Saturday, June 30, 2012

5 years ago...

we were in Beijing touring the Great Wall, Forbidden City and every other possible thing we could see. We were on adrenaline highs because tomorrow was the BIG day. The day we had been waiting so long for.

This day was the day my passion for the orphans and the people of China began.

This day was the day that our lives began to change

This day was the last day as a family of 5...forever

and this day was just the beginning.

Friday, June 29, 2012

the favorites.

okay, guys. last Uganda post for awhile, I promise.

really can't promise that, but i'm gonna try. okay? k.

Anyways, because I did about 10 posts that were very long and had a lot of pictures I decided to do a little play with collages of my very favorite pictures. So, here they are! Oh, and I will have a post in the next few days answering some questions and stating my opinion on somethings. yeahhh buddy.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Saying Goodbye.

I never thought at the beginning of my two week trip that saying goodbye would be hard. I honestly thought it would just be like every other goodbye. A simple kiss on the cheek and a wave and I was free and on the way home. {I originally thought I would be dying to get home...ha.} I was wrong. I was so wrong. This goodbye wasn't like any other goodbye. This goodbye hurt. 
Our last day in Uganda we spent the day at my favorite place, the baby home. We painted all of the walls and such and made it look brand new. It was so much fun to do and so rewarding because we directly following saw the results. We finished at 2pm, went to the guest house, took some pictures, ate lunch and at four we headed back to the baby home for our final day and final goodbye.

When I got up that morning I had a sick feeling in my stomach because I knew what was going to happen today. I was going to have to say goodbye to 'my baby'. The little boy that had stolen my heart and had called me Mommy for two weeks. The little boy that I would give anything to be his Mommy and the little boy that every time I looked at the clock and thought about exactly what he was doing. He was my baby in every sense and my heart broke just thinking about leaving him because I didn't know when I would ever see him again.

We got to the baby home a little after four and I immediately found R and just held him. We walked around and played and sang. I did everything I could to love him with everything I had. I played with him on the swing and in the sand box and took in everything about him. On our last day we were allowed to take pictures and I got truly priceless pictures that I will forever cherish and hold dear. Due to privacy I will unfortunately not be able to share these.

At 6pm we took them in for their normal dinner. While R ate I went and loved and fed the other baby I had decided to take under my wing. He was a teeny tiny baby who was a new arrival to the baby home. He was at least six months old and probably weighed no more than four pounds. He was so tiny I felt I would break him and when I held him I couldn't help but think of my sweet Lilliana.

After dinner we took baths and I found the cutest pajamas I could for R. I snuggled him and held him and kissed him as many times as I could as he watched TV and occasionally played with my bracelets. He would grab my face and kiss and talk to me. {most of that was in Luganda} 
I took every single second in with him that I could and then 7:15 rolled around and my heart began to break all over again. It was time to say goodbye.

I turned R around so he was facing me and told him that I had to leave. Every night when I had to leave I would say "Okay, I am going to leave, but I will be back tomorrow" but I didn't say that. I simply said, "I must say goodbye to you tonight. I love you so much sweet boy" 
"Tomorrow, mommy?" he said 
and my heart again broke because I had to say "No, baby not tomorrow. I can't come back" 
and his eyes grew big and he looked confused. 
"I can't come tomorrow. I have to leave and go home. I can't come tomorrow, but I promise you I will come back." 
He began to cry, scream and grasp to me with everything he had in him. I was choking back tears at this point...Why was this so hard?
I rocked him in my arms, gave him one last kiss goodbye and handed him to another volunteer {he would run after me if i was to just sit him down} and forced myself to walk away.

How was I supposed to make this easy? How was I supposed to love this child with everything I had in me only to have to walk away two weeks later? I had accomplished what I was sent to the baby home to do and that was to love babies, but that didn't make leaving this baby any easier. 

I walked out of the baby home, back to the guest house, into my room and sat on the bed and cried. When I crawled under my mosquito net that last night all I could think of was the first day and how quickly life can change when one little boy grabs your hand and heart and never lets go. 

My heart is longing to be back in Uganda. I promised R I would return and I intend on keeping that promise. 

Monday, June 25, 2012


There is a woman named Praise. She loves Jesus. She loves her children. She is truly amazing. Praise has 24 foster children whom she has taken in as her own and she raises. She built up a place for herself and these children, she made a school for her children and other village children, and she does this all by herself for the most part as a single mom. How awesome is that?! She is beautiful and her children are beautiful. We got to spend a day with her and it was such a blessing.

We arrived at Praise's and were surrounded by sweet little African children singing "Hello visitors, you are welcome!" At that, we knew it was going to be a great day.

We began the day with walking around and touring Praise's house, school, and beautiful land. It was breath taking how beautiful it was! Our next journey was to the water hole that they had to go to every day to get dirty water..we were there to change that! The children grabbed their jerry cans and we all began about a mile walk to the water hole. It was so much fun to walk, talk, and just love these precious children. They loved talking to us, holding our hands and just being.

We finally got to the water place and it was heart breaking. Americans would die before they allowed their dogs to drink from this type of water, yet precious children were doing so every day because it was all they had! We rejoiced that we were here to change that, grabbed the water, took a few pictures, and began the hike back. Once we returned, the guys began to build the rain catcher water thingy. haha. This way clean water would be caught in this huge container and they don't have to walk to get water anymore. The best part? The water is 90% cleaner than what they were using!

Once returning the children put on a show for us! It was so cute and so fun! They sang all kinds of songs for us and danced and showed us how to Praise the Lord! They blessed us more than we could ever bless them. The last performance was a skit and song. It was about HIV/AIDS and really spoke to all of us. Parents are dying, Children are crying, AIDS is the reason, It's time to come together! How true is that? I saw with my own eyes just what this horrible disease does and I saw the product of it; orphaned children. It was so deep for 3-10 year olds to be teaching us about on such a fun {but serious} level.

Tears. This little girl broke my heart. We quickly gave me a snack and painted her nails. Everything was good after that :) 

We began a 'mini' bible school for the kids {90+} at Praise's school. We painted more nails, colored, had bible story time and handed out treats for the children! It was so much fun!


When that was all over and we were just hanging out George, Edwin, Sam, and Junior began to dance. More like teach Sam how to dance. It was so funny to watch these men put on leaf skirts and show us up on how to dance! They were so good. Sam, though, well..he tried. :) Our team was full of joy, surprises and just lots of fun! In the dancing, it proved that.

The kids all crowded around me as I tried to teach myself how to play the drums. They laughed at me and thought it was the funniest thing they had ever seen!

Eventually a sweet little boy attempted to teach Alicia, Emma, and I how to do it. Needless to say, it ended in the little boy basically rolling on the ground from laughter and Alicia, Emma, and I breaking out into the 'American' dances. It was fun regardless and I would give anything to be back doing the dances with the african boys right now. Being laughed at and all.