So, finally my crew wiped the sleep from their eyes and stumbled down the stairs for strong coffee and a decent breakfast. We hiked up the road and met our little girl. For the privacy sake of the orphanage and the cautions placed on us by the system we cannot share photos or specific details. But I will say our little girl is healthy, meaty and sharp minded. When we first held her she was calm and allowed us to hold her but we noticed she looked around for the aunties she knew. She responded with smiles to them, but serious contemplation towards us. Yet, she allowed us to hold her as much as we pleased and we passed her around between the five of us many times. The atmosphere is loving. Many people told me she’s been loved from the first day she was born.
I didn’t feel bad that she wouldn’t smile for me. She was giving me the up and down, much like a stylish woman in the shoe department will do when she notices I am put together and she’s deciding if I could also possibly be nice to talk to at the same time. We had a couple hours enjoying her and wondering why we felt so numb. I had to be pried away by Craig to go to the bank and exchange the cash into Ugandan shillings. The teller rejected one of my hundred dollar bills because the crease was more worn than the others. I pushed it back at him and I said, “this money is all for Ugandan kids to be able to go to school, take it.” He bugged his eyes at me and said, “really?” Then I said yes in a way that my kids know is the final word. He exchanged it.
After we had some local currency it was off to the market for some food. That was another strange experience because we hadn’t thought much about cooking for ourselves and how we’re going to put meals together here using food that we hardly recognize. I picked up a few things to get us by a day or so and wondered who I could call to come cook for me. Then they took us to the local produce market, as seen in one of the photos above. I loved it. The people were wide eyed at us coming into their territory. I bought a dark green basketball shaped watermelon, pineapple, passionfruit, and avodado. I’ll eat whatever I can peel or cook. I bumped into some cute kids there who enjoyed having their photo taken. One of the girls is certain to be Uganda’s next top model. I passed out candy to the children I met today. I brought blowpops to exchange for photographs. It works every time. Except for the man selling meat hanging out in the street. He informed me I must ask permission to photograph people’s things. I offered him a lollipop and he told me he’s not a baby. So I appologized for taking a picture of his hanging side of beef. I suppose I’ll have to put some coins in my pocket in case anyone needs convincing that I need a photo.
After shopping we hurried back up the hill to play with Kira. When we arrived we were not surprised to see that Emily, Kevin and Jack knew every single baby by name, and had each of their personalities pegged. They had also found the activities to make Kira smile for them. They had so much fun while we were off doing adult business, I was jealous. I snatched up my baby who had just had a bath. She was no longer making nose bubbles, but instead smelled sweet and soapy. I stepped out onto the porch with her to be alone for the first time. There she and I exchanged little sing song notes as she laid her head on my shoulder, poked a finger into her mouth and fell fast asleep. I was thankful for that. I returned to the lively crowd inside happy to show the fruit of my solitude, and then transferred her to her dadddy’s shoulder for a nap. One of the women there asked me to put her into her bed, and I said, No. Her daddy can hold her while she sleeps. It’s ok to start spoiling her she’s coming home with us.
In the morning over coffee I am going to tell you about our dinner out on the town. Then I’m going to try and process through the numbness of the day. It wasn’t a let down at all. It was a great beginning. I just didn’t like leaving her there. I’m ready to be her mama. I want her with us. I have to wait a week. After one week then we can bring her with us. I knew all along I wouldn’t have an easy go with this rule. When I gave birth I was the type to not put my baby in the nursery with the nurses so I could sleep. I wanted the immediate privilege of caring for my baby. That’s how I feel now, like I’m forced to use the nursery. Oh well. I can do this.