Posts tagged #Khayelitsha

Links for All of the Days We Were in South Africa

If for some crazy reason you find yourself wanting to read all of the days in order (bless you), here are all of the days, linked up for your convenience. Thanks for reading our story!

Day 1: Pretoria

Day 2: Pretoria

Day 3: Pretoria

Day 4: Pretoria

Day 5: Pretoria

Day 6: Pretoria

Day 7: Pretoria

Day 8: Pretoria

Day 9: Centurion

Day 10: Centurion

Day 11: Centurion

Day 12: Centurion

Day 13: Centurion

Day 14: Centurion

Day 15: Centurion

Day 16: Centurion and Atteridgeville

Day 17: Centurion

Day 18: Centurion and Strand

Day 19: Strand

Day 20: Strand

Day 21: Strand

Day 22: Strand and Cape Town

Day 23: Strand and Simon's Town

Day 24: Strand

Day 25: Strand

Day 26: Strand

Day 27: Strand

Day 28: Strand and Cape Town

Day 29: Strand and Khayelitsha

Day 30: Strand

Day 31: Strand and Cape Town

Day 32: Strand and Cape Town

Day 33: Strand and Cape Town

Day 34: Strand and Simon's Town

Day 35: Strand and Cape Town

Day 36: Strand and Cape Town

Day 37: Strand

Day 38: Strand and Khayelitsha

Day 39: Strand and Stellenbosch

Day 40: Strand, Cape Town, and Somerset West

Day 41: Strand, Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Sandton

Day 42: Sandton

Day 43: Sandton, Pretoria, and Centurion

Day 44: Sandton

Day 45: Sandton

Day 46: Sandton

Day 47: Sandton and Johannesburg

Day 48: Sandton, Pretoria, and Johannesburg

Day 49: London, Chicago, and Home

Summary of our Time in South Africa found here.

South Africa: Day 38, Strand and Khayelitsha

Friday, February 12

We were excited to get up and at ‘em early for the sake of getting Tisetso’s passport and doing the noting of the adoption. We met the Sareela family and three social workers at the Wandisa / Wybrow Oliver offices. Once again, we were headed to the Home Affairs office in Khayelitsha. It helped knowing what to expect this time around. When we arrived, we walked through the security section and headed upstairs (we hadn’t been on the second floor before). Upstairs we met with an official who looked over our paperwork and noted the adoption. This was when we also officially noted Tisetso’s name change.

A lot of the shipping crates have been turned into shops with colorful murals painted on them advertising what's inside.

A lot of the shipping crates have been turned into shops with colorful murals painted on them advertising what's inside.

Paperwork to pick up Tisetso's passport.

Paperwork to pick up Tisetso's passport.

As to his name, we had always been open to keeping our child’s name. We did pick out an English name as we’ve heard of older kids wanting to push everything from their life from before the adoption out of the picture, including their name. Tisetso is the exception to this way of thinking. It worked out well because I was going to have a hard time shifting to another name! 

The name we had picked out for Tisetso was "Knox." We actually considered it about two years ago and have loved it ever since. The name is after one of my favorite theologians, John Knox. He was an amazing man who lived during the 1500s in Scotland. He loved God and did great things for the Gospel. We knew we’d keep "Knox" and "Tisetso" in his name. If he wanted a new name, his name would be Knox Tisetso Malcolm. Because he wanted to keep his name, we’ve changed his name to Tisetso Knox Malcolm. We hope and pray he grows up to be an amazing man, just like his namesake.

After noting the adoption, we headed back downstairs to pick up his passport. After about 15 minutes of waiting for our number to be called, everyone who was waiting (about 20 people) except for the adoptive families got up and rushed the counter. It was slightly alarming. We didn’t know what was happening. One of the social workers got up and checked out what was going on. Apparently the workers had decided to speed everything along. They took everyone’s number, went in the back, then grabbed the passports.

We got his passport quickly! And he has his bowtie in the photo!! And his scuba diving skulls t-shirt. It was a banner day for his stylist.

The South African passport cover

The South African passport cover

They said "Don't smile." Nailed it.

They said "Don't smile." Nailed it.

We had to get fingerprinted upstairs after we got his passport. Our fingers covered in ink, we mashed them down on paper, sealing our adoption paperwork. It was neat because we got to meet a French family that Wandisa and Wybrow Oliver are working with while doing our fingerprints.

It was while we were being fingerprinted that we heard the most gut-wrenching sound. It was, hands down, the worst sound I’ve ever heard. It was a woman in another part of the building wailing because she found out (from the officials in the building) that her daughter had been killed in a hit and run that morning. Even now, my heart aches to think of the sound and that poor woman. It was overwhelming how the pain of this woman filled the building. I’ve never heard grief like this, but it was such a powerful sound, I could not help but grieve with that woman. I will never forget her pain.

When it was time to go, we prepared Tisetso for the sound to get louder as we went down the stairs to the ground level. He nodded that he understood and walked quickly to get out of the building. While walking out to our car, the social worker told us that in the African culture, grief is expressed through wailing and trembling. She said that it’s actually a healthier way to process the pain of grief than how the Western culture deals with it—by holding it in and stretching it out.

After a sober drive home, we made sandwiches and prayed for the woman. We didn’t know her name or face, but she needed comfort. 

In front of our apartment there are some awesome tidal pools that form every day. I figured it was about time to check them out. I basically had to drag Tisetso outside with me. I am sure my nature ADD had him apprehensive about being at tidal pools with me. It ended up being a great time for me, when I didn’t hear the pleas of my son to go back inside and play with his Legos. He did not enjoy it. Tisetso’s apprehension of nature extended to tiny hermit crabs, star fish, and fish. He did not like the tidal pools. After heading back at the brisk pace he was setting, I decided I’d go tomorrow by myself.

Tiny star fish and baby hermit. <3

Tiny star fish and baby hermit. <3

Biggest hermit we found—about 2 inches.

Biggest hermit we found—about 2 inches.

Cautious as ever, Tisetso asked to hold one of the hermit crabs. I got so excited! A breakthrough in his dislike of nature! NOPE! He proceeded to chuck the poor thing far away back into the water. *sigh*

Cautious as ever, Tisetso asked to hold one of the hermit crabs. I got so excited! A breakthrough in his dislike of nature! NOPE! He proceeded to chuck the poor thing far away back into the water. *sigh*

We did a little school after the tidal pools. Tisetso enjoyed writing letters using an app and, when school was done, played with his Legos. Brian and I worked on where we would stay for the next few days. We decided to fly to Johannesburg on Monday and booked our tickets. The two big things we wanted to do were Stellenbosch (a town largely filled with wineries and shops) and Robben Island (were Mandela was imprisoned). We planned to do Stellenbosch on Saturday and Robben Island on Sunday. While working on plans, we found out we could stay in our current apartment until Monday, which is a huge blessing. We won’t have to pack up to go to a hotel just to unpack and pack again before flying out. 

Two paragliders that flew past our flat.

Two paragliders that flew past our flat.

At least 19 parasurfers on the beach that evening!

At least 19 parasurfers on the beach that evening!

After a slow afternoon, we headed to supper with Rose (our social worker) and Ronel (the assistant to the lawyers at Wybrow Oliver). We had extended the invitation for dinner to everyone, but because of the short notice, most people were unable to make it. It ended up being a wonderful time with Rose and Ronal. We enjoyed getting to know them better and hearing about how they ended up at the agency. Brian got snails on bone marrow for an appetizer and I got pasta (my love language), which is surprisingly hard to get around here (because my son only wants KFC or burgers).

After we had said goodbye and gotten home, Tisetso told us how his leg was really hurting. The way he described it, we thought it might be a pulled muscle from playing, but we didn’t want to take any chances. Thankfully, we have a contact at Comer Medical in Chicago who was on call to field any medical questions we may have while here. After a few emails back and forth, we decided to monitor it over the next few days and go from there. 

It was a big day! With passport in hand, we only have to do our visa interview on Tuesday (February 16) in Johannesburg. I can feel home getting closer!

Posted on February 19, 2016 and filed under adoption, In-Country Time, South Africa.

South Africa: Day 29, Strand and Khayelitsha

Wednesday, February 3

Our day started off even earlier than yesterday. We had to get up, dressed, showered and out the door by 7:15. At 7:15 (as we were leaving), Tisetso asked, “What’s for breakfast?” Oops! New parents coming through! After quickly cutting an apple and grabbing a granola bar, we were on the road! We had to meet a social worker from Wandisa (our adoption agency in South Africa) and another family (our friends, the Saarela family) at the offices. We were all going to drive together to the Department of Home Affairs. Our objective: get passports for our kids!

We had been told that one of the social workers went to the Home Affairs office to stand in line for us and that it could take all morning. I was expecting to have to stand in a line for most of the day. Thankfully, we were in an out in just under a couple of hours. 

We went to the Home Affairs that is a little more rural. It is on the outskirts of a huge informal settlement (massive town of shanty homes). It was encouraging to see that a really nice hospital and new mall were being built right there, too. That combination of poverty and nice options would not sit side by side in the States. We parked our car in the parking lot (sand and rock area where other cars were congregating) and trudged to the building. Thankfully, this was a different office than the place where the social worker has to wait in line for hours on your behalf. We were able to walk right in and sit in our spot in line. The line was about 50-70 people in front of us. Whenever the line moved, you’d get up and move a few spots, then sit back down in the corresponding chair.

While waiting in line, I decided it was worth bribing Tisetso to get him to wear his bowtie in his passport picture. I was willing to go up to R5, which is one large silver coin, (worth just over 25 cents) to make this adorable thing happen. After getting all the way up to the R5, Tisetso was unmoved. Improvising, I grabbed all of the cent pieces I had in my wallet, totaling R1.50 (5 coins total). I won! Tisetso wore his bowtie in his passport photo! I’ll be sure to add a picture when we get it.

At one point, while waiting, some dude randomly came up and pushed Tisetso out of his seat, then sat down in his spot. I almost momma bear’d that dude. (That’s a verb, right?) Luckily it took me by surprise and after a beat, I had Tisetso come sit with me. 

Another fun experience was the restrooms at this place. I excused myself and went to the ladies' room. After seeing two stalls were out of order, one with suspicious liquid all over the place, and two occupied, I decided to take my chances and wait for an occupied stall to open up. The first one open had a male security guard walk out. This took my by surprise. The next surprise? No toilet paper! Thankfully, I came prepared. I later found out that you are supposed to grab a pre-portioned wad of toilet paper before entering the bathrooms. My confusion was justified as the toilet paper was nowhere near the bathrooms and happened to see it much later upon leaving the building. I'm filing this one under fun adventures in Africa.

After the picture, we had to get our information input into the system. There was almost a big issue (miscommunication), but thankfully, the social worker was able to sort it out. After a little waiting and some copies made of our paperwork, we were done! It was pretty painless (Aside from being out R1.50). 

We were watching the flight info closely as Roger and Merry Ann got closer.

We were watching the flight info closely as Roger and Merry Ann got closer.

We headed back to our flat via Woolworths to get some groceries. After that, we did school (T played educational games on the iPad) and got ready to welcome grandma and grandpa Malcolm! Their flight arrives around 10:30 tonight. They will be staying in a hotel close to the airport and Brian will pick them up tomorrow morning at checkout time (hopefully after a full night's rest).

The windows on this side of the building need a good clean, but I wanted a picture of the clouds rolling over the mountains.

The windows on this side of the building need a good clean, but I wanted a picture of the clouds rolling over the mountains.

I love the sun setting behind the mountains.

I love the sun setting behind the mountains.

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