We have been super blessed by having a great social worker at the social welfare office. We have not really been able start the foster process because we've had a houseguest and we've had outstanding travel plans.So instead of being able to have the girls committed to us immediately, we've been needing social welfare to write us letters that allow us to take the girls out of their homes for the day or for overnights. This last week we had our first two nights with the girls - it went surprisingly well. While naptime is still a problem, generally the kids are so tired from playing and running around eating massive amounts of food, they all seem to do a good job at bedtime. We've had them three nights total and they've all been asleep a little after 7 and up a little before 6 which works well for us.
We really struggled with deciding to take the girls out for extended periods of time, mostly because we did not want to to have to drop them back at the orphanages. They were abandoned before and we did not want them to feel like we were just dropping them back at the orphanages in the same way. In the end, we decided that it would give us both a period of adjustment and the girls have actually seemed a little relieved when we've dropped them back off at the homes. They are used to the schedules, friends, food, and caregivers there, so it makes sense that even when we have a good time with them, they feel safe going back to what they know.
When we picked them up for Christmas weekend, the girls were at House of Moses for a Christmas party for the three orphanages that are linked together (House of Moses is for newborn to three years, Bill and Bette House is for 3-5 years, and House of Martha is 5 and up.) They were not too happy to be taken away from the party (even though it was actually over) and Ethel cried most of the way back to our friend's house where we spent Christmas Eve. But they warmed up after awhile and it's been a good weekend. I caught the girls looking at one of our photo albums and they were pointing out Luka, mommy and daddy! Wow. So we've had a totally insane Christmas. It was 85 degrees and humid, we went to a farm with a huge playground and were the only mzungus there besides our teammates the Singletons who joined us for lunch. And we had two new kids for Christmas. What a gift, what a day, I'm BEAT!