I’ve written and erased and written and erased this post, not quite sure how to phrase it. Then, thankfully, Mandie Joy wrote what I wanted to say, but didn’t know how to phrase. And being the good friend that she is, she gave me permission to post her letter here. If you read her blog, then you’ve already read this. If not, then continue reading for changes that will occur on this blog. I haven’t changed anything about her letter, so at the bottom you’ll read my own version of changes.
Our tiniest baby girl’s homecoming marked the end of a season. Out of the many children whose lives touched mine in Uganda, there were five who clearly needed more than we could give them within their home country. Many others simply needed their living conditions improved, a chance to attend school, or basic medical care. Some needed someone to fight for their right to remain with their biological families. Your gifts and prayers allowed us to do that. You faithfully followed and supported us as we brought five of those children, one by one, into our home while they waited for families. This blog mainly told the story of those five children.
My heart is so joyful at seeing those five children happily enfolded into families. Like a missing puzzle piece that you didn’t know was missing until you saw it in place, they fit as if they had never been away from their family. My heart rejoices as I hear news that some of the lives we touched in Uganda are flourishing in schools, that the hearts of fathers and mothers were turned towards their children, that communities are beginning to encourage Ugandans to foster and adopt children in need. The beauty of the past year sometimes overwhelms me. I often sit and marvel that Jesus allowed me to be a small part of what he wanted to do in Uganda in 2011.
But I digress, as of April, each precious child that was once in my home is now a member of another family, either in America or Uganda. Over the past year, in an effort to honor each of you as you’ve walked with us, I’ve posted many details about the children that are no longer appropriate to be public. My role of advocate and story-teller has shifted to simply auntie joy. And as auntie, while I will still see the children a few times each year and may be able to let you peek in on them now and again, the back-story will now be private and I will not have nearly as much contact with them in the future as I have over the last few months of transition. You’ll notice that many posts from the last year have disappeared. Others have had some details changed to protect the children’s privacy in the future. Those posts have become a memory book for each child, where they will serve to give God glory and remind us all of his goodness towards us through this process.
Thank you for stewarding this story with me and understanding now as I choose to honor each of the children and their families by making it private. This year would have been so different without the companionship and community generated by this blog, your encouragement and prayers, your visits and care packages. Thank you for following us and holding us and standing for us. There are exciting things in store that I may be free to share soon, but for now this blog will just be going back to personal stories and things I’m learning and capturing gratitude through photography.
My attempt has always been to focus every circumstance and event, whether good or bad, back to God and His glory. My hope is to remind myself of the wonders of the Lord and to remember His goodness to me, and hopefully encourage you, in the process. So, it will continue to be that, within the context of being an Army wife and soon being a mother. And if you stick with me till Christmas, you’ll start seeing baby pictures again, though this time, the baby will be fair-skinned, and I will not have the daily photographic skills of MJ at hand.