Skip to content

Remembering Uganda: A Birthday

July 17, 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.

On my birthday last year, I was in Uganda. Whoa. So crazy. I woke up on my birthday to an early morning phone call from my mom and dad. They were about to head to bed just as we were waking up (Kampala is 8 hours ahead of Houston), so they called to wish me happy birthday, and they told Tim to take me to the breakfast buffet for my birthday because they knew that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. So thoughtful.

We took our time getting the kids ready and then headed over to the breakfast buffet. As we were walking, we ran into our friends the “W’s,” who had just returned from their safari out in the “country” and who were also going to breakfast at the buffet.  Which means our morning turned into a big old birthday breakfast with 7 kids and 4 adults between us. To say that we drew some attention would be an understatement. It was so fun though, and when “A” and “L” found out it was my birthday, they sneakily settled our bill with the waiter before we had a chance. What sweet friends.

At breakfast, we found out the “W’s” were headed out around town to run a few errands, and they offered to pick up pizza for all of us to have dinner together that night. By this time, only 10 days or so into our trip, we were getting a little tired of our mac and cheese/chef boyardee/soup dinner routine, so we quickly agreed. That sounded fantastic.

After breakfast, we decided to go for a walk in the gardens. We had such a good time, throwing rocks, find sticks and climbing trees. We also asked one of the grounds staff to take a family picture for us:

2 out of 4 kids looking at the camera was actually a pretty good percentage for us

2 out of 4 kids looking at the camera was actually a pretty good percentage for us

The gardens at Speke had some awesome climbing trees. Our little Eliza sloth was in heaven

The gardens at Speke had some awesome climbing trees. Our little Eliza sloth was in heaven

Naomi needs to persuading to ham it up for the camera

Naomi needs no persuading to ham it up for the camera

Paci boy Jude. We were just about to work on dropping the paci with Jude when we got the call to head to Uganda. Boy, I'm glad we didn't. That thing saved our lives.

Paci boy Jude. We were just about to work on dropping the paci with Jude when we got the call to head to Uganda. Boy, I’m glad we didn’t. That thing saved our lives.

Nate and Tim became best buds so fast. And that has not changed.

Nate and Tim became best buds so fast. And that has not changed.

As we were walking back to our room after our garden adventure, Tim asked me what I wanted for my birthday. He said he didn’t know if he could get it, but he wanted to try. I instantly knew what I wanted. I told him I wanted to take a shower.

Now, please don’t misunderstand. It is not that I had not showered for 10 days. I had, believe me- I had definitely taken a shower. But with Tim and I being very new parents to four kids under age four, neither of us were very good at managing all the kids alone. As such, we each felt bad leaving the other with all the kids for any length of time. Plus, our bathroom was situated between the two bedrooms of our suite, so taking a shower while the kids were sleeping was not an option because it would be too noisy. Therefore, we had gotten in the habit of taking turns taking a shower (as in, we switched off with each other taking showers every other day), and showers had become a very hurried event- just long enough to get somewhat clean- that were usually ended by a child (or two or three or four) banging on the bathroom door, as much at the other parent tried to keep them occupied.

To someone like me who was used to taking long, leisurely, daily showers at home, taking an unhurried, uninterrupted shower sounded like the best birthday present ever. So that’s what I asked for. And it was awesome.

See the wet hair? Best shower ever.

See the wet hair? Best birthday present ever.

When the “W’s” returned from their errand-running day, they had a few surprises. Not only had they picked up pizza. (pizza that was really delicious, I might add!)

Imagine "hawaiian" pizza with the sweetest, freshest pineapple you have ever tasted. Yeah. It was super yummy.

Imagine “hawaiian” pizza with the sweetest, freshest pineapple you have ever tasted. Yeah. It was super yummy.

But they also managed to find a cake:

Fave part: "Happy Birth ... Day" So excellent.

Fave part: “Happy Birth … Day” So excellent.

And candles:

Relighting candles, nonetheless. So funny!

Relighting candles, nonetheless. So funny!

Say, "Happy Birthday"

Say, “Happy Birthday”

It was such a treat just to laugh and talk and tell stories over a pizza meal and cake shared with friends. Our kids ran around like crazy on the balcony and tore into the cake when it was time.

CAKE!!

CAKE!!

Birthday party with friends. Is there anything better?

Birthday party with friends. Is there anything better?

Wow, looking back at these pictures makes me overwhelmed with gratitude. It would have been enough of a birthday present to just be with my family, especially my Nate and my Naomi who we had longed to be with for so long, on my birthday. That, in and of itself, was an amazing and wonderful birthday gift given by a gracious, kind, loving God.

But He didn’t stop there. He also gave me some friends to share it with, complete with a yummy breakfast, a pizza dinner and a cake. Oh, and a shower. Don’t forget about the shower. ALL good and sweet gifts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: