We got internet tonight!!! Meet Mohale!

(Im typing fast and will have to edit later as wifi may disappear at any time..)
The trip here was the craziest, hardest 40 hours!  Joseph screamed and vomited and we didn’t sleep.
Precious Joseph ran out of clothes early in the flight.  This is landing in South Africa!


(The stewardess was extremely kind…WE ARE GRATEFUL)
When we got to the Johannesburg airport, exhausted and disoriented, I felt tears well up- a dream coming true.
Before we were even all off of the airplane, we were approached by a beautiful
African woman who began helping with our multiple carryon bags.
She said “You have a lot of kids.  I will help you.  Follow me”
She led us away from the HUGE crowd that was going through the customs line to ONE man behind a booth.  He checked our passports and we were IN!
She helped load our luggage onto the hotel shuttle.
We were in our hotel within an hour of getting off of the airplane with all 9 of us!
What an ANGEL!!
The hard days before Monday morning all faded at this moment…..


We drove to Mohale’s orphanage at 9am.
Walking into the place where we’ve had NO CONTACT and only a few pics over the last 21 months felt surreal- like an exceptionally happy stomach flu.
The directors of the orphanage have an incredible reputation.  We were greeted with kindness and so many of the thanked us for not giving up….
(giving up?)
We thanked them for the same thing!
NO ONE EVER could have dreamed of giving up on Mohale- but the road was long and filled with HUGE OBSTACLES.
We were led into a large room with a few couches facing each other.  A Lesotho government official, 2 social workers and the orphanage directors explained to us that they would be taking our pictures and we sat waiting for Mohale to arrive.
(Ianna will post a video of the moment once we return to the USA.)

But to explain the emotions of watching our long awaited son be led into the room by one familiar and loved to be handed over to us to be loved forever….the emotions are impossible.
He was led to me and placed on my knee.
He stared.
He was clearly confused.
BUT OH what a beautiful, gentle, sweet soul.
The first day was a mix of emotions…
Our precious, long awaited, miracle boy was clearly traumatized.  This was not a surprise, but just as jumping into an icy pond sounds hard, when you actually do it, the experience takes your breath away.
This gentle natured boy we’ve loved from afar did not cry.  I still have not heard him cry and it’s been 2 days.
He just sat quietly and stared and sucked his lip… For several hours into that first day.
We just held him- because with grief, sometimes presence is all we can offer.
By evening he began to smile and we were gifted with the sweetest sound of laughter when his new siblings efforts were finally rewarded.  HIS LAUGH IS PRECIOUS!!!
Arriving at our hotel- No longer fatherless.  Soon he will learn how beloved he is to his daddy.
Joseph and Mohale with Daddy
He knew how to use iPhones:) and they really helped him feel comfortable!
When grieving, sometimes being present is the best we can do.  Adored.


Liam prayed for a little brother from Africa in 2011.  He adores his two little brothers!
Day 2 his laugh began to happen often!
The four “littles” watching workers outside of the beautiful Guest home we are in.


Today Mohale was laughing and running around all loud and happy with all the kids.
He was asking for his needs- food, drink, hold me, even potty!
Mohale especially loves to be held by David and me- and we love to hold him!
We expect a long road…
BUT THIS IS EASY as of today!
A little miracle that is a big deal:
One of our concerns and prayers was for our very pampered Baby Joseph to behave kindly.  That’s a big prayer for a 21 month old little boy- especially our very doted on little baby Joseph.
Our prayers were answered above and beyond with a YES.
Joseph adores Mohale!  As of today, he has shown zero jealousy- only curiosity and affection-
even though we are holding Mohale almost constantly.
(We expect normal sibling/toddler stuff- but this intro has made it unusually easy to get Mohale feeling safe- Joseph makes Mohale laugh and smile.)
Joseph loves to bring him toys and his sippie.  He loves to hug him and play with him.  It’s been 2 days and they seem to be establishing a special bond.  Joseph and Mohale are exactly the same size.  They are double amazing together.  This evening they were making each other laugh and squeal and wrestle- LOUD, HAPPY brothers.  SO CUTE!!!!
Here’s another answered prayer that I’m doing cartwheels over….
Joseph has NEVER slept an entire night without me and david getting up and holding him sereveral times.  As an infant he was very sick and so we had to hold him most of the night until he was 9 months old.  Since then, he’s been much better, but he still struggles and we have slipped into caring to his every whimper all night long.  During this trip we became too exhausted.  So, we let him “cry it out” two nights ago.  He had a fit the first night and tantrum for 1 hour and then another 45 minutes at 2am.  But the second night- last night- he slept the ENTIRE NIGHT!  He woke  up HAPPY!!!! For the first night in 21 months, we all three got a full night of sleep!!
We were all in happy happy happy moods today.


Today we toured some of Lesotho.  Our agency rep took us on a crazy bumpy, risky, out of the box, make me want to hide under the seat of jump out of the window type of dirt road.  It led us to a cave dwelling where three elderly women still live.  The pics don’t begin to show such color and beauty.  (it was also a bit awkward coming into their home space- but that’s what they do.)
Here are pictures…
Walking to the cave homes
Almost there!


We also walked on this bridge…


What I’ve noticed about Lesotho is that we LOVE it here.  It’s is BEAUTIFUL.  Many of the country homes are made of stone with either grass or metal correlate roofing.  Some are round.  SO PRETTY.
The people are kind, gentle and friendly.  Rainbows of color surround the clothing they wear- amazing color and patterns.  The children are extra cute.
That’s our first week in a small nutshell.  Once I have more WIFI time, I’ll fill what has been left out in this rush to post before internet crashes.

More updates on the Miracle of Mohale coming soon.


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