Dear Uganda

As part of our dossier (legal documents for the Ugandan government), we write a letter to the Ugandan courts of our intent to adopt and our commitment to our children. After writing it, I was moved to write a less official version (for our personal records only) to express my heart, and for our child(ren) to maybe read some day…

Dear Uganda,

Although we have never been to your country, we already love you. For you will have given us the most priceless gift we will ever receive, and our greatest possession: a child. Our son(s) or daughter(s). That alone, we are forever indebted. 

We can’t wait to return to Africa, and now, specifically Uganda. We look forward to experiencing your culture and learning your ways. And, oh, the people! Meeting your people will be an absolute joy!

Please also know that we acknowledge the loss. Your loss. The loss in a son or daughter of your land. Oh, how this brings us such turmoil! We grieve for our child the great loss of being raised in the land of his/her birth and among his people. And yet we rejoice in the birth of a family. Our family. For an orphan becomes a son/daughter! Your people are now our people. And our people, our child’s. We give thanks to God because he has chosen us to care for them. You see, they belong to God first. They are His. And, yet, he has entrusted US with them. We are humbled.

Be confident in this: We are fully and deeply committed to each other and our children. We wholeheartedly promise to encourage our child(ren)’s knowledge and understanding of their Ugandan heritage. It is part of who they are. It is our hope and desire that they become proud of their roots, and are confident and secure individuals. May they reach for the stars! We pray they come to love and appreciate their diverse and rich dual heritage of both Uganda and America. 

We are deeply humbled to parent a child from Uganda, and count it a great honor and awesome privilege.

Respectfully, Tim and Hannah

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touches of Africa {Christmas Edition}

For the original post {home edition}, go here.

Wreath made out of scraps of African fabric that a ship member made and sold at the 2009 Africa Mercy Christmas Bazaar. Love. It.

I case you didn’t know, I am NOT a collector. But, IF there was one thing I collect love to find, it is unique nativities. Especially from another country. I love my African nativity from Salone (Sierra Leone)! It is carved from wood and stained with the red clay/dirt that is one of Africa’s trademarks. I love the artist’s depiction of the nativity too: 1. Under an African tree/hut, of course. :) 2.  Along with the Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, three wise men, shepherd and two sheep, is my favorite– the trumpeter. He came unattached on the travel home, so I’m holding him up. :)

I also have a three piece Mary-Joseph- Baby Jesus set from Benin, made out of rich ebony. But I can’t find it right now. Maybe next year? :)

“Happy Christmas” as many of our international friends would say!!

home study- check!

We were fortunate to have our home interviews scheduled three evenings in a row!  It’s such a relief to be done, and before Christmas too. :) They went really well and we really like our social worker. The home study made me appreciate my family and my upbringing even more. I am so thankful for my parents and the role models they were, and the spiritual heritage they gave me. We are BOTH so blessed for our loving and supportive families. My in-laws are pretty special too. :)

But, the best part was by far listening to my sweet hubby’s heart for our ugandan children and his hopes and dreams for them and our family. Ahhh, it makes me fall even deeper in-love with him! Be still my heart. :)

your first ornament

Dear little one(s),

I bought your very first Christmas ornament a couple months ago; just days after we applied to our agency. I was just too excited to wait! :) The ornament was purchased from another adoptive family, and the proceeds will go towards their adoption costs. We thought that was pretty cool. :)

In representation of this year and our hearts, inside I placed the significant dates in our journey to you.

So, today we hunted down, cut, and decorated the tree. And this year our Christmas tree has one extra ornament on it. :)