Monday, July 25, 2011

Adventures in Uganda: What we prayed for

Due to the nature of adoption in Uganda (and, frankly, the occasional craziness of the Ugandan adoptive community), I chose not to share any details about our adoption while we were still in process. But because this blog is the story of our lives... I want to go back and fill in those empty spaces.

To see all of my adventures in Uganda (or at least the ones I've posted so far), click on the "Ugandan Adventures" tag at the bottom of this post.

I had a private facebook group, open only to (in real life) friends and family, that I updated almost every day. I am so thankful for the record of all those moments. I process life by writing, and sharing my daily life and struggles in Uganda helped me - being so far from my life and family - to feel connected. I am also thankful for this process of looking back on what I wrote - God's hand on me/us is so obvious, and the answered prayer is EVERYWHERE. He is good.

I'm backdating these... Today is 2/28/2012. But I'm dating this for the day it was written, 7/25/2011, one week before I left on my first trip to Uganda. On that trip, I spent 2 weeks at the babies home with Micah Marvin (in another of the first pictures we received of him, above), loving on him and serving all the babies and staff. I met with our lawyers and got our legal process started. And then I came home to wait. Thankful to be where I am today and not there. :)  This first entry is my (long and wordy) list of things we were praying for that trip.

Shortly after sending this message... I got a call from my dad that he was diagnosed with colon cancer. So that added a giant request to my (already long) list. You'll see mention of that in future messages/posts.


Thank you so much for your sweet words and encouragement, and especially for your willingness to join me on this journey. I am overwhelmed.

I don't want to return the favor by overwhelming you all with 8 billion requests, so I'm going to try to give general categories rather than a ton of specifics (although I'm praying about a TON of specifics!)

#1 For my own heart and walk with the Lord. Before I was married, I traveled a lot (mostly on my own, at least on the traveling part of things), and it was always such a sweet time with the Lord. I feel like whenever I leave the country, I hear from Him and see Him more clearly... I would LOVE to really see Him in new ways on this trip.

My own prayer for myself (not just for the trip, but this summer and thinking forward to the fall) has been abandonment to His goodness, fearlessness, and that I would live in His shadow - overshadowed by Him, in the shadow of the cross, and shadowed so that people see Him, not me.

#2 Speaking of fearlessness.... Please pray for my safety. I am not worried about traveling alone - there's nothing unsafe about it - but I am going into unknowns. Pray for safe travel to and from Ug, and also within the country. The preferred mode of transport is motorcycle taxis (meaning....I sit on the back of a motorcycle/motorbike; They are called "Boda bodas") I am not a fan of this concept, and have never been willing to even ride on my brother-in-law's motorcycle. But now I guess I'll be riding with strangers? I have the names of good and reputable, trustworthy drivers, and also the option to take cabs if necessary (but it takes longer and is more expensive.)

While you are praying for my travel, you might also pray specifically that I'd make all my flights... I'm connecting through Brussels (which is awesome, because I've never been there), where I have a 1 1/2 hour layover. I've since learned that there's only one flight between Belgium/Uganda every other day. So if I miss that flight, I'll get the opportunity of hanging out in Belgium for a couple of days. Awesome, except I really want to go to Uganda...

#3 Please pray that I would be a blessing to our little guy, all of the babies at the home, the "mamas" who care for all the babies, the staff and administration and other volunteers and adoptive families. I want to go as a servant and as a learner - of people, of Ugandan culture, of our little guy so I can begin to see who God is making him to be. I'm praying for good health and stamina, that I would be selfless and undistracted by my own junk. I learned a long time ago that I was blessed to be a blessing, and that's never felt truer than this exact situation - what a BLESSING it is to go and BLESS.

#4 Would you pray for our legal process? I'll meet with my attorney (if you'd like to pray for her by name, it is Dorah) and turn over about 20 lbs worth of notarized papers. She will then get little guy's file from the baby home, and begin working on his case, double checking all of the facts, talking to any living relatives, etc. After she has everything ready, she will file with the Ugandan courts and we'll be assigned a judge.

Please pray for our judge. We are expecting that God is in charge of which judge we get assigned to, and that if little guy is meant to be ours, the Lord will work all of that out - if things don't work out that way, we will GRIEVE, but we will trust Him.

That ends kind of on a heavy note... but we are asking God to give us His heart, and so we can't be blind to know that might include some breaking!

But I am SO EXCITED...excited to put my hands in His, to be in a place of dependence, to have an adventure with Him. I'm excited to be the "now" me - a wife and mom from Lincoln, NE, getting to relive what was one of the highlights of the "yesterday" me, serving and traveling internationally. I'm excited to be reminded that the Lord is as real on the other side of the planet as He is here, and that His church and His people are THERE. He is so so good to me!