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Remembering Uganda: The Arrival

July 7, 2013

We are telling our adoption story through recounting memories and sharing a series of emails that were sent while we were in Uganda in July & August of 2012. If you have made your way here because you are thinking about adopting from Uganda or are in the process, please know that the process is very different now than it was in 2012.

As I said in my last post, we left Houston heading for Uganda on July 6th. After over 24 hours of flying (during which Eliza and Jude did miraculously wonderfully!), we arrived in Entebbe, Uganda at 11 pm local time. We had no phone, which means we had no way to contact the person who would pick us up. So we made our way through the airport by following the crowd through the visa line and then to baggage claim, and we collected our luggage (9 giant suitcases, so embarrassing) with the help of some airport employees. I stayed with the kids and the luggage while Tim went to look for the person who was supposed to meet us.

Tim found him in the “passenger pick up” area, and we hauled our stuff out to the van he had brought to meet us. He explained that he would take us to Loving Hearts (the baby home where our children lived and the place we would be staying), but we would not be able to see the kids until the morning because all the children were all asleep already. We told him we of course understood.

The drive from Entebbe to Kampala is still a blur. Tim held Eliza, and I held Jude (no car seats to be found, which we would learn is pretty typical), who both promptly fell asleep on the 45 minute drive, and I just kept looking out the window thinking, “I’m in Africa. I can’t believe I’m in Africa.”

We got to the baby home and were greeted by a couple aunties/nannies who worked at the home. They had clearly been asleep and yet welcomed us so warmly saying, “come in, come in, welcome, welcome, you are welcome here.” We followed them upstairs to our room, and once our bags were brought in, the baby home staff explained that there was a dedication service for all of the children in the home at the local church in the morning, and they gave us a time to come down to get ready to go. We agreed and then as soon as they were out the door, all four of us collapsed onto the king size bed, exhausted, and fell asleep.

As we were falling asleep, Tim whispered, “We made it.” Yes. We had made it. God had protected us and provided us with everything we needed to make every connecting flight, care for our children through numerous planes and airports, and He had even made sure every single piece of our luggage had arrived with us. What sweet grace.

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