Riots a world away

September 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments


Surely each of us is thinking about 9/11 today.    It was on the morning news and flags all over town are flying at half-staff to honor those who died in the attacks that day.   I’ve even had to explain it to my daughter who was only three years old at the time and doesn’t remember the event.

Now, eight years later, on September 11th,  violence is happening in another country that I love.    Riots have broken out across the city of Kampala, Uganda due to tribal arguments that seem to have no solution.   There have been deaths and panic and fear are rampant in the city.       Just like panic and fear were among us back in 2001.

I watch the videos and the images coming out of that situation and my breath catches in my lungs knowing that Kampala is the birth city of my sons.    Had they not been orphaned and released for adoption, they too might be smelling the smoke of the riot fires and seeing those black plumes rise over the city.   They might be hearing the pop of gunfire and sense the stress and panic and fear in the voices and faces of the adults around them.

I’ve wrestled with the stories of their origins.   How could any child be dealt such a bad initial hand in life??    I waffle between anger over the circumstances that made them orphans and a deep gratefulness that I’ve been given the chance to be their mom.   Maybe it’s the perpetual paradox that comes as standard equipment with adoption.      Each time I try to wrap my brain around the reality of it all, I come back to the fact that God plucked them out from where they were and set them apart for His glory and for their good.    In spite of their losses, God has rescued them from hunger,  malaria,  a higher risk of HIV/AIDS,  a lack of education, and countless other things.   And today – the scope of God’s rescue has widened in my eyes to include protection from tribal unrest and riots in their streets.

America isn’t Utopia.  And, as we’ve all seen, we too are vulnerable to attack and loss and pain.    But today, my two little guys enjoyed lollipops after their haircuts and having the story of Lightning McQueen read to them, blissfully unaware that a world away there is chaos playing out in the lives of thousands of other children that live in the slums and neighborhoods where they also once lived.

Pray for peace in Uganda.



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  1. this breaks my heart

  2. Thank you for the great perspective on 9-11 and on adoption. To God be the glory!

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