Sunday, December 27, 2009

Still stuck in Nairobi

Bill left yesterday because we are just gone tooo long from our daughter - with a heavy heart we missed Christmas with her and our families but did spend it together here in nairobi wuth Elijah. It was a bittersweet Christmas. Christmas eve was special though, with people from Several nations sharing Christmas traditions. The Danish did a traditional " conga line" the mAasai treated us to a traditional song and dance ,, and the Australians ended with fireworks. It was a memorable night bur we would have liked to spend our first Christmas as a full family.
So status for Now

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Trapped in Nairobi

Well no good news on our visa. We heard from our awesome friend Leta at the state PA adoption clearance center that we apparently passed the Adam walsh screen! We took the letter to the consular today who said that is not tha Adam WALsh screen we need. It's something from the stAte dept. It's an entirely helpless process. We are trying to keep our spirits up but I looks like we will be spending Christmas here alone with Elijah, but we do have a christmas invite to go to a friends village, or spend here at the hotel with friends. So I will have surrogate family. If I could complain to someone here I would, but it's all nameless faceless databases. I DO NOT RECCOMEND NAIROBI FOR ADOPTIONS. I think addis abba must be better than here. They do so many adoptions and everyone who went there is home already. RWanda adoptive families will have to figure out how to get a Ethiopian point of entry visa or visa in advance then go to addis. Nairobi consular crowded, long lines, impersonal, unsympathetic, and to top it all off took my son's toy lobster everytimex we went through security. ReAlly? A toy lobster! ?
I cannot leave Kenya. We are trapped. On the bright side we upgraded our tent today and now have a shower and toilet in our tent. We're movin' on up at the Wildebeest lodge...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

photos from Kigali and Nairobi


Stuck in Nairobi

(PHOTO IS OF US AT ROCAS AID SCHOOL IN KIGALI SUBURBS -- A school we have been helping sponsor)
Well, granted there are much worse places to be stuck than in the heart of Africa, but with Christmas fast approaching and our daughter being 8,000 miles away at home, we are getting anxious to go home. We were told on friday -after 2 days of unreturned phone calls, emails, and even an in-person refusal to be admitted to the visa office, that we can check in "tuesday for an update". Our flight leave monday night. So we plan to camp out in the visa office at 7am monday and just pray for a small miracle.
For now, we have no idea what the hold up is or what the ETA of the visa may be.
But on a lighter note, we met up with the dorbands today and their Rwandan sons Levi and Judah and did a game drive in Nairobi national park, where we say lionesses stalking zebras, monkeys who took a banana from us, and beautiful giraffes tower over the savanah. It was a great day! Then bill and I went to the on -site animal orphange, where we "tipped" the guide in order to be allowed in with 2 adult female cheetahs- who let us pet them and they purred! That was five of the best minuites we've ever spent! Amazing!
Please join us in praying for a monday visa ! love from Nairobi.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

In Nairobi kenya

Hi everyone! We are in Kenya now since Monday to process our visa. We had to sit at a health clinic for 9 hours at oim agency which was awful but Elijah was a trooper! The next day ( tuesady) we went to drop off our visa papers which took a mere 3 hours. Lol. Hopefully we get visa tomorrow or Monday- but it better be Monday cause that's when we leave!!
Elijah is coming out ochoa shell day by Day and doing well bur his cough and diarrhea are persisting despite antibitocs. I think I got him to say juice today! And he says oh! For uh- oh when he drips something. He also smiled at me this morning for the first time when he woke up. From a tourist standpoint, Nairobi is awesome. We went to a baby elephant orphanage today where they rear abandonded baby elephants. The young ones are only as big as a big dog!!! Sooo cute. A family of wart hogs ran out and rolled in the elephants mud during the bottle feeding session. It was sheldrick animal orphanage. Really fun. We also went to a croc farm and could touch a 15 footer thruogh the wire fencing. I also held a baby croc.
The trip highlight today was driving in nairobi national park, and seeing a dew vans stopped. We drove up to the vans and saw what they were looking at-- SIMBA! Swahili for -- lion king fans know thus- lion! A male lion within 10 feet of our car. I muttered an explicit because my window was down - we quickly roller up the window and sat in awe of the King of Beasts for about 10 mins. We also saw the elusive Cheetah in the thicket!!! An amazing morning. The only problem was Elijah got car sick from the bumpy roads and projectile vomited lal
over me several times. Luckily we had e tea clothes. U know it's a good day when u don't mind letting baby vomit air dry on you. Gods creation Is breathtaking and it's been a pleasure to see it up close and personal!! We find out to
orrow if we get his visa. Please pray for us!!
With love from nairobi-- jen bill Elijah

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 4 thurdasy in Kigali

We were supossed to get Elijah,s Rwandan passport today bit it wasn't ready. They told us tomorrow by 2pm, but bill very politely asked for8am and they told us 9 am. We hope and pray it happens! Tomorrow is supposed to be our last day in Kigali but I think we may change the flight to go to Peter our POA's church on Sunday. And maybe some more tourist things on Saturday . We did see the genocide museum today which was sobering, horrifying, and undescribable evil. To hear events described by our friends was so upsetting I had to try hard to hold back tears. One friend said simply- the devil entered everyone. They were no longer men. Our friend described how, as a 14 yr old boy, he wAtched as members of his family were hauled away and murdered. He was not saved at the time but prayed anyway to God who protected him and his family. He then went on to describe a road littered in corpses for miles on the way to a refugee camp. They were duing of thirst and the only alternative was to drink water so fouled by corpses it was salty. He prayed for God to protect him after drinking the water and he didn't get sick. This story wad so disturbu
ing I felt I had to share it, but I left names out in case the friends of ours didn't want it told. I think fir me one of the hardest sights was a childs outfit and superman sheet stained in blood, and a Cornell university sweatshirt from the dead. It makes you realize Rwandans are exactly like us. They are not an exotic far away society, they are our neighbors. I was so ashamed when I asked Peter what the united states did to help, and he was quiet for a second and said " I think, nothing". The conversation grew silent and I wished I hadn't been a 16 yr old girl while a million people were murdered, maybe I could have helped somehow. It certainly seemed like a chapter from Revelations. Watch and Pray folks, watch and pray.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Travel letter and lunch with friends

We got our travel/ "to whom it may concern" letter today! That means Mugisha never has to go back to the orphanage again, he has a family. He Is a sweet boy, and he had a fin day and long nap today. He was a little lethargic though., and not eating well, with terrible foul watery diarrhea and a distended abdomen, and a cough/ snotty nose. So we took him to a 7th day Adventist health clinic. It was very simple. My husband and I marveled at the amount of money that childrens hospital wastes in a day, and how much good even a little bit could do here. The doctor was very nice and thorough, a french speaker but we co
municayed well with his English. It's amazing to realizeoat people here don't speak one or even 2 languages, but most speak 4 or 5! We did not have a stool sample so we have to go back tomorrow. The dr said he was negative for malaria abs his white blood cells were normal. The dr thought his lungs were clear but the abdominal distemsion cuold be from malnutrition. He gave us a multivitamin and oral rehydration salts. We want to make and appt at childrens hospital as soon as we get back. But I will look at their fancy building and expensive finishes with some dismay at the inequities in healthcare in this world.


Tuesady- day2 in Rwanda

We were not ablrto get our to whom it may concern letter today which let's Elijah sleep with us so we has to take him back to the orphange tonight, but what a fun day we had! We picked him up at 7;30 and went to meet Peter our poa at the kigali passport agency to apply for elijahs Rwandan passport, then off to the us embassy to file our I-600 immigration form. Elijah was quiet and still with a faraway look on his eyes when we first picked him up but as the day progressed his smile appeared and he loved to play witb his monkey toy, be held, play wrestle with Papa, and play with the drAin in the tub. He also ate a ton at lunch-- we need to fatten him up as he does seem thin and malnourished. Nothing like steak and fries to clear that up! He was a lot of fun a ll day and we loved seeing his personality evolve through the day, blank stare replaced by toothy grin and silly giggles. He didn't even nap all day!
Tomorrow pray we get out TWIMC letter-- if not we may need to extend our trip as the minister of women and family promotion is out till Friday??? We had a great dinner with another aawa adoptive family tonight and " shared notes" on our schedules. We were also thrilled to meet special friends from rwanda, Robinson and Dorothy, who we have been supporting and communicating with over the last 2 yrs. Robinson runs an orphange and also is a Pentecostal minister. Dorothy is a young woman who lost most of her family in the genocide. We hope to help Robinson find sponsors for the kids and Dorothy to maybe go to nursing school in the USA. God is working in amazing ways in our lives and the lives of our Rwandan friends. I will end with this thought- bill and I were bummed a little that our trip wad in December because we would miss Christmas season. But holding our son I'm our arms, I realized were not missing it, we're living it. Thank you, heavenly father.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Meeting elijah!

We arrived this afternoon but didn't catch up with Peter our poa until about 4pm, partially because I told him the wrong hotl room number. We are at chez lando hotel. It's Simple and a liile " worn". Our Kenya air flight went s
well and it's a nice airline. Peter took us to met
et veronique who was very nice and the secretary of the minister- also very nice. But they aren't sure we can get our to whom it may concern letter tomorrow- we need that for Elijah to be able to spend the night withu us. So we need prayers to get the minister to sign the letter for us so Elijah doesn't have to stay at the orphanage! b But the highlight of the day-- the moment we've been waithjbg a year for- came after our visit to the ministry of woman and hender. We pulled up in front of the blue gate at the home of hope orphanage. A very sweet sister from Kenya met us and took us down to see Elijah. We went down a long hallway with rooms on either size and voices of many, many children laughing.
, crying, talking and yelling. Each room had a few dozen babies and toddlers. I'm told there are over140 kids there. We went to elijahs room abs the nun went up and patted him on the head and said this is mugisha. I couldn't hold back the tears as she held him out to me and he reached his little arms for me. He's very tiny- much smaller then I expected. His sad little eyes had a faraway look
And he loved me to hold him up against my face,
I kissed his perfect tiny arms and then he went right to papa who held him close for another few mins until we had to put him back. I am humbled by gods plan for this child and his work to bring us this far. I am happy and blessed beyond words bill and I are to be used by Him in his plan for His son -- and our son-- Elijah.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bill is in nairobi

Yeah! Thank God bill is here safely!! Tomorrow morning we leave for Kigali to meet our son!!!! Praise god!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

In Nairobi

Still in naiorbi at wildebeest tent lodge, a little oasis hostel in the city. I went on a game drive this morning jn naiarobi national park and saw wilf zebra, water buffallo, wildebeest, warthog , ostrich!, impala, gazelles, beautiful birds, giraffes, rhinos in the distance , and lion killed carcasses but no lions. Then I went to a factory that makes beads and supports single moms. It was a busy morning and unfortunatly my afternoon nap turned in a 7 hour jet lag sleep so Now its10 pm and I amwide awake. I never have trouble in Europe with jet lag but here it's going to take me a few days. Tomorrow lake Nakuru ! To see thousands of flamingos and hopefully hippos. And best of all bill arrives to join in the adventure and on to meet our son!!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

In nairobi

I made it with gods hands on the trip. I'm sitting in a comfortable lodge using my trusty iPhone to stay connected with the world.
I am rejoicing tonight!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

packing crocs!

just wanted to post a quick photo of croc-loaded suitcase, which were donated through 4-More a group of ladies dedicated to helping the orphans of Rwanda. These crocs came from all over the country i was told! They will be leaving with me on thursday!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Flying under a Full moon and African Skies

In less than 48 hours i'll be on a night flight to paris, then an early morning flight to Nairobi. I will arrive friday night in Nairobi, and wait for Bill there -- he'll be there sunday night. I am not sure what i will do alone for 2 days but I certainly don't plan on staying in my hotel room. While I am so anxious to meet Elijah, we want to meet him together. So monday morning bright and Early, we will travel to Kigali to meet our son for the first time, and God will "take the lonely and put him in a family" We will feel so humbled and priveledged to be a part of God's plan for this little boy, who has not been forgotten by his heavenly father although his earthly parents are gone and he has no one to wipe his tears,hold his hand, or comfort him. We were told he knows the words for Mama and papa. I wonder if he means his birth parents, or he was just taught this by the nuns. He is probably old enoguh to remember his birth parents and has only been apart from them since July, when circumstances which we will never know separated them forever . I hope when he is told that Mama and Papa are coming his little heart isn't anxiously looking for his birth parents. But I know that love can heal a broken heart, so litte one, a Mama and Papa are coming- it may not be who you think, but we hope to make your mama and papa proud by raising you to love God above all, and love your family as much as we will love you, our son. Love, Mama and Papa.

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