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I have never subscribed to a blog, nor have I ever written one, but over the past year I’ve gotten many requests to start a blog as I transition my life from San Diego to Rukungiri, Uganda. So I welcome you to live life with me. Hop on in, buckle up, and come join me on my adventures as I share about my passions, struggles, faith, and identity as a daughter of the Most High.

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Dear Baby Handsome

From the day we met to the day he got his American citizenship, here is a brief glimpse into our 20 month (and counting) adoption journey:

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The day I met you (8 lbs at 1 year). I had no idea I was about to become your Mommy.

Dear Baby Handsome,
I’m writing this to you so you know how special you are. You carry the light of the Lord. You have been marked by God for His good work. I hope you always remember that.
In just a couple short weeks, you have changed my life. You’ve taught me how to love. I will come back soon, though I pray they find a family member to take you by then. You are so special and so worth the love of a family. You are loved, cherished, and perfectly made. Even if you don’t remember me, I will never forget you.
All my love,
Auntie KiKi

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Passed out at the clinic

Dear Baby Handsome,
Uncle Alon (the orphanage social worker) says that he still can’t find anyone from your biological family. We’ve spent the past 2 days together in the clinic so you could be treated for pneumonia, stomach flu, and malnutrition. You scream every time I stop holding you. Thank you for letting me care for you until they find your family.
Love,
Auntie KiKi

 

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Loving your new jacket

Dear Baby Handsome,
Still no sign of your family, so I felt moved by God to give you a gift. A few years ago I was volunteering at a thrift shop and God told me to buy a pink zebra-print jacket for my child. I told Him that was ridiculous. Without saying anything, my manager saw the jacket and said God wanted me to keep it for my child. How could I deny that God was speaking to me? It was for a 6-month old girl. I never thought I’d try putting it on a 15-month old boy, but you wear pink and ruffles because gender specified clothes don’t mean a thing in this country. It fit like a glove. I don’t know if this means forever, but I do know that I love you as my own son.
Love,
KiKi

 

Dear Baby Handsome,
They found your biological father in prison on accusation of child sacrifice. He said your biological mother is too mentally ill to take you and her village is claiming you’ve cursed them. They are blinded. You are not a curse. You are a blessing! You are chosen and holy. They said at this point the only options are for you to live with me or to live in the orphanage until adulthood. I can’t let you live there in the condition you’re in. Sweetheart, I’m going to file for adoption. I hope you accept me as your mom.
Love,
Mommy

Dear Baby Handsome,
I have to go back to America for a short time, but I will be back for you. Please know that I’m coming back for you. I long for the day you are legally my son and an American citizen so you can come with me. I will video chat as much as possible.
Love,
Mommy

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The week I met your Daddy

Dear Baby Handsome,
I met a man named Ryan. He is the kindest, most loving, and God-seeking man I have ever met. I told him all about you and we’ve prayed a lot together about our future. I believe he is going to be your Daddy.
Love,
Mommy

 

Dear Baby Handsome,
We video chatted today from America with Ryan, but you were sleeping. When he saw you for the first time, he grabbed me close and smiled. God has made it very clear to us that we are to be married next June. He is just as excited to be your Daddy as I am to be your Mommy. Baby, you are going to have 2 parents! You are so loved. It’s amazing how God has brought our family together!
Love,
Mommy

Dear Baby Handsome,
I returned from America and came right to you. Oh how I’ve missed you! One day, Daddy will be with us.
Love,
Mommy

Dear Baby Handsome,
Our lawyer said you could be legally adopted by Christmas!
Love,
Mommy

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6-8 hours by bus each way to the court/orphanage; 8-10 hours each way to the Embassy

Dear Baby Handsome,
I spent 15 hours on the bus today to sign some adoption paperwork and make it home so we didn’t have to spend the night apart. You are worth it.
Love,
Mommy

 

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Christmas in Uganda

Dear Baby Handsome,
We found out that our court date isn’t until March. Pretty bummed out how far off our lawyer’s estimate was.
Love,
Mommy

 

Dear Baby Handsome,
The Embassy just told me I need an agency and a home study if I want to bring you to America within the next 2-3 years. And if Daddy and I get married before you get your citizenship, they might deny our adoption because I’ve already filed as single. This new process is going to cost more than my life savings, but Daddy is going to send money. We will make this work for you. YOU ARE WORTH IT.
Love,
Mommy

Dear Baby Handsome,
I was denied by 6 adoption agencies. I called one back and pleaded with them to take me. Praise God, they agreed. There’s so much paperwork that needs to be done. I’m overwhelmed. You’re still worth it.
Love,
Mommy

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Kisenyi Bus Park Kampala (where we have many friends now from all our travels!)

Dear Baby Handsome,
We had to go back to the orphanage today for adoption paperwork. The 6-hour bus wasn’t bad, but our boda slid out on the way. I slipped multiple times in the mud trying to carry you and our bag. We are ok. We will be ok.
Love,
Mommy

 

Dear Baby Handsome,
We made it to the city. The heat was nearly unbearable today. You still can’t walk well so I carried you (and our only bag) for 45 minutes while we searched for the Embassy to get my fingerprints taken for the home study. I almost fainted, but they had air conditioning and water inside. It was the first time I’ve felt home in a long time. You’re going to love America.
Love,
Mommy

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First time together as a family

Dear Baby Handsome,
You met your Daddy in person for the first time today. You have never let anyone hold you upon meeting, but you let him hold you before we left the airport. When he put his arm around me, you started to cry and tried to pull it off. I know this is a transition, but please remember that you’re not getting half the love from me—you’re getting double the love from both of us!
Love,
Mommy

 

Dear Baby Handsome,
Your Daddy told you he has to go back to America for a short time. You cried. So did I. Just know that he’s not leaving you. We’re only separating for a short time until he and I can be married.
Love,
Mommy

Dear Baby Handsome,
Our lawyer just admitted he lied to us and has never done an international adoption. We found a new lawyer, but he is much more money than we have to spend. We will make a way.
Love,
Mommy

Dear Baby Handsome,
We got kicked out of our house today because we don’t donate enough time or money to the church whose building we’re staying at. Our agency told us we need to move to an American style home within a week if we want to have our home study completed before our court date. There are no American style homes in town for rent. We need a miracle.
Love,
Mommy

Dear Baby Handsome,
Our old lawyer just sued us for a lot of money. I’m not sure what to do. God will work it out.
Love,
Mommy

Dear Baby Handsome,
My social worker told me we needed to switch agencies, resubmit everything, do even more paperwork, and get more blood tests. You took those needles like a champ today. I’m really stressed and I’m so scared we won’t have enough time to complete this home study. Trying to trust God.
Love,
Mommy

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Our daily video chats with Daddy

Dear Baby Handsome,
One of the Reverends, who is also an orphan, found us a suitable home! Your Daddy is paying the difference in rent. We can finish our home study now!
Love,
Mommy

 

Dear Baby Handsome,
We went to court today to present our case before the judge. Your biological uncle on your mom’s side refused to show. The judge didn’t even hear the case, but told us we need a medical report of your biological mother. Uncle Alon says it will be very difficult to find her and more difficult to convince her family to take her to the doctor 2 hours away. We have 1 week to do it. I am heartbroken.
Love,
Mommy

Dear Baby Handsome,
They stoned your biological father today. He was helping Uncle Alon find your biological mother to obtain her medical report. Her family hates him. They didn’t get the report. The lawyer said that if we don’t obtain the document, the case will be dismissed and we might never get adoption orders. Uncle Alon took him to the hospital. I don’t know his condition. I’m scared for everyone’s safety
Love,
Mommy

Dear Baby Handsome,
After 3 sleepless nights, multiple trips to your biological mother’s village, multiple threats, and a lot of money sending doctors and private drivers to her, Uncle Alon got your mother’s medical report.
Love,
Mommy

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Always a joy visiting Love and Care for All-Uganda

Dear Baby Handsome,
We made it back to the orphanage for our next court date. The man on the bus vomited on us. We now share a twin bed under a broken mosquito net in a room with 12 other children at the orphanage, but at least we have a free place to stay with our beautiful spiritual family.
Love,
Mommy

 

Dear Baby Handsome,
The judge heard the case today, but wants us to come back next week. The travel to and from Rukungiri is too much so we’re staying at the orphanage.
The lawyer paid your biological mother’s brother to show up. He thanked me for taking you, but couldn’t touch you. You tried to hug him but he refused. He is not rejecting YOU. He is rejecting who he THINKS you represent—he is rejecting a lie that he is believing. You are not a curse. You are a blessing. I pray that one day they will all understand that.
Love,
Mommy

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The day you were left at the orphanage

Dear Baby Handsome,
It was our 4th time in court today. The judge granted adoption. I couldn’t hold back the tears as he read the judgment. You slept through the entire thing. They can’t take you from me. You are legally my son!
Love,
Mommy

 

Dear Baby Handsome,
We came straight to the city after court to process your passport. We’ve been here 4 days trying to get the paperwork. We’re staying with a friend, but there are many bed bugs. I’m bleeding everywhere and we only packed clothes for 4 days—not the 16 we’ve be gone. I’ve been doing our wash every other day and I’m exhausted. I’d love a break. You’re so worth it.
Love,
Mommy

Dear Baby Handsome,
US Immigration didn’t approve my home study because Daddy and I are engaged, but I didn’t file as living with him (because I don’t). I am beyond heartbroken. I have to hire another agency to do a home study for Daddy. And we can no longer get married when we wanted to because your citizenship won’t be obtained. We are still going to have a covenant ceremony in June, but you can’t legally travel to America yet. I’m so sorry I have to leave you. I don’t believe this is God’s will.
Love,
Mommy

Dear Baby Handsome,
Your Daddy decided to apply for a temporary visitor’s visa for you to come to America for our covenant ceremony. I’m so frustrated filling out more paperwork and scrambling to try to make this work. This is NOT God’s will, but I know He will use it for good.
Love,
Mommy

 

Dear Baby Handsome,
We made it back to the city for your temporary visa interview. It was denied. I’m so upset. Please know that I am not abandoning you, nor am I choosing your Daddy over you. I am just trying to follow what God has asked us to do.
Love,
Mommy

Dear Baby Handsome,
I broke up with Jesus today. I’m so heartbroken about this entire adoption process and having to leave you in Uganda again that I decided I didn’t want anything to do with a God who could let this happen. I’ve completely lost faith.
I’m sorry.
-Mommy

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Oh how you’ve grown since that first day!

Dear Baby Handsome,
Your Daddy has not lost faith. He has been fasting for us. I don’t know if it will do any good, but I do know that he loves both of us more than anything on this earth. And that’s a love that only Jesus can give. When I look at your Daddy, I see Jesus. And that’s not someone I can break up with. You are going to be just as incredible as your Daddy.
Love,
Mommy

 

Dear Baby Handsome,
We found out today that your Daddy can’t leave America until his paperwork for my home study is processed. Nobody can find the paperwork. He wants me to stay with him until they find it. We don’t know how long that will be. I don’t know what to do.
Love,
Mommy

Dear Baby Handsome,
I dropped you off at Auntie Betty’s tonight and told you I’d be back in a few weeks. I’ve never heard you scream like that. I cried the entire way to the airport. I know your Daddy wants me to stay with him until his paperwork is processed, but at this point I can’t bare being away from you for longer than necessary. I love you both so much.
Love,
Mommy

Dear Baby Handsome,
I video chatted you today. You screamed when you saw me. I’m so sorry. I’m coming back soon. I promise.
Love,
Mommy

Dear Baby Handsome,
I decided today was our last video chat because you keep screaming when you see me. I’m so sorry I had to leave, but please know this is very temporary. I love your Daddy, too, and I’m trying my best to be obedient to God’s call.
Love,
Mommy

Dear Baby Handsome,
After dozens of phone calls and visits to different immigration offices, they found your Daddy’s paperwork!! We literally dropped our food and drove to the nearest office to get his final fingerprints and a receipt. We’re coming back together!
Love,
Mommy

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The day we got back to you

Dear Baby Handsome,
It took us 67 hours to reach you tonight. After our bus broke down 3 times and we got stuck somewhere in central region for 5 hours, we finally made it back to you. Your eyes lit up when you woke up to Daddy holding you. You are completely worth the journey.
Love,
Mommy and Daddy

 

Dear Baby Handsome,
You haven’t let us out of your site in over a week. We promise we aren’t going to leave you. We are one family now, even if the paperwork doesn’t match up. We love you so much.
Love,
Mommy and Daddy

Dear Baby Handsome,
US Immigration finally approved our home study and we get to file the next petition for your citizenship! We still have 3 more big steps before we get it, but right now we’re rejoicing for the victory.
Love,
Mommy and Daddy

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Playdates in the city (one of the good things about Kampala!)

Dear Baby Handsome,
We made it to the Embassy again to turn in our next petition. It wasn’t the news we wanted. Your biological father needs to come in for an interview. It could take months for this approval.
Love,
Mommy and Daddy

 

Dear Baby Handsome,
It’s been weeks since our Embassy visit, but they just contacted us to set up an appointment for your biological father’s interview. Uncle Alon is going to escort him through the city to make sure it gets done. We’re really hopeful!
Love,
Mommy and Daddy

Dear Baby Handsome,
It’s been weeks since we’ve heard anything. Daddy had to buy a plane ticket to America for Uncle Bryan’s wedding. It doesn’t look like we’ll be able to join him. Our hearts our weary. We long for the day we can freely travel together and never be forced to separate. We long for the day you see where we come from, for you to meet your extended family, to put your toes in the sand. We long to take a family trip to the San Diego Zoo (Mommy loves the zoo!), and one day, when we save up enough money, we can even take you to Disneyland! One day.
Love,
Mommy and Daddy

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The day came when we made it to the zoo, met our extended family, and put our toes in the sand

Dear Baby Handsome,
The interview of your biological father was successful! We got approved to get your immigration medical exam!!!! We were on our way to Rwanda, but now we need to be in Kampala in 2 days for the medical exam. We weren’t prepared for this back to back travel, but this is worth it!
Love,
Mommy and Daddy

Dear Baby Handsome,
We started your medical exam today and were told we have to stay for 3 days. Mommy washed everyone’s clothes in the hotel bathroom since we only brought 1 change of clothes. The doctor said your results won’t be in for a week, which doesn’t leave us enough time to get your visa before Daddy’s flight, but at least we are one step closer to your citizenship.
Love,
Mommy and Daddy

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Enjoying muchomo (goat’s meat) with Daddy. My 2 best boys!

Dear Baby Handsome,
God is a miracle worker! The Embassy told us the medical results are already on their way (it hasn’t even been 2 days!) and they gave us an appointment for your final visa interview next week! Maybe we can all fly back together.
Love,
Mommy and Daddy

 

Dear Baby Handsome,
We need a miracle for your final visa interview. My income clearly doesn’t qualify on the application to get your visa. I’m going to leave an explanation on the form, but I don’t think it’ll be enough.
Love,
Mommy

Dear Baby Handsome,
It’s a double miracle! The officer approving our case is on vacation and the temp only checked that we had the correct forms. No. Questions. Asked. I seriously cannot believe it. And the moment we got to the hotel, I got us plane tickets on the same flight as Daddy—sitting next to him! We come back in a few days to pick up your visa.
Love,
Mommy

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US Visa holder!

Dear Baby Handsome,
We made it back the Embassy after packing up our belongings and turning in our house keys. Your visa wasn’t processed. We were so worried. But we prayed while they checked through the discrepancies, and they somehow produced it within the hour. Baby, we have your visa. In 2 days, you become an American citizen. Nothing can describe this feeling.
Love,
Mommy and Daddy

 

Dear Baby Handsome,
We landed on US soil. Mommy cried when the plane touched down. And we went to the courthouse right after arriving to get Mommy and Daddy’s marriage license. It’s been a very long 20 months with mountains of paperwork, months of sleepless nights, and over 2 dozen trips across the country. We have many more months ahead in America to process your Daddy’s adoption of you, but you are now a citizen and we can’t be separated again. We are together. We are a family.
Baby, you are so worth everything we have gone through and everything we will go through. You are loved, cherished, and perfectly made. And though you’ve been through a lot already, we know that your story is just beginning. We cannot wait to see how you change the world. Go get ‘em, little man!
Love,
Mommy and Daddy

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Married to a White Supremacist

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Loving our village nursery school

I used to be married to a white supremacist. Before I became a Christian, I decided that getting married was going to fill the void in my life, so I found someone who looked the part and dove in head first. During the months leading up to our wedding, we started going to church and I became a Christian. Then, two weeks after we said our vows, he confessed to me he was part of a prominent white supremacist group. As a new bride and a new Christian, I was terrified.

I had learned about white supremacy groups in my history classes, but growing up in liberal California, I didn’t realize they still existed. He told me about how the group began influencing him during high school when he was living in the south. How they were really a peaceful organization who wasn’t racist, but simply took pride in their own white culture. How they were based on Christian doctrine, with their website plastered with Scripture and photos of loving families. How the members who were accused of murder were immediately removed from their organization. How, no matter what anyone thought, they certainly didn’t hate anybody. He truly believed that. But it was a lie. And I discovered it the moment I panicked and tried to call our pastor. In a split second, the same conversation quickly turned from a promotion of a Jesus-loving afterschool program to a hate-filled and powerful organization that would make sure my mouth was kept shut. I was never able to make that phone call.

Fear filled my life every day of my marriage. And that fear quickly turned to hate. I hated the fact that he hated so many people. I hated that I couldn’t say anything to anyone. I hated that I was hurt, scared, lied to, and angry. And that hate turned me into the same, hateful person I hated for hating.

But something changed in me one night. I had made friends with an African-American couple in our area who invited us to dinner. Reluctantly, we joined them. It was a pleasant evening of conversations about Jesus. And when we returned home that night, my husband at the time said something remarkable to me. He told me that he really enjoyed the company, and that our new friends must have grown up in a white area because they weren’t like the *insert racial slur here* he always saw on TV. I realized at that moment that he had never actually met a black person.

Nobody is born racist. Kids don’t see color or poverty level or anything except someone to play with. Sure, they might despise someone for taking their favorite toy without asking, but they don’t despise people they haven’t met. It’s only when they are filled with certain pre-conceived notions that have been taught by society that hate begins to seep in.

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Outcast by society. Loved and accepted by God.

Pre-conceived notions are the reason I encourage my son to interact with the disabled children who have been marked as cursed by society. It’s the reason I encourage him to make friends with the 2-year-old girl who has been outcast from her village because she was raped and her mother “caused everyone trouble” by turning in the perpetrators. It’s the reason I encourage him to play with the little boy who has no friends because a witch doctor castrated him as an infant and the other children’s parents don’t want their kids to associate with the abnormal one. Just because one culture believes they are better than another doesn’t mean we have to teach our kids to do the same.

Like I said in a previous post (a white Christmas), racism exists everywhere, it’s just masked in different forms. But it all comes down to placing one group as superior and another as inferior. It comes down to failing to love our neighbors as ourselves. I’d never been on the receiving end of racism until I moved to Uganda, but the type of unfair treatment is ridiculously minute compared to what many in other cultures, specifically America, receive daily. If being charged a few more dollars just because I’m white frustrates me to the point of wanting to lash out, I truly can’t imagine what it would feel like being hated just for being born into a certain people group. But lashing out won’t solve anything. Because the problem isn’t one person or one group of people. The problem is hate. And when we hate back, we’ve joined the problem.

We can’t overcome evil with more evil. We can only overcome evil with good (Romans 12: 21). It is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance, and He’s chosen us—the Church—to be a display of that kindness, goodness, and love. That doesn’t mean keeping silent and condoning unrighteousness. It means changing our perspective to His perspective and extending that to everyone. Teaching our children to hate those who hate only breeds more hate. But what if we teach our children to love everyone, including those who hate them? What if we don’t wait until history class to talk about the kind of hate that’s happening in so many places in the world, especially in our own country? What if we choose to live a life so filled with love for everyone that our overwhelming joy and peace compels others to live that same life? When we begin to realize that God loves the neo-Nazi and the KKK member just as much as He loves the oppressed minority fighting for his rights, we can start to make a change. We are just as in need of Jesus’s unconditional love as everyone else. It’s not “us” against “them.” We all missed the mark, and we all have hope of entering back into relationship with our Creator through Jesus’s overwhelming love. It just might be that love that allows us to stop pointing fingers and start making a difference.

I was miserable in my marriage; not because I was married to a hateful man, but because I was hateful myself. And it wasn’t until I learned to see him the way God did—as a created being who was lured into the world and fell short–that my hate turned to heartbreak and forgiveness set me free. Even when my feelings didn’t align with my words of forgiveness, I woke up every morning declaring I forgave him. And one day, I actually believed my words. I was free. I moved on. I moved into the mission field as an educator, teaching children that we have a responsibility to love the way Christ continues to love us. Not repaying evil for evil, but learning to forgive and continuing to educate. And you better believe that the last conversation I ever had with my ex-husband, I shared the Gospel and made sure he knew that he had the opportunity to live a better life. It was much more effective than all of the name calling and hate filled comments I screamed at him in the years prior.

Perhaps it was what I experienced in my marriage that fueled me to move overseas and adopt a child of a different race. Or perhaps it was God’s consuming love that transformed me. But one thing is for sure: no matter what happens, what anyone does or says, or what devastation infiltrates this world, love never fails. And Jesus has assigned us with the task of uniting as one body and sharing His love. Because maybe if we really make an effort to join together with the same mission, we just might be able to love the hell out of everyone.

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Give your kids something to look up to

Lost

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Celebrating America’s Independence Day as a family from Uganda while we await our son’s immigration clearance

Have you ever lost something really precious to you? You know that sense of panic that rapidly sets in the moment you realize something important is missing? That happened to me this past week when I realized my beautiful engagement ring, an heirloom that was gifted to Ryan and me by a dear friend who inherited it from her late mother, was no longer on my finger. In a split second, my vision became blurred and my world started spinning. My breathing became increasingly shallow and my muscles began to tighten. I hunched over my dining room table, resting my forehead on the cold surface before I could process what was happening. Everything felt like it was out of control.

There’s nothing more heart wrenching than losing something you truly love. Whether it’s an heirloom, a possession, a loved one, or anything else. The moment we are separated from something we love we have a sense of being incomplete. And we will do everything in our power to find what was lost, to fill in the missing void, to reconnect with what we were separated with, or to complete what is incomplete.

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Enjoying our time together in America

Since returning to Uganda, I have felt overwhelmed with the sense of being lost. I left my job this Spring and have questioned exactly what I’m doing here. Sure, I’m a mother to a beautiful toddler, and sure there are dozens of opportunities in the community that I’ve partnered with, but I still feel like I’m lacking the vocation that God has purposed for me. It seems that every arena I choose to search for my purpose in returns void. I feel like I’ve been aimlessly wandering and then waiting for the right position to come up, only to find myself waiting longer. I feel completely incomplete. And I’ve begun to lose hope that my purpose in Rukungiri will ever be found. I’ve been living in a state of confusion with an unclear focus and a seemingly spinning world.

There’s a saying in our region that friends and loved ones say to one another when we haven’t seen someone in a while. We simply say “you have been lost,” but the implication is that you are now found and rejoicing can take place. Just like the parable of the woman who lost her coin, the shepherd who lost his sheep, and the man who lost his son, when we find our prized possession—our missing piece—we can rejoice in the celebration of the reconciliation of that which was lost. But I’ve begun to question whether I will ever celebrate finding my lost purpose, the same way I began to question whether or not I would ever be reconciled with my “lost” fiancé last Fall.

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Our first travels together. All smiles on day 2 as we arrive in Ethiopia

From the moment we separated in October, I have prayed about the day I would reconnect with my fiancé in June, get married, and be a family—the moment I could look him in his eyes and proclaim, “You have been lost!” while rejoicing in the celebration of being reunited. But when we received news in May that my son’s immigration was denied and that Ryan and I could not be married until the immigration cleared, the hope of reuniting fizzled. We tried to stay positive, knowing that a signed legal certificate wasn’t going to change our love or covenant with one another and that we could fly back to Uganda together after my June visit and be with my son, who I was forced to leave behind. But the sense of overwhelming anxiety filled me again when we discovered that Ryan’s paperwork (for my son’s immigration) was lost and he could not leave California until they found and processed it. The joyful idea of being together as a family seemed like nothing more than a far off fantasy.

Then came the day I left my son in Uganda and boarded a plane for America. It was one of the most difficult days of my life. And video calling him every few days to see him screaming for me to come home only made things worse. Assuring him that mommy was coming home didn’t mean much in the eyes of a toddler who was struggling with abandonment issues. He had already lost a biological family and probably felt like he was losing the only mom he had ever known. But in my eyes, I knew I wasn’t lost forever. Because parents have the ability to see past the hurt of temporary separation and towards the joyful celebration of reconciliation. God our Daddy is no different. Yes, the moment of separation is painful, but how joyous is the celebration of reuniting with what you once thought was lost!? How much dancing and singing must have been in heaven when Jesus paid the price once for ALL and gave the opportunity to reconcile ALL of God’s lost kids back with Him? “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. I once was lost, but now I’m found!”

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Still all smiles on day 3, stuck on the side of the road with these cuties while our bus gets fixed

Our God is a God of reconciliation. He’s a master detective who works relentlessly to reunite lost things with their rightful owner. He doesn’t make promises that He won’t fulfill. And exactly seven days before I planned to return to Uganda from America, I received written confirmation that Ryan’s paperwork had been found, processed, and cleared. Tears of joy streamed down both of our faces as we dropped the food we were eating, raced out of the house to the office that held our receipt, and then booked our plane tickets to return together, as a family, to be reconciled with our son.

And when the planned 50 hour journey from Encinitas to Rukungiri turned into 65 hours, after our bus from the city broke down 3 times, I promised God that I would not complain because I knew the hope of being together with our baby boy was going to be fulfilled. And when we arrived in the middle of the night to a sleeping toddler who woke up in my arms to see not only his mommy, but also his daddy holding him, every care in the world slipped away for all of us. He wouldn’t let either of us out of his site for the next few days, but his countenance soon shifted from a worried, concerned toddler to a calm, joyful little boy in the comfort of both his mom and dad.

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Little man loves his daddy’s clothes!

And a grueling 15 minutes (that seemed like hours) after I lost the most beautiful and meaningful ring I have ever owned, I found it on the kitchen counter where I had placed it temporarily before being distracted with some commotion from outside. All of the anxiety eased. I cherished the significance of my relationship with Ryan in my ring and the promise that the Lord had made to me about His unending provision. I breathed a deep sigh, silently rejoicing in finding what was once lost. And in the quiet of that moment, I heard God say, “And so will be your purpose.” Though my purpose is missing temporarily, there is a promise from my Daddy that it will be found. And I know that it will be a celebration when I find it!

As we enter into this season of finding and rejoicing, please pray with us. Pray for my son’s immigration to be approved quickly and easily. Pray for an increase in wisdom and discernment to bring the Kingdom to our village. Pray for the health of our family and wisdom for Ryan and me to be the best parents we can be. And, of course, please pray for me to find my purpose.

 

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Reunited at last!

“And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’” –Luke 15: 9