The kids had their school Christmas party on Tuesday and officially kicked off the holidays yesterday afternoon. All of these students and teachers worked so hard this year and I’m so very proud of them. Time for Christmas break. That’s 2 whole, looooong months here in Uganda! And surprise... The girls and I are coming to Canada 🇨🇦 we arrive in Ottawa 3 weeks from today!!! See you soon family and friends, and happy holidays to all 🎄⭐️🎁 #itsthemostwonderfultimeoftheyear#christmasbreak#schoolsout#werecominghome
December 02nd is without a doubt one of the most memorable and most significant days of the year for our family. 10 years ago today, I was granted foster custody of baby Diana. That day I became a Mother and we became a forever family. On December 02, 2013, 5 years later, I was granted full adoption rights to both Diana and Agnes. So blessed to have such incredible daughters. Happy “Gotcha day” and Adoption anniversary day my little loves! Thank you for making me a Mommy. I love you two more than anything in this world and am so proud of the beautiful young ladies you are growing up to be. 💖 #mygirls#blessedbyadoption#adoptionday#foreverfamily#momaversary#Icantbelieveitsbeenadecade
My name is Ashley. For over 10 years I have been living and working in Uganda, East Africa with a variety of ministries and NGO’s in the HIV/AIDS care field.
As a single Mother, I adopted 3 girls from Uganda. 1 of my daughters was both HIV positive and diagnosed with stage 4 AIDS when I met her. Sadly, she lost her battle and passed away from Tuberculosis and PCP at the tender age of eleven months.
Aside from adopting, I also do short and longer term foster care in my home for HIV positive children, and work as an advocate, educator and care giver for women who are newly diagnosed with the virus. They come stay in our home, while they are in the initial stages of treatment. We support them in whatever means they need (spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, medical, and nutritional) until they are strong and healthy enough to return home. I feel like my life’s purpose is to not only care and support people living with HIV/AIDS, but also educate others, as there are still so many common misconceptions about the virus and so much stigma attached to it. Until there is a cure, which I pray for every single day, my heart and home are always open for anybody who needs someone to walk along side of them. HIV is not a death sentence and I truly believe everyone deserves a fighting chance and I want everybody to know there is always hope!
Today, December first is international world AIDS day, a day very near and dear to my heart. I could sit here and tell you that HIV/AIDS does not discriminate. That it is not a gay disease, a poor disease, nor is it an African disease. It affects us all, young, old, male, female, rich, poor, white, black, gay, or straight. In past years I have shared numbers and statistics with you, shared personal stories of loss, and stories of hope, but today I would like to do something a little different... Today I would like to challenge anyone who happens to read this status, to DO SOMETHING. Don’t feel like you know very much about the HIV virus? That’s ok, educate yourself. Teach and inform others. Don’t know your status? Get tested. Know somebody who has recently been diagnosed as positive? Be there for them. Continued in comments...
World AIDS Day. December 01st.
World AIDS day is a day held each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. Globally an estimated 34 million people have HIV. More than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007 have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history. Today, many scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. But despite this, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others from HIV, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with HIV. World AIDS Day is important as it reminds the public and Government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education. #worldAIDSday#endAIDS#endstigma#geteducated#zeronewinfections
It was just us girls today as JT has been in America for the last 11 days, however we were very fortunate to get to celebrate the holiday surrounded by dear friends. Happy thanksgiving to all of our loved ones. We are so grateful for each and every one of you. ❤️🦃🍁
This weekend, we got away with friends who are like family, and boy was it refreshing. We enjoyed staying in a beautiful home with the most spectacular view, spending time on Lake Victoria, hiking waterfalls, swinging from trees, eating DELICIOUS food that we prepared together, having deep conversations, drinking too much coffee, playing games, sleeping in, napping, reading, relaxing, and laughing until it hurt. I love these people right here and am so thankful I get to do life with them. This weekend is exactly what my soul needed. 💖 #friendslikefamily#musanacamp#nature#lifeinuganda#LakeVictoria#couplesretreat
These women right here are the types of role models and women that I want my daughters to look up to. These women are brilliant... They are fighters.....achievers....military heroines....martial arts experts.... survivors....who have already overcome unbelievable odds in life and are bringing all this great energy to congress. I’m so incredibly proud of all the women who were elected last night. They represent different races, religions, ages, and sexual orientations. There was so much diversity brought to the house and that’s exactly what makes America beautiful! #midtermelections#inspiringwomen#bossladies#womeninthehouse#whoruntheworld#girls 💖👩🏽⚖️👩🏼💼👵👩🏿🧕🏽👩🏽🏫
After living in developing nations for over a third of my life and witnessing how corrupt, dangerous, and violent elections can be, I feel overwhelmed and emotional watching all of my beautiful family and friends exercising their right to vote in the United States today. What an honor and privilege that is. Unfortunately, I’m not able to vote this election... (It will happen one day) but I urge those of you who are, to get out there and VOTE! #vote#electionday#midterms#votewhatmatterstoyou
Too cute not to #repost from the @jinjafarmersmarket. I love our communities Saturday tradition of gathering together at the farmers market. Eating, drinking, and shopping together? It doesn’t get much better than that. And the kids have a blast running around and playing together too 💖 #squadgoals#Wolfpack#Girlfriends#farmersmarket#buylocal
Even though we don’t have costume stores or trick-or-treating here, the girls still had a blast this Halloween. Between the community fall festival, the school Halloween party, and carving pineapples. I’ll say it was a great holiday. Oh, and an adorable or “booootiful” baby ghost enjoyed her first Halloween too! 🎃👻 #HappyHalloween
Ugh, guys... One of my biggest temptations living in Uganda is wanting to bring home Allllllllll the street dogs (and cats). Unfortunately my husband has put his foot down and said we’re at our limit. Is there really such a thing as a limit??? 🤔 Maybe one day I’ll win the lottery and can open up an animal sanctuary. A girl can dream, right? I met this sweet heart after leaving the doctors office yesterday. She let me crouch down and talk to her, and take some pictures, until she saw her boy friend and ran away from me 😂 #streetdogsofjinja#adoptdontshop#spayandneuteryourpets#dogsofinstagram#iwantthemall#puppysavior#isthatanaccount#imonit 🐕 🐶
The Talmud, a sacred Jewish text. In lieu of today’s deadly shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Let us all do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. And let us pray for the day that man will no longer be killed because of the colour of his skin or the faith he believes in. ☮️ #lovewins#prayforpeace
Because it seems like everyone I know is either returning from, or heading to Italy. Here’s a little #throwback from my time in beautiful Venice last year. Missing the floating city and it’s rich history, vibrant colored buildings, delicious food 🍝, and adorable street side cafes ☕️. 🇮🇹 #Venezia#takemeback#Italia#cityonthewater
We traditionally have pool parties for the girls birthdays every year. This year, we decided to change things up and asked Agnes if we could surprise her. She agreed. She was convinced that her big birthday surprise was going to be a large cardboard box. The only thing she really wanted 😂. Well, she didn’t get her box, but she did get to have a double birthday party with one of her very best friends that included a bouncy castle, a snow cone 🍧 machine, and a unicorn 🦄 cake (thanks to @hannabaillie and @thedelijinja)! She had a wonderful day and we are so thankful for all of those who came out to celebrate Aggy. #birthdaygirl#doublebirthdayparty#9yearsold#friendsandfamily#allthesugar#surprise 🎂🎈🎉🎁