On Sunday we threw a huge "Adoption Day/ Belated 2nd Birthday" party for Amani. We must have had between 50 and 60 people come to our home to celebrate our amazing little guy with us. We had our local Ethiopian restaurant cater for us so that friends and family could taste the wonderful food. We took up a collection for Numan Orphanage and raised almost $300. Bret, the kiddos and I all wore our traditional Ethiopian outfits and got some great family photos. I had hoped that the party would also be an "End of Chemotherapy" celebration - but we are praying for that to happen soon.
I was remembering the day we landed in San Francisco, and how I had never been so happy to be standing on the ground in America. We had an amazing trip, but it was almost three weeks long and I was so homesick. I was so done flying. I was so done with blow-out diapers. I was so done with not having my husband or children with me. I ached for the familiar. I wanted to kiss the ground when we landed. As I stood in the customs line with my precious little guy in the Ergo, I was finally safe enough to let my wall down and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Not only did the emotions start flowing, but I got sicker than I have been in my whole life. I had to get down on my knees as I waited for our turn. I was going to pass out. The room was spinning. I was sweating. That loud hum was filling my ears. I knew I had to make it through that long line to make it to my family on the other side. I barely made it, but I did make it. I collapsed into my husband's arms. Cried into the hair of my four beautiful children who had lived for three weeks with out me. I made it home. Passed off a thankfully happy, instantly at home baby, and went into a dark bedroom for three days. I took Cipro, vomited, cramped, and used the toilet often (sorry!). I worried about Amani and how I was probably messing him up for the rest of his life - but it was a fog of illness that I couldn't break through. After three days I reentered the land of the living and everyone was fine. They weren't scarred for life, and we moved on, becoming a family of seven.
The memory is so fresh and so filled with pain and elation. It has taken me until this marker of one year to really let myself go back and remember exactly how our homecoming went down. :)