You don’t know me but you helped bring me into this world and for that…I have to tell you thank you from the bottom of my heart. Our time together was limited but without those 9 months, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. It is now that day, April 25th, one of the last days we spent together but also the day you so graciously handed me over to two other people who would take over the role of caregiving for you. I can’t speak much on this experience, forgive me..my memory isn’t all that great, but I know this was one of the hardest things you have ever had to do.
I think about you a lot. There are times I get lost looking in the mirror wondering what parts of you I am looking at. Do you have green eyes? Is your hair also thick and brown? Does this shade of pink tint your lips as well? As I am getting older I find myself reflecting on what other traits I may have of yours that are not only physical. Do you love to travel? Are you an artist? Do you love children so much that you would do anything to give them the best life possible?
I want you to know how thankful I am for you. I understand that I wasn’t a plan for your life but acknowledging that I was a plan for THIS life…I can’t even express my gratitude. Thank you for those 9 months. As my friends venture into motherhood, I know it isn’t just a walk in the park emotionally, physically, financially, etc. For you to sacrifice yourself and your body for me is courageous. I see my friends on their journey and it’s something from the first day of knowing you are carrying life and growing a person, everything changes. I’m not sure if you knew all along that we weren’t going to spend more than that time together but it had to be somewhere in your mind. I just imagine everyone around you asking you how you are doing and possibly wanting to dive into those details (names, feeding plans, birth plans, decorations, baby showers, education, etc.). If we are anything alike, I am sure you wanted to run away and crawl under a rock to avoid these questions…to avoid those answers. Thank you for dealing with all of that…I know it wasn’t easy as it’s not the usual answer “I am giving this child up for adoption” when people see your growing belly and start asking questions with genuine excitement.
We spent a lot of time together, a lot of intimate time. I am sure a lot conversations were had…many promises you asked me to make with you…many apologies you asked me to accept. If one of those promises was to live life to the fullest and to follow my dreams no matter how big they are…I am keeping that promise. If one of those apologies was along the lines of forgiving you…I do.
I can only imagine where your mind can take you sometimes. I want you to know that I am doing great. Maybe you get lost in thought when you are driving or walking down your drive way to get the mail at the end of a long day and wonder how I am doing…I have always wanted to tell you that I am fine. This journey of life has not been easy but it hasn’t been the hardest. The amount of happy memories I have far outweigh the bad memories..and even in the bad times, I understand that those have happened for a reason. That’s the biggest thing I should tell you that might provide the most comfort for you…I know God has been in this whole situation with us since before you even knew I was in your life. Whatever events occurred to bring me into this world or to make that decision that we wouldn’t walk side by side after April 25th of 1987…it was all God. We can’t doubt Him and His intentions… if this is His will, it’s the best way.
So today might be one of the hardest days of the year for you. As the years pass and I grow older, I can’t help but think less about party hats and cake and more about how you are doing. I know it’s a big favor to ask of you and the dream answer would be that you have already, but I need you to forgive yourself. I can promise you that the decision you made was the best decision and the only one that could have followed through. Again, if we are anything alike and forgive me if I am more like the other half of this equation and this is annoying, but I can imagine walking away from this situation and holding regrets and I pray that you are not. We spent our time together and it was some of the most crucial and important times of my life and I have a feeling our time together was spent with a lot of love, caring and compassion.
I am sorry…I’m sorry that you had to go through that 9 month roller coaster. Sorry you couldn’t drink coffee or sleep on your stomach. I’m sorry that your body morphed into ways that only God could come up with. I am sorry you had to walk out of that hospital alone and I couldn’t be there to hold your hand. More than anything…I am just thankful and I have a feeling you are too. I know you learned so much through this whole experience of bringing me into this world and that has created a bond that I am forever grateful for. I may not know your name, where you come from, what you look like…or anything for that matter but you are my hero and I love you so much.
So today let’s celebrate life…and let’s celebrate you. Thank you for the most amazing present I could ever dream of.
I wish you all of the best.
Image by Dorothy Huynh
She began humming this song and all of a sudden I realized it was the answer to the prayer going on in my heart. God was speaking through her kind humming and singing. I began singing aloud with her and ever since that day, the song has been in not only my head but also my heart. It’s been answering so many questions I have had on my mind…it’s been a sign of complete confirmation. My dear friend Dacia didn’t know it that day singing the simple tune of All Sons and Daughters “You Have Called Me Higher”…but it was everything I needed to hear.
I look back on my last entry and laugh. Just a few weeks ago I was desperate to understand the confused thoughts and dreams going on in my heart. I was staring at all of these puzzle pieces on the table trying to figure out what piece goes in next. Pieces were being put into the wrong spots…even though they were still a solid piece to the puzzle of course…they were on the table… I was trying to figure it out on my own instead of taking a step back and understanding that God is the only one that is seeing the big picture. While He is preparing my heart for what is to come…the next step..the next puzzle piece about to be laid down…I just kept interrupting Him assuming I knew what He was up to…I knew where the pieces belonged.
To be honest and completely humble, I still don’t know what He is up to…but I really want to THINK I know what He is up to. I believe He has a puzzle piece in the shape of Jinja, Uganda in His hands. These past two weeks have been nothing but a continual fall…a fall into a deep hole that is love and that hole is made up of beautiful red dirt. I am seeing this place with a whole new set of eyes. This is no longer the place I will come and visit every year for a couple of months at a time…it’s something so much more. It’s a hard feeling to describe because I personally have never felt it before but what I can say is…I am looking at Jinja, Uganda and knowing for the first time in my life…this is the place I am meant to call home.
It’s amazing how in such a short amount of time and in the midst of confusion and endless possibilities, God can just turn on the light switch. His timing is incredible. I am noticing how in my life He is slowly preparing my story and events.
I know little to nothing about cooking but I do know it is wise to keep the burners on a medium gauge to avoid burning your food. Now when I cook…I put my food on the high option and usually end up walking away…get distracted talking to someone, cleaning my room or most likely scrolling through instagram and forget about what I have going on in the kitchen. God on the other hand is such a patient cook. He is slowly stirring everything in the pots and pans..adding seasoning here and there and knows exactly when the food is complete and ready to be served. I know His dish is going to be way better than mine and I am so grateful for that.
In the past 5 months, the Lord has been preparing my dish. He has been adding ingredients here and there and even removing some from the recipe. He has been slowly stirring the Jinja into my heart and now it is here to stay. Nothing will ever taste as good mixed in my life at this point in time. I am understanding and completely accepting that Jinja, Uganda is the place I am meant to call home at this point in my life and when I come back in December of this year it will be a whole different kind of return.
What is the next step? I am not too sure. Those pieces are still on the table. While I can see them and they are beautiful and I personally believe I know where they belong in the puzzle..I’m going to let God continue to place them in the right spots…in the right time. I just know that this picture is beautiful and I can’t wait to see how it looks when each puzzle piece is laid down in it’s perfect timing, in it’s perfect place.
I could hold on to who I am and never let You change me from the inside
And I could be safe, I could be safe here in Your arms and never leave home
Never let these walls down
But You have called me higher
You have called me deeper
And I will go where you will lead me Lord
Everyone in Uganda knows my name. As I walk up and down the streets I hear it being called from little kids, women with children on their laps preparing food for the day or men on motorcycles working hard to make a living. Muzungu. Okay, as they are yelling it out to me, they are really meaning “White Person”…and this is every other white persons name here actually. It is meant in a friendly manner and is actually quite sweet to hear as it is people saying hello to you and giving you a great big welcome.
Muzungu also means “someone who roams around aimlessly”. A Wanderer.
Since I was 18 years old, I have moved every single year of my life. If it wasn’t to a different state, it was to a different part of Los Angeles since 2008. I suppose I have been moving to find that place where I belong…but I am not sure if I will ever find it.
When I think of the place in my heart that I call home, I envision God. I see Him and know that no matter where I go, He is there with me. He is guiding me and leading me. I have felt somewhat guilty about my wanderlust heart over the last few years. When I was married, all I wanted was that feeling of settlement. I dreamt of that house with the white picket fence where every room served it’s different purpose. I longed for that stability. When my life took a sudden change of course in 2010, that all disappeared. The last thing I could grasp is sitting in one place. My eyes suddenly opened up to the big world out there full of so much opportunity.
As I sit here in a cafe in Uganda, Africa I am so utterly happy and content. There is no where I would rather be. If someone showed me a map right now and asked the one place I would travel to today if possible, I think I would say “Jinja”. For the first time in my life, I am so happy being where I am. Now do I think I could live here for the rest of my life? No..but it is nice to know that a huge part of my heart will be here forever and for the time being..this is where I am meant to be.
I can’t help but think about where my journey will take me when this adventure is over. All I know is that my plane ticket is taking me to Los Angeles. I am so excited to see my friends and my dog Rilo, but other than that…I already feel lost about being there. The best way I can explain this is that I feel like I will be taking a step backwards.
The situation that I am most comfortable with for spending my time in the states is to acquire a camper van and travel around the country living a simple life full of friends, new environments and people. When I think about sitting in one place and possibly getting a new apartment and moving in and settling, it just doesn’t feel right in my heart. I need to keep moving forward.
When I think about 2014…I see myself living abroad…somewhere in Europe. A continent that is just a hop, skip and jump away from amazing countries full of so much history. Filled with culture and new experiences. It has been the most amazing experience being here in Uganda and making so many friends from around the world. I want to go visit them in their homelands and experience what life is like for them. I want to just dive deep into this beautiful world that the Lord has created.
I have no idea why I feel like sitting still or going back and settling in LA is taking a step backwards. Maybe because it served it’s purpose in time but that time in my life has now come to an end. A part of me worries that I am running away from something. But more than anything I feel the confidence to chase after my wanderlust dreams because God is with me wherever I go. He created this amazing world and all He wants to do is wander with me in it.
This post is mostly me spitting out the thoughts going through my head right now but it’s also me embracing this wanderlust heart. This heart that just wants to roam aimlessly through out this beautiful world experiencing it with others. It was beautifully designed by the One that loves me the most and I can’t get frustrated or second guess it. I just have to keep following Him wherever He decides to guide me. A continual move forward can be scary because it means always stepping into the unknown but for some reason, going back to the familiar scares me even more. Through it all, I know I will never be alone because He is with me.
“My roots have grown but I don’t know where they are”- The Head and The Heart