Mr. Scrooge’s Grateful Heart

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?!

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Dichotomies, Do-overs, and Ghosts of Christmas Past

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.

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The Epic Adventure is Over

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.

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Feelin’ Lucky?

Most human beings strive for some semblance of control in their world.  We cannot control the weather, the traffic, the way our boss treats us, or the fact that our child brings lice home from school.  We can control our Facebook page, what we eat or drink, how we treat others, and the tidiness of our kitchen.  

Some people have stronger control issues than others.  None of us like to admit we are control freaks.  Some of us (aka: me) are trying to recover from a nasty case of ECI.  (Extreme Control Issues.)  By the way, this is my totally made up thing!  Control issues manifest themselves in domineering mothers, authoritarian fathers, manipulative sisters, and bullying brothers.  Control issues can be discrete.  Control issues can come in the form of eating disorders…or can create them.  (Again no data, just years of observation and personal experience.)   

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A Man Shaped Hole in My Heart

Out of the past 117 days my hubby has spent only 21 with our family.  

When we said for better or worse I can assure you, this was never on my timeline!  If you told me Chris and I would spend 96 days apart I would have explained you have the wrong marriage.  In fact, for those who truly know me, they know I am a MUCH better person when Chris is around.  Anyone questioning this stop no further than our children and they will tell you–mom is just better with dad.

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