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
And here is my little man this morning, exactly one year later.