From the Roland Diaries: “Today I met a hippo. Yep. Welcome to America. This is my normal now.”

My husband and I joined the PTA at Laelia’s school and we won a free zoo pass for signing up! So Rolly and I took advantage of our only day without a medical or adoption-related appointment this week and headed over to zoo it up!

Rolly vacillated between underwhelmed and overwhelmed, but he only had one age-appropriate fit (not orphanage-related melt down) after we’d been there for three hours. (I had to take him away when he started banging on the glass to get a snake’s attention. For one thing, you can’t do that. For  another  thing, hello! bad idea.) Overall he did pretty good in my opinion. I’m definitely trying to be able to take him out more.

The only downer about our day (besides the heat) was that we got a couple negative comments from other zoo-goers. One couple by the flamingos actually said under their breath, “That’s horrible, that kid’s actually in casts!” To which his partner responded, “Shut up she can hear you!” Blarg. And two girls stared at Rolly instead of the monkeys. They even followed us to stare. WHERE ARE YOUR PARENTS?! No where? Cool then it’s my job. “Um… girls? Shoo.” They gasped and giggled and ran back to their school group. :)

Then one woman asked what happened to Roland’s arms. I said, “Nothing’s broken, it’s for a joint condition.” She said, “Oh yeah when I adopted my daughter from Russia we went through clubfeet casting.”  ***gasp*** That led to a whole wonderful discussion on international and domestic adoption. She even said a few words in Russian to Roland that he seemed to recognize! And I met her youngest daughter (with a heart condition) who she adopted domestically even though she was in her late 50′s! So cool! It all happened right there in front of the fox cage.

Roland also tried to say different animal names which was fun. Of course the polar bear became “teddy bear” and the lion and goats were “kitties,”  the elephants were doggies (“woofs”) and everything on four hoofed feet was a “deer.” Oh and anything with wings was a “birdie” except for the secretary bird which Rolly just barked at. :)

Okay enough talk, here are some pictures. :)


This bird must be related to Roland! (Screams even though not threatened. *snicker*)



Roland to Condor: “Birdie!”

Condor to Rolly: “Lunch?”


Roland started making barking noises at this guy. (Something his sister taught him. *sigh*)

Secretary bird came right up to us!

DRINK THIEF!!! (He wouldn’t let go or give it back.)


“teddy bear”

Sticking his tongue out like the snake.


Happy boy!

4 Responses to “Zoo”

  1. Linda Record says:

    That long drink cup looks perfect for a little guy with partly bendy elbows. :) So cute. LOVE that grin. Knew it was coming at the end of the video. :)

  2. Kayla says:

    Love this!!!! Never know who you’re going to run into or where! Amazing!!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    My daughter used to take Jr. Theater classes at the Casa del Prado and while she was in class my son and I would wonder the zoo. One day they were feeding the big yellow snake (forgot real name) a mouse. That dude just opened his throat and swallowed the mouse. Everyone in the crowd was all excited and then my son (3) said, “where is his juice?” Ya know because you can’t eat a mouse without a juicey cup. Loved looking at your pictures and so glad you are making sweet memories with your sweet baby.

  4. Danielle Cervantes Stephens says:

    Adorable ♥

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