Well, folks, this is the day we all have been waiting for!
Ok, maybe Jen and I have been waiting more than you have, but hey we are all here now reading this blog together, at the same time, for the same purpose! Today we had the privilege of adopting the newest addition to our family! We are so excited to finally share PICTURES with you since so many of you have asked!
OK wait no longer because here she is! Introducing… Palesa Jozi Hanson!
Palesa means “flower” in Sotho (a South African language). This was given to her by her “tummy mummy” and we think it’s beautiful, so we are keeping it! Her last name is obvious. And her middle name was just decided on the trip over here! One of the nicknames for Johannesburg (where she was born) is Joburg which really wouldn’t work that well, don’t you think? But another nickname is Jozi! Jen and I thought that sounded really cute, and it’s close to another middle name we had previously thought of using, plus Jen found another meaning for that name. Josie (the French version) means “May Jehovah add to the family!” How perfect, right?!
So this morning we left Joburg early for another town south of here called Meyerton, about a half hour away. It was foggy on the way there and hard to see the road. On top of that, Palesa decided to throw a fit literally the. entire. way. Then, we get to this little town, and there are no road signs. In fact, the only directions we were given were “on the corner of Fenton and Kruger.” Kruger isn’t the street name by the way, it actually is something else but Kruger happens to be the last word in the name. Anyway, we drove up and down Fenton and were almost late, but called our attorney and he helped us out. Needless to say we were stressed out to the max (with a screaming baby remember)!
However, our court appointment went very smoothly. The judge joked with us about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, shared about his religious beliefs, thanked us for not only bringing the cold but also some rain (it never rains this time of the year in this part of South Africa apparently) and even gave us some places to visit while in Cape Town! This was all a surprise to us as we were ready for a tough judge!
The judge is the one with the mustache…
The meeting lasted less than a half an hour and when all was said and done, we were granted full custody and announced her adoptive parents! We are so grateful and excited that all of this waiting and work to get to this point is over! Now, for more paperwork! 🙂
This guy is one of God’s greatest gifts to us and Palesa. Our attorney, Brad Oliver is absolutely wonderful to work with, and this adoption wouldn’t have gone so smoothly without the incredible amount of work that he has put in on our behalf!
After the morning court, we had lunch and then headed back out to TLC where Palesa grew up! We said goodbye to all of the staff and kids, and brought some cake and biscuits (what cookies are called here) to celebrate. The older kids came back from school and devoured them!!
The current group of girls taking care of Palesa’s age group.
We know God has given us this little girl, but more so than that, He has given HER a chance at a family. With a mom and a dad and two very excited and loving brothers. We have had the opportunity over here to do FaceTime with grandparents and her brothers and they light up when they see her! And she gets excited too! She even calls out their names when she sees them!
Thank you everyone for all of the kind words, thoughts, and prayers you have been sending our way. We are all very grateful to God for all of you! We will continue to share on this blog the rest of this journey through South Africa and beyond, so keep updated and in touch! Palesa wants to say thank you too!