These last few days in Uganda are weighty for sure. It’s a different kind of weight than we have experienced so far. This is not a weight of a cumbersome and paralyzing adoption process, this weight comes from so many different emotions to take in and pay attention to now that the burden of the adoption process has been lifted and I can actually begin to internally process all that has gone on these last 9 weeks. It’s the weight of another season and chapter (and adventure) closing, and my desire not to just let it pass quickly by.
Here are a few noteworthy things about our final days that are occupying my mental space tonight:
Today was the twins’ birthday and that alone was a pretty fantastic way to end the trip. Cora loves the Happy Birthday song. She tried to sing it several times today, clapping her hands in joy, and delighting in her accomplishement of getting us to sing along every time. The crowning moment of the day came after dinner when the cupcakes came out and we sang (once more) “happy birthday” to Cora and Elias. You could see in their little eyes and faces the joy of being loved and celebrated. They felt special and in that very moment, all the stress and frustration and weariness of the last 2 years mattered no more. They are home. They are taken care of. They know it, and they love it. Something about that is just so right.
We also picked up the kids’ Visas today. More reason to celebrate. We are now officially able to leave the country WITH the kids. Our homecoming is now an actuality and is coming soon! We also ended up in the embassy waiting room with two of the other adoptive families we met while being here. The camaraderie and mutual joy was palpable. It was as if we had all fought a common battle together and though we hardly know anything of each other, we have deep connections based on what we have survived. Not many words are needed to bring comfort when you are able to look in the eyes of someone who knows the reality you have faced/or are facing and who stands in it with you. It was a sweet way to end our in-country process for sure.
We are also starting to say goodbye to some of our new Ugandan friends which is a strange thing when you don’t know if or when your paths will cross again. I’m sure our family will return here again, and I hope there is a way to stay in touch with these people who are dear to us already. To think that some of the faces who have been present in this last season will not continue to be present is very odd, especially given that it has been such a significant and challenging season for us as a family. And to think we are going home to those who know and love us most but who have not been able to be here physically with us and who haven’t seen and experienced life here and this transition with us is also weird. I can’t think of too many other times in life where this happens.
On deck for tomorrow: traveling to the village the twins were born in to meet some family/friends, take some photos and capture some memories that the kids can have as they get older. It’s a long car ride, and it feels like a big undertaking the day before we fly home, but I know it’s one of the most important things we can do and that it will really mean a lot to Cora and Elias one day. Plus, I kind of like an adventure, and this seems like a pretty good one. I can’t wait to meet people who knew them at birth (I’m sure they will be surprised at the health and growth of the kids) and who knew their mom. I can’t wait to hear stories about the family, how their parents met, and to see the faces of their older siblings. I know this will also be really, really hard.