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Foster-mother flies to Uganda

19 July 2013

ELIZABETH SWARBRICK

Foster-grandmother: Elizabeth Swarbrick on a visit to attend Luke's christening

Foster-grandmother: Elizabeth Swarbrick on a visit to attend Luke's christening

ELIZABETH SWARBRICK, aged 68, whose foster-daughter Angela Apolot was denied a visa to visit her ( News, 7 June), flew out to see Ms Apolot in Okorom, eastern Uganda, and attended the baptism of Ms Apolot's son, Luke, in Ngora.

Ms Apolot had been to the UK many times, and lived with Miss Swarbrick while she attended school here, but the UK Border Agency accused her of lying on her visa application, and banned her from re-applying for ten years. Miss Swarbrick, who was formerly a midwife with the Church Mission Society in Africa, has a heart condition, and feared that she would miss her last chance to see her foster-daughter.

During her visit, Miss Swarbrick was also reunited with Ms Apolot's husband, Edwin, and her two daughters, Edith and Lydia.

In an email report of her visit, Ms Swarbrick says: "My welcome home to Okorom was lovely. We didn't reach here until 11.30 p.m., after a very long day's drive, but Angela was waiting, so eager to introduce me to Kyle Luke Kigula-Omuendo, her little boy of six weeks. Everyone else was sleeping, giving us space for our reunion, tears, hugs, prayers, and admiration of Luke.

"The following morning brought the reunion with Edwin and the two girls. It was lovely to be part of the family again. Edwin introduced me to his mother, three brothers, and his sister, all here for the baptism of Luke. We prepared for church, and the service was very special. It was held in Ngora Cathedral, the first church to be built, 100 years ago, in Upper Nile diocese.

"The ceremony afterwards was amazing - we fed over 100 people in the compound at Okorom, and over 50 stayed the night. The place was heaving. Edwin works for a German development company, and at the moment is based in Burkino Faso.

"In October, he will be in Germany for three months on a course, so I invited him to us for Christmas - visa permitting!! - and he said that his dearest wish was that he, Angela, and the children could all celebrate Christmas in the UK with me. That would be such a lovely resolution to this visa problem. I pray that it will happen. . .

"Kidare ijo Edeke (God keep you)."

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