Like I have said before, Eric and I, didn’t have much of a plan when we came to Uganda. I knew that I was going to teach at a local school/orphanage, but that was the extent of it. It has been amazing to see the things that God has given us to do while we are here. As long as we are willing to listen and obey, God continues to bless us by using us to help others. Recently, we began to help someone in our community in a way that we did not expect to….
As a young married couple moving to Africa, almost everyone we talked to mentioned us adopting a baby while we were here. Surprisingly, that is something that neither of us wanted to do. We both love kids and have met many children here, but for some reason adoption was never a desire in my heart. I’m still not sure that it is. I have prayed to God asking him to change my heart if it needs to be changed. I prayed that if I saw a child that he wanted me to take care of, then I would know it. I prayed that I wouldn’t be doing it because I feel guilty, but because I know it’s what I am called to do and I fall deeply in love with the child.
Before I go any further, I don’t want you to get your hopes up. Eric and I have NOT decided to adopt!Although we have not decided to adopt, we have decided to foster. The first day that my family was in Uganda, we went to a local orphanage. We have been there before, held the babies and loved on them, but never felt the urge to adopt or foster one. It’s not because I didn’t want to or I didn’t like the kids, it just wasn’t something that ever crossed my mind. This time was different though. There was a little girl there named Layla (or as Eric spells it Leila, He likes the "correct" way and I like the Eric Clapton way). She had big beautiful eyes with long eye lashes. When I picked her up, she clung to my shirt as if I might drop her. She looks at everyone as if she’s not sure what they are going to do, and she always has a question in her eyes. After playing with her that night, I thought about her some, but nothing out of the ordinary. A week later we went back to that orphanage, and I knew that we had to bring her home to foster her. I asked Eric, and without a hint of hesitation he said yes.
Layla has some problems that we need to help her develop through. She can sit up and roll over, but that’s about it. She is VERY far behind for her age, but it’s because she didn’t have anyone taking care of her before the orphanage. Her mother died, and when her father went to work every day, he would leave her lying by herself at home.
Eric and I brought her home two days ago, and we have already fallen completely in love with this little girl! She has already progressed so much! When we first got home she had no personality. We figure this is partly because she was in a new environment, and partly because she hasn’t had much one-on-one attention. Just in the past 24 hours, she has so much more personality! She is laughing and trying to sing and talk. She claps her hands if I sing and she dances when we turn on music.
I ask that you take a couple minutes out of your day to say a prayer for Layla, Eric, and me. Pray that God gives us wisdom to help Layla progress and that Layla begins to trust Eric and I more and more each day. Also, pray that God gives her motivation and determination to push past her physical and mental boundaries.