Just about the time I had accepted the fact that, since courts in Uganda are closed, we would likely not hear any update about our court/travel date until AFTER the 15th of August, our adoption journey took another unexpected turn.
I had emailed our agency asking if there was any way I could send a “care package” to the kids while we wait, and the response I got blew me away. It said, “Hi, Jess, you may prefer to deliver a care package in person… just in, can you make an August 15th court date work!!? : ) : ) You would all need to arrive in Kampala no later than August 11th or 12th.”
I still don’t think I have recovered from the shock.
Needless to say, we said yes (!!!), and now we are awaiting “official” confirmation of our court date (read: even though I am saying it’s “go” time, there could still be yet another twist. I’m just too excited to wait for any more official word. 12 days is NOT a lot of time to plan). I’ve started to look into flights and lodging more seriously, and have started to take my to do and packing lists a lot more seriously as well (thank you to everyone who is helping me with that). There is a lot to be done, but we now have major incentive for the work… we will meet our kids in less than 2 weeks. 2 weeks? What?! YES.
So, though the process continues to be everything but predictable, I am thankful for good news and for an agency that is working tirelessly and quickly to get us to our kids. I’m also thankful for the army of people who are in this with us. We are in good company and are well taken care of.
Even Macy wanted to help with the preparation of the twins room so she drew this design layout and posted it on the wall for all the helpers to “follow.”
It’s been a busy week of preparing, and we are fortunate to have a great crew of people who have volunteered to help us paint, shop, organize, repair furniture, build cribs, wash clothes… you name it! We are so thankful and we feel very taken care of and very loved. I didn’t get to take pictures of it all (shocker, I know), but here are a few I was able to get.
Fell asleep last night thinking about what we will name our daughter.
It is a very unique and difficult position to be in – to have so much love and yet so little power. Hang in there my friend. The day will come when they will finally be with you, your hands can finally offer comfort and your heart can rest in a way it simply cannot do when your children are a world away.
-excerpt from an email from college-roommate and fellow adoptive mom, Haley
As we head into a new week, I thought I’d let you all know that Ugandan courts are now officially closed for one month. I’m told I should not expect to hear anything about a potential court-date during that time, and that even the August 15th “reopen” should be taken with a grain of salt. So, we wait! (Once we get a court date though, we make travel plans and go pick up our kids… it’s the last thing left to do!)
The wait continues to be a challenge for me mentally and emotionally as I try to figure out how to exist in this space of knowing who our kids are (and the excitement that comes along with that), but also accepting that I can’t be there to hold, protect, love, and advocate for them. I’ve received some great encouragement from a couple of moms who have gone before me- they make me feel less crazy and offer good insight about how to deal with this complex love and longing. I’ll post some of those quotes and more of my musings on this in some future blogs. After all, this is supposed to be a “quick” update, ha.
The next few weeks I will keep myself busy and distracted by prepping the room, researching travel arrangements, working on packing lists (acquiring all the stuff we “need”), laundering some clothes I saved for them, reading books and blogs in prep, and enjoying some quality summer time with the fam. I’m thankful to report that I’m not doing these things alone, but that many people (many of you) have volunteered to help out with these tasks. This is particularly good news to me. Thanks to all of you who are along on this journey and who offer your hands, ears, shoulders, words to encourage, comfort, help, and cheer us on. Fair warning: if you’ve said you’ll help, I’ll be calling. Or, it’s highly possible I already have.
When I mentioned to our agency that Macy was having a hard time with the wait, they suggested we put together some drawings and photos to send to “brother and sister” so that our kids could feel like they were participating in the process and so our new children could begin to get to know our faces.
Today I took the kids on a Starbucks date to work on our book. Needless to say, it was very meaningful and fun for them (and for me). Thank you Robin for the great idea!!
(a few of the pages from our family photo book, headed to “Basr and Sister” in Uganda)
Last week Macy started to have a stronger-than-usual desire to do everything with her brother, Owen. I wondered if it was somehow related to all that is going on with the adoption and a few days later she confirmed (through the saddest, biggest tears you’ve ever seen) that, in fact, it was. “If they are really my brother and sister it’s not right that we are not together. I’m not supposed to be away from my brother and sister like this” she said. Once again, this sweet six year old put words to how we are all feeling. It’s just not right. Part of us is missing. “I’m happy that we get to help them, but I just feel so sad.” We get it Macy, we get it.
The sadness and longing hits each of us at different times. For Macy, it’s bed time that is the hardest. To help herself cope, she drew a picture of our whole family (“brother and sister” included) with the inscription “I mis you Basr and Sister.” She sleeps with it every night (when I just checked on her now she was hugging it in her sleep). I’m proud of her for that- embracing the longing, not trying to push it off or ignore it or justify it away. Figuring out how to exist feeling happy and excited about what lies ahead but also sad and longing for what is missing. I’m trying to do the same.
(the folded picture carefully placed in ‘ready’ position near her pillow at bed time.)
I can’t sleep. It’s not that I’m not tired, I know I am, and I know that in the morning I will want to sleep beyond the alarm that will beckon me to begin another “normal” week. Nothing though is “normal” right now. My mind is full of questions, wonderment, longing, possibility, excitement, planning. And so, I’m awake. Wide awake.
We have some “friends” in-country right now (fun fact: i have all kinds of new “friends” that I don’t actually know but who are in this same process and who answer my questions, share wisdom and journey with me via Facebook groups for Ugandan Adoption. You wouldn’t believe how many of them there are, and how encouraging it is to be part of such a group, even though it’s virtual), and these “friends” have just met their son for the first time. Pretty cool. Turns out, the child these “friends” are adopting was living in the same children’s home as our kids are. They posted some pictures of the home and of the children and as soon as I saw it, I knew it was the same place. They were with my kids! “Friends” from the US (who happen to live just 20 minutes away from us) were in the presence of my children. Today. Joy and sadness. More intermingled emotions that I’m becoming so accustomed to these days. It’s a tension that I’m still getting used to.
I wish I could say that the photos and the updates made me more patient and helped me to feel better about the waiting, but really they just made me more restless. I’m ready to feed, clothe, bathe, and hold these two sweet children. I want to tend to their medical needs, dab their runny noses with soft tissues, teach them to walk, and tuck them in to comfy beds with warm blankets at night. I want to go, now. It’s time for our family to all be in one place, even my daughter knows it. “I’m not supposed to be away from my brother and sister like this” she said in tears the other day. We are all feeling it.