Update and more about our boy!

August 15, 2012 § 4 Comments


Well, I’m now back to blogging! It’s been a crazy 6 weeks. Being a parent isn’t as easy as it looks! 😉

I now feel (almost) fully adjusted to being a Mama. I get to hear my new name about 1000 times a day (“Mama, hiya!”…”Mama, look!”…”Mama, I want water”…”Mama, signing time”…”Mama, Daddy went in the motocar”…”Mama…”). It’s a wonderfully sweet reminder.

My parents were already scheduled to have a visit 4 days after A came home so we got some wonderful time with Papa and Nana in Lusaka! They both also were a tremendous help to us, cooking and cleaning so that we could focus on bonding with A.

“Papa and Nana abuela!!” (Papa and Nana have come!!)

She came all the way to Zambia to cook food for the new parents! Well, and maybe do some other stuff too 😉

Reading “ma booku” with Papa

The Leyde and Menenberg clans, outside the Tuesday Market in Lusaka

I wanted to share a bit about how A came to be in our family. It’s a crazy story that only God could have written. Our adoption story actually starts way before this, but the most recent chapter began when we were volunteering at a local orphanage here in Lusaka, run by the Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity.

During our time there, we spent time playing with the kids in the baby and toddler room every Saturday morning for four months. One of these boys was A. He stood out to me immediately because I recognized that he had hydrocephalus and observed that he had contractures on his left arm and leg and couldn’t walk. A would crawl around on his knees with the toddlers and play with the “alendo,” or visitors in Chinyanja.

We had been praying for months that God would allow us to parent an orphan. One day, God made it abundantly clear to me that we were to pursue adopting A. Ben agreed and we spoke with the Nuns at the orphanage, who were enthusiastic about the adoption. The Ministry of Social Welfare was also extremely supportive. From the time we initially spoke to everyone to when he came home was 13 days – a true miracle with the pace of things here in Zambia!

He has now been home for almost 7 weeks and is doing very well. He is adjusting well to being in our family and knows that Ben and I are his Daddy and Mama. His favorite activities are riding in the “motocar,” watching signing time, playing with water and buckets, cooking with Mama, and reading books with Daddy. He isn’t currently walking but is doing physical therapy and making good progress. He is estimated to be about 5 years old and will start school soon. He speaks mostly Chinyanja and some English and we speak mostly English and a little Chinyanja. He is “picking” English fast, though and understands us in English more than half of the time! We also use ASL (through the Signing Time videos) as a way to bridge the communication gap.

We are currently waiting to finalize the adoption. Things have been going very well with the government, especially in light of his special needs.

We are so thankful that God brought him into our family and couldn’t imagine life without him! We love our boy!!

On a mini-Safari at Chaminuka to see the “njovu”

Swimming with Daddy


Zambian mama: cooking over the brazier with a baby on my back!

Playing with “mandze” (water)…all day, every day!


I’m referring to our son as A so that his name isn’t searchable on the internet, for his privacy’s sake. No need for these childhood photos to come up in a future Google search after a job interview (well, it may not totally stop things like that, but it definitely helps).

P.P.S. I wrote a blog piece over at Give1Save1 yesterday about Zambian adoption! Check it out HERE



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