Rereading this post brought memories flooding back; I have this image of Eleanor and Asina walking through the back coffee field, Eleanor’s cries drifting in through the open window, Asina struggling to keep her [Eleanor’s] twisting body in her arms. I remember how difficult it was for me to concentrate on anything, let alone my work, and how unsure I felt of myself – of the decisions I had made regarding Eleanor’s care prior to moving to Tanzania and what we planned for her care while living there.
Yesterday, when I dropped Eleanor off at school, she marched into the classroom with fervor and excitement. “Bye mom,” she said walking away. “I see you later.” On the playground the night before she engaged girls who were 3-5 years older than her as they gathered inch worms from around the equipment. While sitting in the grass outside our house the day before a man stopped to talk to us. “What’s your name?” she asked him. “I’m Eleanor.” He mumbled his name, and as he was walking away she said “Excuse me, what’s your name again? I didn’t hear you.” [So polite!]
What I mean to communicate is that she is remarkably well adjusted (if I do say so myself), so rereading my anxieties about a time when our separation (from full time together) was just beginning, and there was a lot of uncertainty (in my mind) about what this would mean for her in the future is really powerful.
This doesn’t mean I don’t still question myself, but my voice (as opposed to those voices…out there…) has gotten louder and it’s getting increasingly easier to hear it.