For most of my life I never really wanted to have children. When I got married, I didn’t know that I was infertile and couldn’t sire offspring even if I wanted to. Seeing the silver lining, my wife and I enjoyed eight years of matrimonial freedom without the responsibilities of child-rearing. It wasn’t until 2012 that we started to investigate the options of fertility treatments and adoption. Honestly, we were quite content without kids. Eventually, Amber’s desire for parenthood grew stronger, and I followed suit a couple of years later.
And what else could’ve softened my heart but two little girls like these?
It’s no surprise (to me) that this would be the case. I’ve long had a special fondness for the young females of our race. Home-schooled by my mother, I grew up with my younger sister as my main playmate during grade-school years. Much of my experience at that formative age took place within the embrace of feminine energy. And so it seems natural that love for two little girls was what it took to coax my embattled soul out from behind its walls.
And thus my question above would find the beginnings of an answer as follows:
February 23, 2011:
Lochiyo Gabriel died last evening in Kaabong Hospital. He had AIDS. He is survived by his Dodoth wife Alice and their young daughter Janet [aka Mercy]…Lochiyo was the first Ik we met in Karamoja (March 2008). He willingly helped me in those early days to collect my first Ik word-list for phonological analysis. Since he’s always been sickly since we’ve known him, his passing is not a big surprise. But how I wish I could’ve seen him one last time! My last communication with him was that I couldn’t honestly write him a letter of recommendation because of his drinking problem. I know he didn’t hold it against me.
Lochiyo Gabriel, may your soul rest in peace.
This afternoon we’ll take his body to Lokinene for burial.
February 27, 2011:
Alice, Lochiyo’s widow, mentioned us adopting her little daughter, Janet. I find it very intriguing. I’ll just be praying about that…
March 2, 2011:
The goat was finally brought for Lociyo’s funerary ritual. Poor Alice had to stay there a whole week with people mistreating her [because she was from a different tribe]. My heart really went out to her. We tried to show her love in little ways. Yesterday when we dropped her off in Kaabong, she gave me and Amber a big hug. That was all the payment I’ll ever need…Her precious baby, Janet, is adorable…
March 26, 2011:
Alice came to visit us in Lomusian. She brought her little daughters, Lemu [Immaculate] and Janet [Mercy]. Amber had got a doll for Janet. Once again Alice talked of us taking Janet and keeping her and educating her. We don’t know how serious she is or if she understands the implications…