I give the quality of writing a 3, but give Katie 5 after 5 after 5 for the important work she's doing. One of the take-aways forme was the idea of taI give the quality of writing a 3, but give Katie 5 after 5 after 5 for the important work she's doing. One of the take-aways for me was the idea of tackling the most important thing first, give it your full attention, then move on to the next, repeat. In Uganda the important is both obvious and urgent, so there's a clarity to how you spend your time given the intent to educate, feed and provide medical care for children. Just because I don't live in a crisis situation with that level of urgency doesn't mean I can't determine what my most important actions are given what I want to accomplish and THEN be fully present in those moments, in those interactions, especially when working with children. Time and time again she demonstrates the power of focused attention, spending meaningful time with a child, rocking, singing while looking in their eyes...children thrive from this very specific attention. They don't need to be orphans to benefit. So I've taken with me a greater awareness of what I focus on each day and whether those things line up with my values.
It's the extent that Katie gives of herself and fully enters into relationships that impresses me. To truly listen to someone else, hear what they are about and honor them for their uniqueness... It's powerful. I also love that she is raising her girls to be problem solvers. They have the ability to see need, a sincere desire to help in meaningful way and are able to find solutions to complex problems. I feel she is giving them the gift of discovering their own value and capabilities. I have a feeling Katie's girls are going to become a force of women that will contribute to the rebirth of Uganda. I would love to Check back in with them in 10-15 years.
Adoption as a theme: the form of adoption Katie demonstrates is unique in the adoption world. She brings sick and neglected children into her home and cares for them until they are stable. She researches their family history using local sources and attempts to find an adequate kinship placement for them. If that's unsuccessful, she searches for a foster placement in the child's community. If that's unsuccessful she fosters them herself and after meeting the residency requirements formally adopts them. My understandig is she plans to make Uganda her permanent residence. As a result, her children are able to maintain connections to their communities and live in a place where their culture is dominate. Many people talk about the challenges faced by the world's orphans and the lack of solutions for long term care. A constant criticism is adopting a child from another country, helps that one child, but does little to address the orphan crisis itself. I'm not opposed to international adoption, but think the system could be wonderfully served with an NGO attached to each orphanage that works to find kinship or foster situations for children before they become available for adoption. In-country solutions need to come first. The criticism, of course, becomes that gathering info and forging relationships with families and learning cultural dynamics all takes time, so adoptive families may not be able to adopt younger babies like they'd perfer. But, if the goal is to help an orphan, shouldn't we be assured everything possible has been done to strengthen their ties to their communities first, thereby assuring that the children placed for adoption have a need that can't be met in their country of origin. Katie's three pronged approach... School funding, feeding programs, and medical care... Is vital. With those particular needs covered extended family have a greater likelihood of being able to care for additional children. Katie offers us a blueprint of how we can serve orphans and use adoption in appropriate ways. She has left me with a lot to consider, ...more