Today was boring until about 11:30am when the Byerly's came over to use the internet and walk with us to lunch. There is just simply nothing to do at the apartment and everything we brought for Jaydn to play with she has either broken or isn't interested in. I find that I get bored for her. Being that she wasn't exposed to many toys, she is not as needy for entertainment as the typical American child is. Yet I still think to myself, "can she really be content with that box still even though she has been playing with it for the last 30 minutes?" Apparently so but I feel bad b/c I know there is so much more coming- not toys necessarily but ways to develop some of the missing pieces in her growth process. I will say that b/c she wasn't raised with sensory overload, she has incredible focus. She will watch me do something once and be able to imitate it right away b/c she was concentrating so much. She will take the time to figure things out which I think is so cool to see in a 2 year old. I hope that stays around and she doesn't become the frenzied toddler I most commonly see. Anyway, we ate lunch then shopped in one of our favorite shops called Banana Boat and bought a few more gifts for the family. I lost my breathe for a moment though when I saw the 18% sales tax added to the bill but then I remembered that in perspective to the cost of things in America, it wasn't too bad still. We then walked partly back to the apartment and stopped at a coffee shop where I ordered an iced mocha and got delivered to me what tasted more like a room temperature chocolate milk with Chocolate ice cream floating on top. It was in a huge glass too! We walked home and then went to the pool b/c it was super hot! We have come to realize that we smell Ugandan now. We used to comment on how the people here had such bad B.O. (body odor) but now we do too. With the heat, you pit out, and we walk everywhere so its a combo of the red dirt between our toes and the sweat from our backs and we officially smell like Africans! There's something to be proud of. Since Jaydn doesn't like the pool yet (I'm hopeful she will some day) I brought some buckets and tubs for her to play in/with on the grass nearby while we visited. Rachel and I opted for the $8.40 hour massages on the premises so we disappeared while they guys played with the girls. I learned however that African massage includes what felt like a full on breast exam which caught me off guard but I tried to just play it off as if it were completely normal while we carried on our conversation. I think she bought it! They also do these weird things like fist punch the bottom of your heal and suction their hands to your belly button and then pull away to create a popping sound. Not sure what that was all about. I came out an hour or so later greasy from all the oil but thankful for that time and conversation with my masseuse, Anita (more on her later). The Byerly's joined us at our place for dinner (leftovers) and a movie (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs). Joyce and Jaydn (the girls we are adopting) were totally disinterested in the movie but the American girls (Paige and Jailyn) were in the zone. I put Jaydn to bed after she ate and she crashed quickly since she had no nap today and then came back to the living room and colored with Joyce. After the Byerlys left for bedtime, Nathan and I shared our evening tea :). Then we skyped shortly with MamaJ and Jo before they picked up Jax from school and afteward I talked to my mom again for an hour. Man I love (and miss) her.
Tomorrow we are scheduled to have a meeting with the head of Action For Children, the Ugandan organization that HOLT (our adoption agency) is partnered with and we aren't really sure why. We just know that Lydia, the AFC head, asked to meet us and apparently she has not met any of the other adopting families so this meeting could mean a whole bunch of things. Then we plan to go to the Watoto village we built in back in 2006 to see the homes and hopefully meet the families living in them. If we are lucky, we will get to see the family of 8 beautiful girls we shared a meal with while we were here last time too! Maybe they still have the bright yellow Lightforce shirts we brought them back in 2006? That would be funny to see. Lastly we have dinner plans with another woman in country adopting from the UK that we randomly met in the mall a few days ago. The girl she is adopting recognized Jaydn so we stopped to talk and I learned she had been a volunteer at the orphanage off and on since 2005 and had many memories and even some pictures of Jaydn over the years when she would be visiting there! So excited to learn as much as I can about J's past from this woman. Along the same lines, I read the police report that was filed when Jaydn was found and I learned more about the circumstances of her being brought to the orphanage. The story goes that her biological mom ate at a food kiosk in a taxi park in Kampala and when she finished she asked the food worker to watch her baby while she took a call and went to the bathroom. The kiosk owner agreed and the woman never returned. The kiosk owner took Jaydn home for the night and then kept her at the food kiosk the next day in case the woman returned to find her but she never did so the worker turned Jaydn over to the police. The woman left her with a few diapers, a bottle, 1 extra dress, and a few crib sheets in a bag. I can only imagine the sense of wonder this will stir up in my little girl's heart someday. But today I thanked God for that woman putting her into safe hands and for the compassion of the food service worker taking care of her for the night and next day before finding her a place to stay permanently. I will forever be grateful to these two women for the role they played in bringing her home to us. This only makes the promise of Jeremiah 29:11, painted on the plaque over Jaydn's bed at home even sweeter. "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." I'm so honored to be a part of God's plan for this precious girls life.