Monday, July 06, 2009

July 6th, On year later

Josh and Jake were at church, and little Ollie was quietly sleeping while I sat on my bed holding Max.
The uncertainty that was flooding my heart on this day (one year ago) seems like a misty dream now. I had never been frightened at the thought of going to Africa and, having now been there, there is no fear to return. But now, at this moment, with my sick two year old in my lap, the thought of flying across the world to a country full of sickness and the unknown...leaving my boys and taking my infant...suddenly didn't sound like such a good idea. So the journey would begin. The journey to Noah.

The day went on. Jake and Josh returned with grandpa and the news that grandma was too sick to come. The thoughts ran through my head would the boys be okay leaving us? Would grandma be okay with them?! Oh Lord, please make this a wonderful time for them at home!

"Quick" stops at a couple of places around town left us leaving quite a bit later than we had hoped, but we had time to spare. Time with the boys at the zoo. Time to be a family of five for one last outing.

There is something about the anticipation of change that makes you see and love your kids in a whole new light. Of course, the "fear of the unknown" thoughts continued to travel through my mind, but I was able for the most part to delay them in order to just enjoy the boys. All too quickly, it was time to go.

That nervous/excited feeling was getting stronger in my stomach, and yet the goodbyes were still to be said. If I could just make it past that part I think I will be alright. We had our dinner and postponed as long as we could watching the planes together. Our flight did not take off until around 11:00, but the long day and the excitement of the time ahead of them had worn the boys out. It was time to say goodbye. With lots of hugs, and some tears (by me of course) we watched them walk away with grandpa. This would be the first time in their lives that I had spent more than a night away from them.

And then there were three on the journey. Shops had shut down, people had (for the most part) gone home, and we were left to wait for another few hours. And with the anticipation of a 36 hr. trip ahead of us, we both became very tired. After strolling the empty halls of the airport for enough time, we found a seat in the lobby close to our gate and let the waiting begin. I will leave you with some excerpts from my journal to close Day One.

I sit here the end of the terminal, Gate D11. Every sound is magnified at this hour in a quiet airport. There is a boy playing with magnets-making loud sounds as he tosses them into the air. His mom (or sister) sits beside him talking on the phone barely above a whisper. I wonder how she cannot be bothered. Oliver lies on the floor, trying with all his infantile might to keep himself awake...People pass by and the seats begin to fill up...everything feels real; everything but the reality of what we go to do. My thoughts and emotions seem detached from the boarding pass. I travel through the security point routinely-automatically following the instructions given to me, but it simply doesn't feel real.

Sleep attempts to close my eyes, pulling them with the force of gravity, yet excitement, emotion and anxiety all keep them open...Sleep can find no companion with emotions in flight...Tomorrow we will enter then unknown world which our son calls home. That African land so full of mystery to me. A land which I love and fear. What will I feel for this place once I have experienced it?

To be continued...


Coraly said...

Wow!! I can hardly believe that it has already been a year and I still have not kissed that sweet little face!!!!!!
It has been fun to watch your family change and grow!!!
God's sweet peace upon you friend!

Mainely Me said...

I'm so excited that you are telling your story of Noah!

Sheri said...

This is the kind of writing that you do that I love SOOO much. you have a way of bringing us into the very story itself. I look forward to this travel in the next few days (you will not hold us in suspense, will you?!)