Back in Uganda

I haven’t blogged in a while…time is flying by. I never finished my travelogue posts from our first trip and now I’m actually typing from Uganda, having been here ten days already. It’s been a long and exhausting trip—I feel like I’ve been here a month, at least. Donnie was here for the first week and I miss him terribly. Sorry to sound all doom-and-gloom, but I’ve found my faith and patience tested more in the past ten days than probably throughout this entire adoption process combined.

Our days have been filled with paperwork and waiting. And four shots for Violet and a medical exam. And lots of time sitting in the hot sun in Kampala traffic getting from place to place, including lawyers’ offices, all of which seem to be most inconveniently located on the top floors of buildings without working elevators. (And in one case, is labeled the 3rd floor even though it’s actually the 6th!) The rest of our time is spent hanging out at the guesthouse, which is nice, but quite boring aside from the Internet connection, which can be sporadic at times. Or it can be like tonight, where it shows you connected, but pages take forever to load AND the electricity keeps shutting off, making it nearly impossible to create a blog post.

I’ve experienced the scariest thunderstorm I’ve ever been in — scarier even than a hurricane — more mosquito bites than I’ve ever had, and just the constant sticky feeling that one gets layered under sunscreen, bug spray and what feels like a permanent layer of sweat. The best part of the day is climbing onto cool sheets after a cold shower, lying directly under the fan and finally cooling off. Provided that the electricity is on to run the fan, that part of each day is bliss.

Despite all the discomforts and inconveniences…God is faithful. Today we witnessed a miracle in receiving our long-form birth certificate in just one day. That is after switching lawyers…our first one failed to get this to us even though he’s had four months to do it. Now that we have this document, we can move on to the last step of obtaining her visa. If all goes well, this time next week we’ll be driving to the airport to come home. And I can’t wait. This is the longest I’ve ever been away from my boys and it’s breaking my heart.

It’s been so interesting getting to know our daughter. She is quiet at times—sometimes very quiet—and we definitely have a bit of a language barrier. But when we take our time with one another, we can usually sort out what the other is saying, and each day I feel her English gets a tiny bit stronger. I don’t know how this is going to translate into school placement for next year. Our schools get out in mid-May, so she won’t be going anywhere until August. That’ll give us the summer to work on her English and have evaluations to see where she needs to be placed.

So far I know that she likes fish, rice and chips (fries). That is her favorite meal, and if the fish is whole and grilled, the head is her favorite part. (Yes, even the eyes!) She also likes eggs, sweets and ice cream, especially. And soda. I think every Ugandan likes soda and juice. (I kind of dread that first visit to our dentist!)

She loves technology and movies (already her daddy’s daughter) and has a lovely, contagious laugh. She loves to shop and makes sure her outfits are coordinated. I’ve also already sampled the first of what I’m sure will be many moments of preteen pouting over things like being told ‘no’ over a simple request. I think it’s hard for internationally adopted kids to sort out what their new lives will be like. I think they daydream of a life with no chores, with everything they desire being bought for them when they want it, and rumors abound that propagate the lies of this idyllic existence. Unfortunately, most people who are adopting are just ordinary Joes like us who can give a child a good life, but not an extravagant one, and certainly not one devoid of work. I think the collision of expectation and reality can be a shock sometimes. And the whole experience of leaving your culture and calling essential strangers “family” must be so hard. I pray for her adjustment to be an easy one, but realistically know to expect anything.

It’s about time for my nightly “bliss”, so I’ll leave you with a request to please keep us in your prayers for favor at the embassy on Monday and for a safe trip home on Good Friday. Coming home will make it a very good Friday indeed!


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