I am posting this a night early so if you're reading this Tuesday night just imagine it's Wednesday.
It's been two years since that morning that I first picked up my sleeping baby from the last crib on the left of of care center room A.
It was around 9:00 a.m but I had been awake for hours and hours. I was awoken by jet lag, morning call to prayer and an intense feeling of excitement. I heard babies crying in the rooms below me, she was down there. Right before breakfast I saw her from the dining room window. She was in the parking lot with lots of little babies getting their daily sun bath. I could barely eat.
After what seemed like forever (after all I had waited my whole life for this) we were brought downstairs and told about our week. During this meeting this is what I heard: blah blah blah blah blah blah blah do you want to meet your baby? Since the other two families had older children who were at a care center down the road, I was the first to meet my child. There were so many people around I felt numb to the moment.
We walked into her room. There were eight or ten small cradle/cribs in that sunny room. I followed Tsweii to the last crib on the left. She opened the mosquito net, and moved the blanket off of Eskedar. She was sleeping on her tummy. I picked her up and cradled her in my arms. After a minute her eyes opened and she caught my gaze and they closed back up.
Lucy was teeny tiny and floppy. I was asked to remain on the main floor until they were sure I could care for her. After about 1/2 hour I was released to the guest rooms upstairs. I met the other two children, beautiful 4 and 1 year old girls. I took Lucy to my room and stared at her. She was really talkative for a 5 1/2 month old. I held her and then set her on the bed. I wasn't quite sure what to do now, it was a very strange feeling to NOT have intense feelings at that moment. These intense feelings didn't really come until our van pulled out of the care center parking lot for the last time, every time I think about that moment, the moment of leaving, I cry ... that's another post for another day.
Soon it was time for lunch, Lucy hung out in the baby bjorn while I ate. We went for a walk down the streets of Addis after lunch.
It's so hard to believe that it's only been two years but it's also hard to remember life without her.