Kari Apted may have a lot on her plate, but the mother of three, soon to be four, has learned how to balance it all. With three boys, Eli, Zach and Jonah, Apted admits that things can get hectic. But she also says a houseful of boys is always endearing.
“I think it’s really true what they say, that boys love their mom…they just love forcefully, but they can be very sweet,” Apted said.
Apted and her husband Donnie, are also in the process of adopting a 10-year-old girl from Uganda. She is looking forward to having a girl in the house and relating to her in a different way.
“I wouldn’t trade any of that, or any of my boys for anything in this world. But I am looking forward to manicures, purses and hair bows, shopping dates and baking together, and everything pink — our daughter’s favorite color. I think it will be fun to find out what it’s like to actually utilize the feminine side of me in parenting,” Apted said.
The adoption process has been a very long road for the family: trying to raise sufficient funds, getting things approved, and worrying about their daughter’s health as she deals with malaria in a Third World country.
“She recently was hospitalized for a serious case of malaria. It’s so hard to be 8,000 miles away and worrying about a child who you love,” Apted said. “We’ve had opportunities to Skype with her, so we have been able to begin building our relationship with her already. But I worry that she doesn’t understand the process, or why it’s taking so long,” Apted said.
Their daughter will be the first child adopted from the orphanage where she lives, as it is an orphanage housing only older children.
“I’ve already heard that the other kids are happy for her, but can’t help asking when it will be their turn to have a family. How difficult it will be when they ask me that in person — how can I even answer that, except to pray?” she writes in her blog, ourugandanpearl.com.
Apted and her husband are hoping to travel to Uganda to complete the process this year and will be there for four to eight weeks. She said the boys are excited about getting a new sister, but as her motherly instinct kicks in, she admits it will be difficult for her to leave them for so long.
“Of course, one of the hardest things for me as a mom is going to be leaving my boys for so many weeks. I’ve never been away from them for so long, and I can’t imagine that it’s going to be easy. But they are excited about getting a new sibling and even though my youngest Jonah, is too young to understand, I think he will be OK,” Apted said.
But for now, she is looking forward to being able to take a break and visit with family this Mother’s Day. Her parents will be coming up to Georgia from Orlando, Fla., and the men of the family will pamper the women with a day of relaxation.
Apted has always wanted to be a mother and finds it much more rewarding than she ever expected.
“The love of a child is such an innocent, precious gift,’’ Apted said. “I think that’s what I celebrate most about Mother’s Day — being able to give and receive such a pure form of love.’’
She has fond memories of Mother’s Days shared with her own mother as a child, getting together with family and handing out a variety of handmade gifts.
“I remember the joy we kids had in making homemade cards and paper flowers, and how exciting it was to hide those surprises and present them to Mom on Mother’s Day. And she always appreciated those gifts as much as if we’d given her a million dollars,” Apted said.
Now, as she builds her own family and diligently works toward their goal of adoption, Apted simply asks that everyone keep her family in their prayers.
“We just ask that you continue to remember us and our sweet girl in your prayers. I know God’s got this.
“He’s had it from the beginning. I don’t know how he’s going to wrap it up — all we can do is keep plugging along, working as though working hard is all we have to depend on, and praying as though that’s the only way to get her here,” she said.
The family is still in need of donations to help with for travel and other expenses.
Donations can be made at justlovecoffee.com/ourugandanpearl or on their blog at ourugandanpearl.com.
Tax receipts are available for donations of $50 or more. For more information, email Kari Apted at firstname.lastname@example.org.