Monday, September 19, 2011

What will our life be like in Kenya?

Many people have misconceptions about where we will be living and what we will be doing with our time. No, we will not be living in a mud hut, (much to my dismay...and I am serious.) and no I will not be scrubbing laundry by hand all day in a little stream. AND the only reason - is for the safety of our children and the fact that our priority will be adoption. I would love the idea of living in a small village... rubbing elbows with the Maasai etc., but sadly that is not conducive to the adoption efforts. We have been advised to live in Nairobi to have close contact with the courts and adoption offices etc. Traffic in Kenya is crazy... so a small commute of a few miles just within city limits can take hours, so living hours out of town is just not feasible for the travelling time we would have to do.

We will likely live in an apartment complex for safety reasons. It will be something like this one and will be located in a nice Nairobi neighborhood.

Location relevance will revolve around rental cost and proximity to our desired place of where we will volunteer or to the orphanage where our child/ren will be from.

During our first week in Kenya, we had intended on settling in and getting over our jet lag while we toured around on a bit of a safari... one last hurrah as a family of four and life as we know it. This may still happen if we can manage to raise the money. After this time, we will settle in to our apartment and will begin our visitations with our new child/ren at the orphanage. Hopefully, we will be allowed to visit for several hours a day until the 2 week period is up, upon which we can then bring her (or them) home. This is when we will start our 3 month fostering period.

During this time, our days will be spent getting acquainted to the new addition and life as a family of 5/6. We will be busy homeschooling the kids  for the first half of the day. I haven't yet dove into my homeschooling research yet, but I think we will likely be spending 4 hours a day homeschooling. This should be an easy task with Dan and I taking turns with the baby and the teaching.

After lunch we will be spending our afternoons volunteering at a local orphanage. I have been in contact with one orphanage who has happily accepted my offer to come and volunteer as a family. We will be doing lots of baby holding, feeding and diapering while the kids will be playing with the older kids and perhaps helping them with their English. Muffin will likely find herself in the toddler area... Mothering all of them. Of course during this period it is very crucial to bond with our adopted child/ren, and that will certainly play a role in how and when we volunteer. If our adopted child is a young infant, I will wear them in a moby wrap. If the child is over 1 and walking, I will still be wearing the child a lot as it is great for attachment... but will likely have less time to be hands on at the volunteering. But here again, Dan and I can take turns. I'm sure we can still be useful even while tending to our own busy toddler.

Dan and I would like to possibly get our hands further involved in perhaps a larger building project where he can use his skills. He also really wants to see Kibera, the slums of Nairobi, and see if there is some way he can help there. I can put my office/accounting skills to works at any orphanage in addition to web design, blogging etc. Not that I am a web designer - but, simple websites are easy to create and many of these organizations need all the help they can get in this department. Orphanages need to be seen to get the funding...

Basically, we want to bond as a family, and do everything we possibly can to help as a family. We want to make as much impact and difference as we possibly can in our time there while we fulfill our adoption requirements. So no, we won't be rough'n it, but we won't exactly be spending it all lounging around in the pool either!

I have been toying with the idea of scouting for families in need of a monthly sponsorship. I know many people I have spoken with do not sponsor children as they don't trust that their money is getting to where it is intended. There is a great deal of corruption in Kenya, so this is certainly a concern. During my time with the orphanages, I will investigate legit places to donate to, or establish my own private connection with a family in need. If you are at all interested in sponsorship, or one time donations... please contact me or watch the blog, as I will be sharing this information. The need in Kenya is so great, so giving a warm blanket, bag of rice or some medicine to someone in need will be a very easy thing to do... and we will be able to take photos and document the families appreciation for your generosity. Something to keep in mind anyway...

**Edit to add - "During our first week in Kenya, we had intended on settling in and getting over our jet lag while we toured around on a bit of a safari... one last hurrah as a family of four and life as we know it. This may still happen if we can manage to raise the money."
To clarify... This post was written in September prior to our Dossier been sent off, and prior to our plans for adoption financing to tank (selling property etc.). At this point, we have sold our boat etc... and were 'raising'  (saving) money not by 'fundraising'... but by collecting bottles, cutting off unecessary spending (ie. cable etc.), selling things we didn't need. (Clearly the term 'saving' would have been a more appropriate choice of words - however this did follow my aura migraine episode, after which I struggled a great deal with my vocabulary, especially written - this is NOT an excuse though, and I am leaving the term as is.) In December, we entered into a wholesale contract with a company who allowed us to sell bracelets at retail cost (as a home business) to earn money to help with our adoption fees, travel costs, and living expenses. We are not fundraising to go on a safari. I know this may seem obvious to those of you who have been following, and to those that personally know us - and quite frankly it feels silly to even have to explain this. However, if this was viewed with no regard to the timeline of events, it may be misconstrued.

Fellow bloggers... do you spend any time going back and add/editing or deleting posts that are no longer relevant... or is it just assumed that what was current then, may not depict today's picture?

1 comment:

Jacquie said...

Sounds exciting! Approximately how much longer till you hear about a referral? It will be neat for you to be in Kenya, and to make all those personal connections to the people there.