Mama, Mama, Mama, Papa, Papa, Papa … the two words echoed around Mombasa Airport when, an hour later than scheduled, Mama Sue and Papa Dave arrived home to the most wonderful welcome you could ever imagine.
Airline delays at Nairobi, meant the 100 members of our family who had been up at the crack of dawn to make the 180 minute journey to meet them had to wait, but no-one , not even the tiniest child, complained.
Their Mama and Papa were coming home at last and, after eight months, what did an extra hour matter?
Their welcome raised the roof. Mombasa Airport was left in no doubt that some very special people had arrived.
The kids, and adults, all dressed in their best clothes were jumping up and down with excitement, singing and clapping ... overjoyed to see their Mama and Papa home.
Skype has served them well over their many months of enforced exile, giving the children the reassurance of seeing and talking to their Mama and Papa, but nothing can ever match the warmth of a hug from mum or dad.
And to Mama and Papa’s delight, a new member of our extended family chose to make an early arrival on Friday when our Rose, the Happy House administrator, who is like a daughter to Mama and Papa, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Joy.
Her name couldn’t have been better chosen. This weekend has been one of joy unbounded.
Mama and Papa were already so, so, happy to be home to their own huge Happy House family where Mama has instilled that every one of our girls believes in herself, where girl power is a real and tangible force.
“Now we not only have girl power, we are growing our own,’’ joked Mama, as she cuddle baby Joy at Torfiq hospital yesterday when she, Papa and Auntie Libby called in to meet the new addition and to congratulate proud parents, Rose and Fred..
After a tumultuous and emotional airport welcome, everyone was back on the buses ready for the long journey back home … stopping off at a local café for sodas on the way.The waiters and management couldn’t believe how well mannered and patient our kids are, everyone waiting to be served and every child saying please and thank you.
For children existing in dire and frightening circumstances, hopeless, until Mama completed her Happy House where they could have a good life, a happy childhood, where putting hope into the hearts of children is the ultimate goal.
Mama’s Happy House kids, love their Mama with all their hearts. Their Papa, too. They are the people who have given them an wonderful home with love, family and stability. Wherever, whoever they are, every Happy House child is loved, totally and unconditionally.
To see their eyes light up when they saw their Mama and Papa there in front of them for the first time in such a long time was as emotional as it was magical.
|Mama with baby Joy|
|New mum Rose|
They had been told that Mama was still getting better after her massive hip operation, and showed concern and love by waiting to be hugged.
Determined to walk out of the airport without crutches, Mama chose to push a baggage trolley and what happened?Just as she had predicted, some little person, eager to help, took charge of her trolley leaving her high and dry until her crutches were located!
Back at the Happy House, to more greetings, a special lunch and cake, and the the sound of children singing reverberated from every corner.
The two missing pieces of the Happy House jigsaw were in place once more.
Mama and Papa were back where they belong – HOME.