It’s wonderful to stay here at Bridge AFrica. We appreciate being down the road from the baby home and able to walk there. Patrick is so helpful and accommodating to anything we ask to do. After our first day we spent at the orphanage we went out to dinner. Patrick arranged for the car to take us, and David was our driver. We asked him to take us to some place nice. He smiled widely and then nodded once to let us know he knew exactly where to go. So we piled into the van and took our first group ride during the light hours into rush hour traffic in Kampala. There is activity everywhere. It’s not anything like the sort of crazy busy that Donny described when he was in Kolkatta India, but it was wild enough for us all to have white knuckles.
David pulled up to a restaurant and I said, “I have been here before!” This was the same restaurant we went out for pizza when I was here with the mission group last year. How perfect. We invited David to have dinner with us. That was a good idea because he’s an interesting chap. We drilled him with questions all night long and he answered our curiosity happily. I’m going to put together a long blog about his life. He gave me permission. His story and others I’ve met like him are why I love the people of Uganda. And it’s also what sealed the deal for us when we decided to definitely adopt from Uganda. We like these people so much, that having a descendent of such a hard working, family loyal, well mannered, friendly, accommodating, kind hearted, and loving people would be a blessing to our family and everyone who knows us for as long as we live. I’ll share his story when I get a good photo of this young man. As we finished our dinner, a friend approached me and said, hey I know you! It was Wayne Thomas, our friend we met last year at the mission house we stayed at, and he is the one who brought Watoto World Tour to our town! (Tarah’s husband) He sat with us and we chatted for a little bit. His family returns from the states tomorrow night. We hope to arrange some Christmas cheer together!
Once the crew ate breakfast and packed up we hiked up the hill. There’s a rotting meat odor by the house that’s so bad we are all quite afraid to lose our breakfast right there on the road. I honestly saw the biggest dead rat I’ve ever seen in my life. It made our backyard rats in Texas look like cockroaches. Speaking of big, Emily saw some bats the other night as big as hawks. She said, I think they could poop on my head. She literally ducked. And we thought everything was bigger in Texas! Ha! Africa has us put to shame.
Once we reach the baby home there’s a fragrant lemony scent from the bushes. There’s symbolism in this I am sure. It still surprises me when I walk into the home and there’s this cute chubby baby dressed in a different outfit and I blink before I realize, this is MY baby! She was in a fine mood when we joined her this morning. When she first saw us she brightened up, it wasn’t a smile, but we were familiar. This was good progress after just one visit. I mentioned I arrived equipped with a goal, I was going to get a smile, and what a relief she gave it to me within the first ten minutes. I was in. Whew. And it felt as good as a glass of wine and a meal of gourmet food that settles in the tummy opening the way for the conversation to go deep and meaningful. Yes. Delicious.
We spent all day at the orphanage. It was six o’clock when Craig said, it’s time to go and get some rest. All of us enjoyed ourselves so much we didn’t notice the time pass. These kids are seriously entertaining. Kira loves to see the photos of herself on the back of our cameras. Her eyes and lips pop, she grabs it to come closer and she exclaims with several baby gutteral sounds. I sat and read some books for her, and she paid good attention to the photos and seemed to enjoy the lilt of my voice. She sat through three stories and then the book ended with a mirror. She began to kiss herself in the mirror over and over and over again. We were howling with laughter. She likes to ride the little scooter toys, jump in the johnny jumper and scoot around in a walker. She’s observant. She doesn’t let one sound or sight escape her attention. A smart baby. This is good, she’ll need to keep up with her brothers.
At one point in the afternoon everyone went out to play on the playground. Margaret, one of the volunteer aunties, brought out a box of little shoes and dumped them on the floor. These were little flip flops with heel straps and a masking tape with the child’s name written on it. We slipped on the shoes and they hobbled down the steps towards the play yard. Some of the rascally boys tried to make a run for it in the other direction but when we ushered them into the yard they quickly complied. The play was sweet until one child found a stick. He was so funny running from person to person wearing a serious face and yelling, “ya koo koo bah”. We didn’t understand what he was saying. I thought he was showing me a bug so I said, “cockroach?” He went from person to person waving his stick and looking fierce like he was in a movie fight scene. Finally one of the aunties translated for me, ” I’m going to beat you!” Oh, my. What a boy. I have some great pictures of his little performance, but I am forbidden to post photos of the orphans.
Kira fell asleep in my arms again and Craig was waiting in the rocking chair to rock her for “their” nap. We broke all the rules again with this practice but that’s ok. Nothing is sweeter than a baby sleeping on daddy’s shoulder. Every time I had her in my lap Jack appeared, “can I hold my sister?” He wouldn’t let up. My only hope was knowing she’s too heavy for him to hold for too long so I indulged him. The brothers have been incredibly involved with these babies. They never want to leave for lunch. They ask us to go get it and bring something back for them because they like playing with the kids so much. They are the experts on which child is which and what their individual preferences are. I’m so pleased that they are not only doing this service, but enjoying it with all their hearts. The Aunties kept telling me today how wonderful they are with the children and what a nice family Kira is going to have.
It is very sad for them to see the babies leave the home. Especially Kira because she arrived the day she was born and they have watched her grow up these nine months. I am so thankful they are attached to her because that means Kira has known love all the days she’s been alive. This is not always the case as many children are found alone on the streets when they are older. I can see in her disposition that she is secure and loved. This is the fulfillment of God’s promise to care for the orphans. And the aunties of this orphanage are the true hands and feet of Jesus as they love and care for these babies who continue to fill their rooms.
One of them said to me, thank you for loving her. I was stunned. I said, no, thank YOU for taking care of her all these months so we could have a secure, happy, loved baby. A true bond was created between our family and this orphanage. I would very much like to organize a mission trip to come here with teens to work with the babies.
It takes me an hour to load four pictures from here so I apologize for skipping that part of my story today. It is turning eleven in the pm, we are still expecting my mom to arrive tonight after midnight and we have to be ready to go for our court date tomorrow at eight am. I need some beauty sleep, but not as much as I NEED your prayers for our court appearance tomorrow. When I check in tomorrow afternoon I’ll share what happened. This is the BIG DAY! so, goodnight my friends.