Friday, May 06, 2011

Rwanda, Day Nine

I'm losing track of the days now. Have we really been here nine days? Wow.

Yesterday we attended court. Today at 2pm, we'll find out if we passed (there's really no reason for us not to pass). We didn't get to see Laina yesterday, and today I have a bit of a stomach bug, so I can't see her again (don't want to risk making the babies sick!). But Jeremy is there with her now, hopefully taking loads of pictures for me.

Yesterday afternoon, we went to the Genocide Memorial. As you could guess, it's one of those places that you leave feeling so heavy and sad. I had read several books on the genocide, but seeing the pictures and hearing the stories of those who had survived, and especially seeing clothing that they had recovered from mass graves--Jesus, have mercy. The memorial was really well done, giving a clear history of what happened, and especially of the events leading up to the genocide. It's hard to imagine that genocide can happen, but when you read and see all of the propaganda, political stuff, historical aspects, etc, you realize how it can. And it does. Part of the purpose of this memorial is to educate people on what leads to genocide so it will never happen again in any country. I applaud the efforts.

The best part of that whole experience was the room dedicated to heros of the genocide. People, ordinary people, who would not be persuaded to evil but instead risked their lives--and sometimes lost them--to hide people, to fight, to help people escape. Some of the men fought the genocidaires with rocks--when they were being shot at with guns. Women hid strangers under their beds. Families dug trenches disguised as gardens and hid people there, feeding them and caring for them for weeks. The point made by the audio that accompanied the tour was that those people showed that even in times of genocide, people have a choice. There is always a choice to do right, even if it costs us our lives.

Outside of the memorial, there are mass graves where remains of victims are being interred still today. And there are gardens. Beautiful rose gardens, where each individual rose represents a victim, gardens that represent ancient peaceful Rwanda, Rwanda torn apart, and Rwanda reconciled, a forest of remembering, and a fire that burns for the 100 days of remembering, from April 6-July, the dates of the genocide. It was beautiful and full of hope and new life in the midst of horror and death.

I am so thankful to be here, to be seeing at least a little bit of Laina's homeland. I hope that when she's older, we can all come back and get to know this place. It's beautiful, and that's just what I'm seeing from the bus as we drive from one appointment to another.

Please pray for: health for all of us, an easy time passing court, and that we'd get our travel letters very quickly. Once we have those, we can keep Laina with us all the time--and show pictures! And pray for the boys as they're missing us (and we are missing them!).

Thanks, friends. And by the way, may I remind you that comments=love? :)


Shannon said...

Ooh, I love you! ;) I didn't realize you'd be able to blog, so I hadn't looked since day one. YEAH!! So exciting to meet Laina in your writing. Can't wait until it's in person!! Since she's having a tough time with overstimulation, will you postpone the baby celebration?
The girls will have a picnic with your boys today at my Mom's while I'm working. Sad I can't be there, but glad they can visit!

Is Laina out of the woods now as far as her health? How are you feeling today? Praying and praying! Shae

annie said...

Praying for you guys morning, noon, and night. :) I had the most beautiful dream about your daughter the other night....she was about four in the dream and running on the beach with you and laughing and smiling, cuddling up to you. It was really sweet.

I'm so glad you are able to blog. I can't wait for photos!!

Vanderpool days said...

We are praying for you and your family constantly, and all the families with you there. Can't WAIT to be in your shoes one day soon!! My little one should be running around that place somewhere right now :)

Mrs said...

Devouring every word. Praying continually! So sorry a stomach bug has kept you from Laina even one minute!

PS We knew her name would start wit an L because we saw it in the nursery pictures. It was fun to speculate!

Lindy said...

I'm loving keeping up with what all is going on! I can't wait to see all the pictures and hear all your stories! Praying for everything to go quickly and smoothly!! Can not WAIT to finally get to meet my sweet niece!!

Amanda L. Davis said...

I hope you feel better soon! Looking forward to pictures. :)

julieamazed said...

I have been captivated by this Rwanda blogging!! I am so happy for you guys! To actually BE there and to get to spend time with Laina! All that waiting reminded me of Rita Springer's "It's Gonna Be Worth It All." And now here you are and it was worth it. My prayers are with you both!

becoming 7 said...

praying for health, passing court and receiving that travel letter!

Stacy said...

Hi Allie,
I think I met you once briefly but I'm friends of your sisters through Access. I've read through your entire blog after Haylee posted a link. I am so inspired by your story. I am praying for your growing family and a safe trip back home.

Raquel said...

Oh, this is so exciting! I check your blog every day. I can't wait to see pictures of precious little Laina!

Phyllis said...

Since you've already shown us her little hand, can you post another picture of her hand WITH yours (or Jeremy's)? I know it might be too much to ask, and I'd understand, if you can't, but it would just be so sweet if you could.

Praying constantly here!

Allie said...

Phyllis--I actually have a picture like that, which I will post. But tomorrow I will do you one better: I can finally post a picture of the whole girl! :)

Shannon--no plans to change the celebration. I think we'll keep it.

Annie--love that dream!

Sarah Stephens said...

Checking your blog is now on my daily routine! Love the updates and can't wait for your family to be together at last!!!

Mrs. R said...

Actually it was Phyllis' FB posting this morning that first let me know you had passed court--amazing how news travels worldwide! Praise the Lord! There are tears of joy here as we glory in long-awaited answers to many prayers. We are thrilled for all five of you!

Annette said...

Allie, these are amazing blog posts in the midst of must what be a busy time in Rwanda. She is so blessed to have parents who are so thoughtful, so deeply reflective, who want to experience her homeland so they can help her to experience it as she grows up. You guys are amazing.