Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I have been posting updates, but it has been a long time since I did a picture update. We are only updated until April 2nd in pictures so if you continue be prepared for a huge photo dump!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In The Interest of Fairness....

In the interest of fairness Shelly suggested I write a blog about what I will miss about Uganda. If I ever get chance to leave so I can miss it that is! :

*First and foremost I will miss the Bandelmans! Brian and Shelly and Gabe, Brie, Zoe and Noah have been amazing and I am so blessed by all they have done for me! We will be visiting them while they are in the U.S. this winter if they can stand us for an afternoon! :) The work they do here is awesome!
*Krest!!! I just finished one, and oh how I will miss it. I don't drink soda at home. I think it is gross. I also never really believed that using raw sugar instead of the high fructose corn syrup they use at home would make such a difference in taste, but it really does. I even enjoy a Coke here once in a while and I hate Coke at home. Krest bitter lemon is the very best soda though!! Being that it is bottled in glass instead of plastic might help too. When I walk down to the village for one, if I bring another bottle to trade, it is only 600 shilling for a cold Krest. About 30 cents US.
*I will miss the cooked cabbage. That stuff is amazing!!! I shouldn't miss it too much though because Juliet taught me how to make it. Thanks Juliet! Oh, speaking of her I will miss her and her sister Maureen! They both love Jeremiah so :0)
*Tea time at the Guest House with the beautiful sweeping views and Esther's wonderful cooking.
*The Ugandan children.
*Mendazi! Kind of like a Ugandan donut. You can buy it in the village for like 400 shilling each, so 20 cents.
*The wonderful pineapple and mangos here!!!
*Seguku village. Oddly enough the village has a sort of strange beauty and I enjoy my walks down to the village when I need airtime or a Krest.
*And last but not least, the beautiful children at Baby House.

Now Jeremiah and I just need to get home so we can start missing these things. :0) So get your hineys in gear U.S. embassy! As of today I have been in Uganda 98 days! That is a long time to be away from home!!!!!!
Seguku village.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Becoming Mom

From the time we decided to adopt I was a little concerned about the bonding aspect of adoption. Our new child wouldn't know me. He would be bonded to his caregivers. How long will it take for him to bond with me? Will my baby scream and cry for his previous caregiver? Would it be a hard transition for him? I hoped not. I prayed that bonding would be quick and firm. I bought a baby carrier and decided that I was going to hold my baby and wear him as much as possible in order to facilitate bonding. Like I was going to want to put him down anyways!
From the minute he was placed in my arms at 5 1/2 months he seemed to feel secure and safe. Rennie said he just stared at me like he already knew I was his Mom. Like he had been waiting for me. He just stared and stared and smiled. I was so thankful. In the first week I had to go to town often for various paperwork appointments reguarding the legal guardianship. I was so thankful for the Bijorn. Jeremiah constantly missed naps at home, but slept like an angel right up against my heart snug and secure with me in his little Bijorn carrier.
After only two weeks of being in Africa with my son we went on a trip to Masaka with the family we were staying with. I was sick for the a couple of days while we were there and Brenda kindly watched Jeremiah one day so I could nap and watch movies in bed while I rested my queasy stomach. Around 5pm Jeremiah reached his crabby time of day and I could hear him screaming from my room. I went out to see if he was okay and he immediately calmed as soon as I came into his view. Shelly said, "wow, he sure knows who Mom is already!" By only two weeks he had irrevocably claimed me as his own. I was so thankful!
A week later we had to take Jeremiah to The Surgery to have his visa medical testing. Part of it was having a TB test. For the test they inject something under the skin that forms a blister. I held him securely on my lap facing away from me, toward the nurse, while they administered the shot and cried right along with him because he didn't understand why I let them hurt him. As soon as they were done I turned him to face me and laid him on my chest to calm my sweet little boy who screamed hysterically with fright not understanding why I let them poke him. When he began to calm, I laid him on the bed to re-dress him and his little face turned red as he started to scream again, and for the first time ever he lifted his skinny little malnourished arms up to me and held them out, begging me to hold him and not let him go yet. I have never felt quite so loved in my life as I did in that moment when my tiny 9 pound six month old threw his wobbly arms up to me for comfort! I will never forget that moment as long as I live!!
When Mike came I had already had Jeremiah for nearly a month and I prayed that he would bond quickly with Mike as well. That first night we stayed up late into the night talking and were still awake when Jeremiah woke up for his 1am feeding. Mike went and picked the sleepy boy up from his crib and fed him his bottle. Jeremiah was so tired he didn't realize who was holding him until Mike turned him to burp him and he started to cry in protest at this stranger. I moved to his side and told him that he was fine and he decided that since he could still see his Mommy that this man must be fine and allowed Mike to rock him back to sleep. After that he never looked back! Mike was there every morning and all day with his Mommy and he accepted him faster than I ever imagined! The next day he napped on Mike's chest after a full day of traveling to Jinja for a little vacation and was perfectly happy to have his Daddy pick him up in the middle of the night when he cried for his nightly feeding. Now Mike is back home and when he calls us I put the phone to Jeremiah's ear every time so he can "talk" to Daddy. He gets so excited when he hears Mike's voice and smiles brightly looking around the room to see where his Daddy is hiding! I can't wait to bring him home and reunite our precious boy with his Daddy who loves him so much!
What made decide to write this post was going to the embassy last Wednesday for our visa appointment (crossing our fingers and praying they will grant his visa soon and finally let us go home!!!!!). Of course they scheduled our appointment for 2pm. We left at noon to make sure that even if we encountered traffic we would be there in time. Jeremiah normally naps from noon to three. He slept for about twenty minutes in the car and woke the moment I loaded him into his stroller. He sat happily in his stroller during the walk to the embassy and once we were inside he alertly checked out the new surroundings and flirted with people sitting close by. Once it was time for our 2pm appointment I wondered how my tired little man would hold up considering his 20 minute nap. About a half an hour into the interview he began to fuss and cry out of sheer exhaustion. Shelly took him and a bottle out to the waiting area to try to calm him. After he devoured the bottle he refused to be consoled no matter what Shelly did. I excused myself from the meeting long enough to step into the waiting room and relieve Shelly from her annoying little charge. As soon as he was in my arms he looked up at me and calmed himself, then curled up and fell asleep against me. It didn't matter that Shelly was doing the exact same thing. He just wanted Mom. I felt bad that he threw such a fit and refused to let Shelly comfort him, but at the same time I thought, "He knows who I am. My prayers were answered and he chose to bond himself to me and make me his own!"
Last night as I typed and chatted with friends online at 1am my typing disturbed him since we are sharing a room here in Africa. His eyes were still closed, but he began to fuss and squirm in his bed. I reached down and pulled the precious bundle into my arms and he immediately felt safe with Mom snuggled down and fell back into a deep slumber without ever opening his eyes. I am so thankful for this gift. That bonding was quick, and that he is so young he never remembers a time when I wasn't his Mom. He may fuss from time to time, have grumpy afternoon once in a while and puke on me twelve THOUSAND times a day, but there was never a more perfect child to be mine in the whole word and I am so glad that God hand picked him to be ours!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Poeple's Opinions and My Family

When my husband and I decided to start on the journey of adoption we knew that people would see the obvious physical differences in our family and probably feel free to comment. That they might say stupid and maybe even hurtful things. We have had some interesting comments along the way from people wondering why we were adopting from Africa when there are children in America who need homes and similar such things. I expected questions maybe even rude and untactful ones. I never expected outright hate.
A little background first. My husband and Mother have been working tirelessly tying to get Jeremiah and I home from 3 and a half months and counting in of being stranded in Africa by the U.S. Embassy after being granted legal permanent guardianship of our son by the Ugandan court. They have even been on the news twice to share my/our/Jeremiah's story. Ya, they are pretty awesome!
The first news piece was on our local q13 fox news station in Seattle about a month ago:,0,1986737.story
It was a great story and got people's attention. I heard lots of good things about it from people on my facebook page (my only way of contacting the outside world :) ). The second one just aired yesterday on our local King 5 news at home and was picked up by Northwest Cable News:
Also a great story. I went online to the link to watch it. This is were I get back on track. You can leave comments on the story there. When I looked there was one lone comment:
"Good leave her there, we have enough problems on our hands as it is... Why do these crazy people want to bring more of it here..."
Umm.......WOW REALLY? Is that seriously what you think? Orphanages have enough problems on their hands too, so should they have left Jeremiah dying to avoid that? At first I was shocked and angry my feelings were really hurt! How rude! What a Jerk! Then after I had a few minutes to process it I realized what a pathetic person they must be and what a small life that ignorant person must lead! I thought of Matthew 12:34 where it says "For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." I was thinking that that about summed it up about that person. Then I read the verse again and realized that in this whole process that goodness has not always flowed from my mouth. In fact frustration, anger, and impatience have more than once. So a comment meant to hurt me actually made me fall on my knees and pray that the overflow of my heart is something that is a good example for my precious son!
The ignorant comment still smarts a little, but I know that they are ignorant and wrong and because of Jeremiah Mike and I have been blessed beyond comprehension and my heart overflows with thankfulness at this blessing! :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Things I love about home.

There are so many things that I love and miss and am thankful for about home that I can't wait to get back to. Since summer has come to my home without me I am a bit wistful today..... Some of the things I miss are:
*MY HUSBAND. OMG I miss that man so much!!!
*MY PEOPLE! My fiends and family. Hanging out with them.
*MY HOME. I love my lovely little home and I miss it so much. And I miss the projects I always have going and showing the before and after pictures here on my blog :) I miss waking up in the morning and going upstairs to my kitchen with the scent of Mikes morning coffee still lingering in the air while I make myself a morning smoothie. I miss planting flowers and veggies and mowing the lawn (but not picking up the doggie poo!) and spending summer mornings on the back deck enjoying my breakfast at the table while I read a good book. I miss simple summer evening meals of salad or soup or BBQ with Mike on the back deck with candles and lemonade and holding hands. I miss home!
*SCRAPBOOKING!!! Need I say more??
*MY CAR. Oh, the freedom to have my car and I can just jump in it and go wherever I want.
*MY ANIMALS. Oh how I miss my kitties Glovebox, Tantar and Oscar and my mini doxie Charlie.
*MY BEDROOM. My huge room with the pretty crown molding and my sleep number bed and my new dressing table and my clothes and things. I am so thankful for having a place to stay here in Africa, but I will be so glad to be home after 3 months (and counting) living out of a suitcase with the few outfits I brought, camping out in a room that is not mine.
*SUMMER FRUIT STANDS. Oh how I love visiting my handful of favorite fruit stands in the summer and buy farm fresh fruits and veggies for our meals.
*SUMMER EVENING WALKS WITH MY MAN. When Mike is home from work and the summer day is fading to evening and the air begins to cool. I love these walks to the park hand in hand and walking past our secret fig tree on the way home and picking a couple of fresh ones. One for snacking on now and one for breakfast! Now I get to push my beautiful red peg perego stroller that I bought last year while dreaming of a baby! And we will have to spend time at the park testing out the new playground with our wonderful new son!
*COOKING. Making my favorite recipes in my kitchen and testing new ones.
*RESTAURANTS. Bahama Breeze and Chipotle mostly.
*CLEAN DRINKING WATER. Straight from the tap if I want. I had no idea that I took clean water for granted. The water out of the tap here is not clean. It can often be an dingy color and is unsafe to drink. Many people here do not have running water at all and have to walk every day to fill their jerry cans with water. Often unsafe water because there is no well or clean water source nearby. Around the world children die every day due to lack of clean drinking water. We are so blessed in America and we don't even realize it. Warning..rabbit trail! This is why I love Advent Conspiracy and will be donating for clean wells this Christmas! :) &
*JEREMIAH'S TURTLE NURSERY. It is honestly one of my favorite rooms in the house. I had so much fun planning and creating it with Mike while we waited for our baby and it will be even better once I can bring the little occupant home!

I can not wait to come home and introduce my little man to his Grandparents and Uncles and cousins! And reunite him with his Daddy! I am excited to bring him home and settle into a crazy new chapter in our life! So glad our family has grown!

The baby dude. He can't stand on his own yet, but when I was lifting him out of his pack and play he grabbed the edge and would not let go, so I stood him up there. It only lasted for just a second before he tipped over, but he was so proud of himself! It was TOO CUTE!