So Far Away

Never has Pearl felt farther away than when I read the pastor’s message Wednesday morning:

“Your daughter is feeling not well. She tells me that her head is paining her. She is shivering and feeling cold.”

It was evening there in Uganda, and her fever was rising. And there was nothing I could do but pray. I felt totally and completely helpless.

I’m not one who cries easily, but ever since my eldest was a baby, one thing is guaranteed to bring me to tears. Whenever any of my kids get sick, I cry. (Not boo-hooing around them, obviously, but I get so emotional over seeing them feeling poorly that it usually makes me tear up….and then I have to slip away with a Kleenex and pull myself together.)

Well, this is a sure sign this child is my daughter, because as soon as I heard the news, the tears started welling up. My oldest boy saw me and asked what was wrong. When I told him, he looked very alarmed and said, “I’m worried, Mom. That’s my sister.” And we all stopped what we were doing to pray for her.

Fears of encephalitis, meningitis, sepsis, dozens of other things that can cause piercing headaches and high fevers all ran through my mind. It’s just so hard not to worry about the worst, especially when the one you love is in a third-world country.

Thankfully, she was able to be seen by a doctor, who diagnosed her with malaria. She’s been on medication and is slowly improving. I’m thanking God for that, and pray that she continues to feel better.

But as with all my kids, I won’t really relax until I hear that she’s back to normal.

As you can imagine, parenting from so far away is really hard at times like this. I’ve felt such a mixture of emotions the past two days: sadness over her being so sick and alone, fear over complications developing, and anger over not being able to get her here yet.

An ever-increased sense of urgency to bring her home.

A missionary friend shared her continual frustration over the fact that there are only 4 doctors to every 100,000 people in Uganda — something that obviously makes it incredibly difficult to get care when you need it. When this person heard about our daughter’s fever, she told me, “Life is just so hard here. You have to get her to America just as soon as you possibly can.”

That’s what I want to do. But we’re still so far away from having the funds in place to do it.

Right now, we need almost $2000 to hire the lawyer and secure a court date. Then we need $2000 more to pay the rest of his fees, and another $4000 to cover our travel expenses.

We’re revamping the store, doing all we can to raise this money. Praying for a grant to come through. Praying for someone to possibly step up and loan us a larger amount so that we can move ahead.

If you’ve ever wanted to donate to the adoption, please do so, soon. And to all of those who have helped, thank you so much. What I can do to make this happen feels so weak, so little. But I rest on this verse:

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)