In 3.5 short hours our son will be taken to his embassy appointment in Kinshasa! We are hoping that everything goes as planned and we will be on a plane to snatch him up soon. All this excitement has gotten me thinking. Am I ready for this? Don’t get me wrong I am more than ready for my children to come home……………….but am I ready for everything else I will see in Africa?
I studied in Ghana for a month long summer program with the University of Wyoming and am still blown away by how warm and wonderful everyone was to me (most everyone…….there were some Americans there that were not too happy about a white girl crashing their trip…….but that’s another story). But Africa had a dark side too. We were handing out cookies to children on the street and a very small little girl was beat down right in front of me for her cookie. I was not the one with the cookies (that day) but I couldn’t help but feel guilty just for having been there. Another time we walked by a school house and the children were so excited to see a group of Americans they were shouting and waving at us only to be taken one by one and whipped in front of us with a skinny branch leaving welts on their bodies.Horrific to witness? Yes.
Will those to moments stay with me forever? Yes.
Do I think they will even compare to what I will see in Congo? No.
Why you ask? Because in Congo I have a goal to help those like Wren. Those who no one wants. Those children who live with nothing and are just another number in a UNICEF report. Malnourished children who are just like my Daughter at home safe in America. Children who don’t have someone to read to them and tuck them into bed. Children who are funny and sweet and intelligent and have gone through more in their short lives than I will ever have to face in mine. I want to see. I want to know. I want to try. I just don’t know that I can. I don’t know what it will be like to see all of those children and feel so small and helpless armed only with not enough formula, clothes, and toys.
I am scared to meet my baby girl in her orphanage and have to turn around and leave her there. Walking in the shoes of so many mothers leaving their babies out of necessity. Hoping……….Praying they know they are loved. Wanting more for them but being unable to provide that at the time. Taking one child but not the other. I will walk in these shoes because this is the path that has been laid before me. I will walk in these shoes and have a greater respect for all mothers who gave up their children hopping for something better. I will walk in these shoes and know that I am on this path for a reason. This string that pulls me to Africa. The string that lead me to Wren……who lead me to Emery………….who opened the door for Micah…………..who showed us Meriville…………………..Who brought up baby Rita. We have witnessed a lot already without ever setting foot in the country. I know that there is so much more waiting to be seen. My eyes are open. My heart is open. My arms are open.