South Africa: Day 5, Pretoria

Today saw an early start. We got up at 6:00 a.m. (10:00 p.m. Saturday for most of our readers) to get ready and go to the 8:00 a.m. service at Bryanston Bible Church, an Acts 29 church in Sandton (around 35 minutes from our current hotel location). It was good to be a part of their church, but I definitely miss Redeemer Fellowship. This was our second Sunday away from our church family. After church, we headed out for a quick breakfast. During our trip to the mall (EVERYTHING is in a mall here), we found gluten-free cupcakes. We had wanted to get T’s favorite caregiver a gluten-free treat for the birthday party earlier in the week, but that is like searching for a needle in a haystack here. So when we found one, we were very excited, as was she!

After breakfast, we headed to visit T. Our GPS took us a crazy new route (it’s seeming rare for us to take the same route more than once). This one took us through the hills (that are basically mountains) and past a huge Sunday market (tons of people milling about and walking alongside the road). It was a beautiful, terrifying, and long way to T’s home.

We surprised T by getting there before lunch. We thought that we’d show up after lunch due to church (which we told him and prompted his request for us to be there in the morning), but thankfully the church had an early service (hence getting up at 6:00 a.m.). We pulled out our Legos and started playing. T is a really imaginative and creative child. He comes up with these stories that he will tell us as he’s playing and working out the different scenarios. After Legos, we watched a couple of shows with the other older children, played Snakes & Ladders, and read a book. 

I brought a blank hardcover book and some new stickers for him, so he began creating an underwater scene with the fish and dinosaur stickers he had. It was hilarious. Not only were the dinos eating the fish, they were eating each other, and some random girl who was under the water. In true boy fashion, poop was drawn, along with smell lines. *sigh* This kid. 

Photo of T's art, Roy, and Brian courtesy of T.

Photo of T's art, Roy, and Brian courtesy of T.

At the mall this morning, we bought some Play-doh, so that was a good time, too. He insisted on squishing every Play-doh form that was made, so I started punching and chopping mine with my hands. I got a good sized smile out of him along with several giggles. These moments feel so light. 

Attachment is hard work. It’s not just coloring and playing, it’s hoping your new child wants to hold your hand or will make eye contact. It’s building Legos and looking for a reason to rub their back and being enthusiastic to praise their creations. Staying in the same room (as we’ve been doing at the care home [aside from watching shows]) makes for long days of sitting on the floor because you want to be as close to him as possible. 

Today was the first day T allowed a couple of his brothers (other boys in the home) to play with us and with his new toys. It was only 15 minutes, but it was good. Brian and I want to let T know we like his friends without showing preference to them. 

At the end of our day, we had planned (since yesterday) to take him to KFC (his second favorite food). Five minutes before leaving, he changed his mind and wanted pizza. So we plugged in the info for a pizza place he likes. It ended up being an adventure. We got to the place and didn’t feel it was in a safe location (a feeling you need to respect here), so we found the next nearest Roman’s (pizza place). It was 25 minutes away. About 10 minutes into the drive, I remembered we needed to be back at the home by 6:30. That was only 45 minutes from that time. Cue the panic! We drove and were doing the math thinking we may be eating pizza in the car on the way back to the care home. 

At a stop light (robot), we saw a McDonald’s (McD’s). I asked T if he liked McD’s (because I don’t know). He said he did. As soon as we passed the intersection containing the McD’s, T decided he wanted to eat there and not Roman’s. After a U-turn and 5 minute drive back, we ended up at McD’s. After a rushed meal and drive back, we left T at the home with his aunties (caregivers). 

McDonald's date with T.

McDonald's date with T.

I am hoping we get to start doing sleepovers soon. I think it would benefit both T and ourselves to spend the entire day with him and not have to leave him at the end of it.

Posted on January 10, 2016 and filed under adoption, In-Country Time, South Africa.