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 now...at 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...