i have had little time to sit and write lately but am trying to quickly get a post here about my trip. everything happened very quickly. lovelyn returned from her first trip knowing she had a son in uganda who they would name clayton elijah. the process of trying to get a court date to determine custody began and she and her family anxiously waited to get their entire family together. the courts would be closing for november and possibly december as well so a court date at the end of october was the hope and prayer.
i had taken the day off work thursday just to kick the last of a cold that did not seem to want to let go. pete had to really convince me to stay home and it turned out to be a true gift from God. my friend lovelyn called later that morning with news that their court date would be the following monday!!! we very quickly had to decide if i was going, when i was going and how we were going to make all of this work. you see since the initial decision to go with my friend we found out i was expecting our fourth child. the pregnancy prevented me from getting any of the vaccines recommended for the trip. also, in order to be at court on monday with my friend we would have to fly seperate flights and the flight was going to be quite a bit more then we were planning. we prayed, trusted God and committe to me not only going but being there with my friend on monday.
phone calls to doctors were made, lists drawn up, childcare figured out and errands run in a flurry of activity trying to get ready to go. we flew out on saturday and arrived in uganda late sunday evening. thus began a week of watching God move mountains that seemed to grow ever higher, move in ways the proved He was good and finish the good works He began in so many families. i won't go into all the details of every day but we learned that "no" in uganda means wait awhile, stay here, be visible, ask again, wait some more and the answer will belikely change to yes. it was a time of completely trusting God and letting Him move before us and prepare a way. there was simply no human way to get anything done in a manner that followed our western ideas.
while we weren't waiting in an office or chasing down paperwork we played and helped out with the babies. the baby home (aka orphange) we were at worked with kids from birth to ~3 years. it was a mix of emotions being there. to be completely honest and vulnerable part of my wanted to take all of them home and part of me just wanted to run back to my own children and not have to see what was really in front of me. though i knew these children were blessed to be in a home, off the streets and taken care of my heart broke that someone had abandoned, left, and deserted them. that no thought they were important enough to remember the day they were born. no one really knew how old they were, no one was there to cuddle them when they fell, snuggle them at night or even just change their diapers as fast as a mom here would do. please don't misunderstand, the home was understaffed, underfunded and doing the best they knew how to do. the kids were fed, clothed, looked after and the "mamas" (workers) were trying to take care of 47 kids under the age of 3 - a daunting task by any stretch let alone in an extremely poor country where in order to feed the kids water had to first be boiled and then used to prepare bottles or anything else. it's still hard when you're a mom to not want to change the life that these adorable and amazing children are currently living. how do you not look into one of those precious faces and decide that you don't have enough love to for him/her? how do you look at those little hands and not want to bend down to hold and touch them? how can you know that there are 147 million other kids just like this around the world that have been left abandoned and alone and not do anything?? how can it not change you? how do you return to your comfortable western lifestyle and not think about those kids every day and realize that perhaps some of those "have tos" in society are really not as important as a child getting taken care of and off the streets?
from the moment you sat down near the kids they were eagerly vying for attention and cuddles. they loved to giggle and play and run and climb all over you. usually though they wanted most to simpy sit with you, touch you, stay with you. even the older kids sat amazingly still for time with an adult. God was good and protected my heart and though i had my favorites i was able to be there and not completely attach myself to any of these amazing children. most of my little friends that were quite attached to me were not adoptable. they either had families that were already working toward bringing them home or were not adoptable period.
evenings consisted of feeding all 47 kids then attempting to either change or bathroom them, possibly bath them, change them and put them to bed. needless to say it was an experience i will never forget and though it was completely exhausting at times it was amazing to be able snuggle, sing, pray and tenderly put as many kids to bed as possible each night. the smiles and snuggles were all worth it.
at the end of my trip i had to leave clayton and lovelyn with one final mountain to climb. God was so good and they were able to quickly get his visa to the US and follow me home a few short days later. all in all their entire journey to bring him home took less then two weeks from their initial court date. the fastest time we had heard of prior to that was 3 weeks! it was truly proof of God's hand in their journey and process and i felt amazingly priveleged to be there to intercede, support, help and do anything i could to make the process easier. believe me i was as blessed by their new little man and his journey if not more so.