It was a good day.
When I wake up here my body feels like it has been worked over by a personal trainer, and yet, I haven’t done any formal exercise from my usual routines at all. The lifestyle here is so full of hard physical work. We walk everywhere, doing laundry makes me sweat, carrying a chubby baby all day long is great for my arms, and not having the luxuries and comforts of relaxing at home keep us busier longer in our day. We spent the morning doing a little house organizing while the boys began school. It is time to begin using up all the food in the cupboards. We needed to change beds, tidy up clothes, do more laundry, and organize the clothing situation. It has been an interesting experiment for me to abandon my normal exercise routines and see what happens when I throw myself into the African lifestyle.
David drove me to the embassy yesterday. I had to pass through three locked doors one scanner and two bag checks to gain entrance into my “home”. I opted to wait outside this visit so I could enjoy the breeze, the gardens and the birdsong. There was even a beautiful butterfly that came to visit me and I scowled because they took my camera before I was allowed to enter the first locked door. How I would love to capture those flying flowers of Africa and have a collection of beautiful photos. Oh well. I can’t bring everything from Africa home, but…I can bring a precious daughter…. We got our visa.
The two women at the embassy who gave me the package with instructions and her Ugandan passport with the visa attached to a page said her photo was one of the best they’ve seen come through. She looks like a little gerber baby. They are making a collection at the embassy of photos of children from Uganda who have been adopted and are situated in America. I promised to take a photo of her next to a uniquely Texan environment and email it to them. They smiled and said, when those photos come in it makes an otherwise difficult day much better. They can see the fruit of their labor, and who can deny the inspiration in that.
Everyone celebrated the good news with me but a panicked look crossed faces as they asked if we were going to go home now. The parting from our new friends is going to cause pain for everyone. What I love about the people here though is they are not guarded against getting close to us even though they know we will leave them. It doesn’t occur to them to protect themselves from that pain. They receive us with wide open hearts and share life with us in an intimate way. I have moved ten times in the twenty years Craig and I have been married and with each move I notice that the new people I meet withdraw from me when they realize we are “professional relocators”. They would rather not get to know me and protect themselves from the wasted time and probable hurt than risk the pain of losing a friend. That has been an issue in my life that keeps me closely connected to loneliness but also more intimately bound to God who I know will never reject me. And for the friends who risk the hurt for my friendship, I treasure you and am devoted to keeping the friendship thriving. Thank you.
Yesterday I made a new friend here. Irene is the fiancée of George (who came to Paraa with us). We liked George so much that I asked him to bring his girl around so we could meet. After the first dinner on Sunday evening with her I invited her back. She is has just finished her degree in Christian counseling and wants to get her masters in theology from a school in Kenya. Talking to her about the things of God has been one of the richest experiences I have had here in Uganda. I’ve taken her under my wing and I hope to help her see how God wants her to fly. So I brought her with me yesterday to visit Veronica at the Comforter’s center. George accompanied me there when we first visited Veronica and his remark was, “this is good. I need to bring my girl here.” Irene is planning her wedding for June and one of the items on the planning list is birth control. I know the expert in Uganda on this topic so it was my pleasure to sit in on the instructional way Veronica teaches women the rhythm method using beads of different color to count days and know which ones are safe and which ones will get them pregnant. Irene was amazed to learn that God had given women a natural way to plan their family. She became motivated to get this information to the other women within her reach so they will not use the pills that are so hard on the woman’s body. Veronica liked her so much she invited her back for an appointment to talk about how Irene can contribute her counseling skills to help the women learn about God’s plan for planning families and development of life in the womb. They were both happy to find each other, and I once again stood in awe of how God will use me to get His work accomplished.
Irene shared with me that her life desire has been to adopt a child before she begins producing her own. Adoption is also a desire in George’s heart. When Craig and I first discussed our adoption with Kira’s baby home we agreed that if we were going to take a baby out of her Ugandan culture we would like to sponsor an adoption so a child could grow up Ugandan and we asked God to show us who we could come alongside and help make this become a reality. When Irene told me how eager she is to adopt a child right away I told her that Craig and I would pay for their adoption fees so they could give an orphan child here a forever home. There’s no way to describe the joy they shared when I casually dropped that offer on them. It was really as if I had just witnessed the intimate moment when a man and wife discover they are pregnant. Their smiles were deep, they hugged spontaneously and found themselves speechless. She even said, I feel like going to get a child right this minute. How marvelous it is again to see God answer my prayers. When they adopt a child it won’t be some anonymous sponsorship, but their adopted child and my Kira can have a special bond for life as our two families will always be connected. This arrangement is far better than I could have imagined and it doesn’t surprise me how richly and lavishly God answers the cry of my heart. (there is no way I am missing that wedding!)
It gives me some mixed emotion to take a child out of her culture, so knowing I can help one child remain and grow in a loving Christian home gives me as much joy as I get from receiving the official visa to take Kira home to America. God does more than we can even imagine to ask of Him. It is no wonder I feel the overwhelming urge to fall to my face and thank Him as my ambition to serve Him with my life and talents doubles every day. Writing this blog today has made me cry with tears of admiration and gratitude for God’s hand on my life.