Sunday, November 11, 2012

Looking back...

I mentioned in this week/month's Capture Gratitude post that this time of year has been very poignant, as every date reminds me where we were this time last year. It really is amazing to look back and remember all the Lord did in our time in Uganda.

On November 8...
It’s official…he’s OURS. WHOOP! And we should get the written ruling TOMORROW.

People. This is record time. I can hardly believe it. Praise the LORD for His mercies. (On the other hand, I keep expecting the other shoe to drop. Why do I always assume the Lord will chose the harder path for me? I totally trust Him to provide completely for me on whatever path He chooses, but I just expect that it will be the harder path.)

You can pray we’d get the written ruling as planned…for the visa process (even after we have guardianship, we still need permission to bring M into the states. And it feels like they are changing the rules even while people are in the middle of the process (change for the better, but it’s still hard when you’re told one thing at the beginning, but then get caught up by something new.) I am almost positive that our case still follows all the rules. (but see what I mean about waiting for the other shoe??)

You might also pray for wisdom… It’s possible that I could come home (with MM!!!) much earlier than my originally planned flight on 12/4. That’s going to be a lot of decision making with Matt & I continents (and 9 time zones) apart. We’ll be weighing the cost difference between staying (once MM & I move away from the babies home, it will cost us $50/night, plus any travel/food) and the cost of changing my ticket (I get one free change, but have to pay the difference in fare, if it’s a higher fare.) We also have to purchase a 1 way ticket for MM and make sure he can get on all the same flights as me – this is why we’re using a travel agent, and not booking ourselves.

More later, along with some adorable pictures I took today before we headed to court! Oh, and speaking of court… We were there by 12:30 and didn’t leave until 7:30…another marathon day. This time they had us sit/wait in the actual judges chambers hearing other cases. It was really interesting, but also hard as lots of hard/private details were shared. I prayed and prayed for the other families there, especially as hard things in their cases surfaced.
On November 9...
My boys just left and I'm cheering myself up by reading all of the sweet notes and celebration from everyone. My heart is really touched, for our family, but also for our little guy, who is already SO LOVED. Thankful.

Matt & Luke said goodbye to all the babies today...and "SEE YOU SOON!" to Micah Marvin.

And y’all. Luke was so sad to leave Micah Marvin. It’s really sweet. I’m hoping it won’t be long at all before they are together again!!

We got to take MM out today – our excuse was to take passport photos, which I needed 4 more of – but we also took the time to enjoy a couple of hours away from the baby home with our sweet boy. We also had lunch at the most American place here, burgers and fries. It was yummy!

Some things to continue to pray for…
… Lord willing, I’m picking up our written ruling tomorrow. Pray it would be ready as promised? And pray God would give me wisdom with any financial requests our lawyer makes. Also, please pray for safety as I’ll be carrying a lot of money.

… Friday morning I’ll drop off our ruling and LOTS of forms. Please pray that I have everything I need, and for a speedy visa process!

… Would you also pray for Micah Marvin’s heart, as I begin to transition him out of the orphanage and to family life? If we’re able to get our written ruling tomorrow…drop everything off at the embassy Friday…there’s a chance I could get my exit interview next week or early the following. I’m going to try to move away from the babies home a week to 5 days before leaving the country.

…. Will you pray that the Lord would BOND Micah Marvin to me, and me to him, that he would begin to feel safe and secure, that his fears of abandonment would surface so that I can address them, and that the Lord would love MM through me. Pray also for wisdom to recognize and empathize with his struggles, plus patience, and strength for me.

This traveling/legal part of adoption is the kind of obvious battle, the one that’s exciting to live and watch… But in many ways, the battle for MM’s heart is just beginning. I am super excited to allow the Lord to use us to love and teach MM what it means to have a father and mother, to be a brother, to live in a family…to teach him how to love and be loved. But I know that it will be hard, so I covet your prayers for that process…we NEED the Lord to go before us!!

Now rather than sitting around feeling lonely, I'm going to watch a movie on my computer and knit. By myself. Once we get home, who knows if I'll ever get a minute to myself again, so I'm going to try to ENJOY however long I have here :).

You guys are the best. SERIOUSLY.
November 10
So… Still waiting. We do have a signed written ruling, but there was an error in the guardianship order (which is usually signed at the same time by the judge?) Our lawyer waited until 8:30 Tuesday night hoping they’d reprint it so the judge could sign it then, but the clerk was tired. Sigh.

I have several of the important papers I need to take to the embassy…but can’t go without the signed ruling, and Micah Marvin’s passport. Which we’re also waiting on – there’s some sort of hold up in the passport office (this is a Ugandan passport.) Our lawyer is hopeful she can get both tomorrow, and I can pick them up Monday morning. Since I can only go to the embassy between 7:30 – 11:30 MWF, it seems like a lot to hope that I’ll be able to pick those things up AND get over to the embassy Monday morning…but we’ll see!

Will you pray for each of those things (the guardianship order…the passport…and also the release I need from the babies home, which I have, but need to get signed…) 
I would love to have all of those things and be able to go to the embassy Monday morning (especially since I’d been hopeful that I could go tomorrow.) But also pray for my heart to REST. Just knowing it’s possible to happen quickly gets my hopes up and makes me anxious for MOVEMENT, and to begin to plan (you know I love having a plan!) But this is Africa (TIA!), and I want to rest and enjoy, not be driving myself crazy trying to be in charge of things and people I’m certainly not in charge of!

The very good news is that I did not have to go with a driver or a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) to my lawyer’s office… My sweet Ugandan friend Susan, who is on staff with Navigators at a university right near the babies home, came and picked me up. Susan is one of those friends whom I’ve only spent a little time with, but we just connect, and have SO MUCH in common, despite being from such different places. It’s also great in the midst of such different service/ministry from what I’m used to – to take a little break from loving babies to talk college ministry. So fun.

We had a wonderful chance to catch up and visit while we waited to meet with my lawyer. I was not very excited about going to the office by myself today, or traveling with all that money… so getting Susan’s call and offer of a ride was like a surprise gift from the Lord!!

That was my afternoon…so refreshing! But I do feel like I’m getting a cold. I feel tired and my throat hurts. One of the kiddos in M’s class was puking up his guts this morning (multiple times right next to me), so I decided I’d better rest this afternoon. I’m going to go over in a bit and help with dinner and the changing/bath/bed routine (otherwise known as the wet naked babies game), and to see my little guy for a bit more!

I did have a lovely morning (if you don’t count the vomit…which you never should, obviously.) I went over for the 7AM shift, and heard morning devotions (the mamas sing praise songs to a big drum and pray and have a Bible message every morning…I LOVE hearing people sing in another language, particularly worship :D), then helped to get the kids bathed and changed for class. After they got settled in class, I came back and had breakfast and some devotional time myself. Then I went back over and helped with snack and the second part of class. They had a Ugandan man come in with a guitar and sing for them (so wish I could record the kids saying 'guitar' with their little accents – geeTAR!)
It was fun in the toddler room (M’s class), the kids LOVE to dance, especially our little guy! Then we took all the toddlers and the geeTAR man over to the baby room so everyone could enjoy. That got a little nuts (probably 40 kids under the age of 3?), but I just sat down and let the ones who always want to be held crawl all over me. I did snatch up one baby, so I got some good baby time, which I don’t often get, since I’m always with the older group. By this time (I’d been with them for over an hour), MM was happy to dance and play, just checking every now and again to see if I was still there. When I first show up, he clings to me and wants to be held…after I’ve been around for a while he moves on to play on his own, but I like that I catch him checking to see if I’m still around. Sometimes if he sees I’m holding someone else, he comes over and claims his spot with me, but today he was having such a good time shaking maracas and dancing, he was OK with everyone else getting a turn with me.
We sang “You are my Sunshine” for probably 10 minutes, it was so fun, and brought back fond memories of my friends Jessica and Dionna :). Then we sang a bunch of Christmas songs, and any other songs the man could think of in English (for the toddlers, he sang in Luganda…don’t know why). After he left, the mamas played the drums again and we sang, among many other things, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” HILARIOUS. I love that song.
I'm going to continue to share what I was going through this time last year, from my super-secret prayer warrior facebook group. But for now, you can know that getting our ruling so fast was a false promise as far as getting us home faster went.... I went through the "you'll get your passport in 2 days" routine until the END of November. 3 weeks. I won't share all of those updates because many of them are basically, "Still waiting. More vomit." That about sums it up! It seemed so long at the time, but now I miss Uganda so much.