I will not leave you as orphans I will come to you. John 14:18

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Village

It is day number six into our trip to Jinja, Uganda. Let me begin with painting a picture of our day yesterday, June 28th...

We spent most of the day at home waiting for a phone call from Ricky informing us to meet him, the lawyer and court clerk in town to sign papers. Once we got the OK to come, we headed in to town.

Maisy LOVES car rides; something she really didn't do much of at all before we arrived as children typically do not leave the homes. After we got to town, we explored the store fronts and enjoyed a cold coke (was nice to have a little something to remind us of home!) while Ricky and the court clerk finished making the books containing all information needed for our court case - things like our home-study, birth certificates, passport photos, backgrounds on all persons involved in the adoption, photos of our home and family, etc.

The books were made and we followed the men into a building where Andrew and I, Maisy's birth mother and the birth mother's uncle all read through the paper work. Once we read everything over, we were taken into a room where a lawyer was waiting. The lawyer asked Maisy's birth mother and the uncle if they understood what they read and what they are signing - which is a major issue because if they do not know what they are reading (since it is in English) they therefore do not understand what they are signing and if they sign it without understanding, it could be a major problem if after the fact they do not agree.

The birth mother and uncle do not speak much English at all and they had Andrew and I sweating there for a bit. When asked by the judge if they understood, they were saying that they did not understand English, therefore made it seem as though they didn't read the paper work and didn't know what they were signing. It is true that they couldn't read it but what wasn't true is that they didn't know what they were signing; they were very aware of that and 100% on board. But it is confusing to the lawyer when they say they don't read English but they knew what the paper work said. So they said no at first  but then changed their answer to yes because they knew if they said no, the paper work wouldn't go through and they definitely want it to. They realized their mistake in saying no and quickly said yes. Thank the Lord the lawyer believed them and wasn't too bothered by their change in answers. It was nerve racking though, being in that room with everyone and worrying someone might say the wrong thing. One wrong turn and things could be wiped as easy as one two three. Please be praying that the day we go to court (day is still unknown at this time) the judge will speak the native tongue of the birth mother and the uncle when directing a question at them. The uncle
Must be present because the birth mother needs her closest relative present in court - two signatures agreeing to the adoption.

After that, we headed home and Ricky stayed in town for a very long time. We waited anxiously for him to return to tell us how things went. Thankfully, so far so good. Come Monday, Ricky will meet the court clerk and lawyer once again, this time along with the judge (which apparently is unheard of - to see the judge before your court hearing... Praise The Lord for that because it may just mean that we get a court hearing sooner rather than later). After the meeting Monday, we hope we have a court date set in stone and we are praying for July 4th or 5th so please pray with us!!

Today, June 29th was a tough one emotionally. Jackie took us to a village where we met some incredible people. This day will never be forgotten...

We packed up a handful of items that we brought to Uganda which were donated to us and headed out towards the village. We came to a narrow, bumpy road and Jackie said, "This is where I usually hop off the bota bota (motorcycle/public transportation) and walk in to the village, which takes two hours by foot." Thankfully we didn't have to park and walk since we were in a car! Jackie dove down the red dirt road and as Andrew and I sat in the back of the car, we took in the sights
before our eyes.

We passed huts made out of clay, children on bicycles carrying loads of sticks, women balancing bananas on their heads while carrying a baby on their back, babies crawling around naked in the mud and goats, cows and chickens eating on the road side.

We passed one home that was built of nothing more than sticks and a small tin roof - it looked more like a jail cell and inside this tiny home stood a family of at least seven. We continued down the road to a creek where Jackie said the people bathe, drink from and allow the animals to urinate in. Can you imagine? The women are usually the ones who collect the drinking water and quite often are rapped on their way to or from the creek because it is so secluded. Breaks. My. Heart.

As we pulled in to the village, the children swarmed the car and shouted, "Mzungu, Mzungu!" (Mzungu means "white person"). Then we heard joyful noises and singing coming from the village women. We were greeted with hugs and hand shakes and with a tour of the village. There were SO many children and they followed us around like little ducklings. When you looked at them they smiled and giggled.

The kids were fascinated by my camera and when I took a photo of them, I would show them the image and they thought that was the coolest thing ever. Then they all wanted to be in a picture, haha!

We were shown their homes and where they slept, their "kitchen" - wood burning stove, where they fetch water and where they keep the animals. They sleep on nothing more than a dirt floor and if they are lucky, a few wooden slats.

We set out the gifts we brought and each woman was called by name. They each got to pick ONE item. Literally, if they got ONE wooden spoon, ONE plastic cup, ONE toothbrush, ONE blanket or ONE tube of toothpaste, they were over the moon. Two children were called up to the front, both of which are sponsored through ISAC Kids. These two children were given some gifts that were sent to them from their sponsors. As they received their gifts, the look on their faces were priceless; Sitting back and watching this brought tears to my eyes, firstly, because it broke my heart to see 50+ children sitting back watching, wishing they too had a sponsor and secondly because in America, we are constantly wanting more, more, more - give me bigger give me better. These people have NOTHING and yet they are the most joyous humans you will ever meet. I'm crying now as I type this because it is just so saddening to me that we as Americans are never content and these wonderful, humble people here in Uganda are thankful, grateful to God that they have food on their plate each day.

The children all run around bare foot wearing clothing that is torn, stained, covered in ten+ layers of dirt and yet they have the largest most contagious smiles you will ever see. These people are so incredibly genuine and tender and will always have a special place in my heart.

Andrew and I brought bubbles to the village and boy oh boy was that a hit or what! You should have seen the children laughing and trying to pop them! We got pictures and video so hopefully some time soon we can share those with you.

Well, it is late here and we have to be up early for church in the morning. Andrew and I are supposed to be singing in the service- eek! Mzungu solo, lol! I'll let you know how that goes, haha! I will update again as soon as possible.

P.S. Maisy is doing well and seems to be getting over the malaria. Thank you for praying!

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