Hey Jude!

November 4, 2014

Easton & Jude - Superheroes.

It is the wee hours of the morning and I am nursing a grand headache whose cause originated from overworking my surgically repaired shoulder yesterday. My young grandson Easton had decided that he didn’t care to ride in the grocery cart nor was he willing to push it for me – he of two foot stature – so I lugged him around as best as I could. But quite frankly, men just don’t have the hips for such things. We carry kids like a football. I ‘ve tried resting him on my love handles but he just slides right through. (Vanity moment: For the record, my love handles are not all that big and appear to be shrinking even as I write)!

All of which brings me to the newest addition to Clan Alderton/Brothers, a bouncy “baby” boy by the name of Jude. Baby is a bit of a misnomer. Jude is six years old. He is the newly adopted son of my son Riley and daughter-in-law Kristy.  Jude hails from Uganda.

When Riley and Kristy announced to us their plans to seek to adopt a child from overseas, we took a sort of wait and see approach. Having worked with other adoptive couples in the past we knew the process could be complicated, tedious, pricey, dangerous and fraught with the reality of dishonest humankind along the way looking for palms to be greased. I am happy to report that we experienced ALL  of these things and more! Even before the kids set foot in Uganda, a certified adoption agency that we were using, stateside, cashed a $7,000.00 check from our ministry and declared bankruptcy the next day! I made the news with some spirited rants in the Peninsula Daily News of Port Angeles, WA where the dishonest bunch was located, but to little avail. A difficult lesson regarding both forgiveness and fortitude was offered to us. We accepted it and moved on. 

Throughout all of this, Kristy and Riley remained determined and prayerful. I have learned this much: when you raise your kids to pray and teach them to walk by faith and to be led of heaven – you best not protest when they do just that.  It was Kristy and Riley’s faith that led us to believe that this thing would happen – obstacles be damned. 

Now, in the context of one small devotional, I cannot recount all of the details of this adoption. If you’re interested in a longer version, I hope to publish those thoughts sometime around Christmas of this year. Some of what I will cover will be the whirlwind of events once the dream became a reality, to wit: the text from Kristy that said, “Holy .…, Uganda just called and we have to be there in a week!”;  the mad, hectic planning, packing, kisses and hugs and putting the kids on the plane; the sketchy communication from a world away; a terrorist plot that was thwarted just a few miles from where the kids were staying in Kampala; the prayer vigils and sleepless nights; and the frustrating pace of Ugandan bureaucracy. Each of these are worth a few hundred words and I do plan to write them down. 

But for now, let’s just talk about this remarkable little guy named Jude: Born of  parents who each died of AIDS; given to an Aunt, a single mother of many who is also suffering from AIDS; raised in a village where he seldom saw a car, never saw a city or an airplane, deprived to the point that he was at the beginning stages of the bloated belly formed by malnutrition; and, both feet infected with parasites that, within a few weeks, would have taken his feet and his life….

Now picture the scene of living out this painful, hopeless existence day after dreary day – until one day, two mzungus (white people) show up, kneel down and extend their arms for an embrace – and your life and your destiny is forever changed…just in time. 

The pictures tell it all….The hollowed out eyes, the fear, and the confusion upon the first meeting. And now, just a little over two months stateside – we see this beautiful, healthy smiling boy rescued from death because a young couple made the happy mistake of having a chat with Father God.  Good job young couple! Way to go God!

For heaven to go that much trouble to rescue just one child is another story worth telling, but not just yet.  Suffice now to close with a line from an old Beatles classic: “Hey Jude….take a sad song and make it better.” 

© Patrick Crossing 2015