I am currently living in Uganda, which is a crazy dream come true.
I co-founded and currently help run Abide Family Center. We exist to keep families together because we believe children belong in families. I’ll probably
rant write a lot on here about why I think family preservation is uber important, alternative care, adoption ethics, and believing in the Ugandan family.
My world turned upside down when I met and fell in love with a baby girl during my first trip to Uganda. When I said goodbye to her she was living in an orphanage. I thought she needed a new family, but it turned out she already had one, and they were awesome. My second trip to Uganda I visited her again, only this time she was home in her village with her grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. She was thriving. She was happy, healthy, loved, and spoiled rotten (i’m not kidding… she’s a lovable little brat now).
That changed everything for me. I realized that international adoption wasn’t the only option for kids stuck in orphanages. I learned that most of the kids in orphanages in Uganda had family members who wanted them and were just too poor to care for them, and that these caregivers were never offered assistance to keep their kids at home. That’s when my awesome friend Kelsey (who had figured all this stuff out way before me) and I decided to start Abide Family Center.
Now I spend my days in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with some of the coolest people in the world. I get to be a part of empowering parents to keep their children at home, which is phenomenal (hard and messy too, but oh so worth it). I’m constantly learning and growing, realizing each new day that I know even less about this culture then I thought I did yesterday.
In this blog I try to capture the intensity that is this life. The hard that is oh so hard, and the good that is oh so good. I try to respect the people I work with, so I rarely post names, and try my best not to tell people’s stories without their permission (and sometime contribution). Sometimes I weave together a couple true stories to communicate what I want to communicate while protecting individuals privacy.
I am far from perfect. In fact I mess up a lot here. Every single day. My hope is that I can make this place an honest space, where I am brave enough to boast about my weaknesses and never give the false impression that I have it all figured out.
“But He said to me, ‘my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the most gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me”
2 Corinthians 12:9
P.S. My blog title? I am WAY too proud of it. Not only does it come from a wonderful quote from Les Miserables (my favorite musical), but Uganda just happens to be called the pearl of Africa! So there are like double meanings… wow… I know… you’re impressed, right? Don’t always expect such a high level of creativity though, that took me like months to come up with.