It was with a wonderful feeling of accomplishment that we arrived in Sri Lanka early Friday morning. Perhaps it was having completed the long journey with relative ease...then again, perhaps it was the joy and plain old sheer fun of taking the bus between terminals 3 and 4 in Heathrow a few more times than was strictly necessary due to helpfully imparted yet faulty information...we’ll never know. ;)
Maybe it was simply stepping out into the luscious heat and warmth that made a very welcome change from the dark, drizzly fall morning we had left behind us at home. Whatever the reason, it felt good to have arrived. It felt good to begin...
First things came first and serious sleep deprivation aside, we were taken directly to the Good Shepard Orphanage, and it is no exaggeration to say that entering the grounds were like entering a vast, quiet, peaceful oasis of calm right in the midst of the unfamiliar chaos of Colombo. After very little time and no fuss or questions, one of the sisters handed us William for the first time. Per held him first and I stood behind him and we both looked down in quiet contemplation and awe at this tiny boy who would be ours, whose picture I had found my eyes straying to every spare moment I had had.
There he was, in the flesh and as we gazed at him with a sort of beatific happiness, he clenched his tiny fists, opened his small mouth and began to wail. And cry. And scream. His small face screwed up with what appeared to be absolute indignation, and if he had been capable I’m positive he would have demanded to know exactly who we are and just how we dared handling him in such a familiar way?! We were left alone with him for the next couple of hours and after a while, he exhausted himself and fell asleep unceremoniously on Per’s lap. Upon waking, his character much improved by sleep and a bottle, he studied us intensely with dark brown eyes and finally deemed us worthy of receiving a few toothless smiles.
So this moment that we had waited for and imagined for months had arrived. When it all comes down to it, I suppose that there is no “proper” way to feel, no proper reactions or emotions. For example, as we drove from the airport to the orphanage, there was no nervousness or fear or wild excitement even. Though it was a joy to finally meet our baby, it was a calm, peaceful happiness, not a giddy hysterical one.
The entire morning had a feeling of unreality about it, almost like moving in a daze...experiencing it from a distance. But please, make no mistake, it was beautiful, memorable and precious, and apparently, on Friday morning at least, the pleasure was all ours. ;)