Monday, October 3, 2016

Passing time in Kampala

Perhaps because we live in a city now, we don't think our lives are interesting enough to blog about anymore! Life is still eventful and meaningful but in a less exotic way than it used to be. We are still living in Kampala, Uganda's capitol, waiting for immigrant visas for the girls.

Visa update: Our petition to make the children our relatives (to US immigration) was approved on August 22nd. This was a big hurdle in the long process to get the actual visa stamp in the girls' passports. Our paperwork was then sent from Nebraska to New Hampshire, where they are currently processing it at the National Visa Center. From New Hampshire (if all goes well without any glitches), we'll be assigned to a consular office and given an interview date. If we are approved at the interview, we'll get our actual visa stamps within a few days and be able to fly home. We are so eager and ready for that to happen. You can pray that we'll remain content and at peace as we live in Kampala for the time being. Everybody wants to know if we have a timeline as to when we'll actually get home. We don't. Our best guess is that we'll be able to come before the end of the year. By then, we'll have spent nearly four years in Uganda without being able to return home with our kids. 

In the meantime, we've moved houses in Kampala. The first house we moved to last spring was a huge blessing for many months. We decided to move on mostly due to a mold problem that was affecting our health. The house we moved into a few weeks ago is blessedly free of mold. We're SO thankful for friends who are letting us stay in their place while they're on furlough having a baby. 
Our first Kampala home

Our current Kampala home

Right after we made the move, Grandma Schrock (Velma) came to visit. It was a good time for her to come as we needed the encouragement and time with family. We had fun and relaxed days together. The girls enjoyed having an extra person around to chat with, and getting a little more attention than usual. I enjoyed having help with homeschool. Grandmas everywhere make such a difference in the lives of parents!! Thank you for taking the time to love us and invest in our lives, Grandma!
Homeschool on the porch

Grandma was a LOT of fun to have around. 

Boat ride on Lake Victoria

Still leaning on each other after a difficult year

A sunset cruise
Now what? The girls and I are tackling first grade (and each other sometimes). We decided to homeschool for another full year in order to avoid disruption in the middle of the school year and eventually help ease the girls into American life more gently. It's not been an easy task, and ya'll can pray for me (Amber) as I need an extra measure of patience and a little more understanding on how to approach teaching. 

Terrill has been studying classical Greek and a bit of ancient philosophy to prepare to enter his degree program at FSU in the spring. The department there graciously offered to admit him in the spring instead of this past August, and that relieved the huge time pressure we felt. He'll also get the Ik dictionary manuscript back from the editors in a few weeks and will be able to do final editing on it before it gets printed. The AIM (African Inland Mission) team who will be living in Timu arrives this week! We hope to get the dictionaries printed and into their hands in the next few months. 

A big part of our week in this season is an adoptive parenting class we've been attending at some friends' house. It's called Empowered To Connect and is nine weeks long. We have homework assignments, have been reading excellent books, and meet every week for two hours with other adoptive parents. I don't exaggerate when I say that it's changed our lives and our parenting in a few short weeks. The basic principle of the class is that adopted kids (who've experienced past trauma) need to be parented differently than biological kids. There are special issues. Even kids adopted from birth may have been under stress in utero, resulting in special needs. Many adopted kids live with a feeling of loss, with fears, with insecurities and attachment issues. It requires understanding from the parents as they raise these kids, and a commitment to help them heal. We've been taught to connect, then correct. It's not rocket science, but it is life-altering for us. Would you pray with us as God molds us into the parents we need to be for our daughters? We love them, and they are so worth it!

Otherwise, Kampala is beautiful this time of year. The weather is cool and breezy with occasional rain-showers. We're trying to exercise, eat healthy, get rest, and generally recover from the health effects of eight years of chronic stress--it's no joke! You'll hear more from us as we hear more from US immigration. Thanks for keeping up with us!


The Reeds said...

Love you guys and always love updates. Praying for rest and recovery.

Rich and Sally Hoffman said...

Dear Terrill and Amber, Mercy, and Immaculate,
THANK YOU for this update which simultaneously lifts and quiets our hearts. It reminds us, as we continue to pray, that our LORD who began His miracle, not just on August 22, 2016, but from the very day He first placed these precious girls into your hands several years ago, will carry it onto completion -- through these last steps of the race – until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil. 1:6). In the meantime, we rejoice that He is meeting your needs so well during these final steps by giving you this beautiful house to stay in; giving Terrill the graciousness of a department at FSU willing to begin his degree program this coming spring; some extra time to “completely complete” the Ik dictionary; the Adoptive Parenting Class; and best of all, the fantastic visits of loving relatives like Grandma Schrock to help with all those things only Grammas, Papas and all the rest of a great big wonderful family like your own can do to help make a move home by Christmas so much calmer and peaceful than it would have been if this blind, blundering writer (Rich) had tried to tell God that it had to be in August☺☺☺☺!!
All our love, Rich☺Sally

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that you are getting some much needed rest. Praying that all the paperwork needed comes through.


Eric and Theresa Camil