owen’s anthem

If you were with us, you might overhear Owen singing this song at any given point during the day. It pretty much sums up how he feels about our trip so far. Last night, on the ride home from dinner, he led the car in singing (well, we sang… he shouted) “everything is awesome…” while pumping his fist in the air. This kid’s enthusiasm and love for life, for “Africa,” and for his new brother and sister continues to keep us all smiling, even on the stressful days. 

Here’s the video, in case you want to join his “everything is awesome” campaign.

It’s Official!

The judge has ruled in our favor- we are now the legal guardians of the twins! Good news.

Up next: 

  • celebrate
  • post pictures (Finally! Although I have to say, I’ve had more babies in my hands than my camera as of late, ha #realitycheck . Also, getting two kids who have never been photographed to be interested and even look at the camera is a huge challenge #needthetrammellmodelfacetraining) 
  • pick up the written ruling on Monday
  • apply for passports Tuesday
  • wait for passports (safari? other adventures?)
  • visit IOM for medical screenings (with passports in hand)
  • complete the Embassy clearance process
  • come home!

Thanks to all of you for your encouragement and love leading up to this point. We are just getting started, but this is a HUGE milestone.


Today was the twins one week anniversary with us! We were talking during dinner about how far the kids have come in just one week and how well it’s really going. It’s true. I am so thankful! All four of my kids have handled this last week with flexibility, grace, love, and a whole lot of good humor. I’m happy tonight to report that both the twins are finally on antibiotics and vitamins and that it seems their journey toward health and healing is well underway. Good news. I can’t quite describe the deep joy of being able to give them the nutrients they need. It’s weighty and wonderful, knowing that we are now responsible for those little mouths and the hearts that go along with them. It’s about time!


Today was just the type of day our family needed- free of all obligations and errands. A chance to just be together and (like I said I was hoping for in my last blog post), a chance to enjoy this beautiful country.

We started the day with a walk to the local “market” where we perused the stores and stopped at a bakery for treats. We met some neighbors and chatted with people along the way. We were in no rush. 

We then came back to the community pool where Macy took a swim lesson from one of the locals (for $4!). After lunch we headed on foot to a resort that is about 20 minutes from our house, right on the shore of Lake Victoria. We stayed at the resort through dinner and then came home just in time for the kids’ bed time (as if they really have a “bed time” here… more like just in time to avoid meltdowns).

Noteworthy from today:

  • I really love being part of a culture that walks most places. Life moves slower and is more relational when you walk. I also love how it limits where you go and what you try to do.
  • A neighbor stopped by the house this morning because he was going to the “big” store and wanted to know if we needed anything. Something else I love: neighbors dropping by and looking out for each other (#sharetheload :)) 
  • We needed papertowels and decided to try and pick some up at the little local market we visited. I grabbed two rolls of what I thought were paper towels but that turned out to be huge rolls of 100% pure cotton (to be used for surgical and sanitary purposes). Tomorrow Macy will be building snowmen in the backyard with said cotton. I can’t even imagine what the shopkeeper must have thought I was going to do with that! To my credit… it was right next to the toilet paper, just like it is in Target.
  • A few firsts for the twins today: swimming (they loved being floated around the pool by dad) and horses. I wouldn’t say they loved the horses… mostly just stared wide eyed. One twin let out a little shriek when the horse licked his feet while we were trying to take a photo.
  • Each day it seems there has been a new adventure with our house (a new third-world normalcy to “embrace” I suppose). Last night and for the first have of the day we had no running water (except for a little bit in the kitchen sink). That meant no showers, no flushing toilets, no face washing, etc. Again, it was refreshing to feel like we could live without those things for a very short season, and it certainly put into perspective how much we take for granted the access to water that we do have on a day to day basis (California may be in a serious drought, but I still have all the water I want, and I feel entitled to use it as much as I want). I’m thinking through how selfish I can be with the resources we have. Hold me to it.
  • Met another adoptive family today at the pool. Was super encouraged to chat with someone else who could speak to the challenges of the adoption process, of court, and of being a white mom carrying a black baby in Uganda (people are either really friendly, or else they give you horribly mean looks and under the breath comments).

The “kid” update:

All four kids continue to do very well through this transition. Today there was more interaction and more laughter between all of the kids, and for that I’m thankful. Owen has a blast playing with his younger siblings, and Macy wants to mother them all. It’s pretty hilarious to watch. The twins are getting more comfortable with us and are eating well, sleeping decently well, and are progressing in the milestones we would hope for. It’s hard to believe it’s only been 4 days that we have been a fixture in their lives. Their receptivity to our love and care is pretty humbling. I can’t wait to introduce them to you all!




a couple sights from our morning walk


the time the horse licked my baby’s foot while we were trying to take a picture.



my grown-up christmas wish

Laundry folding. It’s not something I’d say I typically get very excited about. In fact, tonight as I even thought about walking from the cozy house to the cold garage to get the load of laundry that was ready to be folded I grumbled (post on “first world problems” to follow). But as I folded piles of super-hero shirts, footed pajamas, and little boxer-briefs (also super-hero themed of course), I found myself smiling and actually cherishing this mundane task.

Maybe it’s because I was folding in front of a lit Christmas tree and a warm fire burning in the fireplace.  Maybe it was the conversation I had earlier tonight with a mom who was lamenting the fact that her “baby” is getting ready to graduate high school which means a much emptier and quieter house after all these years. Maybe it’s that I’ve actually slowed down a bit recently and can enjoy and appreciate the time I have to fold said clothes.

I’m not sure what it is, but it made me want to write. It also made me long once more for the day when I will have double the laundry to do, two more little bodies to dress, two more hungry mouths to feed. I’m sure I’m idealizing the thought of it, but tonight, I can think of nothing I’d rather do. So, I’m savoring this moment, giving thanks for these little clothes and the healthy bodies that dirty them oh so quickly (knowing that 2 more bodies will nearly double our laundry loads and the time it takes to fold and put them all away), and dreaming of the day when I’ll need to be reminded that I was once longing for more laundry to do. I’m sure it’s coming. But for now, I wait and hope for more. This is my grown-up Christmas wish.