It’s a thundering, rainy morning. The soft roll of thunder has grown into a mighty roar over the past hour and then rain happily joined the party. The weather pattern epitomizes the gentle storms that are occurring in my spirits. The joy of receiving our ruling wasn’t as climactic as I believed it would be. There is so much more to do to be officially, completely Kira’s family. I won’t fully celebrate until I walk in the door of my home with Kira in my arms. The experience in the court here is so antiseptic, emotionless, and empty. The procedure took five minutes while we sat in the judge’s room. Outside the window was construction noise, and inside the room was a whirring fan with a rusty motor. After we sat down the judge glanced at me, holding Kira, who whined for her bottle so she could sleep through the entire proceedings, and then he peered over his glasses at Melissa who also held her boy Tucker as he fell asleep. He did not say a word to us. Our cases were piggybacked. The judge read from the ruling in a voice I had to strain to hear over the clamor out the window. I cringed when he stated our earnings and net worth to the room, and I had to guess it was official when he read in monotone voice “custody of Cherish Kirabo is then granted to Craig and Tonya LaTorre as the best interest of the child”. He then put that folder aside and opened Melissa’s ruling as he proceeded to read. Afterwards we stood, the lawyer thanked him, the judge said, “Merry Christmas” and we left.
I felt odd. It was like going to hear about a traffic ticket. There were no congratulations offered by anyone. We were just sent on our way. What I most appreciated was being able to finally share her photos on my blog. And also to be free from the enforced censorship was a relief. I grew weary of the fear that any benign thing I might write would affect the judge’s ruling on our case. I appreciate the freedom of speech we Americans are given. I participated in the censorship because I respect the cases coming after us and I wouldn’t want something I wrote to make it more difficult for future adoptions. Adoption in Uganda is so new we are setting the way for those who come after us. I do not want them to shut down the adoptin process all together.
Meanwhile, my husband who was traveling to London with Donny and Jordan missed their connecting flight to Uganda because of the delays in Houston, due to the snow in London. Craig has travelled all over the world for business for many years and he said there has never been such a chaotic, desperate scene in an airport. They waited, prayed and finally were told they can “maybe” get on a flight to Entebbe on Friday. Maybe. The airline gave them hotel vouchers as well as food and clothes since they can’t get to their luggage. I was so disappointed. I tried not to let it show, I encouraged them to make the best of being in London and see all the sights, which they plan to do. We understand God’s hand in all of this and continue to pray for a little help so we can reunite and the brothers can finally meet their sister. My heart is heavy with rain.
Back at the house the power remained out. Thankfully, Julie showed me the gas stove works without electricity. She said, “we will have to make coffee the African way” then she boiled water in a pot, asked me to guess how much coffee to dump into the water and then we poured it from the pot through a sieve into the coffee server. I must say, it was flavorful, rich, and wonderful. I could also warm up Kira’s bottle in a pan of boiling water, like the old days before microwave ovens. The only remaining problems were that our electronics were draining, we were contemplating cold showers, and hundreds of dollars of food in the fridge could spoil. My most urgent panic rose at the thought of being disconnected from communication.
While I was at court, Emily administered the midterm exams to Kevin and Jack. This would complete school until January third. Honestly, Emily has been such great help to me. I couldn’t possibly keep up with all that needs to happen here if I didn’t have her partnering with me. So many times in my life I have wished to have two of me, and now while it’s most important, this wish has been granted through Emily’s generous, serving partnership. Together, she and I are stronger than we would be apart as we learn our way through this culture and process. For this trip she is following my lead in foreign missions, but I know someday I will follow her into the depths of her mission projects. I just know God has big plans for this young woman as she yearns to serve him ministering to the needs of people in this world.
After court I bought a fancy decorated cake to share with whomever I could find to serve a slice. Dessert here is so rare we can hardly find anything other than boxed English biscuits. It was a real treat. I was overwhelmed with the happenings of the day so Emily offered to babysit Kira and Melissa’s son Tucker for the afternoon so we could go to a restaurant. We sat separately, and charged all our electronics. I set up my office at a table in the corner. For several hours I posted photos of Kira, fretted while Craig was hassled at the airport, prayed, read my bible, wrote my thoughts, and cleared up the business that needed tending. Afterwards I felt current in both my mind and heart. I was prepared to work through the hassles of the day.
I hoped that returning home we would be greeted with electricity but it wasn’t so. We went only twenty-four hours without it, and when the lights turned on we all screamed and squealed. Julie laughed at our emotional outburst. Unfortunately, after two hours of light, it went out while everyone ate cake. During the late night the fan switched on, and I felt relief. What is it with us and our electricity? There’s a vulnerability to it that I don’t quite understand. I suppose I don’t want to be disconnected from communication through my blog and email with my husband. The thought of cold showers makes me want to remain dirty. The huge stocking of food I did the day before would go bad in the fridge if we didn’t get power soon. I hated to see hundreds of dollars get wasted. I know I need to be stonger than this and not let such a little nuisance affect my spirits. The entitled American in me perked up and wanted to have a rant. I was a little ashamed of myself. Somehow I knew being disconnected from communicating through my blog and with my husband would mean I am utterly alone here. Something inside of me squirms at the idea of such a degree of loneliness.
As the rainstorm now dwindles down, so does my anxiety. Even now I see the lights flicker. It is most likely to go out again today and I’m going to remember to be fluid, and acknowledge this is Africa and here there are no worries. It is so biblical. I think I will have a little time in the bible reading verses about peace so I can feel the Holy Spirit return it to me, along with faith the rest of my family will also be returned to us.
I sincerely hope Craig can get on that flight this Friday. I searched all possible ways to get him here, and it’s jammed because of Christmas. I’m not going to lose hope. I’m not going to waste opportunity to enjoy the days of waiting either. We must all make the best of whatever situation God gives for us to endure. There are lessons in all of it. I’m eager as always to learn God’s will, and to thank Him even when I feel disappointment.