Our Adoption Journey

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

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.