Pages

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Not Much To Do

Bored, that is what I am.  Staying with Mrs. Ellen and Mr. Herb is wonderful.  Their staff cook our wonderful meals and do our laundry.  This does not leave much for us to do.  With Sadie and Nolen gone the place is much calmer and a little bit quieter.  Nanny JaJa and I have both taken to reading a lot.  Mrs. Ellen has a small library with a mixed collection of books that have been left by various guest.  I have already read 6 novels since Chad left last week.  I have also read a couple books of the Old Testament.  With no television after the kids go to bed there is not much else to do but read.  We also like to take walks when the weather permits.
 It is currently rainy season in Uganda.  It rains about once a day.  When big storms come we usually loose power.  I think the power was out more this week than it was on.  There is a small generator at the house that can be used to provide a little light in the evening.  However, it is not strong enough to power the hot water heater.  Yesterday when the power came back on we both took showers as soon as we could.  We are glad we did because about an hour later the power was out again.
  The girls are doing very well with playing with the toys we have.  We have a small drawer that they use as a toy box for their toys.  We also have a couple of books.  They love to read Llama Llama Mad at Mama.  After we read this book I hear the repeating llama llama.  They also love to play with their baby dolls.  They carry them around in the back of their dresses.  The ladies here carry their babies on their backs.  The girls also play feed them and put them to sleep.  Hadley likes to play dressup with some play jewelry and our shoes.  They are still very scared of the dog so we don't play in the yard much.  I hope they can get over that pretty soon.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Day Trip to the Equator

A few weeks ago we took a short trip to the equator.  It was about a 2 hour drive from Kampala.  They had a science experiment set up a the equator, at which the science teacher in me came out.  I was upset that we did not have enough battery power in our camera to record the experiment.  There was a bowl with a hole in the bottom of it.  A man poured water into the bowl and you watched it swirl in different directions.  There was one bowl in the northern hemisphere, one in the southern hemisphere, and one on the equator.  I have heard of this experiment before but I thought that the bowls would need to be quite a bit of distance apart.  But I was wrong.  They are about 15 feet from each other.  The water on the north hemisphere rotated clockwise while the water on the southern hemisphere rotated counter clockwise.  The water in the bowl on the equater went straight down.



Thursday, October 27, 2011

Update

We have had a lot going on here on the otherside of the world.  Chad, Sadie, and Nolen left here Tuesday night they arrived home on Wednesday.  It was very hard to see them go.  The kids were excited to go home, Sadie has been a bit homesick.  When I asked them what they missed the most both of them said they missed their dogs.  Sadie told me she wanted PaPa to get her a Frosty from Wendys on the way home.  Chad was amazing.  A few months he did not want to go to Target with both kids but this week he travelled around the world with them.  It was good see the facebook photos of their homecoming, they made me more ready to come home.
Yesterday Nancy, H, L, and myself went to the US Embassy to complete the DNA testing.  The girls and both birthparents were tested.  The tests are being sent via FedEx back to the US to be analyzed.  Now all we have to do is wait.  That is going to be the hard part. 
Thank you to all who have requested the necklaces.  Chad brought many home with him.  He should have them available at The Bridge on Sunday.  My sister also has many with her in Memphis.  If you need further information on how to contact them please let me know.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Paper Bead Necklaces For Sale



Since we will be hanging around a bit longer we will be having a few extra expenses.  To help us with this I am going to offer paper bead necklaces.  We purchased these necklaces from the girls baby home in Jinja.  The ladies at the baby home make the necklaces by rolling recycled pieces of paper into beads.  The beads are then dipped into a type of resin.  Arise and Shine babies home sales these in order to fund the orphanage.  By purchasing these necklaces you will be helping fund the orphanage and help us bring home our girls.
The necklaces are long enough to be wrapped around your neck up to 3 times.  They are multicolor.  We are selling them for $15 each.  Chad will have them available when he returns home in a few days.  You can also purchase them from our family in Memphis.  We hope to be seeing most of you around the holidays.  If you would like us to bring you home a necklace please send me an email to hstewa10@gmail.com or post a comment.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Forgiveness: Working on It

The only way to describe this week is emotional.  I have been from the highest highs to the lowest lows.  I have felt wronged by our lawyer, Dorah Mirembe and desserted by our agency, Little Miracles International.  Due to a simple mistake by a lawyer who does not show much care we are still here.  This was a small oversight on her behalf but a $10,000 extra expense to us.  We have decided to reduce contact with our adoption agency because they don't seem to believe us or be able to help us. when.  So wronged and desserted is what I feel.  I am not sure who I would recommend for a Ugandan adoption but I know who not to use. 
I have struggled with these emotions towards these people this week.  I have been angered more than I knew possible.  I have not always handled it with the most christian like attitude.  I know anger is an emotion that's okay to feel.  Jesus got angry at the temple.  But I need to move on.  I need to forgive them.  I can't let them leave a negative impression on all that God has done with me here.
Today we went to an orphanage outside Kampala.  We went with a lady, Mrs. Tonya, who is staying with the missionary family we are staying with.  This lady runs an organization called Kirabo Seeds.  She collects money in the states to fund the orphanage.  She made an unplanned trip here this week because the director of the orphange was not using the funds for the children.  Today she took us to see where 50 children live in 2 rooms.  I did not know people could live on so little.  These children had only the shirts on their backs.  We went for a birthday party celebrating many of the children's birthdays.  They took cakes for the children to enjoy and blankets for birthday presents.  Mrs. Tonya spoke to the children about the event that had occured.  She was really speaking to me.  She spoke about how we must forgive those that have done us wrong.  God brought me to a tiny place in the middle of nowhere, where I could not be distracted and told me to forgive those that have wronged me.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New Place

Today we moved to a new place to stay.  We are staying with a retired missionary family.  They have a duplex and are letting us stay in one half of the home.  The family is Ellen and Herb Cook.  There is a cook that will make 3 meals a day.  The best part: there is a washing machine.  It is nice to get settled in before Chad leaves with our 2 muzungu children.  The family also has a dog named Roxy.  Sadie and Nolen have loved getting to play with Roxy.  Nolen even asked if Roxy could sleep with him.  However, Hadley and Liana are terrified of her.  They have never been close to a dog before and find her very scary.  Hopefully we can use this time to get them used to dogs since we have 2 at home.

It has become evident to me that the next few weeks is my time to be still. 

Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted among the earth.
This is my time to let God do His work.  I need to wait on Him to finish what He is doing with my family in Uganda.  I want dearly to come home.  But even more I want to do what my God has called me too.  I am not yet sure what else He has in store for me here.  It might just be time for me to spend with Him, uninterrupted by the everyday life in America, it might be to share my story with you, I might find a mission opportunity to work on, or I might not ever know.  These are all things that I am coming to terms with as I enter the beginning of my 7th week in this beautiful country.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Today was suppossed to be a great day. I was going to get visas for


my daughters to come home today. But the Lord had different plans.

We went to the embassy today with the court order and the birth

parents of the girls. We also took all of the needed documents. Our

Embassy appointment in Russia took less than an hour. So around hour

number 5 Chad and I new something was not right. The consular at the

embassy is new. She is being very strict. There was confusion

in the paperwork about the girls birthdate. They had recorded 2

different dates as their birthdate. From my understanding this is

common in this country. Often people don't know their exact

birthdates as they are not born in hospitals. Record keeping is poor

at its best. The consular did not like the descrepancy in the dates.

Therefore, she would not issue the visas. She said this raises a red

flag on our case. The embassy is undergoing what they call a fraud

investigation. She said that she needs to investigate if we have

obtained the girls based on fraud.

Chad and I sat in her office and both cried our eyes out. Then she

said that the embassy is small and has a small staff. However they

make adoption cases a priority. She followed this with saying that

best case scenario we would be issued visas in a month.

We are currently scurrying around trying to decide what we are going

to do. Does Chad come home and go back to work? Who stays in Uganda?

How are we going to fund this? What do we do? The only thing I know

is that I am not leaving my girls.

We need a lot of prayers sent our way. This is a very difficult time

for us. I know the end result will be well worth it but we are ready

to come home. I have to keep my faith that the Lord has put me here

for a reason. I don't know that reason but maybe one day I will make

sense of it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Written Ruling/ In Kampala

Friday morning began with Chad and Holly waiting at the court once again.  We did not have promise that we would receive our ruling but we had nothing to lose. After about 3 hours of waiting we had the document.  Everyone was so excited.  We then packed up the car and left for Kampala.
We arrived in Kampala with enough time to pick up the girls passports.  Everything is ready for us to go to the Embassy on Monday morning.
Sorry this is so short but it is late and I am tired.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Moving To Kampala

We still have not yet received our written ruling from the judge.  The judge has broken her leg and has not been at court.  We hope to get the ruling by Monday.  If we dont receive the ruling by Tuesday we will be here another week.  I am staying positive and we just are not going to think about being here another week.  Africa has been wonderful but I am ready to be back home.  We joke around by talking about what we want to eat when we get home.  Sadie and Nolen have both agreed on Frostys from Wendys.  I dont think Chad and Nancy have yet decided.  I just want a hamburger, the really unhealthy fast food kind. 
The food here is not bad but it is not great either.  For the most part it is bland.  They eat a lot of carbohydrates such as rice and posho.  Posho is a staple and is made from maize meal.  It looks similar to mashed potatoes.  It is pretty much tasteless.  Posho is what most children in orphanages live on.  While we were on Safari the lodge served a buffet for dinner.  They had posho on the buffet and I put a small bit of it on Liana's plate.  She let me know real fast that she was not eating that anymore.  She threw it all on the floor.
We are going to go ahead and move to Kampala.  After 5 and a half weeks in Jinja I am going a bit stir crazy.  There are a few touristy things that we can do there hopefully to help pass the time.  There are also some other adopting families staying at the guest house in Kampala.  On Saturday we are planning on taking a day trip to the equator.  We hope to also see some wild zebras.
Please keep praying for our written ruling.  The ruling is all typed up and ready to go.  The judge just has to sign it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Judge Said Yes

Yesterday we appeared before the judge in her chambers.  She told us that guardianship was granted.  Yeah!  We are now waiting on the official written document in order to proceed to the embassy.
Appearing before the judge did not occur without quite the event to get there.  We waited around yesterday morning hoping for news that we should go to court.  Around 12:30 we put the kids down for a nap and then the frenzy began. At 12:45 we recieved a call from the lawyers office.  They said that we should appear at court at 2 pm.  At 1:00 they called back and said that we will not be attending court.  Nancy and I decided to go for a walk into town to finish up some shopping.  We made it about half a mile.  Chad came running to find us.  Yes, he left 4 kids asleep at the apartment.  They had called back and told us that we were to go to court at immediately.  Our driver passed by us and gave us a ride back to the guest house.  Everyone was all sweating and the kids were asleep.  But we got all dressed up in about 5 minutes.  We made it to court house just in time to see the judge.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Court Again

Today we returned to court in hopes of receiving our ruling.  The judge typically will issue a verbal ruling and then a few days later you will receive the legal document.  We waited at court for 6 hours and the judge never showed up.  The clerk kept telling us that the judge was coming and we should wait.  So we waited.  We are going to try again on Tuesday.  It is looking like we will not make it back home until the end of next week.  I am completing my fifth week here and am getting anxious to go home.  I am seeking comfort in the book of James.  I know what the end result will be and that makes this all worth it.  I find that you can put up with much more than you ever thought when you know that it is for the Lord.
Consider it pure joy my brothers when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:2-4

Our daily life here is boring and interesting all at the same time.  We don't do too much because it is just too hard with 4 toddlers.  I usually spend a couple of hours a day washing clothes.  The rest of the time is spent playing outside.  The children love to play outside in the courtyard.  There are a few bikes and a swing for them to play on.  Sadie has started speaking some in her version of Lugandan.  She basically talks in jibirish to the girls.  They act like they know what she is saying and listen to her.  It is quite entertaining to watch. 
We are starting to see the girls personalities develop.  L is a mess and likes to play outside.  She is more of a tomboy.  H has a sweet spirit and likes to play dressup.  It is interesting to watch how 2 children with the exact same life experience are so different.

I am sorry for so few photos.  The device that transfers photos from my camera to computer is not working.

Friday, October 7, 2011

1 Month in Africa

Today is the one month mark for Sadie and my adventure in Africa.  We are all starting to get a bit homesick.  Sadie has started to request to go home to her house on Windy Way.  It is very sweet to hear her talk this way but it is also hard because I want to be able to take her home.
During one month in Africa I have learned more than I learn in months at home.  Here are a few things about Uganda.
You drive on the left side of the road.
There are no carseats and very few seatbelts.
Electricity only works half the time.  Also meaning hot water is not always available.
Nobody has a watch. 
Shoes are sometimes a luxury.
Life is hard.
Pineapples and mangos are the best I have ever had.
There is red dust everywhere and on everything.
The children have huge round eyes and big smiles.
The children are beautiful.

We are still waiting on our final court ruling.  We will hopefully be recieving this on Monday.  Please keep this in your prayers for we are all ready to come home.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Safari

We spent the last 4 days and 3 nights on our African Safari. We drove to Murchison Falls National Park. There we stayed in a lodge and went on game viewing drives. We had a blast. This was definitely a once in a lifetime experience. The kids had a blast seeing all the animals and playing in the lodge pool. Some of the animals came right up to the lodge. We saw elephants, hippos, and baboons a little too close for comfort. We even saw some baboons take some things out of a car that had left their windows open. We also saw giraffes, crocodilles, lions, several types of African deer, rhinos, and monkeys. I think photos are the best way to describe this experience.