Saturday, 23 June 2018

Things to do while waiting . . .

Play at the beach

Enjoy the view.  Our Airbnb hosts invited  us to enjoy their beach house for a day.  
Find some sea creatures.

 Take in a marine show.
 Look for some safari animals. Found some Zebra!
Hang out at our home away from home.

Take a quick swim in our super cold swimming pool.
Play on some swings.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Unbelievable News!!!

E's citizenship is in!!!!  Crazy, miraculous news!!!  The documents would have arrived in the office Monday and we received an email today(Tuesday)at 4 that his Canadian Citizenship has been granted!  We are now in the last wait for passport! 
We don't understand why we have now been twice blessed(Z's also took record time of 1 day) but we have prayed and our prayers have been answered in amazing ways!!
Praise God!

Friday, 15 June 2018

The Big Wait

Today E's citizenship papers were sent out.  This then marks the beginning of the big wait.  Not necessarily long, just BIG because it is the only part of the waiting that doesn't have a specific timeline.  If you read back Z's citizenship was granted in 24 hours.  Before her and at no point after has it ever come in that fast.  We are praying for the timeline again!  In the last couple of months it has taken other families between 6-16 days.  So we wait. . .and pray. . .and try to keep busy.
The process of getting these papers off went rather smoothly.  Court order came in, Adam went to the copy store and ran off a large amount of copies of important documents.  Then went to the local police station to get all said documents notarized(where they were super helpful and they do it for free) then off to the Home Affairs to file 6 forms that we had filled in with the said notarized documents.  For others this has taken almost an entire day of running around so super blessed to only be done in a couple of hours. 
Adam has now been to the Home Affairs office 3 times this week.  Gene drops him off(as the place is a zoo and there is no parking) and heads up the street to the McDonalds.  Gene says they recognise him there now as a regular. Monday the forms were picked up, Thursday they were dropped off and today they were dropped off again as apparently they handed him everything back that they were supposed to keep.  Oops!  It is not a quick trip as they have there own unique way of doing things there.  Adam says it is quite an event.
Today we hit the large mall in the area.  I packed light to begin with and counted on E being large but ended up giving a bag full of clothes away to our maid as there was no way I was squeezing him in them.  Ended up buying him a pair of size 3 pants and 4 shirt.  He is thick, long waisted and oh so cute! 
Highlights of this post:
1.  Citizenship processing begins!  Yeh!!
2.  Watching E's face lite up when his sisters wake up and join him every morning in the living room.  He hears them coming, gets a big smile and runs to give them a good morning hug.  Warms a mom's heart!

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

And the monkeys took all our bananas. . .

I don't know if any of you have said monkeys are cute but I can tell you that the monkeys here are no "Curious George".  
As I sat on our deck filling out some paperwork I heard a ruckus indoors.  Upon investigating, imagine my surprise upon turning the corner by the kitchen to see a large red bum heading for the front door with our entire bag of bananas!  After Gene chased them off and we closed all the windows (it appears they sent the little one through the metal slats in the windows while some of the larger ones used the gated front door) they continued to loiter about the roof and house mocking us for our tourist ignorance.  

As we sat on our back porch they continued to walk feet away from us and check the windows around the house.
Needless to say Z was not impressed!  Has been the only time this trip when she said she wanted to go home.  When tucking her in at night she said she was too scared "because the monkeys might come and carry her away"  I told her she was to heavy.
In telling our representative here our monkey story she says they are horrible animals.  The children at school have to eat indoors or else the monkeys will walk right up to the kids and take there lunch right out of their hand.  The larger ones can even be quiet aggressive.  She gardens with the hose beside her to spray them away.  She said to expect a pack to do a street walk through about once a day looking for a home to ravage.  Worse then mice!
After being told this morning that our court documents won't be in until tomorrow we decided to get out of the house and explore.  So we packed a lunch and investigated a nature park less then 10 minutes from our home.  Beautiful!  It was quiet the hike but well worth it!!!
 The long hike there!
 The view from the top of the waterfall.
 The many "stairs" to the bottom(much easier on the way down rather then back up!)
 Well worth the walk!
Pictures don't do it justice.

Highlights of this post:
1.  Waterfall with the kids!  To see the wonder as they walked and explored this amazing place.  The exercise and excersion was needed but also greatly enjoyed by all.
2.  Our court documents are ready!  They will be delivered here tomorrow morning and then Adam has a busy day getting copies, notorizations and submitting forms with the Home Affairs office here.  If all goes as planned E's citizenship application should go out tomorrow.  Pray all goes smoothly.  

Sunday, 10 June 2018

A Marathon!

At this point we feel like we are waiting for nothing to happen. . .We are in a 5 day wait for our court documents at which time there will be a mad dash to compile some documents, get some things notorized and send them off for our son's Canadian Citizenship.  The Citizenship is the part of the process that does not have a definite timeline.  It can take anywhere from 24 hours to 24 days to receive this document.  We are told to expect about 2 weeks on average lately.  Then we settle in for our last wait which is the passport.  After Citizenship the passport shuold take about 5-7 working days to be issued.
Although waiting is hard we are thankful for so many things.  We are thankful for this lovely home we have to rent which has ample room for all of us.  (In a following post I will send some pictures).  We continue to be thankful that the kids are doing so well(though we are in need of some more routine).  We are most thankful for our son who could not be adjusting better.  We see him open up with more smiles each day.
Today we were able to witness a popular event here in Durban.  Our host warned us major streets would be closed for the "Comrade Marathon" this Sunday.  After a short walk up our street(though it seemed longer as I am carrying an extra 30+ pounds these days in baby weight) we came upon quite the party!
 This Marathon in one of the largest and longest running in the world.  This year over 21000 people started the race.  They have 12 hours to finish running about 90km.
 We were there earlier in the morning so only a couple runners ran by every couple of minutes.  The girls went back with Adam in the afternoon and they were coming by in large clusters of runners by then and the streets had filled in with spectators.  People had brought there Braai's and drinks for the day.  One group had even had there street party catered.
Highlights of this post-
1. Finding rest at our new home.  We are set to stay here for 3 weeks if needed and it's nice to have some consistency!
2. Watching our children play together.  As our son warms up we see lots of smiles and interactions.  He has a jolly laugh when the girls tickle him.
3. Seeing all the firsts!  First taste of ice cream!  I think he liked it!

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Court day!

Today we officially, legally have a son!  
We met at the local court house and after just 15 minutes and a couple signed papers this wonderful boy became our son. 
This is one of the most exciting yet toughest days of the process for me.  We are over the moon to legally be his parents and to have him to hold and live with us now forever. Meanwhile, as all his caregivers gather around to say good-bye with tearful hugs there is this bitter sweetness to the moment.  They are all happy for him yet after caring and watching a child grow for so long there is a part of them that will miss him.  Among all this hugging and crying is this little boy that has NO IDEA what is going on.  He doesn't know that his life is changing drastically, that he is leaving the only home he has ever known and in the next couple weeks alone experience all kinds of new and somewhat scary things.
Today at our new guesthouse he discovered a mirror.  To watch him truly see his reflection for the first time was fascinating.  After processing that it was himself he decided bashing the mirror with his fists was the best and funniest option.  Boys!

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Sleep. . .and craziness in between

We made it to our fist stop.  Not without some glitches but we got here safely.  Our 12 hour flight went amazing.  The girls have travelled far better then anyone could have expected.  We all got some sleep in overnight in Capetown before starting out on Sunday.  Our flight from Capetown was delayed by about an hour as they "had to wait for the ice to melt off the wings" before it could get there(not sure were it came in from).  Our super van was not there as promised, the previous renter had not returned it yet. They found us another temporary one. After driving for a bit it starting making a loud noise. . .just the plastic plate under the front flapping in the wind.  After stopping and kicking it off we were finally able to start our 4 hour trek into the mountains.  Following those delays it was 6:30pm before we arrived at our destination but a warm meal awaited us and it was so appreciated!
The days since then have looked as followed:
1. Try to sleep at night:) (D does well, Z not so much, jet leg is a bear)
2.  9-11 visit with our son!
3. home for lunch
4. 1-4 visit with our son!
5. dinner
6. bed
We have at this point had no down time since we left Canada.  The business has been good, the girls have been great and our son, of course, is wonderful!
He was a little tentative at first but as we continue to be there and interact with all of the other children he has warmed up.  He loves food and playing with any type of ball he can find.  Rugby ball, soccer ball, bouncy ball.  This afternoon he will be coming for a visit with us at the guesthouse so we will see what he thinks of that. . .
Highlight from this post.
1. Meeting our son of course!:)
2. Spending time in this town and with his caregivers.  We have been able to grasp much more about this commmunity and those that care for our son.  We have seen and learned so much about its stuggles, strengths and those that work so hard for the children here.