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roseandjohnOur Journey with Baby J began about 5-6 weeks ago. He was staying at an orphanage in another district that was not being run properly. The government official there asked us to help transition the children in their care out of the home and back with their families. The other children were from nearby, however baby J was sick and his family was from far away. First priority was getting him healthy + then we would start working on tracing his family.

As many of you know, we were fostering him for a few weeks before we found his relatives. He came into our lives at a rather busy and inconvenient time {We loved having him, but we only had him in our care because our social workers had gone for 2 weeks of training with Child’s i Foundation in Kampala}.

As soon as our social workers got back, we began tracing his family with the help of the local gov’t in the district J comes from.

Three weeks ago we visited the family + they saw baby J for the first time in months. He was now healthy, big and growing STRONG.

Joy filled the air as a son had returned HOME. 

Rose, J’s caretaker, came back with us and stayed at the center for the last three weeks to receive training and support in nutrition and income generation so she could better provide for + meet J’s needs from home.

Today we got to travel back to Rose and J’s village to see them off as J begins his life back at home with his family.

Rose worked closely with our Income Generation Director, Juliet to come up with a small business plan.  We have provided Rose with two goats {One male, one pregnant female. This will not only provide J w/ goats milk, it will also provide additional income for Rose to support J}. JohnSunda2

J being held by one of the other children in Rose’s care {Now J’s big sister:) } JohnSunday1

Before we sat and met with the family, Rose asked us to come inside their home so she could pray with us.

As she prayed in a language I barely understand {although I am trying harder each day to learn} I was reminded of just how much stronger this woman’s faith is than my own.

How much stronger her faith is than most of ours.

The little bit I gathered had me crying, so I’m pretty sure had I understood the whole prayer, I would have been a full-on, weird white lady, crying mess.

I heard her thank God for His provision for J along the way. Over and over and over again. I was reminded of how much this woman, this family, this community of people rely on God to provide and sustain them. It’s a deep faith I have only been able to admire and hope to even scratch the surface of some day.

And as she prayed an email I had received a few weeks prior crossed my mind.

The email was from an American family asking about Baby J. They had met him at the orphanage he had been living at and they expressed an interest in adopting him. I responded by saying {rather politely, I promise} that Baby J had family and that we would be working to help him go back home with his family.  In the email back, they responded by saying that they “were happy we found his family, but selfishly sad” because they knew this meant they could not adopt him.

I stood there, hearing Rose and her husband pray over Baby J as they thanked God for bringing him back into their lives.

I began to cry this really weird mix of happy + sad tears.

Happy and so thankful for Baby J returning home to a family that loves him.

Sad tears. Tears of mourning. As I thought of the “what ifs” and all of the injustice I’ve seen committed against families like Rose’s.

I began thinking of Baby J never getting this chance.

I started to think of the children growing up in orphanages or who are adopted internationally that have families who love them.

Children who have caregivers, like Rose, who are ready and willing to raise them.

Caregivers aren’t really asked or given the opportunity to raise their kids. I’ve seen it too many times.  International adoption or institutionalization is put on the table + they give up their kids for hopes of a “better life”.

We excuse the removal of the child from the family because the family is poor.

& we mistake poverty for families not loving their children.

I’m tired of the stories where American families are praised for offering adoption instead of coming alongside of a family to help them raise their children.

It makes me sick to hear people who run or work for orphanages justify keeping children from poor families in their institution as a long-term solution.

This is injustice in the name of justice.

This is injustice, often, being committed in God’s name + people are being praised for it.

I have patience for those who are on this journey and might be at different places.

I have a ‘righteous’ anger about the injustice being committed against Ugandan families and children because they are poor. 

Because,

Justice as God intended it CAN NOT look like us entering into cultures and families that He chose to have these children born into, only to remove them because the family can’t meet their monetary needs.

{He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.}

Deuteronomy 10:18

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