Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Sunday, December 30, 2007

I want to write about all we learned in Africa, but it will have to wait. Today I am only posting pictures--and they are great ones! These are off of Rachel and Arielle's Blog, two long-term volunteers at Amani Baby Cottage. These girls are AWESOME! Thanks for the pics!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

We have made it safely home and are slowly adjusting to the quick pace.
I am posting some pictures from our trip. Once we are caught up on sleep and I fight this cold, we will write more.

yikes! scary hair!

learning the art of balancing

Here's tech support!

Tell this stork to hurry up and deliver our babies!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

We have never been so thankful to be an American. After landing in JFK Airport and going through Customs, we were greeted by an offical who said, "Welcome Home!"
Todd said he wanted to reach across the counter and kiss the guy--we were so happy to be "home" in America.

We are still travelling...we are now going on 49 hours since we first boarded our plane in Uganda. We made it to Salt Lake City Airport lastnight and found out that we had missed our connecting flight by about 40 minutes. Once again things did not go as hoped or as expected, but God continues to reveal himself to us in the midst of these circumstances. He allowed us to form a relationship with another travelling passenger--a divine appointment to accomplish His purposes. We also got to stay in a very nice hotel for a very minimal price. It was wonderful! And the pillows were so cozy and soft... I think I raved about the cozy bed and pillows for 1/2 hour.
One thing I can say for sure...our appreciation for life, family & friends, and things has definitely changed. We are so richly blessed, rich indeed.

After we reach home, we will post more pictures from our trip and write about some of the lessons we have learned from being in Africa.

Thank you for coming alongside us in this journey! God is writing an amazing story...and it's not over yet!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

God is good ALL the time!

God does not always answer our prayers as we hope or expect...but God is always good and He will do whatever brings Him the most glory. We will not be bringing our babies home this trip. But we know God has a day appointed and it will not be delayed. We are not discouraged. We are confident that we are in the middle of His will and our responsibility is to be willing and obedient. We delight in Him. He has so richly blessed us and we take comfort in knowing that He loves C & K even more than we do. He is the Father to the fatherless. We will wait in excited anticipation for the day to come when we will be united as a complete family.

Lord, we pray for continued health, safety and protection for our family while we are together and apart. Please appoint a godly lawyer to fulfill your will of helping to bring these babies home. Give us strength as we wait for the day to come and may we experience You, Lord, to the fullest. We love you Jesus and may your name resonate in our lives. Amen.

It took a MIRACLE to get this posted!

I am welling up with tears as I read through all the comments on our blog. God has so abundantly blessed us with friends and family. We are overwhelmed by the love and encouragement and prayers you have offered on our behalf. Thank you for believing with us that God can do exceedingly abundantly more than we ask or imagine. You have been a balm to our weary souls.

So much has happened since we last posted which explains the delay in our writing. We know God works all things together for His glory. Todd and I can already see how this is happening. God is uniting Todd and I in a much deeper way than we have ever known. We have had to dig in God's word together, pray fervently together, and wrestle with incredibly difficult situations. In the midst of such trying circumstances, we have had an incredible amount of laughter. Our God is so good.

On Friday, Todd and I met Mama Gladys and Mama Edith at the Source Cafe for brunch. We found out the other day that they had never had ice cream so we told them we would be taking them out. They were so giddy--it was truly like taking little kids out. They got to order whatever they wanted off the menu--they chose fried chicken and chipote and soda. For dessert they got to pick out an ice cream treat out of the freezer. I had to explain all the different choices. They both decided on a drumstick. However they did not eat it right away. They wanted to take it home so they could share it with their children who had never had ice cream. They wrapped it up in a little bag and carried it with them for 45 minutes. We kept telling them that it would melt but there was no comprehension of this. Unbelievably the ice cream made it to their home. We were with Mama Edith when she shared her ice cream with five people--each person getting a little spoonful. They smiled and said "it's so sweet!" We were delighted.
We went to Mama Edith's village on Friday and Mama Gladys' village on Saturday. The hospitality was the most incredible thing I have ever seen. Todd and I were humbled almost to the point of tears. Along the way to Mama Edith's village, we stopped at a market to meet her sister who is a shopkeeper. Her sister welcomed us into her tiny wooden shack/shop. She dusted off the bench and laid her sweater down so we could have a nice place to sit. She then reached into her small pile of coins (her income from the day) and said, "what kind of soda would you like?" This women was going to spend over half her income to show us hospitality. We very politely decline and instead gave her one of our chocolate granola bars. She was very excited and thankful. We took pictures and had a great time. We have never seen poverty like this, yet the most beautiful smiles ever. One lady who spoke no english was very excited to greet us. She gave Todd and I new names--which I cannot pronounce--but mean "handsome" and "beautiful." All the children smiled, waved, and some would yell "Mzungu" which means "white person." I have never seen someone so excited to bring us to their home. When we got there, she pulled potatoes and tomatoes, and bottled water out of her sack (which she had bought along the way) and had her daughter prepare a meal for us.
At Mama Gladys' we met her children, her brother and his wife and their five children, and Mama Gladys' mother. They all live in this home. They each greeted us with hugs and handshakes and went on their knees bowing before us with respect. Her mother shook our hand and greeted us in her language for five minutes. When we asked Mama Gladys what she was saying, she said that she was still greeting us. Her mother even went on her knees many times. They prepared a meal for us and her brother took off work to meet us. These two experiences gave us such a different picture of hospitality and generosity. We are changed forever--may God bless these families and allow us to remember them forever.
On our way back to Jinja Town, Todd and I had to ride a piki (a motorcycle). He climbed on first, sitting snugly behind the driver, and then I had to sit sideways (because I was wearing a skirt) behind Todd. We went FAST. We were holding on to the underside of our seat holding on for dear life. We were flying over potholes where I was becoming airborne and letting out little squeals. Todd kept turning his head towards me so I could hear him saying things like...
Do you think insurance will cover this?
Now riding 70 mph on a Harley without a helmet doesnt sound so bad
This is just like motorcross, but with three people
I have never sat so close to a man in all my life
Our driver was inventing his own lane and driving so close that I could reach out and touch a dump truck and another piki at the SAME time!
We made it safely, but not to our destination. Our driver apparently didnt speak english and did not know where the Source Cafe was located. Thankfully we had done enough walking around...when we finally recognized a building, we yelled, "STOP, right here!" Our legs felt wobbly when we got off and our hands were numb and tingly--because we had been holding on so tightly to our seat.

Later on Saturday I got my hair done! I got hair extensions twisted into my hair which took 5 hours and 3 ladies working on it. I had been wanting to get it done for awhile, but what I was not prepared for was how painful it would be. It was five hours of perpetual, cringing pain. I cant say that I would ever do it again, but it's fun to have long hair and look part Ugandan! All the Ugandans keep telling me, "You look smart!" I will post pictures later.

On Sunday we got to go to church with Mama Gladys and Mama Edith to Liberty Church in Jinja Town. We were the only Mzungus and received quite a warm welcome. We had a great time. The praise and worship time was like aerobics and the entire service was like a marathon. We even had to go up to front with a microphone and introduce ourselves and give a mini sermon of praising God. We got a huge round of applause just for saying our names. Church started at 9:45 and we got out at 1pm. We got to give Mama Edith our little Bible (one of the Bibles you gave us, Lacey) because she did not own a Bible. It would take her a little over three days of wages to purchase one. They are very expensive. Mama Edith was very excited and appreciative to have her own Bible now.

Here we are on Monday. There is lots of talk about the Ebola outbreak. Pray for continued protection, health and safety for us. Pray that the airports would remain open so we can leave on Wednesday. We are ready to be home. We miss you so much.

Praise God with us for all He has done and is doing. Our God is good, All the time!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

our morning view

at The Source Cafe

Christopher enjoying his ice cream

Mommy and Katie playing tickle bird

Mama Edith and Katie


children receiving their beanie babies


Christopher enjoying his first sippie


The pics did not load this morning so I will keep trying. We took the kids on their first outing this morning. It was so sweet because Mama Susan--head of all the Mamas--was so conscientious and thoughtful. She told us to ask the Mamas for clothes, we got to use disposable diapers, she told us they always have snack at 10am so she gave us "biscuits" to take with us, she told us how much to pay for the boda bodas, and she was very excited for C & K. It was truly like the Mom looking out for her children and knowing their needs, wanting to make sure we had everything we needed. So we left the Baby Cottage and waved down two boda bodas. This time I had to straddle the seat in a long skirt, balance and hold a child--it was as difficult as it sounds! But we made it and it was nice not having to walk up some long hills holding 20 lb. children. We took the kiddos to the Source Cafe and had them share their first bowl of chocolate icecream (I told you we are a lot like grandparents!). Christopher made a funny face at first, but then decided that he loved it. He kept his mouth open for refills. We have decided that he will eat pretty much anything--he just really likes food. Katie was very unsure of the icecream. She made a funny face and kept moving her tongue around. She had a few more bites and was drooling ice cream everywhere. She ended up leaving the rest for Christopher, which he was pleased about. Then my bowl of pineapple was brought out and Christopher attacked that. While Katie nibbled on the same piece of pineapple the entire time, Christopher gobbled the pineapple as fast as he could. The pineapple is the best you can imagine. It is so delicious and cheap! A big bowl of fruit salad costs 60 cents.
Oh...before I forget a funny thing happened yesterday...when Todd and I were taking our first boda boda, the driver told Todd, "You are heavy!"
Here are some unique things to Uganda that I have been keeping track of...
...bats, storks, geckos, red dirt, steering wheels on the right side of the car, boda bodas, pikis, people walking everywhere at all times of the day, toilets without seats, squatty toilets (holes in the ground), lots of bug spray, mosquito nets, delicious fruit, beautiful sounds of birds, mamas singing all day long, putting bleach in our water and using a filter to sterilize, goat and chicken sausage on menus...
Todd and I love it here so much we have talked about getting a vacation home here. It would be so awesome to be able to come here as a family every year and it would be great for Katie and Christopher to be reminded of their heritage. Don't worry, there will be room for all of you to stay!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Although we are grieving the loss of Todd's Grandpa Moore and we are on the other side of the world away from family, God has given us strength, joy, comfort and peace. We are doing well. God's mercies our new every morning.
We have some firsts to report...
Yesterday, Tues. Dec. 4, we went to Jinja Town for lunch, shopping, and some internet time. On our way back we took our first boda boda. For those of you who dont know the Ugandan lingo, a boda boda is a bicycle with a little seat on the back. This is a major mode of transportation. Women must sit side saddle, and men straddle the seat. It costs about 400 schillings a ride which is about 30 cents. There is nowhere to hold on except the bottom of your seat. When you get more confident, you can take children with you on the boda boda holding them on your lap while you ride. It was fun and I made sure my driver knew that this was my first time and I did not want to crash. We made it safely! WhooHoo--we did it! The next challenge will be a piki--a ride on a motorized bike. Those guys get going fast!
When we got back to ABC, we saw all the children playing on the lawn. Christopher and Katie spotted us quickly so we ran over to greet them. When Katie saw me, she used her friends and Mamas as leverage to stand up. She had a big smile as she look at me while I called her name. She then took her first steps!! The Mamas were hootin' and hollerin', and I was clapping. It was so special to see our daughter's major milestone!
We are still staying at Hotel Triangle and it is working out nicely. We enjoy our walk to the baby cottage every morning. We do not tire of the beautiful scenery. It is so lush and green, the birds and their music are beautiful, the lake is so serene-- it is a breathtaking view every morning. Todd and I are still waking up by 4 every morning fully rested. This morning we realized it is not because of jet lag, it is because:
1) we are in bed by 9pm every night
2) we aren't taking care of three kids everyday
3) the mamas do everything for us
So we have decided that we want to take a Mama home with us. I think I really would be a better mom and wife!
The food is delicious here and we are enjoying experiencing new things. We still have not had a rolex--something similar to a breakfast burrito that everyone raves about--you find them along the street in town. Last night we ate at The Gately, a restaurant and hotel right across from the ABC. We had heard good things but were not prepared.... We were the only ones there, we were ushered to candlelit tables beautifully set, a nicely manicured property in front of us with a waterfall, all overlooking the lake. Todd had tilapia coated in lemon parsley breadcrumbs...he said it was the best fish he has ever tasted. When we looked up at the awning over our table we counted 9 geckos dining with us! Dinner cost us 33,500 schillings--which is expensive in Uganda--$20.
It has been fun being the messenger of gifts. Friends in Montana packed our bags full of goodies for the kids, mamas, volunteers, and others. It has brought us such joy handing these things out. Yesterday, I brought playdoh to the toddlers. Rachel and Ariel, two awesome volunteers here, do school time with the kids everyday. For their craft time they got to play with the playdoh. When I brought it to them, all the children yelled, "Thank You Auntie." The mamas have loved getting wipes which are a rare thing around here. For some of the items I have prayed asking God to show me who, when and where to give the goodies. God showed me that there were needy children along our walk from the hotel to ABC every morning. They wave, shout hello, and smile big smiles every morning. That morning I brought along some beanie babies
and gave them dto five children walking along the road carrying their water. They went crazy. Todd thought I might get mauled by them. They were so excited. We took their picture of them smiling holding up their new stuffed animal. We then showed them their picture on our digital camera. They giggled when they saw themselves.
Christopher is extremely clingy to Todd. He only wants Todd and he absolutely adores Todd. He will cry, no actually it's scream, whenever Todd sets him down. The only time he will stop is at mealtime as soon as food is placed in front of him. He likes his food! This morning Todd and I are taking the kids to The Source Cafe for some spoiling time with the kids. They get to wear their "smart" clothes. "Smart" is a term used to say, "you look GOOD!"
Katie is smiling more and more everyday. She loves snuggling up next to me and gets very jealous when others get too close to me. She is a biter, and we think she always keeps her mouth open so she can be ready to chomp at a moments notice. It is like she is blossoming right in front of us. She is really coming to life.
Well, I have so much more to say, but we need to hop on our boda boda and get to town with C & K. I am posting pictures of Junior (mom's favorite who has the best smile), Weiss (Lacey's fav. little boy), Mama Edith with Katie (K & C's favorite Mama) and some other cute pics. Enjoy. We love you and Miss you. Jaden, Kellen, and Sage, we send you great big hugs and kisses. We cant wait to bring you here--you will love it! See you soon.
P.S Katie loves "Tickle bird" as you will see in the picture.
P.P.S Aaron & Ariel, tell them to do the best they can on the truck with $1000. Thanks.

Difficult Thanksgiving

My Lord, My Sovereign Savior,

All praise and glory and honor to You. Every day Your creation and all its creatures give honor to You.

I am a very blessed man, and my family a very blessed family. We have never deserved Your grace or mercy, but You have chosen to show it again and again and again. We are not royalty in any way, but You have called us chosen ones, ambassadors, Your children by choice, not accident.

Thank you that You have given my family a royal heritage in Christ. Thank you that I am not the first to follow You, but that I was preceded by generations of men and women who loved you and called You Lord. Thank you that we were blessed to spend time and have memories with many of them before You brought them to their real home. I know this world has never truly been home for them, but now, in tears, we are overwhelmed that they now are in Your presence. That they aren't as they were here, broken, pained, discomforted, and longing for home, but they are as You have always intended them to be: strong, joy-filled, healthy, young, and free. They will never again know pain, or tears, or sadness, or lonliness. You loved us enough to keep them here a little while, but You loved them enough to remove them from their pain and give them new and forever health and joy.

Thank you for my Grandpa Moore and my Grandpa Collett, and the many before them. Thank you that they chose sometimes a more difficult path because it was right. Thank you that they worked harder than many because they loved their families. Thank you that they let us know how much they loved us. And thank You for the legacy they leave behind them. Sometimes we recall it too late, but they were mindful of it all the time. Thank You for their wisdom.

May we always be working to perfect the legacy that they have left behind in Christ, so that our children, and our childrens' children, and the many who have been our friends will all one day stand together at our Saviors feet as faithful and blessed. May each day of our lives tell the story of the gospel which now unites them all in heaven.

Lord, this is a difficult thanksgiving because I miss my Grandpa. I love him. We all do. But knowing that You do even more brings peace to our souls.

Yours forever with anticipation of our reunion in heaven, and in Jesus' name,


Monday, December 3, 2007

Now I know what it must feel like to be a grandparent!

I say that because Todd and I are coming to visit the children when they are on strict routines that work well, and all we want to do is spoil them. The poor mamas have had to deal with more fits and crying because we keep distracting the kids, they dont want to participate in the "normal" circle time, when we put them down they cry, and when we go in to tuck in our babies all the other babies start yelling "auntie and uncle". The mamas are so gracious and actually encourage us to show this special love. So all this to say...Mom, go ahead and give Jaden, Kellen and Sage some extra M&Ms!!!
We are doing very well. We are having such a great time and are continuing to soak it all in. I have so many thoughts to share that today I will do it in a list format...
* We are still amazed at the things Ugandans balance on a boda boda (a bicycle). We saw a couch strapped to the back of one!
* When we were flying to Africa and passed over all the very, very dry deserts, it made us think of when Moses led the Israelites through the desert and God provided their food and drink for 40 years. It gave us a whole different understanding of the magnitude of that miracle.
* When we saw the Nile River it made us think about baby Moses being placed in a basket floating down that river.
* There are 37 mamas that work here on day and night shifts. These are very godly women that shower the kids with the love of Jesus. They sing ALL the time. There is so much joy in this place. They always greet us with smiles and hugs and are so appreciative of us being here. They are so happy that Chirstopher and Katie have a family waiting for them. They do an amazing job. Mama Edith is especially LOVED by our kids. They are crazy about her. She is the only one that are kids will even think about leaving our arms for. It is so comforting knowing how much these mamas love on our children to meet their physical and emotional needs when we cannot be the ones to do that. Please lift the mamas up in prayer and pray a special blessing on them.
* We are eating so well here. For breakfast we eat at hotel Triangle. We eat omelettes loaded with diced vegetables, mango juice, slices of fresh pineapple, slices of papaya, watermelon, bananas (which are sweeter and better than ours), bread with butter and jam. For lunch yesterday we had rice, potatoes, cooked cabbage, and beef stew. Mama Cook is an excellent cook and the food was delicious.
Our kids eat porridge in the morning and a hard boiled egg. They have snack at 10am which were "biscuits" a hard rectangle cookie like Nila Wafers. At lunch and dinner they eat potatoes and beans, or stir fry, and the kids eat everything even all their vegetables. I am pleased with the amount of nutrition they are getting. They have a snack at 3pm which consists of chunks of fresh fruit.
* We never see the kids drink anything though and are a little concerned about Katie staying well hydrated with her sickle cell anemia, so today we gave the kids sippie cups from home (different than the kind they typically use) and filled it with water and a Propel drink mix. It was hilarious watching their expressions. Christopher, aka Chubbers, could not get enough. He kept downing the drink, which tastes like lemonade. We finally had to take it away because it looked like his tummy would explode. We saw our first temper tantrum! Katie who is much more cautious and timid, was a little unsure, but she continued to drink, make a funny face, and then smile. We then played bubbles with all the kids--they loved it! And then we realized that because of the sippies are kids had su-sued (pottied) and were leaking through the diapers.
*Christopher has been glued to Todd. He only wants Todd, he reaches for Todd, he goes anywhere Todd goes. When we were playing with bubbles, Christopher was in a real dilemma because he wanted so bad to chase and catch the bubbles but he would not leave Todd's lap. When Christopher goes to me, he immediately reaches back for Todd and will fuss and lean out of my arms until Todd takes him. I am delighted to see this connection.
* Katie is mainly in my arms. Whenever she sees me she lights up. Yesterday the kids had awaken from nap time, but they have to stay in their cribs for awhile. Todd and I kept peeking in her room, and she would smile everytime she saw our faces. She cries anytime I put her down or hand her over to the mamas. We are having so much fun with them and will soon take them out on their first outing!
* Christopher is busy and likes to get in things and is very curious and adventurous. He is not afraid to push someone out of the way so he can have Todd's attention. He is fascinated with birds right now and yesterday we got to hear him say "bird" and point!
* Katie is much more reserved, cautious, and hesitant. She can be moody too, so as a girl, I think she will fit into the Moore household well! She has given us many smiles and giggles. She loves to be pushed in the swing. She also likes to be tickled and have her feet massaged--what girl doesn't??
* Erryn thank you for the clothes you have let me borrow--they have worked out great. Siouxanne loved receiving her goodies and families and volunteers loved the chocolate. We have been able to share baggies, and possibly some Malarone and pepto. We were able to give some gatorate packets to someone yesterday. Everyone is looking at us as being ultra prepared and full of resources--all thanks to you!!
* Ariel, thank you for the clothes. It is so nice not having to worry about what to wear each day. I am staying very comfortable. The kids loved the bubbles, I wish you could have seen the excitement in their eyes and voices. The mamas and volunteers were excited too. We are still waiting to disperse some of the toys.
* Lacey, I wish you could be here to experience this and to see all the kids. I have no doubt that you would have a little boy picked out in no time. It might actually be dangerous if you wouldnt know how to say no, and you might end up as a family of 12! I will have pictures of Weiss soon.
Mom, Junior and Weiss seem to be good buds. He has an incredible smile. Yesterday they were sitting in the hammok with Todd pretending they were on a boat and that they couldn't fall into the water. Melody kept pikcing flowers and leaves and carrying them in a frisbee saying "auntie, here's another flowe.r" She also told me she wanted to hold my hand as we walked. We had fun playing ring around the rosie, and our circle kept growing bigger and bigger.
Jaden, You would love the green grass. There is so much room to run and play. Yesterday the boys were having races to see who could run the fastest. The tree house is really cool. The weather is beautiful, sunny and hot. Great weather for playing outside.
Kellen, you would have so much fun with all the kids. They love pretending--yesterday the kids were under the treehouse playing "kitchen" since all the kitchens here are outside. They also like running around playing with balls and hula hoops. You would make so many friends. Also, there are so many babies that like to be held and cuddled, you would be great at that.
Sage, you would love all the animals here. There are chickens and baby chicks that run around, lots of birds, geckos, and dogs. You would have so much.
* Yesterday, we got to be part of a send off for a family. They were going home with their two Ugandan children!! The volunteers, mamas, children, and families all gathered around. We prayed for them and sang "You are Worthy, You are Faithful." It was emotional and awesome to celebrate with this family. God is faithful and He keeps his promises.
* Pray for our lawyer here. We just found out that she has not returned any calls and is proving already to be unreliable. Amani needs to have a reliable lawyer. Pray that God would direct the right lawyer. We cannot move forward until then.
This has been one long entry, so I should probably sign off now. As you can, a lot happens in one day!
* Christopher and Katie were weighed today. Christopher is 22.2 lbs. and Katie is 20.8 lbs. They feel and look totally different though. It is amazing was two pounds can do at that age.
Love you and miss you.

I had trouble uploading pics and I couldnt flip them, etc.
Also, this post was very long so I am not going to proof it...hope it made sense!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

How much joy can be in one place?

We are here!!!!!!! Yesterday we arrived in Entebbe around 3pm, paid for our visas, and then exited through a tunnel of people. I felt like it was the paparazzi...people had their faces pressed up against the glass looking into the airport, and we had taxi drivers trying to convince us that we needed them, not our driver, to take us to Amani. We had a hard time convincing them otherwise because our driver was not there. We were a little panicked, but the taxi driver let us use his phone, and we were finally united with our driver--and we got the best one there is. Abdulla, was very kind, generous (he stopped at the grocery store to buy us bottled water--which was his own idea), and answered our million ongoing questions. Half the time we were in silent awe just soaking everything in, other times we couldnt stop talking. It is so fun experiencing everything in context, not just through pictures and stories. Putting the smells, the sounds, and the scenery all together creates such an experience. It is incredible here. It took us about 4 hours to get to Amani from the airport because of traffic. Along the drive, we saw the funniest thing...there are shops everywhere...and one of those shops had art for of the giant paintings was of an American flag and Bill Clinton!
We pulled up to the gates of Amani Baby Cottage around 7pm. We were told that they would keep the babies up for us and wait for our arrival. We pulled in through the gates, and were greeted by many excited mamas who were so welcoming. The name given to me by all the mamas is "Mama Christopher" or "Mama Priscilla" (Priscilla is Katie's given name at birth). There is another Katie in Baby 1 Room so they have to call her Priscilla. We had one of the other families video tape us walking into the baby cottage. We went into Baby Room 2 where Christopher was sleeping with 10 other children. The mamas flipped on the lights, pulled up the mosquito netting, and lovingly yanked Christopher by the arm up out of his sound sleep and said, "Christopher, your Mama" and put him in my arms. He was adjusting to the light and trying to figure out where he was. He had his little hand gripped tightly to my shirt. I immediately started kissing his head and cheek and held him close. He laid his face against my chest and shoulder, just snuggling. I had tears of joy sliding down my cheek. Then the mamas brought Katie to us (she sleeps in a different room) and handed her to Todd. She went right to him. After soaking it all in, and loving every moment of it, Todd and I traded kids. And then we saw a very specific answered prayer. Katie reached for Todd. So there was Todd holding both kids. It was the best picture in the world. He then started bouncing them up and down, and they loved it. They were laughing, smiling, giggling, and loving every second. We were laughing in delight. After an hour, we put Christopher and Katie back to bed, and I got to stroke Katie's head and rub her belly, as she fell asleep. We then left for the Hotel Triangle where we are staying. It is gorgeous here. Our room looks out over the lake and we went to sleep to the sounds of frogs and crickets and awoke to birds singing and roosters crowing. We had a great breakfast and walked to the Baby Cottage. Again we were greeted with big hugs from all the mamas and were ushered into Christopher and Katie's room. They immediately came to us and gave us big smiles and giggles. The kids wake up at 6:30, get bathed and put back into their cribs. They then get ready for breakfast at 8am. Christopher eats his porridge out of a "big boy" cup. We were amazed to see 11 kids under age 2 drinking out of cups and there were no spills! In Katie's room she was getting ready for her porridge out of a sippy cup. When she gets excited and wants something, her legs start bouncing and she starts flapping her arms. We left to go put our stuff upstairs in the living quarters (which are very nice) and returned downstairs later for play time. When I walked in, I was literally attacked by children. I think I had four or five on me all wanting to be held, climbing up my shirt and back. Katie wanted to be held, and then when Todd walked in she crawled over to him. When we walked into Christopher's room, he was already sitting in their snack circle. He immediately got up with a smile and walked over to Todd with his arms reaching up, so he could be picked up. We are enjoying every second. Both C and K look very healthy. Christopher is walking and is strong. Katie is thinner, more petite looking, and is standing and walking along things as she holds on. She has a mouth full of teeth and resembles her sister Sage--because the exact same front tooth is chipped! Her skin and hair is soft and smells so good. Her cheeks are so kissable. Christopher is more solid and his hair is thicker. He is so cuddly.
I had wondered what it would feel like as their mother. Would it be an instant bond or would it come over time. The way I can explain it is when you are in the hospital after the delivery of a child, and they place the newborn baby in your arms. It felt like that--instant love, attachment, and bond. I could not stop kissing them. They are my children. We wish Jaden, Kellen and Sage could be here. They would love it. The kids would have so much fun with them. The toddler room is a high energy room, where every single child came running up to us yelling Auntie, Uncle, and giving us hugs, wanting to be held, and saying, "I want to go home with you." Break my heart, maybe we can get one or two more?!? Just kidding, I will just start picking out ones for Lacey, Erryn, and Ariel!! Lacey--Weiss is a cutie. He was climbing the triple bunk bed this morning in his tidy whities. His underwear was a bit big, though and it kept falling down, he had to keep reaching behind as he climbed to give them a tug. He is adorable. The kids are all so loving, and they love Jesus. All the mamas are so good with the kids and teach them about Jesus. It is such a great place. The scenery is beautiful. I wish you could all be here with us experiencing it alongside us. We will have lots of pictures and video to share. We are still trying to figure out how to download that stuff. Hopefully soon! We love you, and miss you, but God has us in His hands. We are safe and well. Keep praying for health (my stomach was really upset yesterday just from the travelling and lack of sleep) I am feeling better today.
Jaden, Kellen, and Sage, thank you for your notes to us. I loved getting them on the computer. Thank you for your prayers. God is answering them. We will bring you each a surprise. Have fun with Grammy! Make sure you give her quiet time! Thank you for watering the tree and I am excited to find your hidden pickles. Have lots of fun, we will be home soon. Oh, we also found our picture that we made for the babies this summer hanging up. Katie held the picture and she pointed to Jaden, Kellen and Sage's picture. They love you and cant wait to meet you.
Lord, thank you for your awesome power and love for us. You are so good to us and lavish us with blessings. We love you and praise you for your beautiful creation of people and nature. May you be glorified. Amen.
Sorry if this post was a little jumbled and hard to read, I am a bit overwhelmed!
Love you and miss you!

Friday, November 30, 2007

We are in Dubai, United Arab Emirates!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow! An unexpected surprise...they have a free internet booth at the airport. I have had to wait a few hours to find an opening, but when you have nothing else to do for 8 hours, it's not so bad :-) The diversity is unbelievable, and for someone that loves people watching, I am having a hayday! We are doing well...we are safe and healthy. The flights have been incredible! We LOVE flying Emirates--Todd and I have enjoyed the pampering and the time together. We have so many details to share...where to start. First of all, it is about 3:30am Dec. 1st. We board the plane at 8:15 and will arrive in Entebbe, Uganda at 2:50 pm. It's getting close--we are so excited! Dubai is amazing with shops everywhere, it looks and feels like a busy mall. Even in the middle of the night, things around here are bustling. We got a free meal because we have over a 4 hour layover. Let's just say the food was interesting! Right after we ate, Todd said, "I am ready for some french toast and bacon!" We'll have to wait a couple more weeks for that...right Mom?!? Jim and Beth, I think you would love it here...this should be your next vacation spot--good shopping and good golfing!
Let me highlight a few happenings of the trip so far...
* On our flight to New York we sat next to a young man who is a senior at BYU. Before he even said anything, I knew that we were supposed to talk to him. Sure enough, we ended up talking the entire flight, a little over 3 hrs. I believe it was a divine conversation.
* Arriving at JFK airport was exciting. I think I had culture shock just being in New York! Every single person we talked to was genuinely friendly. Then before we boarded our flight, we saw a woman (I am assuming she was muslim) walking through the airport carrying her 6 year old son who was unconscious. The airport staff really didnt do much for her, but got her some ice and a wheelchair. They began talking to her trying to figure out what happend. In the meantime, the rest of her family boarded the airplane and the plane took off, leaving her there by herself! She was crying and Todd and I had a heart that was breaking for her. We stood just watching trying to figure out what we could do for her. I knew to pray, but what else. Todd and I continued praying for this little boy, and as I was asking God what I should do--He told me to pray for the boy. I said, I am praying. God nudged me further saying "Pray over him." I froze. I thought surely that is my crazy, loopy mind speaking to me. God said it again. Todd confirmed that I should go. I was only hesitant out of fear and embarassment, but I knew I had to obey my Lord. I walked over to the women in the midst of staff people around her, I asked if the boy was ok, and I asked if I could pray for him...she said yes. I laid my hand on him and prayed out loud. When I finished I walked away. It was later that I learned that she did not speak any english at all. I still dont know why God had me pray over a muslim women's boy, but I am confident that God was at work and things were happening in the spiritual realm.
* We made a stop in Hamburg, Germany and I asked some of the Germans how to pronouce my maiden name (which has always been something my family has wondered about). It is exactly the way we have always said it! I told them that they say it better though! I also found out that the first part of the name means "early". Kinda cool!
* One last thing, Todd and I got a really hard laugh when we were flying to Dubai and were trying to figure out what time it was and what time zone we were in. As we were talking we realized that on Nov. 29 at 7 pm we ate dinner and at 11pm we boarded our flight. During that flight we ate another dinner, breakfast, lunch and two snacks...the funny thing was only 11am!! It had been the middle of the night! It is so weird how you dont realize that when you are flying. With all that food you would think we were running a marathon...nope, we were just sitting and watching movies and playing video games on the seatback in front of us!!!
We are having a super time although we already miss Jaden, Kellen and Sage sooooo much! We are so thankful for my mom and my friends who love us so much and are loving on our children. Jaden, you would have loved the tv and video games on the airplane--it was a lot of fun. Kellen, you would love seeing all the people here and talking to every one of them. We know you would make a lot of new friends on this trip. Sage, you would love all the food we have gotten...mousse, brownies, cheesecakes, and chocolates...and we have seen so many cute little girls your age that you would have fun playing with. We love you and miss you so much. We are praying for you. Thank you for praying for us. It is so special knowig that you are praying for Mommy and Daddy. We will write again soon! Oh, I am thrilled...the next time you hear from us we will be holding our two precious Ugandan children. We will give them lots and lots of hugs and kisses from you all!
Keep praying, God is at work!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

WE ARE GOING TO AFRICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We can hardly believe it...we are actually going to Africa! This is the first of two required trips. On this trip we will visit with Christopher and Katie for a few days, talk to the official and tell him "yes we still want these children" and he will transfer foster care from the director of the baby cottage to us. It is then that a court date can be set. They said it would take a miracle, but there is a chance that we could have a court date by Christmas! Chances are more likely that it will be at the beginning of the new year, but we can pray to the author of miracles! Oh it feels so good to know things are moving forward. We long to see and hold Christopher and Katie--I cannot even describe the anticipation we are experiencing!
We will soon have many pictures to share. I can't wait!!
I have put off blogging for quite awhile...I knew that there was so much to write about and I kept waiting for a big chunk of time. I should know by now that with three kids there's never a big chunk of time!!
God is at work around us even in the little details--we are constantly reminded of that. Although things may seem slow, God has an appointed time and it will not be delayed from that. We have been learning that this is not about the end result (of getting our two children--although we wanted them yesterday!)it is about embracing the process and experiencing God to the fullest. He is alive and active amongst us. I do not want to miss all that God has for us.

* In September, Vern Streeter, the pastor of Harvest Church, met with us to learn more about our heart and vision for Africa. We got to share our story and how it all originated with my mom two years ago. That weekend Vern's sermon was on Abraham and his faith. At the end of his sermon, he talked about my mom and the faith she displayed in responding to God's call to go to Africa. The part of my mom's story that I absolutely love is the "ripple effect." Her obedience to go resulted in many lives changed for eternity. She impacted lives on her trip, we decided to adopt, others who have heard our story are now adopting, my mom and dad have started a foundation-- ...the list goes on and on. When we make a decision to respond obediently, God blesses many.
As Vern closed, he prayed for our babies to come home soon and that the Judge would rule "yes." He asked the church to be praying for our babies and the Judge.

* God has blessed me with many "divine conversations." I often get phone calls or emails from people I have never met--friends of friends of friends. It becomes a conversation of mutual encouragement and praise to God. I have gotten to know people in Washington, Texas and throughout Montana. God is so good! I am so thankful for these people God has sent my way and for the encouragement and blessing He has poured out on me through them.

* A couple months ago there was a high school convention held in Billings for the surrounding high schools. The schools were talking about world travel and had to pick a country, do speeches, make a food, and learn as much as they could about that particular country. A high schooler named Kiah, who had met us once in the summer and had heard our story, got her school to choose Uganda, and invited us to be apart of the convention. We got to have a table displaying our scrapbook, t-shirts, and items that had been brought back from Uganda. Erryn came with me and displayed her jewelery (100% of the profits from her jewelery business go to Jireh Ministries Foundation). We had many great conversations that day, sold lots of t-shirts, and even got to give an impromptu speech to a few hundred students about Uganda and our adoption. It was so incredible to share this God-given passion with so many.

* For about six months we have been saying that Billings is budding with excitement for Africa. It is waiting to blossom and God has big things in store. That could not be any more true. In March 2008, Billings is having a H20 Day to raise awareness and funds for clean water in Africa. It is a huge event that will require many months of planning. Erryn went to the initial meeting and got to share about Jireh Ministries Foundation and their needs. Because of that, Jireh was chosen as one of the five projects for H2O Day. One fifth of the funds raised will be given to Jireh!

* We received a link to the Canadian paper that wrote an article about Katie and her blood transfusion in which the blood was donated by Jocelyn, a volunteer at Amani Baby Cottage.

* I also met another volunteer who had served at Amani Baby Cottage in the fall of 2006. Her name is Katie and our meeting each other through email was God-orchestrated. She had grown attached to our little Christopher while she served at ABC and has prayed for him ever since. She has prayed that he would find a forever family to love him, long before we knew that he would be our son. God has reminded me over and over that He loves us all so much and He truly is the Father to the fatherless.

* We just found out that the Uganda officials are now requiring parents to travel two times to Uganda. They want to know that we are serious about our children and make sure there is no child trafficking taking place. Although this means added expenses, we are thrilled to see our children.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


In April 2007, God woke me in the middle of the night (probably because that’s the only time He can get a hold of me) and prompted me to spend some time with Him praying and writing in my journal. Around 3:30 am, I began to get a very clear vision of a huge fundraiser for our adoption. Over the past year, I had brainstormed fundraisers many times but never felt compelled to carry them out. The idea in itself always seemed overwhelming. This time, however, I was getting very excited. I felt like God was giving me all the ideas and I was just putting it on paper. About 1 ½ hours later, I went back to bed. When I awoke later that morning and thought back to my time with the Lord, my first thought was “that was the most overwhelming idea ever.” I quickly dismissed everything I planned earlier that morning. A week later God brought the vision back to me, this time with an abundance of enthusiasm and confidence that I was to carry this out. As I began writing, details filled the paper. I could barely keep up with my thoughts. God even gave me a date of June 15, so I wrote it down. An hour later, I came out of the office and told Todd that we were going to be having a fundraiser on June 15 and 16. I called my friend Lacey and my parents. I think I needed to tell someone so I would have some accountability. This time I was sure that God was asking me to bring this fundraiser to completion.
Over the next month I prayed. I prayed about locations and volunteers to help implement this event, and I met with a friend to begin planning. Over this time, God refined the vision and made it crystal clear. I was to have a massive garage sale, BBQ, and bake sale. I wanted the whole community involved. I wanted our neighbors, friends, small group, church, etc. to be a part of this. I started sharing my vision with more and more people and word traveled.
I was on the phone constantly trying to nail down a location. I had prayed about it and even had a list of criteria we were looking for, but every option was a closed door. As June 15 approached, many people suggested that I postpone the fundraiser because we had no location. I felt very strongly that I was supposed to carry it out on that day—there was no changing it. I persevered and would not let discouragement seep in. I knew God would provide a place for us. A few days before our fundraiser we decided on a location—our home!
In the mean time, I got another idea—let’s make t-shirts. A friend of a friend, Shauna Majerus, quickly agreed to help us. On very short notice she designed the front and back of the shirt for us. To save on time, we ended up using the painting she had made for our friends Erryn and Deke for their mission trip to Uganda. We had over 500 shirts made through Sutton’s Sportswear. The turn around time was supposed to be 3 weeks. However, Sutton’s was very supportive and generous towards us—they not only donated some of the costs, but they put a rush on the order, so we would have them before the 15th.
Within one week of our fundraiser, details came together. Our phone was ringing off the hook, and we were constantly sharing praise reports of what God was doing.
 A family from our small group donated 800 hotdogs, hamburgers, and buns, along with some help from Sweetheart Bakery and Food Services of America.
 City Brew donated a carafe of coffee that serves 80-100 people for Fri and Sat.
 Starbucks donated a carafe of coffee that serves 80-100 people for Friday.
 Donut Hole donated 5 dozen donuts for Friday and Saturday.
 Let’s Party donated a balloon arch for over our street.
 Wheat Montana called and said that they had seen our flyer. They thought this fundraiser was an awesome idea and for a great cause. They brought a carload of pastries, turnovers, cookies, cinnamon rolls, breads, etc.
 Target donated a $30 gift card.
 Wal-Mart donated a $25 gift card.
 Albertson’s donated the use of their copy machine to Lacey and I at midnight (because we found out Kinko’s is not open 24 hours) for us to make 250 flyers.

Our big living room, which had no furniture in it since we were remodeling our house at the same time, was completely filled with donated items. A person could not walk into the room. There was not a square inch of space left. We had items dropped off on our doorstep overnight. Over 35 families cleaned out their homes to donate to our sale! On June 13, I had some friends come over to help organize this pile. Amber, Sarah, Lacey. Rhonda, Carol, and Summer began distributing items to vacant rooms of the house and pricing each item. I was making phone calls to find 6 ft. tables. I ended up tracking down 30 tables and had volunteers drive around to pick them up. We had people at our house around the clock helping. Becky and Char made an enormous array of baked goods. Neighbors dropped off more goodies. Sharon helped watch my kids and cleaned my house. Since we were still without a washing machine, Carol and Sharon both took ALL my laundry home and brought it back the next day folded! Jon and Christy, Jana, and Cindi, and Chuck all stopped by to set up for the sale. Sarah spent hours making signs for the sale—complete with a map to assist the person posting them. I wrote a letter to our neighborhood informing them of what was going on. They all responded positively and parked their cars on side streets and alleys to keep our street open for the public. We blocked off our street to have more space and used our neighbor’s grass and driveway.
The night before the sale I got 45 minutes of sleep. We had people showing up at 6am and it stayed busy until the evening. I was stationed at the “cashier” table where we had our t-shirts on display, a scrapbook of Christopher and Katie, and a donation jar. We had lines of people waiting to pay and to hear our story. I repeated our story non-stop all day long for two days. Masses of people heard about God’s love and His faithfulness. People were brought to tears. Nobody tried to negotiate prices. In fact, the majority said “keep the change.” I even had a few give me $100 bills. One particularly vivid memory is a woman who said she had just met my husband a couple days earlier because he was working on her neighbor’s house. She heard about our adoption and fundraiser. She said she had just gone to the bank and handed me an envelope. We were so busy, that I just looked at her eyes and said thank you. I put the envelope in the donation jar. A few hours later when we had a moment, we unfolded the envelope and saw $1000 cash. I was in tears. I called Todd at work to tell him of this amazing blessing. After Todd got off the phone, the song “Who Am I” came on the radio in his truck. Todd is not an emotional person by any stretch of the imagination, but as he listened to the words of this song and thought about this woman’s generosity, he cried. As the tears were pouring down and his eyes were blurry, all he could think about was what would happen to the pies, that his customer had just made for our bake sale, if he crashed from not being able to see!
We were completely humbled and overwhelmed.
KULR 8 News came that afternoon, interviewed me and put us on the 10pm news.
Friday night we were exhausted. We thought we would go to bed early. It was around midnight. The moment I crawled into bed, Jaden woke up with a severe asthma attack. We gave him his rescue inhaler but it was not helping. I prayed with him and Todd tried calming him down. After an hour, his asthma only progressed. Todd stayed home with Kellen and Sage while Lacey hopped in the car with us to go to the ER. I began praying out loud for Jaden who was panicking. I made a phone call to the hospital to let them know we were on our way. I also called our fellow prayer warriors Chuck and Sharon. While I was on the phone, Lacey took over praying out loud for Jaden. About five minutes later we pulled up to the hospital, and the moment we walked through the ER doors, Jaden was breathing normally. His oxygen level was great, he wasn’t wheezing anymore. After seeing the Dr. they had no explanation for us. They could not explain why he was breathing normally now. But we knew…without a doubt, God had just made Jaden better.
We were able to get 1 hour 45 minutes of sleep that night. God showed us that He can be our strength, that we need to rely on Him and He will carry us through. And He did!
A couple days later a reporter from The Journal Gazette tracked us down and wrote an article about our adoption. Our fundraiser was a huge success because Christ was at the center of it. He received all the credit. He brought our friends, neighbors, and community together and they embraced us with love and support. It was amazing. We thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. We saw God working in the midst of us. He was alive and present at our garage sale. God was glorified!

 In the late evening of June 14, Sharon and Chuck drove to the Heights to run an errand for us. As they were overlooking the rims, they saw a beautiful rainbow and were reminded of God’s promises to us. On the morning of June 17, on the way to church, we saw another rainbow. God gave us a rainbow at the beginning and end of our fundraiser.
 People often asked how much money I expected to raise from this event. I had no idea. Of course I wanted it to be a successful weekend, but I truly believed that the weekend belonged to the Lord. It was His to do with as He wanted. If not one person came, it would still be ok because I was only doing this fundraiser out of obedience to what God has asked of me. He would receive the glory no matter what. In my moments of daydreaming, I thought it would be incredible if we could raise $6000 plus another $1000 to give to Amani Baby Cottage. (Amani does not keep any money for themselves, they are totally run by donation). On the evening of Saturday, June 16, after the completion of our sale, we counted $6996. Over the next couple days, some more money came in, bringing the total over $7000. Praise God! He is so good to us.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


It has been difficult writing this blog only because I started a year and some after we began the adoption process. Therefore, everything I have written so far, is a retelling of what has happened in the previous months. I have been trying to get caught up with the present. I am almost there!
As of today, September 5, 2007, Christopher and Katie are 14 months old.
We are still waiting for an affidavit to be written and sent to us. Once we notarize it, we Fed Ex it back to Uganda and the court date is then set.
This past Labor Day weekend, I had an uneasiness in my spirit. I sensed that something big was happening in Uganda regarding the adoption. I even had a dream that everyone was talking about something significant happening. In my dream, I was praying. While I was praying, God showed me the judge looking at our file and seeing our names and who we are adopting. The judge then said, "I have never done this before, but I am going to give a ruling without seeing Todd and Jenny in court. My answer is YES! They can take them home. When I awoke, I felt a great need to pray for the judge that he would love Jesus, ask forgiveness of his sins, and give his life to the Lord. I told Kellen to be praying for the judge. Kellen said, "The judge already knows Jesus, he is just being disobedient." Interesting! We are praying that God would move upon the judges heart in such a way that a miracle would happen.
I am clinging to the scripture verse in Matthew 21:22. It says "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
Lord, increase my faith!

Jocelyn and Katie

I was able to get in touch with Jocelyn--the one who donated blood to Katie. She had incredible pictures to share with me and great descriptions of my children. It was a prayer answered. I had been longing and praying for someone to share a special connection with my children, to love on them and hold them. The following is an excerpt from an email she sent me:
"I'm so excited to spout off everything I know about Katie. Her and I spent most of 2 1/2 months together and coming home was pure torture for me. Where do I start? She is the most precious, unspoiled, unwhiny baby at the baby home. The only time she ever really cries is when she's really hungry (she doesn't like the breakfasts at the baby home and does usually eat very much, so around lunch time she gets a bit cranky. Well, she used to, that is. I don't know if she's still pulling that stunt). Other than that, she's happy and independant. Cuddly when you want to cuddle, but not so attached that she'll cry every time you leave. She always had this one special look for me when I walked into the room. The Mamas said that she didn't look at anyone else in that way. But I'm sure that as you get to know her, she'll transfer that special look onto you. It's a kind of "Hey! Jocelyn's here! Everyone, look! Jocelyn's here! Yay!" look. Haha, at least, that's what I pictured her thinking as she did it. She has the most beautiful big eyes in the world and she's quite lanky - I think she'll be a very tall, very thin girl as she grows up. She has a thing about biting and if you see her leaning toward you with her mouth open, it's usually a sign that she's going to take a chomp. Come to think about it, Christopher does it too. Katie doesn't have typical Ugandan hair. It's quite straight and fluffy (or what's there is - she doesn't have much!).As for Christopher, we didn't spend nearly as much time together, but I did get to know him fairly well. He's a very funny guy. Very active. We called him the Juggernaut because he just plows through anything and anyone in his way. He's always either crying loudly or laughing like a crazy person. He doesn't have much of an inbetween stage. At least, he didn't when I was there early this summer. He's a lot of fun."

Friends, Packages, and Uganda

God has blessed us with a beautiful friendship through Erryn and Deke Lundman. They are passionate about following Christ. Their enthusiasm and love for the Lord radiates from them. God used my mom to spur them on to a mission trip with Believer's World Outreach (the same one she went on two summers ago). They responded obediently to God's call and went to Uganda for two weeks in July 2007. It is so exciting seeing God use them in mighty ways in and out of Africa.
Before they left for Uganda, we put together a package for Christopher and Kisakye, which was hand delivered by Deke and Erryn. We made a laminated collage of our family pictures and filled a soft, durable photo album with pictures of all of us. We also sent an IU (Indiana University) outfit for Christopher and Katie to have their pictures taken in. Jaden, Kellen, and Sage have all worn these same outfits which were given to us by Papaw and Mamaw. We then surprised Papaw and Mamaw with these pictures. IU fans all the way from Uganda!

When Erryn delivered the picture collage to our babies, Christopher and Katie became instant celebrities! The mamas held onto our babies and wouldn't even let Erryn hold them! The mamas wanted to ask questions, hear stories, and see pictures. Everyone in the baby cottage had to see and hold the collage. Mamas were grabbing the pictures out of the kids' hands because they were so excited! It was a little crazy! Erryn had to keep telling the mamas that these pictures belong to Christopher and Katie!
It is our prayer that these pictures will familiarize our babies with us. We are asking God to create a special bond so that when our babies see us for the first time, they will acutally recognize us. We pray that God would unite our hearts together even now, that Christopher and Katie would know they are a part of our family--forever!

Our Miracle

God woke me in the middle of the night at 3:45 am. I felt an urgent need to pray but was not sure what to pray about. I lay in bed for a couple minutes until the sound of our phone ringing bolted me out of bed. It was Mary, our liaison, telling me that I needed to pray. Kisakye was very sick and she was beign rushed to the hospital. They thought she might have sickle cell anemia and she was going to need a blood transfusion. Todd and I prayed together, and then I spent the next couple hours praying for Kisakye and wrestling with many different emotions. The words, "God's grace is sufficient," kept running through my mind. I had been told that two men of God annointed Kisakye with oil before she left for the hospital, which was 3-4 hours away. I prayed for pure blood for her transfusion. Then God reminded me of the meanings of her names. Kisakye means "God's grace"--God's grace is sufficient. Christine means "annointed"--she had been annointed with oil. Katie means "pure" and I was praying for pure blood. The Gunderson's CD had arrived in the mail a few hours earlier. I had the pictures loaded on my computer and was able to view a very close up picture of Kisakye. It was so clear and vivid that I could see the tiny hairs on her skin, the shape of her delicate features. I prayed as I studied her face. She felt so close that it was as if I was holding her in my arms and praying over her.
When Kisakye arrived in Kampala, the hospital did not have any blood for a transfusion. The doctors tested the blood of the four women who had taken Kisakye to the hospital. A Canadian volunteer named Jocelyn, who had held Kisakye and prayed for her the entire way, was a perfect blood match and donated the life-saving blood to our little girl. Praise God. He is so good!