Life at the Hart’s

You guys, I’ve neglected this space a lot longer than I meant to. I think I’ve had a goal of sitting down to write here twice a week, and I’ve totally failed every single week since we’ve been back. To be honest, life has been a bit crazy and it has taken quite a while to get into a routine around here. Because we spent such a long time in Uganda, I headed back to work the week after we got back, which made our weeks pretty busy and delayed the feeling of being all settled in. Full disclosure here: some of our suitcases weren’t unpacked until this week. I had mountains of laundry left from Uganda, we still haven’t gone through all the mail we got while we were gone, and a friend had to come help me vacuum and mop the house this week (eek!) because it hadn’t been done since November. Whew!

I think this week for the first time we really got into a decent routine. The girls didn’t seem as bothered by the disruptions in our schedule (read: far less tears and tantrums), and we managed to get the house in decent shape AND keep everyone fed and clean ;). It feels like quite a feat. For the first time in a very long time, I’m starting to feel like we can actually do this. It’s a good feeling.

All this to say, I want to spend time writing here about life, our adoptions, our time in Uganda, and so much more, but I want to do it well. It’s all coming, I promise! It just might take a little while. For now, I wanted to share some family pictures we took while we were in PA over Easter weekend.



JJ and her faces. Always cracking us up.

Tandme      Tanddaddy

mommyandT      Janddaddy

And finally, one of the whole family together


We had so much fun spending time with family and, of course, meeting (almost) brand new baby Jesse! I think the girls’ lives were made. They have talked about him and looked at pictures of him for so long, that seeing him and holding him was like a dream come true!




This week mommy is working night shift (ughhhhh) and we’re looking forward to a visit from Auntie Lu!! Yay! I hope everyone’s weeks are off to a great start!


A Great BIG Thank You!

You. Guys. Or for my NC friends, y’all ;). It’s been a little over a week since we posted the link to our fundraising page and we have over half of the money we need to raise to travel. WHAT?!?! This has exceeded all our expectations. Totally. Do you know what is even better than knowing we are halfway there? Seeing a name attached to every donation that comes in. And each name represents someone who has walked with us on this journey. What would we have done without friends to rejoice with us when we got good news, hug us when things got hard, and listen to us cry when we thought everything was falling apart? And now so many of you have donated toward bringing our daughter home. I don’t think there’s an adequate way to express our gratitude. But let me just say, thank you so much for all you have done.

And now for the next half. We are traveling in just a couple short weeks, and we need your help. If you were considering making a donation, could you do it now instead of waiting? That would be huge for us. We would really like to do this without relying on a credit card that we have to pay off later. I thought it might be helpful to give you a breakdown of some of the expenses we expect to incur while we’re in Uganda. This way, you know exactly what you contributed to and maybe can feel like you helped in a tangible way.

A house for one night in Jinja is going to cost us $20. If we could get 14 people to donate $20 each, that would cover our two week stay in Jinja.

In Kampala, we’re looking into renting a room in a guest house that would cost $70 a night. This includes, food, clean water, and laundry each day. So, basically $70 per day for almost everything we need! 7 people committing $70 would take care of all our needs for the first week in Kampala.

It will take about $50 per round trip from Jinja to Kampala (or Kampala elsewhere), and we’ll need to use long-distance transportation approximately 4 times that we know of so far. So if four people have $50 to spare, that would cover our travel needs.

We’re trying to do all of this as inexpensively as we can. But as you can imagine, this all adds up. We’ll also need to book much more expensive things, like flights back for all three of us, a passport and visa for our little one, and visas for Corey and me upon landing in Uganda. In addition, we are (obviously) still responsible for all our bills at home like a mortgage, student loan payments, HOA fees, etc. We would just appreciate any way you could help :). **I almost forgot to give you the website where you can give your tax deductible donation! It’s Adopt Together and we have a page set up specifically for our adoption.

Thank you all so much for being our community. We are blessed, sometimes beyond what we can believe.


When Adoption Gets Hard

Well, I’ve probably been silent on here long enough. I said in the beginning that I would update on our adoption as things went along. And then I never really did. At first it was because we were worried about putting too much identifying information out there. We wanted to protect us, our adoption, and especially the little girl we are adopting. Things seemed to be going along smoothly and we didn’t want to rock the boat. But, when we set out we said that we wanted to be open and transparent about the ins and outs and ups and downs of adoption. So, even though it’s hard, I want to share what’s going on with us right now.

For the last month and a half we’ve been hearing news of a possible shut-down of intercountry adoption in Uganda. This would mean that it would be nearly impossible for us to continue with our plans to adopt our daughter. This is obviously very hard news for us. What made this news especially alarming is that we are literally just two steps away from completing our adoption. We’re waiting on some paperwork from our little girl’s home village, once that paperwork is submitted, we will be able to apply for a court date…the date that we would travel to Uganda to get legal guardianship of our daughter. When we chose to adopt from Uganda, we went into it with our eyes wide open. Basically, we knew that something like this–or some other situation completely–could happen and we would have to walk away from this adoption. We just weren’t prepared for it to happen so late in the game. When we accepted our referral, and then a private investigation came back quickly and verified the facts we had already been told, we thought we were in the clear.

I don’t know if I can really put into words just how much this has affected us. When it looked like the act that would change the rules for intercountry adoption would certainly pass, I think we reached a real low point. I couldn’t do the simplest things without crying. I had let myself get comfortable enough with the adoption to start imagining incorporating this little girl into our everyday lives. When I was at the grocery store, going to church, going out to dinner, I kept thinking (and sometimes saying), “It will be so awesome to do this with a little one in tow,” or, “Won’t it be so great to introduce our daughter to…(fill in the blank with whatever activity we were doing).” Now I’m trying to let go of those thoughts and I frequently find myself missing and longing for something I never had to begin with. We felt so called to this adoption, to this specific child, why would God allow something like this to happen?

We have spent the last 6 weeks praying fervently for something to happen. For God to move in a miraculous way. One of my very best friends said to me, “Julie, God keeps his promises. God is not done yet.” And for now, I’m choosing to hold onto that.To trust that God can still make a way for us to bring this precious one home, even when it seems like our hope is slipping away. Will you pray with us?

I’ll be back with more when we get some more concrete details. Thank you friends, for loving us, and for caring so much about our little girl already. We’re so grateful for the support we’ve been shown :).