Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ugandan Adventures: The harder days begin...

4/2012  Due to the nature of adoption in Uganda (and, frankly, the occasional craziness of the Ugandan adoptive community), I chose not to blog about many 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 a message I posted to my secret/private facebook group describing the first of what would be many harder days during our time in Uganda.


Saturday November 5, 2011 

We had a very interesting morning… On Saturdays, they don’t have “class”, so we played with kiddoes all morning, which was fun. I bought some plastic kazoos on clearance @ Michael’s, so gave those out this morning, it was funny to see even the little babies buzzing away on them.

At lunch, the babies’ bottles were all way too hot to drink…but like all babies, as soon as they saw them, they started wailing for them. It was a ZOO. (It feels crazy to me with one little baby crying for a bottle, imagine that times 15 or 20!)

M wouldn’t kiss or hug us goodbye at nap time (he hugged Luke, but not Matt or I)….he pushed us away. This is normal behavior, and I was expecting it (it actually means that he’s beginning to attach, and we’ll probably deal with a lot of this until he feels safe and secure with us.) But still sad…

And then… We attended the funeral of a baby. It’s not a baby any of us knew… He came in just before we got here, but was so sick he never even spent the night at the baby home, he went straight to the hospital. One of the mamas spent most of the time there with him, so she’s really sad…and the rest of them have been praying for him every day in the morning devotions they do as a staff. They think he was 12 months old, but only weighed 4kg…and had some broken bones, so was probably mistreated. He was malnourished and feverish, and 2 days ago got a stomach bug that dehydrated him to the point that they couldn’t save him. So sad…and this is what the staff here deal with (and fight against!) every day. They had a short memorial service for him after we put the kids to bed for nap.

I feel like the Lord is really shielding our hearts. It’s also amazing to see how much this is reality…it’s still sad for those who live here, but not nearly as shocking as it is to Western eyes/ears. I feel a little ashamed to be living in the comfort and ease that we have when so much of the world is so hard, but not sure what to do with that. But we are thankful to know the God who is “making all the sad things come untrue”, and to be a small part of His redemptive plan. He is GOOD.
Well you already knew we had kind of a harder morning, with the funeral and all… And this afternoon, I really hit a wall. I am ready to be done with orphanage life. When I was here before, it was really overwhelming at first, but then I got used to trusting the Lord with all of these things, and was just grateful to be here.

This trip I have felt grateful from the beginning, and not overwhelmed at all. Until this afternoon. I didn’t sleep well last night, so after writing what I wrote above, I took a little nap, and then we planned to go out to see the tombs.

But as we were waiting, one of the mamas came to get me because someone was here to see me. It was one of the people involved in Marvin’s case, who showed up wanting to see us. It was fine, and I was able to find someone to translate, but it made me nervous and it was just generally stressful (mostly because it took me by surprise, and M was wierded out by it).

So after I calmed down from that, I sat out with the kids and one of my favorite Mamas (Mama Betty again, who has loved on M since he was a little baby…she’s really attached to him and I can tell sad to see him go, although she’s been really sweet to me.)

We fed a few kids a peanut butter/nutritional supplement …which caused a riot among all the other kids. They shared, but it basically meant I spent the afternoon with screaming, peanut butter smeared, pee covered kids climbing all over me. Oh, and they were playing in the sand, so add a thick layer of dirty SAND on top. I felt like I’ve never felt grosser…and then when my friend Janet & I were giving bottles (to crawlers, not infants…they sit in this long high chair, and you feed two bottles at once)… one of them projectile vomited.

And now I have sand in my mouth and hair, I’m sticky and coated in pee. And I smell like vomit. Gag.

So…maybe you want to pray for my heart? And just that I would hear the Lord’s voice in all of this? 
You can pray for Luke too…he’s still doing pretty well, but I can tell it’s wearing him down too. He really wants everyone to take turns and share…especially if Marvin is the one waiting for a turn or wanting to be shared with. But that’s just not the way it works here, and it’s useless to get frustrated when the kids are misbehaving – not that we just let them do whatever, but these kids are hurting and they’re not always going to play fair (and sometimes they hit, kick or bite you.) I’ve had to talk to Luke several times today about being gentle when he corrects, and serving and helping all of the kids, not just M.
I’ve taught my kids that thankfulness is the medicine for a grouchy heart (when they complain, I make them give me 5 things they’re thankful for – I started doing this when Luke was 6, maybe? He doesn’t really love it :D). I definitely have a grouchy heart right now… 
So I am thankful for:
…Matt & Luke being here with me for 10 days, and especially for TODAY.
… Sweet hugs and cuddles from M tonight at bedtime.
…that the end is hopefully in sight. The Lord is WITH US, He has not abandoned me, and He’s not going to. And no matter what happens, I am bathed in His goodness!
…the sweet mamas who do this every day, all the time, for not much pay
…Joel (the guesthouse manager, and cook) made pancakes tonight. They are like crepes, and cinnamon-y, and we heat them up, spread nutella on them and eat them for dessert. YUMMY. Tomorrow I’ll have another one for breakfast, with bananas AND nutella. I know better than to find comfort and happiness in food, but I'm not going to lie: Those pancakes were like a gift from the Lord tonight, and they made me happy.
…A hot shower and a good cry.
…instant coffee
…a mosquito net to sleep under
…a comfortable bed to sleep in, and decent food to eat
…internet where I am staying, rather than having to walk 10 minutes for it.
…Coca-cola light
…all of you at home praying for us
…the hope of a good night’s sleep
…we’ve talked to Tobin a couple of times, and he is doing GREAT. Thankful for a Grammie who’s willing to be a stand-in-mama for so long!
…the presence of the Lord

I do think thankfulness is like medicine… I feel better already!
Love you all!