Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Princess Nalu

We call her Princess Nalu.  Nalubega Ruth is her Ugandan name, and she is the princess of our family.  It's hard to explain over this two dimensional page the miraculous transformation that has taken place in this child since she came to into our family two years ago.  You would have to see it to believe it.

Ruth has experienced more loss and trauma in her short life than many of us ever know.  Besides watching her father die and being abandoned to the orphanage by her mother, Ruth was run over in the village as a small child.  When I met Ruth, she barely spoke, did not make eye contact, and dragged her leg painfully.  She wouldn't look at me because she was sure I would not want her.

She never received medical treatment after the accident, and she confided to us later that she just lay in the village, could not even sit up, and eventually taught herself to walk again using sticks.  She lived in chronic pain.

A few days after she came to America, this is what we learned.

Ruth had been walking around for seven years with her skeleton badly misaligned from the trauma, causing constant pain and an inability to run, sit on the floor or do anything but walk awkwardly.  Her dream was to swim one day.

Enter into the story one of her ANGELS.  While still in Uganda, I was praying for wisdom about how to help Ruth with her physical limitations, and God spoke to me two words, the name of this woman.  She has been treating Ruth weekly for the last two years, and NEVER CHARGED US ONE PENNY.

Now my beautiful Ruthie can run, swim and dance!  Bye bye pain, hello happiness. 
(here she is about a year ago trying her first ever run with a little help from her big sister.)

Oh, and she would want me to mention that after considerable practice, she can also do the ultimate tween move...the split.

But, missing so much school as a result of her accident put her far behind other kids her age.  The orphanage director told me to keep her back in school, that she had no confidence and her grades were very poor.

Enter ANGEL NUMBER 2.  My husband's boss retired right around the time our kids were adopted.  She wanted to do something meaningful with her life, and as a former teacher, asked if it would "be alright" if she tutored Ruth.  Oh, and yea, she has NEVER CHARGED US ONE PENNY.  Hello A/B Honor Roll! 

You know how sometimes people will say: "How can you afford to have so many kids?" I just have to laugh.  The blessings that will rain down on you if you step out in faith just defy explanation.
As a result of these TRUE ANGELS ON EARTH, my frightened, broken, silent little girl has blossomed like an amazing butterfly.  She beams, she glows, she is stunning.  It's hard to even explain how much we love her.  She is truly our little princess.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Awesome Agnes

We call her Awesome Aggie because she is so amazing in so many ways.  I can't imagine my life without the wonderful relationship I have with this gifted child.  She is just all, love, love.  She gives it freely and lavishly, and she receives it just as graciously.  There is nothing that can pick up my day like an Agnes hug...they are world-class.

Oh, and I have to confess, as her mama, I am thoroughly and completely obsessed with her cheeks.

Have you ever seen such lovely apple cheeks in all your life?  This is not make-up...that is how they really look!  It's probably a good thing I did not have her as a baby because I surely would have kissed those cheeks raw.

Here is how she looked the day I met her.  I will never forget how she greeted me...with the strength and courage of a woman at the tender age of 13. 

Her hands and feet were calloused from years of hard labor in the orphanage...her chore was to help the matrons do the laundry for the over 500 children who lived with her.  Her strong back and strong spirit saved her from many of the trials she endured.  Loneliness, hunger, rejection and disappointment did not break her spirit.  She dreamed of a family and she dreamed of being a doctor. 

Her gifts of mercy and compassion are like none I have seen.  She loves anything and anyone that is vulnerable:  animals, babies, old people.  These gifts were honed while caring for her invalid grandmother and years and years of hundreds of children.  She was one of the first children to live at the orphanage, when there were only a few children, and there was only tea for food.

But God was working in those many years, preparing her for her future dream of becoming a doctor.  Agnes plans to become a Family Practicioner.  We are so fortunate that she is able to attend a special high school where she is already learning medicine.  She meets the bus early each morning, ready in her scrubs for the long ride.  (again with the cheeks...)
She talks of returning to Uganda, building a hospital, and saving many lives.  Is it any wonder that God brought her into our family so she could be on this path of healing and mercy?  She is a joy to all who know her, especially her blessed family. 

 I often look forward to that day when her dad and I will sit at her medical school graduation (how old will we be by then?)  What an awesome day that will be...knowing where she came from, and also where she is going and how God will use her.
Read more about Agnes, her writings and her story at her very own web site: