So much has happened in the last few days so I am warning you that this is going to be a longer than normal email : )
Luke’s mom arrived late Sunday night and we were all up at 4am on Monday and on our way to the Kingfisher Lodge Kichwamba overlooking the Queen Elizabeth National Park. We had the most spectacular views of the park and the pic attached shows the view from our porch. Too incredible to capture in pictures!
While we were there we took a boat ride and saw tons of hippos, water buffalo and birds. We also did an evening safari where we saw elephants, lions, baboons, antelope, and warthogs up close and personal 🙂 as you can see from the pic of the lion. He was about 4 feet from our van, but just laid there in the grass. Lions are too lazy to get up 🙂 We also did a morning safari and saw lots of the same animals!
Tuesday afternoon we had our greatest adventure in Uganda to date. Luke’s mom, our driver, and I took a walk down the street from the resort to visit some of the local kids. On our walk back to the resort our driver told us about a woman that he had met earlier that afternoon. She had a 2 week old baby, and 1 year old twin girls and had a c-section with the baby. She and her husband had a fight and he gave her 95,000 shillings (the equivalent of about $38) and told her to go to her parents (which was about 10 hours from where she lived). While in the taxi she was robbed by the taxi driver and his band of thieves (who were posing as passengers in the taxi). They dumped her and the kids out not far from our resort and our driver found her and took her to the local police station. The police wanted to put her on a bus and send her on her way, but our driver asked them to keep here there for a while as her c-section incision was infected, she was in a lot of pain, and she was mentally not stable from the traumatic experience. Luke, his mom, and our driver went back up to the police station (I stayed at the resort with Mace, who was napping) and picked up the mom and her 3 kids. They drove her to a local doctor whom they paid to take care of her for the next 3 days, provide her with food, medical care, and lodging, as well as they paid a local woman to take care of the 3 kids so the mom could heal. All of this cost the equivalent of about $52!! Seriously! $52 to help someone who was at the lowest point anyone could ever be at. $52 to alter the course of her life and possibly save her and her children’s lives. Our driver kept commenting that this was the reason God brought us to Uganda and to the area, and we could not agree more. It’s amazing to see how God is orchestrating our time here. Yes, we are here to adopt Mace, but God definitely has some other lives for us to touch as well, and we are so humbled to get to be used by Him here.
On Wednesday we visited Mace’s orphanage where we had a chance to meet the Sisters who run it, as well as the people who took care of Mace for the first 8 months of his life. It was such an awesome experience as they were all so welcoming of us and so excited to see Mace. And the kids! Don’t even get me started! They were amazing! A few of the younger ones cried when they saw us, but most of them came up and hugged us and they LOVED the light up balls we brought for them. We are so grateful that we got to experience first hand the place where Mace had lived, as well as meet all of the people who had literally saved his life.
We are hoping that tomorrow (Friday) we will receive our written ruling so that we can begin our passport process. Please pray that happens tomorrow and that our passport process moves along quickly. Also, please continue for Mace and his cold, as well as Luke and I who have both gotten his cold 😦 We have had some crash course parenting of a sick baby. Thankfully Mace is a super happy baby, even when he is sick! And pray for Luke’s mom as she flies out tomorrow night. She had quite the adventure getting here, which included an overnight stay in Amsterdam and we are praying that doesn’t happen again on the way home!
Love you guys,
Luke, April, and Mace