Tuesday, March 15, 2011

One Year Ago Today......

A year ago today I was a ball of nervous energy.  I was up at 6am (way early for me!!) and ready to go.  My bags were all packed full of diapers and formula and tiny clothes for a tiny 5.5 month old boy halfway around the world that I had never met.  My son.  In the months of waiting occasionally news about him would filter through my email or over my facebook.  January 28th:  I opened my email account to see the most amazing email I had ever received.  Inside were our first 4 pictures of him after months of waiting!  I sat in front of the computer crying silent tears at the beauty of seeing my son's face for the first time.  He was such a gorgeous and TINY baby.  February 5th:  Jeremiah laughed out loud for the first time! came through my facebook.   March 5th:  "Jeremiah ate his first baby food today.  Lamb dinner and peaches.  He loved it!" in an email.  March 10th:  9 more pictures of our son came in an email from a young lady who had been in Uganda in February.  They were beautiful and full size, so I could print them.  The first ones were so pixelated I couldn't, so this was truly a gift!  Within 3 hours I had them uploaded to costco.com, picked them up and had them framed all over the house!  I only had 4.5 days left at home, but I wanted to see his face as much as I could! :)

By 11am exactly a year ago I was at the airport.  Mike walked in the long security line with me.  I was holding back my tears as we held hands in line and then I hugged and kissed him goodbye.  He would join me in Uganda 3 weeks later.  I cried like a baby after I had to go through the security checkpoint by myself.   I knew I was going to miss Mike  like crazy.  I am sure the guy in line behind me thought I was just plain crazy!  He kept giving me worried sideways looks because I was crying.  Then after 24 exhausting hours of traveling I was there.  The airplane touched down around 11pm Ugandan time in the darkest city I had ever seen.  It seemed like there was hardly enough runway light for the plane to land.  But it did.  As soon as I stepped out of the airplane hot wet air enveloped me.  I followed everyone on my plane to the visa line.  I was the last person in line because I had to wait for my stroller to come up to the jetway from the plane's belly.  It wouldn't have mattered though.  I was in Africa and it was time to wait.  My first experience with "African time."  After two hours of waiting in line the man took my passport, gave it a cursory glance, asked me a couple of questions, and in less than a minute my visa was stamped!  Finally I was able to get my luggage and find my ride.  Brian and David had been waiting on me for a long time.  Brian told me about the landscape and what we were passing on the way "home" but it was too dark to see much.  People had candles and oil lamps outside because they had no electricity.  Even though the traffic was very light considering the late hour they drove like crazy people!  We traveled on dirt roads that were more rut than road and finally we were there.  We talked for a while and then I found my room and unpacked.  I stayed up late writing in my journal.  I was too excited to sleep.  I was meeting my son in the morning!!  I slept with my light on all night because I was scared of the bugs and finally it was morning.

At 9am Rennie brought my son in.  I handed Brenda my camera and walked over.  It was like slow motion.  I dissolved into tears as I stared at the beautiful baby.  It took a long time before I could even pick him up and take him from Rennie.  First I held his small hands and feet and stroked his soft cheeks.   With tears on my cheeks I inspected every inch of him, this soft brown baby of mine.  Finally I lifted him into my arms and held him against me for the first time.  I snuggled him and told him that I had been waiting my whole life for him.  I held him up and looked into his eyes.  He just stared at me with wide eyes taking everything in.  Rennie said he was looking at me as if he knew I was his Mama.  As if he had been waiting for me.  They brought him to me in time for a feeding so I sat down and rocked my baby, feeding him for the first time.  He had such a sweet and happy spirit and watched me the whole time as he sucked away at his bottle.  He seemed very content to belong to me.  To be someone's baby.  To be mine.  And I was all too happy to be his!

Meeting my son for the first time.  I was overwhelmed with love and emotion!
Finally in my arms instead of just my heart.
Mama and Baby
In Love!
 And here is my little man this morning, exactly one year later.

New Duds

I have been looking for a shirt with the continent of Africa on it for J for a long time.  Every time I would find someone doing an adoption fundraiser with silk screened shirts with Africa on them they were sold out in toddler sizes.  So I finally decided to make one.  I went to JoAnns to pick up some cute fabric and some heat and bond and went to work.  I had this sweatshirt that Jeremiah just grew into and since it is March my little Ugandan American boy is cold, so it was perfect:
 I cut out the shape of Africa in the cute fabric I found and then ironed it on according the the directions on the heat and bond.  Then I added a patch in the shape of a heart over Uganda.  Finally I stitched around the whole thing.
I am in love with how it turned out!
I think he likes it!
I make this shirt look good!
I am really pleased with how this turned out and I love that he has an Africa shirt now!
Once I had the shirt making bug I couldn't stop!  I decided to make a little leprechaun shirt for him for St. Patrick's day.  I had read on another blog that you can cut a shape out of freezer paper and then iron the outline onto a onsie.  Then you would have a stencil to use fabric paint and paint an image on the shirt.  Sadly my freezer paper would not stick.  I made sure it was shiny side down and everything.  Maybe it was old, I don't know, but it didn't work for me.  So, I held it down REALLY carefully and painted the shamrock on the shirt careful not to get any paint under the freezer paper.
Sorry, I forgot to take a picture before I got the onsie wet to put in the dye bath.
Waiting, waiting, waiting.....
My little leprechaun :-)
I had also made a smaller shamrock stencil for his booty.  That one didn't stick either.
Now all we need is some corned beef, cabbage, and a cold glass of green beer for Daddy :)
Inspecting his shirt.  I think he likes it :)
The End! :)
P.S. I have had so much fun making these I have 3 more shirts for him in the works!