downs after being here eight weeks does that to a person.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

my baby

My baby turns three in just a couple months. Why am I writing about that now? Because this week he will begin the evaluation process to see if he qualifies for developmental preschool, the same one that E. is in. He will also no longer be part of the wonderful birth to three program he is in now. If he qualifies, he will start going right after his birthday, but will be in the morning class. E. is in the afternoon one.

On Wednesday some people are coming out to our house to play with S. and do the beginning stages of the process. I wish I could be there to advocate for him.

Right now, S. is doing pretty good. He has excellent large motor skills and can run almost faster than K, age 7! He is getting pretty good with his speech too, which he needed help with in the past. I am not sure if he will qualify for preschool or not. But, I hope they will take into consideration how much he is at risk. He does, after all have several brain anomalies, a shunt and Chiari Malformation. He will be having surgery in a year or so too, which could set him back developmentally.
Will keep you posted. Oh how I miss my S. He gives THE BEST hugs and kisses. And I can almost hear his voice and imagine what he will shout when I see him again, "HI, MAAAMMAAA!"

Monday, October 25, 2010

what's going on

Today we got word that no one knows when the new judge is arriving in the nearby court.

Tomorrow our attorney is going to be talking to the people in the capital's court to see if we can refile and try again at having our case heard there. Please pray. I am not sure if this means weeks of waiting or not. If things don't move quickly we will miss our window of opportunity and have to wait until after the New Year to have court.

Today I went with M. and saw the orphanage she lived in before she came here. I took some pictures that I will post later. But I can say that I am SOO glad she is at HSH and is getting excellent care. It was good to see the town she came from and meet some of the aunties who cared for her there. I got to hold a few babies too!

Tonight the power is out, it has been since before lunch actually. I need to save batteries on my laptop. But I wanted to get this prayer request out there.
Please please pray.
We need a miracle.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunny Sunday

I woke up, sent M. out to do her morning routine, put earplugs in my ears and fell asleep for another hour this morning. After showering and getting dressed and ready for church, we all loaded up in the Land Cruiser. I sat in the front holding Opio. He loves riding in the front but jumps every time the horn goes off or someone coughs! We went to Calvary Chapel and had a wonderful time of fellowship, worship and bible study. Pastor JB even remembered my name! Many people there are praying for our situation and ask every week how things are progressing.

After church, we loaded up again and drove home on the bumpy, dusty red road. Opio honked the horn MANY times for Auntie to open the gate. We ate a meal of red beans and rice, with avacado slices on the side. The aunties still give me a huge portion, so when I am full, I slide some onto my neighbors' plates. These kids can EAT!

I went to my room, changed into comfortable clothes, checked my email, prayed and listened to an African thunder storm. Beautiful. I took a little nap and now am just taking a few minutes to check in with you all. I really could use some encouragement. I am lonely and feel so out of touch.

This week I have hope. I feel it. It is OUR WEEK. Please join us in prayer that this will be the week we will get a court date. Or at least hear one is in the near future.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Taking care of things at home

When I am a gazillion miles away.

My husband came home with a lot to do, and I am so glad that he had a few days off to deal with things before starting work again. In the last week he has:
  • Mowed the lawn
  • Cleaned the roof and gutters
  • Fixed the fireplace door
  • Scheduled and went to two parent teacher conferences
  • Dealt with insurance companies and bills for a prosthetic leg for big K. (praise God all the fees are covered!)
  • Gotten sick with a cold.
  • Cooked and ran errands

THANK YOU for being such a wonderful husband and father J.

I so thankful to my mother in law who has been staying at our house since AUGUST. She is one trooper of a grandma. I am also thankful for my parents for taking kids for overnight visits, for friends who have taken kids to do fun activities, brought over a meal or two, fixed our oven, refrigerator and gave a discount on the repairs for the fireplace door. I am so grateful for your prayers.

Since I really have no idea of when I will return home, I decided to spend a little bit of my time here planning and making lists. I am a list maker! I need some ideas and imput from you.

1. Ideas for easy, healthy meals. I don't really need recipes, just ideas. Throw them out at me, I don't mind. Even if it's just "spaghetti and garlic bread", it may be something I hadn't thought about.

2. Ideas for Christmas gifts for my children and family members. We are on a budget ($25-50 a person) and I won't have much time at all to shop. I most likely won't be able to make gifts either.

3. Ideas for chore assignments for 5-6 kids ranging in ages 13 to 2.

A timely study

I am doing a bible study by Focus on the Family (women's series) called Balanced Living. God has used this to speak to me in just the right moment!
"When you read this bible verse (Jeremiah 29:11) and insert the Hebrew definitions it reads as follows:

For I know the purpose that I am planning for you; the purpose is for completeness, soundness, welfare and peace. The ultimate purpose of your life is not distress, misery, injury or calamity. It is to give you hope and something to expect in the after part- posterity and your reward.

If God's purpose is to bring us to completion and to give us soundness, welfare and peace, then perhaps we are not trapped in our present situation, but planted. God uses difficult circumstances to teach us contentment and to bring us closer to Him. We can say that we want to change and that we want to love God more, but He knows that without His help change is virtually impossible. Who of us will push ourselves to grow or mature on command? We can't! It's always a process. God uses our circumstances to help shape us into the women He designed us to be. Are you willing to let God have complete control of the process?"

Jeremiah 29: 12- 14
"In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you, says the Lord. I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Long overdue update

I have not updated this blog in quite awhile. In fact I was just thinking about shutting it down. But I think I will keep it up for now and update when possible.
I came to Uganda in August. I stayed for three weeks waiting for a court date. We got one for the end of Sept. So I went home for two weeks to be with my family and my husband and I came together for court. At the court date, the judge dismissed us and sent our file to Jinja. It got there a few weeks later, then we pushed and tried to be seen before Jeremiah left to come home. The judge couldn't see us, she is transferring to a new position at the end of Oct. So I am here by myself, waiting until next week when we might here some news about a new court date in Jinja with the new judge. Praying for a miracle. If things don't work out then I may return home on my scheduled flight, Nov. 3. Not sure what will happen from there, since we are out of money to purchase another ticket to Uganda, especially when the holidays come around. Plus Mercy's caregiver is planning a trip to Holland in December and she must be present in court. And then ticket prices get crazy expensive. Also there is the issue of elections here. Really dangerous to be in country during that time. Please pray. Consider how you might help our family. I am broken, tired, and weak. But putting all my faith in Him.

making "plans"

I have learned you really can't plan how things will go here, that you just need to be very flexible and go with the flow. But I feel like it is time to start thinking about coming home again. My return flight is Nov. 3. I THINK that if something doesn't happen in the next two weeks, I may just be on that flight home. I miss my family and am tired. Many people have been going to court and some have already left with their children. While I am so happy for them, it is so difficult to see. My selfish heart thinks, "Why can't that be us? M. deserves this! I have been here a long time and am not even through the first step!"

There is also an issue that needs prayer regarding an important document that is needed to get the visa. Hopefully our lawyer is working on it as promised and we will get it taken care of soon.

Of course, if I do fly home in the next few weeks that means we will need to purchase yet ANOTHER airline ticket to come back in the future. We are out of money and are praying for God's provision for this if need be.

"You can make many plans, but the Lord's purpose will prevail." Proverbs 19:21

Monday, October 18, 2010

Daily life here

Many have asked what it is like here. I am staying in the home where M. has lived the last two years. There are 14 children at this children's home run by a Dutch woman (Mercy calls her "mama") and her husband. M. and I have our own little room and bathroom. It has been great as she gets to know me to be in a familiar environment.

Here is a little idea of what goes on at HSH:
  • 6:30 am: M. wakes me up or the alarm goes off. She goes out the door and walks to the main house to take her medication, shower and get dressed.
  • 7:00 am: I get up, shower and dress. The school aged children leave for school.
  • 8:00 am: The kids take porridge. I eat a granola bar or some bread with peanut butter.
  • 8:30 am to 12 pm: The children play. They have scooters, a swing, a trampoline, and several toys. Some like to play quiet games. Some like to be read to. M.'s favorite activities are riding the scooter, pushing someone on the scooter, or jumping on the tramp. If the weather is poor, they may watch a video inside.
  • 12 pm: Lunch, beans and rice or posho usually.
  • 1:00 pm: The older children arrive home, eat and do homework. Then they do some sort of activity. Sometimes it is exciting like walking to the market, going to mama's house, or walking to the nearby resort. Sometimes it is drawing or making art. Sometimes it is playing with the neighbor children or playing in water outside. Children also have chores to do as well. I sometimes take a break and go to my room for some quiet time, like now I am online. I have been working on a bible study as well.
  • 5:00 pm: Shower time, the kids shower and get ready for dinner.
  • 6:00 pm: Dinner. The kids sit down at a big long dining table and benches. They pray and eat their meal. Then they have a bible study, sing a few songs, thank the Lord, and brush teeth.
  • 6:30 pm: The children usually watch a short video.
  • 7:00 pm: Medication time. The children taking medication go to the auntie for water and meds. M. is usually ready to go to our room by then. We walk to our room, use the toilet, pray and quiet down for sleeping. She usually falls asleep by 7:45 pm.
  • The rest of the evening I will spend reading, watching a movie, playing solataire, talking to family at home, or online. I try to go to sleep no later than 11 pm.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

how I feel

This is my first try at poetry since high school. Don't judge!

Laying in the shadows while the mist slowly falls
tears falling at the same rate.

I feel lost, hopeless, forgotten,
tormented by dark thoughts of things that could be.

Daily I am reminded of the limited time I have on earth,
wishing I can go back and savor each moment with those I love.

How could God bring me as a foreigner to this place
and abandon me?

I felt my father calling me here,
obediently I came.
But where is He now, has He gone?

Is He disciplining His impatient child?
Was it really the Lord's voice I heard?

"Trust me"
Resisting the voice of darkness I turn to listen.

Now the gentleness of God's hand is guiding me,
out of the shadows through the storm of tears.

He has a plan, far better than I can imagine.
Selfishly I wish for a glimpse of that promise,
but trust.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Around here

Not much is new around here. Just waiting around here for the 25th to come. That is when the new judge takes bench and we should be able to put some pressure on. Pray with us!

We had a big storm last night but it only lasted less than an hour. It was kinda nice because it made me feel like I was home in fall weather!

We took most of the children on field trip to this ranch. One of the volunteers lined it up for us to come, see the horses and they each went on a short ride. M. loved it and one of the first ones in the saddle. She smiled the whole time. When the adoption is final I will post some pictures, I promise.

J. made it home safely. He sounded very tired and said he is freezing. Must be a shock to the system! I am NOT looking forward to going home to freezing tempuratures and I am sure M. will not enjoy it! The kids at home liked the gifts we bought them. We got L. a leather bracelet and quiver made of animal skin. C. got a bracelet and a painting for her room. K. got a bracelet and a small purse. E. and S. got cute little african shirts. We also bought a few batiks and a drum for the family.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

He's gone

My J. left just a bit ago. Please keep him in prayer as he rides 3-4 hours to the airport in dangerous traffic, goes through security checks at the airport and boards his flight to leave at 10pm African time. He will arrive on Friday morning, pacific time.

I am sad and lonely already but M. is here keeping me company. She was sad to see him go but took the news of his departure better than she did when I left. Probably because I am still here with her.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Things I have experienced in country...

  • Riding a little motorcycle called a boda boda, a main form of transportation here.
  • Eating a samosa (veggies and beans wrapped in a dough similar to a wonton, yum).
  • Atending church that makes me feel at home.
  • Riding a boat to the source of the Nile, Lake Victoria.
  • Making mud pies out of red clay.
  • Jumping on a trampoline.
  • Seeing a man fall off the back of a boda boda, then jump up and get on again.
  • Getting sunburned at the pool, even with enough sunblock to make my skin whiter than it already is.
  • Watching my hubby play futbol (soccer) with local kids.
  • A cockroach in my bed.
  • Attending a Ugandan Independence Day celebration, ie a political rally. We were the only muzungus in the crowd.
  • Shopping at the market for food for the children.
  • Ryans chips masala and chicken coconut curry at Kingfisher.
  • Seeing my hubby lead worship with an all Ugandan worship team!
  • Walking (or footing it, as the locals say) across an old foot bridge over the Nile.
  • Seeing a dead man in the middle of the road early on our way to Kampala.
  • Watching Auntie Aida eat a whole fish head. The others had the rest, not a piece wasted.
  • Pushing M. in the tire swing.
  • Extreme thunder and lightning storms.
  • Playgrounds that in no way would meet US safety standards.
  • Running from a huge stork diving towards me while making some sort of strange prehistoric/alien sound effects.
  • Feeling so impatient with the process.
  • Being called Muzungu (white person) everywhere we went. It's like we're rock stars!
  • Giving high fives, hand shakes and fist bumps (bongas) to the local children.
  • Buying beef at the local market, cut straight from the carcass.
  • Seeing a man carrying a queen sized bed on the back of a boda.
  • Making many new friends. People here are so friendly.
  • Small children begging for money.
  • True worship and prayers before bed for the children at the orphanage.
  • Beautiful birds.
  • Waking to a rooster crowing at 5 am.
  • Sweating buckets from walking a half a mile in the sun.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Seeing too many people dumpster diving.
  • Having my feet turn orange from the dirt roads.
  • Swimming with M.
  • Court hearings in the capital.
  • Beautiful art and crafts.
  • A Christian rap concert and getting interviewed by a tv station prior.
  • Learning a bit about Ugandan history.
  • Opportunities to read books.
  • Buying and enjoying a fresh ripe pineapple.
  • Seeing a man ride the rapids on a water jug down Bujagali Falls.
  • Watch fisherman cast their nets on the river.
  • Holding M. as she is suffering from a seizure.
  • Off roading daily on unpaved, eroded muddy roads.
  • Seeing how SLOWLY things move here.
  • Watching a poorly edited local soap opera.
  • Loading four adults and 11 children into an eight passanger vehicle.
  • Taking several cold showers a day. You learn to love them.
  • Loving on 14 special children every day.
  • A lovely iced vanilla latte occasionally in town.
  • Witnessing extreme poverty.
  • Meeting wonderful missionary families who are doing wonderful things.
  • Extreme disappointment and let down.
  • Ugandan "drive thru", buying chapati from a stand while driving through the middle of a small village.
  • Feeling like there is a perfect plan in all this and a reason we are here now.
  • The "swimming attire" for some local kids at the pool, see through, suits on backwards, etc!
  • Feeling secure, yet not so much with armed soldiers, police and security everywhere.
  • Learning different English words. Like "shading" for coloring, "smart" for handsome or cute, and so on.
  • Drying off with a crunchy line dried towel.
  • Hearing a praise testimony at church about a village duck thief.
  • Going to the Speke Monument (explorer who discovered the source of the Nile).
  • Getting wet, slobbery kisses from M.
  • Stepping over goats in the middle of the road or path.
  • Feeding chickens from the dining table.
  • Spending lots of quality time with my husband.
  • Waiting too long to eat a popsicle and drinking it instead.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

No go

We showed up at the courthouse before 9am. We noticed we were not on the court calendar. Our lawyer said he was going to talk with the judge. We waited and waited. M. got scolded when she was listening to music on the cell phone and dancing. Then we waited and waited some more. The lawyer came back at 12 and said the judge refused to hear our case. She is being tranferred at the end of the month. So we are back to the beginning. We may be able to see if another judge in the capital can hear our case since we tried to go to court here. But we will see. If not, we may have to wait until the beginning of November for another hearing to be scheduled.

Many thoughts are running through our heads. We are trying to decide what to do in the situation we have to wait several more weeks. It is so expensive to keep flying back and forth, and hard for my kids to have their mother absent. So far I have been gone from them over 6 weeks total. That's a long time! Ugh, I just want to scream and I don't understand why no one is showing any mercy on this case.

I so wish I could drown my sorrows in a pint of chocolate peanut butter ice cream.

Monday, October 11, 2010

We're online!

We got the laptop to charge, and went out today to purchase a wireless modem and monthly internet plan. We now can update more often, just in time for an urgent prayer request.

To be vague, we are going to court at 9am tomorrow. We need many many prayers as there are several complications to our case and many reasons the just could decide to postpone, delay or not hear it. It was a miracle to even get the date tomorrow and we are so thankful for this. Please pray it goes smoothly, that we are seen by the judge, for safe travels for those advocating for us and M. and for favor.

We have had an amazing few weeks here. We have seen and experienced so much, will have to post more about that soon. Thanks for your continued prayers and support for our family.