all yours





It was right then. It was in that moment that I knew I no longer had ownership on my heart. It was all yours.

We stopped by the babies home one afternoon like we so often did when you were visiting last May. I greeted Stella but she was not her usual smiley self. Her turtle face was in full effect and I had never seen her more sad. I went to go kiss her forehead…our usual routine. Once my lips touched her soft skin, I pulled away quickly. She had a very high fever and suddenly her mood, her frown…it all made sense. I asked the nannies if she had been with the nurse yet and they said she already started her Malaria medicine. That filthy stupid bug. Malaria is a parasitic disease that if you spend a long enough period of time in Africa…you will most likely get. The symptoms are high fevers, shaking chills and flu-like symptoms. If caught early enough, oral medication is the assigned treatment…and that is what Stella was on at this time. I came down with Malaria in March while I was visiting and it went untreated long enough that I was admitted into a hospital and put on a drip with a high dosage of medicine for 24 hours. It was not pretty…not one single part of it. I wanted so badly to take all of the pain and discomfort away from Stella and put it on myself.

It was dinner time and JP and I helped Stella eat. We had our own dinner plans with friends and I asked him to go ahead without me and I would eventually meet him and everyone at the restaurant near by. He walked off and I held Stella. We had a wet clothe on her head to help bring her temperature down and she was keeping her food down pretty well. I looked up after a few minutes and saw JP walking back in through the door. He had gone to tell a couple of people we were with to go ahead to the restaurant and that we would meet them there. He stayed behind and helped me take care of Stella. I know one reason was because he too had fallen in love with this sweet angel and wanted to make sure she was taken care of but I know another reason was because he wanted to know I was taken care of. He knew I wouldn’t be okay until I knew Stella had taken her medicine and been put down to go to sleep for the night. My heart literally melted on the floor when I saw him coming back to stay with me. He stayed behind…he stayed by Stellas side and by my side.

That is when I knew my heart no longer belonged to me. God had sent the person who was meant to hold it here on earth and help Him take care of it and He sent that person all the way to Uganda, Africa.

  • January 8, 2014 - 2:49 pm

    Megan Welker - <3ReplyCancel

  • March 7, 2014 - 12:54 pm

    Asher Collie - Mary! Dru keeps taking about all your wandering, and I’ve never wandered past your Instagram but tonight I thought I should check out this blog of your! And of course, what pops up?! Stella and Uncle JP! Oh my stars (no pun intended!) Tears….You are both such beautiful people! I love you both SO much. You are GIFTS that God has given to me during this time in Jinja. I love you both dearly!!!!ReplyCancel

  • January 7, 2015 - 1:03 pm

    Mandy @gagirlny - Dear Mary, I just wanted to say that I am so thankful for your heart and the way you share your story and others stories with all of us. I was telling someone today about following you on Instagram and how moved I am by many of your posts and your heart for Africa in particular. Namaste from me in Atlanta to you in Jinja right now and thank you for loving the children and people of Jinja as you do! I was so fortunate to meet and spend an evening with sweet Stella myself while staying at Providence Guest house in November with visiting orphans! Dru and all of the kids came for dinner after we spent the day with Sole Hope and it was truly a blessing. I’ve now put it together that you are the connector for her now “forever family” as you posted this week and it is amazing to see what God is doing in and through you and the Collie’s and so many others!
    Blessings for you all as you continue to spread the love and sincere gratitude for allowing others to share in the journey.
    Looking forward to crossing paths somewhere along the way as my heart longs to return to Africa and the sweet sweet children.

    Mandy WaldrepReplyCancel

  • July 24, 2015 - 1:04 pm

    Cherise McAdoo - Mary,

    I came across your Instagram today and decided to take a look at your blog.. I’m so happy I did! Your love for Christ and your love for your husband blew me away. I’m so inspired. Not only by that, but by your love for Uganda! God bless you!!ReplyCancel

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