Sunday, 10 April 2011

On Going Home

Yesterday while we were driving to a new (to me) orphanage, in the midst of an awful traffic jam with some of the dirtiest, grittiest air I have yet breathed, it struck me that I am really going to miss this place. I'm not sure how it happened, but this city has grown on me. It's funny, because it remains as dirty and crowded and hot and dangerous as ever, and I still don't really like it, but I am going to be sorry to leave.

One of the things that have been hardest about this experience has been having something to compare it to- having an expectation of how things could be because of the amazing experience we had during Tommy's adoption. I fell hard for Uganda. I love it there. It is easily one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I know if I were able to travel extensively in Mtoto's country, or even leave the city, I would be able to write glowing things about the beauties of this country too, but that is not on the agenda because here we don't have freedom to roam. Adjusting to that loss of freedom was very difficult for me. Not being able to go most places (even with an escort) or see the things I want to see, or shop at the stores I want to shop at, or take pictures to share with Mtoto as he gets older, has been demoralizing. Also, there is always an undercurrent of fear here that is very difficult to escape. I don't know if it is the level of past brutality, current political instability, ongoing war, the corruption that seems to permeate every aspect of life, or perhaps a lovely combination of these problems, but this place is hard.

A number of things have happened to tip the scales. Maybe it was finding a store that sells really decent ice cream, and realizing that I won't be here long enough to try all the weird flavors (today it was Nougat and Ferro-Rochez for me). Quick confession- I might be their new best customer as I have been three days in a row, and I may have lamented their lack of a frequent-diner program today in the car on the way home. I would be so close to earning a free cone by now. Maybe it was spending so much time at various orphanages where people are doing the best they can with what they have to care for those who have even less. But, it is more likely the soft dark hair, big brown eyes, and sweet smile of a certain little boy that won me over. I love Mtoto, and by extension, I love the place he comes from. It also helps that Mtoto was cared for by some amazing people, and that I continue to be totally blown-away by the love he was shown in the time before we were able to be a family.

That said I am looking forward to going home. I can't wait to see Tommy. I am super excited to have reliable hot showers and clean water to brush my teeth with. Oh, and don't get me started on food. I can't wait for some yummy meat (watch out Uncle Bub's) and Mexican food. But mostly, I'm looking forward to some big kisses from my oldest boy.


Sweet Apron said...

So excited for your growing family, Amy. I will drop off some homemade salsa & chips for you & your mom after you get back. Big (((hugs))).

mary said...

congrats on going home!!!!