Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Sunday morning at church was a sweet time of worship. As we sang some of the songs, I was struck by the truth of what I was singing.

"That's why we praise Him,
That's why we sing,
That's why we offer Him our everything!
That's why we bow down and worship this King,
Because He gave His everything!"

I can praise Him, not because this is easy (it's not, in case you were wondering!). I can praise Him, not because I am a good or strong person. I can praise Him, not because of any other reason than the fact that He gave everything for me! He willingly died on a cross for each one of us, simply because He loved us and there was no other way. Sin is so ugly, so horrible, so devastating, that only a perfect sacrifice could redeem us. And so Jesus came to this earth, lived a perfect life, and chose to go to the cross so that we could be reconciled to Him. What He endured for me is exponentially greater than anything I am going through! How, then, could I not praise Him?

Then we sang, "His banner over me is love..." I pictured myself standing with a beatiful banner displayed above me. It simply said, "Love." And I pictured myself renewed by the shade; I pictured myself standing, claimed as a child of God. I pray that whenever anyone looks at me, they don't see me. They don't see my "strength." I pray they see His banner of love, waving over me, covering me, protecting me, strengthening me. It is all about Him.

With Easter Sunday coming this week, I am so thankful for my Savior! If you don't know Him I pray you will ask someone who does. Easter...what a perfect time to seek Him! I'd love to chat with you if you are interested in knowing Jesus! My email address is: auntiesasa4@yahoo.com

By the way, we had a very good day at the courthouse yesterday. Hoping that we get some good news soon.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I think I have a swimmer here, folks! Dorie has been begging to go swimming...since her first bathtub experience. Today she finally got her chance. She loved it! I'm still trying to recover from practically being choked to death, but other than that, it was a success! She attempted blowing bubbles in the water, tried kicking a few times, but mostly just laughed and laughed and laughed. It was sweet and a real bonding time for us. Even though it was cold (right after we got to the pool the clouds rolled in), she wanted to stay in the water as long as she could. It was awesome!

The rain has come, so now we're both cuddled up together in our sweats. I love moments like this!

Tomorrow we go back to meet with our judge. Please pray for God's favor.

Friday, March 26, 2010

We're still here...

I haven't been online in a few days. We spent the whole day in town yesterday, hanging around the courthouse and meeting with my attorney. We're still discussing options, and I can't say I know which way to go. But God is faithful, and He is working. I've decided to rejoice in each day I have here in Uganda. After all, spending time in this beautiful country with these beautiful people IS a blessing! I really can't complain. Don't get me wrong...I'm anxious to get home and get into a real-life routine with Dorie. But what a privilege to get to spend 2 months with my daughter in her birth country!

Thanks for all the encouragement. I'm sure you all get tired of reading, "Nothing new to report," but please know that every word you send is being treasured in my heart.

I keep telling you my girl's got some moves...wish you could have seen her here!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Mom, I want chocolate!" and other cute things

That is what I heard whispered in my ear at about 4am this morning! I don't know what in the world Dorie was thinking...did she honestly think I would sit up and say, "Oh, okay! Sure! Have a candy bar!"??? Well, I didn't. I simply said, "No way!" and rolled over. She didn't complain, just went right back to sleep.

I think it started because yesterday morning she looked in the trash can in our bathroom and saw a Snickers candy bar wrapper. She picked it up, looked at it, and then lectured me in broken English about eating chocolate after she went to sleep! She must have woken up and figured it was chocolate time! She's a riot!

On Monday I was later than usual picking her up from school. We had been in town, and though school is over at 4:30, I usually get there around 4pm. This day it was 4:30 on the dot. When she got in the car, Dorie said, "Mom....school.....you no coming." Poor girl thought I was not coming for her! You'd better believe I was there at precisely 4pm the next day!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'm staying...

We were supposed to fly home last night. Since things were not ready for Dorie to come home with me quite yet (but hopefully we will have all the details worked out soon!), I have decided to extend my stay for another month. I just can't leave my daughter. So our current schedule is to fly out on Sunday, April 18 and arrive home on Monday the 19th. I'm still praying that we will be able to come home earlier than that though! I would gladly eat the airline's penalty for changing my flight if it meant we could be home for Easter!!

I am not sad. I am staying at an awesome guest house, and my friend Keltie and her kids have come to stay here, too. So I am blessed to have Lynne and her family just around the corner, plus Keltie here at the house. Our kids all get along so wonderfully, so there is going to be a lot of fun around here over the next few weeks.

Keltie and I took our kids to WonderWorld--a little amusement park nearby. It was such a fun day! Dorie was much more adventurous than I expected her to be, so I know she will love Disneyland! I'd better start saving for her annual pass!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sweet Moments

My girl is stubborn. Very.

But she is also so sweet. She is giving. She shares with others willingly (most of the time). She takes care of her friends (especially ones who are younger than her). She is a gem.

When we are driving through town and get stopped in traffic, children come to the windows and beg. It breaks my heart. I've started carrying snacks with me, and I ask Dorie if she wants to share "her" snacks with those kids. She always does, and pulls something out of my purse to give to them. The last time it happened she told me, "God says to give." Yes, my sweet girl, He does.
When she goes to sleep at night, she turns to me and scoots as close as she can get...she is not satisfied until our noses are almost touching. If she wakes up during the night she reaches for me and puts her hand on my face or pulls my arm around her waist.

Yesterday I had an emotional day. We called my mom, and I began to cry. Really cry. Couldn't stop. I haven't really cried throughout this journey, so the tears were many. Dorie crawled on my lap and said, "Don't cry, Mom...Mom, don't cry." Then she took her little hand, and palm open, wiped my eyes--from forehead straight down to my cheeks. She grabbed the phone and kept saying, "Jaja (Grandma), tell mom don't cry." It only made me cry harder. Holly, who is staying with Brian and Lynne, came down and asked if she could pray with me. I couldn't stop crying through her prayer, so Dorie leaned on me and repeatedly wiped my tears. By the time she was done my mascara was halfway down my face, but I didn't care. Her tenderness for me filled my heart. My girl is special...can't wait for you all to meet her!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

There are caterpillars crawling on my head!

Dorie has been wanting long hair for some time. She started to grow it out before I came, and it was finally long enough to braid! She was thrilled...until she realized how long it would take and how much it would hurt. For five and a half HOURS my baby sat while the woman worked on her hair. The last hour and a half she cried and cried. Poor baby. One of the great things that came out of it (besides how darling she looks) is that Dorie cried for me. She wanted me. She wanted me to lie on the floor with my head in her lap. It was awkward, but so precious. But we noticed that when I was in the room she cried harder, so eventually I had to leave. I know she is dramatic, but I also knew it really hurt! By the time it was finished it was 9pm (her bedtime is usually 8:30), so we bathed and went to bed. It took her a long time to fall asleep because she couldn't lay her head down without feeling pain, but she eventually nodded off and we had a relatively peaceful night.

When it was all done, she said (in Luganda), "I feel like there are caterpillars crawling on my head!" She loves to push her hair back from her face. So dramatic!

I had a very distinct idea of what I wanted, and it was not what we got. But Dorie is happy and she looks so cute. She actually told the woman she wanted it this length (I wanted longer). She feels so special today!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

There is a fungus among us...

And it's on me! Yikes! I had the same thing when I lived in Rwanda, but recently I found this fungus on my chest and realized I'd picked it up when hugging a child (who I later noticed had it growing on her head...no, not my child...no one you all know). It's pretty nasty, but I got medicine today. Hopefully it will be gone soon! Just thought you'd all like to know... hehehehe.

So, as promised, here are pictures from the outing to the zoo! There are no moats for these animals...they just come right on up! Wow! Can you see that Dorie is running away from that impala?!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I don't have much time to write today, but wanted to fill you in a little...

Yesterday we spent the day at the zoo with another adoptive mom and her two kids. It was so fun! Watch for photos soon.

Today we went to church and are now off to celebrate baby Gemma's first birthday. She is a miracle baby and we as a missions group were praying for her before she was even born, so it is a real privilege to be here for her birthday. She was dedicated in church this morning. So special!

Please pray for me tomorrow. Something big and very good may be on the horizon. I need to make decisions about coming home, but I want to stay until the last possible moment if it means I can bring Dorie home with me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

No Visa

The Embassy informally reviewed my court orders and said the wording is insufficient. I'm sad, but I can appreciate their position. They have a responsibility to uphold the laws of Uganda as well as those of the U.S. I am looking at some other options today and would greatly appreciate your prayers. I do not want to leave Dorie here next week! She is getting so excited about going to America. She talks about it all the time and practices saying all the family members' names every day. She is so cute!

She enjoyed taking a bath outside in Lynne's backyard the other night...the girls sprayed each other with the hose and screamed and laughed. It was hilarious!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

She's Mine!

We got our ruling today...and legal guardianship was granted to me! I am a mom! Wow...

Now I am just waiting for a visa appointment with the Embassy. My attorneys are hopeful that the wording will satisfy the visa requirements (wish I shared their enthusiasm), but if not, we still have time to work out a plan. Please pray for wisdom.

But for today, let's celebrate! Thank You, Lord Jesus!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Prayer Requests

I know so many of you are praying for us, and I am so thankful. Everything in me is still believing that God wants to do something great, but the enemy wants me to feel defeated. I am not willing to go down yet! And even if we don't get to go home together next week (but God still can make it happen!!), I know He will be glorified. So I trust Him. I trust that He has a plan that is to give us "peace, and not evil; to give [us] a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

To keep things moving, I decided to take Dorie to get her medical exam so that when our visa appointment came around, we would be ready. When she got home from school yesterday, it was clear that she was having a positive reaction to the TB test. We are going back this afternoon to have it officially read by the doctor, but I can already see the results myself. She has no symptoms (weight loss, cough, etc), so I am praying that she has just been exposed to it and does not have an active case. Please pray for my sweet girl. I have no idea how this will affect the visa. (**Update: I just got back from the doctor's office. The doctor was fantastic--when he saw Dorie again, he laughted and said, "Oh, it's you--the Drama Queen." Yep, that's her! Dorie is indeed positive for TB, but after chest x-rays it was determined that it is inactive and she was given medical clearance! Yay! Once we get home she will have to be on medication for 6 months, but everything is a-okay! Sidenote: X-rays for a five year old are not fun. Poor baby had to lay there all by herself and would panic every time I had to go behind the wall with the technician. It took 3 tries, but we finally got a clear one!)
Speaking of visas, I emailed the Embassy to keep them informed of our process. I have had very good communication with the person ultimately overseeing the visas, and while I haven't always been thrilled with her responses, she has been straight with me and I appreciate that. So yesterday I got an email from her stating that she had spoken with my judge and that based on their conversations, she would not be issuing any visas. I am sad today, but like I said, I am not giving up hope yet.

"Please, Lord, prove that Your power is as great as You have claimed." Numbers 14:17

Life is so wonderful when we can rest in the arms of Jesus.
Even though this is not going the way I would have planned, I have faith that He has a plan and it is better than mine. He knows the future...He knows my future...He knows Dorie's future. And He has promised that it is full of hope. To any of you reading this that don't have that hope, I pray that you will seek Him. You will find peace in the midst of difficulty. He is faithful and good and true.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Still going well

My mom left last night. So sad. But we were blessed that the husband of one of my internet friends (and a friend of Lynne & Brian's) was on the same flight so they traveled to the airport together.

Today was our first day alone, and things have gone so well! I had to take Dorie to the doctor's appointment (for the visa) all by myself. I was so nervous. We both did great! Dorie wanted no part of the whole idea of a doctor, but she managed. When the doctor told her to take off her clothes, she told him in Luganda, "No, because then you are going to give me an injection." Ha, ha! Smart girl!! He let her look through all of his tools and supplies, and once she was satisfied that there were no needles, she jumped on the table. She was still a bit nervous, so he would show her on me first and it calmed her down. She actually liked having her blood pressure taken. It made her giggle!

She did have to have a TB test, but the nurse was fabulous. Dorie was not happy so the nurse told her not to run away (I was holding her on my lap). Dorie told her, "I will not run because my mom is too powerful and she would catch me!" I love it!! She is learning!!
This afternoon, Dorie asked me to pick her up. She grabbed me, nestled her face in my neck, and said, "I love you!" The first time she has ever said that to me! Wow! What a good day indeed!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Weekend

Well, it's the weekend. My mom is leaving tomorrow. I'm sad about that, but trust that it will be a good thing. Dorie and I will get some real alone time. I've decided to stay at the guest house rather than with Lynne and Brian for that very reason. Before I left I read so many books about attachment, and I knew the "right" things to do...we should spend as much time together (alone) as possible so that she learns to rely solely on me as her mother. But being here, it is hard to do that. Our guest house is just a room. There is not a lot to do to fill our days. So we've been going places with the Kelly's, and it's been too much. I realized that last night. Nothing really bad happened, but I knew.
We are having a good time together most of the time. Dorie is hilarious. She has a great sense of humor. She is strong-willed for sure, and things can go bad fast. However, once she recovers, things are great again.

At this point I had to reschedule my return flight for 2 full extra weeks, so I won't be home until Monday, March 21. I am still praying that I can change it to an earlier date though. I'm anxious to get home! The judges are trying to work things out soon, so please continue to pray!
Very happy to have found my favorite African treat yesterday! So incredibly hard and tough but so yummy!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Nothing New

Not really much to report. My mom and I went to Sanyu Babies' Home this afternoon, and I got to meet the baby that could have been mine. Back in December the Director contacted me about a little girl that was available for adoption, but I was already in process with Doreen. It was hard to see all these babies that need love and who were so craving attention, but it was also special to know that there is a waiting list of families who are ready to take on that role.

When I picked Dorie up from school today, she was in such a good mood. We had fun this afternoon trying to learn how to work a yo-yo. She sticks her tongue out when she concentrates hard. I love it! She was too short so we had to go out to the steps to give her some height. She was so cute when she finally did it!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Judge Heard Our Case Today

So there is good news and some not so good news (but not necessarily bad news)....

Today we got to court early. Everyone came again, which was a huge blessing. And this time, the judge came, too! :) There was a delay, and the judge called my attorneys in to her chambers to discuss whether or not she would hear our case. The reason was just because issues have not officially been resolved yet, and she does not want more families stuck in limbo. I can appreciate her concern.

However, she decided she wanted to hear our case after all. It was really interesting to watch the proceedings. Basically, my attorney dictated her arguments and evidence while the judge transcribed everything with pen and paper. Fascinating. There were no questions asked. It was a simple procedure that took 40 minutes. The judge seems to want to see children placed in homes. She is kind.

The problem is that she will not give our ruling until next Thursday, March 11. We were supposed to leave on Sunday the 7th. At first I was really disappointed, but my attorneys shared with me afterwards that the reason she is waiting is that there are more meetings scheduled to take place, and she thinks the visa situation can be resolved before she writes my ruling. Which would allow us to get a visa. Which means I have to stay an extra 2 weeks, but which also means there is still a good chance Dorie will come home with me.

Please pray now for all of our travel details. I need to decide what to do next...when to retu122222222222222222222222(Doreen is helping me type)111111111111111111111112222222111111113333333333334444444444444444445555555666666777777777777777777 778888888888889999999900000000000


Sorry...life with a child... :)

So what we need now is prayer for details for the remainder of our trip. My mom is probably going to return home on Sunday as planned. Please pray for her as she travels alone. I also need to decide when to reschedule my flight home. I need to work out details for where I should stay after my mom leaves. Please also pray for my finances, as I may be penalized financially with work. I have so many sick days saved up, but unfortunately, my district does not have maternity leave for adoption. I had planned my trip to max out the days I could take off with pay. Every day I stay beyond Monday is likely going to be without pay. I know the Lord is in control, and I know I need to be here with Doreen for as long as possible.

Isn't it so precious to live in the peace of knowing that the Lord is in control? He knows the future, and He is trustworthy.

My sister and another friend sent me encouragement from Streams in the Desert from March 1 (our first court date):
"Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what He has made crooked?" (Ecclesiastes 7:13)

God often seems to place His children in places of deep difficulty, leading them into a corner from which there is no escape. He creates situations that human judgment, even if consulted, would never allow. Yet the cloudiness of the circumstance itself is used by Him to guide us to the other side. Perhaps this is where you find yourself even now.
Your situation is filled with uncertainty and is very serious, but it is perfectly right. The reason behind it will more than justify Him Who brought you here, for it is a platform from which God will display His almighty grace and power.
He will not only deliver you but in doing so will impart a lesson that you will never forget. And in days to come, you will return to the truth of it through singing. You will be unable to thank God enough for doing exactly what He has done.

Praise God that every situation He places me in is perfectly right! He is so good!



So please continue to pray.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Please pray!

I got some very discouraging news today from my attorney. All is not lost, and I refuse to give in to the temptation to worry. Our God is in control. He knows the future, and He loves Dorie. He has a plan for her life and it is to give her a future and a hope. He promises that in His Word.

So just because people are telling me that she may not be flying home with me on Sunday, and that there is a good chance I will have to leave her here for 3-4 months, I will still put my trust in my God. Whatever He wants to happen will happen.

I do not want to leave my sweet girl here. I don't want to have to explain to her why I am not taking her with me. I do not want to go home and walk past her room every morning. But if that is what God deems to be His best, I will do it. Because His best is His best, even when I do not understand.

BUT GOD. If His best is that we pass court and get a visa this week, that would be a-okay with me! I am still trusting that He will. I am not giving up yet. I am trusting that the Lord would still do a great and mighty work...that He would part this great sea in front of us. Would you please pray in faith with me?

"The Lord Himself will fight for you. You must only remain silent." Exodus 14:14

"Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what He has made crooked?" Ecclesiates 7:13

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this.” Psalm 37:5

Monday, March 1, 2010

Not Today...

Well, the judge was not able to get to court today. We have to go back on Wednesday. It is a fairly common thing, and I am not discouraged. I'm living by Exodus 14:14.

Today actually turned out to be a very good day for many reasons:

1. I got to meet Godfrey. He came to court today. What a gem!! He first met Doreen and took photos of her. It is in part because of him that we are at this point.
2. Pastor Francis came from Rwanda. He just wanted to support me, so he took a bus all night from Kigali and got into Kampala at 4am. We got to go to lunch afterwards and enjoyed talking with him. It was so good to be together again.
3. We got to spend some good time with Doreen's birthmom. We picked her up for court and then she joined us for lunch with Pastor Francis, too. Doreen was very happy to see her, but did not fuss at all when we dropped her back off at her house. I was surprised and relieved.

My attorneys told me today that they are going to try to request some very specific wording from the judge. Please pray, as they have never asked for this particular wording to be put into the guardianship orders. If the judge is willing to do it, we would be nearly guaranteed a visa. So please, please pray!

Now it seems all but impossible to get home on our original flight. BUT GOD. If He wants us on that flight, nothing can stop it. If not, I am okay with it. I am so ready to be home, but I'm okay if I have to wait an extra couple of days. I have a sweet little girl who is so worth waiting for! :)

Every day gets a little better. She goes through moods of utter silliness (where NOTHING can calm her down), complete stubborness, and then just plain sweetness. Like right now--she is sitting at my feet playing with paper dolls. She is singing and talking to herself, telling all the dolls how "smart" they look...and she is rubbing her feet against mine. And like last night, when I woke up in the middle of the night to find her playing with my hair in her sleep. I love moments like that!