Meeting your child for the very first time is exciting and unnerving at the same time. I am trying not to think too much about it because I am concerned I won't be able to sleep if I focus on Baby Girl. Fortunately I have been busy and having a great time so it likely won't really hit me until tomorrow morning.
We had another great day today, but first I should rewind to what we did last night. Little Pud and I are so privileged to be here during Chanukah. Last night was the first night, and we so enjoyed the lighting of the candles, the gifts, and the time with our family. It was also great to have my uncle tell me a more complete version of the story behind the holiday. I am now looking forward to each evening here. I wish we could stay for the whole eight days.
After the lighting of the candles and the gifts and after Little Pud and KOTM spent some time building their respective Lego sets, we got to talk to our stateside family via Skype. It was so good to talk to my boys! I miss them so much, but they are in the very good hands of Grandma and Pa. By the way, KOTM is short for King of the Minifigs, our cousin who has a lot in common with The Philosopher (formerly known on this blog as LOTL or Lord of the Legos), incidentally Little Pud also enjoys Legos. It is not recommended to walk barefoot in our house...
|Of course, KOTM had to show The Philosopher all of his new Legos and vice versa.|
We then went to bed. My new and improved jet lag plan seems to be working because, although I woke up super early (4:30), I was able to doze until a reasonable time and then spend all of today on the go, feeling very little jet lag.
This morning it was time for Mitzvah Day! My aunt had organized a HUGE undertaking with many MANY volunteers to work in several teams around the community. It was such a privilege to be a part of this great day. When my uncle was giving his brief spiel during the Mitzvah Day breakfast before we were sent out, he quoted a Jewish friend of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said of his civil rights march with Dr. King, "When I marched on Selma, my legs were praying." I loved this word picture of the act of worship it can be when we work with our own hands and feet to help others. Service is so important. Today many people were sent out to work in the community. Our personal assignment was to help sort clothes for refugees, but it didn't start until after lunch, so we had a few hours to kill.
Cousin "Elsa" had something to return to a store, so so she and I took the kids and set out for a little adventure. We took hundreds of stairs (found out just how unused my "going down stairs muscles" are) down the mountain and then into the busy shopping district. We found the store in question and while Elsa returned her item, Little Pud and KOTM entertained themselves by making faces in a mirror.
|Aren't they cute?|
We then added taking a public transportation bus to Little Pud's list of firsts. It was a beautiful day for both the walk and the ride and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing more of Baby Girl's wonderful city.
Soon after returning to the flat, it was our turn to go out for Mitzvah Day. About fifteen or so of us loaded onto a bus and were on our way. It was especially fun because the kids and I occasionally volunteer at a local clothes ministry, so we at least partially understood what a huge project this was. I have never seen so many clothes! It was amazing! And I was equally amazed by how much we got done.
|Giant pile o' shoes|
Tomorrow is THE day!!! I am so excited, but I am truly trying not to think about it. I want to get a good night's sleep. I would appreciate prayers for both the sleep and the first meeting. Don't expect another long blog...I am highly doubtful that I'll have time from here on out (but you never know...)