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Remembering Uganda: Traveling Files

August 15, 2013

We are telling our adoption story by posting 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.

Sent August 15, 2012
We heard back from both the US Embassy in Kampala and the USCIS office in Nairobi today. Our file is at neither place, which means it is somewhere in between. The official who emailed me from the Embassy said it was expected to arrive in Nairobi tomorrow or Friday at the latest. So we shall see. We continue to get more “homework assignments” from our DC attorney and are diligently working on everything she has asked us to do, hoping we can get her everything she needs at the same time our file arrives in Nairobi so she can hit the ground running with our case once it is there. Please continue to pray for her, “M,” that God will just use her as a tool of His grace, to advocate and fight for our family and our kids and help us to get home.

Here’s another installment from my “What I’m Thankful For” list. I hope you enjoy reading all the ways God has shown His kindness and love to us. Please join us in praising Him for His tender mercy and care.
-Speke Hotel and Resort. The place where we are staying is truly a gift from God. To be perfectly honest, we have no business staying here. This is by far the nicest hotel we have ever stayed at. Every time we pass a guest wearing a designer suit and a rolex watch, we just shake our heads and look at each other and say, “What are we doing here? We don’t belong here.” A heavily discounted monthly rate put it within our financial reach initially, and lavish generosity from family members have made it possible for us to stay beyond our initial 30 days. We have a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment with a nice kitchenette, living room and balcony. The grounds here are enormous and include a marina, gardens with ponds and waterfalls, stables with horses, a swimming pool, beach access to Lake Victoria, restaurants and more. It’s amazing. Every weekend, there are weddings galore, and we can see all the brides and bridesmaids (or “princesses,” as Eliza calls them) from our balcony. Our girls look forward to this every weekend. We really have no reason to leave, except to run adoption-related errands and get groceries, and that is exactly what we needed: a safe, fun place for us to “hunker down” with four kids under the age of four in a developing country.
-Our housekeeper “S.” This sweet, precious lady comes every day to clean our apartment from top to bottom, including doing dishes in the sink and picking up our (copious amounts of) laundry. She makes it seem like she is delighted every day to clean up after four incredibly messy kids, how crazy is that? Our kids love her. They run to her when they see her, and they seek her out when she is in other rooms on our floor, cleaning other apartments. Friday is her day off, and while we are thankful that she has a day off to spend with her family, we miss her terribly and are always happy to see her on Saturday when she returns. I cannot begin to describe what a blessing it is to not have to worry about laundry or cleaning up after 6 people. “S” has freed me to have much more time with my family, and I am so thankful. When all the visa denail drama was happening, the Holy Spirit used to “S” to remind me of truth about God that I was having trouble recalling in the moment. Speaking of “S,” will you pray for her? She is a single mom of two young boys, ages 4 and 5, and she has talked to us about getting them into school. There is no free public education in Uganda, and while her job at Speke supports her family enough to live, it does not provide enough to send her boys to school. We are working on trying to research sponsorship programs and education options for her boys. Please pray God will provide this for them.
-This crazy story: Last week, in the midst of all the visa denail drama, we were walking around our resort with all four kids when Tim struck up a conversation with this random guy. Come to find out, this man is a Canadian living in Dubai, and he was just passing through Kampala/Speke for the day. Most importantly, he loves Jesus. He listens to Tim tell our story, reaches into his pocket and gives Tim the last bit of Ugandan shillings he had and asks to pray for him. Days later, we are still praising God for sending a Christian brother, someone we have never met before and likely will never see again in this life, to encourage us, pray for us and provide for us. For us, it was a physical, tangible message from God that He sees us. He has not forgotten us. He knows exactly where we are, what we need, and He is able to send care, help and encouragement at any time and in any way, shape or form that He sees fit.
-This other crazy story: Generations (our adoption agency) sends a mission team to Uganda once a year to serve with various ministry partners they have here. The team coming this year is arriving in Uganda THIS SUNDAY, and…. wait for it…. has room to bring us a suitcase full of supplies!!! We are totally wowed by God’s provision in this way, and we are so excited about getting a new infusion of diapers, wipes, snacks and other stuff from back home. Again, tangible, physical evidence that God knows and is taking care of every need, before we even ask Him.
That’s it for this installment. Stay tuned. Praise Him from Whom all blessings flow.

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