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Friday, December 17, 2010

A New Perspective

Those who know me know that I read and watch just about anything I can about Africa.  I want to learn and know as much as possible.  Since I have been home from getting Joseph, I haven't had time to watch or read much, but I finally got a movie from Netflix called Apocalypse Africa: Made in America.  Throughout the movie images of extreme hardship and poverty are shown in different parts of Africa.  These types of images have alway had a great impact on me.  They have pulled at my heartstrings and constantly challenged me to do more. This time though, was different.  In each image I saw Joseph, my son.  I saw his face walking down the road without shoes.  I saw his belly enlarged from extreme hunger.  I saw his future in a man carrying fruit on the back of a bicycle.  I think it's time for me to take a break from these kinds of movies.  They tell me a story of a past left behind and a future that could have been so different for my boy.
Sunday, November 21, 2010

First Snow and Family Pictures!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

First Halloween!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Uganda's Independance Day Celebration!

Could they be any cuter?  Look at her Gomes!

Showing off Joseph's bark cloth hat, Brinlee was quite the model!  The kids got asked to dance and model at the party and had such a good time!  Real Ugandan food, including Matoke if you can believe it!  So much fun!

My Little Chefs! Sugar Cookies!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How Are Things Going?

I'm sure people are curious about how things are going around the Gillies house.  Well, here it is......they are going beautifully!  I spent many hours worrying before we ever got Joseph home.  Worrying about, how are the other kids going to do, how will Joseph do, will he miss Uganda?  Will  he miss the climate?  What if he doesn't like our rules, what if? what if? what if?  Well, all my worries have been eased.  It feels like Joseph has been with us forever.  Like a piece of a puzzle was missing, but we didn't know it until he came into our lives.  Joseph does not miss anything in Uganda (with exception to his Grandma and brother and sister), but the things I thought he would miss, he is not missing.  I finally stopped asking if he was missing things because one day he said, "Mom, wherever you are, I am happy".  Enough said?  It doesn't matter if we are all together in Uganda, Paris or Seattle, as long as we are together, he is happy.  What a lesson to those of us who are constantly searching and waiting for the next best thing that might increase our happiness.  We are so grateful he is home.  He is as much a Gillies as the rest of the kids and they are all acting like siblings!  All of the other kiddos have adjusted well too and we are so happy to be together! 
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of School in America!

Look at that smart kid!
I knew this was coming.  I knew it, and I tried to push it out of  my mind for as long as I could, but the inevitable happened.  I had to send Joseph to school.  Not only that, but I had to send him to Junior High!  Last night when I tucked him in, it lasted for about 30 minutes.  Every time I would get up to leave we would hug again and say I love you, then I would get up to leave, and again, another hug.  We both knew this was coming and although grateful for the opportunity to go to school, we were both not ready to seperate.  This morning he got up and made himself a rolex (Ugandan) food and then we were off.  I walked him into school resisting his hand when he tried to hold mine.  Yes, I wanted to hold his hand but I thought he'd better enter school without holding hands with his mom, lest he have difficulty living that down.  We went into the counselor's office where she had a sweet boy that was going to escort him to his classes and eat lunch with him.  I walked with Joseph and the escort to his first class and again, when he tried to walk with me and hold my hand I urged him forward so he could walk with the other boy.  But dang it, I really wanted to hold his hand!  I wanted to take away all of his fears!  By the time he reached class I was ready to break into the ugly cry so I figured I had better get out of there before he saw.  We gave a quick hug and that was it.  I walked to the car and as I wiped my eyes I smelled his Nivea lotion (a scent I hate) on my hands.  I said a quick but heartfelt prayer that God would be with my boy.  I'm walking around the house doing my housewifely duties, counting down the minutes until I get to pick him up.  I have 1hour 25 minutes, but who's counting?
Mixing the Dough! Tough work!
Trust me Mom!  I'm an expert!

Chipatti is a wonderful food that we all enjoy in Uganda.  Last night I tried to make them, but look who took over!  At first I was bossing him around trying to follow a recipe, and then, things got serious and Joseph took over full time.  The result? Excellent Chipatti to go along with our rice and beef!  Good Job Son!
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Joseph at Bujagali Falls, Jinja
Our favorite place to eat!  Ahhh, brownies and ice cream!
Mama Dorothy. Joseph and Mom
The Zoo.............

Lake Victoria
All of these children are sweet orphans being cared for by an amazing couple.  When I went to visit, they planted a tree and named it after me.  It was a little embarrassing, but very sweet:)
Ahh, poor Jobe in a dress.  He loved Joseph and Joseph loved him!
Sanyu Babies Home
Joseph with Mama Dorothy, the women he lived with the last five years.
Outside of St. Mary's, Joseph's school
Joseph and Ibrahim, his dorm father for the last 6 months.  Without him, we wouldn't have had our weekly phone calls!  He broke the rules and allowed us to call once a week to speak with Joseph.

Joseph and friends at St. Johnson's
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

So Many Firsts!

First night in his own bed.  Home at last, safe and sound.
Grandpa Gillies came to meet Joseph!

Walking through Pike's Place Market in Seattle, Benson and KJ got so many weird looks.  In Uganda, it's totally normal for boys to hold hands.  We're working on this, but hated to tell him that this wasn't acceptable in the US as normal behavior.

Pikes' Place Market, Seattle, Washington
Shawn "trying" to give Joseph a haircut.  It's a bit different than what he's used to, but he is getting better!

First swimming lesson!
Wrestling with Benson

Welcome home sign..................first day of church.
Dad, Mom and Joseph
Siblings, all together looking over the Sound at Grandma and Grandpa B's

First time in a hot tub!
Welcome home son!