About a year and a half ago, most of you will remember that my family moved from Uganda to the US, and a few weeks later, I had a baby....Hannah. As anyone who's had a baby knows, the mere existence of a baby changes EVERYTHING. The way you feel, sleep, go anywhere, eat, move...live. period. Time, space, stuff...they all change when you go from, like me, having responsibilities and even older children to care for, to having your entire life be controlled by another life. I think I knew enough to expect this.
But, what I didn't expect was to have my work for Fount change so profoundly. Yes, I knew once maternity leave was over, there would be a tough transition. I knew it would be hard to squeeze work in around naps and feedings and demands.
But, I didn't know that I suddenly would relate more deeply to the women I had been teaching for 6 years. I didn't know that I suddenly would feel the same tug of war between wanting to simply be with and play with my baby, but needing to find work and money to do so. I didn't know that I would view their living conditions through a new lense...of dirt, germs, discomfort, sleep needs, and safety that previously was not quite so unsettling.
I took Hannah to Uganda this past summer, when she was just a year old. And, we received some of the warmest greetings ever. Not only was I able to relate more to the women of Uganda, but I think some of them were able to relate more to me. They wanted to touch her and hold her and yell in excitement when they met her. They thanked me for the hard work of birthing her. And, they must have known deep-down that I now felt some of the passionate protective feelings and the need to provide that they have for their babies too.
As hard as it was to take a one year old on an international, 30 hour trip, it was well worth it to share their "daughter" with my Ugandan sisters. Hannah has given me a renewed purpose and focus in my work for Fount.