Day 6: Wednesday
Oh my goodness. What a day. It started off great. Malachi/Mayor (we’re still calling him Mayor – haven’t started to include Malachi yet) woke up about 530am. I got him up, changed his diaper, sat him on the potty and then gave him breakfast. After breakfast we played for a little bit. About 730 or so we all laid down together on the bed and all three of us fell asleep! We slept until 11am when Sister Christine called and said she’d be over soon (for breakfast!). So we all got up and got ourselves ready for the day. Mayor was a little slow to warm up this morning – I think he was confused at first, waking up in a strange place. He got more and more comfortable as the morning went on. About 1230pm or so, Sister showed up. Mayor exclaimed “Ehh!” when he saw her walk in, but didn’t get up from playing with his toys. When it was time to go eat, I started to carry him downstairs but Sister took him from me and had him walk. That was the start of the downhill part of the day. I took over as we got closer to the restaurant and carried him in. He sat and ate with me most of the time and didn’t seem concerned about Sister or Auntie Patricia (his nanny who is here too) until he was done. Then Sister took him. He was very tired at that point and after she got him this time, he wanted nothing to do with me. I’m OK with that – I understand. Of course he prefers her to me! It is just a bit frustrating to see her doing things like let him crawl up 3 flights of filthy stairs on his hands and knees when I could have very easily carried him up. She’s a very sweet lady, but there are so many cultural differences. Sometimes I just have to bite my tongue! After we got back to the room, he got angry when Keith and I tried to interact with him, throwing things and getting mad. He just wanted to sit with her. She wanted him to go to sleep, but he cried when I put him in his crib, so she went and got him out and rocked him for about an hour. We finally gave up on sleep, as our lawyer was coming at 4pm and by this time it was getting close to that. Keith finally lured him out of Sister’s lap with some snacks (surprise, surprise!) and we were able to sit and play together for a while before our lawyer called and said he was right outside the gates. We went down to meet him. I carried Mayor downstairs and he, surprisingly, sat with me with no complaint during the entire meeting – even though Sister was right across the table.
The meeting with our lawyer went fine – he just told us what to expect tomorrow and told us some of the questions she might ask so we can work on the answers to them in our heads before we get there. Judges here are called “your Lordship” and he stressed that they expect the upmost respect. This lady holds the fate of our adoption in her hands, and I am SO NERVOUS. (did I say that already?)
As we were wrapping up the meeting, Mayor – who was standing beside my chair watching the busses go by – decided to poop. I knew that Sister was leaving with our lawyer so I figured that now would be a good time to sneak out so that Mayor didn’t have a cow when Sister left. We said goodbye and I told Mayor we needed to go change his diaper. He made a few whining noises as we walked away but was perfectly fine once we got back to the room. He was so happy and fun the rest of the night! You can tell he is really starting to get a lot more comfortable with us. Coming to sit with us, laughing, talking and interacting much more.
As we were getting ready to get Mayor ready for his bath, my mom calls with some devastating news. Keith’s sister, who has been battling cancer passed away. It was completely unexpected and has hit the family very hard. Keith’s mom stressed that he should NOT try to come home. She knows him well – one of the first things he said is “my head it telling me to go home”. He isn’t going to go but it is very hard being away from the family during this time. The funeral is Friday.
Mayor went to bed about 800pm or so. He went down easily and went to sleep quickly. We have a big day tomorrow. I better get to bed. I will try to write more soon.
Day 7 Thursday – Court Day
What a day. Again. We are all exhausted.
Neither of us slept well last night – I got went to sleep at 1am, awake at 2am, then asleep again at 430am and we got up at 730am to get ready for court. We were supposed to be at the court house at 9am, so we met our driver (a really nice guy we’ve been using name Muhammad) and Sister Christine out in front of the hotel at 845am. We drove through town and got to the court house at 9am. I was freaking out a bit – so nervous. Trying not to show it. We waited out front for a while, then our lawyer called and told us that we needed to go to a different building and he would meet us there. We started walking there, as it wasn’t too far. On our way to the other building we stopped and had passport/visa photos taken. It was nice to get that out of the way. Then we made it to the other building where our court hearing was being held. We sat for a while waiting. Our judge came in and walked by us. We all stood in respect as she walked by and said good morning. We waited a while longer. Our lawyer (who is really great, by the way – he has done such a good job and been so patient with us) went to check on our file? Or something? So he went back downstairs. 10 o’clock rolled around and Sister Christine started getting antsy – wondering where our lawyer was. It would NOT be good if we were called in and he wasn’t there. A few minutes later he came back and announced that there were a few issues but they should be OK. Talk about my nerves being shot – I was a mess. I held it inside the best I could and just kept praying that everything would be OK. The whole process is quite intimidating – especially when I feel like I have no clue what is going on or what we’re supposed to be doing.
Finally, we were called into the judges chambers. The actual hearing went fairly quickly. She asked a few questions to clarify some things in the paperwork, asked for our I71H (which I had, but didn’t have a copy of, only the original – she didn’t seem mad, she looked at the original and then asked us to make a copy and leave it for the file.) She never spoke directly to us, only through our lawyer and we didn’t need to speak except to say yes, that we had the I71H. It was intimidating but it was over quite quickly. Malachi/Mayor did pretty well, he was supposed to sit with me to show that we’re bonded. Of course, he still prefers Sister whenever she is near so we kept his back to her and kept him distracted the whole time by shoving little snacks in his mouth. It worked. He only started crying as we were leaving and had to put the snacks in the bag. It was OK though.
Our lawyer said he thinks everything went OK. She asked us to come back on Monday (!) for our ruling. That is when she will say yes or no. Our lawyer doesn’t think there will be any problem so we’re hopeful it will be a quick yes. Thank God. I know we had so many people praying – I’m so grateful it went well. If we get a yes on Monday – our lawyer thinks he could have the passport by Friday which means we may be able to have our visa appt early next week. We may be able to come home early – which would be awesome.
After we left the court house we went to the lawyers office for a minute, then we took Sister Christine out to lunch. Can’t remember the name of the place – Nandos maybe? It was good – chicken and burgers. Mayor was really good all this time but we could see him winding down and getting quite cranky. He hadn’t napped at all yet and was so tired. Sister was adamant that we needed to go to the Embassy and meet with someone there who would “register” our family and give us a visa appt. I wasn’t sure about this, but we figured we’d give it a shot. We got to the Embassy, but they wouldn’t let us in. We found out they only do those appts on Monday, Wednesday & Friday (I think – I’ll have to look at our paper) and you can’t get an appt until you have your ruling, passport and medical done. So that was a bummer that we made it over there for no reason, but that’s OK. We left the Embassy and decided since we were out we might as well go over to the Surgery and get Mayors TB test administered and get an appt for this coming week to see the doctor.
At this point Mayor was EXHAUSTED and fussy and it just wasn’t fun. We thought we’d be in and out quickly, but the “it’ll just take a few minutes” ended up taking several hours. We had to wait a long time to even get in. We finally got inside and got the paperwork started. When they administered the TB test, he jerked and they had to do it a second time. It was sad – he was so upset. :( They were able to get us in for the physical tomorrow morning – so it looks like we’ll be going back tomorrow at 9am . Everyone there is so very nice and really enjoyed Mayor, even though he wasn’t a very sociable little guy at the time. By time we left (about 215pm or so) he had just about had it. He was clinging to Sister and just generally very upset. We got a taxi and made our way back to the hotel. Keith decided to go with the driver to drop Sister off and then go get some money exchanged. Mayor and I came upstairs to the room. It is such a relief to be able to relax a little! Mayor was pretty distant and not his self. I think leaving Sister is upsetting for him and it takes him some time to relax again here. As exhausted as Mayor was, I couldn’t believe how he fought going to sleep! I finally just laid down on the bed with him laying on my chest and starting humming and patting his back. He finally stopped screaming, stuck his fingers in his mouth (just like Schnider used to – same fingers) and fell asleep. He’s asleep on the bed now. We’ll have to get him up for dinner and a sponge bath (can’t get his TB site wet) but I bet he’ll go right back to sleep tonight. It was a tiring day.
Thinking about what we did today– it doesn’t sound that exhausting, but the heat, nerves, energy, etc all make it very tiring. And I guess we didn’t get much sleep last night so that is probably part of it.
Our lawyer says he’ll stop by later this afternoon and check in regarding our plans. I have a general idea of what I’d like to see happen in my head. We’re planning to go to the medical exam at 9am tomorrow. Come back to the hotel, get our stuff, pick up Sister Christine and then head to Ibanda. It is a LONG drive – I’m hoping that Mayor will sleep in the car. We’ll visit the babies home and see where Mayor spent the first 2 years of his life. We’ll stay in Ibanda tomorrow night then come back to Kampala on Saturday. Sunday we’ll have the TB test read. (Please God, don’t let him have TB – it adds a LONG time to the process, 6 weeks I think) Monday we’ll get a ruling. Assuming it is a yes, we’ll be able to do some fun stuff that week – as the passport probably wouldn’t be ready until Friday. We’d like to go to Jinja, see the Nile, go to the museum, visit a friend in Entebbe, maybe go to the zoo? We’d love to go on Safari and see the animals, but all of the national parks are pretty far away. We’ll have to see what we can figure out, our lawyer really thinks we should do it if we can. If we can get the passport on Friday I’ll try to get a visa appt on Monday. Oh – that would be so awesome if it all works out that way!
Just to help others in the process and keep track of how much stuff costs – today we spent 30,000 UGX on food – that was to feed all of us lunch. We’ll eat in our room tonight, so no dinner. I can’t remember how many UGX our medical appt was but it came out to almost $70 USD. I’m not sure how much Keith paid the taxis today – I’ll have to ask him and find out.
Ok – better get off here and get this published. More later.