Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day Five in Uganda....WOW!

I have no words to describe the past two days.  Actually, that is not true...I have a MILLION words to describe the last two days.  I was unable to blog last night because I was emotionally and physically exhausted and just couldn't even bring myself to sit down and write out the words.

Yesterday started out very early.  Bill and I were awake at 4:20  in the morning as we were so excited about going to court.  We were at the baby home at 7:00 to pick up Anita.  They dressed her in the white and pink dress that I had brought and presented her to us and we were on our way.  We arrived at court shortly after 8:00. The court does not open until 10:00 but our lawyer wanted us there at 9:00 and our driver wanted to make sure he got us there on time.  Traffic jams are notorious that time of day and he did not want to be stuck in traffic.  So, we waited for 2 hours for court to open, then we waited another 30 minutes while the judge's "scribe" arrived.  Finally, we were escorted into court with 2 other families.  Our case was presented first.  It took an hour and the judge writes everything out with pen and paper, as well as her scribe!  We have been told that she is very thorough and will review each of these carefully written notes when she reviews the case.

After leaving court we had to go back to Nsambya Baby Home so that the workers could say good bye to Anita.  We also had to have the OK from the Director of Child Welfare to take Anita with us without our final court ruling, which he thankfully gave us.

We headed home and took a much needed nap before Hannah arrived.  Sister Christine had ridden in with her from Ibanda Baby Home, which is about 6 hours away, and had arrived the night before.  Hannah played with Sarah and Dee and we asked Sister all sorts of questions about Hannah's likes and dislikes and her habits.  We had an enjoyable visit.

After Sister left Hannah had a melt down!  She sat by the door and just kept looking at it, crying and saying words that we did not actually understand, but the message was clear..."where is the only caregiver I have ever known gone?"  She was grieving!  My heart broke as I held this dear child for an hour and a half, rocking her back and forth.  Her tears would lessen, then, out of nowhere they would open up again like a flood gate!  I eventually moved her away from the door which she just kept staring at in hopes that Sister Christine would miraculously walk through it again. I took her into our bedroom and she became VERY ANGRY!  I held her as long as I could, but she was fighting me so hard that Bill took over.  She attempted to bite him and Bill firmly, but lovingly, told her no and that seemed to be the turning point for her.  She had felt loved and secure and felt safe to express her feelings, but she now knew the limits.

I tried feeding her a banana and rice, but her stomach was so upset from all of the crying that she quickly vomited that all over me and herself.  I washed her up, placed her in her pajamas and then placed her in bed next to me.  I wondered what this poor child could possibly be thinking and how long it would take her to trust us.  At one point she rolled over and looked at me and flashed me her amazing smile and I knew that she ultimately knew she was going to be OK.

Hannah awoke in the middle of the night because of a thunderstorm.  She was running all over the apartment and tried to go out the door (which thankfully locks with a key so she can't open).  I did not want to frighten her any more than she already was so I sat in the chair and simply held out my hands to her.  She immediately came over to me and sat in my lap.  The poor child was physically shaking all over.  I covered her in a blanket, rocked her for a bit, then brought her back to bed and slept with her for the remainder of the night.

Today went a little better. We are making slow, but positive strides in Hannah's trust for us.  She still is not fond of Bill and if he is the only one in the room she will cry but is easily consoled if I come and take her in my arms.  She has not eaten much since she has been with us. Tonight, she consumed the most food at one time that we had seen her eat in 24 hours.  We all sat on the living room floor and allowed her to eat with her hands and she devoured an entire hot dog and an orange!  We are trying to be flexible and creative with her to build up her trust in us.

Today was a little less busy but we still had a lot of running around to do.  We had to get passport photos of the girls and make copies of their social work reports and police records to drop off at the Embassy.    We also met with Hannah's lawyer, who did  not have very good news for us.  Our case has been assigned to the judge of the anti-corruption court. He is seeing these cases to help the Family Court with their back log of guardianship cases.  He has no slots open through October and is then going to be away in November.  We are desperately praying for a miracle!  We know that this is a test of our faith and we know that God has a plan but it is very unnerving to not know when our case is going to be heard.  There is still a slight chance that the judge can fit us in and that is our prayer...that he can fit us in this month! 

On top of all this I have a very bad head cold and have felt miserable.  There were several people coughing and sneezing on our first plane ride over and I just knew that I was going to end up sick because of it.  Sure enough, I feel miserable.  Thankfully, I travel with a mobile medicine clinic (i.e. Bill) who has kept me well stocked with many OTC meds and is ready to start me on antibiotics should I need them.  He has also been so amazing through all of this.  He has done all of the cooking, cleaning, laundry (video blog of the manual African washing machine to come at a later date), purifying water, and keeping things in some what of an organized manner while I try to sleep whenever I can.  He is an amazing man!

Sarah and Dee have been absolute angels throughout this process.  They love their baby sisters, fight over changing diapers, feeding, holding, playing, and caring for them.  They play with them to allow me to rest, yet we also allow them to have their own time "alone"...aka away from little children.

All in all, it has been tiring, exhaustive, wonderful, magical, tearful, joyous, painful, grievous.....Like I said there are a million words I could use to describe the last 24 hours.  Those are just a few that I can think of at the moment in my Sudafed induced haze!  Good night.


  1. It is so great being able to follow you guys while you're far away, starting a new life. Just read this to the family. We enjoyed it. i can already sense their beautiful personalities. Can't wait to see them, and you. miss you all so much! It's really too bad that Hannah's afraid of thunder. I think she might have just been scared because it was the middle of the night, and Sister Christine was nowhere to be found! I'm sure everything will fall right into place. You're in my thoughts and prayers to be able to get a court date. the sooner we can see you all the better!
    Keep posting,

  2. Thank-you so much for allowing us to follow this with you. I can only imagine the fury of emotions that you all are going through. Teresa, So glad that you are getting to bond with Hannah and praying Bill for your chance. (Renee wouldn't have anything to do with Curtis for a year) Love and praying for you guys - The Roundy's

  3. I love following your journey. I'm praying for all of you. My heart is breaking again as you describe Hannah's grief. That part is SO hard! I sure hope you feel better soon.