21 April 2010

A Milestone for Joseline...

One of the first things we were told to do when we moved to Uganda was to hire house help... we were told that as "rich westerners" it would be selfish not to provide a job for someone in the local community...

Well when it comes to my boys I don't mind being a bit selfish... I didn't mind the idea of someone helping with cleaning and cooking... but my sons are "my sons"...  at the time Kadin was 9 months old and Noah had just turned 2...
 
Within a few weeks we hired a local girl to help cook and clean... and eventually we let her watch the boys occasionally... but that came to a sudden end when we discovered that she passed out drunk while watching them one day and left them alone for hours... 

To say the least I was furious... and being that it was during our first year of cultural adjustment my trust for Ugandans in general was at an all-time low... fortunately Christopher, my friend and translator convinced me that it was unfair to judge a group of people as all being the same... he was right...
He also asked me to give another young girl a chance...
 

September 2006 Joseline came to live in our home... Christopher convinced me that she wouldn't be the same as the other girl... he also convinced me to offer her an incentive... he knew that she had long desired to go to college but had no one to help her... so I gave her an offer I figured that she would never live up to... I promised to pay for college in exchange for not disappointing my family... 

Today she sat for her final exam and on June 28 she will graduate from Uganda Christian University... 
and I gladly have endured the consequence of my promise to her... 

 
Our boys love her and don't remember life without her...

She has sacrificed her own safety and well being at times to care for and protect my boys... and she has been there for birthdays, first days and just about every milestone for the past 4 years...
 
But she is not just a part of the boys lives... she is a part of our family... Christine and I are a bit different than most couples and parents we know... no need to explain...

But on one of Joseline's first nights in our home I brought her to tears... Kadin was about a year and a half and did something at the dinner table he shouldn't have... so I took him back to his bedroom and gave him a spank... large empty concrete rooms also have amazing acoustics I should add... after he finished crying I brought him back to the table... within seconds Joseline lost it and ran off crying to her room...

That night I asked her what was wrong... she started to shake and held back the tears as she asked why I beat Kadin... I explained that I didn't beat Kadin but that I disciplined him because I love him... she went on to ask a few more questions until she fully understood...

The next day she brought Kadin to me and asked me to spank him again...
I am not sure what you call it when someone takes the time to understand your family, care for them and love them over the course of years... but I know it is more than simply "house help"...

Although her graduation is near we have asked Joseline to stay... not as an employee or helper... but just until she is ready to get married (and "no" this is not an announcement of that) we want her to be with us in our home... 

Within the next  2 months she will be starting a new job as a Guidance Counselor at GBI... I had a few connections to help get her the job... but I can't think of a better role model to teach our young women about integrity, character, purity and commitment... 

To say we are proud of her is an understatement... she is a gift that God gave to us to help us survive and thrive as a family in a foreign land...

4 comments:

the1marce said...

This is so great!!!! I love love LOVE Joseline and hope that you will share my congratulations with her. I remember you telling us (even though you aren't that far apart in age) that you felt like a father to her and had committed to put her through college. Talk about equipping young leaders! I am confident she will make a difference in Uganda because she's made a difference to me!

rtfgvb799 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

Wendy said...

What a blessing --I love how God gives us new family members!

RIH said...

Congratulations to Joseline! I really enjoyed being with all of you last year.
Bob from ECHO