>Eleven days and counting! Here is my next post about Matthew surprising me with our trip to Africa! This is a little peek into Christmas morning and all that happened! Hope you enjoy! Get ready, its a little sappy. If you don’t want sappy…tomorrow, I am posting about the itinerary! Not sappy at all!
Per family tradition, I stayed up ALL night Christmas Eve (only my little brother and I stuck it out) and woke everyone up at 4:30am to start the Christmas present opening extravaganza! My brother and his wife, my little brother, my husband and I, and my mom and dad, all stumbled bleary eyed into the living room to pick through our stockings. We chilled and made jokes and hung out until my Grandmother, Aunt and Uncle showed up armed with coffee and ready for the gift giving to begin!
I had previously begged my husband to please wrap my big gift (that I already knew about) instead of putting it in my stocking which was the original plan. I didn’t want to feel any pressure to react a certain way as everyone else knew what I was getting and would be watching and waiting for my response. My dad began handing out the gifts one by one (also as tradition calls for) and I waited anxiously for the package that I knew was imminent.
As I open my gifts I begin to see a trend. I get a calender full of pictures of Africa from my mom. I get a Uganda newspaper bead bracelet (made by the tribe I worked with three years ago, she had NO IDEA!) and children’s book about a family in Africa from my sister-in-law…I am already nearly in tears knowing what is coming! Oh, and by the way, these things were bought not knowing yet about Matthew’s surprise, I promise!
As the packages began to be doled out I felt the anxiety began to fade until I was handed the gift that I knew Matthew had wrapped. Matthew sitting next to me, began to watch me with a smile on his face as the rest of the family continued unknowingly to open their gifts.
In the package was my flight itinerary (the tickets were electronic) and something else…a letter from Compassion International informing us that our application to visit two of our Compassion children had been approved! I began to cry. The whole family at this point has caught on to the fact that something was going on! I put down the papers and seeing the emotion that I am feeling reflected in the tears that my husband is chocking back, reach over and give him a big hug and a strangled THANK YOU!
I look around and everyone is watching us and I saw a few tears glimmering in a few eyes (my mom’s for sure!) and I felt such a flood of joy and gratefulness! I am so blessed! Mom asks, “So how do you feel about the day you are leaving?” and I say gracefullly, “huh?” I hadn’t even thought about it! I figured for sure that we were leaving in May at the earliest…I scramble for the flight itinerary, search for a date and I swear my heart nearly stopped…JANUARY! January 15…the date echoed in my brain not even registering…January….
That is about where I still am. Totally overwhelmed. It isn’t real yet at all. I know it will be soon whether I like it or not! My husband has done a WONDERFUL job planning this joker and I have almost NOTHING to do! All I have to accomplish is packing and taking my anti-malarial medication! Don’t I have the best, most thoughtful hubby EVER?