Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Kirabo Dorcas Linda BRITTON !!!

Today was our final step in the adoption process....our court date in the US to finalize the adoption of Kira. This was amazing on two fronts. One - the court squeezed us in today....3 days before the end of the year.  And two - the Court made an exception for our family to be seen before the 6 month mark that is normally required in the state of Colorado. (You adoption folks understand WHY this is amazing!)

It was such a great time. The Judge started by telling us the proceedings were very casual and informal. The kids got to sit in the Jury chairs the entire time. The Judge asked Kira and all the kids questions about if they are nice to each other (of which I am now using to remind them that they swore before a Judge to be nice, so they better not break the law!). Aaron and I were then asked a handful of questions about if we are able to provide for Kira. One of the questions was if we had the financial, emotional and mental ability to care for Kira ..."and the energy". To which I replied, "most days". :)  My favorite question though was when he asked if we realize that if he is to grant a favorable ruling - Kira will be our child AS IF BORN UNTO US ... "even when she's a teenager". YES! YES! and even then... YES! 

Upon giving our resounding yes - he stated that it was then his pleasure to grant our petition of adoption. Kira is now a US Citizen and legally a Britton !

When we were done, he asked the kids to take their seat at his bench. :) He began to interact on a personal level with us as well, telling us he has 3 Internationally adopted children, and 2 bio. We thanked him for allowing us to be seen today, to which he responded that it was his pleasure. And I kid you not - tears were in the kind Judge's eyes, and a few streaming down his cheek.

We know that none of this was coincidence. From the moment we asked for the Courts to make an exception to see us before the end of the year until we had the decree in our possession - we know the hand of God orchestrated this all. Even our Agency Director stated she had never seen them wave the 6 month rule, and told us we must have "special favor". I don't know about any special favor - but God certainly answered our prayers over the last year regarding the entire adoption process.... Some the way we asked, others the way He willed (of which we also asked). To God be all the glory!

This picture includes our amazing social worker and agency director. If you live in CO and need a good agency, CAC is the best!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fall Dayz

After Malachi's haircut at Precision Kutz and Sytlz, I decided to always spell with a "z" instead of an "s". It just seems right.

Welcome to Colorado, Kira!  Cold, lots of blood work (I won't make you endure the picture again for those of you who saw it on Facebook, but basically imagine 15 viles of blood - yes, that was it), scary costumes and strange decorations, snow ..... oh wait .... a break in the snow! Quick! This is what we call "fall".

We weren't sure how to explain trick-or-treating to Kira, but hey, what kid doesn't enjoy playing dress up and walking around getting free candy. It was quite the delightful evening after all!

The Barber kept singing Lionel Richie songs. Nice.

Dinner at Chili's before trick-or-treating. (The treat was for the parents - kids ate free!)
All dressed up, so pretty in pink. Is she a fairy? A ballerina? A butterfly? (She has wings on the back)

Oh no! Here comes the Storm Trooper! ("Corn trooper" if you ask Malachi)

Kira would stand at the door before anyone answered saying trick-or-treat. It was really a bit funny...

"Many candies!", she would exclaim after every house. The final loot was more than enough.

Quick ... time to play in the leaves before it snows again!

Snowing leaves are as much fun as snowing snow.

Sweet joy - jumping in leaves for the first time ever.

Doesn't get much cuter....

Kira really liked the raking part when we were all done playing. Malachi decided to "help".

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Ugandan Snow Princess

Here we are, 2 days back home, and the snow has begun. Welcome to Colorado, Kirabo! The day passed with us all warm and cozy, just staring out the window at the snow .... until the other kids came home from school and asked to play in said snow. Sigh. I'll admit, along with my friend Angie, that I sorta loathe getting the kids ready to play in the snow. So.Much.Work. And now that we have 5 kids to bundle up .... oh my. It is quite the production that quickly sends my mood in a downward spiral. But we'll forget about that and focus on how much fun the kids had....including Kira.

For a Ugandan Sweetie who has never seen snow, you'd think she was born on the ski slopes or something. She LOVED it! It didn't take her long to understand the joy of throwing snowballs (and the pain of being hit by one). It didn't take her long to realize you can fall completely backwards into the snow and not get hurt. It didn't take her long to realize that you can fall face forward into the snow and your face gets really cold ... but that didn't stop her. She couldn't get enough of face planting into the snow. I thought for sure that once she felt the sting of hats coming off and gloves coming loose, she would be DONE. But nope. She would just walk over and ask for help re-adjusting and then return to face planting.

The other kids had a blast introducing their new sister to the joy that is snow. (And the yumminess that is hot chocolate afterwards!)

Finally I realized that frost bite must be setting in, and seeing how Kirabo wouldn't recognize the feeling, I called them in. Aaaaand then I made them all help each other get out of the snow gear, because I was still recovering from getting them in it. And sorry Angie - I gave up having them pile it by the back door inside, because like you - that drives me nuts. Nope, all the wet stuff is out in the garage growing icicles until tomorrow when it will be 60 degrees.

Watch out, Malachi!

Daddy getting some snow balls in.

Snow Angels

Eating more snow.

Friday Market

Every Friday in Kampala, the "Friday Market" is in business! This is a group of vendors who come together to sell their local treasures at unbeatable prices. True African finds, and bargaining to boot! (I don't even know what "to boot" means, but I wanted to say it there.)

The atmosphere is fast and furious. Every booth you walk by, you are greeted with the traditional greeting of, "You're Welcome. Come see." And just about every booth, I couldn't say no.

I went two Friday's in a row, and left both times with my arms weighed down with items. Top finds? Maybe the drum for 30,000 shillings. (Um, $10 US Dollars!) The scarfs, as beautiful as they come. And my favorite??? The beaded jewelry, purse and wallets that are handmade by the women there. To think that many women make their living on wrapping and stringing paper beads blows my mind. And after learning more about Kirabo's mother, these beads hold an extra special place in my heart. She was one of the women who did this for a living....and she didn't just keep the talent to herself, she would teach other women how to provide for their families through this amazing gift.

Friday Market was one of the highlights of my trip!

The bead-makers!

So many to choose from!

Bargaining away!

I'm supposed to pack this how???