Thursday, May 9, 2013

Guest House Pics

After we got temporary custody of Asher, we had to leave Jinja and travel about 2 hours west to Kampala, the capitol of Uganda, because everything else we had to do for our adoption process was to be held there. We were fortunate to stay at an amazing guest house for adoptive families called "Alirikos", a.k.a. "Herb and Ellen's". It was such a blessing to stay there with other families going through the same process and all of our meals and laundry were included in the price. Good thing because I would not know how to cook for our family while in Uganda!

And the food was so good there! The head chef is Harriet Ssanyu and she has even written a cookbook that can be found here. We have tried the banana muffins recipe but hope to try more soon - especially the chipati recipe which our family especially loved when she made that. ;-)  Some of you may have noticed I've posted on facebook some jewelry pieces I brought back with me to sell. Well, the money from those items goes to pay her children's school fees - so, thank you! I now have a facebook page where I sell her items - you can check them out here. ;-)

Here's a few pics from our stay...

The grounds were so beautiful & had amazing views. The kids had so much fun playing in the grass & riding the little trikes up and down the driveway.

This is our first room at the guest house. The kids and I stayed here until a larger room was available for our entire family to fit in, which was about 2 1/2 weeks later. Steve stayed in his own single room diagonal from us. I think he secretly liked his quiet time alone ;-)

Damask sheets in Uganda?! How did they know that's one of my favorite patterns?! ;-)

This is the larger room we moved into. Lots of storage space & it was so nice to unpack and not live out of suitcases for a while!

The day we moved in - so clean ;-)

The day we moved out - what a mess!

Our nightly routine consisted of eating Oreo cookies & watching an Andy Griffith before bedtime ;-)

This large painting was at the halfway point on the stairway leading up to our room. Asher loved to stop and look at it every time we walked by.

We loved our balcony and spent many, many hours on it...

Photo by Mackenzie

This is one of Asher's little buddies being adopted from the same babies home. They are comparing bellies to see whose is the biggest ;-)

The last night at our guest house, Harriet made a special celebration dinner because 3 of the families would be leaving to go home within the next few days. Always a happy time when a family left to go home!

At maximum capacity, the guest house could hold about 6 families. It was such a blessing to be there with others going through the same process. We were able to share in each others praises and pray for each others struggles. I was so humbled and amazed at the other families and the stories of the kids they are adopting. Here are just a few of the ones we met during our stay...

- A dad was there for one night while picking up his adopted son. His family was in UG a few months ago adopting their little guy but when it came to their visa, the US Embassy wanted to look further into their case and sent it on to Nairobi. (Very few cases get sent there but Nairobi is a higher court and questionable cases are reviewed there.) So their 2 year old son had to be returned to his orphanage and the family had to go back home to the states and wait. They were told it could take up to 6 months! A month later Nairobi contacted them, apologized that their case was ever sent to them because it shouldn't have been, and told them they could return to pick up their son.

- Another family was adopting a baby that was sick a few months ago. He was taken to the hospital and needed an IV inserted. The medical staff was not able to place it in his arms or legs so they put it in his head. This caused a horrible infection which later turned into gangrene. The top half of his head doesn't have hair because of the surgeries and skin grafts that has been performed on him. The adoptive parents were anxious to get him home to the states so they could seek out good medical care for their baby.

- One little boy was believed to have been rescued just in time from being sacrificed. Yes, that practice still goes on in Uganda today.

- Another little boy had sickle cell and needed good medical care in the states.

- Another family was there adopting a 15 year old boy. Children who turn 16 are no longer adoptable in UG. He turns 16 soon so the adoptive parents were hoping their case moves along quickly.

- Another family was adopting a 5 month old baby. He and his twin sister were dropped down the toilet after birth. His sister did not survive. He now has medical issues but with good care will do great. He's such a miracle baby!

There are so many stories such as these all around the world - even in the States. Adoption and foster care isn't for everyone, but I pray that anyone that has love to share in their family would please consider it. I know many think it would require a huge life change - and maybe it would. But I also think about the alternatives for all the kids in the cases listed above. The possibility of living in an orphanage the rest of their lives. The possibility of never thriving. The possibility of health worsening or even death. I'm pretty sure it's a blessing you'll never regret, as we are learning now ;-)


  1. Do you have contact information for Alirikos? It sounds perfect for us. We are in the process of adopting from Kampala and have 3 biological children that will be traveling with us. I want to stay someplace like this because my husband will have to return to the States' as soon as the court's are satisfied, and it will just be me and the children. Thanks!

    1. Alirikos was such a blessing to our family. I highly recommend staying there. Can you e-mail me at and I will tell you how to get in touch with them.