Day Two with Ephraim

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Meeting Ephraim - South Africa Adoption

I won’t be sharing a post on every day that we are out here but I wanted to document the first couple of days while they were still fresh in my mind.

Sunday, November 16th was our second day visiting Ephraim at the home.

We had a little bit of one on one time with Ephraim before we went outside with 7 of the “older” kids (as in kids aged 18 months to just under 2 years).

If you sat down anywhere, outside or on the couch for more than three seconds you are bound to be bombarded by about 3 or 4 kids trying to sit on your lap, it was really sweet and heart breaking at the same time. I’ve got so many thoughts and feelings about this but I’ll save those for another time.

After playing outside for awhile we were able to give Ephraim a quick little bath, they have to be quick when there are 15 children to wash!

Around 11:00 am we were able to take Ephraim out of the home, and I’m so glad we were. We took him back to the place we were staying for the weekend and he was nervous to be in a new place and was holding on to me tightly. But after just a few minutes Jared and Raeca had him smiling and playing with balls and cars and after about half an hour Raeca had him smiling and we heard him giggle for the first time. He loves to hear Rae laugh. After awhile he was completely tuckered out and ended up sleeping on my lap in the living room. We had both lunch and supper with Ephraim at our B&B and then we took him back to the home around 5:30. He was a different kid when we walked through those doors, he became quiet and for the longest time just sat on either my lap or Jared’s, when they let the rest of the older kids come out he seemed to tense up around them and just wanted to stick with us.

Saying goodbye to Ephraim in the evening was so hard, Raeca kept crying, saying she didn’t want to leave him, it broke my heart.

We just told her this was the last sleep that had to leave Ephraim, tomorrow morning was court.

Meeting Ephraim - South Africa Adoption Meeting Ephraim - South Africa Adoption Meeting Ephraim - South Africa Adoption Meeting Ephraim - South Africa Adoption Meeting Ephraim - South Africa Adoption Meeting Ephraim - South Africa Adoption

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Meeting Ephraim

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Palmiet River Lodge - Durban, South Africa

It’s crazy to think that it’s been over a week since we first met Ephraim, he has come out of his shell so much in the last week, he doesn’t seem like the same kid we first met.

Saturday morning came early for us since we were still tired from our journey over. But we woke up around 5:30 so we could grab the stuff we would need for the next couple of days and by 6:40 we were off on our 4 hour journey (on the left side of the road) north up to Newcastle where Ephraim was. Minus the GPS giving us a few odd directions we found our way quite easily and arrived at the home at 11:05.

The day before we had met with Robyn, our South African social worker, and she mentioned that because Ephraim is “older” when we arrive we should try sitting on the floor with a few toys and kind of wait for him to approach us. But when we got to the home we were told he was asleep and the next thing I knew they woke him up and thrust him into my arms. It was great to see him but it wasn’t the initial meeting I was expecting.

He was very quiet and sat very motionless, he didn’t even try to touch us, he was so still. We tried bringing out a few toys to show him and he would hold on to them but not play with them or interact with us at all. He hadn’t eaten lunch yet so one of the workers from the home gave us his food to feed him. She said the kids ate fast so you had to feed them quick but he seemed too overwhelmed to eat, he slowly ate a few bites but that was it.

We sat with Ephraim through most of the afternoon, we saw a few smiles here and there, mostly when the workers would tickle him.

Bedtime was 7:00 so at that point we said goodnight and handed him over to the workers for the night.

A few photos from our first day with him:

Meeting Ephraim - South Africa Adoption

Meeting Ephraim - South Africa Adoption Meeting Ephraim - South Africa Adoption Meeting Ephraim - South Africa Adoption IMG_1369web IMG_1388web IMG_1392web IMG_1398web

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The Journey Here

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South Africa Adoption

Wednesday, November 12th we sent off to leave cold and snowy Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to travel the 40 hours to warm and lush Durban, South Africa. Thankfully our journey was completely uneventful and Raeca had a decent amount of sleep on the planes, she’s always been a great little traveler.

Like I previously shared we went from Saskatoon to Calgary, about an hour flight with a few hours of a layover.

South Africa Adoption South Africa Adoption South Africa Adoption

Then we flew the 9ish hours to Frankfurt where we had a 9 hour layover (which didn’t feel that long, Frankfurt is the worst laid out airport I’ve ever been to, aka we wandered around for awhile trying to figure out where we were supposed to be). Thankfully Rae slept about half of the flight over (and watched a few movies in the other half, the benefit to not letting your kid watch much TV is when the fly they have plenty of movies to watch that they’ve never seen).

South Africa Adoption

We had to continue our Frankfurt airport tradition with a meal at McDonalds -a place we never frequent back at home but always seem to go to at least once when traveling.

South Africa Adoption

We found a little kids play area where Rae played for about an hour, a good 45 minutes of that were spent playing with two little girls from South Korea, the only words the girls knew in English was numbers 1-20 and bye. But that didn’t stop them from having a blast together.

South Africa Adoption

Then it was off to Johannesburg! Raeca once again slept about half of the 11 hour flight.

South Africa Adoption

After Johannesburg we had a short layover and then took a quick one hour flight to Durban! I could see the beauty as we flew in, the green grass, the hills, the ocean! Such a gorgeous place!

South Africa Adoption

When we arrived at the airport we had a wonderful driver, Tezz, waiting to bring us to our accommodations.

Well, nap time is pretty much over so I’ll stop there for today. More of South Africa to come soon!

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