Adoption opens arms around world


Braden Higby, Reporter

Meg and Joe Pecorino’s journey to Africa all started shortly after they were approved to adopt. Their agency sent them a referral which they accepted and about six months later they left for Uganda to adopt their son, Jimmy. They spent most of their time in Kampala; the capital and largest city of Uganda.

“Kampala is busy with really bad traffic. I think there’s only two traffic lights in the entire city. The people of Uganda were very friendly and helpful and nice to us,” said DHS assistant principal Joe Pecorino.

After flying into Uganda from Brussels, they drove 30 miles to Kampura and spent the night on the edge of Lake Victoria. They next day, after prayers in a mosque, they went to the Kasanda and Kiwawu village to meet the orphanage workers.

“We stopped at the orphanage first, which is really a small little compound with 5 kids. They are totally unfunded, and rely solely on donation,” said Pecorino.

Once they met with the orphanage director and social worker, they went to meet Jimmy for the first time.

“He wasn’t like the other kids who know that if the mzungu (European) likes you he might take you home. We recognized him at once, that curious but skeptical look on his face, unsure of who to trust,” said Pecorino.

Jimmy was very shy and timid at first, but when they walked to check out the gardens he followed them and took Meg’s hand. They hung out for a while and played with the kids until they drove back to Kampala with Jimmy.

They stayed at a guesthouse for the duration of their time in Uganda. While they were waiting for the court to process Jimmy’s visa and finalize the adoption, they spent family time swimming, playing and traveling including a safari in Murchison Falls National Park, which marked one of the most memorable moments of the trip.

“The one moment in particular that I will never forget is being charged by an elephant,” said Pecorino.

The adoption process proved to have some difficulties when there were some delays with paperwork and some bureaucratic inconsistencies. It was hard for the Pecorinos to be away from home longer than they planned.

“The greatest challenge was not having control of any of the process. There were a lot of steps during the process on the Ugandan side and the American side and we just had to sit and wait until they told us what to do. We were delayed a month longer than most families who adopt from Uganda,” said Pecorino.

The Pecorino family is settling back into life in Durango and are happy to be home.

“Jimmy is an incredibly happy, resilient little boy that’s super playful and intelligent. He’s learning english quicker and quicker every day,” said Pecorino.