Day 6 – My Heart

October 5, 2007

I have written many times that my heart was in Africa and I couldn’t explain it. It’s just something that I have felt for a long time. Well…

I have found it.

Click To Listen

My Winnie, the little girl from the last post. She must have had it all this time. I have never felt a connection with a child like this before.

The moment I saw her, I knew she was special. And now, knowing her for only four days, I have fallen in love with this child. The connection I can only describe as primal.

Tonight she clung to me. I was holding her and her legs were around my waste and her arms were wrapped around my neck and her face was buried into my neck as she gently rubbed the back of my head.

I know that sounds odd, but all of the children have been rubbing my head since we got here. My very short hair feels nothing like theirs and they keep telling me how soft it is. I tell them I feel like an animal at the petting zoo. I have become so accustomed to it and I don’t even realize they are doing it anymore. Now, back to my Winnie.

Rocky and WinnieI love her.

How could I love a child like this that I’ve just met? I cried sitting with her today as her head was in my lap, just thinking about having to leave. My heart breaks when I think of it.

At the end of the evening, it was time to say goodnight and she would not let me go. I held her tight, kissed her cheek and then kissed her hand and told her that was for her when she got upstairs to her room. I had to push her away gently to get her upstairs before she got into trouble.

I can’t imagine my last night here. The thought of it brings me to tears. And I even wrote that I am breaking down crying right now.

But I can’t. I need to breathe. I know I should be doing a video diary, but I know I wouldn’t get a sentence across without balling.

My heart is aching.

I feel like when I go, I’m going to be leaving my daughter behind… and it’s killing me.

And I will be thinking about this until I leave. I will be heading for Nairobi in the morning and it’s going to be hard to leave for the night, let alone the country, the continent, the hemisphere.

In my head and in my heart, I think about adopting her and her little sister, who I love also. But there are so many things to think about. The adoption process is so strict here – havign to live here for three months. The cost. But the biggest difference is the culture.

Her life here, no matter how poor the orphanage is, is happy. The children are raised Catholic; church on Sunday, praying three times a day and rejoicing God through song and dance. Even ther language, Swahili, the food, the customs, their entir life is here and in this house and I would take all of that away from them. I don’t know that I could to that.

And then the brain says, “work hard.” Work hard and make St. Monica’s the best it can be. Proper food, clean water, hot water, cement the dirt, a garden to feed them, tuition and books paid for, shoes medicine for all the girls here. Not just two. And visit Kenya as many times as I can.

Would that be enough? Would that be the best for them?

I don’t know. I just don’t know. And I’m physically tired and emotionally exhausted just thinking about it.

My brain hurts and my heart aches.

The Journey In Pictures

October 5, 2007

Mothers Fighting For Others On Flickr

Photos from our journey to Africa.