The team settled into bed around two a.m. Saturday morning after taking four planes over a thirty-four hour period of time. And at nine in the morning everyone was up and getting ready to go meet the kids. I wasn’t the only one eager to hug the new children for the first time. Harriet cooked a delicious breakfast for us all before we departed. I’m not sure why but the egg yolks here are the palest butter yellow, and it made me happy to see them.
We had two plans for today, one meet the children in our new home, and two visit the land. But we heard that James had been waiting for us impatiently all day long, looking for us everywhere, so we added a visit to his place onto our list, knowing we would be fully exhausted, hoping we could find the endurance somehow.
Two vans took us a half hour ride towards our new house we are renting for the fourteen children who are in our care at Kirabo Seeds. The familiar sights to me from the window helped me know I was back in a place I am beginning to know very well. There were bare baby bottoms, food for sale at the windows of our car at stoplights, women washing in round plastic basins, and people stopping to stare at my husband in the front seat. I know they wondered, “What is the mzungu doing here?”
The house is at the bottom of a slope from the road so all we can see was the blue metal roof. We entered the tall metal gates and all these little children were swarming around ready to hug and greet us. These are our kids! Oh God was faithful to his calling on our life to care for the orphan, even though we went through quite a trial learning last year how difficult it can be to one determine who is an orphan, and actually get the care we intend to them in a way that makes a difference.
The atmosphere was so positive and happy. Julie was in the kitchen cooking and the aroma of sautéing vegetables to prepare the beans was inviting. Phiona has done an amazing job getting the children’s home ready for them to be comfortable there. And Julie told me she loves her job. I’m so pleased to know she really likes what she is doing now. Since I first met her she has not had a good work situation. Now she is a member of our team, and she is so good for these children. She is firm, hard working, honest, and full of God’s love. I shouldn’t be amazed that God brought us together long ago when we came for Kira’s adoption because he knew this children’s home would be a reality one day.
At the same time we arrived to meet the new children the officer from the county came to inspect the facilities we are providing for these children. We’ve applied in our company to have an organization under it that is a Community Based Organization, which is like a nonprofit. And to qualify for this we have to have our facilities inspected. I suppose it was a good thing that we were there to meet this man who will go back and give a good report of how well the children are being cared for in this organization. I felt a little torn though as we sat on the couch in this serious meeting while all of our children ran off to the field to play games. I wanted to enjoy the play! But, good enough, ten minutes later the heavens opened and all of the children ran in a fast line back to the house.
So they got out the coloring crayons and books until the weather cleared up again. That was when the officer wanted to see the land where we will build for these children. So we drove a few minutes away and stood by the barbed wire and watched the man who is cultivating food on our land to grow for our children to eat. We talked about where to put the goats. And we stopped by Abdul’s place to see the architects drawings of the home we will build for the children. With the drawings in hand we returned to the delicious lunch Julie prepared for us all of rice and beans and some pasta. Rice and beans is my favorite dish. I love the African seasonsings they put in it. So it didn’t bother me one bit that night that Harriet also made us rice and beans.
After lunch the children introduced the story of Esther to our kids and told them we’ll be experiencing many lessons from this book this week. We enjoyed a prayer together for the first time as a new family. My heart was overcome with an unexplainable joy. I did not want to leave for sure.
But we were expected a Pastor Jame’s church so we made the short drive over threre to greet everyone there. It was so good to see familiar faces. These children are growing up and we love and adore them as always. It was especially fun for the returning members to see these children again. They brought us straight to the church and chastised us for waiting so long to arrive. The children sang us a special song written just for us, they danced an incredibly acrobatic dance, and James spoke several times. I was asked to speak, and then so was Craig. Finally Rebecca took her turn to speak, and Kira stood in front of her and began speaking to the crowd in baby babble as if she was seriously in charge. It was hysterical. Rebecca said she will be a strong force for God one day.
I had to beg our leave even though everyone was falling asleep on their feet. The team needed rest and so did Mama Tonya. We ate dinner and selected clothes for the children to wear to church tomorrow, showered, had a discussion as a team about our feelings of the day.
I’ve got to post this without photos because I’m falling asleep as I write. I’ll post some beautiful photos tomorrow.