South Africa: Day 11, Centurion

New watch, new headphones and playing with Legos. Living the dream.

New watch, new headphones and playing with Legos. Living the dream.

Today was filled with ups and downs. It started early like yesterday, not because of T, but because our air conditioner unit was leaking onto our carpet. I woke up to sodden thumps on the carpet. After cleaning up a watery mess, we went back to sleep. T has always been an early riser (or so his file claimed). Today, he slept until 7:45 when we woke him up for breakfast (which they were serving at 8). He still seemed reluctant to get up, but was finally persuaded with the promise of fruit and corn flakes.

It was one of the colder days (high of around 75°F), so the pool was not an option today. Our morning was spent working on Legos and building a new set Brian had bought last week. I built a porta-potty. This is my life now. Building toilets. I love it! We colored and spent some time reading books. We also gave T his headphones (which go to his iPad, but he doesn’t know that yet). He enjoyed decorating them (they came with stickers) and listening to music on Brian’s phone.

Around lunch, T announced he wanted to go to the care home for lunch and dinner today. Needing to know if we should pack his clothes and toiletries, we asked if he wanted to sleepover with us. He said yes. Or did he want to sleepover at the care home. He said yes. We brought the clothes just in case. 

It was hard realizing he might want to spend the night at the care home. I totally understood why—he’s missing his family (all of the other kids there and his caregivers) and his home. But for some reason, I felt we hadn’t done enough that morning to make him want to stay with us. Brian reminded me that he was obviously confused (hence the yes to sleeping over at both places) and that we were still the new ones, the unknown. It’s hard seeing him torn between his old life (which is still fresh on his mind and heart) and his new life (with us crazies as his mom and dad). 

When we arrived at the home, it was close to lunch. When the kids sat down, they began handing out chicken burgers. I tell you—this kid knows when a burger is within a 5-mile radius. He only ever orders burgers and pizzas. We’re working on getting him to eat a wider variety, but he’s pretty stubborn about his burgers.

After lunch, Brian and I did what we’ve been avoiding for years—we watched Frozen. Avoiding it for that long and finally being cornered into it in an orphanage in South Africa was ridiculous. It ended up being a good time as this is the first movie I’ve heard those kids talk/sing during. I decided to join in on the singing portion as one cannot help but know lyrics to the songs when you’ve got nieces and nephews obsessed with the movie.

T’s favorite caregiver had been told about his confusion and she decided to talk with him. She told him that from this point forward, he would stay with us. If he was really missing the home, we could call her and she would come visit us at the guest house (I really do love this woman). He ended up being ok with that decision, so she then called in the other 10 school age kids (many of whom have grown up with T) and talked with them about this transition. She asked if there were any questions. After the ensuing dialog occurred (mainly one kid saying he was bored and the kid who loves food asking what was in the donut box), T said goodbye to his friends. He will see them again on Thursday after court, but it felt heavy to me.

After a dinner at KFC (T’s choice), we did a video call with my sister and her family. It was a smashing hit! They had their kids show T their toys and ask him simple questions (favorite color, animal, etc). He liked talking with them so much that an encore Skype session was requested/demanded. With the call completed, we watched the first half of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone again. (Another step in motherhood—watching the same movie a million times.) He’s now fast asleep and I’m about to crash, too. Tomorrow will be our first full day without going to the care home.

Posted on January 16, 2016 and filed under adoption, In-Country Time, South Africa.