We have experienced a jam-packed four months since the last blog post. Everything has changed in the best ways. When I say everything has changed, I really mean it…in fact, I am sitting in a new house since the last post. But that is the most minor of the changes. 🙂
Let me back up. On March 2nd we learned unsettling news that the parliament of Uganda passed changes to their adoption law which had been in the works. These changes include limiting international adoptions and requiring an extensive period of residency in order to adopt. We were asked to decide whether we wanted to proceed with our adoption process and that this decision needed to be made quickly. Our world stopped. We cried, yelled, cursed (just me), called in the troops for support and wisdom, and prayed hard. After five days, we felt united that God wanted us to press on. On March 7th we called to give this news to our caseworker, with much uncertainty about how these risks would impact us in the months to come. She proceeded to tell us that on the same day the law passed, she learned of a boy that she wanted to match with us. A beautiful, bright, four year old boy. And our world stopped again.
On March 10th we joyously informed our caseworker that we would begin the adventure of becoming this boy’s parents. After three years, to the week, of an adoption process, we had the face of our little one. Nothing can describe the feelings we felt. There was another flurry of paperwork and then a wait to be assigned a court date.
On May 4th we got a call. A court date was secured, and we needed to arrive in Uganda on May 9th! Whirlwind ensued, and we were on a plane bound for Uganda on Mother’s Day. Sweet redemption for the last three Mother’s Days that sucked royally. On May 10th we were face to face with our precious boy. We then got to spend two weeks getting to know him in this country we had come to love. We had many adventures together–taking his first boat ride to see the source of the Nile, navigating a clinic, our first family dance party, playing in the rain, and many other wonderful and funny experiences. So many moments felt surreal, such as holding our sleeping boy in my arms as we drove through his country that we had been dreaming about for years. Other moments felt very real, like the time half of my body was covered in his vomit. Ah, our first glimpses of parenting. 🙂 Ask us about our trip and we’ll talk your ear off!
The very best part of these weeks was discovering some of the personality and interests of our boy. He is silly and energetic and creative and affectionate and happy and brave. He has eyebrows that tell you just what he’s thinking and bounce perfectly to the beat of a song. He enjoys playing in water, pretending to cook, going down slides, toy cars, exploring gadgets, drawing, piggy-back rides, and eating. And he likes us! Oh man, the connections we created in these first weeks were so much more than we ever expected. We are both overwhelmed with the love we feel for him already!
Our trip ended with a day in court on May 23rd. This was a grueling experience for each of us, but we made it through. The next day, we said tearful goodbyes and tried our best to reassure our little guy that we would be back for him as soon as we possibly could. Then we left him. The separation has been more than we bargained for. It is certainly the hardest part of the adoption process so far. In the last three weeks, we have been distracted by packing up our lives and moving to a new home. We are thrilled to be here but now even more ready to be parents to our son. This last week we received the greatest news ever–the judge granted our request for legal guardianship of our boy! We are officially parents! What relief and joy took over with this news.
Now we wait again…Between now and our return to Uganda, there is more paperwork (of course!) and steps taken by the court and U.S. Immigration/embassy in Uganda. All out of our hands. Right now we are hopeful we might return in September, but this is all very unpredictable. We think of our boy every day. We prepare. We savor the last months of being just the two of us. And we sit on the edge of our seat waiting for the news that we will be reunited and a family forever….