Today we landed in T’s birth country of South Africa at 7:00 a.m. after a long (10.5 hours) and very bumpy flight from London. The flight was a little emotional because I hate long flights. Couple that with the turbulence we experienced and I was in tears at one point. Brian did not sleep at all and I slept maybe 30-60 minutes. But we made it safely!
When we landed, I started crying because it hit me so hard we were here to meet T and become a family of three. Brian asked if I was ok and all I could reply was, “I’m so happy.” It’s been such a journey of processing the fact that after two years of paperwork and waiting, we are meeting the boy who will be stuck with us as parents forever.
We were greeted with a blinding sun (blinding after 8 mostly rainy days in London) and temperatures that reached 99 degrees. Good-bye, winter! After making it through the non-airconditioned waiting area for the border patrol, through customs, collected all three duffle bags, got our mobile phone SIM cards, and checked out our rental car, we were ready to head to our hotel, 30 minutes north in Pretoria.
Navigating this journey safely was difficult as we were so exhausted. Thankfully, drivers weren't nearly as crazy as they are in London. After making it in one piece and checking in to the hotel, we headed up to our suite (thank you, Hotwire). It is hard to describe the room, but I can tell for this area, it is a nice place. Being greeted by a super hot room (AC had been turned off) and a tub that doesn’t drain properly was a little bit of a reminder that we’re not in London anymore. Thankfully, they have a delicious restaurant with an all-you-can-eat buffet of South African staples.
After assessing our living quarters for the next week, we got a call from one of our social workers here (Rose). She said that T’s primary caregiver and social worker wanted to meet with us before we meet him tomorrow morning. We were thrilled to have them come to our hotel to meet, so we accepted. Then we slept. Hard. Then we woke up still tired.
At 4:00, we met with the caregiver and social worker. We talked with them for three hours. Most of it was about T (more info about his likes, dislikes, personality, history, etc). We also talked about South Africa and fun things to do in the area. I feel like the three hours we spent with them, readied my heart to meet T once and for all. Brian and I have both been so nervous about meeting him—what if he doesn’t like us? We don’t know him but for the limited things we have read on paper. Talking with these women who work day in and day out with T and clearly love him brought us such a peace.
We’re now back in our room and getting ready for bed. All in all, a good day. Tomorrow, Lord-willing, will be better. We will meet our son!