It’s been quite some time since my last blog, and there’s so much I’d like to share with you all, it’s overwhelming where to even start. It has been an intense season, full of serious trials and tribulations. Loss. Theft. Death. Exhaustion.
It’s been over two years since I’ve traveled home to the states. It’s an understatement to say that I’m burnt out and need a physical, mental and emotional break away from Uganda. Please don’t take it the wrong way, as at the end of the day I love what I get to do everyday and the blessings I have, to be able to live out my calling. But I am human and we all need a break every so often.
In the last few months, we’ve had constant battles. Whether its been with the Women’s Workshop, Construction or critical patients in our clinic, it’s just been nonstop and overwhelming. I’ve become the target of theft multiple times. I daily have to fight (not physically) to be treated fairly, because everyone thinks just because I’m white I can give them everything. I can’t even get vegetable’s without being charged triple the price! It’s frustrating really. We’ve had villagers harassing each other with death threats, a newborn baby girl stoned to death in a homemade toilet hole, and constant deaths from malnourished or circumstantial living.
The hardest thing has been losing my adoption case with Noah, for the second time, because corruption is so high in this country. From my lawyer taking off with my money and not representing me, to the judge that is biased and corrupt, it feels like it’ll never end. I don’t think I’ve cried or been so heartbroken since my mother’s death. I had done so much work and had so much hope that my case would finally be over after two and a half years, and I’d be able to breathe knowing Noah was officially mine. But it didn’t happen and all I can do is surrender it to God and continue to fight the good fight.
The last six months have been so stretching... in faith, in my abilities and calling, in parenting, and so many other aspects of my life. Sometimes I have full blown conversations with God and ask Him if He truly sees all that I’m going through. I know in my heart that He does, but it feels like He doesn’t.. I’m sure there are some of you out there that can understand.
Most of you ask me what my day is like. Well, I’ll try to explain today, since it was on the mild spectrum of days.
7am. Woke up to banging (we have construction going on), and Prize yelling in her crib, wanting to get her day started. She had a full-blown diaper, so I figured might as well change her, give her her morning bottle and then maybe I’ll be able to get myself ready. I had to leave home by 9am, as I had to meet my new adoption lawyer in town. (For those that don’t know, I live in a village up in the mountains, about an hour away from the local town).
8am. Finally dressed decent enough to leave the home, lol, and Prize decides to vomit on me (which is truly rare with her and had to happen just at this moment). At this point I have two options, change my dress, or wash it off and hope that in the 100 degree weather I won’t smell like spoiled milk. Well if you know where I live and the amount of dust that exists during dry season, you’d have guessed that I didn’t care to much and opted for the spoiled milk smell.
8:30am. I finally make it out of my room with Prize, just in time to get breakfast together for both kids, have my trustworthy worker take over, and run out the house to make it to town.
9am. Leave home and hope my soft tires don’t give out, as they need to be filled with air once I get to town.
10am. Find out (from Judith, a local lady that works with me) that 3 kids from her village just became orphaned and are living on the streets. The father died in a car accident and the mother died from HIV. Mercy, 13yrs; Johnin 6yrs; Sarah 3yrs. Left with nothing or no one to care for them. Judith said she would take them into her home to live, but that she didn’t have anything else to give them except a roof over their heads. I immediately put together about $300 and sent Judith to buy them beds, mattresses, bed sheets, blankets, sauce pans, food, charcoal plates and any other small necessities they’d need to be able to at least start over in her home. They were over the moon with happiness that they’d no longer have to sleep on the streets but would have a place to call home.
11am. Finally met the new adoption lawyer, had a fruitful and hopeful meeting to getting my adoption of Noah appealed and prayerfully approved.
12pm. Bought a few house groceries and food for street kids.
1pm. Went to the junkiest place of town, the lumber yard, to barter with the local wood sellers as we have a massive roof to build on the new school. Thank the good Lord that I had been messaging him the previous day and had some lower rates locked in, because once he saw I was white, he kept trying to go back up in his pricing. Gotta love the tricks I’ve learned along the way the last nine years coming and going from Uganda.
2pm. Went up to the village of Rusaki to check in on the orphaned kids and make sure they’d gotten everything they need.
2:30pm. Stopped in the same village to check in on Agatha (a burn patient I had back in 2017) and see how she was doing. She has a sponsor that supports her monthly to live, as she is epileptic and blind in her right eye. But before we were able to hike down to where Agatha lives, we came across a 6 month old baby girl named Mercy, who was born with a cleft lip. Made sure to get the mothers contacts and will hopefully be able to get her the medical care and surgery she needs. (I truly felt God’s divine guidance at this moment as I don’t regularly visit this village as often as I used to.)
3pm. Set off from that village to go back home to my village (about an hour’s drive).
3:50pm. Arrived home, ran in for a 15min shower (because I was red dusty from my trip to town and the village of Rusaki, and I still don’t know if the Rona virus is around here, lol). Put Prize down for her afternoon nap and went to the Medical Clinic.
4:30pm. 1.5yrs old Emanuel, who was severely burned a few days ago, was back at the Clinic waiting for me to redo his dressing. He of course cried through the entire thing again. He’s not used to seeing whites, let alone being treated by one.
5pm. Started doing Laundry, and Finances (this is where I have an hour left of Prize napping and Noah playing by himself, and if I’ve prepped enough dinner from the day before, we get to eat leftovers, which thankfully happened). I also have a household of 9 people, so you can imagine laundry here.
6pm. Hang out the first loads of Laundry (no working electrical dryer yet, just good ol dusty hot air, lol), and put in two more loads. Got Prize from her nap and onto warming up dinner. Today it was left over chicken noodle soup (it was put in the fridge, just fyi 😊). Also onto getting Marvin’s dinner ready (he’s the 6month old baby boy that has been living with me, that has a cleft lip and palate). It is extremely difficult feeding him, and heartbreaking. His feedings are the most stomach-turning moments for me, every day. He cries and chokes on every little bit of liquid food put into his mouth, as he has no nose to breathe through, so he has to swallow and breathe simultaneously, which is something he’s still learning to do. Then, its on to feeding my kids, washing dishes, cleaning the main areas, and off to bath time.
7pm. My kids LOVE bath time! They’d stay in the water all day if I left them! But before we were even able to get into the bathroom, Noah decided he couldn’t hold his pee (he’s been in potty training for the last 5 months, so he knows very well when to say that he needs to go, or he’ll just go on his own to the toilet). I don’t know if it was because I’d been gone all day, or what, but he didn’t say anything and before I could stop it (boys can’t be stopped, lol) I had pee on about 2-3 feet of my carpet (he had a lot of water after dinner). I wanted to cry honestly. But I just put him into the shower and went to grab Clorox wipes (that one of the previous volunteers left for me, thankfully) and started scrubbing the carpet, hoping to soak up the pee. We won’t know until tomorrow though.
8pm. Gave Prize her bedtime bottle, pj’d both kids and put them to bed for the night. (Thank God I did sleep training with both kids for a month, and typically don’t have problems with them at night)
8:30pm. Deal with what will be needed for construction on the school, materials in the Women’s Workshop, patients we’ll have in the clinic tomorrow, finalize roofing materials… and the list goes on. I’m always multitasking, if you know me. Rarely do I ever do one thing at a time.
9:30pm. It’s late and I’m pushing myself to write today down, because I don’t usually do. I know many of you tell me to journal daily, but I’m so exhausted majority of the time, I just want to be able to bathe and go to sleep clean.
I’m thankful for a very productive, blessed day (one of my fav words, if you hadn’t known). But moreso thankful for God’s provision and guidance in all my decision making. I do most of the work out here alone physically, but only through God’s strength in and through me.
Today was more on the mild side, and of course not every detail is here. But I hope, for those that have asked me, it can give you a bit more insight into my daily life. Some days are beyond today, where I do just break down and cry. And every so often, a few times a year, there are days where not a single thing goes wrong. I’m still learning, after all these years, that every day truly has it’s own challenges. The way we have to pick up the cross daily, is the same way we have to be ready to face whatever will come our way. Do I like it, not particularly. But I wouldn’t be where I’m at if life didn’t constantly knock me down or sway me to brokenness. Perseverance isn't given, but earned...I learn this daily.
I’m beyond thankful for so many of you that check in on me, pray for me, and support me! I truly would not be able to be God’s Hands and Feet if it wasn’t for all of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! We are changing lives, and though we might not always see the impact earthly, I know undoubtedly that we'll see the effects of it in Heaven.
P.S. Feel free to DM me with questions, comments, etc. I do try my best to respond timely.