Fast forward three and a half years to January 28th at 4:30 am.
So, our journey to adoption has taken yet another incredible neck breaking turn. At 4:30 am Eastern, which is 12:30 pm in Uganda, on Thursday, January 27, 2011 we get a call requesting our availability for a Monday, January 31, 2011 meeting with our lawyer…in UGANDA!!!
I had only recently hit the wall emotionally as the judge we had been assigned was refusing to schedule cases because the person whom he was replacing had not moved out of her office. Our judge was also the new head of the Family Court, and there is a significant amount of pride as men rise to his level of power in Uganda. Seldom does one find a humble man, but when one has authority in Uganda they tend to use it to every advantage even if the only advantage is making sure that you know they are in control.
Not only did he only give us five days notice of our hearing, but after delivering his ruling he took 9 days to sign the typed copies. We were told it would be ready Monday, but the judge was out all day for a burial. Then we were told to come back Tuesday and our lawyer waited for him to arrive to sign until 4:00pm. She was told that he was having his lunch, and then once she was given the opportunity to see him at 4:30pm he told her it was too late and to come back Wednesday morning. Agnes arrived at his office at 9:30 am on Wednesday morning and well that story can be read here.
A lot happened in that 3 1/2 years. Family members have died. Friendships have come and gone. Sources of income have changed. I have gotten two more degrees. Our children are 3 1/2 years older. We went from adopting one to three. We’ve even changed vehicles twice.
While I still wish Mom and Grandpa Barney were here to experience this with us and I still wish we would have completed this journey a year or two ago, but I can see God weaving together everything for a purpose. I don’t think we would have gone and been home in 2 weeks and 6 days if it were not for the timing of this episode. Egypt in disarray, Algeria not far behind a regime change, people protesting in Bahrain and Libya, and an election in Uganda involving a president who has been in office for 25 years all came together to maybe make our trip one of the fastest in the history of Ugandan adoptions. The length of our stay was a prayer concern, and God intervened. If we had known all of that was going to happen we might have been able to predict The Phone Call, but what fun would that have been?
I had been on other trips to help build physical buildings for churches in Jamaica and Costa Rica, do Vacation Bible School for for hundreds of kids – some who swam through the sewer to reach us in Jamaica, repair homes in an old gold mining town in South Dakota, but Africa was always a dream.
[singlepic id=65 w=320 h=240 float=left]In 2007 a vision was shared to use soccer to help disciple kids in Uganda, and off I went for an entire month.
There were many encounters, lots of emotions, and a ton of memories.
Memories include driving most of the way from Mbale to Busia in the pitch black dark in a Toyota Corona that had electrical problems. So, we either tried to stay with vehicles that passed us on the road or we used flashlights as headlights. However, this seemed more safe than stopping somewhere with two Mzungus who had large sums of money on their person. Blaine and I actually made a video in the back seat just in case we didn’t make it home.
We held the soccer camp next to the school run by the mosque on the other side of the field. We walked passed the mosque every day as we traveled between our hotel and camp. We didn’t realize this until the second week of camp. The mean looks we kept getting from the people at the mosque then began to make some sense. We think they may actually own the field too.
Prossy made pizza in a solar oven only because I talked about it. And it was incredible. I was constantly amazed at how much she got done using a solar oven and a charcoal stove.
[singlepic id=64 w=320 h=240 float=right]And then there was my first encounter with the Oktoberfest Ugandan Style
And the list could go on.
The highlight; however, was my return home. There is no place like home. And at home a surprise awaited…