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 sale...one 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!
Where I Went!!
1 year ago