Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's good to be home.

Words continue to fall short in expressing our gratitude to God and all of our family and friends who's prayers and support made all of this possible.  Merry Christmas.  

Friday, December 12, 2008

Worth A Thousand Words

We were unable to take any pictures at the Embassy for security reasons.  So as soon as we received the visa (before they were even suppose to open this morning) We ran out of the Embassy laughing and crying and headed up the street to meet our van and driver.  You can't park near a US Embassy once again for security reasons.  We texted the kids and called "Uncle Henry" who called Grandma Gertrude.  We met them (see above picture) along the road and went to the airport together.  Gertrude got a ride on a 'boda boda' which is a motorcycle taxi!  Way to go Grandma!  You can see vaguely Tracy running to see them and celebrate the news!  

Now in this photo we are together and making the mad dash for the airport, nearly an hour away.  No shortage of smiles and relief.  

Here is the team around Tracy minus two main individuals.  Julie our 'power of attorney' who wept with Tanya on the phone when she heard this morning.  And Richard our attorney who worked tirelessly with us this last month.  As seen in the photo above (Driver Richard, Gertrude, Henry, Tracy, and Tanya) at the Airport!  

No explanation needed.  

Early Pictures of Our Day

Our last sunrise over Kampala.
Up bright and early 5am...ready to go!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Its final!!!

Hello this is Tessa! I can hardly type i am so happy. I have just spoken with my parents and they are on there way to the airport, visa in hand! What a miracle. God is so good, and i can not tell you how happy our family is. Thank you for your love and support. We are so excited that Tracy will be getting on the plane with my parents and heading home tonight! There flight lands at Sea-Tac at 7:05pm saturday night. It is an open invitation to anyone who would like to come and welcome her. She would love to see all of the people who have prayed and supported our family through this journey. My parents will not have internet access till they reach London, but they send their blessings. I'm sure they will give us the detailed report later. As for now, God is so good. And this will by far be the best christmas present our family has ever recieved :) We will all sleep in peace tonight! Love, Tessa

The Court House Clock Tower

This was the clock tower visible from where I sat as I watched the minutes slip into hours and the hour become too late to make my appointment with the Embassy.  

The Bench of Waiting

This is the bench that I sat on for 7 hours while eagerly awaiting the prized, "Written Ruling" document.

The Amazing Race is not over and it's over when I say it's over.

Every time I think I can't take any more.  Every time I think there is just a glimmer of hope.  Every time my faith thinks like a clock.  Every time I hear the words, I'm sorry you are going to need to...I pray.  

Now, you need to understand.  I don't believe prayer is some type of tool in which we manipulate a god to do what we want to him or her to do.  If you hear me say, "I pray" and you immediately have an image in your mind of some arrogant overly spiritual types bossing God around, I apologize.  Count me out.  It's not my style.  You may catch more of my concept of prayer from my blog entry yesterday.  In the words of Albert Einstein, "I want to know God's thoughts, the rest is just details."  
I've wanted God to help me keep my heart and my mind in the right place.  I've wanted to be able to interact with others with love and wisdom.  I've wanted peace in my heart to stay present in the moment, when the moment wants to pull me into anxiety and frustration.  I've wanted joy to be a present reality in my true self because I've known the words of Nehemiah are simply true that, "The joy of the Lord is my strength."  To me that is prayer and today prayer was as essential as breathing. 
I needed strength when time was not on my side, when my nerves were counting seconds that were turning into hours.  I could literally feel the opportunity of bringing Tracy home with us tomorrow slipping out of my grasp.  I felt so much weight of everyone's expectations, not least of which were mine, were crushing me.  Yet, I only heard "No" or "Wait" all day long.  
I waited from 11:30am until 6:30pm to finally be handed our "written ruling".  This was the final document that I needed to complete Tracy's visa application.  The only problem was that the embassy closed at 4:30pm.  I was too late.  Our consular was waiting for me and I sat and watched the clock tower on the courthouse pass by any hope of reaching the embassy.  Sarah from the U.S. Embassy apologized and said we needed to change our plans.  It wasn't going to work.  The Ugandan High Court said come back next week.  blah, blah, blah...It's all I heard all day, but I couldn't give up.  I didn't know how.  I just couldn't give up.  
So, where do we stand now?  I talked the Embassy into opening a bit "early" for us tomorrow.  Originally, it was one of the consular's idea, but she had since jettisoned it for good reason.  Somehow, she recommitted to meeting me at 7am where I will hand over the written ruling and she will process the rest of Tracy's visa.  If they grant her that visa then we will have a mad dash to Entebbe Intl. Airport.  We are already checked in and have our seat assignments. 
For us to arrive 2 hours early for an international flight we will need to depart the U.S. Embassy 5 minutes after we get there!  You get the picture?  It's going to be tight...really tight.  But why shouldn't the last day of this journey be like all of the rest?  Insane and full of surprises!  I'm mentally exhausted and I need to go pack, but there is one thing I know.  
There is one excited little girl putting her few things in her back pack and I think she is going to have a mighty hard time sleeping tonight.