The fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. Dueteronomy 14:29

~ Silas and Naomi are HOME from Uganda ~

05 February 2011


I claimed my son. Niko is now with us forever. I sat in the back seat of our van on the way back to Mbarara, Niko’s head was resting on my chest and I was crying, but I was not crying for the reason you might think.

This particular story actually started last Sunday when we went to visit Niko for the first time. Upon arriving we met Sister Edvina who is currently in charge of the baby home. The children were eating lunch and she wanted us to wait to see them so that they would finish their meal and not get distracted. We sat in a comfortable reception speaking with Edvina about life in the orphanage when the gentle African breeze was interrupted by a cry of desperation and relief “Mommy Na Dada, Mommy Na Dada!!!” Nicholas’s bare feet slapped their way down the long hallway and he leapt into my arms with an understanding of our relationship I can only assume was provided for him by God.  I have imagined that moment for four years and there is no way I would have dared to hope for something so wonderful as my son yelling my name and sprinting in to the arms of his father. We played, wrestled and tackled for a bit of time which passed too quickly and then we were told by Sister Edvina it was time to go…without Niko. Our hearts were heavy but not nearly as heavy as Niko’s, who “the sisters” had to steal out of my arms. He screamed, and screamed for us as we left. The joy of that first meeting was tempered by an ache which left us empty as we drove away without our little boy. We had to have a court date to “talk” about claiming him…and as of then we had none…so there was no “talk.”

As each day passed with an un-kept promise of a court date we began to explore other options of bringing Nicholas home, perhaps become a foster family for him till we have a date. But to our great pleasure because our lawyers had failed to get a hold of the judge on the phone for several days they got on a bus and took the long trip from Kampala to Mbarara to meet with him in person. (seems nothing happens here without extreme persistence). The Judge still refused to meet with them for a day so they spent the night and the next morning, praise God, we were given a pre-election court date Feb 15th. The news came late in the afternoon and Alice (one of our lawyers) said she would speak to sister Edvina and call us in the morning.

The pink line on the horizon which marks the beautiful Ugandan sunrise is predictable and has been something of a target for us. When the children are begging for food at 3:00 am “wait till the sky is pink.” When Maela is loudly protesting the indignity of being confined in her crib at 4:00 am “you may
 get out when the sky is pink.” When suddenly overcome with intense thirst at 5:00 am “I will get you juice when the sky is pink.” Well on this particular morning I opened my eyes and saw pink reflecting off the white backs of our brightly patterned curtains which where swaying slightly in the cool morning breeze. “Father I have slept till morning thank you…thank you…please Lord let my son come home today.” Maela was waking up too so I picked her up and strolled out into the living room and turned on a cartoon for her so I could read a little. I flipped to the place I had left off yesterday, Ex 3. “But I know that the king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except under compulsion. So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I will do in the midst of it; and after that He will let you go.” I thought “ok God I believe; you can do it for them you can certainly do it for one small African boy.” I didn’t realize till later that I had missed the point entirely.

The call came. “You may go and get him.” We went…immediately. The land changes a lot between Mbarara and Ibanda (where Nicholas was) and truthfully not much was said as savannah-like grasslands gave way to rugged hills and tropical forests. I grabbed Jen’s hand as we turned the sharp corner that would bring us into the grounds of the orphanage…and we saw him. All the children came running but I looked passed them all and found Niko. I grabbed on to him and he clung to me with a determination that said “Daddy, don’t you dare leave me again.” I won’t. We walked around the orphanage grounds a bit and tried to get him to eat his lunch…to no avail. He wanted nothing to do with the orphanage. He did not want to be touched by “the sisters,” he did not want to change or even say goodbye. We finally pried him off my chest long enough to bathe him and change him into new clothes, we put new shoes on his feet and we left. It was very unceremonious really; we just took him and left. As we pulled out he waved goodbye and leaned against my chest and relaxed for the first time…He knew he was not going to be left in that place any longer. He knew he was with his parents, his family. Nicholas is home.

As we drove and Niko’s dense little body pressed into mine I began to cry because all of the sudden I got the point. This thing, this wonderful thing that we have done for Niko is so small compared to what has been done for us. This great redemption that Niko has experienced cannot be compared with the great saving acts of God, but like the Israelites story in Egypt one day Nicholas will look back on his life story and see great deliverance. Then, when this adoption pales and is overshadowed by another Niko will begin to understand just how great the Fathers love truly is. But for the moment in the car I wept because I realized that whatever distance I have covered for Niko, whatever trouble I have endured, whatever difficulty I have passed through. My father covered a distance infinitely greater to arrive at my door, to bathe me, to clothe me in new clothes, to put new shoes on my feet, to hold me close to his heart that I might know fellowship with him forever. I have never had a physical picture of what salvation looks like in my minds eye. Today a little brown boy standing naked in a basin being bathed is that picture. Niko had no hope of finding me across the great gulf that separated us, I found him. Niko had no hope of accomplishing the terms of his redemption, I did it. Niko has nothing to offer me, I am giving him full inheritance in my family. The infinite chasm separates each one of us from God we have no hope to cross, in Christ, God has crossed it. We have no hope of discovering a way to God, in Christ God has revealed it. We have no good thing to offer God, In Christ we have been given full inheritance in the Kingdom of God. In Christ he purchased our redemption. In Christ he covered our sin. In Christ he clothed us in bright and shining clothes, and one day what we already posses through faith will be our reality and we shall see him as he is. Praise Be to God our Father who has adopted us.

So I held Niko and cried.


  1. holy floodgate, craig. amazing, amazing, amazing.

  2. We've been waiting, checking your updates a few times everyday, so we are so excited to hear this wonderful news! Still praying for you guys! Our God is Awesome! Love you all! Pete,Cass,&Family

  3. It is so wonderful to finally get to read about Niko coming "home" with you and how God opened up the salvation picture to you compared to the redemption of Niko from the orphanage. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

  4. Thank you for painting such a beautiful picture for me through your eyes and God's eyes.

  5. So beautiful!! The incredible portrait it paints of the Gospel is why I love adoption sooooo much! Thanks for letting us all share in your joy and redemption story!

  6. Thank you, thank you for sharing the story - I don't know how many times I've checked this blog per day to hear of Niko, and then prayed and checked and prayed. May that court date come FAST!!! PTL!!!

  7. Best "sermon" I have heard in a long long time! Thank you for sharing and SO happy Niko is home!!!

  8. You are a living testimony of God's grace! Thanks be to God for His overwhelming gift of life and forever families!

    Our hearts are bursting with JOY as you celebrate Niko's homecoming!


    Allan and Wanda