pictures from their past

I got an email today from my new friend, Cathy. Cathy is a Harvard gal who spent this last semester volunteering as a teacher at New Hope. We got to know each other when I was in Uganda with the boys. She’s got a big ol’ heart.

Anyway, I opened her email and she had attached 20 pictures of the boys. Pictures of them when they were still orphans.

I was suddenly staring at my computer, trying not to cry.

This picture (above) was taken just before they left the orphanage to come to Kampala and meet their new mommy for the first time.

Remember that day?

My heart was (and still is) breaking into a million pieces. Some things I can’t explain as to why, and some things I can.

I look at these boys and am overwhelmed by the fact that they used to be orphans. They don’t have biological parents. Not ones that we can locate, anyway. I can’t even wrap my mind around this concept, especially now that they are home with us and have woven so beautifully into our family.

Their raggedy, mis-matched clothes make me smile a bit, because they’re so darn cute in them, but it also makes me sad. I wish I could send a truckload of new clothes over the ocean to all the kids at New Hope.

I miss Aida…their third wheel. I know the boys miss her, too.

I miss all those sweet kids at New Hope.

I’m sad just thinking how I don’t have any pictures from when they were babies and I know nothing about their families or their past. I keep taking the boys to various doctors’ appointments, and when I fill out the forms, I have to write “unknown” in most of the blanks. I got nuthin’.

Joseph was about 9 months when he was found, so he couldn’t even tell Ken his name or anything about his family.

When Mathew was found, he was nearly dead from malaria. He was old enough to talk (it was only 6 months ago when they found him), but I think he was so shell-shocked by the whole thing, he couldn’t tell Ken anything either.

But I see their faces and their big ol’ smiles, and I know they were happy and well-loved at New Hope.

And for that, Lucas and I are truly thankful. Our boys are amazingly stable. They have very typical 3-year old behavior. Nothing too crazy or horrific (like you read in so many books). Sure, we have to work through a few kinks now and then…but overall, these boys are very healthy in all departments. I attribute that to the wonderful care that was taken of them at New Hope.

It breaks my heart to think how happy they were there, and how they must miss their New Hope family.

When a child is adopted, it is a massively traumatic event for them. As the new adoptive parents are rejoicing over gaining a new child, that child is grieving because he has just lost everything he knows. And he had absolutely no say in the matter. It’s hard for me to swallow that I was part of that trauma.

But I trust that God placed these two little boys in our family…

…and that their sonship far outweighs their trauma.

These boys are Jobes now.

And for that, we are eternally grateful.

Karly - December 17, 2010 - 5:38 am

Hi Colleen,

Hello and how are you?! My name is Karly, and I am a recent blog follower. My husband and I are just beginning the process of adopting our first child from Uganda. I’m currently addicted to reading any and all blogs written by families who have adopted from Uganda or are in the process of adopting from Uganda. I can’t tell you how much of an encouragement your blog has been to me! We are still such novices to this adoption journey, I am trying to connect with several families who have tons of hard-earned wisdom.

I was wondering if I might be able to pick your brain on one thing… We are literally just beginning this process. And right now we are trying to decide whether we should use an agency or an attorney. Currently, we are leaning toward using an attorney. Do you have any recommendations either way?? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Anyways, I understand you are busy… However, if you have any time to share some of your wisdom (or direct us to a blog post of yours that may help answer our question?), my husband and I would GREATLY appreciate it! You can e-mail me directly at KarlySavoy@hotmail.com, if you are able. Thanks again for sharing your story!

Blessings,
Karly

KarlySavoy@hotmail.com
TwoWorldsOneHome.blogspot.com

Shannon - December 17, 2010 - 3:03 pm

You.are.killing me! Amen.

Shelly - December 18, 2010 - 1:50 am

Beautiful!! My husband is in UG now, we just got our ruling today. Can’t wait to have my two home with us. Your story encourages me so much!

Jill - December 18, 2010 - 2:39 am

What Shannon said! Lerve you!

Kelly Raudenbush - December 18, 2010 - 3:22 am

What a gift to get these pictures. It really is overwhelming to consider the transition they have gone through. When you consider the massive number of orphans in the world and how each one of those children has a story like this–overwhelming. So thankful that your boys are home now.

Amie - December 18, 2010 - 3:52 am

ummm, I could have TOTALLY used a heads up on that one. dude. Sitting here bawling my eyes out. omword. I know those feelings so well. And to see those little pics of them at new hope. Just tugs at your heart. They took such great care of them, and they were obviously so loved. How they must miss the boys so. And look at them at home. Just hanging out. so at peace. I love those little monkeys. And I am so very thankful that God chose you to be their forever family! beautiful. beautiful. beautiful post.

;)Amie

Sara - January 3, 2011 - 1:30 am

So amazing the difference you all made at New Hope. I love it.
My husband and I are in the process of adopting from Uganda. Like you, we began our adoption journey by trying to adopt from Rwanda, but ended up switching to Uganda in September when Rwanda stopped accepting new applications. We’ve been using an agency in Uganda, but are considering switching to an independent adoption. We’re hoping to adopt two little girls (we have three biological sons). I am curious if New Hope is continuing to place kids for guardianship/adoption and if so, if we can contact them. Our papers are totally done and we’re searching for whomever God would have us adopt. If you have a minute, send me an email. Blessings to your family!

Sara - July 7, 2011 - 3:33 pm

wow I have no idea who you are or who your family is. Found your blog through Shelly McClure. Wow, It is AMAZING!!!! I love your blog, you have such a big big heart. What a cute family too. Great story of adoption! Wow I can’t say enough. You are Awesome!!!!

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