It is a Silent night…for now.
I just finished laying down Nicholas and Maela. Noah is with Jen in the other room reading books before bed. Abi is sitting next to me patiently waiting for her nighttime bottle. Alexa is getting some much earned and I have no doubt much needed R and R by the pool. What a day it has been. We traveled to Kampala yesterday at the request of our lawyer and the Providence of God. The request came and I will admit that the thought of 6 hours in the car, the cost of the trip, the City and…I don’t know…anyway I slumped down in despair. “God please don’t make us do this…Please.” God immediately answered my prayer. He said go. I spent the day making arrangements to leave a place I have sort of come to understand for a place that makes my spine tingle and my lips go numb. As we were driving out of Mbarara I said to Jen, “isn’t it amazing how in such a short time the rhythm of a place can start to make sense.” Mbarara, which is a relatively small city has started to make sense. Kampala makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and…well you get the point.
We arrived in Kampala in the early evening yesterday, just in time for Jen to collapse (she is now extremely ill with whatever it was that I had last week) and the kids to fall headlong into the pool which had been their only consolation for the last 6 hours (we sprang for a nice hotel). I immediately had to brave the Kampala crowds to find an ATM, which was a curiously long 1km walk. I paid our driver and sent him home and we called Mubiru who had become a part of our family driving for us the first 8 or so days we were here. He is without question a gift from God. I went to bed tired frustrated and extremely angry with God for “forcing” us to make this trip. As I rolled over next to my suffering wife I had a fairly heated argument with God. The trip was hard on the children, hard on Jen, hard on us all really and it had not gone all that well. The details got messed up; the arrangements included a broad spectrum of misunderstanding (both cultural and language), and trying to move about in Uganda is just plain exhausting. God responded to me in a way that I have begun to understand as we have started to parent Nicholas who doesn’t speak the same language as us and has no Idea what is expected of him. When he gets frustrated or angry I just hold him. I hold him because I don’t know what is wrong, and because I cannot ask him. God responded to my bitterness and anger by washing me with a peace that passes all understanding. He said “My strength is sufficient for you. My grace is enough. You are equipped for the work I have for you. Be at peace.” I was. I fell asleep with an awful plan in my head that I knew God would carry our family through.
The next day I rose early and arranged at the front desk for Mubiru’s arrival packed some bags and took the kids downstairs with Alexa for some breakfast so Jen could get a little extra sleep. The plan…cue Mission Impossible music…between the hours of 10:00 and 12:00 get passport pictures taken, and printed, and get IOM Medical checkups for both children…in Africa…with no appointments. Nicholas and Abi and I took off with Mubiru at 10:00 and arrived at our lawyer’s office at 11:40 (which is about 10km away). Not exactly a great start for someone with no appointments. We went straight down to the picture place and got pictures taken and printed…easy enough. Next step IOM medical…only they close business on Friday at 12:00 which is…right now. “Lord please give us favor in the eyes of the doctor.” We walked into a small office and began speaking in a combination of Lugandan (by Monica one of our lawyers) and English…all I heard was no. no. no. Then the doctor came in and agreed to do Maela but not Nicholas because he had to have his TB test read and because we were going to be in court on Monday He could not read it in time. We would have to wait until after the elections. TWO WEEKS!!! Hold on. Wait just a moment something is wrong. “God please give us favor.” I leaned over to our lawyer and said “I thought that we were in court on Tuesday am I wrong.” “No” she replied, “I told them that to help us get this done” “well tell them the truth and we will stay in Kampala till Monday and be in court on Tuesday…” More Lugandan and a nod of approval from the doctor. Praise God for answered prayer even in the face of being ambushed and lied to the doctor agreed to do the check ups. God granted us with abundant mercy and had us in Kampala at the last moment we could have done our medicals before elections. The consequences of not having this done on Friday would have another two or three weeks in Uganda. This was information only God knew and He took care of it anyway. Thank you Father for your blessing, righteousness, and giving strength for the task. After another two hour, 10km trip we were back in the hotel. Had our “good plans” gone forward instead of the provision of the Lord our whole family would have had to endure long waits and longer car rides. But God in his provision provided not only for our adoptions needs but also for Jen as she was able to spend the day sleeping in a dark room alone, and for Noah, and Maela, a fun day at the pool. Alexa was wonderful and watched them most of the day.
As the day began to end I realized that I had not done something…well accually two things. I had left our phone in Mubiru’s van and I had not arranged for Sister Christine one of our witnesses in court to come from the far north of the country. I had to wire her money. Now. I walked out the front door to get on a Boda Boda. These are the motorcycle taxies that kill you. I rode one to town in Mbarara last week, but that was Mbarara. The level of recklessness needed to ride a boda boda in Kampala was only supplied by my intense need to wire money before the close of business and the fact that I had already sent Mubiru home for the day. Resolved to risk my life I walked out the door and who was walking towards me but Mubiru with my phone. He gave me a quick ride and once again God provided, the info I needed (which was in my phone), and a ride to the bank.
Noah is now sitting next to me and wants to add that he went to the pool 3 times…big smiles…thanks Alexa
Father you are abundant in mercy and always supply strength for the tasks you give us to do, thank you for your provision for our family and I pray that you would continue to show us your path, and give us your strength. Heal my wife of her sickness and protect those who have not yet gotten sick. Thank you that your mercies are new every morning and I bless you for what you have done for your names sake and for your glory. Help us to be clear that you deserve all praise and honor now and forever. Amen.