Well, first there is the very real truth that I don't get to sit down in front of a computer very often. And when I do I seem to be interrupted by "Mom! Mom! Mom!" of the three little kiddos I have running around here. So those who check to see if I've blogged (thank you those 3 of you) are usually sorely disappointed.
But the main reason - the one that has kept me from blogging these past months - is that the story is getting blurred. Already. It was MY blog - my story of adoption, travel, and what I was going through. I was careful not to over-share about my husband, or my kids. But now it has become HIS story. Yes, there is a HIS. There is a little guy & he has a name: Fortunate. He is called Fort. (Big sigh of happy). So when I start to write about my anxieties, my struggle, my worries - it is all interconnected with his story now. The story of his adoption which I will tell him now and as he grows older. Is this fair that other people know so much about him?
So I thought I can start by telling the story that we have decided to tell him when he is young. Later, if he wants more details, he can ask about them. And he can choose to share those details himself. So here is his story as we are telling it.
He was found abandoned by a woman and brought to an orphanage. This orphanage was overcrowded and could not accommodate him. He was transferred to a new, small "Babies' Home" that only had kids younger than 5. When he was brought to the smaller home, he had no name, no papers, no information. Only the name and number of the woman who found him. But when they tried to find her, they could not. So they named him Fortunate and gave him a birthday - the day he arrived at the orphanage, November 24.
Some of the details are blurry, but sadly we have no knowledge of his family whatsoever. By their estimation, he will turn 4 in November. He is called "the clown" at the Babies' Home, because he is so silly. (Gee, I wonder if he'll fit in here?) He was brought to the smaller orphanage with another girl. I am not positive, but I think it may be the girl Eva I met when I was there. They seemed like 2 peas in a pod. So she is the person he has known longest in his life. And it seems as though she was recently adopted by a family in Uganda. We hope to be able to keep in touch with her so that Fort can have a personal connection in Uganda, and someone who shared his early life.
He is super healthy - no major illnesses or lingering signs of malnourishment. He is not developmentally delayed either. He is emotional, and seeks attention, but I feel like that is normal for a preschooler, let alone one in an orphanage setting.
In Uganda, boys are much less likely to be adopted than girls. I am not entirely clear of the reason, but it is widely known. Healthy orphans under 2, and especially girls, are likely to be adopted by Ugandan families, and the court system highly prefers this. Because Fort is a boy and also over 2 years old, we hope the courts will see the unlikelihood that he would be adopted there. The other cultural factor is children, especially boys, are expected to be stoic and not demonstrative. Since Fort is outspoken and emotional, he could easily be shunned by local families. Here in our world, he has a chance to be just be a normal kid.
We have a court date of August 23. There is a chance the courts will deny us our application to be his legal guardians. There is a greater chance the court appearance will be postponed, and this usually happens on the day of. So I have to plan for this trip as our chance to introduce ourselves to Fort as his parents, to see what his daily life is like in the orphanage, to learn about each other, and to hopefully have our day in court.
If all goes well, I will return by myself in September to apply for his US visa. It's a long, long process.