It’s been 6 weeks of no rain. Not even a sprinkle. The dry season is dusty, hot and ever so dry. This makes for gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. It creates a perfect place for children to play uninhibited by the elements. You don’t realize you miss the rain until it hits.
Tonight it showered in sheets. The slow rhythm became louder and it pounded hard and fast for over an hour. What it brought was refreshingly unexpected. It brought a soft wind and delicious breeze. The nights have been hot…the kind where your clothes stick as you lay in bed twisting and turning hot. But you forget how extreme the heat is until you feel the breeze. You forget how you much you needed the cool air to touch your skin. A sigh of relief escapes your lips unconsciously.
We have lived a wonderfully tragic year and a half in Uganda. We have experienced our highest of highs knowing and loving Caroline and Jonathan as our own, living and serving at Restoration Gateway and loving the community here. Life-altering highs. We have also experienced the lowest of lows, losing those children as our own, battling severe malaria, and being away from our loved ones across the ocean at critical grieving moments.
The weather currently has been the hottest we have known in Uganda. The pressure from the heat is almost forgotten until you feel the coolness of the breeze touch your skin.
As we prepare to forge ahead toward America, a cool breeze has crossed my face. Our love for the people and this place run deep. Yet our longing for loved ones, and a whisper from Him pull us back across the ocean. Growing awareness for the extent of the fever we have experienced takes hold. A refreshing wind has begun to blow over our Ugandan home as we make preparations to fly home home.
The heat and the beauty that follows from 6 weeks of sun. Grace. The powerful rain that brings the much needed cool breeze. Grace. A life-altering journey, trusting, twisting and tumbling all over Uganda. Grace. A trip home home in a few days. Grace.
May You Be a Blessing and May You Be Blessed,
Crystal clear is how I like my communication. I never liked the game of telephone. (Not the kind in which you whisper a funny phrase with friends around the table.) The other kind, with the string and the tin can. I always felt like the words being delivered were either so close and obvious, or so muffled that the game was pure bunk. Just climb down from the treehouse and tell me what you were trying to say! This tin can game is crap. Hurray, for ACTUAL telephones that deliver the message–loud and in stereo–even by video at times. Crystal clear communication please.
Not so with the God of the universe. With Him and me it feels at times we are playing a game of muffled, old-fashioned tin can telephone. Anyone else have fuzzy reception? Continue reading
Earlier this month I traveled back to the place where I felt most exposed, most disappointed, and most broken. Ever. I made the choice to go. I packed up our entire family, boarded a plane and away we went. The place was just as we had left it…maybe a little hotter, a littler drier, but the same. I went willingly but with small shreds of dread in my heart. I knew we were meant to return. But if you have not heard, this, The Most Elaborate Foster Plan Ever Orchestrated, or this The Epic Adventure is Over; were the reasons for my dread. Upon reflection I realize my search for hope in the midst of hardship is not an uncommon pursuit. I would love for you to join me today in uncovering a path to hope despite the hardship.
Our New Year’s Eve family dinner covered much conversation of the ups and downs of 2014. Honest heart felt words of grief were shared. Amazingly, gratitude followed.
The final question of the night was:
What were your favorite memories and moments from 2014?
Our family watched A Christmas Carol last night and I began to ponder the life of Ebenezer Scrooge. He had a difficult childhood…abandoned, neglected, forgotten. He lost a sister he loved. He lost perspective. Fear and greed drove his business to flourish, but drove his engagement to destruction. The story reminded me once again; we all have reasons for being where we are and who we are at this very moment in time.
The past 12 months have been a doozy. No one would blame us this holiday season if we were a bit cranky, like Scrooge. “Bah Humbug,” yeah, it doesn’t roll off my tongue?!
We are back to Kampala just for the week. Nestled in the very same condo where we lived for 7 months of our life here in Uganda. I am filled with the strongest dichotomy of emotions I have ever experienced. There was such strange sadness as I hand washed the dishes and counted 5 spoons that just a few months earlier counted 7. Funny math. I am very aware of the two that are not with us. I saw someone pushing Jonathan’s tire. At lunch Caleb laughed and said, “Kylee do you remember when Jonathan was wet coming out of the shower and made the floor slick and Joshua fell and slipped in the water?” And because no one was seriously injured all 3 children belly laughed. I walked past the flowers where Caroline and her girlfriends made flower crowns and played princesses. I walked in to the room with 4 bunks and instead of 5 children squeezed together like sardines, I was acutely aware of the 1 empty bed.
I am tired of telling sad stories. Though at times therapeutic, telling your story makes it real, concrete, and final.
Recently, Grief has knocked heavily upon my door. She has been a constant visitor and one I have shrugged off for almost a year. Strength has been my best friend. She has cheered me and journeyed with me each step of this Epic Adventure. Grief was not welcomed or wanted. Nor did I have any time to entertain her. There were children to bathe, clothes and dishes to wash (by hand mind you)–and there were stories to be read and boo boos to kiss. I kept Grief at bay. Even at the “end” of our journey with our Ugandan kiddos…(if you missed that chapter you can learn more about it here)…Grief was not invited to the party because Hope had made her way to the forefront of the story line. Hope was carrying a banner waving, “Justice.” Her message comforted me. But a few weeks ago Heartbreak and Sorrow delivered a message of gut-wrenching proportion. They said that the two little ones we thought we protected and placed into good hands were actually taken back by Evil hands…ones not to be trusted. Trafficking hands that were protected by the police and bribery and social status. Reunification failed. Corruption, culture, and paternal biological “rights” all took precedence over the lives of precious little ones I love.