Monday, August 4, 2008

The adoption process

I have a question for anyone reading this blog that has a child from Uganda- what is the process of going about actually adopting them? Is there a specific waiting time that immigration requires or do you just follow the adoption laws of your state? I tried calling immigration but could never speak to a real person no matter how many prompts I followed. Love those automated phone systems :)
Everything at home is good but hard. Both girls have had some adjustment issues. They are equally jealous of eachother. Not sure if that's good but balanced at least. Kaya who is 3 is much more clingy now and wants Mom to do everything for her. Masseh sees this and then wants me even more. Not very much fun for dad or mom either for that matter. Both girls have very strong personalities. Masseh's first English words other than mom and dad were "no, mine and get". Usually no is followed by yelling Kaya's name at the top of her lungs. On the positive side though, they both really seem to like eachother and are very sweet to one another as long as the other one doesn't have a toy they want. They love to hug and kiss eachother and always want to know where the other one is at. I think as Masseh's knee heals they will have even more fun together. I think a lot of Masseh's frustration stems from not being as mobile as she would like. She still isn't able to walk. Her surgeon had hoped she would be by this point. We go back next week for a check-up. She is standing though and can limp along if you are holding her hand or if she is standing next to something. We did find out that she tested negative for all blood diseases so it looks like her anemia was from her illnesses. Her levels have been fine since her 2nd blood transfusion. She will be retested in a few months. Health wise she actually would have been fine if she hadn't contracted malaria. Malaria and the treatment weaken your immune system making you more susceptible to secondary infections. It turns out she had typhoid fever that was a salmonella bacteria that went to her blood stream and settled in her knee. We are very lucky that she survived.
Also, to any other Uganda moms, do your children have problems taking naps.? Masseh didn't take regular naps in Uganda and now will only sleep for 20-30 minutes a day. That is not enough for a 1 year old or her mom :) She also hates to not have someone in the room with her when she is falls asleep. She now sleeps fairly well at night which is a huge blessing. So overall things are going well just getting use to one more adorable little girl!

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Masseh has been home from the hospital for a week and a half. Unfortunately she was only home for 24 hours before she started throwing up, having diarhea and had a fever. We were very scared that she had another infection and would have to be hospitalized. They did some testing and decided it was probably just a stomach virus. Poor girl cannot catch a break with her health. She has fully recovered and I believe we haven't had throw up for at least 4 days. We do, however, change sheets and clothes multiple times a day due to the antibiotic and skinny legs that don't fill out a diaper very well. We were grateful that Kaya didn't catch it although there was an unfortunate nursery incident at church involving throw up on the nursery leader. She did seem to feel great after that though. Masseh is doing better every day and is now laughing and dancing to music. She is very attached to me, a little too much as she screams when I put her down or Derrick takes her away. She's just trying to figure out her life and wants to know that mom will be there for her. Her leg is still very swollen and she still can't walk although she moves it much more. She wants to get up and go and it is frustrating to her that she can't. We love having Masseh at home and love to watch her and Kaya interact with eachother. It felt like such a long process to get her and yet here she is. We are so grateful. She is so easy to love!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Together at last

Masseh got released from the hospital yesterday. We are so happy to have her home. She is feeling so much better. She can't walk yet and is still in some pain but smiling and happy. Kaya loves having a sister and wants to do everything for her (feeding, diaper changes, carrying her etc.) Masseh isn't so sure how she feels about the help and is sure to let Kaya know that. We can't express how grateful we are for everyone who has helped us in the last few weeks. Thank you so much for the words of encouragement and to those who helped with Kaya and spent time with us in the hospital. It meant so much to have everyone's support and love. We are so excited to get to know our new daughter and be together as a family.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Masseh and Derrick got in on Wednesday afternoon and it was wonderful to see them. However, after looking at Masseh's leg and blisters I decided to take her straight to the children's hospital. Not much of a homecoming. Derrick and Kaya went home and me, Masseh, and my sister-in-law went to the hospital. Masseh has a bone and joint infection in her knee. She had surgery on Thursday night and is still in the hospital. They aren't sure when she will be released. They are having trouble getting the inflammation levels in her blood to go down. They have gone up two days in a row and they are concerned she may have infection somewhere else or the bacteria is resistent to the antibiotics they are giving her. Hopefully we will know more soon. Thanks for all the prayer and encouragement. We are so happy that she is in the U.S. and hopefully will be home soon.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

We are in Amsterdam! Masseh did pretty well- ran a fever and was grabbing her knee but fell asleep again after meds. We will want to have her thoroughly checked out when we get home. Robert is a big help though he's also faking a leg injury to smuggle home an African carved walking stick- he could win an Oscar let me tell you.... We can smell home and cant wait to see everyone, especially Janet and Kaya. LOVE!

Visa In Hand!

Stop holding your breath Janet- the Visa is in my possession and we are set to fly tonight! I'm all packed and Kagabo will meet us later and at 10:20 pm we'll start our journey home. I didn't sleep alot last night as you can imagine so hopefully I dont poop out until we get to SLC. Masseh is sad today-wanting to be held alot- I think she senses something big is about to change. Kaya got like that right before we left her to come to Africa. Well I love Uganda (the people, culture, food, etc.) but I am happy to be headed home to be together with my complete family for the first time ever! We again thank all of you who have loved and supported us through this process. We truly could not have done it without you. I thank God for blessing us with this beautiful little girl to go with the beautiful little girl we already had. I am so excited to show her off- a proud papa I am. See you soon Janet and Kaya girl. Thanks be to our Heavenly Father!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Plane Ticket

Derrick, your email is down but I wanted to let you know a few things for tomorrow. I called the airlines to change Masseh's name which turned out to be a big hassle (what isn't?). They told me that they have a new program where I can actually pay over the phone and not be issued a paper ticket like I had been told this morning. So, she is paid for and should be ready to go. Use the number I put on the email this morning to print off your e-tickets. Double check and make sure that her last name on her passport and visa is Kyomuhendo. The NWA person said it can really cause problems if they don't match. I also have your ticket number so I will try to email that to you. If the email is still down in the morning call me. Also please please let me know as soon as you have your visa so I know that indeed you really got it. You can email or call even if it's the middle of the night. We can't wait to see the two of you. Love you so much.

Its a MIracle!

I testify in the name of Jesus Christ that we have a God of miracles! He has worked a mighty miracle for our family and I will forever praise His name! I thank everyone who has fasted and prayed for us through this process and God has heard the prayers of the righteous and granted that we will bring Masseh home! We will receive the Visa Tuesday morning and fly home Tuesday night. My heart is full. Flying on the same flight is my great friend from Uganda who lives in Salt Lake- Robert Kagabo! He was in Ghana for a program and came through Uganda to say hello to his family and now by the hand of the Lord will be a much-needed help with getting Masseh (and me) home. Masseh is doing good though the knee still swollen but is happy and eating like a horse. No fever and no sign of infection. She is by the way stubborn and funny just like her sister Kaya. She lip-syncs to music on the radio and loves to tool around in her stroller just seeing the sights. How we look forward to seeing all of you soon- especially Janet and Kaya. We cant describe how thankful we are to all who have loved us through this process and been our strength. God truly does know and love each one of us- His children!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Kaya and I wanted to wish you a Happy Father's Day today. I have always been amazed at what a wonderful father you are but certainly not surprised. After all, didn't I say I wanted you to be the father of my children not long after meeting you :) Turns out I was right. Thank you for the incredible sacrifice you are making for our family. We can't wait to have you home. Kaya needs a wagon ride with her sister.
Kaya says, "M-E-S-P, Masseh love, kikik, fishing pole, fish, kaya, missing him, and mommy, daddy and Masseh.
LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

special fast

I just wanted to let all of our friends and family know that we are having a special fast on Sunday for Derrick to be able to bring Masseh home. We are praying that the judge will allow the issuing of the visa and they will be able to leave Uganda Tues. night. We are also fasting for Masseh's health. Thanks to everyone for their love and support!!!

Be strong....

Heavenly father is merciful and I know He hasn't forgotten us but today I felt as alone as I've ever felt in my life. I need to keep faith alive and not forget that God is watching over our family. Janet and Kaya I love you and Masseh and I are dying to come home but we cant yet. Nathan spoke with the judge today and the judge claimed he needed more clarification from colleagues etc. on guardianship/adoption law and intent to adopt in the USA before he could satisfy Nathans questions as to whether we'll get an IR-4 (immediate relative visa). The judge will confer with other judges and Nathan will speak with the State Dept. for guidance but until then no visa issued. To get this far in the process only to have this be in question is beyond belief, there has been precedent set with many previous cases and why we are the ones to experience this I do not know. Satan is working hard to prevent good things from happening but God will overcome all who oppose His work, no unhallowed hand will stop the work from going forward. I dont know how this will get resolved but I know it will- this beautiful little girl is supposed to be in our family. Lets hope for some results on Monday when our lawyers speak with the judge (the judges are in their offices this coming week-just not taking any new cases). Masseh is feeling okay- leg still swollen but I dont think we need to take her to a different Dr. because they are already treating her for the different things that could be going on. Pray for her to get healthy and pray for me to be strong- I dont feel strong but I will fight for my child believe me! Thank all of you for your love and support- please let Janet and Kaya lean on you for awhile longer. Please also keep Kenneths family in your prayers- they lost a son four hours after he was born and need our love. God bless and keep us all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

So close....

Well we met with Nathan at the embassy and he reviewed everything and it is in order. He signed off on everything and I swore an oath on our applications and the only thing left is to pay the money right? Wrong.... He was not able to reach the judge as of yet and until he does he wont issue the Visa. He says as long as he speaks with the judge by tomorrow he will issue it even on a Friday- keep in mind they only work half days on Friday at the embassy. My hair may be completely gray by the time we return- but we shall return! I really hope and pray we get it Friday and travel no later than Sunday. Masseh needs her Mama and so do I. Thanks to all for your love and prayers- it is a real force for good believe me. Masseh is feeling happy despite the blisters so we'll keep an eye on them but its good to hear her laughing so much. Tell Kaya KAKAKKAKAKKA. Love Love...............................................!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Some light at the end of the tunnel?

Well we hustled around today and got everything for our noon appt. at the embassy. I did have to ride a motorcycle taxi (boda-boda) because of a traffic jam in town. If I were a cat I would have used up several of my nine lives during a 15 minute span. We found the consular in a much better frame of mind for helping us today and we turned in everything we had and he should get the stuff from Nairobi tomorrow and also speak with the judge asap and he actually said that if we can make a few corrections to our paperwork and all goes well that he will consider granting the Visa on Thurs. am when we go in! How I pray that is the case because I'm not leaving Masseh behind and my Malaria meds run out on Saturday:) Janet if you could find out which days this week flights out are available and we'll be ready in case.... Masseh is happy and eating great etc. but doesnt want to stand on the leg- they are reviewing the X-rays with me later today and she is on the medications and seems okay. Her diaper rash is really dried up and so is mine for that matter. Basketball at the University is still my stress reliever and the McKenzies employees are awesome people- Jimmy, Joyce, Kenneth, and Doreen have helped me and Masseh more than I can ever repay-as have McKenzies family. I've eaten posho every day and loved every bite. Please continue to pray for a successful and speedy Visa and safe return home with our sweet girl. Love to Janet, Kaya, and the gang!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Heroes Day

Masseh went to Wentz clinic again today because her leg still cant support her weight and is inflamed. They prescribed an antibiotic in case of secondary infection, vitamin B, and Ibuprofen like syrup which is for pain and inflammation, and a topical ointment for the right knee area which is bugging her. They then sent us to Nsambya hospital to have X-rays. You may have heard the saying before"Dont nobody want to go to jail in Mexico" well let me add to that "Dont nobody want to go to the hospital in Uganda". Waited in line for over an hour just to pay for the X-rays (prepay is a must here to get any kind of treatment) then found that the technician had gone to lunch. Another hour goes by and she shows up and rudely rushes us through X-ray only to tell us the Radiologist is in only on Wednesdays. It doesnt appear that there is anything major wrong but we'll know more on Wed. I guess. She is eating/drinking fine and pooing nice solid dookies so only the slight fever to contend with unless we hear more. She is laughing and playing more and the diaper rashy stuff seems to be drying right out with the Desitin so keep her in your prayers and she'll be fine. We also plan to eat lots of pineapple and maybe some garlic-strong anti-inflammatories.... If she does need to take real Ibuprofen how much can she take per Sherri the family pharmacist?

Here we are- another public holiday in Uganda in which no work on the Visa can be accomplished. But anyway it is called Hero's Day and I would like to use this time to recognize a few of mine. I know you are all thinking Bob Marley, Chris Mullin, maybe Randall Cunningham or even Dominique Wilkins. All heroic figures in their fields sure- but I think I have higher expectations for my heroes then windmill dunks over 7 footers. My Dad is my hero for all the right reasons and I want to be that kind of father to my kids too. He was orphaned at a very young age and I think part of why we are so passionate about finding Masseh and bringing her home is because my Dad was taken in and loved and given opportunities for a better life and has repaid that by raising 6 good kids(yes even you Shane). My wife Janet is my hero- she saved me from myself and has helped me understand what love is. I shudder to think what my life would be without her and know that the Lord helped me to find her(and to say "Yes" when she proposed:) She is my sweetheart and partner in all things and I credit her for having the courage to adopt from Africa and to open our home and hearts to Masseh completely just as we did when Kaya was born biologically. My last Hero today is our Savior Jesus Christ and what I cant express for Him I can at least feel in my heart. He is everything to me and gives me strength to do things I never thought possible. He is my joy and my comfort and my peace and I will try to remember Him not only in times of need but always. I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and He loves me too. Those are my heroes and I hope each of you have some just like them in your lives!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Frustration Galore

Well we finally got our passport on Thurs. and went in Fri. am to apply for Visa. Apparently the I600A document to start the whole process which should have been sent to the Kampala embassy in March went to Nairobi instead. That will cost us a day- actually 2 because Mon. is Heroes Day in Uganda(how many public holidays can there possibly be)? Anyway that together with some changes to the court documents and then we can start- yes start the Visa process. We have been told it will take up to a week because the embassy is understaffed. This is where calling congressman, senators, the governor(a very pro adoption man) comes into play. Its unnacceptable that Americans in Uganda have only 2 employees to oversee all activities by the 1700 Americans in country at any given time. We need any help we can get to get a quick and favorable Visa outcome. My ticket is set for a June 17 return, I honestly never thought I would be pushing it but Sheesh! Please anyone that can help Janet she has a big burden and stress on her and we could use all hands on deck- especially prayers! Masseh is doing pretty good- she injured her leg the other day and cant put weight on it and ran a fever last night-I think it got twisted getting helped out of her highchair or something. Today no fever and I'm hoping to find something like Ibuprofen for her asap. She also had a diaper rash/blisters in her diaper area which some Desitin has helped much-as well as changing her diaper more than twice a day- I think because pampers are expensive here Joyce is hesitant to use very many. I went to Jinja today and it was fun and a necessary change of scenery for a day. Please continue thinking of us and praying for us= it helps I promise! Love to Janet and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KAYA!!!!! I usually mow her name in the back lawn on her special day so that will have to wait- please give her a huge hug and kiss and tell her Daddy and Masseh will celebrate with her when we get home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Uganda Martyrs Day

Today is Uganda Martyrs Day- it celebrates 21 Christians who were killed by Muslims for their beliefs back when Christianity was first introduced in East Africa. There is a beautiful shrine to them and it is a public holiday here. We visited the Bakka village today where the school is and had a wonderful time there- the kids performed for us several songs with excellent drumming by three young men as well. We danced and sang and played a bit of soccer, I got some great pictures of the festivities. We also dropped off the boxes of books and school supplies and boy do they need the stuff. The library was nonexistent previously because books are so expensive here but think how important having books to read is in stimulating young minds to learn and grow. It truly is a blessing - Big Ups and Thanks to everyone who donated books, supplies, money, etc. the school will never be the same! Masseh is doing great, eating well and perking up alot, she was so listless through her illness and treatment that it really scared me. So many young ones here just dont get the proper treatment and just get weaker and weaker until they have nothing left to fight. It is very humbling that the Lord has given us the responsibility to care for our little children- nothing could be worse than seeing your child suffer but nothing brings you closer to the feelings that God Himself must have felt allowing His Son to Atone for our sins and ultimately to give His life to save us all. Spending time in Masseh's home village I cant help but look at every kid her age and pray their lives are preserved through the poverty and disease rampant there and that someone is always there to love and care for them. May our Heavenly Father help us to be better fathers and mothers and treasure the children He has given us....

Monday, June 2, 2008

One thing after the other

I thought perhaps Derrick would post but there are some days that you are just happy to have over and today was one of them so I will fill you in. Derrick called me at midnight last night to say he was at the embassy and their was an immigration form that would require my original signature. hmm would have been nice to have known this while we were over there. The ridiculous thing is that I actually left the form with him and just needed to have signed a blank one and left it for him to fill out. Oh well, so it is currently being fedexed to him and should be there Friday. Also, the embassy let us know that the wording on the written ruling is not sufficient because it has to specifically state that we are gaining guardianship for the purpose of adopting in the U.S. We actually thought it did say this so that was a bit of a surprise. Now they have to have the judge sign a new ruling that includes that. We are really praying that that will not cause difficulties because you never know what will happen with the judges or how long it may take. And, to top it all off, we did not get the passport today. Also, tomorrow is a holiday so nothing will be done. On a more positive note, Masseh is doing much better and is eating and even laughing a little. I can't wait to have them home!!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saturday Night Live

Well Masseh had to go back to the clinic real briefly tonight- she instantly broke out in tears when she saw the Dr. so did I for that matter. She has a white film growing in her mouth and down her throat making it painful to swallow- probably contributing to her gagging/vomiting recently. The Dr. said it was a fungus and gave us a syrup- shes been on so many antibiotics recently- would she have a yeast infection or thrush(those are funguses right?) Would we want to get some good bacteria back in her system-yogurt type stuff? She should be fine but seriously that clinic has scarred me for life- let alone poor Masseh! Uganda Cranes national soccer team is playing Niger today- we are up 1-0 with a few minutes to go- gotta run.... Pray for good results on the passport and for Masseh to feel better. Love to all, especially my girls!

Awesome Night for Masseh

Masseh had an awesome night! No fever, vomiting, and her poopy diaper was more solid than runny. She ate a good breakfast this am and is feeling noticeably better. Janet we are already on bottle # 2 of the iron supplement and we are done with antibiotics and just taking a zinc supplement as well once daily. The embassy Dr. said Masseh was a sad and malnourished creature, and everyone who saw her before says she dropped alot of weight from being sick- so she should pick it back up again with time and good diet. Have you started checking on Insurance stuff and Adoption stuff? We were really hoping to get the passport Monday and Visa Wed. am and fly Wed. night so yes it will require a miracle! Even if we paid extra we cant change my ticket to anything but Wed. or Sun. huh? The Visa office is closed on Tues as well. Hmmmm. God will provide, lets pray for the best scenario for all involved and leave it up to Him. We have been diligent, now lets have faith and be patient. Please tell Kaya Daddy loves her soooo much and Masseh wants to ride in the wagon with her. I love you sweetheart- we are OK and will be home asap! And yes you will owe me for the rest of your life!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Keep On

We've just got to keep on keepin' on. As of today everything is in and applied for on the passport- we've expedited it and they have said they will do their best to have it Monday but no promises. Unfortunately Tuesday is a public holiday and no work will get done that day- patience is a virtue that is being forced upon me right now so I hope to learn something here. Following completion of the passport we must get Masseh a Visa from the US Embassy- hopefully a one day deal. I can then change my ticket and we can fly home! I love Uganda but having a sick child has taken alot of the fun out of it. Masseh is doing much better though, she still fights you on eating most things but will eat a few local foods with enthusiasm and is hydrating pretty well. She is keeping down her medicines and only vomited when I overfed her this morning trying to make up for a week of weakness with one big meal like an idiot. I've also never been so excited to see poop as I was this evening when it came out pretty solid rather than wet and runny(hopefully no one reads this blog while taking their breakfast) and I hope her system is working itself out finally. She walked a ton tonight and is getting stronger and more stamina. How I love that sweetheart and I know she cant wait to settle down with Mom and Kaya and feel secure and have a family who loves her. I love and miss Kaya and Janet and all of you so much- keep praying for us and especially Massehs health and a safe return!
Kye Kyo!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Its Official!

Its official! This afternoon we became legal guardians of Masseh! The written ruling was slow to be completed but it was heaven sent for our family. I told Masseh and she nuzzled her head into my neck so sweetly(I think she was wiping her nose on me actually:). She really wants to see Mommy again and meet Kaya, but a couple of things to finish first. The passport will be applied for tomorrow morning and we hope and pray it will be expedited and quick. The Visa is then a 1 day thing I'm told so we may be home for Davids reception. Masseh had a fever again late last night and we were at the clinic AGAIN for a quick injection which worked quickly and she spent the night with me. We were up at 6:00 am for our final US Embassy approved medical check (we decided to forego the immunizations for now) and we are both exhausted but happy with the written ruling news. She ran a low fever around noon as well but responded to the fever reducer syrup and had a good nap. She has been eating a little here and there and gaining some energy back- though she begrudges exercising around the compound with me its good for her. We need her to get strong for the trip home and arm-wrestling with Uncle Hoss. Thanks for all the prayers- dont let up now! Love to Janet and Kaya! The Lord is holding us in His hands, all will be well!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Getting Stronger

Well Masseh had a good nights sleep- no throwing up and only one little diarrhea diaper before bed. She is keeping her medicines down and also hydrating well and eating some easy to digest foods. Her appetite is slowly coming back and her spunk should follow. Shes giving me the stink eye quite a bit because I was the one forcing her to eat and drink in the hospital and holding her tight while they inserted IV needles and in general torturing her for her own good, she remembers Dad as a big bully. I did get one little half smile out of her so she is feeling a little better for sure. We have her first of two Dr. appointments with the embassy this afternoon-still no word on the written ruling so we can roll on passports. Will keep posted. Patty I gave Dennis all your contact info per your request-good luck with that:) Hugs and Kisses to Janet and Kaya!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Derrick, so good to finally hear from you. This has been a stressful few days. Luckily the Mckenzie's have been keeping me informed. I'm so glad that Masseh is feeling better. I can't believe how hard it has been for both her and you. Yesterday Kaya looked at the picture on the fridge of Jesus holding an African child and said, "look mom, Masseh, Jesus is holding Masseh". How true that it is. Thanks for all you are doing for our family. How I love you and can't wait to have the two of home.

Pearl of Africa

The Pearl of Africa is a Pearl of Great Price it seems. There have been much blood, sweat and tears shed and it aint over yet. Masseh had a horrible night Sat, threw up all over both of us and had 5-6 diarrhea diapers several of which leaked out onto the bed and required showers. She was back at Wentz Clinic Sun. and I stayed with her and she slept at JOyces that night where she also had diarrhea and vomiting. So they admitted her on Monday and she just got released a few minutes ago, its late Tues night! She has no more fever her diarrhea and vomiting seem to have subsided and she has tons of fluids in her and 3 different types of antibiotic seem to have wiped out the bacterial infection in her stomach. She is weak/anemic but a sweet lady from my guest-house staff has been helping me forcefeed her and get her up and walking otherwise she just wants to lay down. We will pump some iron into her as well as lots of oral rehydration salts and she should rally. The blood I mentioned before was for Masseh(imagine how many needles she has been poked with in the last week-its not easy to find a vein on those skinny little wrists), the sweat is for all of us fool enough to be living under the equatorial sun, and the tears are mine as I pled with the Lord to preserve my daughters life. She just doesnt have the reserves to be this sick for very long- kids in Africa die every day from the after effects of malaria. The treatment is essentially a poison that kills the parasite but leaves the bodys immune system weakened and if they get sick shortly after they dont have the ability to fight it. Plus it is about a months salary to have a child treated for malaria so most get a partial or no treatment at all- meaning the parasite stays in their body and just attacks over and over. God bless these little ones! We made a lot of friends in the clinic everyone is very supportive and offers prayers on your behalf. We thank all of you for your continued prayers to get and keep Masseh healthy and complete this process and get her safely home. Court was predictable in its unpredictability- we showed up at 9:00 and at 10:30 were told we had waited in the wrong area and had missed our queue -they told us to come back at 2:30 Hmmmm. We did and were told he had not reviewed our case yet but that Tues he would-he also said that David and I didnt need to come back the next day. Our lawyers interpreted this to mean that we basically had our ruling and they hoped he would sign the written on Tues.-not sure if this happened. If so we shall proceed with passports Wed am! Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. Much love to Kaya and Janet we cant wait to have our complete family together! Musula Burungi!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Great News!

Derrick went to court this morning and the judge granted us guardianship of Masseh! The written ruling should be ready tomorrow and then they will proceed with the passport and visa. Unfortunately, Masseh is still very sick. Her fever is doing better but she is still vomiting and having diarrhea and refusing to eat or drink. She will be in the hospital overnight tonight. Hopefully she will show some improvement tomorrow. I will keep everyone posted.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I haven't heard from Derrick but the McKenzie's emailed to let me know what is going on. Masseh is back in the hospital. She was up all last night with vomiting and diarrhea. She does have an infection and will be on an IV for hydration and antibiotics for the next two days. The hospital isn't much fun so hopefully Derrick is doing okay. We should get our court ruling in the morning so hopefully that goes well. Pray that Masseh will get better and Derrick will get some rest.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hey Derrick, just wanted to let you know that Patty and I made it home safely. It was a long flight but not as long as it will be with a 1 year old :) Kaya was sure excited to have me home but is a little edgy. That's our girl. How is Masseh doing? Were you able to get her to the clinic? Is she on an antibiotic? How is your new hotel room? I'm really wanting to know so write back soon if you have a chance. I hope you are safe and doing well. Love you lots!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008


So Derrick and Masseh are on their own now- Janet and Patty left at 7:00 last night and are probably departing Amsterdam anytime now for the states. Thats where the YIKES comes in- Derrick can barely take care of himself on most days- but he will rise to the occasion. Masseh had a rough night, even though the malaria parasite is gone she is still running a pretty constant fever and Daddy spent the night lying cool wet cloths on her head and torso while the AC cooled them off. She was so tired it didnt even bother her- and she is pretty strong minded so if something bugs her she will let you know right away(alot like Kaya). The oral fever reducer didnt seem to help at all but the wet cloths brought her temp down to a safe place and she actually got a good amount of sleep- Dad not so much. This morning the fever is still there so even though its possible its just a malaria after-effect we'll probably go to the clinic and get some antibiotics in case the fever is due to infection, etc. I would LOVE to see my little girl healthy and happy and at her best again. The guest house we will be moving to later today is walking distance from the McKenzies and near the clinic as well. Not quite as classy as the Speke Resort but nowhere near as bad as places I lived when I was in Uganda the last time around. Anyway we are safe and trying to get healthy. Please continue to pray for us to get through the rest of the guardianship process with speed and positive results. Love to all!
DJ Fraz

Thursday, May 22, 2008


We were up at 4:00 this morning so I will make this short. The safari was just okay so nothing to be jealous of. The best part of the trip was seeing hippos and a couple of crocodiles. For some reason our driver said there were a lot less animals out than usual. Good news with Masseh, her malaria is gone. She did, however, run a fever this afternoon at the Mckenzie's so we may have to have her checked to see if she has an infection of some sort. Poor girl. I can't believe I leave tomorrow night. I'm so excited to see everyone especially Kaya!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


So, we were hoping that Masseh could be released from the hospital this morning after 3 rounds of treatment but her malaria levels were so high yesterday that she is requiring 3 more rounds. So another day in the hospital. She actually did a little better today but we left her with the house lady tonight screaming hysterically. I think her IV is extremely painful and she cries so hard when they hook the medicine up. I really really hate it. They are using an adult IV needle because they don't have pediatric. Pray that none of us get any communicable diseases. It is pretty bad there although I'm told it is actually really nice comparatively. I keep forgetting to tell you guys that she weighs about 18 lbs. So she is really really small. She is also really anemic so they have started her on iron. Derrick wants me to write that he played pick-up basketball at Kampala Univ. and his team never lost. Also, Uganda is unbelievably beautiful. So green with lots of trees, red soil, and flowers. With the exception of the malaria, it has been great. We leave for the safari at 5:00 in the morning so time to go to bed. Hope the crocs and hippos don't eat us :) Don't worry mom, it's perfectly safe.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

thanks everyone

Thanks for all the comments and the update on Kaya. I'm so glad she is doing so well. Thanks to Derrick's parents for watching her and everyone else who helped. I am more than a little surprised that she is sleeping so well for you Sabrina. You really must have the magic touch or she is afraid she won't get to stay and play if she doesn't do what you say :) Mom, we use the Gentle Naturals baby eczema cream cream. Should be upstairs in the bathroom or by her hair stuff. I also put a dab of cortisone cream on any red or very dry spots. She hates it for some reason so if she gets upset don't worry she always does. Also, if you are at a loss of things to do, you are welcome to buy some flowers and plant them out back :) Just if you're bored that is. We are getting ready to get breakfast and go to the hospital now. Thank heavens the house lady could stay with her last night. She's the same lady who watched her for the week she was at the Mckenzie's so Masseh knows her. Hope everyone has a great day!!
I have a new found appreciation for Western medicine. I also have a new found appreciation for parents of sick children. So Masseh's fever is not just a little virus. She has a bad case of malaria. Her blood count was very high and they immediately admitted her to the clinic. It is possible that she never fully recovered from her last bout a month ago. So today was spent holding Masseh for hours while she screamed at the hospital. They couldn't get a vein for the IV so they just kept trying and sticking her which unfortunately led to blood going all over me and the floor. No wonder she was traumatized and screamed the rest of the time and kept trying to get off the bed. She will have to stay until tomorrow but hopefully will be feeling better soon. The Mckenzie's houselady gets the overnight shift and we will go back in the morning. It's was a stressful day but hopefully she will completely recover this time. We will bring back malaria medication for her just in case. On a positive note, we found a safari that is only about 3 hours away so we are going to do that on Thurs. Should be lots of fun. How is everyone at home doing? How is Kaya? Is mom staying with her in Riverton and or in Jerome? Thanks for all the comments. I feel that some of you are slacking off and could really take 5 minutes to respond :)
Please pray for Masseh, she is really sick.

Monday, May 19, 2008


So this is how the day went: Masseh woke up with a bad fever and felt very yucky and wouldn't eat or drink anything. We got ready and the Mckenzie's picked us up. Court was to be at 9:00 and it took us until about 10:30 or so before we were called in. Masseh was very fussy and spent most of the time crying. She has a hard time being around Esther because it confuses her and she becomes fussy and clingy to her. When we finally went into the judges chambers, Masseh began screaming loudly and the judge actually asked her to be taken out by Esther. The lawyers then read the different points of our case which took approximately 5-10 minutes. Everyone then stood up and we were assured a positive ruling by our lawyers and told we could leave. The judge said he will not issue the ruling until Mon. the 26th at 9:00. The week wait is typical. The lawyers said they will type up the written ruling so it can be signed on the same day. That would be very good because it means we could start the passport and visa next week. Also, Masseh took a great nap with Derrick and is eating and feeling much better tonight. Thank you for the prayers. We were told that the judge usually asks questions and can make it very difficult on the family so we were very blessed. We loved the comments yesterday. Thanks to all those helping with Kaya. I can't wait to see her. Continue Lynette, to let me know how she is doing. We fly in at 4:45 on Sat. We will spend the rest of the week passing out books to the school, maybe some shopping and other touristy activities. Nothing else for the adoption can be done until after the ruling. We love and miss you all so much.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hi Everyone!! I hope this works. The Mckenzie's were nice enough to bring a computer to our room so we could contact you. Turns out that the internet is a bit tempermental and it has taken me an hour to get this far. Anyway, we made it safe and sound. The trip was not too bad but we are very tired. Most importantly though, we met Masseh and she is a beautiful little girl. She has quite the little personality and we love her already. We are keeping her with us starting tonight. She is also not only not big but actually quite small for her age. So much for me worrying about her being heavy she is very light. Should have packed smaller clothes. Her age is a bit of a mystery. Her aunt told us yesterday that her b-day is Nov. 1 st. Hmm not sure where Jan. 14th came from. She is adorable and very sweet. We have our court date tomorrow so pray all goes well. By the way, nothing came of the religion concern. Her aunt is wonderful and she was well cared for. I'll try to write again if I can. Doesn't look like we'll be able to call. How is Kaya doing? Someone please check and let us know in the comment section. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The time has come

We leave in the morning. I can't believe the time has actually come. We fly out at 6:00 in the morning and will be in Uganda Friday night at 8:00. Should be interesting considering I think a 3 hour trip to Jerome is too long. We are hoping everything goes smoothly with Masseh's aunt and uncles. We did just learn there may be a small (or major) religion issue. Seems a bit late to be finding that out but we are praying that it all works together and that Masseh will be our daughter soon. I will hopefully write on Saturday after we meet with the family and the lawyers and should know more then. Please leave messages if you can. Everyone in my family, have fun at the wedding. Wish I could be there!!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Court Date

We finally got our court date. It is for May 19th. We will leave on the 15th and then Patty and I will come back on the 23rd. Derrick will stay in Uganda until everything is finished. We booked our tickets today so now we just have all the last minute packing, planning, etc. to do.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


We decided to create this blog to chronicle our trip to Uganda to adopt our daughter Masseh. We are working with Orphan Children Fund to gain legal guardianship of of her. She is 15 months old and lives in a little village outside of Kampala. Though I'm not usually into the blogging thing, I think it will be a nice way for family to keep track of what is going on while we are gone. We are currently waiting for our court date and should be traveling sometime in May. They are telling us it should only take a couple of weeks in Uganda but from other people's experiences we are anticipating at least 3 or more weeks at best. We will hopefully know in the next day or so when we are leaving.