We have arrived safely home. As I sit and write this Craig is on the sofa across from me with Kira in his lap. She has a bottle in one hand, her soft blanket wrapped around her, a book in the other hand and a sharp eye on the activities of the enormous unexpected dog that thinks she smells fantastic between her legs. She spent her first night here with only one confused cry and request to get out of bed. Emily was gracious ot oblige me with continuous sleep as she convinced Kira at two in the morning that here in America it is the middle of the night.
Traveling with this group was mostly uneventful. The members of my team, Emily, Kira, Kevin and Jack never once gave me reason to rub my head and wonder why I had them with me. They all knew their role as travellers, even the Roookie Kira, and they performed them exactly right. We carried Kira on my chest and she found the sights and sounds of the airports most stimulating. She is a people watcher. We may not be biologically mother and daughter, but we couldn’t have a more significant characteristic in common. The only traveling troubles we had were at the airport in Entebbe. We arrived to be told she had to have a ticket to sit on my lap. That cost three hundred dollars after waiting for a woman who had no idea how to work the computer that had a screen as big as a microwave oven and green letters with flashing prompts. That’s where I spent the supernatural amount of patience God gave me for this whole trip. Thankfully, I didn’t need much more to endure twenty-four hours of traveling with a baby on my lap. The other problem was given to me from Ugandan immigration. They told me, at 11:30 pm-three hours past my bed time, to go find photocopies of all our court documents before we would be allowed to pass through. Ha! No one at British Air made themselves available to help me until I began waving Ugandan Shillings in the air. The remainders of our travels were enjoyable. Every flight was on time, and everyone had good attitudes. I slept when Kira slept. I never cracked a book, enjoyed as much chocolate as I desired, was able to get warm bottles from flight attendants who were enamored with our darling girl and many encouraging smiles from passengers when Kira decided to test out her lungs on the plane. I could feel how covered in prayer we were on this flight, and I thank all of you for those.
In Kampala we were immersed in a sea of dark faces, but once in the airport we were surrounded by pale skin. This caused Kira to pop that finger into her mouth and look around with wide eyes. It also caused me to begin answering a barrage of curious questions. I’ve never had so many people make double takes at the sight of me. I was even a tourist attraction as one person at the end of our first flight asked if she could take our photo on the plane as we were disembarking. I saw people point and whisper with big smiles. I even saw furrowed confused brows over big frowns. I really don’t care what people think about me that’s not why I mention it, I am just surprised to draw so much attention. I suppose I will be wise to become so accustomed to this new public status so that I don’t even notice.
Getting through customs in America was easy. I had to sit in a room of foreigners who were hoping to be let out the door and into the land of the brave and free. They processed us within fifteen minutes, congratulated us and sent us on our way to find Emily and the boys sitting on our mountain of luggage. Once through customs with our baggage Craig was on the other side smiling and eager to greet us home. It felt so good to be home. We rejoiced for several hours over the simple things in life here that we once took for granted, like smooth open roads, hot showers, reliable electricity, washing machines that did the heating, churning and cleaning for our arms, and for PIZZA!
Kira was surprised and afraid of our dog Lucy. She screamed and climbed to the top of my head when Lucy licked her feet. she is slowly observing and watching our interaction with this big animal. She is beginning to want to touch her, but not the part with eyes and a sloppy tongue. It won’t be long before they are playing together on the floor.
Nothing was a great about being home as climbing into my big soft bed. I had forgotten how embracing it is. It was as wonderful as a great hug from a fat grandma who smelled like cookies and where I could be held in her lap to fall asleep. For perhaps once in my life I could go to sleep in bed without having a book to read to chase away an alert mind. Being home with the memories of six weeks in Uganda and a little girl of our own is better than a year of Spring, playing with puppies that don’t grow up, all the money in the world, an ocean view without hurricane threats, and eternal youth on a diet of chocolate.