Friday, May 23, 2014

Legal guardianship

After a two hour court session this morning, the judge of the family court gave her verbal approval for us to be legal guardians of Janet and Lemu. The lawyer said to the judge, "My lord, I pray you'll grant this application," to which the judge answered, "I grant it straight away!" Though we won't get the official documents for another couple of weeks, this statement means we can take the girls home to the US to see our family and friends. And that makes us (and the girls) very happy.

We can't thank enough those who've been praying for us and for this day. We've really felt God's peace leading up to this moment. Yesterday we met with the lawyers and relatives (Alice, the girl's mother, their aunt, and four Ik uncles), and that went better than expected. The relatives seemed calm and confident, much more so than last year. They seemed to be enjoying themselves in Kampala and happy with the travel and accommodations they were provided with. (They are eager to get home, though, and plan to get on the overnight bus to Karamoja tonight.)

Then this morning, after a bit of a long wait, we were called in to see the judge. She interviewed all of us: Alice, Zachary, Lojore, Hillary, Terrill, Amber...she even talked to Janet and Lemu. When she asked Alice if she was happy with the arrangement, Alice said she was happy when we brought the girls to see her. So as hard as that can be, I think we will continue to do that as long as we can. The uncles all answered favorably; it seemed to be a big plus that they all mentioned that we had been personal friends of Lochiyo Gabriel (the girls' deceased father). The judge was impressed with the girls' English skills, as well as my knowledge of Ik (so she said!). She asked me to translate the sentence "God is my Savior" into Ik and write it down for her. So I wrote Mita Nyakuj'a Yeetesiama nci on a sheet of paper and handed it to her. She had me read it and then asked one of the Ik men what I was saying! Zachary said, "God...uh...is my...savior." Phew! This was important because it demonstrated our commitment to the Ik people, their language and culture, and the passing on of that culture to Janet and Lemu. Another thing that was key was the fact that we've lived here for years and plan to keep living here for more years. As the judge said, we're practically "Ugandan, at least by association."

Before we knew it, she smiled and indicated several times that she had already made up her mind to grant us legal guardianship then and there, even though normally the ruling comes much later. So we all thanked her, walked out, and began to marvel at God's favor. And for that, we want to thank all of you who have been praying for us. It really couldn't have gone any better. We also thank our friend Grace Halland for being there with us this morning and offering her moral support. We're reminded how we are all pawns in the great game God is playing to win the world for himself. God has positioned Amber and me for the sake of these two Ik girls, and we pray they will make themselves available to Him throughout their lives. This court date wasn't about me and Amber, more so about Janet & Lemu...but ultimately it was for the glory of God as he builds his kingdom one soul at a time. What a privilege it is to be a part of that incredible process. Praise God with us!

12 comments:

ChadandRachel said...

I'm so happy to see this, so excited for you and the children, so relieved and thankful to God for what He's doing.

Notinthewild said...

Thank God! Thank God!

Teatree said...

Wonderful step! And a very meaningful reflection ...

Lynn Hyman said...

I am SO praising God with you for this!!! LOVE the blog; love praying for you, the girls, the Ik. Lynn Hyman

Anonymous said...

PRAISE GOD!! What exciting news!! :) - Kate

Anonymous said...

Terry, I'm sure praising God for what he has just done for you, Amber, Janet and Lemu!!!!! "THANK YOU, OUR PRECIOUS LORD, FOR ALL YOU'VE JUST DONE FOR THIS, OUR PRECIOUS FAMILY!!!!! Grandma S.

Richard and Sally Hoffman said...

Mita Nyakuj’a Yeetesiama njini … iturutano nda ilakasano easik☺☺☺☺ “God is our Savior – let us rejoice and be glad indeed”!!!! PRAISE THE GOD Who adopted Terrill and Amber as His children; so that they might in turn adopt Janet and Lemu as their children; so that He then might adopt them as His children; that one day all the Ik might know how He would adopt them through His only begotten Son, and He be thus glorified as the God of the Ik. How we praise Him that our own prayers and those of many others were so wonderfully answered yesterday, not just for the four of you but ultimately, for the spread of His Kingdom among every Ik adopted as His Own child.

Pastor O said...

Sunrise Community was praying for this result! Grateful to join with you in thanksgiving!

The Reeds said...

How wonderful! Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

wonderful

Larry said...

OMG! This is the best news! We're overwhelmed by joy. Such a beautiful expression of our heavenly Father weaving His redemptive story into your lives.

rln said...

Praise the Lord, those little ones are yours to keep!!!!
Grandma S.