I could get some much needed sleep except that there’s a party directly outside my window with loud African music in a language I can’t understand. I guess I will write until their party ends. It is a good thing that the beat in the music is happy so it doesn’t make me feel grumpy. I’m sort of dancing a little bit while I write if that is possible.
I need to report that Kira has never had more fun in her short life. Every day feels like a party for her. She’s used to her routine here and she likes it. Last night she crept into Jack’s bed when she got scared. He woke up and reported how nice it was that she snuggled him. Jack is also having more fun than he could have ever imagined. The children in our home have improved their English so much that they can communicate with Jack. He is just about their age and he has fun doing regular boy things with them.
The kids have been practicing hoolahooping and today a few of them had a contest with Jack, and they are getting close to be able to keep up with him. Kira thinks if she holds on to the hoop with her hands and spins her body around that she’s doing it. It’s hysterical when she staggers like a drunk for a minute.
This morning we visited a favorite place in Kampala so I could make a reservation to ride a horse for an hour tomorrow afternoon. Meanwhile we decided to give Phiona, Jack and Kira a pony ride around the hotel gardens. Phiona and Kira have never been on a horse before! They both loved it. Jack was off and on his own trotting along just fine. Kira was so confident. She asked to hold the reins. And next thing I knew she was trying to post while her pony walked, up down up down in the saddle with her bottom she went along. She sat up so tall and sat still in the saddle. She knew her job and she wasn’t afraid. I was so excited and proud of her. I can’t say how wonderful a memory it will be for me to tell her that the first horse she rode was in Uganda, her home country. I couldn’t have planned it better. And as it was this was completely unplanned and so perfect. I’ll treasure her sweet serious face as she rode her pony for the first time.
We did some shopping to be able bring more things home to sell. Jack has a friend he made when we were here on our adoption. He went straight for her booth. She remembered him immediately and couldn’t et over how much he has grown. They chatted, he shopped and it was the happiest scene. Next time we visit her before we leave we are going to take their photo together and he will buy a frame of her. She was sweet with Kira and entertained her with Phiona for the rest of our shopping trip in that market.
Back at the home we were eager to see how Marvin faired on his first day in the home. Auntie Julie is already attached as I knew she would be. Any child who smiles a smuch as he does wins anyone’s heart. Tonight at devotion time the child sat straight in a chair along with the other children. When he started dozing I lifted him into him into my lap. Kira stared at me and began to sob a pitiful cry. She was not willing to share her mama with another baby. I had to pass him to Christine who loves being a mama and Kira had to find her place in my lap to make sure it belonged to her.
Marvin had a perfect first day in our home. Auntie Julie is eager for his wounds to dry up. They are covering his body and open and sore for him. He takes bitter medicine like he is eating candy. I can’t imagine a child leaving his known environment, coming to live with strangers, feeling sick and sore yet smiling and feeling so content. He slept all through the night on his own in his bed for the first time in his life.
There have been moments in this day where I feel how surreal my life has become. I am not carrying some ivy league graduate degree to do this work perfectly. I’m so flawed. I’m so in experienced in business. I’m so unworthy of such an honor as to be able to help children who are suffering like this to have a better opportunity. Only God could do this work I know this better every day. I don’t know why he chose me but I am so thankful he did. I love this work. I love these kids. I love our team. I love Uganda. I love the possibilities in front of us. I love our God who did this through us.
I can’t imagine a better feeling than to wake up and know I will spend my day using everything I have to help children like ours who have suffered to have a better life, and opportunities in their future. I am the visionary in this organization. I imagine two big projects in our future. (Craig you might want to sit down and take a deep breath.) I see starting a high quality school maybe beginning with one class a year and adding a classroom every year. We do have land for it. Also I see us beginning a business here where the children can work and learn how to run a business. I think that if I can get wedding dresses donated from America and bring them over there is a big market here for renting American style white wedding dresses. Our girls especially would love to work with brides and gowns. The boys too would probably enjoy such a quality work environment. Except for Lawrence he claims he wants to e a policeman even though he is only five years old.
Our girls want to learn how to sew baby clothes. I’m thinking I can come up with a simple pattern and try to teach them but it would be better to get someone skilled over here to educate them. The four girls in our home are budding mamas. I could spend all day watching them practice. I gave the children bandanas yesterday. I have seen them become Rambo headbands for the boys, head wraps for the girls, baby blankets, baby back carriers for the baby dolls, flags, and scarves. I am sure in the next week they will educate me in more interesting ways how to use a 99 cent bandana. I wish my own kids liked a bandana that much.
I am thinking that a tsetse fly should bite the man singing loudly in the speaker outside my window. I’d like him to get the sleeping sickness right now. Speaking of sickness, every single day someone has to go visit the clinic. Today Musa felt sick so Phiona and Robert took him to the clinic and he has the beginning stage of malaria. His parasite count is not too high so he perked up quickly with the first dose of medicine. That’s two children with malaria in less than one week of my arrival. It makes me thankful that we have sponsors for the children who help cover the medical costs to keep them healthy. I don’t even want to know the statistics of how many children die every year from malaria in this country, and please don’t add up the number for the whole continent when I can see how cheap a few pills are at the clinic. I don’t want to leave you with such a depressing thought so I will tell you that we are going toa do all we can to take our family from fifteen to sixteen so little Marvin can get medical care, eat well, go to school and know Jesus.
Devotion time after bath and before dinner is like going to church every night for these children. I’m just amazed at how well the team can lead devotions. They take turns and each have such a special way of sharing God’s truth. Each night the children share pieces of their hearts that were once hidden for safety. Now they are emerging and ready to heal. I am so thankful we have grown an environment for them where they feel so loved and secure that they can share. They are learning about unconditional love. Our team has given them unconditional love and of course because it comes from the almighty Father, it works in all the right ways for every hurt.