Amber Goes to Africa…TODAY!

When you read this, I’ll most likely be in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Hopefully over it, not in it. I really don’t feel like blogging or writing. But i’m making myself do it. If I don’t, i’ll regret it. I want to document stuff I’m thinking and no I don’t want to write in a journal. I’m sitting in the Atlanta airport and trying to calm my anxiety. I think writing about it is the best way for me to cope right now. If I just sit around I’ll start getting sad.

Because what am I doing? How did I get here?

Yeah, I’m going to Uganda, I’d tell people. And it felt  just as if I was telling you I was going to the store. I had no clue what “going to Uganda” would entail. I have no clue.

I feel like I am walking into this whole thing so blind. We’ve had a conference call and yes, I’ve exchanged emails and texts about what to buy and what to bring and what to pack and what to expect. But it doesn’t seem real.

You see, this wasn’t a long planned out trip I’d had on the calendar last year. This just happened. In May. Going to Africa never really seemed like a possibility, and never my reality.

Ten days ago, we returned from a week long family trip to Oregon. Since the beginning of the summer, that trip was on the forefront of my mind. Africa was an after thought. So a week and a half ago, it kicked in. But for most of last week I was in denial. Honestly, I just didn’t want to think about it.

I didn’t want to think about being gone for 15 days. How I’d miss Meet-the-Teacher day or the first day of school. I didn’t want to think about my boys being sad. Or my girls needing to talk to me.

Sunday night Hayden was on call and I had promised my boys they could sleep with me since he was gone. As I went to kiss my youngest one, he grabbed my neck and whispered, “mommy, when you go to Afwica, I’m gonna miss you weally much.” Yeah, and then I cried.

boys in bed

The mommy guilt has been building the last few days. I’ve been so weepy every time I start thinking about being away from my kids. So like any guilty mother does, I took my kids to the mall (you do that too, right?). I bought them cookies and surprised them when we ended up in Build-a-Bear. I told them they could either pick a monkey or an elephant (because Africa) so that whenever they missed me, they could squeeze their little buddy. Lame, I know, but it made me feel better…a little.

But how sweet is this?

water the elephant

He named his elephant Water. Cause you know, elephants squirt water. Awesome 4 year old logic right there. And that picture really does make me feel better.

Last night was crazy. I didn’t sleep. I wasn’t the most productive either. I’ve been having a hard time going to be lately and so I just decided not to. Not sure if that was a good idea or not. Hopefully I’ll sleep on this first long flight.

I’m pretty sure I’m forgetting a few important things. I’m sure I didn’t pack some essential thing. I can’t think right now, so I’ll find out when I get there.

As Hayden drove up to the airport this morning, my heart started tightening. I kept my sunglasses on to hide the tears welling up. Am I really doing this? Am I really leaving my family for 2 weeks? Who does that?

I do. And i know this trip will be all sorts of amazing and happy and sad and unbelievable. I’ll try to capture what I can. I’ll make myself write even if I don’t feel like it. And here’s my most favorite advice from a sweet friend who has been to Uganda multiple times.

sarah's advice


My plane is boarding in 15 min. Gotta run y’all. See you in Africa!!

family photo card

Amina iso ijo is We Love You in Ateso.

And just so we don’t leave this on such a serious note… this is the family I love and adore and will miss dearly. They crack me up.

cracy family

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4 Responses to Amber Goes to Africa…TODAY!

  1. jennifer says:

    I know your sowing will produce much – Mark 10:29-30 says you will receive a hundred times as much now in this time when you leave children, houses, land – (leaving even for two weeks ) believing you will come back with spiritual houses, children and lands. The kids had their build a bear when they picked me up. Tirzah made supper and is the acting head and is amazing. Strength and peace to you precious daughter in law.

  2. HC Metcalf says:

    Amber! This is what I get for not being a regular on social media…Just wanted you to know that I am praying for you and will be thrilled to hear all that the Father gives you eyes to see, ears to hear, soul to feel…Blessings go with and through you.

  3. Raymonde says:

    Amber ~ God’s blessings are with you and I know he sends guardian angels to watch over your family because this is what He wants you to be doing, or it wouldn’t have weighed so heavily on your heart. Your story made me cry ~ for the courage it takes to leave your family for two weeks to go into a land unchartered for you, for the opportunity you have to bless these other mothers with your stories and a new connection to a larger world, for the faith you have that this is where you are supposed to be for these two weeks. Who knows? Maybe in the future you’ll be taking your family there, yes, even Hayden. Maybe he’ll be so moved by what you’re doing for these people that he’ll be inspired as well to help them. You are an inspiration to us all, Amber. Safe travels and God speed. <3

  4. Sally Peterson says:

    Love you so much and am beyond excited for you. I can’t wait to see what God does in your heart and soul. And I LOVE that you took them to Build A Bear. So brilliant. Love you am going to miss talking. Savor every moment Ambo.

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