Of course, when we have to actually be up and ready by certain time, Jaydn decides she wants to sleep in. Last night we received a call from Natasha informing us of a place called ARA (American Recreation Association) that she was told to try out sometime. So we decided...today was the day! The taxi picked us up at 9:45am and we drove to a random opening in a wall with a security guard out front, a small sign indicating it as ARA. We walked in and I did the talking (being the American and all). We learned it was a club you have to be or know a member of to be able to enjoy. We convinced the woman to let us in but had to leave our passports with her which made us nervous. We wandered in and passed through a cafe area to a table where we were asked to pay $5 per person to use the facilities. We found our way to the pool and we could see tennis courts, a playground, a workout gym area, and a lot of outdoor seating in cabana/tiki type structures. I felt like I had to explain to Natasha (from the UK) that this felt like a resort even to us Americans compared to our usual Uganda scene. Here they had a kids pool and FINALLY Jaydn trusted us enough to get in. She loved splashing around and being wet. The water was freezing but she and Deborah didn't care. It was us Mzungus that shivered and complained. B/c Nathan doesn't really "do" water (it has to be a certain temp, clear enough to see the bottom etc) I floated around with Jaydn for the time we were there. We took a break for lunch in one of the cabanas and it was delicious. Its really funny though b/c you can always expect that what you ordered will most likely have something different than what the menu says about it. For example, I get a loaded salad at one place and the description says it has cucumbers, olives, feta, and mango. Well it comes with cucumbers, olives, feta, tomatoes and avocados every time. So when you order, you always hope its close to what you want to eat. The hummus and salsa with pita chips was delish and Nathan ordered a "mud pie" that we devoured as well. YUM! We watched from our perch as the American children at the pool played frisbee and we rested. Then back in the water for some more splashes!
I forgot to mention we were joined today by a family that has been living here for 3 1/2 months from Wales. They were so great to spend time with. They are here working with the orphanage Jaydn came from to better the environment these children are in. I am so grateful for their sacrifice, to uproot their 3 kids and come here to make other children's lives better. In some ways I want to stay and fight with them for what is right and to help them raise the standards of care for children in these orphan institutions. It was inspirational to be with them today. Finally we looked at the clock and it was 4pm so we decided we should probably call a taxi to come and pick us up to head back to the apartment.
We ate dinner, laughed at Nathans farmer tan then caught up with the family on Skype. Poor Jovie is sick and looked pitiful on screen. I asked if I could pray for her and she said yes so we prayed. When I opened my eyes, she looked on the brink of tears and as I said, "I wish I could hold you right now," she said, "Mommy I want to play with you." I almost lost it. I want to play with her too. I miss them so much. Jaxon has a Christmas program coming up this week so that makes 2 major school events that I have missed. It just kills me to think that way and I know in the long run it won't matter but for now it does to me, and I believe, them too. I love all my kids and I still believe the best thing we could have done was to leave them at home but it doesn't feel good to be torn in half like this. We need to go home soon.
I wish I had more news on the adoption front but its the same as yesterdays post so pray that A LOT happens on Monday and steps will be moving us forward from now on. Until then, we will make the most of this. Today I did learn from another mom that adopted that I should not let Jaydn approach other women/men, including the "safe" ones until we have established that we are her parents. She says that is how we teach attachment. So today when Jaydn would go and sit with or hug on other women I would go and get her and explain I was teaching my newly adopted daughter about attachment, then lead her away. Even Deborah helped me with this as towards the end of the day, in the kiddie pool Jaydn would start walking towards the other women in the water saying, "Auntie" and Deborah would lead her away from them and towards me and I would say, "No, not Auntie. Stranger. Stay with Mommy." So although I am use to allowing kids to explore their surroundings, I need to keep a tighter reign on Jaydn until she figures out not all women are to be created equal. So don't be offended if I come to the U.S. and don't pass her off very often. I have to be intentional about teaching her that if she needs help, love, comfort etc that she comes to me or daddy only.
As I teach her about attachment, I learn more deeply the importance of attachment to God. When we need help, love, comfort etc, we don't need to seek advice, a boyfriend or a hug, we need our Daddy. So like Nathan posted as his facebook status the other day, "We are pressing into HIM with all that we have."