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So close!

We are in Johannesburg now awaiting our visa interview at the US consulate at 1:30. If that goes well, we don’t take anything for granted anymore, we leave tomorrow at 7:25 to arrive home at 10am Thursday! While we were sad to bid farewell to our new SA families, our sadness is greatly overshadowed by our excitement to get home and see our boys! We never could have estimated the amount of sorrow and regret we have for leaving them at home. Skype tends to be more frustrating than hopeful with poor Internet connections and restless boys on the other end. Although our accommodations in Joburg are nice, no accommodation or nicety could fill the deep desire we have to be back with our other children. Thanks, again, to all who have made it bearable to leave our children behind in their familiar world. Please pray all goes well with our interview today and we receive Isaiah’s Visa tomorrow, as well as for safe, efficient, and smooth travels. We miss you all and look forward to being home!

More to come about the interview.

4-18
We were told to hang around Home Affairs and that Isaiah’s new birth certificate would be ready very soon. We couldn’t do anything leisurely or take any trips around the city, we literally waited at our house by the phone. Wednesday….Thursday, still nothing. Finally we heard back from them late on Thursday that we needed to be at Home Affairs first thing Friday morning. We were there bright and early and finally someone was working on our documents. Around 9am we got to see his new birth certificate. Amazing…..they managed to screw up something that we’ve been waiting on for 7 days and it took them about 20 minutes to mess up. On Isaiah’s new birth certificate they put his birth mothers name, and they also left off his middle name. While both of these are annoying problems the middle name being left off was my major concern. When you fly they tell you over and over that your name on the airline ticket must match your passport exactly. We already purchased his tickets to Johannesburg with his new name, which now does not match his birth certificate or passport. The people at home affairs told us he would be fine to fly but I didn’t agree. I called the airline and they told me he could not fly and his birth certificate and passport must match the name on the airline ticket exactly. We asked home affairs to go back and correct the 2 mistakes on the birth certificate and passport. They came back and told us if they went through with the correction that we would need to plan on staying an additional 7-10 days in country for them to make the correction. You can imagine my ANGER when they told me. I immediately called about his airline ticket and had to cancel his ticket and then rebook it using only his first and last name. Long story short, we are keeping the info as it is and will change it once we return home. For now, as far as South Africa is concerned, his name is Isaiah Burnette…..we’ll add the Andrew later! The good news is, we were able to book our return flights home!!! We are flying from Durban to Johannesburg on Monday night for our appointment at the Embassy on Tuesday. If everything goes smoothly on Tuesday we will get Isaiah’s Visa on Wednesday and we will be flying home Wednesday night at 7:25pm. There are 2 major things we need accomplished and covet your prayers for: his birth certificate on Monday, and his Visa on Wednesday. If one of these is not ready in time we will be delayed in our return. We are trusting that they will be completed in time for our trip home. We are scheduled to land in Knoxville at 10am Thursday April 19th. We hope to see some smiling faces at TYS. Please lift us up in prayer on Monday and Wednesday. “Trust and Obey, for there’s no other way.” BTW…..Isaiah is sacked out in his bed, snoring louder than Yogi Bear #thatsmyboy

Headlines

During our commute to home affairs yesterday we were amused by the following headlines:
“Taxi lost a wheel on the freeway, use caution in the area”
“Truck lost a trailer on the freeway, be cautious”
“US woman gets brake and gas confused, hops the curb, drives over a lamppost and lands on top of a Mercedes”
And finally…
“US woman breaks into a home, hears a baby crying, and proceeds to breastfeed the child, alcohol may be involved”
“Wild lion on the loose”
No comments!

Easter

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4-8

Easter! We woke up at 4:30am and started getting ready for a glorious day. The church we have been going to since we’ve been in South Africa, Westville Baptist, held a sunrise Easter service on the beach in Durban. How can you pass that up? How often are you in Africa, close to the beach for an Easter sunrise service? Exactly….We got down to the beach and it was about 5:30am. We recognized quite a few people at the service and got to catch up with them on how things are proceeding. It was nice arriving somewhere and being around people that know you and want to talk to you. There were about 150 people there on the beach with us and we soon started the service. It was pitch black and we started singing worship songs. “Crown Him with many Crowns”, “In Christ Alone”, it was a very special worship time. By about the 3rd song the sun finally started showing over the far reaches of the ocean. It was dim and you could still look directly at it. They had a speaker come up and talk about the Easter story and by the time they finished talking the sun was blaring over the horizon and you could no longer look directly at it. It was an amazing thing to witness while hearing the Easter story and being with our new son. Before we left the beach front the pastor that we have come to know well came to us to talk. He was very encouraging and told us he had taken a picture of Brooke and Isaiah during the sunrise and wanted to use it in his sermon at 9:30 back at the church.

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 He asked us to be there and to be recognized. We left the beach and ate breakfast around 6:45. We came home to change out of our shorts and prepare for the service at 9:30. When we got to church the building was packed out and we ended up sitting outside, in the sun! You can only imagine how bad I was sweating. After the worship the pastor started his sermon. During his message he put up a picture of Brooke and Isaiah and told our story. It was pretty amazing. He asked us to stand up and be recognized but we were outside. Word finally got to the stage that we were outside and he laughed. “What makes these Americans come half way around the world to adopt this little boy, what makes our Father do the same for us?”  Grace was the message and we were able to see and relate to the message very well. This process has required/forced us to fully rely on God. Whether it was money, logistical plans, family plans, social concerns, or just being scared, we’ve had no option the past couple years except to trust and obey. We are here and God has provided for us everything we need and has not left us hanging for anything….including protecting our kids while we have been gone for what seems like a century. Church ended and we were further greeted by folks in the church that heard our story for the first time and we were very encouraged. We came back to our house and all passed out. We were exhausted! A fantastic Easter day with our new son and just before supper we got to talk with Brooks and Moses right after they got out of church. Dave and Becca came in to town to give my parents a little break and they are taking care of the kids for a few days. The boys looked so cute in their Easter clothes and it was pretty tough seeing them and not being there with them, our first Easter not being together. As sad as it was for us, it gives us a great opportunity to remind them why we weren’t there with them and the importance of what were doing inSouth Africa with their new brother. The parallels between adoption and salvation are amazing and we want our kids and everyone around us to see the connection and the intentionality we have in our adoption.

 

4-9

We decided to make one more visit to downtownDurbanand see a few sites that we wanted to see again. We went to the Moses Mabhida Stadium and walked around looking at the different shops. We then went to the UShaka Marine snake and reptile world where we got to see some amazing snakes. They had black mambas, green mambas, spitting cobras, death adders, puff adders, rock pythons, boomslangs, and many other spiders and scorpions. Isaiah was not too excited about being so close to the reptiles but he had a good time. We came back home and got dressed for dinner. We were taking out Paula and Tony Barrett, the people that have so generously opened their home to us. We went to a place called Makarenga, a place we visited once before. We had a great dinner and Isaiah had a blast. The Barrett’s have 2 sons that have been amazing towards Isaiah. They have played in the back yard with him, taught him cricket, rugby, and tonight played with him in a kids area during dinner. We have been so blessed by Tony and Paula and what they have done for us and we wanted to take them out to dinner to say how thankful we were for what they have done for us. Yet another example of how God has taken care of us and provided for us every step of the way.

 

4-10

 Its Tuesday, Government offices are open again, and we are once again at God’s mercy for moving our paperwork along. Please pray for the people that are working on our paperwork that they would be motivated to work on our documents and to expedite them to the correct place. Here are some names of people you can pray for specifically that will be handling our paperwork: Estelle, Eunice, Charlene, and Ruth. We don’t have much left to complete but we need government workers to start on our paperwork asap. They only have a skeleton crew working today as many are still on Holiday from the weekend. Thanks for your continued prayers and support.

Waiting Game

It is Good Friday and safe to say we wont be home by Easter. “Shame” as our South African friends would say. I wish I could share more details or tell you we are on our way, however, perhaps we can entertain you with a bit of our latest antics. At this point the only thing keeping us sane is the amusing world around us. Even Isaiah keeps us laughing with his South African response “Yaa” for our yes. As we navigate our way through the South African countryside (with our newly acquired GPS/life support) we laugh at almost everything we see. We must be delirious. For starters as you look at the grid of streets on the GPS map, it looks like a preschooler scribbled a giant picture and then local engineers decided to make streets to model it. Looking forward to returning to our perfect square grid in K-town. Then, because we have a international GPS we have no american voice to choose from so we get to hear this British voice say things like Doctor instead of Drive for the dr. abbreviation. We also laugh daily at the explicit instruction to “Take slick road to slick road” I suppose it could be “slip road,” we just cant discern the accent yet. But seriously? Slick road? As if it isn’t fun enough to navigate your way through a foreign country, we have the worlds smallest car, a hatchback Chevy Spark that barely fits our luggage when Isaiah and I hold things on our laps. Did I mention it is a stick shift? Which isn’t really a problem because Drew is a champ at driving a stick shift. Oh, and it is on the “wrong” side of the road, so he’s shifting gears with his left hand and before I forget, it does not have power steering. Needless to say, we have had only the occasional honk as Drew briefly drives on the wrong side or (rarely) stalls. But honestly, he has mastered the car. We truly wouldn’t be alive if I were driving. To give you an idea of some of the town names we are dealing with (sans the authentic sounds you have to make when pronouncing): Mpumalonga, Ethekwini, Enelwini, Hluehlue, Monzi, Krantzkloof, Soweto, Umlaas…the list goes on. We have also grown fond of our little back seat parrot. Isaiah repeats everything he hears. Even when we are asking him something face-to-face like “Isaiah, do you have poo in your nappy?” He gives us a blank stare so we try to help him and say “yes, you do?” he replies, “yaa, you do?” So we look in his diaper and when he doesn’t we say, “no, you don’t” his reply, “no, you don’t.” Literally impossible to communicate sometimes. He is getting much better, though. Our favorite is when he says: “Mom, mommy, mom, mommy, mommy, mom” All the while I am responding, “yes, Isaiah, Yes, what is it, yes, Isaiah.” Finally I make good eye contact and say, “what?” and he replies, “what?” I can’t even follow our conversation most of the time. We laugh at how he seems to be able to talk without closing his lips. Just today we were thinking how this is counterintuitive. After all his lips are so big seems like they would accidentally close more often than not, but somehow he manages to say things like gonkey and goggy for donkey and doggie without making contact. Pretty adorable, even if he is often misunderstood. In spite of our disappointment in missing Easter with our family, we are surviving and entertaining ourselves quite nicely… even in delirium.

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3-30
We woke up this morning and eagerly called down to Shaka Marine World to check out the surf conditions. They told us the waves were great so we reserved 2 hours of surf lessons. One would do the surf lessons while the other played on the beach with Isaiah. We were very excited about trying to surf and even more excited to be doing it in the surf capital of South Africa. We got down to the beach around 830 and immediately met our instructor and started our lesson. The lesson sounded simple and in no time we were in the water. For the first part of the lesson when we got in the water, all I could think about was sharks…..great whites actually. I tried to keep my arms and legs on the board and not flopping around like a seal. I soon got it out of my head and got focused on surfing. The first time I caught a wave, the instructor pushed the board and got me moving, I popped up out of the water and rode the wave all the way to the shore! It was amazing. It was like an adrenaline rush and it felt like it lasted for a couple minutes. Long story short, I did not get up on the next few waves but I did manage to get up on every couple waves that came through. Some of the waves were pretty brutal. It didn’t matter whether you rode the wave or were fighting the waves to get back out to the big waves, they were painful. I finished the lesson and am very glad I can check that off the to do list. Next Brooke! We came back to the shore and I started watching Isaiah while Brooke started her lesson. She was one hot momma out in the water and I think she looked a lot smoother on the surf board than me She had a blast just like me and caught some great waves. Me and Isaiah had a nice time on the beach building sand castles and walking in the water. However, it’s obvious that me and Isaiah feel the same way about the ocean. Its not fun getting sand all over you, and when you can’t swim the ocean is a terrifying place. Isaiah definitely wanted to sit on the towel with me and did not like getting sand all over himself. Brookes lesson came to an end and we made our way back to the car and headed home. We came back home and laid Isaiah down for a nap and he slept solid for a couple hours. When we woke up we went out back to the pool and swam a little and kicked around some balls. We had a nice evening and turned in around 8 for bed. His bedtimes are now very smooth. As long as we don’t turn the TV on before he is asleep he will go to sleep very quickly without any tears and will now sleep for 11-12 hours. We are so thankful for this!

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3-31
Big day today. Yesterday afternoon while Isaiah was sleeping I decided we needed to get away for the weekend and do something really fun. We had already done the game park drives and animal parks but I wanted to do a real African safari. Something that would put us on the edge and get us fired up. I spent a lot of time looking at reviews of Big 5 safaris in South Africa and there were 2 at the top of most lists. Kruger and HluHluwe. All the reviews said Kruger is way too commercialized and way too many people are there on a daily basis to really enjoy the animals. Hluhluwe had incredible reviews, the only problem was it was 3.5 hours away. Driving in a SUPER compact car, with no power steering, on the wrong side of the road, using a stick shift with your left hand, with no AC did not sound like fun. However, the reviews I read about the safari company that works inside HluHluwe made me think it would be worth the effort. So, Friday afternoon at 4pm I booked a Bed and Breakfast called Zulani for Saturday night and called the Safari company to see if they could take us on a private safari. Initially they said they would not allow us to come because of Isaiah, they said he was too young. After some talking and negotiating, and telling the story of why we are in South Africa, they made our reservation! We left Durban about 8am and headed to St. Lucia for the night. St. Lucia is about an hour outside the game reserve and offers some great wild game attractions as well. We checked into our bed and breakfast about 12 and the owner had a great day lined up for us. St. Lucia is famous for Hippo, Crocs, and Elephants freely walking through the streets. We were warned numerous times about letting Isaiah walk on his own and also not to walk around any bushes where we couldn’t see the other side. We were told to visit the water that runs into the ocean and that we would see plenty of wildlife there. We drove down to the river and Me and Brooke got out of the car, left Isaiah buckled in and walked about 50 yards away from the car with cameras in hand. We heard noises in the bushes and we started filming and taking pictures. Next thing we know we heard 2 loud grunts about 15 feet away in the bushes. Me and Brooke got back to the car quicker than you’ve ever seen 2 white people run.

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It was definitely a Hippo and we were definitely scared. We jumped back in the car and drove down to the boat house which was only about 100 yards from where we were walking. The boat house has a viewing deck of the river and it overlooks where me and Brooke took our quick walk. While we were watching the river we saw 2 giant hippos get in the water right where we were previously walking and heard the grunts about 15 minutes earlier. We were thankful we did not walk any further into those bushes. The food was terrible at the boat house, a common theme here in SA, but the view was incredible. We drove back to our bed and breakfast and turned in early for the night. Isaiah went to bed as soon as the TV was off and we all were preparing for our big safari the next day.

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No one slept good. We were watching our watches all night hoping we didn’t sleep past our pick up time. The safari guides picked us up at 5am on the dot. We jumped in half asleep and rode the next hour in the dark. We arrived at the park before the gates opened and were 2nd inline to see the park. During the early morning hours it was very chilly and we were all bundled up in blankets because the vehicle was open on the sides and top. About a half our in the park we had an experience of a lifetime. We drove up on a lioness crouched behind a bush staring down a wildebeest. Our guide could not believe what he was seeing and told us to get ready for something amazing. I had the video rolling, Isaiah was locked into the situation being as quiet as possible, and Brooke was ready to capture every moment of what would unfold. The wildebeest was staring in to the bushes and not even looking at the lioness.

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The lioness was in full stalk mode almost lying below the grass as she watched the wildebeest. Our driver kept saying, she’s going to take him now, now. Above our heads flew a flock of vultures, and landed about 50 yards away from the wildebeest. The guide said all the animals know what’s about to happen and they’re getting in line to eat. At the same time both the wildebeest and lion turned their heads to the left and looked intently into the distance. We couldn’t figure out what was going on until we finally saw Hyena. Both the wildebeest and the lion didn’t know what to do. In an instant the hyena was on the seen, the lion got spooked and headed to the bush, and the wildebeest life was spared. We could not believe the lion waited and did not attack, this could have been our big youtube moment! Our guide drove up to the bush where the Lion retreated to and we found an incredible surprise. We pulled up about 5 feet away from the bush and inside we found a pride of lions with a dead wildebeest. It was amazing seeing the herd so close and eating a wildebeest. Our guide was even more excited than we were telling us repeatedly how incredible it was and that he’s hardly ever seen anything like this. The male lion was absolutely huge and all the lionesses were waiting and watching what he did with the carcass. Our guide explained that now he knows why the other lion didn’t kill the wildebeest, it was because they were all full from the previous kill. We sat and watched the male lion for about 20 minutes devour the wildebeest and at the same time get VERY agitated with our presence. He watched us with burning eyes and eventually started growling at us. The growls were so deep they shook your body and made you question whether the lion could jump straight in our vehicle. All at once the Lion started making mini charges at us and growling loudly. Our guide got very nervous and decided it was time to drive away. Me and Brooke agreed whole heartedly and couldn’t move away fast enough. It was about 7am in the morning and we had enough thrills for the whole day! Here’s the funny thing, after we left the lions we drove for about 5 minutes and he stopped the vehicle and said, time for breakfast. He pulled the vehicle over and stopped next to a large watering hole that had elephant and other animal tracks. I was like, is this a joke? The lions could be here in 5 minutes. Me and Brooke were completely on edge and I asked our guide, are we allowed to be out of our cars? Clearly he was too comfortable with the surroundings.

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We ate and drank quickly and told him we were ready to move on. We had a great morning seeing white rhino, huge elephants, giraffes, buffalo, wart hogs, kudu, impala, zebra, baboons, and some sort of cat that disappeared before he was identified. It was amazing seeing all these animals from a completely open aired vehicle in the middle of the wild. It wasn’t’ even lunch yet and we were already thrilled with our experience. Isaiah absolutely loved seeing the giraffe, rhino, and warthogs. The warthogs were so playful and flung dirt all over each other which he thought was hilarious. Both Brooks and Moses love warthogs and we constantly wished they were with us. We stopped at a picnic area in the middle of the reserve. The border of the picnic area had 7 foot tall electric fencing but had a view that was one of the best we’ve seen in Africa. Isaiah was having a blast, we were having a great weekend, and we saw 4/5 of the African Big 5. The Leopard was the only animal we could not find. Our guide said leopards are so scarce that he only sees them 1/100 visits to the park. We felt great about what we had seen and will remember this day forever. We only wish we could have shared it with Brooks and Moses. Soon after lunch we headed back to St. Lucia to pack up our stuff and left the B&B to head home. It had already been a long day and the trip home was no exception. It was long but we had a blast. Windows were down, lame songs playing on the radio were turned way up, Isaiah was singing songs weve never heard of at the top of his lungs, and me and Brooke were making fun of things on the radio. While driving out of St. Lucia there was a billboard that said “Old men with young girls = teenage pregnancy and aids…….thank you captain obvious for your observation. The most appalling thing about it is that some of the kids still don’t know how Aids is transmitted. After getting past the Aids billboard, we continued our fun all the way back to Durban. It was a drive I will never forget and was really glad and I got to spend some time with Brooke just laughing and catching up. The past 3 weeks have been incredible but they don’t come without some hard times as well. Being in foreign country, away from your kids, moving homes 4 times, daily living in unsafe areas, with no privacy and no me time, can take a big toll on you. Today’s safari and drive really gave us a much needed break from what had become the norm back in Durban. Thank you Lord for a nice break and a great day with Brooke and Isaiah.

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4-2
Andrew and Rae asked us to come by the farm today to see what all the Lord had revealed to them and also how far a long they are with the water issue. We got there around 11am this morning and had a great time. We took the long walk down to the creek and saw the great reservoir that had been dug out by us and some great volunteers, a couple weeks ago. The rain we got over the weekend had filled up the reservoir to the brim. He showed us the 400m of piping that he had buried and taken down to the river. He showed us the new pump which had been mounted on a small trailer type thing. And he showed us the swimming pool/reservoir that was set up next to the house to store additional water. Words cannot express his gratitude and how he said fixing the water has helped him and his family. He said that with things the way they are right now and with the current water storage, they have enough water to last them through the winter. He said you have no idea what it means to have water taken care of for the next 4 months. I agree, I have no idea what it’s like, but I could tell what it meant to him and the family. It was truly a blessing to see how God had placed a need, filled the need, and brought it to fruition. Thank you everyone who was involved and donated money to this incredible cause. They were so thankful and so grateful for what we had done and the only thing I could do was remind him that I didn’t do it. The Lord showed me a need and surrounded me with great Christian brothers and families that felt their need and donated money to help meet the need. I can only hope that all the family’s who gave money to the orphanage can feel and sense the amount of relief that Hope Farm now has knowing that no matter what happens during the winter months, they will have water! Praise the Lord and thank you for helping meet this need. It’s all I can do not to write out each familys name that gave so generously and give them the direct recognition they deserve. But our Father who sees in secret will reward us and we know our rewards are not earthly. On behalf of Hope Farm, Me, Brooke, Isaiah, Brooks, and Moses we want to say Thank You, for giving your money to support Hope Farm.

3-29

After our incredible day in court on Tuesday we also checked into our new, and 4th for those counting, lodging home. The pastor we were staying with has family coming in to town for Easter and needed the space for them. He however connected us with his best friends that are a part of his congregation Tony and Paula. As you can imagine my hesitation on taking lodging with another stranger I decided to stop by their house and check out where we were going to stay. We arrived at Tony and Paula’s in our court clothes, suit and tie, dripping with sweat looking like I just played a ball game. No doubt they were wondering what the heck we had been doing. Paula showed us to the area we would stay in. WOW, WOW, and WOW. It was a room above their garage, and WOW. It has its own kitchen, separate entrance, separate room for Isaiah to sleep, separate shower and bathroom, large comfortable bed, satellite tv, internet, and………AC!!!!!!!!!!!! We were prepared to pay whatever they wanted and she informed us they wanted to give it to us free of charge! What a huge blessing! She said we could stay as long as we needed and that her full time maid would clean it daily and do laundry whenever we need. We were blown away and so thankful to Paula and Tony and the Lord. They also have 2 kids around 8 and 12 that are incredibly friendly and love playing with Isaiah. On Wednesday morning we woke up and went into town for breakfast. We ate at a place called Sprigs. An amazing little restaurant that is something we have fallen in love with, especially Brooke. In this little coffee shop/restaurant the female chef sells homemade everything, coffee, tea, incredible food, kitchen supplies, and even has a separate kitchen where they do cooking lessons for anyone interested. Brooke definitely would love to take the concept and have one of her own someday and I agree. After our breakfast we looked through the shopping center and returned to our house. We put on Isaiah’s swim trunks and went out back to the pool at our house. I took Isaiah for his first swim and he loved it. It was no doubt a little frightening for him but he is a brave little boy and did great with the water. Tony and Paula’s kids came out to the pool and played with Isaiah. They brought out soccer balls and rugby balls and had a blast playing with Isaiah. It was great to get Isaiah some social time with other kids and we were really excited to see him loosen up and have a good time with them. After we came back in we took our showers and got dressed for our big night at a international soccer match. The game was at Moses Mebhida Stadium, one ofSouth Africa’s stadiums used for the World Cup. We drove down toDurban and ate dinner at a restaurant on the beach called Pesto. It was good but I was focused on the game. I was definitely nervous about taking Brooke and Isaiah to the game as I have seen and heard the atmosphere that these games can produce. We arrived at the stadium about 30 minutes early and got into our seats, about 40 yard line down on the field level and got ready for the game. The atmosphere was incredible. We were the only white people in the stadium and also one of the only fans that were not blowing Vuvuzelas the entire match. It was incredible loud and the fans while not outrageous were very animated and a little obnoxious. We were surrounded by lively fans but also some fans with other smaller kids which kept things manageable. The rest of the game went smooth and the game on the field was incredible. Seeing the action up close and personal was priceless and the energy in the stadium was amazing. We left the game about 10 minutes early to try and avoid anything that might happen at the end of the game and we quickly got back to our car and on the road right when the floods hit the exit. It was an incredible experience and we are very glad we took the plunge. Isaiah stayed awake the entire drive home as he had a great time and had a lot of energy even though it was way past his bedtime. We wanted the game to be a celebration after our great day in court and it was everything we thought it would be.

 

3-29

We woke up this morning and Brooke made us a great breakfast with local mangos, delicious honey and yogurt, and a nice pot of French pressed coffee. Since being here inSouth Africa, among many other habits, we have picked up a love for coffee. We bought a great bag of local African coffee and enjoyed our first brew. After breakfast we lounged around a while and then left and went to the market. We ran some errands and then grabbed lunch at a small market called Sam’s. Its an organic restaurant that had great homemade pastries and unique dishes. After lunch we came back home and put Isaiah down for a nap. He slept about 2 hours and then we got up and put our trunks on for an afternoon swim. We had a great time swimming and then Tony and Paula’s boys came out with a cricket bat and ball, rugby ball, and a soccer ball. We spent a few hours playing and they tried to teach Isaiah rugby and soccer and also taught me about cricket. We had a great time and then came in to get ready for dinner. Paula made us a reservation for tonight at a place called Makaranga. It’s a bed and breakfast and also has a nice restaurant attached. We ate on the back deck that overlooked the most beautiful scenery we have seen so far. I will try and attach pictures for you to see. It was a garden type setting with a large pond filled with statues, rocks, beautiful trees and bushes, and gave endless locations for pictures and walking. We were once again blown away with our surroundings and came to the back deck to sit down for our dinner. It was a delicious dinner and we sat outside and enjoyed the wildlife and view for a couple of hours. Afterwards we returned home and prepared Isaiah for bed. He had an incredible day and is becoming more and more outgoing and expressive. He truly is growing by leaps and bounds in his trust for us and also in his trust to open up to other people including strangers. We are continuing to pray for a miracle in how quick our remaining paperwork gets completed. Specifically, we are praying we can be home next weekend for Easter and we believe God will find a way to get it worked out. Please join us in these prayers.

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