I am safely home. I am showered, I ate a cheeseburger for dinner, and I kissed my kids goodnight. I feel asleep next to my husband.
Then I woke up WIDE awake at 4:30 a.m.–my body thinks it’s 1:30 pm–unable to go back to sleep. I lay still for a while breathing in the quiet, the scent of my husband, the unbelievable softness of my bed. My mind raced for a while, and I began to cry. Hubs, half asleep, put his arm around me. "What’s wrong?" he asked, in his sleep. "The world," I whispered back.
So here I sit, blogging at 5-something a.m., totally exhausted and unable to sleep, and (I have to admit) enjoying the wonder of high-speed internet.
My homecoming was even sweeter than I could’ve hoped. Never in my life have I seen a happier sight than my favorite people in the airport terminal. I dropped my luggage and ran, and my kids ran to me, crossing a little too far into the secured area. A guard barked at us. Pshaw, national security–I have my babies to hug.
My husband is a hero. In the entire time I was gone, we never really got to talk. There were a few sentences over Yahoo Voice Chat, but our low bandwidth at the hotel never let us get very far. We were able to text chat most days, but only for a few minutes. And that doesn’t really satisfy a momma’s need to hear her little people’s voices.
My nine-year-old son Stephen came down with the full-blown flu my second day away, completely throwing all our carefully-laid plans out of the water. Hubs had to give up even more of his own time than we had originally planned, and he never complained once. He’s a trooper of the highest degree. Our family and friends jumped in eagerly and unselfishly to help. Thank you, thank you, to those of you pitched in to help–you know who you are.
My blogging from Uganda was even more fast and furious than I expected. My computer time was so limited that I was frantically trying to get out our story, with no time to respond to your questions and comments. And I regret that, because I don’t think I can express how much all your encouragement, prayers and links meant to me. Each night I had just enough time to scroll very quickly through the day’s comments, and several times your sweet words had me in a puddle of tears. It’s a big world, and the blogosphere is a vast place, but you all made me feel like I had a suitcase full of friends on the trip with me.
Many of you have e-mailed or commented some excellent questions about Compassion, Uganda, and our trip in general. I will be doing a Q&A post (or two or three!) in the coming weeks, so feel free to continue to send questions. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard ones. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find someone who does.
Thank you, most especially, to those of you who opened up your hearts to sponsor a Compassion child. I have seen with my own eyes the kind of effort and efficiency this organization devotes to such important work. They were completely transparent with us about their operation and finances, and I cannot emphasize enough how confidently I endorse them. You new sponsors are not going to be disappointed—get ready for your heart to be changed as you start to correspond with your sponsor child.
Are you tired of Africa stories yet? I hope not. I still have so much to tell you, though I’ll probably be spacing it out over the coming weeks. Even with all the heart-rending things we saw, there was an endless supply of laughter. There were bats and monkeys and security guards and exotic foods and mosquitoes and a team of some of the most talented people I’ve ever met. Funny stories? Oh, you bet.
Bear with me in the coming days. I’m not sure yet if I’ll feel like blogging my heart out, or if I’ll need to step away for a few days. I’m just going to take each day as it comes. But I’m still here, jet-lagged and hungry and happy and full of thanks for all of you.