A request by several people has been made for me to update my blog! So here goes...
Where do I start?
The last 6 months have been a whirlwind of events, of excitement, of constant change, of challenges, of experiencing a deeper relationship with God, and of experiencing many many answers to prayer!
In my last post I think I mentioned applying for a work permit. Well I got the work permit back in record time, only having to go to Kampala two times. Praise God!
The reason I wanted it to be done asap was to apply for a visa to go to the UK for Christmas, to book a cheaper ticket way in advance.
If you remember in 2008 Nathanials first visa application was denied. In hindsight this was a blessing from God - and it is only recently that I have been able to see that. Nathanial would not have coped with the changes and we needed that extra time to be together and to bond even more.
I returned to the UK for Christmas Nathanial stayed with some friends and had a great time. I think that my time in the UK was just what I needed after the previous 6 months and it was a refreshing time for me.
You might also remember that I was worried about my financial situation after the school I worked out closed down.
Well God triply blessed me with three jobs! The Three jobs which have all been challenging in their own way - but which have equipped me with new skills, which have taken me out of my comfort zone and which have been great fun!
I love teaching! I love it when the kids I teach start reading! All the kids I teach are great - and they make this job fun and enjoyable. Half the fun in teaching is the kids!
Well the three jobs I have provide enough money to live in Uganda! God is so good! They are also flexible in regards to being a Mum, so when Nathanial is sick or I am sick - I can stay at home with Nathanial.
I sent Nathanial to school for a while - however there was too much pressure on him and me for "the Baby Class Mid-term exams" - 3 year olds dont need this kind of thing! I also wasn't happy about the way they teach - and the teacher criticised me for teaching Nathanial phonics instead of the alphabet!
In his 3 week holiday time - I worked on the phonic sounds and he learnt them - and then how to put them together to read and write words - all in 3 weeks! So needless to say I decided not to send him back to school. I teach him and he does his school work in the morning whilst I am working with the other children. He is learning so fast and he absolutely loves to learn, he reads everything he sees! It is great to see that he has such a love for learning!
In July we had to vacate the house we were staying in as the landlady wanted to "do it up" - she reckoned that she could get a lot more money for it - I'm not so sure about that - she certainly wouldn't get any mzungus taking the place without making it more secure! So anyway, I find a few lovely places to live - which would cost use up the salary from all 3 of my jobs! I found a fantastic little gem hidden away, it was lovely and the landlord was prepared to furnish it with anything - inc a microwave! Within a week of having to be out - I felt in my heart that I should not take this place, even though I no other options on where else to stay. He had been holding the house for us pending my decision. So, I called the landlord and told him we would not take the place - he said that that was fine since he has already rented it to someone else!
We had to be out by Sunday! I had an unbelievable sense of peace in my heart - one that surpasses all understanding!
A friend of mine had planned to return to Holland with her son for 3 months, she was looking for someone to stay in her place whilst she was gone. However someone else had their eyes on it already - and would let her know by Friday. Friday she called and announced that she wouldn't need the place. It was ours from August! Praise the Lord! We had somewhere from August for 3 months. Now we need somewhere for July. It was Wednesday now! Holly called me and told me that they just received Williams visa and that they would be leaving Sunday - they wanted us to stay in their house whilst they were away! It was a blessing for them as it would be Williams first time in the States - a blessing for us too! God is so good and so faithful. He always provides even if in the nick of time!
All this time from about July I had been trying to get a letter from the local court granting Nathanial permission to travel with me. It was a document that the British had told us we needed when we were denied the last time. After about 2 months of waiting - they decided to not issue it to us. They needed the high court to do it, since the high court granted me legal guardianship.
We spoke to the lawyer and he said he would take care of it, free of charge - (since it should have been on the first ruling).
We got that document back end of September.
We picked up the document and travelled to the visa section to apply for the visa the same day. I was confident that we would get the visa. It takes normally 15 working days to process the visa, it took our 18 working days! What an agonising wait to find out! By this time, we needed to yet again vacate the house we were staying in as we had been there 3 months and the lady who lives there was coming back from Holland. So the clock was ticking. Nathanial was aware of what was going on, and he was just as excited as I was. I always told him from the start that we would go to England if its God's will. I didn't want to tell him that we were definitely going - so as not to disappoint him. Unfortunately the visa was denied!
On one of the supporting letter submitted by my 'employer' the phone number was mistyped and so on that basis that they could not be contacted and verify my claims, they denied the visa. I wasn't too distraught about it, and decided there and then that I would reapply since an appeal can take anything from 9 - 12 months! We didn't have to wait 18 working days this time, just 7 working days and the visa was issued!!!!
That same day I looked for tickets on the internet. I had been looking for tickets since July - hoping that I would be able to book them well in advance so as to find something cheaper. Ideally I wanted to leave in October. A ticket for both of us was going to cost £1500 or more! And at that point we would have to find somewhere else to live, as the girl from Holland would be back. I had ruled out flying with BA a long time ago as their tickets were about £3000! So I was looking on-line and not finding anything cheaper than £1500, I checked on all the airlines I could think of! Then I felt I should look on BA! I typed in all the details and lo-and-behold I found a flight for £1000 - much cheaper than all the others! And it was too leave on Sunday! In 3 days! I double checked the price and then checked again and it was indeed that cheap! Wow! Isn't God great?! I booked it and paid for it straight away.
Then my sisters friend who was picking her up from London, said that she would pick us up too! So we didn't need to travel on a bus or pay for it!
So I am now writing to you from the UK!
The last 6 months haven been all about looking to God for everything and trusting in Him. I know with all my heart that adopting Nathanial was God's plan for me - from before even I was conceived! And He will never forsake us. He will always provide for us. His plan is perfect. And even if we didn't get to come home - He has blessed us so much! Being able to come home is a double blessing! What a gift!
Nathanial has been a superstar! With all this moving around - he has been great. Every new place we have moved to has been home, and he has relished all the new opportunities and taken everything in his stride. His behaviour has improved greatly, although some days are much better for him than others - but isn't that the case for all of us?!
It is such a pleasure to be able to watch this little boy grow and change. He tells me that Jesus us changing his heart - and I can definitely see that! He is changing mine too! I cannot imagine my life without this little boy - he is a gift from God!
Nathanial lost his first tooth a few months ago which would age him by 2 years!
We are so excited to be home - it feels like being in a dream! I am so pleased and so grateful and so blessed to have this opportunity to be at home in the UK with my son. I hope to be able to work whilst I am here - to be able to fund our continued stay in Uganda and to be able to continue teaching in the orphanage.
How great is our God! All the glory be to Him.