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!!