Last week, we spent some more time at the baby home. We saw some new faces and enjoyed the little ones that we already knew.
Jimmy developed a particular affection for and spent almost the whole time holding this little guy. He insisted that I take several pictures of him and his little friend. :)
This little girl has cerebral palsy. I had the privilege of snatching her for a few moments out of her lonely, little crib, changing her soiled clothes, exercising her stiff muscles, praying over her little body that has been so profoundly effected by The Fall, and reminding her that the Lord has not forgotten her...that he cares for the orphans.
And to hold her little hand and show her some love.
And we were all thrilled (especially Katelyn!) to see this little girl walking! Remember, last time we visited, Katelyn played peek-a-boo with her? She wasn't walking at all then! Now...she's everywhere!
A number of people have asked me about adoption from Uganda and why these babies are here.
Concerning adoption...Uganda has a law that one must foster a child for three years in Uganda before legally adopting from Uganda. And we have known people who have done this and are good friends with a dear sister in Christ who is living here and in the process of adopting her daughter. Other dear friends and cousins of ours, however, have used a known loop-hole in this law to gain custody of a child, permission to travel with the child, and a Ugandan passport for the child. Then they bring the child to North America and go through US or Canadian courts to actually adopt the child. Because of this loop-hole, the amount of adoptions by North American residents has gone from about 40 a year to over 300 a year. But the Ugandan government and people are starting to notice and there is a general feeling of North Americans "cheating" their way through laws established by the Ugandan government. We have also read in the local paper, a cry from the people for judges to stop granting custody to North Americans who aren't willing to foster in country for three years. In addition, UNICEF has also spread their propaganda (as it tries to do all over the world) that it is better for a child to suffer in their homeland, than to be adopted to another culture. In short, it is a complicated issue with a wide variety of opinions.
Concerning this particular baby home...there are three types of children here. First, there are abandoned children. Most of these abandoned babies are boys...some even bearing the marks of attempted murder. (In this culture, girls can be a commodity. If they are raised well and educated, they can bring in a high bride price for the family.) All of the abandoned boys are named Moses. :) Technically, these children are available for adoption. But it takes great effort for them to be released for adoption. Ideally, the government would like to see them go to Ugandan families. And there is quite a push for that...there are even billboards in Kampala encouraging Ugandan families to adopt. But most Ugandans want a perfect, healthy new born baby (preferably a girl). This is a hard thing though, because the government ideally makes an attempt to locate the family of an abandoned baby first, so the babies aren't available.
Second, there are several children with severe disorders. At least two children with cerebral palsy (most likely will never be adopted) and the girl that Katelyn loves to visit...the second born of twins, who was deprived of oxygen. (Her sister is perfectly healthy.)
Third...and the largest group....are children who still have one surviving parent. Most of the cases are of mothers dying during child birth and the father not being able to adequately take care of the child. These children are staying in the baby home until they are approximately 3 years of age and then they will be "resettled" back into their family of origin. These children are not available for adoption and one can only imagine what living in an institution for their first three years of life is doing to them.
And now I'm sure all of this raises more questions than any you had that I actually answered. :)
But one answer that it does demand is that God's people continue to pray for the orphans of the world...that God would meet their every need...
...and use us where possible.