Friday, February 25, 2011

Our first week home

It has been one whole week since we returned from Africa. I can't believe it really. In some ways it seems like just yesterday that we were walking in the red dirt and other ways it seems like this has been our life forever.

I wanted to thank all our friends and family for the warm welcome at the airport. I can't express the happiness I felt when when we walked off that terminal and saw our girls. I ran and slid on my knees across the aisle and just grabbed them both. They both looked like they had grown so much. Isn't that funny how you notice change after being a way from someone for awhile? All the kids seemed so excited to meet each other finally. As we walked out to meet everyone else I trailed behind Tim and the girls with Moses and Micah. While looking at them walking I was overwhelmed at the sight of these four FOUR children. When did this happen??? Then I started to think that in just a few seconds these boys were not going to be just mine. I was now going to have to share them with all the other people who have already grown to love them. If you know me well you know I don't share well. I must have missed that day in Kindergarten. I was worried how the boys would reacted to all the people but my worries were misplaced because they did great! They were amazed by all the balloons and smiling faces but they looked happy and greeted everyone with smiles and hugs.

In the past week we have just followed their led as far as how much we did. On Saturday night Moses asked if we were going to Church and I told him if he wanted to we could. His response was "It is Sunday. Sunday we go to Church" So we went to Church and it went really well. We went back Sunday night and was there Wednesday. Micah even went to class Wednesday night! We have experienced Wal-mart, Kohl's and even schools. So far we have done amazingly well. We haven't left anyone behind and we have even made it to most places on time!

Micah has already done some medical testing. I want to know who's idea it was to provide the handy little spork in the poop kit? I just want thank them from preventing Tim from using one of my forks to gather a "sample". You can thank me later for not supplying a picture of that:)

Moses is starting school on Monday and is going to be in Abby's class for the rest of the year. Her teacher is even letting them sit together. I think he is pretty excited. I am going to take Micah to my school when I return to work. Speaking on returning to work, I am starting to stress about that a little. Not work itself but the whole getting everyone ready and out the door on time thing. I don't like running late at all. But if you have met my husband or Abby you know we are normally running late for everything.

I have wondered several times this week that it can't be this easy. It can't be this normal already. Something has to go wrong, right? I know that is not the greatest way to look at things but when I look around and everything is just the same as a couple months ago just with two more faces it doesn't seem real. Granted Tim and I are both off right now and dinner has been graciously supplied every night. I am just afraid of screwing everything up and failing miserably. Wow, this post went down hill real fast! Sorry :)

Here are some pics of this first week.
The boys are cleaned up and ready to meet everyone.

Moses loves his new bed.
Abby and Moses riding bikes.

Lily and Micah. Yes that is Micah with his pj's on and a Dora helmet. Don't judge me.

First breakfast together!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

We are coming HOME!!!!

I can't believe it is here. In just a few hours we will be heading to the airport and flying to America. I am really stressing this morning. I woke up with a headache and I am just really nervous about the flight. But Kristi, Melissa, our new friends Rachel and Kelly and I all went to a really nice coffee shop this morning so I am feeling a little better. I have lots of packing to still do but we plan on leaving here at 6:30 and driving to Entebbe airport. Our flight leaves late so we are hoping we can all sleep the first part of the trip. Pray our flight goes well and that the boys do okay. Our flight schedule is below. If you would like to welcome us at the airport we would LOVE to see you!!! I know it is a little drive but that was the only way we could get home. I also add some pics of our girls outing today. It was my first time away from the boys all month!!

Here is all our friends celebrating at The Palms on our last night here.

I can't wait to see everyone :)




This looks a little confusing but we land in Cinci at 6:55 on flight AA4366

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Guess What???

Praise God!!!!! We received the boy’s Visas this afternoon!!!!
After even more stress this morning with questions from the Embassy but after hours waiting Tim just called and said they are in his hands. God is so good. The Smith’s are still waiting to be seen so please continue to pray for them.
We fly out tomorrow night… just before Election Day. We have a lot to do to get ready to go but I think we are all celebrating tonight with, oh yes you guessed it…PIZZA!
We will update more in a little while once we have our confirmation for our airline tickets.
Thank you so much for all the prayers during this journey. Tim and I could never tell you how much it has meant to our family. Each and every one of you is such a blessing in our lives. Please continue praying till we reach home as well as for the Smiths.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I have heard through the grapevine that people are upset about me being so vague in my status about our Visa appointment. I am very sorry but I was tired and emotional done for the day. I waited till the end of the day because I didn’t want to talk to anyone and have to explain the storey over and over. I was hoping to wait till we had better news but apparently my public can’t wait.
Yesterday morning Tim said he was so nervous about our interview and I replied “really? I am not at all” I was so sure everything would be just fine. Boy I was wrong. We arrived at our Visa appointment on time and were called quickly. The room that we were in was about 4x4 with no window, fan or any other source of air. The light in the room had no cover and I swear was a tanning bed light bulb. So, just so you understand it was very stuffy and hot. Tim had a lot of questions and was no nervous and frustrated. After that part we had to wait in the waiting area for her to look over things. During this time the boys were so good. We waited outside some and Micah decided to poo of course! I wish you could have been there to see that! We had to change him in one of the chairs outside while he screamed and everyone watched. Ok, so that isn’t what you wanted to know about.
We waited forever and they started to question some paperwork that our lawyer did. Important paperwork. Paperwork we have to have to get the Visa’s. Paperwork our lawyer did wrong! Or at least this is what to Embassy says. At this point Robert and Prossy are running outside to call our lawyers office and figure this out. This next 30-45 minutes were brutal. We were in another room ( a little bigger, still hot) trying to figure things out when the door flies open and Robert hands us the papers we were told that was wrong. For split second he was a hero. Until we told him that while he was gone we discover more bad news. It was like the air was deflated from him. See this problem would be the same for him and Kristi. At this point we all are confused and angry. I am trying hard not to cry. The details are boring and not important to the story. In the end the problem meant more money, more travel and NO VISA.
I have to leave the building because I can’t breathe. Why is this happening? In those details that don’t matter is a lot of wrong doing on the part of two different parties. All directed at us.
While we are waiting , again, a security guard says he prays we get out of the country before the election because he fears the worst. Oh God! Please help us! I have this overwhelming feeling of homesickness. I want to go home…now!
Fast forward some. We have the info and know what we have to do. So Robert and Tim were up at 6:30 and out the door. A lot of things happened and God was there in the mist. We had a deadline and it was met. Tim left the Embassy and was told to come back tomorrow at 12:00 to pick up our sons Visa.
We are coming home!
Now, please continue to pray that this happens. We are hopeful but will not believe it till they are in our hands. When that happens we can book our flight home.
Soooooo, again I am sorry. Please understand and don’t hold it against me.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

This morning at church we sang to this song from David Crowder Band and the words just pierced my heart. Not just for my love of Jesus but for my love for my two wonderful girls and these two precious boys.

You’re everything
We could ever want
You’re everything
We could ever need
You’re the reason
We’re coming here
You’re the reason
We’re gonna sing

We’ll shout it out loud
From a rooftop
We won’t be quiet
We’ve fallen for You hard
And we can’t stop
We won’t deny it

I can't wait till we can all be in one photo!!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rich Man's Slum

Lawrence calls the nice area of Kampala “The Rich Man’s Slum.” This kid cracks me up! I guess you can say we went slumming it tonight. A friend of Melissa’s invited us and another couple over to their house for swimming and dinner. It was so nice to get out of the house and do something fun. Tim got in the pool with Moses and I tell you that boy loves the water. They fixed chicken burgers and man they were so good. They even had real ranch dressing! That is something I really have been missing…veggies and MEAT!!!! They eat so many carbs here it is killing me. I just knew I would be starving while we were here and loss a few pounds but NOOOOO, I probably have gained 10 pounds! Who wants to be in charge of bringing me some stretchy pants to the airport?
Tomorrow we are going to church and then the Smith’s will be back sometime after dinner. This next week will be busy. We have our Visa interview with the Embassy on Monday and hopefully getting their Visas Wednesday or Thursday. If that is the case we will be booking a flight home!!! I pray that is the way things work out because the Presidential elections are Thursday and we would like to be gone before that.
The boys are doing great! Tim has been moody the past few days and I think he is just ready to get home. Pray we can make in another week without killing each other.  There are so many little things I want to share that have happened but I want to add a few pics and go to bed for now. Maybe that will be the next post.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A day at the beach

Wednesday we took the kiddos to the KK Beach Resort. Our friend Lawrence went with us since we were sure to be the only white folks there. We took a public taxi, which is a van that stops every minute to pick up more people. When it dropped us off we had to walk through a very poor area to get to this “resort”. Man, you talk about people staring! Nothing like a white girl carrying a black baby to turn a few heads.
The beach was on Lake Victoria and was pretty nice. No Myrtle Beach or nothing, but nice all the same. We were told that we shouldn’t swim in it so we didn’t bother wearing swimsuits. As soon as we got there Moses wanted to dive in. I told him that it wasn’t a good idea. Junior, another friend, had his suit and said his mom said he can swim, so what could I do but let my kid swim too. As soon as I told Moses he could swim he stripped down to his underwear as was in the water. Picture this: every Ugandan there had swimsuits on…yet the Americans bring their kid and let him swim in his underwear. Go figure! Oh well he loved it!
The resort had a playground and was a lot of fun. I do wish I had opted for the tetanus shot seeing that it was the old school metal kind. I even got some sun finally!

I enjoyed the water from the parasites for me thank you!

You will notice in this pic is a very large, freakish looking dino bird. They are everywhere here!!! I swear they belong in a zoo and sometimes I think they are out to kill me. But the random naked baby didn’t mind him at all! I thought it was just so funny 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

African Zumba???

This past Sunday night we all decided to check out this free family night at a local hotel. We ate at another pizza place. (I am so ashamed at the amount of pizza I have consumed since I have been here) Leaving there we haled a taxi. There were 17 of us total! One couple had their own car so they took the bigger kids and a couple others. The rest of us tried to squeeze in one taxi. Oh If only you could have witnessed this!!!! We first climbed in one car and it wouldn’t start. We then found another and piled in. Tim and our friend Lawrence had to sit in the very back. It was hilarious!!

Look Mom, proof Tim and I haven't killed each other...yet!

We began traveling up this steep hill and suddenly began rolling backwards. Our taxi RAN OUT OF GAS! He pulls to the side and we all basically fall out of the car. We then decide to just walk the rest of the way. As we walk away the police came and give the taxi man a ticket. So we hike up the hill…baby and all.
The family night was very cool. There were a ton of African dancers, a band with some interesting instruments and even singing. They kids just watched and loved it. So did I! I kept thinking man this looks like Zumba!!! I got some great video to share later. Towards the end they had all the kids come out and dance with them. They let the kids introduce themselves and even formed a circle to let them dance alone. Moses dance like his Dad, unfortunately. It was a lot of fun! Enjoy these pictures of it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It is official! We are a family of six. The Judge granted us legal guardianship of both boys and we couldn’t be happier. Tim and I were both so nervous this morning, but everything went great. Here is our first picture after leaving the court room.

We left there and celebrated at Nando’s Pizza. Moses loves pizza! They both seemed very happy today. Moses keeps asking “Are we going to America tomorrow?” Very soon…I hope!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Friday Fun

Friday morning we had to get up pretty early to take the kids to their medical testing. In order to get their Visas they have to have this. Our appointment was at 9:00 am. After a little trouble finding it we arrived just a few minutes after. The security guards there tell us to wait in the waiting area and they will call our name. Oh, the waiting area was this shelter outside! So we wait. And we wait. And we wait some more. The children did fine but Kristi and I were getting very tired of sitting there. On three different occasions we asked various people if we were in the right spot and what was taking so long. I understand we are in Africa but THREE hours waiting with five children and two cranky mommas is just ridiculous!!! Finally, Robert goes a finds someone and come to find out we were waiting in the WRONG area. The doctor said he had been waiting on us all morning. We were fifty feet away!!! They decided to still see us, thank goodness. After doing a lot of paperwork and a ton of medical questions that we had no answers to we were finally were seen. The doctor explained that he would get their measurements and give them a TB test but we would have to return Monday to get the test read and finish the exam. I guess at least Monday we know where to go! Micah still weighed 20lbs (almost 21) and Moses weighted 63lbs!!! Moses didn’t even flinch when he got his TB shot, Micah on the other hand screamed like crazy. Hopefully we will find out more Monday.
After that fun time we went to this mall where we heard we could find an American cheeseburger. Oh man it was YUMMY!!!!

I didn’t care if it was really made of beef or not. It was great! Then we headed to the Friday Market. It is like a huge flea market held only on Fridays. It was full of different kinds of souvenirs. We got some great items that I can’t wait to share :0)

Micah passed out while shopping.

We finished the night off with a UNO tournament. If you know me then you know how this went down. I was on my best behavior since I was with people I hadn’t played with before, but let me tell you…..tonight IT IS ON!!!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Birthday to ME!!!

I hate my birthday. I always have. I usually cry every year for some reason or another. I know it sounds stupid but it is what it is. I know I should grow up and get over it but it is the same year after year. I guess that is something to work out in therapy.
But, this year I woke up in the beautiful country of Uganda! I was awake for thirty minutes and my mom Skype me. She stayed up late to be able to wish me Happy Birthday. Then I got to talk to Nicole too! Harriet, the house maid here, made homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast and they were yummy! Then a little bit later Tim calls me out to the living room and everyone is out there. There are a ton of cards, a couple of presents and some kind person even sent Twizzlers. I could not believe it. I am so far from everyone I love and yet they all still found a way to make this day special. Even my sweet husband had me a gift! Harriet like a lot of Ugandan women makes these amazing paper beads and he had bought a ton of them for me. They are so beautiful! My mom had sent stuff and all my friends had sent cards with sweet words. There was a photo album with pics of my children holding Happy Birthday signs and talking on the computer with us. I was speechless and overwhelmed with love from all my favorite people. I still am not sure how my friends arranged this, but they made this the most amazing birthday of my life.
I just spoke with my girls and thanked them. I am so proud of them. They have been so good and I can’t wait to hug them. How did I get so blessed? I have the greatest family, the best friends, and a supportive and loving church. My boys are so lucky to be coming home to this environment. I am going to enjoy the rest of this day all because I know that even though I am far away from home….I am loved.
Here are some pics from my little birthday party. I have even heard a rumor that there may be a cake later. Sweet Jesus 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Entebbe Zoo

Tuesday the Smith family had their court date and everything went great!  The even got a ruling date the day before us.  Sweet reward for all they have endured the past few years.  When they came back we decided to head to Entebbe and visit the local Zoo (after a quick stop and pat down at the airport to retrieve Robert's passport).  Now I say Zoo, but please remember that we are in Africa and it is not quite the same.  It was a blast and the kiddos LOVED IT!

There were so many things I had to take pictures of because they were SO funny.  If you know me and my sense of humor you will agree....if not you may want to just return to facebook :)  For example when we finally found the lion the children were so excited.  As we walked away from the cage (a good ways) there was a sign "Beware: Dangerous Animal".  A little late I thought but it wasn't till we ran across this that I thought had this warning been BEFORE the animal then this poor man could have been saved :)

Moses was had so much fun. He was terrified of the ostrich! Everything he saw was new and amazing to him. Micah just hung out in the baby carrier all day. Which has been the greatest thing ever (thanks Melissa!). He just looks up at me and smiles and he even has started kissing me. You know when ever you go to the zoo it always turns out to be the hottest day of the year. Well the day we go to a zoo in Africa of all places it ends up being pretty chilly. So all the kids were freezing and our driver kept informing us that they were cold and needed more clothes on. So the greatest parent award for the day goes to....!

This zoo had an area of trees and herbs that they were growing and I thought it was the best part. It posted the name of herb and what it cures. Let me tell you if you have a problem I guarantee you there was a herb that promised to treat it. Now I would have like to meet the person who tested all these but he was no where to be found. Here are some examples and no I can not bring any home....I already asked.

When we were getting ready to leave the zoo Moses spotted a few random monkeys walking around. Then out of now where there were at least 50 of them everywhere!!! Just walking around us. It was pretty cool until I decided that moment was a good time to give Micah a peanut butter cracker. Bad idea. This crazy monkey charged at me!!! So to protect my child I pulled Kristi in front of me and throw the package of crackers at the monkey. The monkey starts messing with package and we all run out of the zoo. This is why there are signs in America warning you not to feed the animals AND why animals should be locked in cages.