Saturday, July 31, 2010


I really don't know how to express what has happened over the last few
days.  No child should ever had to go through what Joseph has been
through.  We set out on Thursday to Masaka, about a 3 hour drive from Kampala.  
We were going  to visit the graves of his mother, father and 2 younger siblings.  I was very
nervous about seeing where he grew up, and having him relive so may
memories.  On our way to Masaka the road became jammed with cars,
trucks and bodas.  After waiting for about 2 hours we learned that
there was a weigh station and that the trucks were angry that they
were being overcharged to pass.  So, they decided to block the road!
Our time was very short, so we decided to leave our driver, walk past
the "riot" and try to get a taxi.  A taxi is a small van that is meant
to hold 14 people.  They are known for being crazy and driving too
fast.  After walking some time, we found a taxi and held up our
fingers that we needed seats for 3.  The conductor waved us over and
we quickly hurried to get a seat.  Upon arriving I noticed the taxi
was already totally full yet the conductor was yelling at people to
make room.  As we got closer I noticed the group inside were a group
of Ghadaffi supporting Muslims.  As the conductor starts to shove me
to the back, this huge lady starts screaming in my direction.  The
taxi starts to move and Joseph and I get shoved to the back, all the
while the lady is yelling in Luganda.  At this point I was totally
shaking.  After all 19 of us get situated the women taps me on the
back and screams at me, "Where are you going"?  At this point, I had
had it, and I yelled back, "I don't know, nice to meet you too".  At
this, she breaks into a jolly smile and starts laughing!  I was like,
"What! Is this women high"?  Let's just say I was very happy to get out of there.
The Women Who I Thought Was Going to Kill Me!

2 of the group in the taxi!

When we got to Masaka we went and visited a neighbor Esther.  As we walked into the house, the sky opened up into a loud raging storm.  We sat there in the dark as without
Inside Esther's House During the Rain. It was Pitch Black Inside, But My Flash Lit Things Up!

electricity.  While Joseph was talking I had the distinct
feeling that the rains were a symbol of heaven crying.  Crying for my
boy who has endured more than any child should have to endure.  I
asked the Esther everything I could about his mother and father and
learned a few cute stories about him when he was a boy.  She said his
father was very harsh and he would get in trouble when his dad would
send him to market and he would run off to the football pitch instead.
 After the rains stopped we walked down a muddy road into a clearing
where his mother, father and little brother and sister now rest.  The
graves were not marked and were just a mound of dirt.  We each used
our hands to groom the graves ( a Ugandan tradition).  It was very
humbling to see the dirt where his parents lay and to see the smaller
mounds of Willy and Rosette.  I thought my heart was going to break
for my boy.  His family is buried on land owned by someone else which
means they could be removed at any time.  Oh how I want to buy this
Paying Our Respects
land and give them a proper place to rest!  After that, we started the
walk to the land his family used to live on.  The home is destroyed,
but we were able to look at the space and Joseph recalled several
childhood memories.  We continued walking back to grandma's and
Esther said something in Luganda that my friend Hilda interpreted.
She said, "I can remember Joseph walking this road so many times when
he was a boy.  He lacked food and clothing.  Now, looking at him
walking that same road and seeing him looking so good made her so
happy".  It was a very humbling experience and I am so honored that
God is giving us a chance to be be Joseph's mother and father.  I wish
that his parents were still here, that Willy, Rosette, Fiona and

The Property Where Joseph's Home Once Stood
Geoffrey could be together with them, but, since they can't we can
only try to do our best by them.  After that experience I didn't think
things could get any harder, but little did I know!  After searching
for the better part of a year, we were given a contact where Joseph's
little brother and sister were staying.  We got a number, called and
were told that we could see them if we came.  The build up and
anticipation at seeing them was almost too much!  My best guess is
that it's been about 4 years since Joseph had seen them.  We arrived
at the center (not even knowing anything about it) and were greeted.                               
 Then, it happened.
 The most beautiful, sad, and tragic thing I've ever witnessed.
Joseph was reunited with F and G.  They hugged and Goeffrey
sat on Joseph's lap as they tried to catch up on 4 years of lost time.
 I sat a cried.  I couldn't help myself.  After searching so long and
finally finding them it was indeed sweet.  Fiona has the most
beautiful voice and was so sweet and pretty.  Goeffrey looks just like
Joseph.  I won't share what they talked about, but let's just say
Joseph is a great big brother.  He instructed them as to what they
should do to help one another since they are together.

Together At Last!
Joseph had no picture of his brother and sister.  It then came time to
go.  I cannot even talk about how that went as I still haven't fully
recovered from it.  I cannot stand to see Joseph hurt.  I found out
from Fand G that they have been to the US on tour with the faclities
childrens choir.  I couldn't believe they had been to the US before
their brother.  G told Joseph that when they were older and he got
money, he would build a place and they could all live together.  After
doing some research on the facility I learned that the choir is coming
to the US in September.  My son is the bravest, strongest person I
know.  We are so lucky to have him.
Anyway, that is what's been going on.  We are waiting to go  to the embassy.
Will update when I can.  Thank you for the love and support.  I am not
going to have a very easy time jumping back into American life after
this last month.  I feel like the things we have gone through trump
everything and I just hope people will be understanding if it takes me
awhiled to catch up and be myself.


Julianna Hind (Julie Hind) said...

this indeed is a tearful and heart wrenching experience for you. My prayers are with you and I pray that Heavenly Father helps you to be strong, and to know that he is the worker of miracles and he will give you comfort and guidance.

Aly said...

Wow, I can't imagine your's and Joseph's pain and sorrow. What joy he had in seeing his siblings, but what sorrow to leave them again. What a strong boy... Let me know how I can help when you start contacting the center where his siblings are living. I will do what I can to support you as well. You have quite a story to tell as does Joseph. Who knew you would encounter all of this. May God be with you sweet friend! xoxo

Anonymous said...

There are no words - love you!

Linda said...

Hi Suzy and Joseph..I have been at girl's camp this past week and just got home today. I couldn't wait to get online to see how everything is with you and Joseph. So happy that things are progressing so well. I will keep praying and can't wait to meet Joseph. Love, Linda

Linda said...

Hi Suz,
I just watched the video of F & G. They are very beautiful children and I wish I could have them. I am praying for you daily that you will be able to handle the emotional battles that you face. I know it has to be very hard. Hang in there~~you have shown us time and time again that you can do hard things. Love you.