On Our Way To You

On Our Way To You

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

We are HOME!!

Late Thursday night we arrived to Louisville airport.  Jude was sound asleep on plane, it was 2:00 a.m. Uganda time.  We had to wake him up, which he was less than thrilled about.  We managed to get him calmed down shortly after walking off the plane.
We were so excited to see many of our friends and family there waiting on us...but who I couldn't wait to see was my Trust! My emotions overcame me when I saw him...I think he was pretty happy to see me too!
Chapel was laughing at me when we were walking toward everyone because I was already getting emotional, but when she saw her friends and family there, she started crying too!
Chapel with her best friend, Ella Drew and her cousins Sadie and Madison.
Andrew with his mom and Chapel and my mom in the back. 

Our first picture of our family all together! 

We arrived home to pumpkins and mums on our front porch, a cleaned house, candy corn, a pantry and refrigerator full of our favorites, presents for the kids, gift cards, a newly decorated room for Jude and a 'welcome home' sign! Such an overwhelming feeling of love! Thank you to all who made our coming home so wonderful! 

First night all 3 kiddos are together!

Since, Jude has done AMAZING!  He loves on Trust and Trust loves him...he smiles anytime Jude is near!

I know I had mentioned in a previous post about Jude's horrific fear of dogs.  Well, he and Charlie are doing far better than I could have ever imagined!  Yesterday, Jude even reached out to touch his tail (as he walking away) and today they snuggled while watching a 'Baby Einstein.'

This past Sunday was Orphan Sunday.  We got to dedicate Jude to the Lord on November 1st, Orphan Sunday! Our friends and family came to be a part of the service. It was such a blessing to have them there!
Jude's grandfather praying over him and dedicating him to the Lord.
Right now, Jude is napping in his own room, in his own bed. :) I can't tell you how blessed we feel to finally be home and to be doing life with this amazing little boy! 
A special thanks to Rachel for refinishing Jude's headboard (and dresser) and to Allie for making his name!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Last night in Uganda!

This morning at breakfast the owner asked us what we would like tomorrow for our last breakfast here. Chapel picked toast, samosas, and chipati with egg rolled up.  We came back from breakfast and started packing! Yay! I can't explain how relieved I felt filling up our suitcases!
 Shortly after breakfast a lady came over to braid Chapel's hair.  She said it would take about 4 hours, so Chapel got comfortable.  She brought her 1 month baby. Like all babies here, he was wearing a winter hat, long sleeves, socks and wrapped in 2 blankets. She kept him completely covered most of the time...I was afraid he would die from heat stroke! Andrew came in and sat on opposite end of the couch. He nearly sat on the baby! Had no idea it was there!
  Chapel watched 'Princess Diaries 2', VeggieTales, and Tom & Jerry.
 She had lunch on her pillow on the floor and never got up.
 SIX! hours later...she's finished!
 Chapel really wanted a rolex for dinner, so we walked up the hill and around the corner to our spot.
Tribe made us 4 rolex and 4 chipatis to put Nutella on later.

This is how Jude eats his rolex.
While eating we saw Allen, the director of the orphanage. Jude and I hadn't seen her since she we got him.  She was Jude's mommy for the first 2 years of his life, so it was nice to see her again and get a picture with her.
We also saw Brian and Liam, our friends who invited us over for dinner shortly after we first arrived in Uganda.  It was nice to be able to see them and say 'goodbye'.
Liam and Chapel
After dinner we got bathes and sent the kids to bed.  This guy isn't going to know what to think of a REAL bath!
Hope we can sleep tonight! So excited about getting on that plane to home tomorrow!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Timeline of our stressful, happy day!

6:00p Andrew walked to the orphanage to get paperwork needed for Embassy appointment. Couldn't find original care order.
9:00p Called orphanage, still can't find form.
6:15a Called orphange. No answer. No original care order.
6:55a Left The Lodge without original care order.
6:56a Began praying they wouldn't need the original care order
7:53a Boda Boda hit our van
8:01a Jude vomited all over his shirt and shorts
8:15a Bought a new shirt at the store
8:23a Jude, happy in his new shirt
 8:26a Waiting outside Embassy
8:27a Reviewed paperwork
8:35a Go through security and sit in waiting room
8:42a Andrew tells me he can't breath
9:31a They call us back
9:33a They tell us we don't have the correct probation officer's signature
9:34a Andrew gives them a letter from our lawyer about the signature
9:36a Whisper to Chapel to keep praying
9:44a Andrew answers the lady by saying 'Yes sir, I mean, mam'
9:49a Chapel and I are still quietly laughing about Andrew's mistake
9:55a They send us back into the waiting room
9:56a We prayed
10:40a They call us back again
10:41a They accepted our paperwork. Come back for an exit interview @ 2:30. Bring Jude's biological mom and her I.D.
10:42a Explain to Chapel what's happened. Remind her to thank Jesus
10:50a Chapel says, 'Now is a really good time to flap my hands, can I?!' Andrew says, "Flap all you want."
10:54a Left the Embassy
11:10a Sat down for lunch at Cafe Mocha
11:21a Ordered milkshakes to celebrate!
 11:30a I asked if biological mom had an I.D.
11:31a Linda (our guide) is not worried about the I.D.
11:32a Andrew says, 'But then we could say you were the mom.'
11:33a Linda say, "Good point."
12:15p Went to a local shop to purchase 2 gifts
12:33p Went to a coffee shop while our driver went to pick up Jude's biological mom and we discussed possibilities for an I.D. for her.
1:20p Left the coffee shop, with biological mom, to find a place to take her picture...to copy on her baptism certificate (that's our plan for an I.D.).
1:48p Jude fell asleep on me on the way to the Embassy
 2:00p Arrived at the Embassy
2:40p They called us back. We were asked many questions about our process and Jude's story. He said he had concerns about the father and was unsure everything had been done to contact/find him.
3:10p We sat back in the waiting room
3:12p Called in biological mom
3:14p She came out saying "I.D"
3:15p We prayed the baptism certificate with picture was a good enough 'I.D."
3:18p She came back out and sat down
3:19p Called us back
3:20p They told us they needed to find a translater
3:30p Called biological mom back in
3:43p She came out
3:50p They called her back in
4:10p She came out
4:15p They called us back. The officer said he was still confused about who the biological father but did not know how to get more answers.  So he approved our visa. We pick it up Wednesday at 4:00!
4:19p Left the Embassy
4:20p Walking to the car, said a prayer for Gillian, Jude's half sister, as she made faces at me over her mom's shoulder.
4:22p Called Linda to tell her we got it and heard her scream through the phone.
5:08p My heart rate returned to normal
5:20p Dropped of biological mom to her hotel
5:45p Arrived at the Newsome's to pick up laundry and share the stress and joy of our day
6:10p Got in the car to head back to The Lodge
6:12p Hit traffic
6:13p Turned on our Ugandan mobile router to access internet while we waited
6:18p Started looking at plane tickets online
6:30p Called and ordered pizza
6:41p Bought Chapel a Halloween costume from Amazon
7:19p Sitting in traffic, thought, "He's really my son...I really get to bring him home!"
7:39p Picked up pizza
7:52p Finally 'home' to The Lodge
8:00p Can't find my passport
8:01p Andrew said he's going to throw up
8:05p We think it's at the Embassy
8:06p Emailed the Embassy
9:50p Booked plane tickets HOME!

Shew! It was a long stressful, happy day! So thankful for everyone's prayers today!
We can't wait to get our visa Wednesday and get home to our other boy!! 

Friday, October 24, 2014

If you're happy and you know it!

Things were slow this week.  We were waiting on Jude's medical appointment information to be sent to the Embassy and for the Embassy to call us to set up an appointment.  We are used to waiting, but we have found when you are closer to going home, everyday counts.  When you have nothing on your schedule to do it makes the days longer and when the electric goes out for hours at a time during the day it makes them even longer.  After a week of calling and emailing the medical office without a response, Andrew decided to go to the office to see if he could get some information.  After being told several different things about the status of our paperwork, he found out it had been sent and received by the Embassy on Wednesday...but under the wrong name.  The lady he was speaking to very casually said the Embassy would figure it out.  Thanks to Andrew's persistence, she called the Embassy, and before he left we had an appointment for Monday morning!

So, Monday, we will drop off all our paperwork to the Embassy.  Hopefully everything will be correct and hopefully we will have everything we need.  We could possibly be scheduled that same day for an exit interview or we could be scheduled later in the week.  Jude's biological mom has to travel 8 hours on a bus to come to the Embassy to sign a release form, so I'm thinking our exit interview may have to be scheduled later in the week.

Yay! We are so happy things are moving forward! Please pray things would go smoothly next week. If so, we may be home next weekend!!

I took Jude out for a little photo session this evening...I caught this one while we were singing "If you're happy and you know it..." 

Monday, October 20, 2014

House sitting...makes me miss home.

Yesterday, while out eating lunch, we ran into the basketball coach of the International School.  He invited us to stay at his house while he was gone for a few nights. We had been out at his house for dinner so we knew how beautiful it was and how much space we would have, plus they have a washer! Our day involved watching t.v. (the only t.v. we have at The Lodge is in the lobby), playing ‘Sorry’ outside on the balcony, making lunch and hanging laundry.
Their house maid came to clean and made us homemade pizza for dinner! Since they have a oven, I couldn’t resist buying some stuff to bake a cake! I found a strawberry cake mix and cream cheese and baked a strawberry cake with cream cheese icing.  It wasn’t Duncan Hines, but it was pretty good.
Chapel had to teach Jude how to lick the mixer beater.  He loved it until the dog came around…let’s just say he’s scared. Actually he's terrified. This dog hardly moves…it’s old…real old. Oh…what will we do when we get home and he sees crazy Charlie?!
Today was a nice dose of what normal life will be like...minus hanging laundry on a line and having a house maid cook us dinner.  It  made me miss our home. 

We haven't heard anything about our process today.  Hoping to hear something tomorrow so we can keep moving forward! In the meantime, we have one more night here to enjoy this beautiful sunset.

Friday, October 17, 2014


This week has been good!

  •  Chapel received her Gomesi dress. She was like a kid on Christmas morning...flapping her hands and screaming with excitement! She got to wear it to church on Sunday and got many compliments.

  • Monday, Tuesday and Thursday we went to IOM (doctor) for appointments for Jude. The same 3 families that were at the passport office were there each time, so it was nice talking to them while we waited.

  • This tiny creature unexpectedly joined Chapel in the shower.  Since, we have seen all sizes crawling on our walls...Andrew's not a big fan.

  •  The Pastor of Watoto took us to one of their three Children's Villages.  They have created a community where they take orphans and care for them, give them different opportunities to go to school or learn a trade and have a home.  Each home has 'mom', a lady who is widowed, lives and takes care of a maximum of 8 children.  It was amazing to see.  It sits on the side of a mountain and is beautiful.

  • Jude fell asleep on my lap in the car, holding the remaining part of his cookie. :)

  •  We got our written ruling TODAY! This means we are Jude's legal guardians.  So happy that I can show pictures of him now!
So, now we are waiting for the doctor to send paperwork to the Embassy.  We have been told this should take 5-7 business days.  Once the Embassy receives it they will contact us for an appointment to drop off paperwork.  Once we drop off paperwork we will set up another appointment for an exit interview! We know of some hurdles we have to get through before the exit interview, so please continue praying!  

If you would like to see a video of our journey so far click here.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


I have been seeing everyone's fall break photos on Facebook this week and more than once have thought how nice it would be to be 'where they are' instead of here.  Andrew heard me share with Chapel where some of her friends were vacationing this week and he replied, "How cool is it that you got to spend your fall break in Africa?!"  My thoughts hadn't been "how cool it is to be in Africa", but "how can I get out of Africa and get home".  So it made me think. I realized we are in Africa! Sometimes I forget! I can get so focused on being home that I forget we are basically spending a very long 'fall break' in Africa.  My perspective changed and I chose to spend today like I would if we were on a vacation for fall break, because really, we are on vacation. No work, warm weather and palm trees! I noticed today there were palm trees.  Today we went up to the International School where Andrew played basketball and the kids and I swam.  I chose not to view it as a way to pass time, but to really enjoy my time. It's sad to think I could be on top of a mountain, at a beautiful pool overlooking the city and have to consciously make a choice to enjoy it.  Sad and embarrassing, but true.
Cara, Chapel & Liam in the huge 3 foot kid pool.  Notice the beautiful palm trees :)
After swimming and playing on the playground we took a short walk up to Quality to grab some snacks before heading back to The Lodge.  Jude Daniel often rides on my back for shorter walks (it's the popular thing to do here).  He must have been exhausted because he fell asleep and stayed asleep even after we got to Quality...the problem was his head kept sliding down resulting in this:
Once back 'home' we had a little to eat, took naps, then got ready to go to dinner.  We were invited to eat at the home of the International School's basketball coach. He lives on the same side of town as us, so it was a quick and easy drive.  The Newsome's joined us along with 2 other families who were from DC, South Africa and the coach is from Wisconsin.  Dinner was amazing! Steak, chicken, fish, mashed potatoes, veggies, homemade chocolate chip cookies and ice cream!  We ate outside on the porch looking at a beautiful sunset, then a sky full of stars.  We even had a camp fire and the kids roasted marshmallows! It was wonderful! I felt like we were sitting in someone's backyard in the states.

Had our day ended there, it would have been a great day, but it didn't! My dad's family was all together for a family breakfast at my grandparent's house.  Everyone was there which is pretty unusual, even my dad who lives in Georgia.  So we got to facetime them ALL!  I hadn't talked to my grandparents or my dad since being here, so it was so nice to get to see their faces and talk to them.  Seeing everyone and introducing Jude to all of them was the perfect ending to a great day!

I'm sure today would've been a good day no matter what, but I think it ended up being an amazing day because I chose to change my perspective.