Our Adoption Journey

Our journey to start a family through the miracle of adoption.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Things to do before 21 December 2012..

Found this entry over on Stirrip Queens blog which I enjoyed very much and decided to add my own list of things that I would like to do before the world supposedly comes to an end on 21 December 2012.

1) Have a baby - seeing that there is less than 3 weeks left this might be no small feat, but who knows?

2) Fit into the stack of #10 pants that I refuse to throw out of my cupboard. (Compared to this #1 seems more probable to happen within the next 17 days)!

3) Live one full day without worrying about anything.

4) Spend time with my mom, family and friends - all the people that I miss on a daily basis and never get around to see as much as I would like to.

5) Win the Lotto, and then give the money away to people and animals who really need it.

6) Get a kitten - we have a cat and a dog and decided not to add to that. I am a total cat person and there is nothing more enjoyable that having a little kitten (or 2) around.

7) Go horseback-riding on the beach.

8) Laugh like I mean it - until the tears stream down my face and there is no air left in my lungs.

9) See the big migration of wildebeest and zebra from a helicopter (not sure whether this is the right time, but maybe they'll make an exception).

10) Fall in love with my husband all over again (taking into consideration that this is our second week apart and I'll be seeing him again the weekend, this might be very likely indeed...)!

Congratulations to a true adoption champion!

A very well done to Sharon van Wyk for her nomination for a Feather Award in the category of Community Builder and Humanitarian for her work with Trinity Heart!
She really makes a difference in the lives of  those starting on, or going through this wonderful (but sometimes frightening) journey of adoption. 
Read about my experience on finding Trinity Heart here.

Feather Awards Unsung Heroines

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Day 300

We have arrived at day 300 - waiting for the telephone to ring and the voice on the other end telling us that we are parents.
It seems like such a long time, but looking back it has really gone past in the blink of an eye. Yes, there were days that were endless and I were impatiently counting the minutes that passed, but most days were ok. At least we got this far, which means that we are 300 days nearer to receiving our precious gift.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Help spoil the Kanga moms

Here is a great idea by Adopted Heart on how to give back to the special woman who act as Kanga moms for our babies:

Click here to Play

Saturday, 17 November 2012

International Adoption Program in South Africa

Spence-Chapin have successfully opened an adoption program in South Africa, open to single parents and couples. Lets hope that many children will now find permanency with families through this program.

Have a look at the full article here: http://adoptionnews.spence-chapin.org/news_and_events/south-africa-adoption/ 

Monday, 5 November 2012

And then reality kicks me in the teeth..

I now think of Cape Town in the same way that they portray Bangkok in the Hangover2: "Bangkok has him now, and she'll never let him go". It seems like once Cape Town has you, there is also no escape..

What on earth made me think that living our dream will be so easy? Like we will just pack up our belongings, bundle our cat and dog into the car and drive into the sunset (or at least on the highway, OUT of the City!). Who the hell were we kidding? At least it was fun while it lasted, that euphoric feeling that I had from Wednesday evening right through to Friday afternoon when our dream came crushing down. Yes, you've guess it, after great consideration and discussions with several parties, my boss said no. No can do.

At this precise moment, I am not sure what we are going to do and how we will go about making the best out of this situation. But really, bring on the challenge! Being disappointed and let down several times in my life made me tough. If I bare my soul to you and you make light of my situation, you hurt me. I might cry a little and sulk a wee bit, but eventually I will just be p*ssed off and the stubbornness that hides within me will surface and I will get to where I want to go.

Oh, and while I'm venting. I'm really angry at that little Lilipie widget in the corner. Today it stands on 9 months and 2 days that we've been waiting and the little baby seems to be falling into the nest already! Like really? Don't they know it sometimes takes longer than 9 months - were not pregnant - we're adopting! And what makes me much more angry is the fact that I'm scared to death that we'll get "The Call". I've been wishing and waiting for the last 9 months to get "The Call" and now I'm like pleading: "Please not now, just give us a month or 2 until we are settled or at least until we have a plan!". It makes me feel ungrateful and scared that if I ask that out loud, that our baby might never come...

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Courage to make Changes

A lot of stuff happened in the last 3-4 weeks. Not small stuff and not good stuff. We were propelled out of our comfy little zone and left scrambling for steady ground.
I do not want to bore you with the details, but in short: Riaan was forced to close his business after his main supplier (one which he serviced for 4 years) send him a fax on a Saturday afternoon to inform him that they will no longer be needing his services. They gave him 5 days notice...

We bought a little house in the country about 2 years ago which we are renovating and use over weekends to get away from the City. It is about 1 and a half hours drive out of Cape Town. We are currently living in my MIL house, but she put in on the market to be sold. All of this now left us with no income for Riaan and no house should this one get sold, and by effect no way to pay full rent for a house in Cape Town and pay off a bond on our home in the country.

We have been toying with the idea to open a little health shop in the country and have been plotting with the locals, but it all seemed but a dream. It seemed too big a dream because how on earth can we move out of the City, leave our decent salaries behind and afford to open a shop that will not be able to support us until we've established a decent market. I believe that if you put enough energy and thought into something you create an awareness about it and your life path takes you in that direction, because that is what your heart desires. So after about a year and a half of dreaming about this idea I think that the universe gave us a huge boot under our bums and said: "ENOUGH!! Get going and open your little shop and be happy in the beautiful, serene country already!!"

So yesterday I gathered up ALL of my courage. I am actually extremely shy and introverted, so for me to ask for any aid or assistance takes a lot out of me. I will rather struggle on my own. But I took some very long and deep breaths and told my boss that I would like to speak to her in private. Then I gave her an overview on our situation and asked her whether she will consider that I work from our home in the country. I manage the rental accounts and payments for an estate agency and 99% of my work is done online, so this is the perfect job to be able to do remotely.

We had a very positive discussion and she seams to be ok with the idea - rather than to have to replace me and trust a stranger with the responsibility. So over the next few days we will try to smooth out all the possible pitfalls and the finer details. But it seems like we will be able to start 2013 by opening a brand new chapter in our lives.

We will get to live in the country (which has always been our hearts' desire). I will get to keep my job (which I absolutely love) and Riaan will get to live his dream by having a little health shop. And of coarse, once our little bambino arrives we will be able to raise our family  - not in the craziness of a big City - but out in the country in a beautiful little town where the neighbours still know your name, your yard is 1000sqm of open space and it is safe to walk in the streets.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

25 October 2008

Today, 4 years ago I married the man of my dreams. We met in 2002 and started going out in 2003. We lived in sin for a couple of years and eventually got hitched in 2008. And now, here we are, 4 years later and still going strong.

Happy Anniversary Honey! We have been through a LOT of bad stuff, but we also had a LOT of good times. May the future be kind to us and may our dreams and wishes come true. xxxx


Friday, 5 October 2012

Adoption Articles

There is some interesting and informative articles about adoption on the following website: http://www.yourparenting.co.za/fertility/adoption

I don't know whether it is just my Google skills that improved, but I love how it seems that since we started our journey, there is a LOT more information available about adoption, the process and people's experiences.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

"If we didn’t have birthdays,
you wouldn’t be you.
If you’d never been born,
well then what would you do?
If you’d never been born,
well then what would you be?
You might be a fish!
Or a toad in a tree!
You might be a doorknob!
Or three baked potatoes!
You might be a bag full of
hard green tomatoes."
"Or worse than all that…Why,
you might be a WASN’T!
A Wasn’t has no fun at all.
No, he doesn’t.
A Wasn’t just isn’t.
He just isn’t present.
But you…You ARE YOU!
And, now isn’t that pleasant!"
"Today you are you!
That is truer than true!
There is no one alive...
Happy Birthday To You!
...who is you-er than you!
Shout loud, “I am lucky
to be what I am!
Thank goodness I’m not
just a clam or a ham
Or a dusty old jar of
sour gooseberry jam!
I am what I am! That’s a
great thing to be!
If I say so myself,

- Dr. Seuss™

Monday, 1 October 2012

The Panel Meeting - Our joy and hurt

We haven't told a lot of people the "full" story of our panel meeting. Accordingly we met with our Agency, went though all our paperwork, drank a cup of coffee, handed in our profile and were officially placed on the waiting list.

This did indeed all happen, but something extraordinary happened as well. Something that filled us with so much joy and hope. We met with our SW and the SW who works with the BMs. They were very nice and friendly as always, but the atmosphere was a bit strange and they looked at us in a funny way. I get a bit emotional whenever we meet with our SW, so I thought that it was just me.

However, after we got the admin out of the way they said that there was something that they needed to discuss with us. It was way out of their protocol to do this, but because of the circumstances they needed to clear up certain conditions before they can proceed.

They then told us that a little boy was born the previous day. The BM chose a family for him, but it turned out that this specific family were also chosen by another BM and that they were going ahead with that adoption. This baby now needed some new parents, but the BM did not want to choose from the profiles that she already saw as she would then feel that she's settling for "second best". We only handed our profile in on the day of our panel meeting, so it was the only new profile and we also met the specifications that the BM had for the adoptive family. I nearly fell of my chair. Riaan and I looked at each other in disbelief. We were NOT expecting this. We were groomed and prepared to be waiting for months (if not years) before a baby would become available.

According to the Agency's protocol, the adoptive parents are not made aware of any babies until such time that the consent period has expired, for the simple reason to prevent pain and trauma should the BM change her mind and retract consent. They did however need to tell us about this little boy, as his case involved some unforeseen hospital costs that needed to be covered by the adoptive parents. They had to make sure that we were comfortable with this and that we would be able to cover it. We were in the clouds, nodding our heads like crazy people. Of course we were OK with this (in the back of my head I was thinking that we might have to sell all our furniture or each get an extra job, but what the heck!!)

It was very difficult to wrap my head around the fact that we can be so lucky. Could we really have a total number of 0 waiting days on our journey? Do miracles happen, and was one happening to us? We left the Agency walking on clouds with crazy-people grins on our faces. It was Friday and they would let us know by Monday whether we were chosen - although according to them the chances were very, very slim that we won't be.

We decided to not get too excited and not tell the whole world, but how do you keep something like this to yourself??? So I called my mom, and we called Riaan's mom and shared the news. We might be parents come Monday!

It was a very looooong weekend. And it was extremely hard for me not to tell everybody at work on Monday morning. Seeing as the office talk revolved around all things pregnant at that stage, it was hard for me not to blab. But luckily I did not.. We did not hear from the Agency on Monday so on Tuesday I called them. Our SW said that she had some bad news. Over the weekend the father of the baby surfaced. He denied fatherhood during the pregnancy, but after a friend of the BM told him about the adoption he suddenly wanted a paternity test. The adoption was of the table.

My heart sank. I did not cry, although I wanted to a little, but I think that I weren't overly convinced that we can indeed be so lucky. We are so use to struggle to get the things we want, so why would a baby just "fall into our laps". And so the waiting started. On Wednesday we will reach the eight month mark. It is hard, but we are patient. I do not mourn the boy that never was, because that it just it, he never was meant to be ours. I do believe in fate and I do believe that there are an immense amount of events that have to fall into place in exactly the right order on exactly the right time for us to take our bambino home.

I however had to share this - and sorry for the long post - but this will always be a part of our journey and I do want to remember it the way that it really happened because this is the most important journey that we are on.

Friday, 28 September 2012


by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, "Wait." 

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word. 

"My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign. 

"You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply." 

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting for what?" 

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

"I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

"You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

"You'd never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

"The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I'm doing in you.

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait."
© 1980 Russell Kelfer. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Kangaroo Mums

The following article gives some insight into the lives of the woman who take care of the babies for the two month period while they are placed in "kangaroo care".
I found it fascinating to read about their side of the process, as it is not something I think about often, but the reality is that our baby will be in the care of one of these ladies as well before we get to take him/her home.  


by Erica Neser on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 5:35pm


Since becoming a “Kanga mum” (Temporary Safe Care Parent) I have been asked so many questions about the baby, his mum, his future and the process of adoption. So I decided to write the questions down and try to provide a short answer to each so that people can understand how it all works.

“Why can't he go to his adoptive parents yet?”

The baby's birth mother has two months to change her mind and take her baby back. The law has recently been changed to protect adoptive parents from the trauma of having a baby  for several  weeks or even a full two months and then having the baby taken away from then again.

Sometimes the biological father, who also needs to sign consent for the adoption, cannot be contacted. Certain steps have to be taken to ensure that every effort has been made to get hold of him. This delays the process. International adoptions can take 6-8 months.

Once the baby is officially “adoptable”, the adoptive parents are notified that there is a baby ready for them. The birth mother can not take the baby back after this.

“Why did our friends get their adopted baby at birth?”

Some private adoptions still work this way, but the birth mum, her family and the father's family still have two months to take the baby back. It is considered a high risk adoption.

“What if you want to keep him?”

Kanga mums do not keep the babies. They are, per definition, temporary caregivers, looking after the baby until he is adopted.

“Can we/our friends adopt him?”

No, the baby has in most cases already been assigned to a family who applied for adoption through the social workers. The adoptive parents do not know that they have been chosen until the waiting period is over, in order to avoid disappointment if it falls through.

“Who is his mother? Did you meet her?”

The birth mother’s name and other details are confidential to protect her privacy. Kanga mums sometimes do meet the birth mother if she requests to see the baby while in Kanga care. This is done under social worker supervision.

“How can anyone throw away a perfect baby like this?”

This baby is not thrown away - his mum loves and cares about him so much that she wants to give him a better life than she can. It is  an act of love and self-sacrifice. Biological mothers often want to keep their babies, but due to circumstances, they simply can't. Kanga mums do not always know exactly why the baby has to be adopted, and may not be at liberty to reveal the reasons even if she knows.

“It’s wrong! His biological mum will regret this for the rest of her life!”

No-one can judge whether it is right or wrong to give a baby up for adoption. It is not a decision made lightly or impulsively. Sometimes it is the best thing to do, in order to give the baby a better life. Every effort is made to ensure that the mother is counselled and the adoption is done in a way that gives her peace.

“Won't you get attached? How will you ever give him away again?”

Kanga mums are encouraged to love and bond with these babies, so that the baby can experience being loved and how it feels to be attached. The alternative is for babies to be placed in homes. Being cared for by a loving family is better for the baby.

Kanga mums know right from the start that it is a temporary situation, and that they are basically babysitting someone else's baby for them. Focusing on how good it is for the baby to be loved this way as well as the new parents' joy at receiving this gift helps. Kanga mums do cry and mourn when the babies are adopted, but we are happy for the baby to go to his forever family.

“Will you keep in touch with him?”

Probably not. Kanga mums have to love and let go, knowing that the baby is with a good family.

“Won't it be very hard for him to adjust to his new parents?”

These babies adjust well - the better bonded they are, the more easily they bond with their new parents. Bonding in humans is a process that can start at any age, and can be instantaneous or it could take time. Whether the child is 2 months or 2 years when adopted, bonding will happen!

“Will you meet them?”

Yes, the Kanga mum spends some time with the new parents on the day the baby is adopted, to tell them all about the baby, his likes and dislikes, habits and routine. The Kanga mum has a chance to say goodbye.

“What if his mum wants him back?”

If his mum wants him back within the two month period, she notifies the social worker, and they have to go to the court to officially withdraw consent for adoption. The social workers make sure the family can indeed take care of the baby and that he will be safe. The Kanga mum is then required to bring the baby to a designated place, or he is fetched from her home by the mother and social worker.

“What is his name?”

Birth mums often give their babies a special name. If not, the Kanga parents give babies temporary names. Sometimes using the baby's given name will compromise confidentiality, in which case Kanga mums may use a different name. When the baby is adopted, he gets a brand new name, chosen by his new parents.

“Where was he born?”

The identity and privacy birth mother and baby need to be protected, so Kanga mums are not at liberty to reveal the place of birth.

“Can I babysit for you?”

If you have a police clearance, yes! This is what the law requires in order to ensure the baby’s safety.

“Do you have to pay for everything?”

The government contributes a small daily amount, which just about covers his milk. If there are medical problems, the baby goes to a government hospital. Kanga mums are responsible for nappies, clothes, car seats etc. We often take our babies to our own doctor and carry the costs, to avoid the long queues at government hospitals. We also buy over-the-counter medicines when necessary.

“How can I help?”

Kanga mums may not accept cash for the babies, but you can donate your old baby stuff to the Kanga 'depot,' especially newborn and 0-3 months. Disposable nappies, bottles and infant formula are always welcome! 

“I would love to become a Kanga mum. Who do I contact? How do I get involved?”

Prospective Kanga mums work through social workers. We can put you in touch with the relevant people. New “recruits” attend a training session to familiarize them with the process. They are required to obtain a police clearance, and undergo screening by a social worker.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

A little bit of wishful thinking..

Today is an awesome day in Cape Town. The sky is blue and clear and there is but a hint of a breeze blowing. After a very wet and cold winter this is most welcome. It is on days like these that I smile and allow myself to be hopeful for the future.

Being such a great day, I will grant myself a wish. So, here goes:

"I wish that our baby finds his/her way to us real soon."

There, I said it. Now universe, do your job and make it come true :-)

PS. October is a special month for me full of special days and I think it will be great if we receive a certain "Phone Call" then as well..

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

You're gonna be an awesome dad

Whenever you ask a girl what she looks for in a husband there is ultimately two things that always comes up:

(1) He must love children


(2) He must love animals.

I met Riaan 10 years ago and fell in love with him instantly. There are a lot of things that I love about him, but as time passes I often forget about the good and as we go through hectic times and pressure I tend to focus and get caught up in the negative. The 2 years that we tried actively to have a baby of our own also did not help things along. We lost each other and our spark a little bit. Enough so that sometimes I would sit and wonder what happened to that fuzzy feeling in the pit of my stomach that I use to get whenever I laid eyes on him.

So, last night we quickly went to the shop to buy a couple of things. There were some bergies sitting on the pavement - a lady and 2 small children. The 2 little ones were sitting quiet as mice, drinking their juice. Living and working in the City we do unfortunately get bombarded by homeless people needing money or food, so we have almost hardened our hearts against these people because we just cannot help everybody and you cannot "feel" for all of them because that will leave you drained and your heart broken.
So we walked past these lil ones into the shop (the lady did not ask for anything). When we returned to the car, Ri opened the door for me (he still does that after 10 years) and then disappeared into the shop again. A few minutes later he came out with a dozen of soft buns and a packet of chips and gave then to the bergie. She smiled her toothless smile and the 2 lil ones waved at us as we left. My heart felt warm and fuzzy for this man of mine.

Then this morning my cell phone rang - it was Ri. He does not often call me at work unless it is something important or involves some plans for the day. I answered and he said "Can you please phone the SPCA?". My heart skipped a beat - we adopted our dog from the SPCA a couple of years ago and my first thought was that something happened. Luckily not! Turns out there were 3 big dogs trapped on the middle-island on the highway and it was peak traffic - so very dangerous for both the dogs and people speeding of to work.

I called the SPCA and reported it. This was the first time that I ever needed to do this and must commend them on their great service. The lady took all the details and assured me that she will immediately contact all the relevant officials. About an hour later she called me back to report that they did indeed manage to get all 3 of the dogs to safety. My heart is overjoyed. My fuzzy restored.

I am glad to have a man that still cares and takes time to look out for those less fortunate. I'm excited to think that I will be raising a child with him. Someday One of these days he will be a great dad.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Some drug induced poetry

I love sleeping. I love to cuddle up under the blankets, roll myself into a heap and snore away! But after sleeping for 16 hours straight to try and shake off a horrible spring flu I am done! I could not sleep for 1 minute more! So instead I dragged myself halfway out of bed and got creative - all while under the influence of a number of flu medications...

On the Wings of an Eagle

An angel spoke to me last night,
I heard him whisper through the trees. 
Upon the wings of eagle’s flight, 
His message came to me 

He said: “There is a child for you,
being Created as I speak. 
With eyes of emerald green (or brown or blue), 
and a dimple on the cheek.” 

He said that it might take some time,
to Create this lovely child. 
I asked him when this child will be mine, 
(I presumed) he shook his head and smiled. 

He said: “Be patient and let nature run its course.
On a special day when the eagle soar, 
this child will be yours. 
To keep within your arms and heart, 


Thursday, 13 September 2012

Different Paths, Same Destination

Stork brings a new baby. Free babies clip art from www.GaliGifts.com collection
I love the following post from an adoptive mother setting out some differences between being pregnant and adopting a child - although I saw the similarities in the journeys as well. Amazing how much preparation, thought, worries and excitement goes into receiving a little bundle of joy, whichever way.

"The Great Divide Posted on 
  • You’re pregnant…I’m paper pregnant (aka: have a completed home study)
  • You’re reading pregnancy books and parenting books…I’m reading adoption blogs and birth mother profiles
  • You’re decorating a nursery…I’m decorating an adoption scrapbook for birth mothers to review
  • You’re scared of stretch marks and how you are going to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight…I’m scared of the potential health consequences of not ever being pregnant (increased cancer risk, etc.)
  • You’re worried if breastfeeding will hurt…I’m worried how baby and wallet friendly bottle feeding will be
  • You’re researching baby products to find out their safety ratings…I’m researching the effects of drugs and alcohol in case I’m presented with a case where one or both were used during the pregnancy
  • You’re wondering who the baby will look more like…I’m wondering how the world around me will react if my baby is of another race than me
  • You’re stressed about your portion of the hospital bill for the birth…I’m stressed about the mountains and mountains of legal fees I’m going to have to pay
  • You’re counting down the days until your due date…I’m counting the days that have passed since I completed my home study with no adoption placement in sight
  • You’re enjoying baby showers and the attention that comes with being pregnant…I’m *trying* to enjoy the quietness that stills exists in my life for now (and will continue for an undisclosed period of time)
  • You’re not sleeping thanks to the baby’s moments…I’m not sleeping thanks to not having a baby and wondering when it will happen
  • You’re nesting…I’m dying to nest
  • You’re excited and nervous for what the future will hold for your baby…I’m excited and nervous for what the future will hold for my baby
  • You’re becoming a mom through biology…I’m becoming a mom through love"

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Trinity Heart - My saving grace

A while ago I was going through a really tough time. When we were still busy with the paperwork people would ask us how it was going with the process, there was a lot to talk and be excited about. Everything was new for us and it all felt so real. In November last year my colleague (and friend) found out that she was pregnant with their second child. She has been a great support to me during our journey, but suddenly we did not talk about it at all.
She was obviously very excited as she really wanted another baby, but for the 7 months that she was at the office before going on maternity leave that was all that she could talk about. We re-visited her whole pregnancy with her first child and I was told all the details about the current pregnancy - and when the baby started kicking I had to look at her tummy numerous times in one day...
I am a very tolerant person and would seldom say things to people that hurt them, so I sucked it up and by the time I got home I would be devastated. Poor Riaan had to pick up the pieces and comfort me at the end of each day, just to send me off to despair the following day.

I have a great boss and we talk openly about our adopting a baby. She is fully supportive of the idea. However, we are a small company (4 people in total) and with my colleague being pregnant my boss got a bit nervous that we might get "The Call" at the same time and then she would sit with a very real problem. She took me aside and discussed her fear with me. At the time I was in such a bad space that I took it up as she almost wanted me to make other arrangements should I get my baby. Because mine would be less "important". (Later she did say that I do not have to worry, if it happens we would just deal with it - I do love my boss).

Also during this time a mini baby-boom happened within our friendship circle, all this as we were completing our paperwork and having our final panel meeting. And then it was all over for us. All that we had left was the wait. People stopped asking questions, because there was nothing left to tell them. Only that we are waiting..

My boss's daughter also got pregnant with their first child and so the whole office talk would revolve around all things pregnant. It drove me nuts! On one side I was really happy and excited for all of them but on the other side I felt miserable and jealous and just so insignificant and fake.

When my colleague finally went on maternity leave it got a bit better, although by that time I was emotionally drained. I had lunch with a couple of friends (which included a very pregnant one), blew off a bit of steam. This friend's stork party was a few weeks later and when writing the thank you note she said sorry that I had to go through all of that - she know that it must have been hard.. I felt terrible! I felt like a bad, bad person.

And then my saving grace. I cannot remember how I got to it, for when Googling "Adoption in South Africa" you are left with little useful information and support. But as if heaven-send I found Trinity Heart. At last I got to read about and connect to people on the same journey as me, people waiting for "The Call", articles about things that are really important to me at the moment. I was super thrilled! For the first time in a long time I felt validated and real. All of those bad feelings and dark clouds in my mind disappeared. I got inspired and excited about this very special journey that we are on. Even started my own blog :-)

Thank you Sharon for your inspiration, that you have such a passion for adoption and that you made my journey easier by sharing yours.

PS. To all my friends out there who had babies, are having babies and are making babies - I love you all and I wish your homes to be filled with little baby giggles and lots of happiness.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Our Adoption Profile - (and my secret fashion faux pas)

The most enjoyable part of our journey so far was definitely creating our profile. For those of you who do not know - when adopting you have to compile a personal profile of your life and family. This is then given to expecting parents who are considering an adoption plan for their child.
When a baby becomes available for adoption the birthparents specifies their preferences for the forever family that they wishes the baby to go to. Profiles that match these specifications are then presented to the birthparents and they then choose the one that they like most. It is therefor extreamly important and much sweat, tears and effort goes into these profiles as it should be a heartfelt, photo filled, eye catching and creative document.

There are several ways how you can create your profile, the most popular would be creating either a scrapbook or a photobook. I've never scapbooked before so thought that it would be a great challenge and a chance to learn something new. I got a beautiful white leather scrapbook from my SIL, bought some extra pages and accessories and rose to the challenge!

We got the following guidelines from "The Agency" on how to create the profile:

  • Obtain a fine looking photo-album, scrapbook or something similar that fits your personality.
  • Plan your profile thoroughly before you start writing, pasting and decorating. 
  • Must have a minimum of 10 pages.
  • You can use names, but no surnames, addresses or contact numbers.
  • Use as many photos as possible to tell the story of your life. Use descriptive text next to the photos. Keep in mind however to maintain a balance between the photos and writing within your profile.
  • Elaborate about your hobbies, talents, work, religion and reason for adoption.

When planning our profile I decided to divide it into the following categories and work accordingly:

  • Cover page - This included a nice photograph of ourselves and a relevant quote (I will reveal the secret of our cover photo to you a bit later in the post)
  • A letter to our birthmother
  • About us - Our story
  • Meet Riaan
  • Meet Juanita
  • Our lifestyle and occupations
  • Our house and surrounds
  • Our family and friends
  • Our pets
  • Our views on parenting
  • Conclusion - Our promise 

The most time consuming part was deciding which photographs to use. Having spent almost 10 years of our lives together we captured a lot of memories and it was really hard to choose only a couple. For our cover photo I had a few of the nicest ones set aside and eventually chose a photo that was taken at a friend's wedding. Me and Riaan both had nice new clothes, looked happy - all bushy tailed and bright eyed! However, as I inspected the photo a thunderbolt of realisation hit me right between the eyes. I had my top on the wrong way round!!!!! My cheeks caught fire and I was soooo embarrassed. I spend half an afternoon and a whole evening prancing around in my brand new clothes between a hundred other guests, feeling oh so smug with myself - all of this while wearing my top "agterstevoor om"! How many of the guests actually noticed it, I do not know, but not a sole took a minute to shove me into the ladies room and helped me into my top the right way round. Why I did not realise all by myself that the front is actually the back until a couple of months later I can also not explain. I really really believed at the time that I had it on right and Riaan even assured me that I do look rather lovely... 

So after picking my shameful self up off the floor I turned to photo editor and helped myself into my top the right way round. And I got to use the cover photo that I chose without the worry that the birthparents would laugh themselves to tatters on my behalf. 

Our Profile Cover Photo

 The Original Photo

And at the end of it all I created a beautiful profile of our lives. Me and Riaan got to revisit some great memories and we got to take stock of our lives. My wish is that our profile will end up in the right hands on the right time and that it will make our dream of becoming a family of 3 come true.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

"We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life.
But those who make their journey home across time & miles,
growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,
are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us
by God's very own hands." 
--- Kristi Larson

Thursday, 23 August 2012

The Art of Patience

I stumbled across this lovely quote and after reading it I could feel my soul being freed a little bit. Just what I needed.
After contemplating I kicked myself in the butt - twice - and then I reprimanded the impatient me. We live in an ever increasing impatient world, sprinting through our hurried little lives. We race to work and back, cursing at the traffic, we rush through conversations and hastily plow through our meals. We are so very busy, but in our busyness we make mistakes and poor decisions. We forget to take time out, to breath and to think. We miss out on the beauty that surrounds us and while waiting we get frustrated and lose hope.

So today I'm making a pact that I will become more patient. I am a nature lover and a country girl, so I will remember the lessons that nature teaches us. Instead of getting frustrated I will become excited and hopeful, and when we receive our little bundle of joy it will be the most precious thing that I've ever had, and more so because of the wait. I will remember that life unfolds at its own pace and that by being impatient things will not happen any faster. 
"The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it open." – Arnold Glasgow

Some tips on how to cope and be patient while waiting for "The Call":

  • Spend time with supportive friends and family.
  • Develop friendships with other adoptive families.
  • Keep a journal or a blog. After adoption it is nice to re-read your experiences. You can share those experiences with your child.
  • Avoid, if possible, people who ask questions you don't feel like answering. Learn and acknowledge your personal limits. Don't permit yourself to be offended by thoughtless questions.
  • Grieve, be excited, acknowledge fear, and look forward with hope. You are embarking on the most glorious of experiences.
  • Be prepared with necessary baby items, but don't have a beautiful empty nursery just waiting for a baby. To walk by an empty crib/nursery day after day just causes added pain. Have the basics you'll need, but store them until you need them.
  • Set the parenting, child-care and infertility books aside occasionally. Indulge in a good novel.
  • Take an class / course. Pursue one of your interests individually or as a couple.
  • Keep abreast of life. Don't put it on "hold" just because you are "waiting."
  • Be careful of your diet. Now is no time to indulge in unhealthy eating because you're "waiting" and deserve an extra treat.
  • Use your time to prepare to be the best parent you can.
  • Enjoy the present. Take walks, hikes and trips together. Relish the company of your spouse.
  • Have faith, pray often and never give up.
  • Work hard, play hard and go to bed tired.

How do you practice patience?