Saturday, February 14, 2009

A long time coming

So, I finally am making my first post on this blog that I set up ages ago- dedicated to posting the process and progress of the adoption of our daughter, Bakhita. So, here it goes...

A little background:

When Kelly and I got married in August 2006, we knew that we wanted to start a family fairly quickly. And, we also knew that we had a pretty unique and unconventional relationship, our children would probably be no exception to that. We also knew that we both had a heart for Africa (specifically Uganda) and it wouldn't be long before we joined our friends in traveling there.

Fast forward to the fall of 2007. Talk of the upcoming trip to Uganda was in full swing, when we decided (and God arranged) that 2008 was our year to go. So, we updated our passports, got our shots and boarded that plane January 10, 2008. It was going to be such an awesome trip- our first mission's trip as a married couple, going to Africa with my parents, and a LARGE part of our church. We were finally going to see and meet all the people we felt like we already knew.

Now, I had already done several mission trips working specifically working with orphans, so I felt really prepared to go- and prepared for the "I want to bring ALL these babies home and give them a good life..." But, I also knew this trip would be so so different in so many ways. Mainly- being a mom was on the forefront of my heart and mind. The thought of adopting was there, but really only from the US. We (I) didn't really consider adopting from Uganda while we there.

But, God had other plans. (As usual. I say "Never THIS way, Lord..." and He seems to always say "I BEG to differ!")

All of that changed on Sunday, January 13, 2008. That day most of our team was heading to see the source of the Nile, while Kelly and I (and several others) went to go scope out this new home that UORF was just starting to partner with- Bweya Children's Home.

While we were there, the director, Christopher, had all the kids come in and sing to us. After they sang, we were enjoying luke warm Coke and cake, when this "baby" came crawling out. She literally appeared out of nowhere.

Troy leaned down to pick her up, and all the mother's hearts in the room kindly reminded him "Don't break her!" He gently picked her up, and sat her on his lap. We were sure she was only 8 or 10 months old. She was so small. Then, she smiled and exposed all of her teeth. All of them. A whole mouth full. We were shocked, to say the least.

We continued to pass her around the room, admiring her beauty and shear size, and giving her the rest of our Coke. She gulped it down so fast. Her little tummy got harder and harder. We didn't know if she would exlpode, or rip a HUGE burp! At that point, we thought, ok, she's maybe two years old. Then, it was time for a tour of the "campus." We carried her along with us, like she was a little doll. (Still, waiting for that burp to come!)

Out on the walk, we learned she was not two. But three and a half, and speaking in FULL sentances. We also learned that her name was Bakhita Josephine, and she had been abandoned.

It was time for us to leave, but we knew we were coming back to paint the orphanage on Thursday. I very reluctantly handed her back to John, who cares for her in his home, because she is too small to stay with the other kids.

In the days before we returned, I searched all the supplies for clothes and food for Bakhita. I didn't know then, what I know now, but I knew that this little girl had impacted me like no other child ever had. And, she needed help- clothes, food, love and Jesus. And, I was going to do all I could for her while we were there. She deserved a chance.

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