We had a wonderful day! This morning we took care of school right off the bat. Tisetso got his fourth school sticker, so he has earned a Lego person. We’re going to pick up his mystery Lego tomorrow when we pick up groceries. Brian had a meeting with an agent to look at a flat we are considering renting while his parents are here next week. It seemed like a good fit, but was a little smaller and much less modern than the one we are in now. Brian asked the agent if she had anything else that would work, just to weigh the options.
We packed up and shipped off at 10:15 this morning. We spent an hour in the car following the bay, then headed down the Cape Peninsula towards Simon’s Town. Our mission: to see penguins in the wild! Another fun aspect to our trip was meeting some new friends who are also in-country from the United States finalizing the adoption of their 5-year-old daughter.
The ride down to Simon’s Town was beautiful! We passed so many mountains, beaches, and little tourist beach towns. There were easily a hundred surfers at one beach. I cannot describe to you how beautiful this area is. Thankfully, I took lots of pictures. Tisetso enjoyed little of this as he was finishing up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on his iPad.
Lunch was a great time! I met Lexi on Facebook through our adoption agency. She and her husband are adopting for the second time here in South Africa. Thankfully, we are in Cape Town at the same time! We met with this great family for lunch and for some time seeing the penguins. I was glad to finally meet Lexi face to face. We’ve talked for hours on the phone as we’ve walked through the waiting, planning, and meeting phases of our adoptions. I’ve not been one for making friends on the internet and then meeting them in foreign countries, but I’ve done it twice in the last few days. Thankfully, neither meeting ended in my murder. (Pessimist to the end, here!)
Brian and Tisetso had a fun photo shoot while right when we got there. Tisestso does not like his picture being taken much, so him asking to have a picture taken is an opportunity to snag!
After a delicious lunch and meeting with our new friends, we walked down to the beach next door to the restaurant. It was especially great because the crowds were at the next beach over, where there is a walkway and you can’t get terribly close to the penguins. There were penguins right on this beach, so we were able to get as close as we dared and able to see them with significantly fewer people milling around. What a dream! Playing on a beach with penguins!
When we were done, all of us headed back up towards the parking lot. There was a little market where we could buy some gifts for our families. The market was a new, overwhelming experience. You weren’t really allowed to browse and look at the different wares. Instead, people running the booth would come from all sides and start telling you what you needed, that they would give you a good price, and then hand your 7 year-old panpipes which he immediately puts into his mouth to make shrill whistling noises. After pulling the pipes from his lips and insisting you don’t need any of these items, you move to the next booth where the process begins anew, only this time it’s drums. It’s like these people aren’t part of a family where they would hate hearing all of these noises 24/7!
After buying some postcards, we walked back to the very first stand where there wasn’t a pushy salesman. We bought Tisetso a cool leather bracelet that says ‘South Africa’ and I bought a gift for my parents. I was able to do my first bargaining, which I found fun. After that, we said goodbye to Lexi, Pete, and their girls. Our ride back was uneventful, but beautiful. We even saw our apartment building from the other side of the bay, which was fun. Tisetso started his Harry Potter movie over again (this kid!).
Back at our flat, Brian discovered there was another rental agent on the ground floor in our building. He ran down there just before they closed for the day and was able to find another flat very similar to the one we’re in currently and in the same building (we really like this building, and that "move" will be pretty low-impact). After that, Brian wrapped up some work and Tisetso and I had a little heart to heart.
One thing Tisetso has vocalized many times over is that he doesn’t believe I love him. He vocalizes this (usually) because I love Brian. In his mind, it’s impossible for me to love both of them. Unsure of any new arguments I could make, I asked him how people show they love each other (thinking I could then follow his own recipe). He said Christmas. Ugh. Well, seeing as we have 11 months before I can do that, I asked if there was anything else. Nope! Christmas. He asked what we did for Christmas. I told him we spent the day at Grandma and Grandpa Malcolm’s house with his cousins and auntie and uncle.
Feeling prompted, I also shared that in the morning on Christmas Day, I walked into his room and missed him. I told him it was silly, I know, because we didn’t even know him at that moment. I told him how I prayed he would be happy and healthy. I told him how I wished with my whole heart that he had been with us on Christmas morning. At this point, I began to tear up, because I remember vividly the pain I felt of empty arms on Christmas morning. This took Tisetso off guard. He said (and this is a paraphrase), “What’s coming out of your eyes? Why are tears coming? Get Daddy Brian!” It was pretty funny. It made me thankful he is a part of our family forever! What an answer to prayer.
With the plans in place for next week at the new flat, we made dinner and wrapped up our evening with Tisetso in bed and us sitting on the balcony. The sunset was so beautiful. I love that we’re able to enjoy these sunsets one night after another. It is a luxury we don’t have back at home. Life seems so much busier there. Here, in our flat on the beach, it feels like our biggest “responsibility” is to become a family.