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Remembering Uganda: 6 Weeks

August 19, 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 19, 2012

We marked our 6th full week in country yesterday, and apparently Uganda wanted to celebrate that milestone by killing internet service for nearly a full 24 hours. Fitting, I think. We did get an email from our attorney before the internet “went dark,” and we wanted to share it with you. After reading our draft of the letter she asked us to write up and reviewing some more documents from our case, our attorney has decided she wants us to take a new approach to our case. She wants to help us make a case that our file was sent to Nairobi without good reason, causing unnecessary delays in our case. She thinks this may help us by-pass the pre-determined timeline that goes with having your file sent to Nairobi, if we can make a convincing argument that our file should not have been sent to Nairobi in the first place (which, according to our social workers and our attorneys, both in UG and the US, it should not have). So we went back to the drawing board, editing our letter to include more details that would help with this new approach. We sent it to her today, and we are hoping to hear from her later tonight or sometime in the wee hours of our morning to get the help we need to put the final draft together. She also instructed us to get a couple very important documents from our social worker “G,” to help us make our argument more convincing.

We are thankful for:
-This new approach that our attorney suggested seems to us to be truly inspired, and we are hopeful it will be effective in getting our case expedited.
-Tim was sick yesterday and last night with an awful stomachache. I was sure he had finally fallen to the stomach bug that got Eliza and Jude a couple weeks ago, and I was so tempted to be worried. I am thrilled to report that just 24 hours later he is completely fine, without ever having actually thrown up.

Please pray:
-that “G” (who was on vacation all last week) will be in the office tomorrow and able to get us the final things we need to send to Nairobi by the end of business tomorrow.
-that we will be able to get the final draft of this letter written and ready to send by the end of business tomorrow.
-that this new approach will indeed be effective and will be the tool God uses to get us home faster than anyone expects or thinks is possible
-Eliza and Jude continue to ask multiple times a day when we are going home. They are just so beyond done, done, done with being here. Please pray for their little hearts, that God would supernaturally bring peace and contentment to them.
Here’s another installment from my “What I’m thankful for” list. Enjoy.
Here are a few snapshots:
-We are unbelievably blessed to be surrounded at home by an army of family, the kind biologically related to us and the kind related to us by the blood of Jesus. This family has held us up during this time, praying for us and encouraging us. They have taken care of our dog, mowed our lawn, checked our mail, paid our bills, made airline arrangements for us, cleaned and reorganized our house, the list goes on and on. We could not be here doing this without them.

-We stayed at the orphanage where our kids lived for the first week we were here, and we got to have some great conversations with the staff there. One who stands out in our mind particularly is “F.” He is a young guy who is training to be a pastor, and he had a million questions for Tim and me about what it is like to be a pastor and pastor’s wife. He was so eager to learn, and we know God will use him for His kingdom. Please pray for him.

-God ordained that we be here (for 3.5 weeks) with some friends from Houston, the “W’s.” They adopted their son “E” from the same orphanage where Naomi and Nate lived, and it was truly a blessing and comfort to have familiar faces and friendship here in this place that is so foreign. They have been gone over two weeks now, and we miss them terribly, but we are so thankful for the time we got to spend here with them. It was truly a gift from the Lord.

-We connected with some Canadian missionaries who are here serving full time when we visited Kampala International Church. They invited us to their home to share a meal with them and their 7 children, age range 2-16 years. The time we spent in their home was refreshing, encouraging and just plain fun. They came to pick us up from our hotel so that we didn’t have to hire a driver, fed us dinner (including brownies, which we have not had since we left home, so it was a huge treat), let our kids run wild in their yard (which had a swing set- JOY OF JOYS for Eliza), encouraged us greatly with their knowledge and experience as adoptive parents themselves and their work with children from hard places and sent us home with a giant duffle bag full of new toys, books and movies so that our kiddos would have a new crop of things to have fun with.

-We had dinner with a family who planted a church here in Kampala with Acts 29 (the same church planting network our home church is a part of). They have four children, ages 7-18, and our kids had a blast running after all the big kids doing big kid stuff. Plus, the restaurant they suggested made a DELICIOUS hamburger, something we were told was impossible to find in Kampala and therefore have not had since leaving home. It was nice to just sit and talk with them, hear their story of how God saved them and called them to international church planting, brought them to Kampala and all God is doing here to build His church. Amazing.

-We had another adoptive family over to our hotel to swim (who we connected with through FB, gotta love FB) and we had a great time getting to know her and hear her story. She is a new mom who has been here for 11 weeks trying to adopt twin boys. Her husband went home after week 3, which means she has been here for 8 weeks by herself. She has hit every snag you can possibly think of, and her case is just now being sent to Nairobi, which means (presumably) she is here for another 4-6 weeks. Will you please pray for this woman, “E?” She loves Jesus, and He is truly sustaining her, which is amazing to see and I am so thankful for. Please pray God will continue to give her all she needs to trust Him in the midst of her trials and that He will miraculously intervene in her case and get her home faster than she expects.

After an emotionally exhausting and difficult week the week before last with all the visa denial stuff, it was so refreshing and uplifting that our week this past week was filled with so many fun times and the chance to fellowship with other believers. Tim and I have said several times this trip that we have never been so thankful for the universal church. We say all the time how thankful we are for the local church, but to connect with, be loved on and encouraged by the global church has been a unique experience for us and a huge blessing. We are so grateful.

Remembering Uganda: It’s “go” time

August 17, 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 17, 2012


We found out today that our files actually arrived in Nairobi two days ago on Wednesday. We are shocked and thankful that our file is already there and has been for a couple days. We had a long conversation with our DC attorney last night, and I am going to try to summarize it for you so that you can know what we were told to expect going forward. Our attorney said that once the file arrives, it takes about a week for someone to actually look at it. Then, after the initial review, which can take up to a week, the application is either granted as “clearly approvable” or a petition is sent back called an RFE (Request For Evidence). We were thankful to hear that “no” isn’t even an option after the initial review. The only two responses Nairobi is allowed to give at first are “yes” or “please send us more info.” Our attorney has advised us to draft a letter to send to USCIS as kind of a “pre-emptive strike.” This letter would explain the reason we were given for the denial, why we think that reason is not legitimate and include attachments of the additional evidence we have collected which supports our case. The idea is to give them everything they need to determine that our case is “clearly approvable” BEFORE they even have a chance to review the case and send an RFE. Our attorney was very honest with us about the timeline we are looking at: a week before someone even looks at it, a week to do the initial review, a week to return our approval to the embassy and a few days for our visa to be issued- and that is if we get an immediate “yes,” not if we get an RFE. If an RFE is sent, add another week or two to that, while the requested evidence is collected, sent and reviewed.

-that our file is in Nairobi. It arrived more quickly than we expected, and we are so grateful.
-that the only two answers we can get at first are “yes” and “please send us more info.” Those answers are both so much better than “no.” We are weary of hearing “no” when it comes to visa applications. We are thankful “no” is not an option at first. 🙂

-for wisdom for us and “M” as we work together over the weekend and on Monday to draft the letter and other documents we need to send to Nairobi
-for the judge who gave our guardianship ruling and for our attorney “I”- we are still waiting on a few documents from the judge, and while “I” has been diligently trying to get them from him, he has not been successful yet. Please pray we will get those last few documents on Monday.
-for our social worker “G.” He has been on a well-deserved vacation this week and therefore (obviously) has been unable to help us collect some of the things we need. Please pray he will be back to work on Monday and will be able to quickly gather the rest of what we need.
-for our case: upon reviewing all of the documents and paperwork with “M,” there are some inconsistencies and errors in the paperwork that could potentially hold up our approval from Nairobi. These errors/inconsistencies are things that don’t matter with the African definition of time and lack of attention to detail, which is probably why they are there, but they could matter greatly with the American obession with time, dates and details.
-for the person who ends up reviewing our case in Nairobi, that God would give him/her eyes to see that our case is “clearly approvable” immediately, without the need for further evidence
-for God to miraculously move this process along faster than anyone expects or thinks it can go.

I confess that when I heard the timeline “M” spelled out for us last night, I was very sad. If the timeline holds true, there is no way we will all be on our August 28th flight home. As soon as we said good-bye to “M,” we cried and prayed. We are pleading with God to show His power- to show that He is bigger than documentation errors, slow-moving beauracratic systems and what is considered to be the “normal/expected” timetable for these kinds of things. This is not hard for Him. He can do it. And we are praying that He will.

I was just reading Jeremiah 32 today and was comforted and encouraged by it. In verse 17, the prophet Jeremiah is praying the to Lord and says, “Ah Lord God! It is you who made the heavens and the earth by your great power and your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.” He goes on to ask for explanation on why the Lord has told him (Jeremiah) to buy a field when the Babylonians are about to take them into captivity, and the Lord responds in verse 27, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” and explains to Jeremiah that even though the Babylonians will take His people into exile, He will return them to their land: “fields shall be bought in this land of which you [Jeremiah] are saying, ‘It is a desolation, without man or beast, it is given into the hands of the Chaldeans [Babylonians].’ Fields shall be bought for money, and deeds shall be signed and sealed and witnessed […] for I will restore their fortunes, declares the Lord.” (v 43-44) [emphasis added]

Isn’t that incredible? That is ultimate power and sovereignty talking. The odds were stacked against them. The Babylonians were beseiging them. Judah was about to fall to their enemies. Buying a field in a land that was about to be destroyed was probably not the best idea. Jeremiah knew that; indeed, he had been prophesying just that to the people as instructed by the Lord. But God knew that the destruction, the captivity, was not the end of the story. He would “restore their fortunes.” He would rescue them from their enemies, from a power more mighty than them. They could not save themselves, but God could do it, and He would. And it would not be hard for Him. Because NOTHING is too hard for Him.

This is our God. Lord, show Your power.

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.

Remembering Uganda: Crickets

August 14, 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 14, 2012
I haven’t sent an update in a few days because there’s really not a whole lot to tell. We are slooooowly collecting the documents our DC attorney asked us to get. We were able to get some on Friday, some more on Monday (yesterday), and our attorney is still waiting to connect with the judge so that we can get the last few that we need from him. We are also still unsure where exactly our file is at this moment. We have contacted both the US Embassy in Kampala and the USCIS office in Nairobi, inquiring about whether or not our file has departed from/arrived at those respective locations, and we have not heard back from either one. And so we wait, trusting that God knows where our file is and that He has it exactly where He wants it to be.

I’ve been pretty sad over the last few days. I just feel like this cloud is hanging over my head and like I’m always on the verge of tears. It is slowly getting better, day by day, but it is stubbornly hanging on. So, I decided to start listing the things I am thankful for. God has been so kind to us here, and we want to remember the things He has done. I’m going to start including a few things in each update, so that y’all can be praising God along with us for the ways He has shown His grace and mercy to us during this time.

What we are thankful for:
-That we are in Uganda. The fact that we are even here right now is a miracle. The judge who heard our case had said at the beginning of the summer that he was not going to add any new guardianship cases to his docket before the court hiatus (July 15-August 15). So just the fact that he agreed to hear our case 4 days before the hiatus is miraculous and God’s kindness and grace.
-That Tim is here. For most families, the father comes for the first 2-3 weeks of the trip during the court process and then goes home, usually taking bio kids with him (if any) and letting the mother stay with the new child(ren) during the passport/visa process. That is how this process has gone for all of our friends and acquaintances. If that is how it had gone for us, I would be here with our two new children, dealing with all this visa stuff BY MYSELF. Just that thought makes tears well up in my eyes. Instead, Tim has been amazing- running around town, making phone calls, collecting documents, pleading and fighting for our family and especially our new kids. There are not words to describe how grateful I am that he is here, that God saw fit to give me the gift of my husband’s presence during this time, sparing me from having to shoulder this burden and all these tasks alone with two kids in tow.
-Our 6 month wait for a court date. I never thought I would say that, but there it is. Isn’t that just like God? As I said above, if we had gotten a court date when we expected to during the spring semester, Tim would have had to leave after 2 or 3 weeks, and I would have been left by myself with Naomi and Nate, trying to get our visa issues resolved. If we had gotten a court date any earlier in the summer, we would have gotten held up in-country twice: once with all the passport drama and delays that happened when the new Ugandan immigration official took over and again with all this visa stuff. Instead, with the way our court date fell, we got our guardianship ruling right at the tail end of all the passport insanity, allowing us to skip the passport delay and get right to the visa.
There is so much more, but I’ll stop there for now. God has been kind to us. Please join us in praising Him for all the ways He has shown His care to us.

Remembering Uganda: That Visa Step…

August 11, 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 11, 2012

For those of you who have gotten added to this update list recently, I am going to give a brief catch-up. Those of you who have been “in the loop” since the beginning, feel free to skip this part. If you feel you have been added to this email list in error and would prefer to not be on it, please just let me know, and I can remove you. No problem 🙂
After 6 months of waiting for a court date, we got news on July 4th that we were given a court date by a Ugandan judge to hear our guardianship case. We furiously packed and got on a plane in Houston on July 6th and arrived in Kampala, Uganda very late on July 7th. We met our new children for the first time on July 8th and took them to the Kampala courthouse on July 10th, asking a judge to give us guardianship of them. On July 19th, we were given a positive verbal ruling, giving us guardianship of our new children. On July 30th, we picked up our written ruling and guardianship order, providing the physical and legal proof we needed to take steps to bring them home. At the same time that we picked up our ruling/guardianship order, we picked up our Ugandan passport for our new son, but we had to send our new daughter’s Ugandan passport back to immigration due to an error with her name. We picked up her corrected passport on August 2nd, providing us with the final thing we needed to take to the US embassy in Kampala for our visa interview. We went to our visa interview on Monday, August 6th. Even though all paperwork and witnesses necessary were present for this interview, our children’s visas were denied. Over the course of the next couple of days, we worked with our attorney and our social worker here in Kampala to try to persuade the embassy official to reconsider his decision to deny our children’s visas, but to no avail. Our case is now on its way to the USCIS office in Nairobi for review and we have been told to expect to be in-country 4-6 more weeks as we wait for a decision from USCIS. We have retained the services of a new attorney, who works for a non-profit organization called EACH (Equality for Adopted CHildren) in Washington DC whose purpose is to help adoptive families who find themselves in a situation like ours, and she is confident that she can help us get our visa issues resolved.

Update/Prayer Requests:
-Due to the overwhelming generosity of some family members, we have decided to stay at the hotel where we have lived for the last 30 days. We are so thankful that we are able to give our children a stable, predictable environment during this time, rather than having to uproot them again. We are praising the Lord for providing for us and for our children in this way.
-Tim visited with our Kampala social worker and attorney yesterday, in order to collect some of the documentation and evidence our new attorney asked us to collect for our case. We were able to collect some of what we needed, but our attorney needs to visit with the judge who gave our guardianship ruling in order to obtain the rest. He is hopeful he will be able to do this on Monday. We are praying this will be so. Please pray with us that the judge will be available on Monday and that our attorney can get from him everything we need to give to our new DC attorney for our case.
-It is unclear whether or not our file has left for Nairobi yet. We have learned that there are 6 families total (including us) whose files are being sent to Nairobi for review, and we have no idea where our case is in the stack. We are praying for whoever the person is who ends up reviewing our file, that God will give him/her eyes to see that our case is “clearly approvable” and that he/she will give instructions for our children’s visas to be issued quickly
-We changed our airline tickets (all six of them) to depart Uganda on August 28th. Obviously, this date does not fall within the 4-6 week timeline that we were told to expect for our case to be returned from Nairobi. The reason we chose that date is because my brother is getting married on September 2nd, and we are praying that God will miraculously intervene on our behalf to get us our kids’ visas in time so that we can ALL be at the wedding. Just the thought of missing my brother’s wedding brings tears to my eyes. We are pleading with the Lord to let our ENTIRE family be there to celebrate this special day. We know that while it is impossible for us to make that happen, it is totally possible with God. In fact, it is easy for Him. Will you please pray with us?
-Jude has been having a really hard time the last couple of days. Our normally happy, easy-going boy has been so sad, whiny and clingy. We thought that perhaps he was getting sick, but after two days of monitoring his temperature and not seeing any symptoms, we are starting to think he is grieving. He asks all the time for people that he loves (grandparents, aunts, friends, etc.), and even though we tell him we will see them as soon as we get back to Texas, we just don’t think he understands that we are going back, and he is grieving the loss of all these relationships. It is breaking our hearts, and we don’t know how to help him understand. Please pray that God will comfort his heart and somehow help his little 2-year-old mind comprehend that this time in Uganda really is going to come to an end and that he really will see everyone that he loves again soon.
Thank you so much for praying for us. We need it. We are weak and tired, and we are completely dependent on God to give us His power and strength for each day. And His grace daily proves to be sufficient (2 Cor 12). Praise Him.

Remembering Uganda: Where We Stand

August 9, 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 9, 2012

OK, this update will be “brief” (in the Sarah-Ganger-sense of that word). I just wanted to let everyone know our latest news and most importantly, our most urgent prayer requests….

The attorney we hired in Kampala who handled our guardianship case cannot help us now that our file has crossed into “US territory” by being sent to the USCIS office in Nairobi, so he, along with our agency and several families who have gone before us, recommended an attorney who helps adoptive families in this situation:  “M.” She works with an organization called EACH (Equality for Adopted CHildren) in Washington DC. This organization is a non-profit and relies on individual/private donations so that they can offer their services to adoptive families pro-bono. I cannot even describe what a blessing it is to not have to worry about incurring any additional legal fees at this point in our process. That, all by itself, is God’s sweet grace and kind provision. Praise Him.

Our (new) attorney spoke with us on Skype late last night, and we explained all the details of our case as we know and understand them. She said that she will do everything she can to make sure that an “expedited decision” is requested for our case once it reaches Nairobi. After hearing the details of our case, she gave us some “homework” to do, locating and sending her more documentation and evidence. Her last statement to us were instructions not to worry. She thinks she can get this worked out for us and get all six of us home, in her words, “just with a bit of added delay and expense.” Again, God’s grace and kindness to provide us with an attorney who is confident she can help us.

-Please pray for Tim, our Kampala social worker “G” and our Kampala attorney “I,” as they work together over the next two days to collect all the evidence and documentation that “M” asked us to get. Please pray that the things she asked us to collect will be available and easy to acquire and that we can get together everything she asked us for.
-Please pray for us as we make decisions over the next couple days about what the rest of our time in Kampala will look like. The place we are staying has been a true gift and blessing from the Lord for our time here so far… but it is very expensive. It is hard to justify the expense of staying here when we have now exhausted the supplies we brought with us and will now be spending money on diapers, wipes, formula and groceries, all of which are more expensive here than they are in the US. At the same time, we are having a hard time justifying the stress it will put our children through to make another transition, experience another disruption, before we put them through the huge transition/disruption of taking them home to the US. Please just pray for us. We need wisdom to know what to do.

There is more, but that is all I will share for now, as those are our most urgent requests. I will send another update later. Tim and I were up late last night skyping, sending emails and making phone calls. It was a long and exhausting day, and we went to bed with heavy hearts, knowing that if we had our visas, the next day (today) would have been our home-going. But it is true that the Lord’s mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness is great (Lam 3). We know that God makes no mistakes, which means He has us here for a reason, to accomplish His good and perfect purpose. We are resting in that today. Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and support. God is using them to sustain us.

Remembering Uganda: Sad

August 8, 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 8, 2012

We found out this morning that “M” was not satisfied by the document that was found in our file and translated. So, Tim went to the embassy again today with our social worker to present more evidence and plead with him. He would not even see them. He spoke through an intermediary (the official Tim talked to yesterday who translated the overlooked document) and basically said even with everything presented, he was not convinved our kids fit the US law’s definition of abandonment and therefore cannot issue them visas. He will send our case to Nairobi for review.
Our hearts are broken. We have already cried buckets over this and will probably cry more. We took our slobbery, weepy, swollen eyes and runny noses before the throne just a little while ago and guess what? It turns out “the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Ps 34). We can feel His presence. We know that He is here, and we know that He has not forgotten us. We know that He has not changed. We know that His love and His care, His mercy and His grace are steadfast and immovable. We can feel it, and we are thankful we have Him to cling to in the midst of this storm.
There are a whole host of things we need you to pray for now, as we anticipate being here for another 4-6 weeks. I can’t even list them all here for you, as we are still processing and making to-do lists for ourselves. Just pray. God knows what we need. We’ll send another update soon, as we work out where we go from here.
Much love and many hugs to everyone. We could not do this without you supporting us and standing in the gap for us.