We leave for Uganda in two days to pick up Judah! Yesterday Cindi sent out the below email to paint a picture of our trip and to give specific prayer requests. Our main plea to the Lord is that we would walk by the Spirit. If we do, He will lead us to respond with spiritual motivations and biblical wisdom to all the unpredictable and uncontrollable events that we couldn’t possibly prepare for or pray about beforehand. We believe that intense and humble Godwardness is the best preparation. We are grateful — more than you can know — for your prayers.
Dear Family and Friends,
This Saturday, we are leaving to go to Uganda. :) We wanted to fill you in a little bit more on the details so you can pray and understand what our plans are when we are there. If you don’t want to read all the details, you can read the bold parts!
Everything in this email is if the Lord wills.
We leave Los Angeles at 9:10am this Saturday. We have two stops — Houston and Amsterdam. Please pray for safety. We will arrive in Uganda on April 1st around 8:30pm. Amani Baby Cottage (ABC) is about three hours away from the airport so we will not be going there right away. We will spend our first night with our missionary friends Shannon and Danielle Hurley. We will leave the morning of April 2nd and go to ABC to see Judah for the first time! Please pray for Judah to bond with us (we are obviously already very attached to him!). We will be staying at the Hotel Triangle for our 3.5-week stay. Jinja (where ABC is located) is quite the tourist town because it’s at the source of the Nile, so we imagine things to be fairly easy to locate and get to.
Our court date is scheduled for April 4th (in the U.S. it will be late in the evening on April 3rd). We do use the word “scheduled” very purposefully. There have been several instances in the past where the judge will decide he does not feel like working that day or doesn’t want to hear “that case,” etc. So far, this has happened to all three of the families that have gone before us. Please pray for the judge to decide to hear our case!
Assuming that our judge is there and decides to proceed with our court case, here are the details: We will enter into the judge’s chambers and our Ugandan lawyer will do all the talking. We hear that it only takes from 10-30 minutes for the whole thing. We will leave with a general understanding of the ruling but the actual ruling itself will not be drawn up for 7-10 days. The written ruling must state that we are “bringing Judah to the U.S.A. for full and final adoption.” If that phrase is not in the ruling even though we have been given an approval, we will be denied a visa for Judah. Please pray that the ruling will state that we intend to bring Judah to the U.S.A. for full and final adoption. If the above statement is not included, we will enter the appeals court process. We do not want to enter this! The appeals court basically functions in a “six weeks on, six weeks off” fashion, with the same African mindset of working when they desire. Two out of the three families that have gone through adoptions from ABC have been placed into this process. Neither took less than a year from the original court date (meaning that we would likely be looking at another year if we get placed in the appeals court process).
After our court date (and assuming the judge was favorable), we will apply for a visa for Judah to enter the U.S. and we will be taking him to a doctor to get a check-up. Please pray that Judah will be given an “OK” to travel to the U.S. based on health and visa. Judah’s passport is ready but is not being released for some reason. Please pray that the government will give us his passport.
Outside of getting things done to bring Judah home, we will be spending a lot of time at ABC. We want to see how Judah has been raised the first sixteen months of his life. We also plan to spend a lot of time with the other children at ABC. Several of their families are coming soon after us and a lot of them are friends of ours. Please pray for the six families following us in the months of April and May. They will all be going through the same process.
That’s our trip to Uganda in a nutshell. Right now we are scheduled to return to the States on the morning of April 23rd. If things get delayed on any level, Gunner will still return on the 23rd and I will stay in Uganda as needed. Please pray that we can return together on the 23rd, with Judah, and that he won’t cry the whole plane ride home!
We are so incredibly excited and know that the Lord is already directing the hearts of the people we will contact over there. We go knowing very well that the Lord does as He pleases in all things. Please pray that our lives would be an example of trusting and treasuring Jesus above all things.
Many have asked about updates. Currently we will be posting updates on Gunner’s blog. We will try to send out email updates, but internet and electricity in Africa are not very reliable. We will do what we can. We will also have a cell phone in Uganda and both of our moms have the number if anyone wants to call us. :) We will also be using MSN Messenger (with our webcam) if anyone would like to talk with us (and see Judah!) that way.
Thank you to all of you for your constant love and prayers. God never ceases to be good and gracious to us all.
Feel free to pass along this email.
Gunner & Cindi