Fifteen months ago, we had little Zeke as a temporary, but important, part of our household for a quick couple weeks. During that time, we entertained the idea of adoption and treated him like he would be adopted into our family. We’ve flirted with the idea of adoption many times since then, but never really came anywhere close, despite all the peri-partum mortalities we see and all the babies we send home, knowing full-well that they’re not likely to survive the harsh realities of poor, rural Tchad. We’ve always felt that it would be insurmountable political challenges and would too drastically change the dynamic of our presence in Tchad.
Well, a man came to the door with yet another bundle cradling yet another orphan the other day... And we are taking the plunge. We haven’t done any official adoption paperwork, but we believe strongly that he will always be a part of our family and that nobody will hinder it.
Zane is now walking and babbling and we thought we were out of the newborn phase. But here we are back at square one with baby milk formula and getting pooped and peed on by something that’s constantly requiring being fed and held. Thank goodness that my mother-in-law is willing to help out despite having two other ankle-biters to chase around.
The dogs are more curious than they were with Zeke. Particularly Sheba. Curious and seemingly a bit afraid, despite their considerable size advantage.
Surprisingly, this one is even smaller than Zeke, but comes with a considerable amount of hair and very cute whiskers.
And this one was not orphaned in the typical fashion. No, his mother was eaten. Oh, the humanity.
I introduce you to Thumper, or ‘Fumper’, as Lyol would have it.
At any given moment, you’ll be likely to find Thumper in my scrub top chest pocket, nibbling contentedly on a scrap of lettuce. This is his Zen. Or you might find him on the floor hopping away from Sheba, Midnight, Lyol and Zane as if his life depended on it.
It just might.
Lyol may love him to death with his constant 1) Take ‘Fumper’ out of his basket, 2) Squeeze ‘Fumper’ hard so he knows just how much he’s loved, 3) Put ‘Fumper’ on the ground in front of Sheba and see ‘Fumper’ hop away, 4) Chase ‘Fumper’ and pick him up, 5) Repeat from step #2 ad nauseam.
Zane has a different tactic. It’s much more clean and simple. 1) Toddle up to Thumper, 2) Squeal with delight, 3) Smack him hard because he simply doesn’t know how else to express his love and excitement.
So far Sheba and Midnight have both picked up Thumper by the nape and started to carry him around. I’d like to think it’s mothering instinct, but I suspect it’s just the prelude to a mortal blow, in private.
Without further ado, here he is in all his glory, Thumper.