Home And Happy

Wow, it’s finally over! Joyce is home and we are all so happy!

Joyce and I made the trek home together and it was fun watching her enjoy some new experiences! Her eyes got so big when we took off on our first flight, but she totally loved flying. Of course, having her own TV loaded with movies and access to all the free Coke she could drink helped take the experience over the top!

When we arrived in Amsterdam and approached our first escalator, she stopped dead in her tracks and had that “you must be crazy” look on her face.  I had to assure her it would be ok, but once she road it; she wanted to ride everyone she saw, even if it was going the opposite direction we needed to go! She slept almost the entire trip from Amsterdam to Atlanta with her head in my lap. It was a nice break for me! All in all it was a smooth trip home.

We arrived in Greensboro to what looked like at least 100 people cheering us on as we walked up the gate! There were people there from our church, our community, and our places of work. We saw friends we haven’t seen in over a year and friends that we have known for less than 6 months. It was absolutely amazing and made it hard to leave the airport! I just wanted to hang out and celebrate with everybody everything God has done over the last four years between breaking my heart for Uganda and bringing my daughter home! We have the best friends and family anyone could ask for. I know there are a lot of you who wanted to be there and just couldn’t. Here is the piece our local news shot at the airport. I hope you enjoy!

Joyce has settled in great and she has really come out of her shell. She is still a little uncomfortable with hugs, kisses and affection in general, but she is talking, laughing, playing with all the kids and making herself right at home. We have even started calling her Joy (at her request!) and she loves it.  She loves playing with the kids and is starting to be her silly self! It’s just the way it is supposed to be.

Home and Happy!

We're Coming Home!

That’s right; The J’s are coming home! Yesterday, Joyce and I had our Visa application appointment and all is well! We were given the green light and will be picking up Joyce’s visa tomorrow! We are scheduled to arrive at PTI airport in Greensboro at 5:33pm Thursday. I hope to see you all there!

This final trip has been amazing. It has been such a blessing to hang out with the missionaries here at GSF! My life is definitely richer having known them. This last trip has been one of adventure and experiencing as much of Uganda as possible. 

Today capped of that experience with a ride on a public transportation van and a Boda Boda!
For those that don’t know, a Boda Boda is a motorcycle taxi. These Boda drivers are daredevils at heart and whip in and out of traffic like they are playing a life-size video game! Today, a friend and I took Bodas into Jinja, a cool little city about 40 minutes from GSF. We took the back roads that wind through some little villages and then zipped through the sugar cane fields. It was an amazing experience and really made me feel like “a regular”! As you ride through the villages, the cutest little kids you have ever seen run out to the road and wave at you smiling the biggest white smiles. Even though Amy is going to kill me when she finds out I rode a Boda, it was a great way to spend my last free day here!

Tomorrow we will finish up our last bit of business then it’s a daddy daughter day! Today I had Joyce’s hair done, tomorrow its mani and pedi day at the mall. After the mall we will swing by the embassy to pick up Joyce’s visa. Then we will head to the airport guest house to have dinner, take a good shower and relax a little before heading to the airport for our 1:45am departure.

I can’t believe this part of the process is finally coming to a close. As I think about my time here in Uganda, here are some of the things that stick out: The amazing support of friends and family, 3 trips to Africa in 9 months, My wife conquering some of her biggest fears, JOYCE!!, Bungee jumping 145ft head first into The Nile, The amazing smiles and hospitality of the Ugandan people, God’s faithful and complete provision, The kids of GSF, Taco night at the Interns house, learning how to wait faithfully…these are just a few of the memorable moments here that have forever changed my life!

I want to thank…again…each one of you who has shared in our journey. Some have prayed, some have given money, some have given time and talent, some have shared words of encouragement on facebook, some have been there for my family while I have been in Uganda, some have simply read the blog, ALL of you have helped make this adoption possible!. Whatever your part, it has been greatly appreciated and words can’t begin to express how grateful my family is for you.

I plan on continuing the blog after our family is finally all together under one roof. I know bringing Joyce home is the end of the adoption process, but it is not the end of the journey. We know God has a lot more to teach us, and our hope is that your life will impacted in a positive way as we share those experiences with you. If nothing else it ought to be good for a few laughs!! OK, a BUNCH of laughs!

Please keep me and Joyce in your prayers as we make our trip home! We are almost there guys!!

See you all Thursday!
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