Well, we’re here! Jake and I arrived in Zambia on Friday, Sept. 28th. We got such a wonderful welcome from the people on the farm and from the kids in the orphanage. There’s nothing better than arriving back to Meshack jumping in your arms screaming, “Jessi! Jessi! JESSSSSIIIII!!!
The kids greeted Jacob by saying, “Jacob! You’re back! Mukansunda! She’s here!” We would have preferred to ease into scooping ‘Sunda up into our arms (for her sake), but the kids would have none of that. The older ones immediately ran off to “get ‘Sunda,”so Jacob had ahold of her within 5 minutes. Needless to say, it has been quite a process to get her to open up again. Yesterday she smiled for the first time in our presence. Today she has been talking and repeating what we say. This afternoon she even kissed me voluntarily (a rare occasion). As much as you try to prepare yourself for it, you’re never quite ready for a child to cry at the sight of you when she used to run into your arms giggling. It has been as much of an adjustment for Jake and I as it has been for her, I think. Actually, Mukansunda is not staying with us at the time being. Jake and I are in the process of working on our apartment in the tobacco barn. Until that’s finished, we are staying with Jeff and Lisa in the guest house. We want to have our own space and schedule before we bring her into the mix. Also, we are trying to do everything under the law and in good order. So, we decided not to have her stay with us full-time until we have Zambian social service permission, which requires the U.S. home study papers to go through. We are hoping that this is a healthy way to go about everything, trying to keep her life simple and loving. She is familiar with the orphanage and feels safe there, so the fact that she is still eating and sleeping there is okay right now. Hopefully, by the time we are able to have her stay with us full-time we will have everything ready in our apartment and she will be ready to make the move, without too much of a schedule or life change. That’s the plan. We’ll see. And hope. And pray.
Things are running beautifully on the farm and it has been a pleasure to get to know Jeff and Lisa better. There is also a woman here running the orphanage for the year. Her name is Jaime and she is a couple of years older than Jacob and I. She is doing a great job of identifying needs in the orphanage and it’s good to have her here. What a job! She seems up for the challenge.
I mentioned above that we will be living in the tobacco barn this year. We lived in a tobacco barn apartment for a short time last year, before things shifted and we were able to use the bigger, nicer clinic apartment. Well, the last work team that was here worked really hard to convert two apartments in the tobacco barn into a big apartment, just for us! We have some things to finish up (an understatement; really, the electric, the plumbing, the floors, the windows…). But it’ll be really exciting to have our own place to decorate, that’s what I’ve been longing for. Plus, it’s something for us to concentrate on and work toward while we’re waiting for things to come together for our bush ministry and the adoption.
As far as ministry, we just need to get a tent before we can head out into the bush. The good tents come from South Africa and are too heavy to come with us on a plane, so Jacob will have to make a road trip to pick it up. After that trip, we should be on our way to getting out into the villages, and we’re excited about that. It has been good to reconnect with our Zambian friends and hear, “Yes! That is just what Zambia needs!” (referring to the work that we want to do).
It’s hot here. Comparable to West Virginia in August. But, even West Virginia in August is nothing compared to what we’re in for! It’s still comfortable in the mornings and evenings. Not to fear, the temperature will reach miserable heights soon enough! For right now, we’re just enjoying the rare cool breeze.
Forgive me for such a non-innovative, informative blog. I thought an informational update was in order, and hope that you enjoy it! Enjoy the changing of the leaves and the cool autumn breeze!