Monday, October 31, 2011

Adventures in Uganda: Back again!!

3/2012  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.

Here's the message I posted to my secret/private facebook group once we arrived back in Kampala on my second visit, for court.


 We are HERE!!
Our flights went off without any hitches… Luke was ENTHRALLED with the giant plane, and thrilled with the individual movie screens at each seat. Of course the newness of all that wore off pretty fast, and by the last leg of the trip, he was pretty bored and restless. But he was a super trooper traveler – especially the 4 hours in Amsterdam, ending with almost an hour standing in line to get on our plane, when we hadn’t slept at all and it was 4AM on our body clocks. We did manage to sleep some on the Amsterdam-Africa leg, but were pretty tired by the time we got here last night. It was SO GOOD TO LAY DOWN FLAT!!

I absolutely loved driving from the airport to the babies home this time – it’s about an hour trip, and it was so fun to be picked up this time by a familiar face (the babies’ home driver), and to be with Matt and Luke. Luke fell asleep about halfway here. I tried to move him , but it woke him up and then he didn’t want to sleep again so that he could see everything. He’s really taking everything in and is so interested in how different Africa is from what he's used to.

He’s doing pretty well… I think the food thing (as I expected) will be the hardest part for him. He doesn’t like trying new things, or anything that even looks different than what he’s used to. He didn’t even want to eat peanut butter on toast, because the PB is different. I thought, “Honey, peanut butter is the LEAST of your worries!” He might survive on pop and candy bars for 2 weeks. Oh, and we went to the store and I got him some Ramen today (gross.) So at least he’ll have that :).

We got to see MM this morning… I wasn’t sure what to expect when he saw us again. Everyone’s been telling him we’re coming, and when Brooke was here last month, she talked to him about our picture every day. But I knew there was a chance he’d be mad that I was there with him and left… He didn’t come running to me right away (every other kid there did, we were surrounded in seconds, with little hands grabbing and pulling). M kind of hung back at first and watched all of this, and after I greeted all of the hangers-on, I approached him. As soon as I put my hands out to him he came right to me, looked at me, layed his head on my shoulder, and held on tight. It was heart-melting.
He also took right to Luke and Matt (this isn't real bonding or instant attachment, by the way - but it's better than rejection, which is common, so we'll take it!). The teacher got out balloons to blow up, so we blew those up and we popped them around for the kids. Then Luke bopped them with his head and all the kids (especially M!) CRACKED UP. It was really precious to watch Luke playing with all the kids. Lunch was a little overwhelming for Luke…he was helping with the bigger kids, while Matt & I helped with the babies (the big kids don’t need much help with lunch usually; but they’re all in the same room), but then the big kids started throwing their food ALL OVER. And they didn’t really listen when Luke said to stop. It was like, “Welcome to orphanage life, kid!” :) After lunch, while I helped get all the kids changed and dressed for nap (and Luke delivered kids to their beds), Matt got to hold M for a really long time, and M was really clinging to his neck. So sweet.
I think this next month is going to be challenging for M… He was happy to see me again, and to meet Matt & Luke…but he also clung to our hands and wouldn’t let us go, and was REALLY sad when we left him at nap time. In the long run, I think it’s good for him to have a slower transition, but I also think it’s hard b/c he’s visibly afraid we’ll leave him again. And we’ll be leaving him every day until we get our written ruling for legal guardianship… It’s also hard b/c he wants to sit on my lap or be held the whole time, but every other kid wants attention too… You can pray for that for us!!

We have court tomorrow at noon (4am CST)… Please pray that the judge would show up :). It sounds like our lawyers think we have a pretty good case, but there are still lots of unknowns… I’d love to have ANSWERS tomorrow, but I can’t really promise that :).

I so appreciate your prayer for us.... As I traveled yesterday I felt so CARRIED, like I was in the Lord's hand. It's really an amazing thing, especially after the emotionally CRAZY week I'd had leading up to that! Thank you for praying for us, and for little MM!!!
Renee & the boys

p.s. Tobin did GREAT saying goodbye, by the way. Not a tear was shed, and on the way to meet Sara, he kept telling Dudley, “Dudwey! We’re going to Gwammie’s! Isn’t that exciting???” Praise the Lord. I miss him, and hope to come home sooner rather than later, but it’s not as bad as I was expecting. Thanks for praying for that.