Sunday, February 28, 2010

Isaiah's Gotcha Day! LONG!

The Market where we were waiting fro Aunty and Isaiah to come out of the crowd
Mukisa Isaiah's first picture as he got in the van! He stole my heart right here!
He looks like a very chubby baby but in fact he was starving. His body was swollen and his cheeks had that sunburned look.
He was so little! We both closed our eyes for this picture! We found each other at last!
Esther holding Isaiah and Aunty Betty along with Allenni and Andrew
Richard, my driver and friend with Isaiah
This photo breaks my heart. Aunty Betty was so sad. When she came back a few months later to appear in court, she looked so much younger and was so happy to see Isaiah so healthy. She kept thanking me. I let her hold him and feed him as much as she wanted to. She said, "I have never seen him smile like this."
He had been crying
What a doll
I love this gift from God!
Aunty Betty and I with Isaiah. This was the official photo of the release of Mukisa Isaiah to UCOM.

Well, Isaiah's Gotcha Day slipped past us pretty much unnoticed. I knew it was coming and then I realized today that it was two days ago. We actually were celebrating Eli's and Seora's birthdays. So it was no wonder it got forgotten.
Anyway this little boy came to us in no ordinary way. He was truly a surprise from God and an answer to a deep desire in my heart that only God knew about.

We had originally thought there might be a baby sister of Allenni and Andrew's but after much investigation she could not be found having either died or taken to live with another family out of the area. The more likely case is that she died. Andrew remembers her being there and then gone.
Of course, we all were disappointed and bummed that she could not be located but something prompted me to ask HFU if there was a baby named Trevor anywhere nearby. I had brought Allenni a baby doll and she and Andrew named it Trevor. As it turns out, there actually was a baby named Trevor at HFU that had been there about a month and
HFU asked if we would be interested in him. Here is an excerpt from my blog:

"He is 20 months old but the size of 6 months. His mother died at his birth. . . Of course, my heart wanted to just take him but I told them that I would want to pray to make sure that it was God that wanted me to take him, not a whim of mine and I needed to talk with Duane. When I was able to talk to Duane , he couldn’t believe that I didn’t say yes, right away.
That was the confirmation I needed. I had asked God that if Mukisa was ours, let Duane say we needed to take him without me asking. Duane said that as I was telling him about Mukisa, he felt that this child was destined to do great things for God. And we were the ones to help bring that about. It was our responsibility to help him realize his purpose as his parents. That was the same thing I was feeling as I had prayed all day about the decision to take him. So….. We are getting a baby boy as well!!!!! His name is Mukisa Trevor. His birthday is May 17, 2006. I quickly started making calls to HFU to get info needed to file the applications. I made phone calls as well to the States to have our home study amended to include more children. We are not sure if we can accomplish a court date before we leave but we would like to try to bring him home on the plane with us. We will see. "
This all happened around the beginning of February.

After many phone calls and meeting with the attorney, we knew we would proceed with Trevor's adoption. Without going into detail, we were also experiencing some issues with HFU and so were not sure how things timewise were going to work out. I had to place it in God's hands, trusting him to work things out.
Well, He did and miraculously before I knew it I had a baby in my arms in a matter of two days.
On February 24,2008, I was notified that Mukisa Trevor needed to come to Kampala for a physical. he was sick they said and needed to be checked.
In the meantime,
God had laid it on my heart to possibly have him transferred to a baby house here in Kampala where I could be near him and get medical help if he needed it. I did not mention it to anyone. I did not know how or if I should bring it up to the missionaries here. I asked God to show me what to do. My gut feeling was telling me to get him out of Rakai and to Kampala, but I had no plan. The next morning on the 25th, Brenda, the missionary brought it up to me, telling me that she was feeling that I should have the aunty bring Mukisa to Kampala and put him into the Feed His Lambs program. I started crying because of the goodness of God.
I texted HFU and asked them if they would think that the aunty would consider moving Mukisa to Kampala to UCOM to their baby house? Surprisingly, they wrote back that yes, she agreed and would be there the next morning. Could I pick her up at the bus stop??? This was a “SUDDENLY” gift from God. The way things had been looking, I did not even expect to see Mukisa T. until I came back to get him in a few months! The day after I got Isaiah, I found out that due to some circumstances HFU was no longer doing guardianships/adoptions. If he had been under their care one day more, I would have lost him.

Here is an excerpt from my journal on February 26, 2008:
"God does what we never expect and gives us surprises! I am in awe at His love and goodness to me.
So, the next morning Richard and I head out with the kids and go to a store to find some milk, porridge, baby clothes and diapers and bottles. I bought the only 2 outfits they had. We then headed to the bus stop and picked them up!
Once again, That feeling of butterflies filled my stomach and I felt like I was in labor. Nervousness and anxiousness all mixed with excitement! Then Richard shouts, "Here comes the baby!"
Well, amongst the thrones of people, I do not see him. But then I spot a beautiful young woman carrying a baby and I recognize
Mukisa Trevor from a photo that I had. He grabbed my heart! He is so beautiful!
He is 20 months old but is the size of a 6 month old! He is so beautiful and I am in love!
They climbed in the van and we headed back to the guest house. He was so cute! The aunty did not speak English so we mostly smiled at each other. You could tell she was nervous and sad. We arrived at the guest house and went in and John arrived to handle all the paperwork. "
We took lots of photographs and then it was time to say goodbye to the Aunty. This was very hard and one of the hardest things I have ever done. My heart ached for the aunty because you could tell she she loved Mukisa T. very much. But there was no possible way she could keep him. A widow herself and young she had no means. Even her family had disowned her for taking care of Mukisa and for not killing him. As she drove away, I could tell she was fighting back the tears and my heart broke for her as tears streamed down my cheeks. As the van pulled away, I looked once more towards the aunty and saw tears streaming sown her face. we turned to go into the house with me praying the aunty would be comforted knowing he was going to live because she had given him to me.
" I know this baby is meant for great things, I am honored God put him into my arms to raise. Oh, May I be a godly mother to him!"

Mukisa's Story

I have referred to parts of Mukisa’s story before. But now I will try to tell the whole story. Mukisa was born almost 2 years ago. But he is the size of a 6 month old. In fact 6 month clothes are too big for him. He can’t weigh more that 13 pounds. His birth mom, a young girl traveled to Kampala, probably in search of work. In the end, she ended up pregnant and as is custom in Uganda returned to the village during the pregnancy and to have the baby. At birth or a couple of days after, the mother ended up dying. Unfortunately, this is very common in Uganda. Superstitions and witchcraft run very strong here and the family felt that the baby was a curse and he killed the mother. They gave the baby to the mother’s sister and told her to go kill it. The aunty couldn’t follow through and took the baby and hid him and cared for him as much as she could. Her husband was totally against this so everyday she took him tied on her back to the field to work. At home he was set down in one place. The aunt tried to breast feed him but had no milk, so he did not develop as a normal child should. His diet mainly consisted of rice and posho ( a corn porridge) and probably sugar water. Over the 1 1/2 years she tried so hard to raise him, every one of her brothers, sisters and parents had died of AIDS and she had nursed them through it. Then on top of that, aunty’s husband committed suicide. She was was left with nothing except a little hut the size of a car. She could no longer take care of the baby. She knew he was very sick and starving. So she brought him to HFU.
He was very malnourished. He could not scoot or crawl or walk.
All eight of his front teeth are rotted. (but he looks like a little cute old man when he smiles.) The other teeth were in bad condition. HFU began feeding him and giving him a nutritional supplement.
Here again, his story reminds me of a story in Exodus. Moses’ story. I wonder what God has in store for my little man.

Now you think all that was incredulous? Well, as Paul Harvey would say, "Here is the rest of the story."
Remember when I mentioned that Mukisa who we named Isaiah was an answer to a deep desire of my heart?
Well, a few years before, I had come to the point where after trying again many times to get pregnant and literally crying out to God with tears so deep that I couldn't even utter words to express my longing for another baby that I surrendered my desire to have a little baby to God. I had told him, "Ok, if what you want Duane and I to do is to adopt older kids, then I will be happy and satisfied." I had had peace about it since that day. I had told no one about this, not even my husband.
When God brought this baby into my life, I was totally overwhelmed at His goodness and love! He had remembered me!!!! He had remembered that deep desire that I had handed over to him!
I was totally blown away! I still am to this day blown away. It was a gesture of love from my Daddy-God. So there is the rest of the story.

After one week there was an incredible difference in this child. From My blog:

A Miracle Week- Meet Mukisa Isaiah

"Today I have had Mukisa for a week! What a difference a week makes! This child came to me malnourished, a sad look in his eyes, reddish hair, very little muscle tone in his legs and arms and could not stand or put any weight on his legs at all. He was sick with an infection, skin color was dull and had bad teeth. You put him in one place and he did not move. He did not smile much or interact much with anyone. Now, a week later, this child is happy, his eyes shine, his hair has turned black, his arms are stronger. He is getting muscle tone in both his arms and legs and his skin has even darkened and looks beautiful! He can stand on his legs holding on to me and he is trying to crawl and rolls over now. He gets so excited when he sees food! He loves to eat! As he has most of his teeth he can eat solid food. We got him started on antibiotics and liquid vitamins and milk. He is copying things I am teaching him such as Peek a Boo and where is your nose? He laughs a lot now and does not like it when I walk away. I have been kissing him and today I said give Mommy a kiss. and he leaned his head forward and put his mouth on my face!!!!! After playing that for a few minutes, he puckered up his lips! His infection is cleared up and his teeth , well, he will need to see a dentist! But this child has just amazed me! he and i connected so well, I just can't describe it. Even the Ugandans are telling me, he is your child, he knows you. Mukisa means blessing and we are dropping Trevor and replacing it with Isaiah. So his name will mean" Blessing and Salvation are from God." How true his name speaks of him. God has given us a blessing and given him salvation."

Friday, February 26, 2010

Email sent out Feb. 26,2010- update

Hi family and friends,
I thought I would send out an update on how things are going. Since the kids have come home in August, our lives have been hopping. Allenni, Andrew and Isaiah have for the most part adjusted fairly well. Andrew has had the most trouble adjusting to this new life. Allenni is taking it all in stride and Isaiah acts as if he was born here. Of course you always have adjustments to make when new people are added to the family. Personality clashes, more energy, more noise, more laundry, more cooking, more cleaning, more whining and of course, more laughter and more love. It seems like we have been in a whirlwind for sure and somedays I just feel submerged under water and want to come up to breathe!
Through it all God has proven himself faithful and has continued to give us strength, wisdom and love to share. We can say God is good even on the days when we feel overwhelmed or didn't handle a situation like we would have wanted to.
Life has been quite busy since coming home with the kids, but it has been a good busy.
We went on a family vacation and conference to VA Beach and Williamsburg, VA in September. Duane and I were trained to become Beyond Consequences Trainers to help adoptive parents. While there we learned a lot about helping our kids emotionally. After 3 days of intensive training we enjoyed a week in Wiliamsburg with the kids.
We kicked off our homeschooling that week after and I must admit it was stressful getting everyone on a daily basis to do what they were supposed to while teaching several different grades all the while Isaiah was on the loose!
After much prayer and seeking what to do from God because I felt like I was being spread too thin and no one was getting good attention or focus in school and not many were cooperating, we felt peace to put Andrew, Eli, Allenni, and Graham in public school.
With Allenni and Andrew not having much schooling in their previous life, we opted to put Andrew in the 4th grade and Allenni in 2nd. Eli we put in 1st and Graham in the 7th. They started this past January. They are all doing really well. Andrew and Allenni get help with their English on the side. Since the rest of the teens are too close to graduation and we have an adjusted school plan for them, we felt like finishing out their schooling at home was the best idea. Seora, Ben, and Nathaniel turn 18 this year and Maggie just turned 17. We are focusing on finishing their credits needed and vocational training. With the little ones not here, I can focus more closely on their education, though Isaiah in himself is a one man tornado and is ever getting into things he shouldn't in a flash.
In October, Duane and I enjoyed a week in Pagosa Springs, CO thanks to airmiles and timeshare. It was great to reconnect with each other and paint, read and chill out.
Christmas at our house was great with lots of people! For the family Christmas present, we went on a cruise to Mexico. We totally enjoyed ourselves with Duane's parents and his sister. Duane and some of the kids went to see and climb some ancient Mayan Ruins. We followed that with 4 days at the beach. The kids loved Christmas and asked lots of questions about Jesus and Santa Claus. Duane's sister came down and bless her heart got the stomach bug so it was not the greatest day for her.
New Year's week my mom and dad and sister along with my grandmother and my african brother and his family came down for several days and we had our Christmas celebration. There were 21 people in the house!!!!
At the first of January, Duane and I took a few days and went to Destin, FL which happened to be the coldest they ever had there but had to leave early as we got word that my grandmother in a matter of a few days had gotten sick and died.
Duane dropped me off in Birmingham and I flew to NC to attend the funeral. It was very hard for me. I loved my grandmother dearly. I was so glad that she had been able to come visit several days before.
So as you can see we have been on the road this year but it has been great making family memories.

In January, I found out that I had won the DIANA award and so Duane and I attended the ceremony here in town along with Duane's parents.
That spurred some articles in our local papers which you can read at the links posted if interested.
So here it is February and I can't believe how time has gone by already.
We just got back from a long weekend with the kids in Memphis where we got to see some old friends and eat Corky ribs. We continued on to Branson. Our family friend Song went with us and we totally enjoyed having her along. The kids went to the Titantic Museum and we all enjoyed a day at an indoor water park!

I am headed to Pattaya Thailand for 9 days with 2 other women to visit some missionary friends and minister where God would have us. Our friends work with others in ministering to girls caught in the sex slave trade industry. I am not totally sure why God is sending me there but for months now I have had the urgency to go to Thailand. Come to find out, the missionaries there had been praying for some time for God to work it out for me to come. Going over there was actually a suddenly and was not planned until January.

I ask that you cover me in prayer as I go It is a spiritually dark place. I will be gone March 2 -11. Pleas pray for Duane and the kids back here in the States. I am sure they will be fine. Nine days is nothing compared to how long I have been gone before. Duane is very supportive of this all and I am very thankful for a husband such as he is.
I have had several people ask me, "Are you going to adopt?" NO! We've asked God to hold off for a while. LOL! Our hands are full! Thailand only lets you adopt if you live there. But I am going to see how I can help the orphan girls who are slaves in this terrible industry. I have been praying that God will let us shine his furious love in such a desperate place. My heart aches for those girls who seemingly have no hope. I hope we can shine a ray of hope at life to at least one of them. I hope to blog from there and you can follow me on my trip to Thailand at

Last year, our year was consumed it seemed in getting our three kids home. As I look back at all that took place in 2009, I am in awe at the incredible works of God, not only in my personal life but in the lives of others. He has given us our kids, just like I knew He would. He even opened doors through our adoption for others to be adopted. God is incredible and we will always speak of his great love and wondrous works.

I have finally had a little bit of time to finish up my blog about our trip to Africa, so there are new stories and new pictures. I am on the last leg of the story and hope to have it finished in a few days. You can catch up by going to Other happenings of our family are kept on

We look forward to see what God has in store for us in the year 2010. Mine and Duane's deepest desire is to know God on a deeper level and to experience the furious love that he offers us, so we can be vessels of that love, poured out on others. We have realized that nothing else is important on this earth other than knowing the Father intimately. We want to daily seek Him. We continue to pray for complete healing for all of our kids that comes from the trauma, fear and abandonment they experienced as younger children. Theirs is not an easy road to travel but we know Jesus is the abundant life and the healer and that he has great things in store for them. This keeps us going when the times are tough. We appreciate all your prayers. They are deeply felt.
Blessings to all of you,
Duane and Melissa Carter and kids

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

An article in our Local community Paper

There was an article in our local community paper last week. It was well written and I thought some of you might enjoy it. Melissa Click here, Courier Journal to read it.
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