What a day! This was THE DAY just so you all know. The day the whole trip was booked around!
Gideon and Charity were simply wonderful. Adorable family with three little girls. Beautiful house in the middle of a ...not so beautiful city. Really it just isn't. Sleep went well except that we forgot to put a pullup on Z...rrrr. Seriously...the child is a pee machine! Anyway...that was lovely to wake to. I slept 'ok'. Honestly I haven't slept well since I left home.
For the last 3 days I've been in pretty severe pain. Today I got concerned despite Tan's complete nonchalance. I don't think she knows me very well b/c for me to voice my pain...it must be pretty intolerable. Well it has started to concern me and just today I got an idea what it may be....a gall bladder attack. Random right...? Well not really seeing when I was 36 wks pg with Tirzah I had a severe attack. I've never had it since but I'm almost hoping thats what this is. Since I have no clue what else. Every time I swallow...something right below my breastbone constricts and then it takes a few second before it relaxes. Diaphragm...somewhere in there. When I eat...its severe. Tonight we had potatoes and Oh. My. Goodness. Tan again thinks "no big deal" but ... she's not me and she's not the one going on a 20 hour flight either. I'm praying I make it home to WA ok with no further issues so I can check it out there. Today I had a Coke and it was the worst its been which made me think gall bladder. Its odd since I'm not someone I'd think would suffer from that. With all the possibilities of parasites etc...I'll take gall bladder issues. I think. Its pretty painful. Speaking of which...Tan thinks its a complete miracle if I don't get ill here. I came here with ZERO vaccinations and not even any malaria meds. I started my malaria meds once I arrived (which is 10 days later than strongly recommended). I also have been totally short of sleep since arriving...yet...totally healthy. Tanis said when she found out I chose to go without vaccinations she was going to say "ok but you cannot go in the hospital in Chit at all" but I spent three days there. I'm blessed with a strong immune system and I'm praying it continues.
Ok so today. We woke to a full hot breakfast--then we went out to town to meet Gideon at his work. Ok this town is just ... not pretty. Solwezi. AIDS capital of Zambia. Tanis said either 1 out of every 3 or every 4 are HIV positive. So sad.
We picked up Gideon and went to the social welfare office. We met Mr. Chris that I've been speaking with on the phone. Has his arm in a sling still from his car accident several months ago. I got a full Zambian greeting from him with the kisses. We went in the office all of us: Tamako, Tanis, Gideon, myself and the twins. He had a number of questions, took pictures of us. Asked each boy who mama was and they passed the test :) We went over several other things--the plan etc. I filled out 5 forms. Talked about fees. Mr. Gideon stayed with them while we waited in the car...there's this Zambian-brother bond and they trust Gideon. Their concern, sadly...not b/c of us just b/c of the risks with international adoption...was if Gideon was sure we would not turn and sell the children. :( Gideon told them he has known Tanis for 14 years and her family and assured them, no such thing. We went to get the money and I was able to withdraw 2 million kwacha (equal to avout $500 USD- for partial payment of the fees. I guess that was my banks limit for the day ...I'll withdraw more tomorrow. Mr. Gideon brought the money back to them and they already had the documents drawn up to deliver to Lusaka. They assured us that a court date in early March will be no problem and we should hear from them soon. Ok. Thats huge!!! The other thing is they do NOT require both of us to come. Just one. They said that a few times. Yes we both want to go.
From there we went home to lunch. Which was a FEAST> Oh my. Corn meal shima (my first) rice, spaghetti, some sort of game meat (ask no questions, know no difference!), fish, pumpkin leaves and a sauce. Ok it was amazing. The shima was very good tasted like corn tortillas to me. I ate it with fork and knife. Yes...I know. However I also refused to pee in the bush and risked bladded explosion to avoid such. The part I hated the most about the shima meal was everyone eating with their fingers!! Ewww! :) The boys LOVED it...they have been asking for shima Tan said, since she hasn't been making it. Z especially.
We finally got on our way after lining their family up for pictures. There are so many people in the streets...have never seen the like!! Seriously Tanis was getting pretty heated ... I was constantly telling her while laughing to take a breath...clearly living in the bush is much less stressful. She didn't hesistate to agree when I asked!! :)
It was just over 2 hours driving today. Oh while in Solwezi we did go to the grocery store Shop Rite. Interesting. Meats and cheeses were extremely expensive! We bought Cadbury chocolate and some Coke...my first since I left London :) I have to say...South African Cadbury is the best. Tried Canada's, England's, but there is something about SA's!!
Our trip was about 2+ hours. Same as yesterday...only very extreme roads. Paved with gigantic potholes!! This drive has given me the full taste of Africa I'm so glad I didn't just fly into a large city and leave thinking I had experienced what Zambia has to offer! The boys were both sleeping on me. They are definitely falling in love with Mama. I told Tanis my first day here that my goal will be accomplished if the twins cry when I leave. That was a long shot, no doubt. Today Tanis said she thinks it just may happen ;)
So we arrived at Chingola this afternoon. What a difference from Solwezi!! Its very beautiful, not crowded, nice buildings. Interesting. And there's not a million people on the roads every way you look!
We are staying with a friend of Tan's: Sharon. Beautiful house. She grew up as a missionary kid here and now owns a successful preschool right here in Chingola. We are staying here 2 nights...she has a nice pool in her backyard that we hope to use tomorrow.
I did get a few minutes tonight to talk to Dean and the kids. Its makes me teary eyed every time. Honestly I had no idea I'd make it this long without breaking down!! I am extremely excited to see my family. I miss you all so much, trust me, you have no idea. I'm doing this all for you. For us. And most off all because we know for sure that God told us to come to Africa and get our little boys, C and Z.
Oh on that note...the boys know their new names :) Its very cute and what we are doing is calling them C___ Meleki and Z____ Jacob. Saying both names. I heard them calling each other their new names tonight :)
Tomorrow we will head to Kitwe looking for Lifesong School for Orphans. The organization that gave us the matching grant of $3000 (reminder**if you have not read about our grant...,please read down til you find it in this blog. We are asking for your help. This organization has given us a matching grant up to $3000 but its no good unless we get gifts to at least $3000! The deadline is Feb 10. If you have any questions email me at firstname.lastname@example.org). They have a school for orphans in Kitwe and have asked me to visit it so I'm excited about that!
We are ready to head to bed here. What a day! It went better than we thought with Mr. Chris. Very smooth. We are thankful most of all to God for going before us and preparing the way. Our hearts. Their hearts. And we are thankful for all Tanis' help. Mr. Gideon's help.
Dean--to you...for being Mr. Mom for 2 wks. I love you so much.