Here’s this weeks Five Minute Friday. Don’t know what that means? Head over here for an explanation.
I’ve been thinking about you a lot. Probably because I’ve been unable to visit you the past two days. Last night as I was laying in bed, I was just thinking about how I wished you were there with me. Sleeping soundly. Dreaming big, crazy, incredible things.
I remember the first day I met you. You came through the door in another volunteers arms and he handed you to me. I remember saying “this is the most perfect looking baby I’ve ever seen.” And you were so hungry. We couldn’t even give you a bath straight away like we usually do because you let us know you needed to eat RIGHT THEN. They told me your name was Tumaini, which means “hope” in KiSwahili. What a beautiful name, I thought. How incredibly fitting for this little child who was left outside, alone, only a few days old. Someone didn’t believe there was hope for this child, but against everything here he is, Tumaini, Hope.
I remember the nurse who was doing his rounds at Neema when you arrived. He looked at me feeding you and he said, “If you stay with him, he will come to know you like his mother, if you are just the constant person in his life.” I don’t know what prompted him to say this, and at the time I really didn’t think much about it. As I gave you your first bath, I remember being so nervous because you still had the clamp on your belly button. The nannies assured me it was fine, just don’t put water on it.
Over the months I’ve watched you grow. I’ve celebrated the milestones. When you finally starting reaching your feet and pulling them to your mouth I rejoiced. After a questionable diagnosis, we were very unsure of your development, but it turns out all the worries were for nothing. You’re strong and heathly and well. I remember when your first tooth popped through. I remember the week you had to spend in the hospital with pneumonia. You looked so tiny in that big hospital bed, struggling with each breath. Laying there listless. I remember how my heart broke, it was so hard to see you like that.
Two weeks ago we celebrated your first birthday. We went out for a special lunch. It was so beautiful to get to share that with you, even if you won’t remember it. I’ll remember it. I’m not sure where things will go from here, to be honest. I want nothing more than to bring you home with me. To lay you down to sleep every night and to be the first one you see in the morning. I want you to have a forever home, and I would love if it could be with me. So while I tread lightly, and try to learn as much as I can about the system here, I want us to keep making memories. Because even if I’m not with you forever, I for sure want you to understand just how loved you are.