First court date!

A miracle—not with the timing I would have liked, but a miracle nonetheless. We—Wilfred, Abusolom, and I–arrived early at court today only to find that the judge was in supreme court all morning and wouldn’t begin seeing his list of cases until this afternoon.  So we were able—since Zaina still had not finished her report—to get the before-after pictures of Patrick printed in case we needed some evidence before the judge. Then we had even more time just to “hang out” until we needed to be back at the high court. Unfortunately—maybe I shouldn’t say this, since it’s all part of God’s plan—I had to hang out with Abusolom, since Wilfred had to meet someone downtown. So Abusolom and I stood, and he talked, and talked—and of course, asked me for more things—this time if I would like him and his family to come to the airport to see Patrick and me off to the States. Great sentiment, but since I would be the one paying for it, that somehow takes the beauty out of it, you know. Then Patrick had to go the bathroom. I was just planning on returning to the courthouse and using the restroom there—and then we could just wait from there, but Abusolom was being all African male, determined that he knew where Wilfred wanted to meet us and funny about going back into the high court for some reason. So he took me down the hill to the public toilets—where some person who didn’t close the stall door nearly smashed Patrick’s head when I urged him into the toilet ahead of me, thinking it was vacant. The bathrooms were filthy—and on top of that we had to pay 200 shillings to use it. I balanced my bag and my folder of very-important-papers and tried to keep Patrick’s pants from touching the ground as he peed, and then pooped, into a squatty potty (which is what Dave and I used to call them in Japan; essentially a porcelain basin set in the ground that you “squat” on top of.)

Part of the issue with Abusolom was that he was nervous about court. When we had been there earlier, evidently someone had questioned him about his motives for sending his child to America. He was all fired up, ready to tell them about Eva’s death and his illness and his oldest son’s accident.

“They will ask me, ‘How can you look so smart (he was dressed up in a burgundy sports coat, a pink shirt, dress pants, and dress shoes) and not be able to take care of your child? Did you sell him? Did you accept money for him?’ And I will say…”

And he would be off again, the same story again, with greater fervor each time, and I had to nod and agree and murmur sympathetically (it IS, after all, a VERY sympathetic story; it just becomes numb when you hear it again and again, especially in increasingly self-injured tones.)

Then he began telling me the history of his family—again, things I’m quite interested in, but oh, I’m convinced he thinks I’m stupid. No, it’s not that—it’s that he’s MALE and I’m FEMALE—and in Africa a woman has to be tough and forceful if she’s going to get any professional respect from a man—and not only is that not generally my way in the U.S., it sure wouldn’t garner me any points in this particular quest I’m on in Africa. So I agree and nod my head, and inside my pride is standing up and stomping its feet at the same time I’m asking the Holy Spirit to grant me true humility instead of fake subservience.

Oh, Lord, my sin of pride, of believing I am better than others (and true honesty forces me to admit that I do, however ugly that sounds/is) simply because they were born in different circumstances. Had I been born the street child in the gutter, would that make me less smart, less worthwhile? The sin nature I carry within me, says no. It is the same sin nature that wants to have NO gratitude toward a God who made and formed me, that instead wants to claim my educational degrees, the money in my pocket, the ability I have to get on a plane and go back to the States as something I have earned, I deserve.

Yet the complete right attitude escapes me, is possibly NOT possible in this world as it is, still fallen and broken, is possibly NOT possible in my untransformed state. Bit by bit, my God changes my heart, renews my mind, but the brokenness of cultures and divisions, of races and economics—I think that is part of His GREAT redemption at the end of time.

But all of that to say that as Wilfred and Abusolom walked ahead of me up the hill to the high court, leaving me to carry my bag, the “very-important” papers, and a sleeping Patrick, God did give me one WONDERFUL thought. What a man He has blessed me with in Dave, a man who respects my mind, who listens to me, and seeks my advice, who honors my God-given abilities, and desires that I excel. What a gift! I give thanks to You, Lord, and, Dave, my love, if you were here right now I would be thanking you as well.

Back to the miracle. There are several parts to it. First, I was able to meet and speak with a young American couple that is adopting twin 18 month olds. They are the couple Isaac told me about, who came before Christmas without a court date set and who have been waiting ever since. They’ve had the twins with them since December 28th and since they’ve been backed up on a court date, they have spent their time working on the embassy side of things. They had some great advice—and suggested I go to the Embassy again to meet with several people in order to really go over my paperwork with them. They said—as it has been all through this process—that there are a few “other” documents that are needed that are not listed anywhere. Oh, Lord, is there a reason this must be so complicated? To do what is right, to follow your plan? It is as if they do not want us to do it. I am sure that getting a divorce is far easier than this. Why should that be?

After returning to court at 11:30, we waited again as the judge began seeing cases. People told us the judge was not in the best of moods, was tough this day, to not expect a positive outcome. Wilfred told me that the judge might not even look at our case without the probation officer’s report being attached. The American couple with the twins went in ahead of us and came out disappointed. Their hearing would have to be “heard” again; there was some document missing.

 We went in.

And we came out 15 minutes later with a ruling date set for next week.

Mukama Yabazibwe. Praise be to the Lord!

My ungrateful heart of course said—“But I was hoping for Friday,” but oh, my Lord, thank you! Without the probation officer’s report, that was truly miraculous. Thank you.

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