Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Isn't it funny when art imitates life?  I have been a fan of the show Parenthood for a while.  This season part of the story line was that a couple wanted to adopt a baby.  A young girl came into their lives and she happened to be pregnant.  The couple and young lady figured out an adoption plan. The couple helped the young lady through her pregnancy, went with her to doctor appointments, made sure she had food to eat and were a listening ear.  The couple got the nursery ready, had all of the baby supplies and were counting down the days until their baby came home.  Then the young lady went into labor.  The young lady delivered the baby. The young lady changed her mind and decided to keep the baby.

Sadly, we have gone through the same heartache.  We were presented with a similar situation.  We supported the young lady.  We had everything ready.  She changed her mind when the baby was born.

This is a hard thing for me to write about. We decided not to talk about it with a lot of people when it was happening to protect ourselves. We knew that she could change her mind.  I had a miscarriage before Kaylee and we learned the hard way to be cautious with info we shared with others.  Protecting my heart and family is something that I have become accustomed too.  I am jaded.

After this happened, I was burned. I was mad, sad, frustrated, confused and didn't understand why this had to happen.  If God just wanted me to help her, I would have done so without the adoption piece being added.  We help people like her all the time.  It's what we feel called to do.

I thought that we were done with the adoption route.  First, with DHS then this.  We were trying so hard to follow God's will.  But why was it so difficult?

Over the last couple of months, I have tried to process all of the emotions that I have had. It has been a roller coaster but I hope that I am a stronger person because of it.  Most of the processing has been internal, some has been talks with friends, some has been watching life play out on tv. God wouldn't let me get off of the adoption road though. He healed my heart and showed me another way.  Uganda.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

almost done.....

Yesterday I picked up a packet of very valuable papers.  In this packet was our home study, as well as some other needed documents.  So that means that our dossier is done! Well, except for the I-171H but it is now in the mail. This is such a huge accomplishment. So many hours go into the stacks of paper....
Now we will wait for our fingerprinting appointment and approval that will follow then off to Uganda the stacks of paper will go.....  

Monday, February 6, 2012

Uganda & the Super Bowl

I love seeing how bits of our children's country make it to us.  Whether it be through our friends, media, sports, or universities,  I think it is important to celebrate their home countries and how people have overcome difficulties and become successful for themselves.

This was borrowed and edited (by me) from the NY Times.  I was watching the pre Super Bowl coverage and learned about Mathia Kiwanuka.  He is Ugandan (even though he was born in the US).  His grandfather was the FIRST Prime Minister of Uganda once they claimed freedom from Great Britain in the early 1960's.  That's pretty cool...  And just to be fair, I did google to see if any Rwandans had ties to either team but alas they did not....

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Mathias Kiwanuka says he does not remember how old he was when he first found out his grandfather had been assassinated. He struggles to remember the point at which he realized the true meaning of his own last name. He is not certain when he became aware of his family’s importance in African history.
But that is not important, Kiwanuka said recently, because he knows now. He read about his grandfather Benedicto Kiwanuka’s becoming the first prime minister of Uganda and heard about the plight forced upon a man trying to mold freedom out of a society stiffened by chaos. He learned about the pain and suffering Benedicto saw and felt.
And so he knows, too, about Benedicto’s being killed by the despot Idi Amin, a death foretold by some, dreaded by many and seen by experts as a development that set back progress in East Africa for years.
This week, as the Giants prepare to face the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, Mathias Kiwanuka will be the subject of countless articles and interviews. The reason is obvious: This is his return home. Kiwanuka, now a linebacker for the Giants, was born in Indianapolis. He went to Cathedral High School, a little more than 10 miles from Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Super Bowl will be played Sunday. He won two state championships.
But Kiwanuka also knows that there is something greater than a birthplace, something more meaningful than the city where a boy learns to read and write and block and tackle. Indianapolis may be his hometown, Kiwanuka said, but Uganda will always be his homeland.
That is why, one day last week after Kiwanuka had answered a barrage of questions about the old days in Indianapolis, he stopped for a moment by a doorway to the Giants’ training center and considered how much being Ugandan could possibly resonate with a kid who grew up in Indiana.  “How much does Uganda mean to me?” he said, his eyes wide. “It means everything.”
Painful Memories
When he was little, Kiwanuka’s parents would talk generally about Benedicto. It was sterile and nonspecific; a young Mathias could glean few details about his father’s father. “They would say, ‘He was a great man’ and ‘He fought hard,’ ” Kiwanuka recalled. “They would leave it at that.”
Kiwanuka did not press; it was only when he was older that Kiwanuka realized the glossing over was not only intended to spare him from gory details, but also to spare his parents the pain of reliving the experiences of the land they had left behind.
His father, Emmanuel, a political activist, and his mother, Deodata, a nurse, fled Uganda when the country was under Amin’s tyranny. They married in the United States and had three children: Ben, Mary and Mathias, who was born in 1983, 11 years after his grandfather was murdered. 
Kiwanuka remembers seeing pictures of his grandfather — “The man in the dress uniform,” he said — but did not fully understand the meaning of Benedicto’s life until he read about him in middle school.  Only then did he realize that his grandfather had been an officer in the Ugandan army during World War II. Or that Benedicto studied law in Britain before becoming a lawyer in Uganda in the late 1950s. Or that after Uganda won internal self-government from Britain in 1962, he became the country’s first prime minister, a voice shouting for democracy. “It was this devotion that led to his death,” Kimenyi said in a telephone interview.  Benedicto was murdered on Sept. 22, 1972, and Kimenyi recalled that he was in high school in Kenya at the time. “The whole school was shocked — people were talking about it,” he said. “Even now, Benedicto is a household name in East Africa. He is, without a doubt, one of the most important people in Ugandan history. He stood for a united Uganda. We don’t know what would have happened if not for him. And we don’t know what might have happened if he had lived a full life.”
An Inspiring Trip
Two years ago, Kiwanuka traveled to Uganda during the N.F.L. off-season. He was joined by some family members and a former teammate, linebacker Kawika Mitchell. Kiwanuka wanted to use his fame and money to help. His goal, he told Mitchell, was to bring clean, running water to a school in the village where his mother’s family lived.
Mitchell recalled arriving at the school and being stunned. Many of the buildings seemed to be fashioned out of clay, he said, and in one corner of a classroom was a stream of termites eating their way through the floorboards.
The children, though, flocked to Mitchell and Kiwanuka. They did not know about the N.F.L., did not know about where these men had come from. “They just knew we were trying to help them,” Mitchell said in a telephone interview.  
But Mitchell said he and Kiwanuka had already spoken about another trip to Africa — “sooner than later,” they told each other — and for someone with a lineage like Kiwanuka’s, it will be a journey full of meaning. It will be more than a return to a hometown; it will be a return to a homeland.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

As many of you know, international adoption is not a inexpensive venture.  We are hoping to fundraise some of the costs like we did last time.   This go around we have another t-shirt!  I love seeing our "What's your story" shirt still on people (2 years later....)  Will you consider helping us by purchasing one, two, or three?

The shirt is basic Hanes t-shirt and runs true to size.  We have kids sizes (XS/2-4, S/6-8, M/10-12, L12-14) and adult sizes X-Small up to 3XL. The colors are Stonewashed Blue and Sangria Pink.  The ink on the blue is brown and the ink on the pink is black.  

If you have been a reader of the blog, you know our admiration for Katie Davis.  She is a true inspiration to us and Kaylee wants to be here when she grows up!  We would love that.... The (short) story about the quote.  Katie Davis (http://amazima.org/) went to Uganda on a short mission trip. She returned after she graduated high school and now lives there with her 13 adopted daughters.  She runs a medical and feeding ministry to hundreds of people every week. She is 22 years old.  Katie is such a true testament to following God's call on your life.

Please leave a comment OR email me at ashleysmith3102 at gmail dot com if you would like to order a shirt.  Let me know the sizes and colors you would like.  We can do a paypal payment or you can send me payment. Whatever is easiest! Thanks so much in advance!