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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dancing our way to Uganda

We were able to purchase our tickets for our return trip to Uganda next Thursday!  THANK YOU to those who gave!  God continues to meet every need and we will say among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for us!  And we are filled with JOY!"  Because so many have given I wanted to share why we are bringing my oldest son Sebastian with us.  He's the good-looking 16 year old above who just got his driver's license and has mad skills with little ones.  He is, after all, the oldest of 15.  I got to make some of my most spectacular parenting mistakes on him and he is a testimony to God's grace being greater than our ability to blunder!  He's seen us through many paradigm shifts and this young man has the heart of a David, a worshipper.

He leads worship at church, at the prayer center, when he gets together with friends for a bonfire, while sitting on the couch at home.  He is a leader who is tender toward the weak.  We have so many fatherless boys in our neighborhood who pound our door all the time looking for Sebastian so they can have someone to talk to and be kind to them.  Most of these boys are on so many medications for behavioral problems and are constantly getting kicked out of school or things like "explosive rage disorder" but their main issue is:  I don't have a Dad to tell me who I am.  One young man told me a couple weeks ago, "If it wasn't for Sebastian I know I would be dead Mrs. Groothuis."  A little kindness can shift a destiny.

So here's the deal.  When we get to Uganda Brad has to be at court in person but after that he must get back for work and MBA classes.  (and bring security and peace to the other children just by his Christ-like presence in the home!) Because the timeline for getting the court ruling, (doesn't happen right away) visa appointment, immigration stuff, etc. is so up in the air (every other day seems to be an African holiday of some sort so then all offices would be closed for example) The couple that was there before us was stuck in country for nearly 6 weeks.  Of course I am praying for the much shorter version of that!

But with Miss Esther's seizures, mobility issues, and my own special challenges of keeping track of gobs of paperwork and having a bladder the size of an acorn......I really can't see traveling home with Miss Esther  on that massive plane ride and all the airport changes by myself.  Sebastian is not only strong and can carry luggage and sister and whatever else around, but he is actually experienced in administering rescue medication for status seizures.  I remember one time so well when he and Antonio were in The Wizard of Oz play together and right before munchkin Antonio was supposed to get on stage he had a massive seizure that Sebastian calmly shut down back stage, drawing up the vial of medicine with the needle, dosing it and squirting it up each nostril while Puppy (what we all call Antonio) seized.  He calmed the other little children around him down and was just, per usual, the leader who brought peace. (like father like son)

Not only will Sebastian be a huge help to me, but he is planning on serving at the orphanage where there are huge numbers of little boys who are craving some male attention!  All the nannies are busy trying to keep all the little babies fed and alive, so a lot of the spirited toddler boys run around trying to take dominion in their own special way, usually involving toddler violence!  They are going to adore a big brother type to wrestle with (no doubt Sebastian will get the full immersion version of the baptism of boogers) and  pay attention to them.  Sebastian is planning on bringing his guitar and using his Jesus version of the Pied Piper to lead some little ones down a really good worship road!

I decided to shift the atmosphere this afternoon in our home from one of paperwork, fundraising, and doctor's appointments to one of celebration and thanksgiving.  We goofed off at the pool and wore ourselves out at home dancing until Daddy got home from MBA class.

I wasn't kidding when I described us as a "dancing" family.  A redemptive thing that happened on New Year's eve this year was an opportunity to do a little dance that we had been toying around with in our living room for a couple months.  For a long time it really looked like a lot of things breaking and little ones bickering over who was doing what....but I saw the vision!  I had pulled the girls from ballet due to cost, time, and some persistent unkindness from some of the other little tutu girls in the class, but continued to pray for my children to have an outlet for their passion.  Someone caught it on their phone if you want to catch a glimpse, the little girls don't come on to the end but they are worth the wait!

That service was amazing too because it included a collection for the poor, one for canceling debts, and it was just a beautiful thing to see tangible acts of love and generosity flow from hearts full of all they have received from the hand of the One who says "Come thirsty ones!  Come hungry ones!   Taste and see of my goodness!"

Well, not sure how I got here from wanting to explain why we are bringing our son with us, but apparently my brain is not super linear.  More of a wheels within wheels situation I guess!  Thanks for sticking in there trying to connect the random dots!


mindy said...

Jenny:I am driving tears streaming down my face. God is SOOO good! I love reading your God updates-and actually sort of ironically look forward to the never ending challenges that your family experiences-merely because I know there will soon be another facet of Gods unending provisions and blessings. I am continually blown away and brought to a place of worship, and thankfulness. If you have read "1,000 gifts"-Eucharisteo!!! If you havent read it- I HIGHLY recommend it!! Love you!

Jill Funkhouser said...

i love your family and am so inspired. Would love to ask you some questions personally on how you do some things. my email is
I donated $100 through Love's blog that is how I found out about you. So excited for you guys!

Amy said...


I was trying to find a way to email,but I couldn't find an address so I guess I will just leave a comment. I spent 7 weeks in Kampala in February and March and absolutely fell in love with Esther. I am just crying with joy that she finally has a family. I spent so much time with her playing with her and feeding her and just loving her. I have a brother with autism and epilepsy and so it was just beyond heart breaking for me to see her at the orphanage. I am so so thankful that God led you guys to her. I cannot wait to see what kind of healing God does with her in a family, because I just know that she will thrive. Praying for you as you journey to bring your precious little girl home!

In Christ,


Anonymous said...

I found you via Moments with Love and just spent over an hour reading your posts. What a wonderful family you have - and what a wonderful servant you are!! I will be praying for Esther's quick and safe way to your family. I am from Iowa as well, so am especially interested in your journey. We have Africa and adoption on our hearts - I did a mission trip there this past winter. So maybe I can learn a thing or two from you. :) Blessings. Stacy Love.

love said...

yay for plane tickets! rejoicing with you! so glad that your oldest is able to go with you....God has worked this all out so well. the kids at the orphanage will be SO BLESSED by him being there.

The McKinnon Crew said...

Jenny ~ We are praising God for your family, your heart and your journey! We've been introduced to your daughter & your journey by several mutual friends: Lara Dinsmore, Linny Saunders, and Lovelyn Palm. We adopted from Uganda and came home October 2011. The kids there have my heart... Thank you for your willingness to blog your journey in advocating for special needs kids... Blessed to follow your family...