August 15, 2013

And just like that...

...WE'RE HOME!!! 

We'll write more later, but wanted everyone to see the NEW HOFFMAN clan!!!  We love you all and are so grateful for ALL of the support these past 2 years!!!!

August 13, 2013

We are coming HOME

Just about to board the plane! So grateful for answered prayers!! Thank you for all of your support. The Hoffman clan will soon be landing in the U.S.!!!!

August 9, 2013

TIA (This is Africa)

"M" giving one last hug to Uncle
THANK YOU for ALL of your prayers!

Got encouraging news today.  It appears that our VISAS may be in our hands at 4:00 pm Monday.

If we get the boys' VISAs Monday, then we will be heading home Tuesday evening and arriving into DC on Wednesday afternoon!!!!!!!

All I can say is that GOD moved some mountains today and we know that He heard the prayers being given on our behalf.  We went to bed last night with an unusual calmness and know that it was because of those lifting us up in prayer, and once again, giving control over to our Lord.

Man! I have been learning the same lesson OVER and OVER again these past few weeks...

that I am NOT in control, but my God is.

He knew our sons' destiny even before they were formed in their mother's womb.  He knew the journey they would travel and the hurts they would suffer.

He cares. He loves them more than our human words can express.

Today I saw it.  I saw the love that our FATHER has for OUR sons!

We went to the orphanage to do a "Farewell Party" and say goodbye to all of their friends and caretakers.   My heart ached as we said goodbye to the other children left there, yet I know that this is a good thing for our sons, that becoming a part of family is what God desires for them.

He has a plan for their life...and plan to not leave them without a family.

But as we waved goodbye to David, Hope, Brian, Jen, Esther, Beatrice and many others...God reminded me that he has a plan for them as well and he LOVES them.

My prayer for them tonight is that they will know the love of their heavenly Father first, but also, that God will bring forever families to these other children at our sons' orphanage.

Picking toys donated by family

Sweet Amos 
Mom & Chris

Enjoying their new balls 

Lovely Beatrice
"A" leaving the orphanage for the last time

August 7, 2013

Please God!

Tonight I am pleading with God to please move mountains.

We are emotionally spent.

We had our VISA appointment today and all went well, other than 2 documents being needed.  Well, as we go to look into these two documents, there seems to be bigger issues surrounding them.

So we are asking that you pray on our behalf...tomorrow and Friday.

The embassy is closed tomorrow for a holiday so we are not able to speak to anyone until Friday about this paperwork.

We know that God is going before us, but we are tired.  Just plain tired.  I feel like I have very little fight left in energy.  We're homesick, although Chris's mom is here with us (which is awesome!)

I do trust that God is in control, but we need all of you prayer warriors lifting us up in prayer.  Please spread the word to lift us up in prayer this Thursday evening.


August 5, 2013


Thank you for all of your prayers.  Let me fill you in on a few things going on. 

** VERY IMPORTANT:  As you all probably already know, there are many embassy closures due to the terrorist threats.  Please pray for safety for us.  Although, we have no reason to believe there are threats here, we still would appreciate prayers.  Also, we have our embassy appointment on Wednesday and are praying that the US approves us to adopt the boys.  Since some of the embassies are closing, we are praying that ours does not and that we will not have any delays. 

Chris is doing much better now since he's been on the antibiotics, but is still not 100% yet.  

My mother-n-law is coming to Uganda tomorrow night!!!! She is currently waiting for her plane to board.  We are so excited to have Mimi here to meet the boys. They can't wait to meet her.  

Yesterday, was our 7 year anniversary!!!  Chris and I planned to celebrate by going out for a quiet dinner, while a friend offered to babysit. BUT...we had a change of plans.  

One of the other fathers, who partners with a local NGO that focuses on reunifying and resettling abandoned children, needed some help.  He came home with 2 abandoned babies, after trekking nearly 8 hours by car to pick them up.  Both children had been abandoned at a hospital at the time of birth.  For the past year and a half these two precious children have only known the walls of the hospital and the arms of hospital staff.  Finally, the doctors and nurses felt they couldn't care for them and that these children needed another placement.  Our friend is working with his organization to find a permanent domestic solution and already has a foster care placement lined up.  However, it is temporary.  Pray that God will provide a forever family for these adorable children.

When the car arrived at dinnertime with these two children, it was all hands on deck!  I instantly grabbed Josephine (18 month old little girl).  It was then, that I caught little "A"s eyes and I could see it.  


His eyes glanced downward and away, and then back up at me. 

He started grabbing my leg and wanting me to pick him up, and put her down.  

Then...the tears began. 

The last time I saw those tears, it was when we went to visit a friend at a nearby orphanage and "A" cried and cried as we pulled into the compound. He so deeply feared that we were going to leave him there.  

This time the fear was that another baby would replace him.  

We also realized that the guest house we are staying at probably feels very much like an orphanage still. There are tall brick walls and a big iron gate.  Many American families coming and going with their adopted children.   And here are two more children arriving, needing attention. 

Needless to say, I did put her down for a bit and picked up my "baby"!  I kissed him over and over to reassure him that Mommy and Daddy love him and that these new babies were not our babies.  

This is just one of many stories that we are experiencing on this journey.  

Each day we have faced various situations that sometimes I feel completely unprepared for.  I read a blog today titled "Somewhere between who I was and who God is making me into" and thought that's exactly how I am feeling. 

I am learning each day how to be a better mother.  

Sometimes, I second guess my decisions on how I handle different fires that arise.  Today, I had another "battle of the wills" with "M".  During the "battle",  Chris and I had to go to the bathroom (only private place) to discuss whether we handled it correctly.  Needless to say, after 2 hours, we won!

But, what I'm realizing in these moments, is that God is training me.  He is making me into something more than I already am.  A friend said today that in those moments when "M" is making me so mad to the point that I don't want to draw him close to me, I need to be leaning on God even more.  I need to pray to God to show me in that exact moment how to teach my son and how to love him with unconditional love. 

Here are some photos from our Uganda Cranes football game (last Saturday)! 

Little "A" and Mommy

Our dear friend Francis (oh, and he's our driver!)

Little "A" with Daddy 

"M" (left), Kasozi (his buddy), Jennifer


August 1, 2013

Scary morning

Today started off NOT so good. 

Last night, Chris wasn't feeling well and showed a few of us that he had some open wounds on his hands and leg that had gotten infected.  It looked as if one of the wounds on his hand had "sepsis". So one of the other moms gave him "staph infection" medicine and cream for his hands.  So needless to say he took it. Within 20 minutes, he felt really exhausted and had a horrible headache.  He decided to go to bed right away. 

Then this morning, I went to take a shower and when I got out, Chris was in the bathroom sitting on the bathtub ledge. He said that he felt dizzy and nauseous.  So I left the bathroom for a second to close the blinds in the room for him, and heard a loud thud.  I looked back into the bathroom to see him slouched in the bathtub. I ran in to see his head convulsing side to side. So I grabbed his face to protect him from the faucet and then he came to.  His face lost all color, even his lips were white and cold.  I yelled for "M" to run and get Mama Harriet (the main cook & caretaker of the house). 

Chris was able to tell me how he was feeling and I told him what had happened. But my mind was racing with thoughts of all the crazy diseases he could have. My biggest fear was that there was an infection going to his brain. He has never convulsed like that and it scared the daylights out of me.  As I talked with Chris to find out how he was feeling, I looked over to see Little "A" standing at the sink, mouth full of toothpaste, waiting for me to pick him up to spit.  He saw the whole thing happen and he was scared, but the poor little guy, not knowing what to do, just stood there holding his spit in obedience.  

I quickly lifted him up and told him to go get shorts and a shirt on, and that Daddy was sick.  I immediately prayed over Chris until Harriet & "M" came running up to help me.  We told Harriet what happened and she agreed that we need to take him to the doctor soon. She went to get Papa Herb (the owner of the guest house & like a grandfather to us all) and a few of the other dads.  They helped lift Chris out of the tub and walk him to his bed.  Another friend grabbed "A" since he was standing at his closet, very scared.  Someone told me that "M" was in another bathroom wiping tears from his eyes.  

Chris was lightheaded for awhile so he laid down and around 9:00 we took him to the doctor's office.  The doctor checked all of his vitals and symptoms.  She looked over his wounds and after taking blood work, concluded that he had a severe case of bacterial infection due to the staph infection in 4 different areas of his body. He's had so many bug bites over the past few weeks and also his allergy that he had several open wounds.  She gave him some antibotics and cream.  

I can't tell you how happy I was that the doctor told me that he was going to be okay! 

When we returned to the guest house, little "A" came running up to hug Chris and I.  He stood near Daddy and patted his arm so gently and patted his head.  It was very sweet.  We told "M" that he had been so brave and strong to help Daddy.  He had the biggest smile, knowing that he had a part in helping his Daddy.  

Having a moment like this puts many things into perspective.   It reminded me that I don't want anything to ever happen to Chris and that he is the most important person in my life, even above my children. He is the most amazing husband, father, and best friend.  I've been telling him over and over today how much I love him and need him!  

I've been reminded that life is precious. In a moment, our life can change quickly- whether for the good or for the bad.  

And are we seizing the day? 

I also realized how much I need to "control" a situation.  The fear within me is rooted in this need to "control" the circumstances around me.  

But, I am NOT in control.  God is. 

Bottom line is that if God wanted to take Chris today, he would have.  But he didn't.  

My friend Francis reminded me that God wants me to lay ALL my worries at his feet  - that those burdens are not for me to carry.  So this "Fear" and "worry" that I carry often, need not be carried alone.  God is carrying that for me. 

I can't tell you how many times this trip that I have seen God work through those around us, especially the people in our home.  The same friend that gave Chris the medicine last night, said that God put Chris on her heart for about a half hour this morning, the exact half hour leading up to him fainting.  

That is God!