Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 1 in Kampala

posted: Thursday, June 30 3:43PM in Kampala and 7:43AM central

It’s hard to believe our first full day (Wednesday) in Kampala is already over. It was such a whirlwind of activity and running around. We only got a few hours of sleep thanks to sleeping a bit too much on the plane rides and anxiety of what is to come. Stephan, our driver who picked us up at the airport agreed to dive us. We left the guest house about 8am to go to the Embassy first. Introduce our selves and find out what we needed to do and turn in. We left there and went to grab a late breakfast/early lunch. Then had an appointment with our attorney at Noon. We were very pleased with our meeting. It is very clear that they have done a wonderful job for us. She was also fascinated by our height difference and loved the way we described ourselves as being a “journey person” (that’s me, Danielle!) and a “destination person” (that would be Wes!). She said right away to Wes “I can tell you’re the extrovert!” She asked if we had any questions (are you kidding!?) and we just started our meeting from there. She told us of 1 concern in our case (which I can’t discuss) and feels certain the judge will mention it. We learned a little more about the kids’ background and their story. We were able to set up an appointment at the IOM (medicals for US Embassy) on Monday and then ran some paperwork back up to the Embassy so they could begin their own orphan investigation.

Note: to keep some anonymity to our situation and case, I won’t be putting names on here yet!

At 5pm we were able to go meet the kids! We were prepared for them to be scared of us and uncertain. When we arrived, it was quite the opposite. They came running out to greet us (which we’d been told they do for most everyone) yelling Momma & Dada and gave us big hugs. We were of course thrilled but again, knew full well that they call all younger women momma, males-dada and older women “Jijji.” So, I prepared myself for the screaming to begin once we left.  Again we were surprised, the girl, “A” grabbed a bag we had brought with clothes, a couple toys and gifts for the women and headed out the door no problem…jumped right into the drivers seat! Boy “M” also got in the car with no hesitation and sat on my lap and just gave me the biggest smile I’ve ever seen! We certainly don’t have shy one’s! In some ways all of this is great, they left with us with no problem but thinking of the bigger picture, we will have to keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t just run to anyone and hop in their car! EEK the thought! We brought them home and played with them a little while then realized we needed to cook some dinner. Wes choose cooking and that left me playing zone with 2 kids who have no idea where they are! It didn’t take long for them to grow tired of the 2 toys we brought out and “A” began putting everything into her new found bag. I won’t lie, it was tough, we tried to figure out how do we not let them get away with everything, yet discover new things, they don’t understand our language yet, don’t trust us and we certainly don’t understand their language! We decided we needed to choose our battles, if “A” picked up the remote control or flashlight, as long as she wasn’t doing anything bad, it was ok. Eventually, I could ask her to “come” and she would bring the flashlight and make it bright in the room where I was so I could see. I praised her for her help and by the end of the night she was doing a little better of a job handing over items that she needed to give up. She would definitely be the alpha of the 2 even if she was 2nd born! “M” on the other hand is easy to make laugh, he is very joyful and fell in love with a toy motorcycle that the guest house has. He rides it and as long as “A” is on the back, it’s ok. If she wants to drive, there’s going to be a meltdown! So far we have been able to distract him easier but he will still pout and makes a “hmmm” noise with pauses, it’s a calming for him I guess.

Those of you wondering about our parenting/bathroom skills. Don’t worry, both of them had some kind of accident before bed. “M” wasn’t quite sitting on the throne quite right and soaked his shirt and then “A” was standing in the kitchen, tried to get out (We had been told they will walk themselves to the bathroom if they need to go) but we had closed the door since the electricity was out. I was washing dishes and the next thing I knew she was standing beside me in a puddle saying “momma, momma.” We’re in pull-ups today!

We are tired, have not slept well as our thoughts are set towards court tomorrow and know that our intentions will likely be questioned. Not to mention there’s 2 kids in the bed next to us and with every breath we’re wondering if they are ok!

Our internet and power is more sporadic than I had thought. I bought a converter and adapter and already fried my straightener (I wanted to look decent for our first meeting with our lawyer & visit at the embassy). Wes is out making copies of documents and trying to find me something that will help me look decent for tomorrow…curling iron, straightener, anything! Maybe I should just get a weave as my hair is not long enough to go in a decent looking pony- tail. Wes has been amazing, this is truly his strength in this entire process. I’ve done most of the email communication and paperwork but Wes is just so incredible at relationships, small talk etc. I definitely couldn’t ever do this without him. I’m glad we make a good team and glad we’re in it together.


  1. Am crying. So happy for y'all and so remember the exhaustion and confusion and awkwardness as you become a family. Sending love and hugs and prayers for a good court date. Love you all!

  2. Awesome! So excited for you and Wes! Keep the updates coming! Looking forward to meeting A and M!

    - Aaron Ammon

  3. Both the eadys were bawling reading this out of joy!!! So excited and thankful they r adjusting well. Love y'all and keep the updates coming!

  4. Tears of joy for you & Wes!! It's amazing to sit back & think about how the Lord has already ordained each step & prepared the way. We will continue to pray for you! ...and read updates too!!! :)

  5. Was with Becca last week and she and Roger told me of your journey and now I'm following right along. Am loving your updates.
    Kim Rhodes