Freakin' Amazing

OK, so I haven’t had a lot of time to right over the last 24 hours. In fact it is 7am here in Uganda and I am getting ready for a 2hr dive into Kampala. We have to meet with the Embassy, our attorney,  and Joyce is getting her pins taken out of her arm…keep us both in your prayers for that one!

I just wanted to take a few minutes and tell you that yesterday was one the most amazing days in my life. Most of my trips here have been consumed with hours in the car, visits to the lawyer’s office, doctor’s offices, embassy appointments and more hours in the car! However, yesterday me and another guy who is here with his family to adopt took the day to go do man stuff!  I mean real man stuff!

We went whitewater rafting on THE Nile River, class 4 and 5 rapids all day long. For those that don’t know what a class 4 or 5 rapid is…those are the ones that make you say holy crap…or a few other not so spiritual words!

Then, I bungee jumped from 145ft above the Nile. I have never felt such a rush! Words can’t even begin to describe the felling. It was something I will never forget.

When we were driving back to the orphanage, we drove over the Nile from a very high bridge. As we looked down over the water, there was a big alligator (or croc, not sure what they have here) sitting on a big rock in the middle of the river. To be as big as he was from where we were I would put him at least 6-8 feet long. That put our rafting trip on a whole new level!

Freakin’ Amazing!

It's Official...Team Brinkley is +1

It’s official! Today a Ugandan Judge confirmed what Amy and I have known for the last 9 months, that Joyce Nafamba was destined by God to be a Brinkley! Today Joyce and I went to court for the judge’s ruling and he declared Amy and me her legal guardians! Team Brinkley is +1!

I can’t even begin to explain what I am felling right now. It is probably one of the most surreal moments in my life. I thought I would probably cry when I heard the judge rule in our favor, but the feelings that arose where quite different. It was that kind of feeling that just says, “Yeah, this is the way it is supposed to be.” No big rush of emotion, no tears, just a quit sense that this is what God had planned all along.

I talked with Joyce about what happened today and what that meant for her. She seems to understand a little but I am sure she doesn’t comprehend the world of change she is about to enter! None the less, she seems excited about coming to America with me, having brothers and sisters, and a new bed…and she has already started calling me daddy! Yes, my chest is sticking out a little farther right now! I am one proud papa!

Tonight, she gets to spend the night with me in the guest house. We have just been hanging out together having a great time and things are happening very naturally. We are getting ready to cuddle up together and watch a movie on the laptop before calling it a day.

I want to thank every one of you who have stood with us on this journey. I have a lot more I want to say and so much to write about, but for now…I’m going to go enjoy a movie with my DAUGHTER!

Good night from the J’s!

In-Flight Entertainment!!

My flights to Uganda always yield some sort of excitement! Weather delays, midflight re-routes, lost luggage…these are just a few we have experienced so far. My flight here on this trip proved to be the most entertaining of the three to date.

The excitement began when a rather “round” guy stood up in the aisle with his head phones in and started dancing! He broke out with some rave dancing mixed in with some classic head bobbing! It was bad…really bad! This guy thought he was the next Usher though! You could just tell he was one of those guys who thought he was the stuff out on the dance floor. After he broke bad in the aisle, he started aggravating some of the passengers. He was basically just being loud and obnoxious. Come to find out…he had been hitting the red wine pretty hard! I and the other passengers in my section (who are now mocking this guy) watched several of the flight crew come and deal with this guy to no avail. Eventually, one of the flight attendants that I would even be afraid to tangle with gave him an official written warning and told him if he did not stay in his seat and keep his mouth shut he would be greeted by Uganda 5-0 at the airport. She was no joke! He put his hands on her one time in that “I love everybody” kind of drunken way and she bout took him out! It made for a good 30 minutes worth of in-flight entertainment!

After they got Mr., “So you think you can dance” settled down, I began a conversation with a woman sitting in the same row across the aisle from me. Actually the conversation got started because we were making fun of the guy together! Don’t worry …I repented later. It was hilarious though! Turns out this lady is personal assistant to Billy Graham’s daughter and lives in Raleigh. She told some really cool stories about Mr. Graham. One of the things that stood out was the fact that at 90+ years of age and having preached all over the world…he is still memorizing scripture. Actually he is memorizing the whole book of Psalms, and because he can’t see well, he has big flip charts with Psalms written out on them in big letters so he can see it. It was really neat just hearing about his character and love for God. The man is the real deal, a true spiritual giant of our day! I can’t wait to see what kind of excitement the trip home with Joyce brings! Please start praying now.

When I got off the plane, I was greeted by the very distinct smell of Uganda. The best way I can describe it is Smokey, probably from all the trash fires and cooking fires. It is very unique and you smell it all the time. I spent the first night at the airport guest house. The guest house is very nice (by Ugandan standards) and I slept great. I woke this morning (we are 8 hours ahead of NC) to all kinds of birds singing outside my window. It felt good to be back. Having been here three times within the last nine months; it really feels like a home away from home. I am so glad to have experienced so much of Joyce’s culture.

I arrived at the orphanage after a three hour drive from the airport. The driving here is the worst part of the experience. It takes forever to get anywhere! When Joyce saw me, she ran up and gave me a big hug. It was so good to see her again. We go to court tomorrow for our ruling, after which I will sit her down and try and explain that she is now my daughter and will be coming to live with the rest of her new family in the States.  I would greatly appreciate your prayers for that discussion…for her and me both!

I also got to meet a new baby here at GSF who captured my heart immediately! I say baby, but he is actually over a year old. I don’t want to give you his real name for various reasons, so I will call him Frank. Frank looks like one of those kids you see on the sponsorship commercials. He is around 17 months old and is severely malnourished. Actually, he is clinically starving. He is just skin and bones. He looks like a little old man! His arm is only a little thicker than my finger and he only ways around 11 pounds. This kid is a real fighter though and has the best smile you have ever seen. Claudia is taking care of him and is a pro at nursing these deathly ill kids back to health. Please keep him in your prayers!

It’s almost 10pm here and I have to be up at six, so I’m going to call it a night! Wherever you are reading this form tonight, I pray you have a great night’s sleep! I pray you grab the ones you love and tell them so. I pray you ask God to give you a true burden for something bigger than yourself, and I pray he answers you!

Goodnight from Uganda.
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