Our family and friends were anxiously awaiting our return home. They had signs and balloons and recorded our exit from customs so that Amina coming home could be officially marked and remembered and watched for years to come. They clamored around us, anxious to see this beautiful little girl who has brought such joy to our lives already, all wanted to hold her and kiss her.
When we finally arrived at our house we found our home freshly cleaned, the nursery full of everything our little girl would need, including a year supply of diapers, a refrigerator stocked with fresh produce and a few pre-made meals ready for us to eat, as well as the pantry filled with formula and baby food and snacks, and other wonderful things like chocolate chips and graham crackers and cereal. There were photos in picture frames that friends and family had had printed from our facebook page. Pictures that would remind Amina of where she came from, of what she was made, and of a birth mother who loved her more than she could imagine.
Nestled among stuffed animals was a beautiful poem printed and framed in a frilly pink picture frame. It read, “Not of flesh, nor of my bone, but still miraculously, my own. Never forget for one single minute, you didn’t grow under my heart but in it.” So beautifully worded and so very true for me. For truly Amina did grown in my heart, for many, many years before she was actually born.
Again, Jonathan and I sought our rhythm as parents in America. Getting over jet-lag as well as culture shock. Everyone seemed to have so many “things,” and everyone seemed to be in a rush to get somewhere, anywhere, and always in a car or a train or a bus or plane. No one walked for transportation here in Washington. Instead they walked for exercise. Jonathan and I found this remarkably ridiculous as we were out “walking” Amina in her stroller one cool summer evening.
A few weeks after returning home, we learned that Haji had been arrested as had the Registrar-General. The parliament in Kenya was trying desperately to throw out corruption, a process which was taking a long time but was progressing as well as could be expected. The Registrar-General is still awaiting sentencing but Haji has been sent back to America and warned not to return to the country of his birth. Jaibi had a good ending to his story that was just beginning as well. Another sister, who lived in Nairobi and had married a wealthy man, was able to take Jaibi in and they have begun the adoption process. She too had waited many years to become a mother. I hate to think what would have become of her if we had inadvertently taken the child that was really meant for them home with us. Thankfully, so many prayers have been answered the way we hoped.
Finally, I have bought my own orange bucket (thank you Home Depot) and taken a plastic pitcher from my kitchen, and now keep them in my bathroom. On certain mornings, when I am seeking peace and tranquility as well as memories from Amina’s beautiful Kenya, I use my orange bucket and allow the sweet and clean water here to wash away my feelings of stress and inadequacy, as well as my fears and trepidation. From that same clear water I find peace and tranquility, a feeling of being refreshed, as well as a calm heart and mind that carries me through yet another crazy and miraculous day of being a mother.
Thanks for reading our story this week. Tomorrow we will start a new story by Heather!