Sunday, July 29, 2012

What a difference a year makes...

A year ago today, I was on a plane to Uganda, to meet Micah for the first time.

On the day before I left, my dad was diagnosed with Colon cancer. Today, he has completed his treatment and surgery to put his insides all back together. He is cancer free, and looking forward to starting the school year as a healthy man again. Praise the Lord.

I'm also REALLY thankful to be sleeping right where I am - as much as I appreciated my friend Amy's couch that first night in Kampala... I woke up that Sunday morning feeling SO SICK, lonely, tired, and cut off from everyone that I know. Looking back, I remember:
- Being picked up by a stranger, in the middle of the night, on the other side of the earth. Giving myself a STERN talking to on the hour drive from the airport to Amy's house. My two instincts were to fall asleep, or burst into tears, neither of which would have been appropriate.
- Having lunch with Amy and Jesse and their family at the "mall", and experiencing Kampala traffic for the first time.
- Driving to the baby home, meeting the awesome guest house manager (who I've since come to know very well), and then being taken over to the babies. Being called "Mama Marvin" for the first time.
- Seeing Micah for the first time, with his flowery purple and pink shirt on :). He had just woken up from nap, and  he buried his face in my neck, the way he still does now when he first wakes up.

Here's the message that I sent out after my first full day in Uganda, meeting Micah.


Hi Friends!
Thank you all so much for your precious words and encouragement and prayers!! I see that Matt sent out a message that I'm here and met our little M. He is a CUTIE. I am thankful for the sweetness of our first moments, I'll treasure that memory (especially the fact that - since the kids are dressed from a stack of clothes, whatever is on top - he was wearing a pink and purple flowered shirt. :D)

I was very weepy and emotional my first night - it was harder than I expected to arrive here alone. But I've settled in, and made good friends with some of the other volunteers at our babies home - there is one American girl, the rest are British and Dutch, and they've been delightful to me, helping me learn the ropes (and bringing me to the internet cafe this morning.)

Meet with our lawyer later today - and probably get to postpone my first boda (motorcycle taxi) ride, since the meeting is late enough that it wouldn't be safe (...or it would be EVEN LESS SAFE than the very unsafe-ness it is anyway. :D)

Would you pray...
...for my heart. The kids here are very well taken care of, but you can see how starved they all are for personal attention. They compete to get on my lap, yesterday I had 6 kids climbing all over me, with M right in the middle trying to push everyone else off.
...for our legal process. The reality that the end of this journey is unsure is really in my face, now that I've seen our little M. Pray that I'd trust the Lord no matter what, and not live in fear.
...for extra capacity to love and serve, and wisdom as I interact today with the babies home administrator and our lawyer.


Here we are a year ago:

And now:

Saying thank You Jesus hardly seems to cover it.