Monday, April 30, 2012

Uganda-Part 4

We headed to Fort Portal Tuesday evening to prepare for court the next day.  We arrived at the court house around 8:30am and waited for an hour or two until the judge was able to see us.  It was a special day, in that everyone who had worked to help us adopt our twins was there.  We met the twins' maternal grandfather, and he was able to see his granddaughters for the first time.  The area probation officer (similar to a social worker here) was there, as was a pastor who works closely with the children's home.  Our lawyer came the night before from Kampala, and our Kampala and Western Uganda facilitators were there as well.  While we waited in the court room, we heard some noise on the ceiling, and when we looked out the window, there was a monkey peeking into the courtroom.  We tried to get a picture, but were unable to.  In America, we have squirrels, and in Africa, they have monkeys!

When the judge came in, we moved to the front of the court room.  Right about that time, Rory melted down, so Ken took her out.  Our lawyer presented the case and introduced everyone who was there.  We didn't have to speak, which was probably a good thing, because it was a very overwhelming and emotional experience for me.  I was holding back tears the entire time.  The closest I can come to explaining it is when you're in labor and just waiting to see your child for the first time.  Our court date was the moment of truth, when we would either receive legal guardianship of our kids, or we would not.  After court, the judge told us to return around 2pm to his chambers to receive our ruling.  We got some passport pictures taken of the girls, had lunch with everyone, and then headed back to the courthouse.

Of course, as soon as we went into the judge's chambers, Rory melted down again, so Ken took her out.  The judge was a very compassionate and wise man who was very understanding of our situation and twins' situation.  He provided us with our legal guardianship ruling, signed and notarized by him.  We are so thankful and grateful to the country of Uganda and all of the people involved in allowing us to be a part of their culture and giving us an opportunity to care for two of their children.  Everyone was very, very kind and hospitable.

Lunch anyone???

The man next to Jonathan is the twins' maternal grandfather and the one next to him is Pastor Abel, who worked very hard to help the twins be adopted.  We are so grateful to both of them!

After court!  We're overjoyed and completely exhausted.

 Thursday morning, we left for Kampala, but we first stopped by the home to say goodbye.  When we arrived, Faith stayed close to us, but Favor ran into her old room, took off all of her clothes, and ran out naked and started to play.  She thought she was returning to her home.  The house mamas all got together and sang a beautiful song and then prayed over the girls.  It was a very emotional experience for all of us.  These girls were their children and I am amazed at the sacrifice they made in allowing the twins to be adopted to give them an opportunity they wouldn't otherwise have had.

This is Mama Faith, the ministry director.

 And then began the drive back.  Lots and lots and lots of snacking and napping.

Anytime Favor was asleep, Rory would start rubbing her head.

Potty stop.

We were probably going about 60mph when this happened.  How many animals and people can you count?

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