About Me

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Maine, United States
Happily married for 14 years- celebrating the reality that our children are home

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I knew this would happen

 Sometimes you know something but don't feel it or believe it.  When their guardians came to pick them up that Friday afternoon of May 20th, I saw the worry in the women's eyes and the sadness that we were really leaving without the boys.  I could hear my own voice saying reassuringly, "We will come back soon.  It is really just a few weeks from now.  We have to go home and work, but we WILL be back."  I knew what I was saying was true, but my heart didn't believe me.  When my precious babies walked out of the compound with their guardians, in my rational heart and mind I knew that I would see them again.  It seemed as if it was so far in the future that I couldn't bear to think of how long 12 weeks was.  Once the gate closed behind them, I stood dazed looking at the closed gate until Hannah, a little girl who had just left her family to stay in the compound, quietly and matter-of-factly mused, "It's hard to leave the ones you've been staying with."  I felt myself gasp and hurried to my room where it felt safer in case I crumbled into pieces; which I did do.  I lay in that state for a few hours until Norm scooped the pieces of me up into the car and we left for the airport.  Some pieces were left behind, but I have made due without them.
bye bye Momma (see my shadow?)

I knew it was still going to happen...but it seemed like forever away.

getting set...to go!
And now it is 2 weeks away, ONLY 2.  Count them 1...2. That is it.  Look at the countdown on the right hand side of the screen.  Do you know how fast that will go by?  Next thing you know I will be there!  Arrangements have been made.  Tickets purchased.  Suitcases are in various stages of being packed.  Many, many prayers have been raised.  We have no promise of ease or success but we have faith, hope and lots of love.

50 pounds packed and ready: 1 of the 4 that we're bringing

My dad said he was packing light.  That is a good thing because I have his 2 suitcases full already!
We are bringing back supplies for some missionaries we know over there.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

a spirit of timidity

Last week I heard a song on the radio.  I've heard it lots of times before but one phrase jumped out at me.
"those who have troubles and pains keeping you back from your life"
I thought about that phrase and couldn't hear any of the rest of the song.  How powerful that little though was to break through and get to me!  What a tragedy to let troubles and pains keep me back from my life.  My life is now and yes there are troubles and pain.  This is the human condition, you might say but I could not bear the thought that I was letting anything keep me back from my life.  How was I letting that happen?

it is hard to have their "stuff" but not have them
esperence est violentThis is a quote meaning "hope is violent" from a favorite French poem "Le Pont Mirabeau."  It has always spoken strongly to me because the writer is wishing for a love he can no longer have and to hope is violent to his soul because it causes such pain.  I think that I was in that place until I heard the song I mentioned and got snapped out of my fear of hoping and believing for the best.  There is no guarantee that this trip will be easy breezy fun and fancy free but there is a promise that I will be where I am supposed to be and doing what I need to be doing and that I will not be alone.

Friday, July 15, 2011

It's official. 1 month to go.

I purchased our plane tickets yesterday.  In exactly 1 month we are leaving on August 15th from Portland ME.  We decided that it will be best if Norman does not return with me.  My dad offered to come along.  Our court date is August 23rd.  Please pray that every possible detail goes as smoothly as it can.  Travel.  Our judge.  The guardians.  The boys.  Everyone's safety and health. Appointments.  Most of all that we are learning to TRUST and REST in God's timing and His plan.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Now is the time

enjoying his 1st play dough

delighted by bubbles

climbing up daddy

tickling w/daddy


stickers: why stop at one?

Something I have learned from Hayden is to be in the moment. Don't be planning the next one or fretting over the last one.  It a culture where great happy moments come few and far between, my experience is the Ugandans REALLY know how to celebrate when the moment calls for it.  At church they would throw their entire selves body and soul into their worship of GOD.  Something I have seen less often here in a country where we live in such blessedness and ease in comparison to them.  Hayden danced wholeheartedly and sang and clapped when it suited him. He threw his head back and belly laughed with a full open mouth when he was enjoying the moment and sobbed inconsolably when he was sad.  When he fell down playing or hurt himself trying something he was determined to master there were no tears -- a little gasp from the pain but then go on trying or playing because that matters most.  Is it too cheesy to say "feel you feelings".  Some people are weepy by nature or belly laugh at the drop of a hat.  I am more guarded.  I stuff my feelings in the moment and process them later when I am all alone in the safety of my car etc.  There is FREEDOM to be found in experiencing life as it happens. In the moment.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Resolved, but Not Excited

I need to buy my return plane tickets.  I currently don't have a place to stay lined up for the first week that I need to be there.  Prices are $1600ish round trip and a little over 1k for the boys each. 

I can feel the anticipation growing in side of me about my return trip.  But it's not excitement.  There is a fair amount of dread if I want to be honest.  It is hard to picture myself back there, but I am starting to.  You can't even say it's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there...  I don't know how ready I am to get back on that ride.  I was never much for roller coasters. 
 Can you count how many military police are packed into that truck?  We they were everywhere you looked on our last trip.  Hopefully the rioters haven't given them much business and it is calmer now, but who knows.

Mel's auto garage and battery charging (when there's power...)
 this is not me trying to find something sorry -looking to take a photo of. This is just what everything looks like.

 read that billboard.  most of us don't need to purchase that kind of insurance.

need a sofa?

not quite ADA accessible

who wouldn't feel safe?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The in-betweens

Hw are u the boys are ok john is doing wl but beni is thin and he asks 4 you at bedtime

I received the text above on July 4th from Elizabeth.  Also, our lawyer suggested coming a week early to visit with the boys again before the hearing to make sure they are comfy w/me again.  That will important for Hayden/John because he is more attached to his guardian.  He also said allow a week and a half after the hearing to be sure all documents are in order.  I'll be leaving Aug 11th, most likely, and hopefully we will all be leaving together for home on Sept. 2nd.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A promise we made in Uganda

Mother's name Mary: son's name Victor: please call me
 On the terrible day described here we met Mary.  She approached us at the town office and introduced herself and told us about her 3 year old son.  I apologize for only now telling you this story.  We promised her we would tell you about her and her son so you could pray and if you wanted to, do more.  Here is the rest of what happened on that hot and horrible day...

After the lawyer went back inside to see if the town clerk was EVER going to come, Mary approached me and asked if I was here to adopt the boys.  She looked about 20 yrs old.  She asked if I helped orphans and said she was an orphan and has a 3yr old son w/no daddy and that her grandma took care of her as best as she could by digging in the fields.  Mary is taking classes to become a caterer, but said she doesn't think she'll have much opportunity with the 50% unemployment.  She asked for our help and she said it gave her HOPE just thinking that we might be able to help she and her son, Victor.  She wanted money and for her son to be adopted too.  We told her we would pray for she and her son and asked her to trust that we would tell our friends about her.  She wrote her name and numbers for us on the paper we were using for drawing.  She is the only person who asked us for money while we were there.  She seemed sincere, but there was no way to know if anything she said was true.  I have now done what I said I would do and have told my friends about her.  Will you pray for Mary? 
Hayden's hands. He counted to 5 while I traced each wiggly finger.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

but why?

Continuing my thought from yesterday:
What I am trying to say [and I warn you that you might not like it] is that this is not necessarily linear, there ARE no check boxes, this is not about goals and action plans. {there is no secret ingredient-so to speak--A shout out to all my fellow Kung Fu panda fans}

It is as simple and as complicated as this:
There is Someone in love with your heart.  His thoughts towards you are all good and loving.  He actually is the One who made your spirit and gave you your dreams.  He wants you to love Him back.  He wants real, truth, intimacy,  love, respect, beauty, joy between the 2 of you.  He just wants you.  Not with your checklist tucked under your arm along with your 5-year prospectus.  He knows how great you can be.  And the best part is that even though He doesn't judge you for being who and where you are right now, He wants you to be your best.  Not in a work-really-hard-to-get-an-A-kind of way.  More like a peaceful-confident-be-who-you-were-meant-to-be-kind of way.  The way to become that wonderful version of ourselves, as much as we may not want to hear it [I know I don't] is to go through the pain.  Experience it.  Feel it.  Live it. 
Why? I knew you'd ask that. 
Because when we are in need, we ask for help, acknowledge our dependence and start seeking answers outside of what we already know.  This is where growth happens in life; in the very daily journey of it.  When we tell the truth about ourselves to our Maker and the Lover of our soul, our faith grows.  When we admit to ourselves who we really are and acknowledge our fears and inadequacies, we -the real us that is our spirit- grow.  It matters to Him that we keep growing and keep becoming.  Because we matter that much He engineers situations for us to experience in order to grow us and show us both who we really are (the good, bad or ugly of it) and also to show us who He really is.  Note Bien: NOT the He who we have studied or think we already know or knew last time we were in pain, in other words, who he WAS.  He wants us to know who he IS currently... right now.  Knowing THE TRUTH (as a Person) is the prize for experiencing the pain. 
That is life.  Simply and Beautifully and By Design.

Friday, July 1, 2011

They're really orphans

required ad in the local paper (w/passport photos)- to prove orphan status
In context: If no one responds to the ad, it is likely they are orphans.