Monday, January 26, 2015

It All Began With A Baby Named Grace!

It was a typical hot sunny Ugandan day...a day that I will always remember. Because it was one that changed the course and way I think of life forever. The fact that I was actually in Uganda was still fresh and new to me...a dream come true. I had now been here for nearly 2 weeks. Like any other day we of course had different guests coming in and out of the compound for different reasons and needs. This certain afternoon there was a man and little girl that came after I just arrived back  home for the day. It was normal for people like him to visit, but there was something that I immediately felt for this baby girl as soon as I saw her. Something I had never felt for any other child in my life. Something totally new to me, and something I tried to pretend for a week didn't exist.

I spent one whole long week trying to convince myself that there was nothing I could do for this little one. Because I was 17 and MY plans were to just stay in Uganda for 2 months, then return to the States

But it did not matter what I did during the day to try and convince myself that I felt the same way about other kids all over Jinja, every night she was still on my heart. And I spent many hours each night praying for this little one and asking God what He wanted me to do and what purpose He had on placing her on my heart like this. 

After a week of this I finally shared what I had been feeling and what I felt God had placed on my heart. Because I couldn't ignore it anymore. It turned out that this little girl did need someone. She had just lost her Mom, and her Dad had no idea what to do with her. There was no way he could work and care for her needs. Within a couple days this little girl was under my care.

 At just 18 months knowing very few words, and barely walking on her own, she was dropped off at our home (NGM compound) with one outfit and a pair of shoes. She had stolen my heart in a way I had never experienced before.  I now had a precious little side kick who God had seen me worthy to teach, love, cherish, and train. The first days were spent loving this precious little one as we both adjusted to having each other in our lives 24/7. I soon became her "Mommy," not replacing the one that she had lost that loved her so much, but I was blessed to be able to fill the role in her life that was empty and she needed. She soon learned many more words and quickly learned how to hold her own in talking in a house with adults. Naps, baths, playing, snuggling, being silly, and lots of hugs and kisses soon became some of my favorite parts of the day as we lived life. 

 God knew we needed each other.
Gracie needed a Mommy, and I had no idea how much I needed her. How much my perspective would change on so many things once just a small little one stole my heart. 

- Allowing forgiveness for some hurts in my past that happened to me while growing up.
- Opening up areas in my heart that I didn't know I kept closed off from everyone. 

These are things that God did in my life just through the process of me caring and loving Gracie with everything I had. She was my little sunshine and I loved every minute with her.

 She became the sunshine of our house.
  Loved by so many

Lots of hugs and kisses!!

Through meeting Gracie and her Dad I also learned about her 3 older siblings. 
 Two of them had the same Mom as Gracie so they also had just gone through the loss of their Mom.

I'll always remember the day that Kalema brought Odrine and Namale to see Grace for the first time since she started living with me. The thing that always sticks with me is not just the way that just like Gracie I had so much love for them, but how much they loved each other.  The joy they had at seeing Grace, or "Queen" as her birth family all called her, was very evident.  Grace was so happy to see her older siblings just as much as they were excited to finally see her.  It was like these siblings had been separated for a year, but it had only been a month.  These older two had helped their parents care for this little "Queen" since she was born, had lived for 16 months in the same home as a family, had missed Gracie beyond words while they were away living with extended family the last month of their mothers life.  Witnessing this reunion was beautiful, touching, impacting my heart in even more ways then I can put to words here.  They played together, laughed, snuggled, and the love they had for each other was blindingly evident.  Beauty in the purest form.

Meeting these kids is what slowly brought into my mind the vision for Forever Hope. 

 Gracie is now adopted and living in America, but her amazing siblings still need a home, love, and to have the opportunity to remain together as a family.  To often in Uganda when siblings lose one or both parents remaining together as they would desire to do is not an option.  This relationship with these beautiful children wasn't something that happened overnight, but has grown stronger each day. It has developed slowly as I felt the nudging of God. It has taken time, prayer, seeking advice, and allowing God's leading me to get where I am today.  It been a good journey so far, full of many opportunities for me to grow personally.

  If any of you that are reading this right now feel led to be a part of what God is doing in Odrine, Namale, or Eddies lives, in my life, and in Uganda please let me know. This is not possible without people like you partnering with us to make it a difference, and to change these kids' lives forever. 

My goal is to be able to share with each of you where each of these young people have come from, and allow you to follow our lives.  That each of you will be able to see the impact you are making by your support and eventually to see them as each of them grow into adulthood.  I desire to partner with each of you as this is something I cannot do without your prayers and financial help.  Every bit helps and nothing is too small.   Please feel free to email me at or comment below for more information.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and learn more of where God is taking me.
~ Morgan