Sunday, June 28, 2009

He's mine now

I took Andrew to the doctor yesterday, and he has a viral respiratory infection and pink eye. It is highly contagious so he spent the night at the guesthouse with us. We were having a pretty good night until a little after midnight. He had an explosive poopy diaper. So I had to change him, the bed, and me. Therefore I think I should be able to claim him as definitely mine. We managed to sleep the rest of the night, but he did it to me again at naptime. I have been tagged twice.
So far, thankfully, Irene/Willa Rae has not caught it. I have a soar throat though.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

List of things on the back of a boda boda

Boda bodas are motorcycle 'taxis'. They dart through the traffic and take sidewalks or any other path that is needed to get where they are going. They are also used to transport just about anything you can imagine, so we have started a list.
1. Car windshields--we have now seen about 5
2. 8 foot step ladder
3. Man with a mattress
4. Woman riding sidesaddle while holding her baby.
5. ME!!!
Yes I finally got on a boda. Thanks to Tara, it was video taped. I will not try to upload it. It was sooooo much fun. We actually travelled at more than 35 mph. It is my new favorite way to travel. You get a boda tan, which we can't tell if it is an actual tan or just stained from the road dust, and it is cheap!!!
I will share the complete list of things on the back of a boda or bicycle when we get home. We see new things everyday, and everyone here is adding to the list.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The love of Pringles

Willa Rae was afraid her brother was going to finish the can of Pringle's before her, so she was just shoving them in her mouth. I promise I do take pictures of them doing other things besides eating.

more pics


As far as I can tell, court went well. The judges only question was about Irene's name. Nothing about my character or ability to provide for her. He just wanted to know how she got her name. Which I was interested in knowing too. The social worker from the orphanage explained to him that they just pick one. I found out later that she was named after a sister of one of the Mamas. So now we go back to court next Wednesday at 9am for the ruling. I hope to find out today when Andrew's court date is.

Thanks again for all of the prayers. Thanks for buying t-shirts. Keep praying for the rest of the process to go smoothly and quickly. Martha and I are ready to come home. We have started making a list of things we want to eat the first week we are back.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Court Date

We have a court date for next week on Wednesday or Thursday for Irene. I hope that we can get Andrew in the next week. With waiting a week for the ruling and then having to get passports and visas, it's going to be tight getting back on our original ticket. Pray for speedy process and a favorable ruling. Thanks.

Ndere Center Dancers

Great show!!! Yes, she is dancing with 9 clay pots one her head. We will have more pictures and video when we get home. If you are ever in Uganda it is a must see. Dinner and a 3 hour show for $10, can't beat it.

Willa Rae enjoying a lolly

Laundry Room

For Granddaddy

It was hard to stretch it over her stomach, but I had to put it on her.

finally got him to smile for the camera

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Brother and Sister

They may not have started out as brother and sister, but they are acting like it now. This morning, during music, I was holding Andrew and Willa Rae on my lap. WR reached over and started rubbing Andrew's head and I thought 'how sweet'. Then she reached down and grabbed his ear and gave it a good twist. I couldn't stop lauging!!!
I heard from my lawyer that he has filed for WR's court date and will file for Andrew's later today. He wanted more money. So here is the begging part. If there is anything you can do to help me with the cost of this adoption, it would be greatly appreciated. I promise to pass it along to others in need when I can. Thanks and keep praying. I love Uganda, but I am ready to come home with my babies.

Ugandan Highchair

I had the pleasure of feeding 6 kids sitting in this last night. By the time I got back to the first child, he was screaming, waiting for the next bite.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Just a quick update. I found out on Friday evening that Andrew is negative for sickle cell anemia. He is not even a carrier. PRAISE GOD!!!! The only problem was I was worried I would not be able to adopt him. I was confident in God's plan and when I talked to Peter, my attorney this morning, he assured me that he thought the case would go throug anyway. I am on cloud nine. I took Andrew to the doctor just to make sure nothing else was wrong and he said he is perfectly healthy. He just needed good food and lots of love. I still don't have a court date, but I will try to updated as soon as I know.
A great big thanks to all of you prayer warriors!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

t-shirts for sale

I just found out that the Fourt of July t-shirt is ready. I am sorry, I don't have a picture. If you are interested please call Mary at 205-221-0255. I only need to sell about 700 of these to pay for my legal fees for Andrew. Thanks for all of your support.

A Great Day

We had a great day today. We went to Calvary Chapel Kampala and it was awesome. There was praise and worship music. The pastor was under 30 and preached from the Bible. It was like being at Glory. We got back in time for me to put Andrew and Willa Rae down for their nap and I got a short one too. We got up and played for a couple of hours. We went to the Ndere Center and saw the dance troupe there perform some of the tribal dances of Uganda. They were amazing. I think we may go back again. Dinner and a show for $10US. Can't beat that.
I am asking for prayer again. Tomorrow is a very important day. I have to take Andrew to the doctor and we should be getting our court dates. Please bathe these two things in prayer. I just ask that God's will be done in all of this. Thanks again for all of your prayers and encouragement. I can't wait to get home and tell you about all of the amazing things God is doing.

Andrew looking very smart

Irene enjoying music

Andrew in class

Saturday, June 13, 2009

God's Country

When I lived in Tennesse, they liked to say that it was 'God's country'. They were wrong!! Uganda is God's country. I have seen Him working in more ways in more lives than I have ever before. He is bringing families together. He is healing. He is saving. I can't go into more details. It will probably take a book. I am going to try to get more pictures up. Please keep praying!!! We can feel it.

How do I Explain

I know some of you are concerned about Andrew and the decision to adopt him. I completely understand. I was concerned about him too. I have prayed that he finds a family. I have prayed for it for the last 2 weeks. It just ends up that his family is supposed to be my family.
I have had the feeling for a long time that I should adopt 2 children. I even told a friend of mine about it last year. I knew it sounded crazy. Not a lot crazier than traveling around the world to adopt a child of a different race and culture. I was told that Sanyu would not let you adopt more than one child at a time. I got my home study approval for 2 children anyway. I had the feeling that it would be a boy and a girl. I had names picked out for 1 boy and 1 girl. I was told that I would only be able to adopt a girl. It is Ugandan law that single people can only adopt children of the same sex. Only in special circumstances can people adopt outside this law, such as with siblings. There are no siblings at Sanyu other than twin boys. No way that I could adopt a boy. But then there was Andrew. I prayed for a family for him. I didn’t think that I could be his mom. Every time I prayed the answer I got was ‘You are his mom’. I didn’t believe it. After a week, I worked up the nerve to ask my lawyer if he thought the High Court of Uganda would give me special consideration because of Andrew’s sickle cell. His immediate answer was yes.
Am I scared about the cost of adopting a second child? Yes. Am I scared about his medical condition? Terrified. Do I know if I will have enough money to pay his medical expenses? No. Am I short changing Willa Rae by adopting another child, one with a special medical need? I don’t know. I don’t know what the future will bring. Do any of us? If you gave birth to a child with special needs would you leave him at the hospital? I don’t think so. Andrew feels just as much my child. My heart leaps with joy when I walk in the room and he smiles and holds up his hands for me to pick him up. I cry when I put him to bed in the orphanage and he cries for me, just like Willa Rae. My heart aches when they have to draw blood out of his femoral artery for all of the blood tests he has to have. He is supposed to be my child just like Willa Rae is. I have no doubt about this.
Andrew’s birth mom was only 17 when she brought him in to get medical treatment. Everyone here knows how serious sickle cell is. Because they knew she had no money, they would not treat him. She told them she had to go get something and she would be back to get Andrew to leave. She never came back. That was a month ago. He has had to go to the hospital for a blood transfusion, since being at the orphanage. It is the only treatment they give children with sickle cell.
Because of the seriousness of his condition, I am being allowed to adopt a second child. Because of the seriousness of his condition, I am being allowed to adopt a boy. Because of the seriousness of his condition, my attorney has reduced his fee and has already started processing the case so that it can be presented with Willa Rae’s. (This is lightening speed for Africa). He has already started this process with only $100 given as a donation by a very special woman here at Sanyu. I don’t know too many lawyers that would go to work for that amount.
I have listened to God’s still small voice throughout this adoption process. I do not intend to stop now. I know the money will come from somewhere. I know God has a plan. I just don’t know what it is. I do know that I am supposed to bring 2 children home to America. I know that it will be hard, but being out of God’s will would be harder. My family and I need your prayer support. We would appreciate anything that you would like to donate to the legal fees. Thanks and God bless.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Could there be two?

I have been asking some of my facebook friends to pray about Andrew. He is a little boy who came to the orphanage in May. He has sickle cell anemia. Kids here have a life expectancy of 16 when they have sickle cell. I was really torn by this beautiful boy. We have really bonded in the last few days and he has just blossomed. He is even talking and crawling and laughing now. I was praying that God would send this little guy a family soon. He needs to get to the US where he can get the medical care he needs. God told me to see if he could become my son. I talked to the lawyer today. I would not normally be allowed to adopt a boy, because I am single. He said that he thought the High Court would make and exception because of his health. Wonderful!!!! Know is where I need God to really move. I need to come up with $5000 quickly. If you would be willing to help, please leave a comment. I am not going to post any pictures of Andrew, he is not mine yet and he may not be. I have to respect his privacy. Thanks for all of your prayers and help.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Blog World Collides with the Real World

This week I had the pleasure of meeting in real life, 3 women that I only know trough blogs. First there is Susie. She is a soccer coach from Washington. She is here with a group of girls playing soccer and doing humanitarian work throughout Uganda. She has a beautiful heart and wants to help the people of Uganda in any way possible. I hope she gets to come back and take a child home with her. Keep me posted Susie.
One afternoon, I was at the pavillion holding Willa Rae, and I look over and there is Katie Davis. I know that my mouth dropped open like she was a famous rock star. Which she is. She is a rock star that has come over and built relationships with the people of Uganda and has done so much to help the people around Jinja. If you do not know her, go and check out her blog.
Next, there is Melissa Carter. Melissa only lives an hour and a half from me in Al, but I had never met her or even talked on the phone. We had to wait until we were on the other side of the world to get to meet face to face. Melissa is here to take home her 3 wonderful children. She started the process 2 years ago. I can’t imagine having to wait that long or go through all her family has gone through to complete this process. Her children are beautiful and we had a great lunch. It was great to hear another Southern accent. I was beginning to loose mine, with all of the Aussies and Brits around here ( I know everyone believes that). They also understood what Roll Tide means.
In between all of this, I played with Willa Rae and the other kids. We took kids to the Surgery to see Dr. Stockley. WR had been running a low grade fever for a couple of days. I thought is was just teethin, but in the afternoon she threw up more than she should have been able to hold. Of course in typical fashion, by the time we saw the doctor she was smiling and playing and having a good time. They ran a malaria test and tb test. I will get the results on Monday.
We have also been helping Daniel, as much as a bunch of girls can, tile the bottle prep area. Daniel came just to do some work at the orphanage, but God had different plans. He has joined the adopting group and hopes to take home his son in Sept. or Oct. I’ll let you know more about this story later.
I also want to take the time to say that I have met and become friends with an incredible group of people from all around the world and from all walks of life. They are here just because they want to volunteer and help. Not many people would give up months, yes I said months, of their lives to come here and do what they do. Thanks and God bless you all. Even if you don’t know what football really is.

Advice on Adopting

I am usually the blog stalker, not the stalkee. This week I met someone who follows my blog that asked me for advice on pursueing an adoption. I was kind of surprised. I’m usually the one calling, emailing, asking questions of those who have gone before me. The I realized I AM in the position to give advice. I am by no means an expert on adoption in Uganda, but I have learned a few things in the last few weeks.
First, I can not say this enough. An orphanage is not a place to shop. The children here are not snowglobes that you can pick up ans shake and see if they will look good in your house and then put down and move on to the next one. They should not be treated as souveniers of your trip to Africa. You don’t have any right to think that because you live in another country that you can give a Ugandan orphan a better home than one here. Ugandans love their children and the best case scenario is that all of these children be raised in loving homes here that will support their culture. If you are trying to complete you collection of children from around the world, STOP!!!!! We don’t need you here. If this is not something that you have prayed about and are sure that is the will of God, DO NOT PROCEED.
Do not assume that you are entitled to a child. Do not come with the expectation that you are going to save a child. Do not come demanding that things go your way. Things change in adoption every day. If you are committed to adopting a child for the right reasons you will be willing to go along with the changes.
I know that some of you are worried about these changes. Let me assure you that I am truly happy that these changes have been made and I have no problem with them. Barbara wants everyone to come and stay 2 weeks when choosing a child. Can I say that this is a blessing and not a curse. Who would not love the opportunity to come and get to know these children before adopting one. I know I have enjoyed the experience and will cherish it always. If you come with your proper paper work you can go ahead and start the adoption process. I do not understand why someone would expect to be able to adopt anywhere when they have not gotten a home study or any of the other paperwork necessary. It is damaging to the process. It makes it seem like the Westerners are trying to pull a fast one on the Ugandans. I will say again WE ARE NOT ENTITLED TO A CHILD. This is a gift that is given by God and the guardians of these children. It should not be taken advantage of, just because you think you deserve your baby now. This is not a western culture where demanding something is going to get it done. It is going to compromise the process for everyone who comes after you.
I am more than happy that Barbara has asked Hedda to look over the paperwork from the US and Canada. She has someone doing it in Australia and in the Netherlands. Barbara is a very busy woman who has the best interest of each of these children at heart. She can not look over every set of documents and be an expert on the laws of each state and province. This will not delay the process. It will insure that the process is seen as uncorrupt as possible. Hedda was asked by Peter Nyombi this week to meet with 2 of the Ministers of government here. He thinks it is a wonderful idea that this step has been added. This will help assure the judges that all paperwork from Sanyu adoptions is in perfect order and that they do not need to worry about child tafficking. By the way, Hedda is doing all of this for FREE. She is not getting a dime. She is doing this because she loves children.
I know that Hedda has taken a lot of heat. Both here in Uganda and in the US. It is completely undeserved. She is a wonderful woman who loves these children. She is doing what she was asked to do to make sure that guardianships in Uganda continue. She is here to complete the guardianship of her own child. She wants to make sure that all of these children get the opportunity to find loving families. She has spent every day that she has been here taking children that are in need of medical attention to the doctor. Not her own child. Other children, children who would have died if they did not get this care. Does this sound like she is trying to keep families from adopting the children at Sanyu?
It truly saddens me that some people have let Satan get a foothold in this process. We do not need to be tearing people down, but building them up. If you don’t have anything to hide you should not be afraid to let a knowledgable professional social worker look at you paperwork and conduct a phone interview. Remember you are not the only person wanting to adopt a child. Please do all you can do to preserve the process and ensure that adoptions continue.
While you are here, respect the culture. Do not assume you know better or are better than anyone. Just because you came on a mission trip last year for 2 weeks does not make you an expert on how to run an orphange or help these ‘poor people’. Keep your mouth shut and DO SOMETHING USEFUL!!! If you think changes need to be made, try building trust and relationships with the people instead of bossing them around and treating them like they know nothing. Don’t be a stupid mzungu.
I hope I have not offended anyone. I will be reviewing comments before they are posted publicly. Like most advice, you can take this or leave it. It is up to you. But I beg you to stop perpetuating the idea that Americans are bossy, rude, and arrogant. It is not helping anyone. Most of all, the children who need homes. Pray about the words you use and the tone you use before you speak. I did.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Some Pictures, hopefully

I hope this works. I have been trying to post pictures for days. We have been having internet problems, but we are at the muzungu mall, so maybe it will work. Everything is going OK. I hope to have my care order tomorrow and then we can get a court date. We need to get one for June. Please pray for all of the families here adopting. Thanks, Love you all.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Three Boys Gone Home

It has been an emotional few days. Most of it good. On Thursday, one of the families that is adopting found out their son has sickle cell anemia. It didn’t matter to them, it just put a wrinkle in their plans. They have already adopted one special needs child. They went back to the doctor on Friday, and he does not have sickle cell. 
Friday we had a party at the babies home. Two boys were going to live with there families. One will live here in Uganda for a while. The other went to California.
There was a third little boy that went home. He went home to heaven. One of the babies with sickle cell died Saturday morning at the hospital.
There are several children here with sickle cell. They do not get much in the way of treatment here and their prognosis is not good. If anyone out there is interested in adopting one of these children please do so. I can tell you that they are some of the cutests ones here at the home. I would bring them all home if they would let me.