Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Saying Goodbye.

I never thought at the beginning of my two week trip that saying goodbye would be hard. I honestly thought it would just be like every other goodbye. A simple kiss on the cheek and a wave and I was free and on the way home. {I originally thought I would be dying to get home...ha.} I was wrong. I was so wrong. This goodbye wasn't like any other goodbye. This goodbye hurt. 
Our last day in Uganda we spent the day at my favorite place, the baby home. We painted all of the walls and such and made it look brand new. It was so much fun to do and so rewarding because we directly following saw the results. We finished at 2pm, went to the guest house, took some pictures, ate lunch and at four we headed back to the baby home for our final day and final goodbye.

When I got up that morning I had a sick feeling in my stomach because I knew what was going to happen today. I was going to have to say goodbye to 'my baby'. The little boy that had stolen my heart and had called me Mommy for two weeks. The little boy that I would give anything to be his Mommy and the little boy that every time I looked at the clock and thought about exactly what he was doing. He was my baby in every sense and my heart broke just thinking about leaving him because I didn't know when I would ever see him again.

We got to the baby home a little after four and I immediately found R and just held him. We walked around and played and sang. I did everything I could to love him with everything I had. I played with him on the swing and in the sand box and took in everything about him. On our last day we were allowed to take pictures and I got truly priceless pictures that I will forever cherish and hold dear. Due to privacy I will unfortunately not be able to share these.

At 6pm we took them in for their normal dinner. While R ate I went and loved and fed the other baby I had decided to take under my wing. He was a teeny tiny baby who was a new arrival to the baby home. He was at least six months old and probably weighed no more than four pounds. He was so tiny I felt I would break him and when I held him I couldn't help but think of my sweet Lilliana.

After dinner we took baths and I found the cutest pajamas I could for R. I snuggled him and held him and kissed him as many times as I could as he watched TV and occasionally played with my bracelets. He would grab my face and kiss and talk to me. {most of that was in Luganda} 
I took every single second in with him that I could and then 7:15 rolled around and my heart began to break all over again. It was time to say goodbye.

I turned R around so he was facing me and told him that I had to leave. Every night when I had to leave I would say "Okay, I am going to leave, but I will be back tomorrow" but I didn't say that. I simply said, "I must say goodbye to you tonight. I love you so much sweet boy" 
"Tomorrow, mommy?" he said 
and my heart again broke because I had to say "No, baby not tomorrow. I can't come back" 
and his eyes grew big and he looked confused. 
"I can't come tomorrow. I have to leave and go home. I can't come tomorrow, but I promise you I will come back." 
He began to cry, scream and grasp to me with everything he had in him. I was choking back tears at this point...Why was this so hard?
I rocked him in my arms, gave him one last kiss goodbye and handed him to another volunteer {he would run after me if i was to just sit him down} and forced myself to walk away.

How was I supposed to make this easy? How was I supposed to love this child with everything I had in me only to have to walk away two weeks later? I had accomplished what I was sent to the baby home to do and that was to love babies, but that didn't make leaving this baby any easier. 

I walked out of the baby home, back to the guest house, into my room and sat on the bed and cried. When I crawled under my mosquito net that last night all I could think of was the first day and how quickly life can change when one little boy grabs your hand and heart and never lets go. 

My heart is longing to be back in Uganda. I promised R I would return and I intend on keeping that promise. 


  1. Mmmmmmmm..... I can't say anything. Thanks so much for sharing this and writing this so beautifully.
    Cropped photo or not, I know that forehead; those lips.... that sweet boy.....
    I know Jesus holds him still, but it still hurts to leave.
    Oh let's go back, LET'S GO BACK!!!!!

  2. oh Ashton, big wet tears here! I know God has big plans for you and R. Praying you can return quickly.


  3. I found your blog while going through your Mom's photos on FB and I'm so glad I did. This story is one of the sweetest, heart string pulling stories I have ever read. I pray you are able to go back and see that precious child again. God truly knew what he was doing when he made you and your family.


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