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Kisses from Katie - how a US teenager started a ministry to orphans

When 18-year-old Katie Davis left the US for a short missions trip to Uganda, she had no idea she would become a mum to 14 girls. She explains how it all began ...

When 18-year-old Katie Davis left the US for a short missions trip to Uganda, she had no idea she would become a mum to 14 girls.  She explains how it all began ...

The person who called me “Mummy” for the first time is now my daughter, Scovia. Although I didn’t expect that I would be her mother when we met, I can’t imagine life without her.

I met her through a tragedy that happened at her house.

At nine years old, Agnes had been the primary caregiver of her sisters, seven-year-old Mary and five-year-old Scovia. Their father had died of AIDS and their mother had long since disappeared.
Their grandmother, who lived nearby, helped with what little she had, but often her own food was barely enough for herself.

One night as lightning cracked throughout the sky and hard rain danced on the tin roof, the girls’ small house collapsed, crushing Agnes under a wall of brick.

A neighbour rushed her to hospital.

We arrived at the hospital and found Agnes in and out of consciousness. The head nurse explained that she could not treat a patient unless she knew who would pay for the treatment.

Since Agnes had no real caretaker, the nurse assumed her treatment would not be paid for. So the hospital simply didn’t treat her.

I told the nurse I would cover the costs of treating her. I had no idea that this commitment of 20 dollars would turn into the commitment of a lifetime full of love.

As we headed home that day, I asked about Agnes’s two sisters. Upon finding them home alone, I offered to take them to my place for lunch. Which turned into dinner. Which turned into bath time. Which turned into a sleepover.

Their neighbours and grandmother were told that they would be staying at my place until their sister was released from hospital.

A week later, Agnes was discharged and moved in with the three of us.

I looked around for places these precious girls could go, but found nothing satisfactory. Slowly, but surely, we were becoming a family.

They had no living relatives capable of taking care of them. An orphanage was out of the question, in my opinion. The only option would be adoption by a family or by me.

I found myself desperately praying that God would show me what to do. And that is when it happened.

Scovia tiptoed into my room and watched me curiously for nearly 10 minutes. Then she asked: ”Can I call you Mummy?”

And absolutely no one would have been able to say no to those big brown eyes. We were a family.
The answer filled up my heart and then my whole self and spilled out of my mouth as naturally as if I had always known: “Yes, I am your Mummy.”

In researching and talking to various government officials, I discovered that one must be 25 to finalise an adoption in Uganda. The child has to be fostered for three years in Uganda before an adoption can be made final.

Believing that we had exhausted all other options and this is what God was asking of me, and knowing that I willing to commit my whole life to these children, I began the process to foster them and, later, the longer process of legal guardianship.

My yearlong commitment to Uganda had turned into a lifetime commitment, but I believe that the Lord was confirming that these were the next steps he wanted me to take.

So I eagerly began the process that would one day lead me to finalise the adoption of my new children.

  • Extracted from Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis with Beth Clark (Authentic, £9.99) with the kind permission of the publisher. To find out more about Katie’s work visit Amazima Ministries
  • Photo of Katie (top) by Kristin Laughlin; and of Katie and children (centre) by Renee Bach

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