Archive for March, 2010

March 30, 2010

Boda-Boda

I think Mayer has career goals. Yup. If he could say, I think he’d say he wants to be a boda-boda driver. :)

He LOVES boda-boda’s.. Loves them. Talks about them. (babble, babble babble, BODA!” babble babble). Pretends he is on one when he’s riding his water jug toy. Today he sat and watched motorcycle racing on TV for about 20 minutes yelling BODA! every now and again.

On Sunday he really got to get into the role. Maleah and Jeremiah seemed to be satisfied customers…

March 27, 2010

9 weeks…

Mayer and I spent the day trying to entertain ourselves in the room.  I’m trying to save money by not going out too much, but we’ve got to get out tomorrow or I might go crazy.  LOL. 

Tomorrow is 9 weeks in case you’re counting….

My little man is so adorable…

Mayers new favorite toy is the water jug.  He LOVES it and has been scooting around on it all day.  It makes a horrible scraping, squeeking noise as he rides it across the tile but he loves it so much….

Mayer had an absolute blast looking at picture we took of he and I in the mirror.  He wanted to take more and more! 

March 27, 2010

I’m sorry for the lack of updates!  We’ve had some issues with things I’ve said on here getting spread around and changed and then rumors starting – so I’m probably won’t be posting as many updates on the process here.  Things are moving a bit – tiny little steps at a time.  Still don’t know when I’ll be able to take Mayer home.  I’m still praying that things will get worked out this coming week.  Keep praying for us!  We’re going on 9 weeks now.  Can’t wait to get this boy home where he belongs!!!

March 23, 2010

Mayer Update

I haven’t posted a general update for a while!

Sometimes I can’t believe how much Mayer has changed in the 2 months I’ve been here. He is really transforming from a baby to a big boy right before my eyes. He’s grown physically. He’s gotten taller and has slimmed down. He isn’t as chubby as he was (still a chunk!) but he seemed almost puffy compared to what he is now. He is getting pickier about food and seems to be eating less than he used to. Clothes that were too big on him when we first got here fit him perfectly now. He is talking so much more and seems understand everything I say. He is acting very independent at times, wanting to climb the stairs by himself, feed himself, go and gets a clean diaper and tells me when he’s poopy. (I know – time to potty train, but I just have to wait until we get home!). He is still shy around pushy people who come and try to grab or touch him, but is really seeming comfortable around friends we see now and again. He’s crazy about Keltie and her kids and will cry when it is time for them to go or for us to leave them. He rode a trike for the first time (was pushed by Maleah) and loved it. He loves to blow bubbles and can actually blow them himself. He sings several songs now and even though mos tof the time you can’t understand the words he is saying I can tell what he’s singing because I recognize the tune. He sings “Never Let Go” and has the “oh my soul…oh my soul…” part down pat. :) He doesn’t like to go to bed and will stall by asking for as many kisses as I will give him. I finally have to be firm and tell him enough and to go to sleep. He still sleeps curled up with his “bankie” and sucking on two fingers. He is learning to say the names of family members at home and it is so cute to hear him say them. I can’t wait for everyone to meet him!

He’s such an incredibly sweet and funny little guy. I feel so blessed that we found each other and I get to be his mom! Sometimes I still look at him and think, wow – this is my kid! :) Most of the time, it just feels so natural. He has attached incredibly well. People here comment on it. We have had far less meltdowns in the last couple of weeks. Maybe 2 or 3 a week and I think they are pretty normal 2 year old meltdowns from being over tired or because he didn’t get his way. He is still very big on cuddling and is very affectionate with me. We haven’t had any more pushing me away or head banging frustration meltdowns.

Today I strapped him onto my back in the Ergo and we hiked to a babies home not far from here. I know one of the girls that runs it and so we hung out there for a little bit. She let us borrow some kids dvd’s and Mayer is now in love with the Wiggles. :) It is always nice to sit and talk to others who “get it” – Uganda, adoption, attachment, frustrations, etc.

Well – I’m off to bed. More soon!

Lunch at the Pizza Connection…

March 22, 2010

Still here…

Sorry I haven’t updated the blog. I’m still here. No news I can share at this time. Please keep praying!!!

March 18, 2010

We’ve heard a rumor that is getting some of us here in Uganda down. Please keep praying. I am believing I will be coming home soon.

“But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You. For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.” Psalm 5: 11-12

March 17, 2010

We got wonderful news today! The government has agreed to allow us to adopt our children in the United States and we can go HOME!!!!! We are still working out the details. We may have to refile some paperwork, but just knowing that I’m going to be able to take my baby home is the most wonderful birthday present I think I’ve ever gotten. We are praising the Lord for answering our prayers! I will keep you updated!

March 16, 2010

Day 55 – Tuesday

Day 55 – Tuesday

I know I’ve been bad about blogging lately. Yesterday was an awesome, though exhausting day. This weekend I had heard from my lawyer that he may be able to get me a meeting with a high up official in the Ugandan government. This person is someone who has the power to let us go home. I was excited and scared. I do not like doing things like this. I get really scared, really nervous, feel sick and feel like crying when in stressful situations. The idea of meeting with this guy and pleading with him was very stressful for me. But I knew this was a one time chance with someone who could help me get my son home. So I prayed. I cried. I felt sick. I whined to my mother. But I was determined to do it.

This weekend we put together a letter to this official. Laying out our situation and begging them to have mercy on the families that are currently stuck with their children here. On Sunday evening another American mom (Melissa) is who also stuck here came over, along with my lawyer (and Keltie, who this meeting can’t really help but it supporting us like crazy) and we went over everything. We went over questions this official will probably ask, what we need to tell them, etc. My lawyer brought over some great supporting documents to help our case. We went over everything, then went over them again. I was so nervous that night and the next morning. I prayed like crazy for a soft, compassionate heart for this official. I know many others were praying for that as well.

Keltie and Melissa showed up here at the hotel at 11am. My lawyer called right as we were getting ready to leave the hotel and asked me to change something in the letter. So Keltie watched the kids while Melissa and I fixed our letters to the official in the hotel business center. We finally got everything fixed, printed and copied. Then we were off. We made a quick stop to my lawyers office for one last document and then headed over to the government building!
When we got there we met up with Meghan (another American adoptive mom stuck here). We gathered in a circle in a small hallway of the government building and prayed. After prayer the others (and the children) went downstairs to wait and went to find the assistant to the official we were going to meet. When I found him, he was so gracious and so kind. This man is a relative of my lawyer and is the one that made it possible for us to see this official. I can’t even begin to explain how grateful we are for him! The morning didn’t go so smoothly. He wanted to change some things in the letter before we presented it to the official. This man was so kind to let me use his office and computer to get all our things together before presenting it. We had such a time with the computer, the printer, all kinds of things went wrong but FINALLY we got it printed. We went over everything again. The assistant said he would go in first and ask the official to see us. We didn’t have an appointment, he didn’t think they would give us one, so we just had to show up and hope for the best. When we got to the officials office he was meeting with someone. We waited until 130pm. At that time it was the officials lunch time so we were asked to come back at 330. During all this Keltie, Melissa and Meghan were all waiting downstairs with the children. I went back downstairs and I know when they saw me they were expecting that I had already seen him. I told them we had to come back so we decided to go each lunch and come back. Meghan couldn’t come and had to go back, so Keltie, Melissa and I headed to the Pizza place at Oasis Mall for lunch. We got through lunch, grabbed a few things at Nakumatt, took a picture of the “Not Tonight, Honey” (Yup, a bottle of honey) and then headed back over to the government building. My lawyer called an informed me that it would be good for the other adoptive families to go in as well. Meghan couldn’t get back in time, so Melissa and I were the ones who were going to go meet with the official. We got back right about 330 and quickly found a bathroom. (Nasty, eww, gross, eww – that’s all I have to say about that. Keltie had to go out or she was going to be sick. Yup, that bad.) Melissa and I went back to the assistants office to let him know were were there and Keltie took all the children to the grassy area in front of the gov’t building. When Melissa and I got to the assistants office we prayed together quickly and prepared ourselves. The assistant took us to the officials waiting room where we waited our turn to see him. When he was free the assistant went in and spoke to him on our behalf before we went in and asked him to see us. He agreed. We were ushered into a large, beautiful office. The official greeted us kindly and encouraged us to sit on one of his couches. I can’t speak for Melissa, but I was so incredibly nervous! The official joined us at the couches and it put me more at ease. We greeted him and started to explain our situation. He seemed very attentive and interested. He asked questions about the situation. He told us several times he wasn’t sure what he could do to help because this wasn’t his jurisdiction. We told him that we have been told that everyone is asking him to make a decision on the situation. He seemed perplexed but said something a long the lines of “I don’t know why they want me to get involved, but I will….” He asked about several things pertaining to adoption. We explained the lengths we had to go to to get approved to adopt. We talked about the US law and how they won’t grant a visa for the children to be fostered in the US. We talked about what we needed in order to go home. He seemed genuinely interested. He said that because we are “nice ladies” he would help us. He told he would talk to the judge that told the US Embassy the children shouldn’t be adopted. He said he hopes we will know something by Wednesday! I can’t even tell you how relieved we were as we left that office. We were so hopeful, yet guarded. We have had many people tell us they will do something here, and then weeks later nothing has changed. As we were leaving we were able to talk about our children and how these are our first children and how much we love them. He was able to tell us about his children and was so proud. It was a great conversation and I am thanking God for His hand in all of it. It could have gone so badly – and yet it was pleasant. This man was kind and compassionate towards us!
We went down and found Keltie and the children. Keltie is amazing. Wonder woman. She has been such an encouragement and help to me while I have been here and I don’t know what I would have done without her. She missed an appointment so she could sit outside in the heat all day with our children while we went to this meeting. I can’t even tell you how grateful I am for her.

We were all exhausted at this point. I think it was about 530pm when we left. I was so glad it was over and filled with hope. Last night Mayer and I both went to sleep early. I was out by 930!

This afternoon Keltie and I were eating lunch when we ran into a couple of other adoptive moms. One of them told me that her lawyer was contacted this morning by the official we went to see yesterday asking for his legal opinion on the matter. I was so thrilled to hear the official was actually thinking about and working on the situation! It was so encouraging and uplifting to hear that! Her lawyer seems confident that this will get worked out very soon. His legal opinion is that the kids should be able to go home and I’m hoping he can convince the official of that. I am sooooo ready to go home. I’m past that actually – I was ready to go home 3 weeks ago, I am getting desperate now.

So that is where we are at right now. Waiting to hear. Small steps forward, but thank God for those steps because being at a standstill is maddening.

Tomorrow Keltie and I will be doing some running around and some work while we’re still here. Want to get stuff done now in case we’re leaving next week! :) We’ll be going to one of the Babies Homes here to evaluate a baby that we may be trying to get a medical visa for. Then we’re going to try to go to out to RUHU and do some background investigations on some of the kids there who may be able to be adopted when this mess gets cleared up. I’m also going to be delivering my laundry to some ladies who are going to do it for me! Yippeee! No more washing laundry in the bathtub. 2 months of bathtub laundry is getting very old. I admit, I am very spoiled by my washing machine. So this is a real treat. I am excited.

We are praising God for everything He has done this week. We are praying and expecting miracles here in Uganda!

Will post more soon. Keep praying!!!!

March 12, 2010

Me, Mayer and two of the boys walking around the neighborhood.

Me, Mayer & Rhita at the orphanage.

Hamani, Patrick & Aunt outside her home.

Keltie at the orphanage with Matthias.

Some adorable little ones in one of the villages…

March 12, 2010

Day 51

Day 51 – Friday

Wow, wow, WOW! Yesterday was an awesome, exhausting, emotionally draining day. But it was a great day. One of those days that makes you say, THIS is why I’m stuck here….

Keltie picked Mayer and I up after breakfast. We made a quick stop at the grocery store for wipes and money and then headed out to her place. We hung out at her house for a few hours and had lunch there. Jeremiah and Mayer did surprisingly well – no fighting today which was great. Mayer is in love with Maleah and chants her name now. It is very cute. After lunch we (Mayer, Keltie & I, her kids stayed home) headed to the RUHU orphanage. The kids were so excited to see us! They cheered and said “welcome back!” and hugged us. It was awesome to see and all those adorable little people. We had to wait for Patrick (the orphanage director) to get back from town so we hung out there for a little bit talking to and playing with the kids. We had some suckers and jump ropes which were passed out. The kids were very happy. I let one of the older boys (Simon) use my camera and he and two other boys had a blast taking photographs. The four of us went for a walk around their neighborhood so the boys could take pictures. It was great to be out and talking to people I would otherwise never have a chance to interact with. I don’t think they see many Mzungu out in these parts!
We saw Patrick go by on a Boda and so we turned around and headed back to the orphanage to meet up with him. I wrestled my camera from Simon, we gathered Hamani and we set off to Hamani’s home village so we could get him social history and find out if he would be able to be adopted.

Hamani was pretty upset about the whole journey and was very reserved the whole time. He seemed visibly frightened and withdrawn as we approached his village and got closer to his former home. Patrick had talked to Hamani about adoption and if that was something he might want. Hamani says he would like a new family and would like to be adopted. But we needed to make sure that whatever family he had left wasn’t able or willing to care for him and would be interested in adoption.

We approached the home of the woman we were told was his stepmother (but who was really his aunt by marriage). She greeted us and invited us into her home. Her home was a two room mud and stone structure with a dirt floor. We stepped inside the tiny, dark home. The heat was oppressive. As Patrick started speaking to this woman Hamani started silently crying. He was completely quiet with tears in his eyes the entire time we were there. We were able to hear more of Hamani’s heartbreaking story and (her version) of why he ended up living on the street. I won’t go into all of the details here, but it is/was clear that Hamani is in need of an adoptive family. I will write something up about Hamani soon, but if you know of anyone who may be interested in adopting a 10 year old boy that is HIV+, please email me and let me know.
After we left Hamani’s aunts house, Hamani seemed relieved that it was over. He was a bit more talkative and happy. He played with my camera on the way home and we were able to talk some about what type of family he would like to have if he is able to be adopted.

We headed back to the RUHU orphanage to drop Hamani off and pick up Rachel. Rachel (along with her sister Rhita) is another child that we are hoping to find an adoptive family for. Rachel is an incredibly sweet, gentle 10 year old girl that needs a mom so badly. We knew little about their story, only that their mother had passed away several years ago and that their father abandoned them. We headed to the village where Rachel and Rhita were found three years ago. The road into the village was treacherous and we had to walk the rest of the way in as we couldn’t get the car in. Rachel seemed apprehensive about what was happening and stayed close to Keltie the whole time. We first met with the woman who found the children and had tried to care for them. She did the best she could when she first found them, but this sweet woman has very little and is caring for six children of her own. When she realized she wasn’t able to care for them, she contacted Patrick and the children were admitted to the orphanage. Rachel and Rhita were one of the first children at the orphanage.
We spoke to this woman for a while and she told us this amazing story:
About a year after Patrick had taken Rachel and Rhita, the girls’ maternal aunt (Grace) had come to the village. She had heard that her sister had died and was looking for the children. The woman who gave the children to Patrick said that the children were in an orphanage. By this time the orphanage had moved from it’s original location and the woman had no idea how to contact Patrick or where the orphanage was. Aunt Grace was determined to find these children. She moved her family into the village where Rachel and Rhita came from, and said that someday the children would come back looking for relatives and she would be there when they came. This was TWO YEARS ago. Yesterday, Keltie, Patrick and I showed up at the village with Rachel and were able to reunite Aunt Grace with the niece she had waited so long to find. Two years….I can’t even imagine. It was a beautiful, amazing moment as we watched Grace sob and hug Rachel in happiness. She was so grateful and overjoyed to have found her niece. I feel so blessed to have been a part of that sweet reunion.
During all this Rachel was overwhelmed and emotional. Keltie took Rachel outside the home while we were able to speak to Grace regarding the girls situation. I had Patrick ask her if she wanted to care for the girls. She said that no, she couldn’t. I told her that we wanted what was best for the girls. I explained (with Patrick translating, as she spoke very little English) that there were two options, the girls could stay in Uganda and we could find sponsors to support them here or they may be able to be adopted. She said she would like the girls to be adopted and agreed to sign anything needed. I will write up more about the girls soon, but if you know anyone who is interested in adopting two very sweet, beautiful girls – please email me. The girls are about 7 and 10 years old.

By this time Keltie and Rachel had come back into the home. As we were talking Keltie got a text message. It was her husband letting her know that the one paper they have been waiting on for their adoption was delivered today!!!!! Keltie burst into tears and had to step outside. They have been waiting SO long to bring their kids home – over a year. The end is in sight now and I’m so thrilled for them. As we all stepped out of the home, Patrick explained to the two Ugandan ladies why Keltie was crying and they both hugged Keltie and said “Hallelujah!”. It was beautiful.

By time we got Rachel and Patrick back to the orphanage it was getting late. We headed back to Kampala, made a quick stop at Nackumatt for diapers and then Keltie dropped me off at the hotel. Mayer was exhausted. Completely and totally. It was a very full day for our sweet little guy! We ordered dinner as soon as we got here, ate and then he crashed. I followed not long after that.
So that was our adventures yesterday.

So for an adoption update:

Not a lot of news. I may be able to meet with someone next week who has the power to let me go home. This needs SERIOUS prayer. I will be pleading and begging with this person to let the families stuck here with their children go home. I will give more details as I get them but right now start praying that God will soften this persons heart and get them ready for me.

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and support during this trying time in our lives. I can’t tell you how much we appreciate it!