Jan 27, 2013

Living a radical life...

First, let me start off by saying that i honestly feel all Christians are called to live a radical life.

We are a mere 9 days and a wake up before we travel as a family of 5 to become a family of 6.

Am i excited?  Absolutely!

Am i nervous?  You betcha!

Do i know what the future holds?  No!  Does anyone?

BUT--Something is missing!  And it's been missing for a little bit.

I am neck high in adoption stuff.  We have 7 suitcases packed.  The kids are vaccinated.  We have our taxes done.  We have umpteen copies of our paperwork!  We are ready to go! 

But something is still missing...

I was sitting in church today and it felt cold.  It has NOTHING to do with my church, but i just haven't felt that closeness to Jesus that makes my heart pound. 

I remember praying to God asking Him to give me a sign.  (I'm a lightning bolt kinda gal.)

I remember telling Jesus, "I will do whatever you ask.  I will live a radical life.  I will sell everything i have.  I just need to hear you.  I need direction. Just speak to me Jesus!!"

And in that still small silent moment God spoke.  Y'all didn't hear it???? 

Seriously...He said to me, "Sheila, I'm here.  I'm in the mundane while YOU'RE trying to live the radical."

My heart was ripped into two.  As we are preparing to venture into this new season of our life, I've missed God. I've missed Jesus in the mundane.  The God that created the heavens and the earth.  He also created the radical and the mundane!

You see, Satan has been keeping me busy trying to live the radical life.  I haven't sat at the feet of Jesus in some time.  Sure, I've been in my bible.  I've been to church, but i haven't had the hunger for God's word like i should because I've been busy trying to live radically for God.  That's a fine line to walk.

Contentment is hard for me.  Relishing where God has me at this very moment is a difficult concept for me to grasp.  I'm truly a work in progress.  Aren't we all? 

I still long for that crazy, radical life.  I still pray for that next big thing God wants to do. But i don't want to miss Jesus in the process.

Jan 19, 2013


We finally have a court date schedule for Feb.  Thank you Jesus!! 

We are coming for you sweet girl!

Jan 17, 2013

Uganda Packing list

We are taking the ENTIRE family to Uganda.  Call us CRAZY!!  But that's how we roll...

Thanks to some near and dear friends, we have a family packing list that i'm going to share:

For plane:

Luggage scale to weigh suitcases upon return

Packs of tissues (for toilet paper later)



Empty water bottles (so you can fill up after going through security)

Travel blanket (airplane size)/Earplugs/Neck pillow

Tooth paste and toothbrush for plane



Kindle/books for adults
Kindle/Ipod/Books for children

Medications and prescriptions needed during travel

Kid's card games
Baby wipes

Any liquids in quart sized ziplock

Extension cord/surge protector for recharging in airport

Laptop (DVD player)

ipod with music for me, video, audio books for kids

ipod charger/phone charge/All chargers

Change of clothes/Court clothes & shoes for court

Court paperwork/kids birth certificates/Yellow fever documentation

Eye drops

Hand sanitizer

Tickets/Itenararies/Crisp $50 bill for each traveler for visas




Surge protector and converter
Check all electronics for voltage (if the range is through 220, you should be able to plug it in with only an adaptor, without a converter)

Camera charger

Extra camera batteries

Memory cards for camera

Mini flashlight

Battery charger

Flash drive and/or card reader with USB with all of court documents uploaded (We also uploaded them onto Amazon cloud).

DVD’s and kids video games
Walkie talkies for kids(helpful if you split up and they love them)

Electricity converters

Phone (arrange to rent, borrow, or buy one)


Piece of rope (to tie bags together) or hang laundry on later

Dummy wallet with old credit card, fake license, and little cash

Local US Embassy contact and security info

Embassy registration (do this on the website)

Dog tags for kids (with name, nationality engraved; can also put local info on masking tape on tag)

TSA approved luggage locks (only lock allowed)

Bike lock (in case you have to lock bags together)

Copy of passports (in case of loss or theft)

Copy of birth certificates

Copy of front and back of ATM and credit card

Pepper spray

Phone numbers and addresses for home

Phone numbers for local contacts, shared with family at home

Passwords, copies of important papers, and wills shared with family at home

Color copy and laminate driver’s license (for corrupt police)

Notarized parent authorization letter if only one parent is going

Note card for thank you notes for people on the trip and small gifts from your hometown

Financial things:

Credit card (bring one that you rarely use and call the company to tell travel dates and locations)

Suspend magazine, newspaper subscriptions/mail at home

ATM card (bring one that is not attached to your main bank account and call the company)

PIN’s for credit and ATM cards

Copied front and back of credit and ATM cards or scanned onto flashdrive

Cash (bring as much cash as you feel comfortable carrying)

Important financial account and phone numbers (in case of theft or loss)

Old or fake credit card in case of theft put in dummy wallet

Back up ATM or credit card for emergencies


Small candle (for light and for smells!)

Band-Aids/First Aid kit

Antibiotic cream

Fever reducer for kids

Pain reliever

Diaper rash cream (in case of diarrhea irritation)

A couple old towels you can leave when trip is over

Small packs of tissues


Baby wipes


Visit pediatrician before trip.

Malaria medication (by prescription)

Diarrhea medicine (by prescription)

Liquid benadryl

Lotrimin for fungal rashes

Antibiotics for family

Over-the-counter diarrhea medicine

2 bars of soap (if you have a favorite)

2 sticks of deodorant (if you have a favorite)

Cold medicine for kids and adults

Hydrocortisone cream

Tylenol/Mortrin for adults


Gauze tape

Shampoo and conditioner
Laundry soap/plug/line for hand washing

Cotton swabs

Mosquito netting if not provided by guesthouse

Mosquito repellant

Alcohol pads

Feminine products (tampons are hard to find)


Nail clippers



One towel (super absorbent camping ones are great)

Kid’s vitamins


Skin so soft for mosquitoes

Alcohol wipes

Clorox wipes

Personal hygiene (toothpaste/floss/toothbrush/hairbrush)

3 months worth of contacts and solution

Body wash

Face soap/wipes

Nail polish (kids love their nails painted)

Make up (Makes us feel pretty when we are grimy)

Hair dryer/straightener (better to have than not have and wish you had)


In the villages:  Long skirts or dresses/modest tops/shrug or cardigan

In Kampala:  Capris and pants are fine.  Very similar to what is worn here.  I wouldn't advise shorts.

Lots of underwear

2 pairs of pjs--it gets hot at night


Hair things--what you would use at home

No expensive jewelry


Shoes: 1 pair of dress shoes for court, flip flops (for bathrooms), shoes for walking (I wore a Mary Jane leather teva style that went fine with capris or skirts).


Eye Glasses



We are traveling with our 3 ages 10, 7, and 5.  Our adopted daughter is the same size as our 7 year old.

8 outfits for each girl.  Some skirts/leggings/capris.  1-2 pairs of bermuda shorts.

Light jacket

4-5 socks. 

Pair of sneakers/pair of crocs/shoes for court

Bathing suit

8 outfits for my son.  Long shorts/collared shirts/swim trunks/jeans/khakis

2 pairs of pjs each.

Lots of games/legos/coloring books/a whole suitcase of fun stuff to do and we will leave it there.

Lots of baby wipes


Reusable, washable bags for dirty clothes, shopping, storage, etc…

Mesh laundry bag

Dry bag (if you’ll be in a lot of water)

Stop mail at usps.com

Variety of Ziplock bags

Give neighbors a letter

Photos of home to share (people are always interested; you can put them on your ipod)--Locals love to look at photo albums

Small notebook (to carry daily to jot things down)


Leatherman/good quality knife

Matches or lighter

Rope or laundry line

Small dish detergent and sponge

Laundry powder/Woolight for hand washing

Sink stopper

Plastic bowl and cup for each traveler

Utensils for each traveler

Several storage containers

Several food bag clips

Gifts for new friends

Bungy cords (just in case)


Duct tape

Large trash bags (to keep things dry)

Lantern or light (if somewhere without electricity, I like the round, small stick-up LED lights)


House/pet sitter for home

House sitter’s list

Over door hook

Safety pins

Masking tape (to write on and label things)

Candle (in case of smelly rooms and emergency)

Contact info from home

Back up computer on USB

Calling cards for home to call you or Skype account

Donations (bring used kids’ toys to donate if desired)


List of must know words in child's language
Begin blog/email list to update family

Collapsible suitcase or duffle bag for souvenirs

Envelopes (you never know)

Pencils, colored pencils, pens, sharpener, crayons, eraser, note books, folders

Ant/Roach traps


List of Questions to ask birth family

Bring photo to leave with birth family


We are also packing a whole tote box of snacks

Crystal light





Protein bars

Granola bars

Peanut butter

Dried fruit

Tuna/Cracker packets

Trail mix

And we wait some more...

I am going out of my ever loving mind waiting on a courtdate.  I have poured my heart out to the good Lord and we still wait. 

I am getting one heck of a lesson on patience.  I know God's timing is perfect, but i'm not going to lie--i have been asking him to at least give me a glimmer of hope.

Then we get an email saying we will have a courtdate today and today comes and goes without a courtdate.


This has been a very nerve wrecking process.  During all of this I keep reminding myself that the Lord has provided for us to be here.  He has taken care all of the details up until this point and will continue to look after us until we get to Africa and home.

Seriously...my life feels like it's on hold. 

Waiting just plain ole SUCKS!