Saturday, August 20, 2011

To Africa and back again…


I am back from my 2 weeks in Ug*nda…  Having a hard time summarizing 2 whirlwind weeks in a few paragraphs… And since our little guy is not legally and officially (or even certainly) ours yet, I can’t share details or pictures.

BUT…I will tell you he’s adorable, sweet, and clingy (just like the younger of his brothers!) It was delightful to be there with him, and to serve at the babies home that has been his home for all of his life.

The biggest highlight was our little guy… But some other things I loved were:

…After lunch & dinner, all the babies/toddlers get washed and changed - which means naked wet children running everywhere - you just grab them as you catch them and put clothes on them (which means mismatched, genderless clothing), and ask a Mama which bed they go in.  It's wild, but it's my favorite part - because once you catch them, dress them etc., then you get to cuddle them and pray into their little ears before putting them down. Delightful.

…I love the slower pace of life in Africa. It’s hard when you are AMERICAN and want things to happen on time and to have all of the information you want immediately handed over to you. But…once I talked myself out of my “must have all information in a timely manner”, I really began to enjoy not waking up with a 15 point agenda for each day. I had lots of time to read and visit with my 10 friends, and got 8-9 hours of sleep a night (except for the nights when the shouty mosque man woke me up at 5am).

IMG_1708 …I loved African food. I felt so healthy there, eating a mostly vegetarian, whole foods diet. I also really loved that I could walk across the street and buy an avocado as big as my head. YUM. I really came home planning to keep up these non-prepackaged foods/mostly vegetarian habits. But I’ve had a hard time resisting the allure of meat. And sweets. I went a little wild with those things at first, but think I’ve come back to a middle ground…


…New friends. I was so blessed with the group of volunteers serving at the babies home while I was there. I was the only prospective adoptive parent there until almost the end of my trip. The rest of the folks there were girls and women using their summers to serve and see Africa – ladies from the UK, Netherlands, Canada, and Sweden. There were girls fresh out of high school and women older than me and all in between. I loved getting to know all these sweet new friends and had such a good time serving and seeing the city with them, it was like a little family for 2 weeks. (this picture was taken on my 40th birthday with some of my little African family…at a cultural center for a concert/performance.)

It was a wonderful trip, and I so appreciate how many people were praying for me while I was there.

And now…we wait.  I have absolutely no idea how long it will be before I can go back and bring our boy home. They have to do a background investigation which could take many months. We are committed to an ethical, thorough process, which usually is not fast. It also means that I came home with no guarantees… Until the investigation is complete, we are filed for court, and our case is approved, I don’t know if or when we will be allowed to parent this little guy with whom I’ve fallen in love.

I wish I could be one of those people who instantly bond with their future adoptive child, sure that THIS child is God’s promise for them, confident that it will all work out they way they want it to. I love this little guy:


But the only promise I feel sure of is that God loves him more than I do. And He is the Father of the Fatherless, and the Father of ME, and His goodness is a promise no matter what the end of this story holds for our little guy. So that’s what I’m clinging to…that He is “the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” (James 1:17.)