Reflections from Court Day (Part two) and three weeks in Uganda

Some of you may be thinking, “it feels like Matt and Leigh have been in Uganda forever” and I wanted you to know that you’re right! It sure does feel that way and we miss our friends and family (including Mallie, our dog) back home. It seems like so much has happened and it really doesn’t even get mentioned here. Being away from the media and primarily seeing my Facebook newsfeed has also reminded me that we all long for our “home” that God created for us. Whether realized or not, we’re longing for the garden that God created and will one day bring again. As Christian families, our lifestyle of worship should point to that future home, where there will be no more orphans, hate, pain, mourning, sorrow, etc.

Now moving to court day part two :-)…Just a warning, this may be long, but I want to capture as many details as I can knowing that one day our son may read this wanting to know about his story. Our day started around 7:30 am. Leigh and I both got up to get ready before going to get our son ready. It’s a little tricky because we have to get ready just enough to go, but can’t put on our court clothes until we walk over to the babies home to get our son showered, dressed, fed and ready. Once he’s all ready, we bring him back over to the guesthouse to get our court clothes on. We were ready and left around 11 am. Our son and I were dressed up in suits and Leigh had on a beautiful blue dress.

Our plan was that we would go to a nearby mall to play around in a kids play space before court, but we were running a little behind so we decided to just walk around in the mall for a few minutes. As we were walking around the mall, you could see his eyes get big and he wouldn’t let go of our hands. There were waterfall fountains, bright store-front signs and all sorts of things he had never seen before. You could tell quickly that he was experiencing sensory overload, but it was good.

We bought a few juice boxes (guava and mango of course) and other things at a store in the mall and then headed over to the court offices around 1 pm. Now what’s interesting about the court is that it also serves as the jail. As you walk in, you are greeted by police officers holding assault rifles that check your bags and scan you with a metal detector before you can enter. This made our first visit to the court a little intimidating, but since this was our third visit, we were almost on a first name basis. One of the prison guards even wanted to bring me some “good” African rice the following day if we were going to be there, yet again demonstrating the kindness and generosity of all of the people here.

The process of the court is to arrive and wait. From our knowledge, everyone arrives at the same time, 1 pm, with the potential for being called into the judge’s quarters at 2 pm. You never know when you’ll be called, but you have to be there in case you are because you don’t want to miss being called. Unlike the first day where we saw at least several families, we were the only family today. This was probably a bad thing for us mentally, because at times we were wondering if we had arrived on the wrong day or if the judge was even here. We were all by ourselves and there really wasn’t a lot of activity going on in the court.

Around 5 pm, one of the court officials starts talking to Leigh and tells her that the judge was there and we were definitely going to be seen today. What an answer to prayer this was for us as we were really getting discouraged. Immediately our hearts were filled with joy and a new optimism came over us. We had been sitting outside with a 2 year old for around 4.5 hours. Our patience was wearing thin to say the least. We sat and waited inside for 1.5 hour and then it happened. Our attorney came out of the chambers upstairs and frantically waived us to walk up. It just got real for us. I ran outside to get Joseph, Leigh grabbed our son, and our hearts were racing as we walked up the stairs to the judges office.

I won’t go into much detail of what happened inside the office, but I felt like it went very well. Your prayers covered our family and God poured out His grace over us. Our son was asleep during the entire hearing and he even started snoring at one point, but I was sure not to wake him up. We don’t have a concrete ruling yet, but the judge asked our attorney to come back Monday July 25th to get a verbal ruling, or court order. This will be the day for us. Please continue to pray this week for the court order coming up next Monday. Such a big step in the process and we’re pleading with God on behalf of our son. It was another great day as a family, and now we’re just praying for a successful ruling to make our family official. We love you all and hope to see you soon :-)

Matt and Leigh
Hebrews 4:14-16
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.