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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 4

We were planning to go into the village but we had several things come up, so we stayed at Katie's and ran errands in town. We were able to check several things of our 147 list...which is always nice. We ended the day with a bible study at Katie's after her girls were in bed. It was a really sweet time of worship. I met a girl named Morgan, who is here serving at an HIV orphanage. She said that she would be more than happy for us to come visit...which leads us to

Day 5.

This little boy is named Moses. I know him from when I came to get Josie Love. He was very sick. He had a high fever and wimpered a lot. After we found out that Josie was positive, I remember thinking, I wonder if Moses will ever have a family? My heart has always been broken for him. As people were coming to Uganda to visit, I would tell them to check on him for me. One day, someone came home and told me that he had been moved to an orphanage for HIV. I figured I might not ever see him again. As i looked the room over and saw his sweet face, my heart skipped a beat. He has spots on his skin and I am not sure what they are from. He is PRECIOUS! He has grown some and seems to be doing alright. I couldn't believe how this home was so organized and clean. They do a great job of making sure the children get their meds and care for them so well. They will even keep the children until they are 18. My new friend Morgan was going to show us around. I set Moses down, thinking that he might want to go play. He stood close to my leg and grabbed my hand. SO, I just couldn't resist, I picked him back up.

As I looked around my heart began to ache. I looked at each room, I envisioned Josie putting on her little pajamas and climbing into one of the beds. When I looked in the kitchen, I thought about her sitting on the floor eating her dinner. The children were playing outside....would she have been with them? or still sitting in the grass just watching? The tears started flowing and I could not stop them.

I looked the word hope up in the dictionary:

1. To wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment.
2. To have confidence; trust.
1. To look forward to with confidence or expectation
2. To expect and desire.
1. A wish or desire accompanied by confident expectation of its fulfillment.

We ALL desire these things. God created us this way. Every orphan wishes to be loved and cared for by a mommy and a have a family. The Lord desires for us to have people here on earth to love us and make us feel as though we "belong." Thankfully, these children have people who are caring for them and teaching them about Jesus. when they age out of the orphanage, then what?! These children have been abandoned, alone, and sick with just a handful of people to care for them.

The rest of the day i was full of despair. How can this be? how can there be this many children that God created SO perfectly with no mommy and daddy, no one to kiss them good night, and no one to love them? I looked at Gwen and she had the same look on her face. We were both broken for these children. She was thinking the same thing that I was thinking. I had NO hope. I cried and cried and cried. There were over 50 "Josie Love's" in one building. Most people that adopt do not really know what would have happened to their child had they not adopted them. Today, it was staring me in the face. THIS is where Josie would be. THIS would be her bed...THIS would be her clothes.....THIS would be her life with the 50 others that are here. my heart broke.

In these moments I get so angry that I have to go to the one that cares the most...the one who whispers in my ears:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

HE gives me hope. HE gives me joy in knowing that HE loves them. And one day they will all spend eternity in his arms. Until then, HE will use me. HE will give me every opportunity to share the stories of these children to hopefully move hearts to action on behalf of these children.

This little boy that Gwen is holding is two years old. His name is Kevin. He has HIV, malaria, and the flu. One day, with the right meds and love, he could be running around and happy just like Josie is.

the little girl on the left is deaf and positive. her name is Jane. Elijah is on the right.....Grace was a champ. Her mom was a big weepy mess and she looked at me with affirmation as if to say " I get it mom! my heart is broken also, and I will stand RIGHT beside you on behalf of these children that I am surrounded by." I am so thankful that her heart is tender to the things of Christ. AND that she hears the Holy Spirit whisper in her ears to speak up and ACT on behalf of these sweet children. I am so blessed.

to read bout the other two childrens homes that we visited today...go to: Gwen's blog


Sarah Harrington said...

It must be heartbreaking, but there IS HOPE! It is because of Josie that my husband and I decided to adopt an HIV+ child.

Keep doing what you are doing!

Sarah Harrington said...

It must be heartbreaking, but there IS HOPE! It is because of Josie that my husband and I decided to adopt an HIV+ child.

Keep doing what you are doing!

Kim said...

My goodness, I'm doing the "ugly cry" over here. This post just breaks my heart. I'm praying hard that your words open the eyes and hearts of many to these children and their need for a FAMILY.

Anonymous said...

Amazing work you are doing. Very inspiring.
I am interested in knowing more about your adoption agency, and more about the process, and cost of adoption in Uganda. I am currently adopting from India, but I am interested for future reference. I'm sure other people are too. Thanks, Jennifer.

Laine said...

Oh my...just read yours and Gwen's blog and am so broken...the hope, the despair, the great chasm between both these words and both these WORLDS...and you are so right, it is only by HIS peace and grace that we continue to put one foot in front of the other, seeking His FACE as to WHERE those feet go...
Oh my, you girls are bringing it home. THANK YOU...and I am praying NOW and always...

Lisa Kindred said...

Chloe and I sit here and read this and hurt and ache for all those precious children. our voice and heart is moving many people to act. Thank you to you,Gwen and your sweet Grace for being the hands and feet of Jesus. We will continue to pray you thru every day. Blessings!

Lisa and Chloe

Tasha Via said...

Oh my goodness! I can hardly see through the tears to write.

I'm just writing to encourage you. I know your calling is hard. Easy to love on the kids, just hard to see so much without hope. Keep going. I pray that you will find many orphanages that will allow you to work with them!

God Bless,
Tasha Via

"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

I too think about this. We did a camp for children of prisoners.....and it always crossed my mind if our children weren't with us....this is where they would be. Or if Jonathan hadn't come to us.....he would be starving and on the streets. Or some of our kids would be in even more precarious situations right now.

My heart weeps for children with no family.......thank you for sharing your heart!

Sara said...

Suzanne, I've spent a few days at the home where you were today! We love those kids and pray that many of them will have a family someday. One thing that breaks my heart in Uganda is how so many people think growing up in an orphanage is good enough. It is not. We're trying desperately to adopt a little girl at a nearby orphanage who is HIV+ and running into all sorts of problems. My heart just breaks. We love those kids (especially little Jane! Ahhh!) and I'm praying for many of them to have families!!

astepinfaith said...

THANK YOU.. .THANK YOU for reminding me and relighting the fire. I am so broken right now becasue of this post. I needed to read it. Thank you for putting it out there and showing people the truth. Would you mind if I share?

love said...

i feel your tears--your heart, too. praying with you!!!

that little elijah was stuck to me there. and i loved josiah so much. [all of them, but i know you know what i mean that the Lord draws you to certain children.]

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I happened to stumble accross your blog today.
My Father and I visited the home in Jinja just over a year ago. I came to know Josefine during our time there. What a sweet little girl she is! I remember her being so curious about her surroundings and always trying to wander off :) Blessings to you and your family during this process. My heart aches to return to Jinja and spend as much time in that home as I possibly can! Hug the children for me.

Anonymous said...

My heart breaks for Holly and her husband right now. That you would think these children have no one to love them and no hope, maybe you don't know her personally but I can assure you she loves those children and has women and volunteers who also love those kids. She is there for those children when no one else is. Maybe dig a little deeper next time. How can you know if they have someone to kiss them at night? Holly and William will give them the best hope they can ever have and that is sharing with them the gift of Jesus, teaching them to honor God, and that God is a Father to the fatherless and you can't get any better hope than that. Yes Parents are ideal but to say there is no hope if they don't have them is not even Scriptual. I don't know how to have a profile to comment on blogs, Danyne

suzanne said...

Danyne, once again, you have taken a couple of words from my blog and twisted it out of context. This saddens my heart. I know that William and Holly have the purest hearts in caring for these children and they love them. I LOVE that they have dedicated their lives to these children here in Jinja. the truth is, every child DESERVES a mom and a dad. And i DO believe that God has given me a platform for HIV children (because I am now LIVING it)to speak up and encourage others to adopt these sweet little blessings!

Oatsvall Team said...

Well you all know me ... Say something unkind about me and it just rolls right off my back, but say something about Scott, the kids, or my friends / family and these Mama Bear Claws come out ...

Suzanne - you are a kind and honest person ... your motives to help and serve are always pure ... It is an honor to serve alongside of you ...

It hurts my heart when ignorant comments are made by people who have no idea who you are and how Christ is using your family's story to further the Kingdom ... SO PROUD OF HOW YOU SHARE THE LOVE OF JESUS AND CHALLENGE OTHERS TO ACT !!!

love ya sis


Lindsey Doyle said...

I want to just build you up right now. YOU SERVE JESUS DAILY. Many people all over this world have a journey toward adoption because of how the Lord has used YOU. Many children all over the world have families because of how the Lord has used YOU. I know your heart and it is inspiring and full of love. I remember holding Joshua when he was such a tiny little thing and at that moment felt a tug in my own heart. Then I remember running into after you just received a call about Caleb and your face was beaming with the joy of the Lord! And lastly, I can remember praying continually for your little Josie Love as you were in Jina getting her the meds that she so needed. You have a courage and boldness that is only for Him. This courage and boldness is used to only glorify our Savior. And in doing so, He is using you to open eyes AROUND THE WORLD...that blended families are beautiful in His sight...that HIV is not scary but treatable...that we are called to care for those who can not care for themselves whether it be by adoption, support, or prayer. He is using you because you are His servant that says yes Lord I will faithfully follow where you lead. So thank you Suzanne, thank you for the example that you lead nothing done out of deceit or lies but everything done out of love.

Michelle said...

We are all called to use the gifts that we have been given for God's purposes...for His glory...for His kingdom. It's been very interesting to watch my sweet friend Suzanne do exactly that with God's call on her life. She hurts deeply for children who are orphaned and is challenging us to get off the sidelines and help these kids! I've lost count of how many people in our community are doing just that...getting off the sidelines and helping orphans in many ways, including adoption, foster care, financial support. And they are doing it because they see the life-changing impact that a family makes for a child. We are thankful for every person that cares for a child, that opens their homes temporarily or permanently to the abandoned, that provides a home in a country where the people will not care for children. Most of all, I am thankful that Suzanne and Gwen live their calling out every day and do not waiver in their convictions. They have been such a blessing to me, and I am proud to stand beside them on this journey!

Tasha Via said...

Hey, just wanted to let you know that I've created a button to help all of us on the Uganda Adoption Journey stay connected:)

You can grab it at

God Bless,

PS-Ditto on everything "Oatsvall Team" just said!

Tara said...

Suzanne-Goood Daaayy! My heart is always torn after I read your blog but today put me over the top! It has taken me a couple hours to digest. First and foremost, I am and always will be so very proud to call you a friend in Christ. Your love for others is matched by no other. I will continue to pray for your heart as you continue to see ALL THE CHILDREN IN NEED in Africa!
It always saddens me how some try so hard to see the negatives in others. I cant help to respond this time. It took great effort and imagination to twist anything that you have written into hurtful ones. It is easy to speak into someone else's life as you sit back and OBSERVE, but not always wise and NEVER Christ like....You walk in the HIV world EVERY single day and for ANYone to question your heart OR your words is missing out, missing out on a beautiful person with alot of wisdom to share. I love you sister, continue doin what you do and all of us will continue to do what we do, that is pray for you:)
Love ya girl,

cindy said...

Suzanne, thank you so much for your honesty. I'm so glad you got to love on Moses for a while today. It IS such a hard reality that so many kids will never be able to claim a Mom and Dad of their own. That they will never have someone on earth say "this is my son" or "this is my daughter" and have that sense of BELONGING. Bobby would have gone there also if we hadn't adopted him and the thought of him not being with us breaks my heart. He so desperately wanted and needs a Mom and Dad and a family and I KNOW this is true of all children as soon as they become aware that families exist.

I, like you, am grateful for people and places who take care of children in the absence of parents but growing up in an orphanage is not good enough.

I know your heart, Suzanne, you love Christ, Mike, and you desperately love your children. Your heart breaks for the same things that break God's heart. And you know where your hope comes from. Thank you for your work on behalf of orphans.

anna said...

You are one of a kind. You are more of a role model to me than you will ever know. I am grateful that you allow me to love on your kids. While reading this post (while the tears flowed), I could feel some of your heartache. I can't imagine my life without JLove, who brings such JOY to people's lives, as do the rest of your children. You have a pure heart that just wants all children to have someone to call a Mommy and a Daddy. BUT I do know that you and Gwen, along with all other adoptive mothers and fathers are standing up and shouting on behalf of all orphans. I love ya and I APPRECIATE YA!


emily said...

Suz, I so get your words, your heart, your desire for different and your ability to SEE how it could have been if sweet Josie Love weren't home (Lord broke me in home in Addis full of Abes). Thank you for being a constant source of encouragement to me! Thank you for speaking up and using the platform the Lord gave you for good. Don't allow anyone to bring you down, or make you question. You are a bright light my friend. Love you dearly. Can't even wait until we are in Africa together. XOXO

Tosha Haynes said...

Buueeennnosss Diiaaassss!
I love you and your sweet heart. It makes me truly sad (and a little angry) that someone would twist your words and try to make a mess out of the tireless work you do on behalf of orphaned children around the world.

What I know is that you are an honest, kind and genuine follower of Christ. I know that you choose DAILY, to put your heart on the line and that you put others before yourself! I also know that you and I have had several conversations about the men and women IN Uganda caring for orphans (Danye included) and how inspiring their work is and about how the way they have followed Christ's call on their life is nothing short of amazing. I know that you never tear down someone else to promote yourself. I also know that you "dig deep" into the heart of Jesus EVERY day!

Thank you for the way you inspire me and so many others! Thank you for turning 40! (I will thank you for that the rest of my life heehee) Thank you for following the Lord so honestly and desperately! Thank you for lifting up others. Thank you for allowing your heart to break for what breaks Jesus' heart!

I'm so thankful for our friendship! I love you!

Anonymous said...

Keep your eyes on the "main thing" and that is Christ, alone! He is your purpose and passion, without which, all that we do would be empty and vain....He has called you, He has equipped you, He will direct your paths. NO ONE could be on your journey unless God Himself placed you there....who could have designed your family, your creativeness :) and your perserverance but Jesus!!! You have a quiver full of arrows that you are raising to be warriors because God placed it on the hearts of you and Mike. God used you to save the lives of many, whether it was the rescue of Baby Sista, or the complacency of our American way of life! Your obedience is an encouraging roadmap of how any of us can make a difference/change a life! You go girl, cause you have an army marching with you now. And when your eyes are opened, you can never say, "I didn't know"..
Love you!


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I am a lover of Jesus. I have the most fabulous husband that anyone woman could ask for. The Lord has blessed us with 7 beautiful children. I started this blog so that friends and family could follow our trip to Uganda to visit Katie Davis. I have decided to keep blogging to help bring orphan awareness to the world around me.
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