Thursday, September 12, 2019

Adopting Again

I have to admit it was kind of fun to surprise everyone on social media this week with a picture of Carson saying "Big Brother 2020". We didn't share any details in our post, and many of you have asked questions so I thought I'd share more here on our blog for those who are interested.

Exactly 2 years ago, Eli and I began the process of adopting domestically in the States. As we prayed and researched, something we agreed on was that if God gave us a child through adoption, we would try to adopt again due to the 10 year age gap between Joshua and the next sibling. Our older sons are growing up, heading to school, and in a way, leaving the nest, and we didn't want Carson to be alone. We are thrilled that Carson will not only have a sibling closer in age to him, but he will also have a sibling who shares the story of adoption and a similar shade of brown.

In February of this year, the Lord started stirring something in our hearts to begin researching and gathering information about what it would look like to adopt from Uganda. It makes the most sense to us since this is where we live. That very month we got an email from a stateside adoption agency that I'd reached out to back in 2017, asking if we were interested in international adoption. And what do you know, the lady who emailed us was the program coordinator for Uganda and Ghana!

We have decided to adopt from Uganda using this US based agency and we're hoping it will help make the process a little smoother. Before we could truly begin, we needed to first get approval from both of our missions (as you know we are seconded to Africa Inland Mission) and then apply with the agency. That all happened in August and now we are well on our way into the mountain of paperwork.

This is how the process/timeline has been explained to us:

1. It takes 3 months for the paperwork and homestudy to be approved in Uganda to adopt.
2. Once our homestudy is approved we can be matched with a baby in one of the 2 orphanages that our agency partners with.
3. Before we can bring the baby home, there will be another couple of months of investigation where lawyers and investigators make sure the baby truly is an orphan and adoptable. Once that has been determined, we can bring baby home.
4. Once we bring baby home, that begins a one year period that we need to foster before we can finalize in court.
5. We finalize in Ugandan court and then we finalize in the U.S.

So yes, this will be quite the process but our whole family is on board and super excited. When we first broached the subject with the boys, I said, "OK guys let's take a vote. Who wants to adopt another sibling?" Before I even got it all out, all 3 big boys' hands shot in the air and they helped Carson raise his hand too! It was darling. I love that we are doing this as a family.

We would so appreciate your prayers for us as we begin this journey. In the meantime, we continue with life and ministry here in Northern Uganda and trust that God will bring our family's 7th member in His perfect time.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

My fight with malaria

Usually I share everything on social media as it's happening in my life but the last few weeks I've been quiet. See, I got really sick with malaria. It started out with what I thought was just a virus: fever, chills, body ache and headache. But when I was only getting worse after five days, we decided to go get me checked out at a clinic. (We happened to be in Kampala still because we'd come for a conference and I got sick the very day after the conference finished.)

At the clinic they discovered through blood work that I had a serious case of malaria and I was also pretty dehydrated because I'd been throwing up so much. So they hooked me up to an IV for fluids and intravenous malaria medicine.

Even after the 5 day treatment, I still wasn't feeling better and my eyes were doing a crazy bleeding thing so we went back to the clinic, only to be shuttled on to the nearest hospital. I was admitted on a Saturday and discharged on a Tuesday. Those days in the hospital are kind of a blur as I was so out of it but I will tell you this, that I am so thankful for the marvelous staff of doctors and nurses, even the sweet ladies that brought me meals even though I couldn't touch them. It was a very good experience as far as medical treatment in a different country.

Another amazing grace of God is that my parents live only 4 hours from the capital where we were, so they dropped everything to come and help us with the boys. We also had dear friends jump right in and feed and entertain our kids, even sleep over night with them. We surely can't imagine going through this without the wonderful people and support we had.

I've now been out of the hospital for 5 days and am feeling almost back to myself. My appetite is back and I'm getting stronger every day. I think my energy will be lower than usual for a few weeks as my blood rebuilds but I'm so very thankful to be alive and for my God who walked with me every step of this valley, even when I was so out of it I could hardly pray.

We're planning to head home to Adjumani by the middle of the week and will gently ease into a new routine of homeschool with only one student - Joshua (his big brothers have started a new school year at Rift Valley Academy.)