“Do you miss Kenya?” We hear this question often. I, Heather, definitely do miss Kenya at times, even while I also love being here in Michigan. Missing Kenya sometimes hits like an overpowering wave when we least expect it. Any of the following might cause a momentary transport back across the ocean.
A word: If anyone mentions words like Jolly, residents, chameleons, rice and beans, safari, Orange, waterfall … words like these conjure up good memories and can mysteriously bring us back to Kenya.
A name: Recently, Anna looked up from a book and said, “Mom, I miss Hannah B.” I miss Hannah, too, and her whole family as well. We sat and missed them together for a few minutes.
A feeling: Recently some friends of ours here have suffered an enormous and painful loss. Grieving with them churns up aching in my heart both for their family and for suffering like theirs that we saw far too frequently at the hospital in Kenya.
A contrast: Once a few months ago, I saw a mother kiss her healthy baby, and somehow it pierced my heart as my mind flew back to Kenya and settled on our foster babies who have no mother to kiss them. The contrasts unsettle my soul sometimes, and it can take a while to find my sense of balance again.
A cultural confusion moment: Last week I was saying "thank you" to the girl who watched Abi in the nursery at church. So I shook her hand. And then I remembered that we don’t really do that in this country, but I couldn't remember the cultural equivalent here.
A pineapple: Yesterday Anna and I saw a fresh whole pineapple in the grocery store. She stopped and stared at it for a moment. I recognized that look in her eyes: that look of being suspended between continents.
So if ever a McCropder does not seem to be tracking with you for no apparent reason… just wait patiently, and they’ll probably find their way back to America in a minute or two.