U-Gan-Dua It

A day-by-day guide of our last 5 CRAZY days!

Tuesday August 9, 2016
The last week has been one of the most energetic, emotional, joyful and stressful (all at the same time) weeks of our lives. We received our final written court ruling on Tuesday that gave us final guardianship over our son Austin Kirabo. The final written ruling allows us to request an appointment with our US Embassy here in Uganda that will start the US visa process to allow Austin to come back into the States! So needless to say, we’re on the last leg of getting him home!

Wednesday August 10, 2016
We officially sent our request for an appointment with the US Embassy on Wednesday and heard back on Thursday that we were scheduled to be at the Embassy in Uganda on Monday August 15th. To put this into perspective, we had anticipated a 2-week appointment notice once we sent the request, so needless to say this sent us in a little bit of a frenzy. #WhateverItTakes

Thursday August 11, 2016
After receiving and confirming the appointment Thursday, we began booking flights for Friday and scheduling accommodations for Saturday night since the flight and time difference add to around 31 hours (we essentially skip a day). We stayed up until 2 am Thursday night packing our bags for an unknown amount of time, and left out Friday at 12:30 pm. We MADE it and God provided just enough grace for us not to get in any fights along the way or have any (major) panic attacks.

Saturday August 13, 2016
Our flights went well and we were able to get into Uganda at 10:30 pm on Saturday night. We ate 5 straight microwave meals (aka microwave chicken mush) on an airplane and slept close to 5 hours over the flight time, which was great because we didn’t get that much sleep on the previous trips. The biggest reason was due to being in the economy “comfort” section on our final leg to Uganda from Amsterdam. I’m not sure how this happened because we didn't pay extra, but God once again provided, and we had a little extra leg room and recline to our chairs for this flight. We stopped and prayed immediately giving thanks to the giver of all good things!!!

Sunday August 14, 2016
On Sunday, we woke up at 8 am (after getting settled into our guest house at 12:30 am) to get our hands on the final, official paperwork. What a great sigh of relief this was for us as we saw the fruit of our labor and were able to praise God for His faithfulness and goodness to us. Our current trip has allowed us to stay at a guesthouse with another family adopting from the same babies home. They are from Tennessee and have been a huge blessing to us. You take for granted that in America everyone speaks English 100% of the time, so it’s nice when you have someone to talk to without anything being lost in translation. We’re excited to share this time with them and have enjoyed their family, including their daughter who was previously adopted from China! They have helped us answer lots of "adoption" parenting questions already!

After receiving our final paperwork and being deemed Austin’s official guardians, we were able to keep him and take hime outside of the babies home! This is a huge deal for us because our family can officially start our lives together. No more dropping him off at the babies home and we’re 100% full-time mommy and daddy. What a blessing this has been to us. Leigh and I have learned how impatient we can be and how to love unconditionally (still learning). We’re tired, moody and grumpy, yet we’re learning how to not let our circumstances change our love for and towards him. The goodness of the Gospel keeps us moving forward to love and cherish him through the spouts of crying.

Monday August 15, 2016
I’ll keep this short because it’s getting long, but the fast turnaround with the appointment not only affected us, but also some of our paperwork. Unfortunately, there was an error on one of Austin’s original documents that the Embassy required and there wasn’t time to get a new corrected one issued. We showed up to the appointment to see what could be done, however, we were unable to do anything without the one document. As a result, Leigh and I, along with Austin :-), are waiting for that document before requesting a new appointment. Our prayers continue to be that we get the corrected document and we’re seen by the Embassy soon. We’re praying that God would open the floodgates and get our family home soon! As for now, we remain patient in God’s timing and His provision. Although we’re disappointed, we press on with our family that can finally begin as a unit!

Tuesday August 16, 2016
After the disappointing day Monday, we decided to take our first trip out as a family. When you don’t have a car in an unknown place, what do you do, call for an Uber?? EXACTLY! We took our first Uber car ride in Uganda. It was a great experience and the drivers were very friendly and nice too. We went grocery shopping and to lunch for the first time all by ourselves as a family. To celebrate, Austin had hot chocolate, a chicken quesadilla and fries (see hot chocolate experience above). Mom and Dad had a caramel mocha and chicken (I know it sounds weird, but when you get offered a specialty coffee drink in Uganda, you don't turn it down)! After finishing, dad was playing with Austin and spilled the hot chocolate all over the table and down Austin’s leg. Instead of getting mad, we just laughed and made memories, because that’s what families do (at least this one time)!

Sorry for the long blog, but I wanted to give an update of our last 5 days, which seems like a month! We’re going on 33 days of being in Uganda (Trip 1-28 and Trip 2-5, but we’re loving every bit of it, especially now with our son. Please keep praying for us, because we’ve seen God do things that only He can do since we’ve been here. It’s been an amazing testimony of His goodness and built our trust in Him more than it could have ever been otherwise.

Praying that the next blog will be GREAT news!!
Matt and Leigh