HOLMBERG: It took a Hanover village to adopt and welcome two boys from Uganda

Posted at 12:35 AM, Feb 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-06 00:35:45-05

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Cheers erupted inside the old Eastern Hanover Volunteer Fire Department building Wednesday night for two brothers, the younger 5 years old and the older, well, no one is quite sure whether he’s 6 or 7 or maybe 8.

The boys came from Uganda. But from here on out, they’re from the Mechanicsville, Va., area.

They met more than 100 of their new extended family in that old firehouse.

“It does take a village to adopt,” said Desiree Williams, the adoptive mother of the two brothers and already the mother of four young children. When we say we couldn’t have done it without everybody, we really couldn’t have.”

We first featured the Williams family and their quest to adopt brothers Isaac and John Terry in early November, when they were getting ready to fly to Africa to pick them up.

Back then, it had already been a long journey. They had raised $37,000, with the help of friends, kin, church family and others. They and their children sold goat milk, soap, homemade vanilla extract and homemade bracelets.

Matt and Desiree’s parents provided babysitting while the couple flew off the get the boys.

Then it got interesting. Despite being “paper-ready” with homeless children waiting, they left after their first long visit without the boys,

“I feel like God gave me the opportunity to grow in patience,” Matt said Wednesday night. Officials and others in Uganda “really don’t like white westerners coming and taking their children.”

Some overseas adoptions that have gone wrong and made the news have led to tougher regulations and longer processes, even in the most impoverished lands.

But all the believers surrounding the Williams family  never faltered, and when Matt returned to Uganda for his second long visit, he came home with the boys.

And many of those believers filled the firehouse, including numerous children who saved their allowances and pocket change for months to make this happen.

“You can’t say thank you but so many different ways,”  Desiree said.

As this vast Hanover County family joined hands and prepared to break bread for the first time with their new little brothers, Matt led them in a simple prayer:

“Please give us  wisdom in raising all these kids in you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

And the crowd said, “Amen!” and clapped and hugged and laughed their welcomes to Isaac and John Terry of Hanover County.

You can watch that welcome here, just click on the video player above.