Our Adoption Journey

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

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Xmas 2013

I want to wish everybody a Blessed and Loved Christmas. Have a good one!

And even though we have not received out special gift yet, we have a lot to be thankful for. May we always remember this and appreciate the people that we do have in our lives. 

Monday, 9 December 2013

The Darkness Within

I have been going through a thing lately. I started hating my period. The honest truth is I never really liked getting it - and I'm not even going to elaborate on all the negative physical accepts like bloating, cramps, pimples etc. or the emotional mood-swings and energy-dips, but I never hated it. Lately though, I actually feel like ripping my ovaries out of my body whenever it gets to "that time of the month". I would sit with my face in my hands, crying, no no no no no, wishing it would just go AWAY. Possibly a big part of me is still holding on to a tiny flicker of hope that I might actually get pregnant. For those who do not know our story, after 2 years of actively trying (and seven years being together), we made adoption our first option in the next step to build our family. So we do not have a prognosis as to why we are not creating a baby by ourselves. We just aren't. So even as we are not betting on getting pregnant, I still get bitterly disappointed when I'm not. Worse is, I am increasingly loathing my body for being unable to do a simple thing like have a baby. And for good measure I get mad at hubby as well, because who knows, maybe it is all his fault.
Maybe I'm just tired. This has been a long year, and I'm tired of waiting and tired of hurting. I'm tired of smiling at friends who announce pregnancies and birthday parties as their children is turning 1,6,12 years old.. I went through a bit of a desperate phase last month where I contacted a lot of orphanages and adoption agencies, actively searching for our child, tired of sitting idling by, waiting for a phone call. Sad to say I came up with nothing, only empty hands and an empty heart.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013


Please take the time to sign the petition for Helen Zille to Investigate the acting head of Child Welfare of the Western Cape, Ms. Trix Marais here.
With people like her on the steer of things, adoption in South Africa would never become easier.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Blanket and Booties

I received a package from my mother this week. That is soooo one of my favourite things, receiving a parcel in the post, wrapped up and filled with goodies from a loved one. Years ago my grandma crochet baby blankets for all her granddaughters. Me, being the youngest of all the grandchildren, had to wait until last to get my blanket - I was about 20 at the time and did not really see the need for having a baby blanket, but thought I would keep it for someday... But as life would have it, just after she finished my blanket, one of my cousins fell pregnant and my blanket went to her. Unfortunately my grandma did not get around to making me a new blanket and passed away, leaving me blanket-less.

Luckily my mother inherited the skill of crochet (although this is where that skill ended in our bloodline, I tried, but to no avail, dumb fingers!). So I lovingly bullied her into making me a blanket, as I cannot imagine bringing our baby home not wrapped up warm in a special home-made blanket.

I was therefor very excited about the parcel and after struggling for about 20 minutes to open it up - not only is my mother very crafty, but she sure knows how to wrap something - digging through all off the seeds they send my hubby for his garden, I finally had the blanket in my hands. It was still in a plastic bag and as I pulled it out, thrilled and eager to see how it turned out, little pieces of colour flew all over the room. At first I though I broke it in pieces, but upon nearer inspection, I saw that it was baby booties - 7 pairs in all the colours of the rainbow. My mom said she had some yarn to work away...

Needless to say, I am happy that our child will be brought home in his/her own very special multi-coloured blanket, made with lost of love from grandma and thoughts about great-grandma. My mother and I agree that my grandma is surely having a nice giggle about the fact that she left my mother with the duty to make me a blanket.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

And time slips by..

Summer is finally (almost) here and our garden is bursting its seams. We looked at photos from a year ago and it is amazing the transformation that has happened from when we first started. We did put in a lot of effort though, and it seems to be paying off. And love. It is such a great blessing to be able to grow food and flowers and plant trees in our little piece of earth. And watch them grow.
It makes me wonder how it feels like to watch your child grow up in front of your eyes. And makes me realize that when our child comes home I will treasure each and every day, because time slips by and it is only when you look back that you see how much you've missed.  

Our summer garden in full bloom.

Friday, 25 October 2013

5 Years..

Today, we celebrate the 
joining of our hearts
We were meant for each other 
right from the start
We were destined to be together
and never to part
You are my friend, my lover
and the keeper of my heart

Happy 5 year anniversary Love!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Practicing Patience

In church yesterday we celebrated the Harvest Festival. Seeing that farmers are a big part of our community and keep the town running, we are all very happy when it is a good year and the harvest begins.

I also got a personal message about practicing patience out of the scripture, James 5:

James 5:8 - You also, be patient.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

On turning 35..

Just after 7:00 this morning I turned 35 years old.

34 are never to be seen again. Sad much? No, not really. A little sad that yet another year has passed and that time seems to be flying faster as I get older. But now, being here on the tipping point between the 30's and 40's I feel good.. balanced.

During my childhood and teenage years I've grown from being a silent, shy child into a silent, moody teenager. My early twenties were all about fun and discovering the world, falling in love and trying on adulthood. Late twenties were mostly about survival. Learning how hard the world can be, but also turning into a stronger person because of it. During my early 30's my life took shape. I got married, got a job that I love, bought a house and started a family (as you know the family thing is not done yet, but it is indeed started). My outlook on life and about people changed. I grew into myself and am now comfortable with the person I am. I can keep up a good conversation, but I can also remain silent for days – the difference is that I do not make excuses for it any more. It is who I am and who I choose to be. I still have a lot of girl left in me – I prefer to walk barefoot in the summer and have my hair up in a ponytail – but I've also matured into a woman with my own opinions and preferences.

So here is to being 35! To living a year filled with love and loving. To make new friends and reconnect with old ones. To be mindful, happy and optimistic. To take care of myself and those I love. To reach out more and make small changes. To be still, free and peaceful.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Trinity Heart and Adoption on Doctors Orders

"The adoption journey can be a very daunting process. This extract from Doctor's Orders aim to share some of the experiences of parents who have chosen to adopt and also speak to people and organizations that are facilitating the adoption process and providing support for parents."

Watch the video it here.

Monday, 2 September 2013

A Compactum for our Shadow Child

While we are waiting we have acquired a couple of baby goods but nothing serious. I think the one thing that will drive me completely over the edge is having a nicely done up nursery with no baby. I am a professional procrastinator, so think that those last 2 weeks will be more than enough time to prepare for the delivery of our little one.
This said, in the back of my head I'm always preparing for when we have a baby. Certain things gets bought (or not), holidays taken (or not) and planning done (or not), always with our little shadow child in mind.

So this weekend there was an auction in our neighboring town and we were on a mission to go and buy a freezer. Living in the country we now have the opportunity to buy produce in bulk and our garden is coming along nicely, so the freezer is needed to store all of these - and of coarse it would be very helpful when we prepare baby food to freeze...

I love auctions and I also like buying second hand stuff. Of course I like new things, but the problem is when I buy something new I end up feeling very sorry for it and then do not really USE it. Just this afternoon I was looking at my phone. It is protected buy a big pouch which makes it a bit inconvenient as I have to open it up the whole time and it also still have the plastic protective film on the glass. It still looks very nice, but I was thinking, for what? It's almost time to upgrade and then I'll hand the phone down or sell it or something. So the next person will have a nice (new) phone, whereas I did not really USE it... So I like buying used stuff that I do not feel sorry for and get to fully enjoy and use.

Back at the auction we were going though the motions. We looked around and we set our targets on the freezers. While browsing my eye caught the compactum but I decided to stay with the program and focus on the freezers. In the back of my head I was thinking that I would surely like to have a compactum, always have, but did not really see us paying a LOT of money for a new one and not really less for a used one.
So then the auctioneer got to the compactum and did his thing. Nobody lifted their hands. The auctioneer then cut the price and remarked that you do not really need a baby in order to buy it.. Riaan caught my eyes, which by that time were welling up like our Cape dams at the moment, ready to spill. In return he had big question-marks in his eyes and I nodded my head. His hand flew up and he bought our baby his/her very own compactum for a whole R100-00!! It is very sturdy, made from real wood and with a fresh coat of paint and some decoration it is going to look beautiful!

Needles to say, we went home with a bakkie-load full of things (including a freezer). The compactum is now standing smack-bam in the middle of our living room. I still have to re-arrange the spare-room to fit it in. But I'm happy. Don't know if I'm more happy for having it, or that me and my hubby both had the need to make our first real purchase for this little child of ours.

Friday, 30 August 2013


Just had to share the following post. Not completely true to my situation, but the feelings are definitely the same. Got especially teary when reading the following:

We’re moms without children. It’s an ache that doesn't go away. It starts before we see their faces and only ends when they’re in our arms. So we walk about with half our heart missing. It’s hard to breathe, to think, to speak. Something always feels missing. Because they are.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


Have a look at the new Procare Adoptions blog - A blog about adoption experiences. 

It features some lovely letters from adoptive parents, even from our own celebrities, Nico & Christi Panagio who have also adopted through Procare.

It is great to read all the heartwarming stories and to have the confirmation that by dealing with Procare we are dealing with professionals.

Hope they'll give us "A CALL" soon :-) 

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Hats off to you!

Sharon and her family (The Blessed Barrenness) as well as Manie and Morne & Loic (Two and a Half - and still growing - Men) appeared on Talk SA recently. You can watch the episode here

They are also appearing in the Sep/Oct issue of Your Baby magazine. You can read the very informative article here

Terry Lailvaux (Adoptmom) was interviewed on Doctor's Orders, talking about her adoption story - hope to have a link to the episode soon!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Why we are not adopting trans-racially

This is a tough subject and one that I have not really touched on openly during this journey of ours. I always felt that this is the most difficult, as well as private decision to be made when choosing to adopt and it is a decision to be made where you are 100% honest with yourself and satisfied with your answer.

Last week The Blessed Barrenness had a post about her (utterly adorable) mixed-race children coming with their unique set of challenges, the empathy that she feels with people wanting to adopt from the same racial group,  but also her frustration on counselling people who longs for a baby but limits their chances by only wanting a baby of the same race.

We had limited our chances.

When we started out more than 3 years ago contacting agencies we had a lot of doors slammed in our faces. We were still very "naive" at that stage and from the word go requested a white baby - therefor the slammed doors. We got a lot of e-mails explaining that there are waiting lists for white babies and no new applications accepted - and that we will not be put on a list for in case the applications open again so that they can inform us. We will have to call back every 6 months or so to find out whether new applications are being accepted.

This was very sobering but we were still keeping at it and had some hope that if we keep on digging somewhere something must give. And it did. A few months later Procare contacted us and said that they are opening their applications for white babies and whether we are still interested to be on the list? And so our journey started.

It was also during this time that we bought our house in the country. This was to be our "someday" but we also knew that this is the place where we would want to raise our child(ren). So while going through the process we were slightly coached by our SW to think about the option of adopting a mixed-race baby. It would be much easier, A LOT faster and with me and Riaan both being dark-skinned and -haired, it could almost be perfect.
While staying in the City and "blending" into the masses where nobody really knows you or your business, except close friends, our decision might have been different. But coming from the platteland ourselves, we knew the implications of living in a small town where people know you, either love or hate you and "skinder" a lot about you. Would we really want to add this burden onto a child's shoulders who will already have a lot to deal with?

For now of coarse we live in the country. Our town consist mostly of white Afrikaners, as well as an English factor slowly seeping in. A lot are farmers, owning land in the region for generations. Mostly friendly and really goodhearted people. But because the town has a history, it is difficult for people to move into the town and become part of the community. There is even a term for these people - "Inkomers" (Incomers). Luckily with Riaan's job and the fact that he is a very social person he has established our part in the community quite fast and we lost the label quickly.

At the other end we have a big coloured community. Also some very good people and a lot of them being here for generations. But on the other tip of the scale we host a fairly new government low-cost housing development, which has seen a lot of people moving into the area. Unfortunately resulting from this there is a lot of unemployment among these people, leading to alcohol and substance abuse and gangs of children roaming the streets, looking for some mischief to entertain themselves with or something to eat.

So the question is, if we brought home a mixed-race baby, where would this child fit in? Would the children of the farmers and townspeople accept our child with open arms (minds)? Would our child associate him/herself with the children of the coloured community and would he/she understand if we will not allow him/her to go play with friends in the township? (And do not get me wrong - we have friends from the coloured community and we visit their church on occasion but I will not send my child into their streets to play.)

In a small community it is very important to feel and be part of that community, otherwise your live can get very, very lonely. By deciding to wait for a baby of the same race, we are maybe putting ourselves in it for a long wait. But by bringing home a mixed-race baby, hoping that the risk will be worth it and that we will be able to provide the child with a good live and a loving environment (outside our home) might not be a good idea.

This is however a subject that Riaan and I sometimes revisit. Will the outcome differ in future, I do not know. It might, but for now the vote is unanimous to not over-complicate an already complicated situation.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Story of the Sad Sadness

So very fitting for my state of mind at the moment. And yes, there is always HOPE to accompany us whenever we are feeling sad.

Once upon a time there was a little woman who walked along the dusty field path. She was quite old yet her steps were light and springy and her smile had the fresh glow of a carefree girl. She stopped at a cowered figure and looked down. She couldn’t recognize much.
The being that sat in the dirt on the path seemed to be almost body-less. She reminded her of a grey flannel blanket with human shape.
The little woman bent a little forward and asked: “Who are you?”
Two almost lifeless tired eyes looked up towards her. “Me? I am the Sadness”, whispered the voice haltingly and softly, almost too soft to hear.
“Oh, the Sadness!” said the woman pleased as if she would greet an old friend.
“You know me?” asked the Sadness mistrusting.
“Of course I know you! You accompanied me every once in a while over and over again on parts of my path.”
“Yes, but…” said the Sadness suspiciously. “Why don’t you run away from me? Aren’t you afraid?”
“Why should I run from you, my dear? You know very well yourself that you catch up with everybody who tries to get away from you. But, what I wanted to ask you: Why do you look so discouraged?”
“I am … sad”, replied the grey figure with broken voice.
The little woman sat down at her side. “So, you are sad”, she said and nodded with understanding. “Tell me what bothers you.”
The Sadness sighed deeply. Was there really someone who would like to listen to her this time? How often did she wish for that to happen?
“You know”, she started hesitantly and very astonished, “it’s just that nobody actually likes me. It is my destiny to visit humans for a while but when I show up they are scared of me. They are afraid of me and try to avoid me like the plague.”
The Sadness swallowed some tears. “They invented phrases that they try to ban me with. They say things like: ‘Nonsense, I can’t be sad. Life is always bright and fun.’ and their fake smiles give them stomach cramps and they have a hard time breathing. They say: ‘Praise is what makes us tough.’ and then they end up with heartache. They say, ‘One just has to put it all together and suck it up!’ and then they feel all kinds of aches and pains in their shoulders and their backs. They say: ‘Only weak people cry!’ and the banked up tears almost make their heads burst. Or they try to numb themselves with alcohol or drugs so that they don’t have to feel me.”
“Oh yes”, confirmed the old woman, “I’ve met people like that before.”
The Sadness turned even sadder… “But all I want is to help humans. When I am very close to them they can face themselves. I help them build a nest to cuddle up in to take care of their wounds. Somebody who is sad has very thin skin. Old sorrows surface again like a bad healed wound and that can hurt a lot. But who is able to face their grief and sorrow and cries? All the uncried tears can truly make their wounds heal. People don’t want me to help them though. Instead they put on a flashy smile on top of their scars. Or they put on a heavy shield of bitterness.”
The Sadness was silent now. Her crying at first was weak, then it became stronger and finally it was very desperate.
The little, old woman hugged her, caressed the shaky bundle and thought to herself how soft and gentle Sadness felt. “Cry, Sadness, let your tears flow”, she whispered full of love. “Rest so that you can gather your strength back. From now on you shall not wander all by yourself. I will join you so that discouragement and despair can’t take over anymore.”
The Sadness quit crying. She looked her new companion straight in the eyes: “But, but who are you?”
“Me?” said the old lady with a smile on her face and then she laughed again like a carefree young girl. “I am HOPE.”

Author Unknown

Monday, 29 July 2013

Tip from Adoption Answer

"Support those who are on their Adoption Journey by sharing with them that you are praying for them... and then really follow through on that. It is much more comforting and supportive to hear these words than those of "Heard anything?", "How long has it been?", "Do you think it is going to happen?", "If only you could have your own", "I feel so bad for you"...
Offering kindness and encouragement, instead of hard to answer questions, to someone who is on the "We are Adopting" roller coaster, you will be that breath of fresh air they need. You do not know how badly they want to be matched, AND to share that they are matched. Believe me, they will share when something exciting is going on in their journey. Until you hear that from them, smile at them, hug them, pray for them and share that you are here for them IF they need you to be."   Facebook or www.adoptionanswer.com

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Feeling sad..

I have not written in a while, because I have been mentally out of commission. Brooding in my cave. Feeling sad. The thing is, I am a little tired of waiting. I was faced with the decision of whether we will be flying up for a little breakaway to go and visit my parents. My High-School is having a reunion weekend and it would have been the perfect opportunity to go there, visit my parents, mom-in-law, other family and friends. Both me and Riaan took some leave and all that remained was booking the flights, and the car and budget for the petrol, food and extra expenses that comes with a holiday. It worked out to an awful amount.
Then there was the question of taking money from our baby-fund to see our families. We are all aware of the expenses that comes with adopting a baby. Riaan and me have a fund where we try and keep enough money to be prepared when that phone call happens and we have to go fetch our baby. I must confess, with setting up my home office and moving to the country that the fund has dwindled a bit.
So, we decided rather not to. My heart is breaking over this sacrifice. We are actually giving up spending time with the people we love, in order to be prepared for a baby that we do not know will show up any time soon. I hate how this is making me feel, all sad and hopeless.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Musical Monday - "Don't Stop Believin"

A bit off topic today - but my heart is very sad. Such a great talent and a young life, gone so soon... RIP Cory.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Children are a gift from God. Eda Le Shan, a U.S. educator, wrote this in her book The Conspiracy Against Childhood:
"Babies are necessary to grown-ups. A new baby is like the beginning of all things—wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities. In a world that is cutting down its trees to build highways, losing its earth to concrete - babies are almost the only remaining link with nature, with the natural world of living things from which we spring."

Friday, 14 June 2013

** Super Sweet Blogging Award **

I have been nominated for the Super Sweet Blogging Award! 
How sweet it is to be awarded by you .... Thank you Rhonda for this sweet award.

So, the award…and the rules:
1) Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.
2) Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back.
3) Answer the “Super Sweet” questions.
4) Nominate a “Baker’s Dozen” (award 13 blogs), link to their blogs in your post, and notify them on their blogs. It’s ok if you don’t have 13 blogs to nominate, just share the love!
5) Copy and paste the award and image on your blog somewhere.
Super Sweet Questions:
1) Cookies or Cake?
Cake it is! Especially if it is Black Forest Chocolate Cake!
2) Chocolate or Vanilla?
To eat - Chocolate. To smell - Vanilla.
3) What is your favourite sweet treat?
Caramel filled chocolate.
4) When do you crave sweet things the most?
Probably in winter. Snuggled up under a blanket with a good book, a glass of wine and some chocolate! 
5) If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be?
Sweetie Pie??
And so, the nominees are…


The last two weeks have passed in the blink of an eye. I did not get time yet to stand still and reflect on where I am. So I'm taking a moment to do that now, to sit a while and be grateful for where I am.

The weather today is very hectic and a bit scary - we had a terrible wind storm with sheets of rain in between. It is really cold and unpleasant outside. Yet, I am warm(ish) - I never warm up during winter... - and safe inside and I did not have to get up at 5:30 in the morning and rush to the office, getting rained on and blown about.
I now get to say good morning to my husband before he leaves for work. He returns for lunch and we eat lunch together. In the 10 years that we've been together we never had the chance to eat lunch together on a normal workday. I like it.
I got a vast amount of work done since there is no distractions.
My fur-babies keep me company and I love having the time with them.
Next week I'll be going to our CT office for 3 days. It will be great to see the people again and catch up a bit.

So yes, I feel very blessed and am grateful for my life at the moment. I'm also grateful that God's time is different than our own. That we haven't received "The Call" while our lives were up-side-down. That we are in a place now where we are happy and relaxed and ready to love a little child.

Friday, 31 May 2013

I hate goodbyes

Today was my last day at work at our Cape Town office. I'm having such a lot of mixed emotions over this one. I thought that I would be happier - more excited. Truth is, I'm very very sad and a bit scared. I'm sad as I'm leaving people behind that has meant a lot to me during the years. My boss, Rose is like a second mom to me, always ready to help and give advise. And now she is taking a huge leap of faith and trusting me to carry on
Goodbye cake for me from Rose
with my work 200 km away from the office.
My colleague is also one of my best friends, although I haven't treated her as such during these past few months. She had her 2nd child about 10 months ago and we just kind of drifted apart. I'm sad that I let these past couple of months flew by without really participating in life. I was going through the motions, getting up, going to work, going home, eat sleep, repeat. Rushing to "visit" my husband over weekends, trying to stretch the hours before rushing back. Seven months have passed in a blur and left me feeling dizzy and disorientated. 

Oh and yes, I'm actually not a little bit scared, I'm a lot scared. Not scared about making it work, but scared that this might all be to good to be true. Can something so great really be happening to me? Can I really have all that I dream of, and will this turn out to be all that I want it to be? In my heart of hearts I know that I deserve this, that I've paid my dues and did my part. It just feel strange to not be fighting and struggling to get what I want...

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Done & Dusted!

I've just e-mailed our updated profile to the printers - happiness!!! 

I am relieved that it is done, although I've enjoyed putting it together, it was also torture. I'm a typical Libra and it takes me hours to decide whether the background looks better this way or that, whether the border must be black or grey (or maybe red).., whether the photo looks better if it's smaller or bigger or must I maybe use another photo altogether...
There is way too many options when doing a photobook, at least with the scrapbook I had to use whatever I had at the time.
But I'm happy and will not let myself over-think or question it any more. What is done is done. 

The only really bad part is that I'm sending it off to the Agency directly from the printers. I'm leaving Cape Town next Friday and as it takes 2 weeks for printing, I do not want to waste time for the book to be send to me first..

Thank you all for the encouragement and lets hold thumbs that this book will work some magic!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

My Mothersday

Ah yes, Sunday was Mothersday - celebrated by many and as it seems, dreaded by a whole bunch. I read a couple of blogs and was in awe of the different emotions that this day stirred up. From seasoned moms enjoying a day being spoiled by their children, to first time moms excited by having the opportunity to celebrate this special day, to not-yet-moms, hiding in their houses or implementing emergency plans on how to survive the day.

I had a pretty good day. I went to the mall - yes, the mall - filled with Mothersday decorations and specials and people handing out chocolates and cards. A couple of salespeople, cashiers and even the car-guard wished me a Happy Mothersday. I was like thinking, REALLY?? Do I look like a MOM to you?? I guess I did, so I smiled and said thank you very much...

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Stressed out? Take a hike!

Having a lot to deal with and do during the past few weeks, hubby thought it would be a great idea to throw in a weekend of hiking. Not having any time to prepare, being really unfit and in a bad head-space  I almost did not join in. I had to get some new hiking shoes and told him if I cannot find some in time, I’m not going. I had to have some kind of excuse. For the most part, I was terrified. My exercise routine consists of running from the train station to the bus station and from the bus station to my office in the morning and vice versa in the afternoon. And as the bus-drivers were on strike this last 2 weeks, it meant that my routine was null and void - as I get dropped in front of the office.  

But, I found the shoes – after searching through a whole lot of shops I found a pair of nice boots. It was the last pair in the shop and not my size at all. Out of desperation I tried them on and WHALA! They were perfect...

Saturday morning just before 6:00 we departed. The day was grey and there was a light drizzle in the air. Not ideal for walking around outside. The morning did not go well and I was feeling a bit irritated and tense. After we started walking hubby broke the news that the route is not 7’ish km as he thought, but a whopping 14km!!!! I almost fainted! But, seeing as there was no turning back I walked.

I walked and it was hard, very hard. And then it got better. Then I felt better. Then I caught myself smiling and feeling happy. I looked around and all I could see was mountains and valleys – it was HUGE and it made me feel small. Small in a good way - in the sense that the lives that we live are so small, so insignificant compared to the world out there. This means that all our problems are also small, not as important as we make them out to be.
I felt grateful and alive and content. I got to sit beside a waterfall and breathe – it was wonderful. Near to the end the road got really steep with stairs up the slopes and it almost killed me. My legs and lungs were burning fire and I felt like crying and giving up. But I push on and made it to the top. I made myself proud and realised that I can go on, long after I think that I can’t. I’m stronger than I think and that the world is a beautiful, beautiful place. And that my husband knows me very well and knows what will make me happy and that I’m blessed to have a person like him in my life.

I’m glad to say that I got to ride back – the men (and 1 lady) walked the 14km back on Sunday. My new shoes left me with 2 small blisters only. My legs were stiff for a total of 3 days and I made some lovely new friends...

Life is all about the journeys – some of them short and sweet, some tough but worth the effort, some takes a bit longer to complete. As long as we always remember to take the journey, even if it scares us, to stop and appreciate the scenery along the way and to go on and reach the end, even if we feel like giving up. And remember to walk the journey with the people we love, it makes the hard parts better and the easy parts so much more enjoyable. 

Monday, 29 April 2013

Profile Blues & Butter

I talked to our social worker week before last. Take note that I do not talk to her on a regular basis - although I would like to call her every day and ask if they have our baby ready for collection yet.

This was actually only the 2nd time after our panel meeting that I had to call her. We were left with strict instruction that if we hear nothing from them it is because we do not have a baby yet and other that that there is really nothing that we need to talk about. But seeing that our lives and jobs and home address are busy changing I needed to find out whether it is necessary for another home visit. And no, it’s not. Once we are matched with a baby a local social worker will be send to do a home inspection and bob’s your uncle!

I also asked about our profile. Seeing that a year has passed, a lot of things changed and I am soooo much smarter than I've been a year before, it is probably a good idea to change certain things. I did not expect our SW to suggest that I redo the whole profile. See, in the time that we did our profile, scrapbooking was really hip and happening, but like all things it has become a bit old fashioned – and not in a good way. 
Photobooks are the new “in thing”. I’m very familiar with photobooks as I made 2 with our wedding photos which came out beautiful and professional. I feel a bit silly now thinking that our profile is shown around with all those lovely glossy photobooks…

And so I've loaded the software onto my laptop in order for me to work on it in the evenings. That was more than 2 weeks ago. I've finished 3 pages… Three pages which I’m not entirely happy about. The SW said that I must get it to them quick, my head says that I must be quick about it, but I’m just too darn tired and uninspired.

My life is a bit hectic at the moment. Not having hubby around to help definitely adds to the workload. Having to commute home over weekends are very draining and takes up a lot of time. At work we are implementing a new program and I have to work back and add all the data from end Feb as we need it to reflect the whole financial year as well as do my current work. I’m also still setting up my home office, getting quotes and organising telephone lines and equipment.
To top it all my brother got some really bad news from his doctor last week. Went under the knife today. The operation went well, so let’s pray that this is the end of that…

Very stressful time indeed, with me not getting around to do that profile.

I feel a bit like Bilbo Baggins - 
"I'm old, Gandalf. I know I don't look it, but I'm beginning to feel it in my heart. I feel thin. Sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread. I need a holiday. A very long holiday."
- not old and like I need a very long holiday - but a bit stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.

Friday, 12 April 2013

And NOW you will finally fall pregnant

On this journey to parenthood we get bombarded with so many remarks and suggestions. Some of them just plain rude and inconsiderate, some hysterical, some stupid and then those that are said to us out of pure love or sympathy.

From the start I made a point of not taking these up too seriously and not to let it get to me - there is enough to deal with emotionally and no space to sort out other people's misconceptions as well.

I must also admit that both my and Riaan's families are very supportive and excited about our choice to adopt. Had only one adverse reaction from a cousin of Riaan, but after finding out more about her story, I understand why she said the things she did and could shrug it off and move on.

Had a couple of people commenting about how I will fall pregnant once we adopt a baby. I know that this is a HUGE misconception and kind of like an urban legend when adopting. At first I was a bit shocked and lost for words and ANGRY - do they really think that after we adopted a baby that I would immediately have one of my own to replace the adopted one with??? Now whenever someone says that to me, I tell them that we'll get Riaan "fixed" as soon as we get THE CALL, just to make sure that we do not get pregnant by accident... It's really cruel, but I do enjoy the shocked expression on their faces, LOL!

With us moving out of the City and living a much slower paced life in the country a new hope has creep into people's hearts. Some are convinced that we will fall pregnant now. AT LAST! Why did I not think of this earlier? Could have spared us 4 years of trying all the other things. The solution to having a baby is to live a happy, healthy, very relaxed life, to have lots of fresh air and food, be surrounded by friends and people caring about you, no traffic and lots of open space... Sounds idyllic and like the perfect recipe for creating that bun in the oven... but then I remembered, as I was driving with the bus to work I was staring out the window and under the shelter of a filthy building a "bergie" was packing up his belongings for the day, after spending a cold night sleeping on the hard ground beside a busy City street. Next to him stood his very pregnant wife... I rest my case.

On a lighter note, at least we can still find the humor in it all. Thanx Mel!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Moving on... or not

I have not been blogging for a while, had a lot of things going on in my life and I did not want to confuse everybody with random happenings and thoughts. Felt like I've been in an industrial tumble-drier, going round and round and round. But the cycle has stopped now, and while my head is still spinning a bit, the drama is over.

During Jan & Feb, while the Western Cape sun was shining down on us for 15 hours a day, "visiting" my hubby in the country was fine. I left the City at 16:00 on a Friday afternoon and came back directly to work on a Monday morning. The problem started in March when we got our first rain and the days suddenly turned darker for longer; when it took me 4 hours instead of the usual 2 to get home; when a weekend with my husband meant seeing him on a Saturday and leaving again on Sunday. A total of 1 night per week, times 3 weekends a month, equals 3 nights a month. I was horrified to think that this is how the winter will be like, cold and wet and without my warmer half!

So while in my mind I was still convincing myself that it is not as bad as it seems and that all will be OK, my body decided to pull up the handbrake and stopped me in my tracks. I had a terrible flu and the doctor booked me off for a week, which I spend in my country bed, with my hubby making me breakfast and bringing me lunch. So I gave up the fight.

I told my boss that I'll be working notice for April and May and will be leaving for the country come June. We would have to make due with Riaan's salary, but we will survive. I then, though word-of-(small-town)-mouth, got a job-offer at a transport company on a farm outside of town. Not being perfect, as it meant a 70km drive per day and a very basic salary. But it would help and the owner of the company is well known and respected in town.

Meanwhile back at work, we are busy implementing a computer program which will make our lives easier and create access to all the information from wherever. So my boss brings up the proposal that I made a couple of months back, read more about that disaster here. I was completely caught off guard and declined. I was moving house at that stage (as my MIL's house got rented out) and not in a good head space. Luckily I regained my senses and we talked about it some more. So, the conclusion is that I'll be setting up a home-office and will be working remotely from there. I am thrilled, but also sad for having to give up the other opportunity. But - life is all about the choices we make and living with the consequences.
I do however feel that this is the best option, and taking into consideration that we might have a baby any day soon, this is the perfect solution.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Kiddies books about adoption

Trinity Heart compiled a nice list of books about adoption that one can read to your adopted child to explain and help them to understand their story. I hope that we would one day soon get the chance to read these books to our little baba.

I can also recommend Adoptmom's "The Greatest Gift / Die Grootste Geskenk".

Do you have any other book suggestions?

Happy Reading!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Tik tok tik tok 1-1-1

It's been 1 year, 1 week and 1 day since we "officially" started out on this journey. We totally missed and did not "celebrate" the 1 year mark as we were busy going on with our lives. This journey taught us that much - to go on living. As hard and challenging as it might be, most days go by unnoticed. Of course there are the days when I wake up with a fierce longing in my heart for the child that will be ours. Days when I wish to smell the scent of baby shampoo and power, when I want to hear the sound of little giggles and the patter of small feet through the house, when I want to hold that precious child in my arms, close to my heart and know that it is mine to love and care for forever.

Most days it is easy to talk about our future child, to dream about how it will be when we bring our baby home. To discuss our fears and talk about how we will do things when we have a child. Other days it is hard, on those days the tears lies too close, so close that I have to look away and blink as to escape the questions on people's faces. As they don't understand how much a simple statement can hurt, they don't realise just how hollow your life feels and how hard you tried and how many tears you've cried and how brave you try to be while you just want to give up and let go, because it will be so much easier.

There are days when the hours rush by and at the end of the day you realise that you have not once checked your cellphone or e-mail or made sure that your office phone is indeed still working and properly on the hook. Other days you get obsessed, checking everything a hundred times, having a small panic attack each time you get a call, because it might just be THE ONE you are waiting for.

There are days when the laughter of children brings a smile to my face, and then there are days when it makes my heart weep. Days when I can walk through the toys-aisle and joke about the ones that we will buy soon and days that I feel sad and hopeless when I see the rows of toys and I have no one to take it home to.

But, however the day turns out, we hope and we pray and we wait. And we wait...

Saturday, 26 January 2013

A Flicker of Hope?

Sjoe, being busy is hard work! Trying to catch up on leftover work from my leave in December, having to cope with another month-end so soon (what happened to January??), commuting between - and looking after two houses and missing my husband and fur-babies have all but drained me. Luckily I have not given myself over to drinking yet.. just wondering exactly WHO's empty red wine glass is standing here on the table next to me?? ... Anyway. On top of that I'v nominated myself as the new online marketer for The Napier Country Hotel and are feverishly looking for a job in the country so that I can run away from the City and live in bliss with my hubby, waiting for our "kaalvoetkind" to arrive.

When we first started considering adoption I send out dozens of e-mails in order to get some information on how to go about the process. Read more about that here. One of the mails was to a Counseling Center for pregnant woman which does adoptions as well. They were one of the few that responded but said that their applications were closed at the time as they do not have any babies available that matches our requirements. So I filed their mail and forgot about it.

Yesterday I've received a mail from said Center, asking whether we are still interested in Adoption as they are opening their applications in order to qualify some applicants. I did send them our details but seeing that we are already working through ProCare, I am not sure of how this will affect our application with them, should they consider us. If you have any experiences or suggestions about working through 2 agencies at the same time, please let me know.

I am a believer that everything is connected and that sometimes we get signs to show us the way, although most of the time we fail to see them for what they are or just simply ignore them. Turns out that the Counseling Center falls under and is run by the same body as the retirement village for which Riaan will soon be working. This journey has taught me to be hopeful, but not to get my hopes up, but a small part of me wonders whether this might be a little light in the dark?

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The futile act of planning

I am a planner and a bit of a control-freak. I like to know exactly how my life will look like and when it is time for a change I want to do it my way and in my time. That is probably the worst part about this journey for me - the "not knowing". Having to wait and wait and wait without doing too much planning in case it still takes 2 years for baba to arrive.
The other side of the coin is also that however much planning you do in your life, life will happen, and mostly not in the way you planned.

Two months ago my husband closed his company and was effectively jobless. We planned this way and that and sat hours pondering our future and what to do with the opportunity of him having to find a new job. Back when we bought our cottage in the country the plan was always to relocate there. Having been raised in small towns and loving the platteland, we were more than keen to move there. Only problem (big problem!) is the scarcity of jobs and should you be so lucky to find one, the minute salaries on offer.

We were therefor keen on opening our own health shop and making a living that way. But even with loads of planning this did not work out for us at all! After my boss decided that I cannot work remotely from there, the owners of the premises that we were going to rent also retracted their offer as they were going to use it themselves. Still keen on seeing this thing through, we shopped around for other space, but did not find anything suitable.

After a weekend of viewing properties and speaking to the locals, we were heading back to the City, tail between the legs. We were all packed and in the car when our neighbour came running over with a newspaper. He got it from friend of his that we met the previous night and it contained an ad for a position of Manager at the retirement village. Cutting to the chase, Riaan applied and at first we did not hear anything. Then the call came and they invited him for an interview and then for another one. So as from the 1st February, my husband is the official Manager and will be earning a decent salary for the platteland!

So over the holidays we had a blast working on our little country cottage. Prettying it up and painting, unpacking all our stored belongings and making it a home. Riaan even started a vegetable garden so that we can have fresh veggies and herbs everyday. We relocated our fur-babies and they are LOVING it! We had our first Xmas in our new home and were just plain happy for the first time in a long time.

All of this comes at a price though. For the moment I am still keeping my job in the City and will be commuting home over weekends. That is until my MIL's house gets sold or I find a job in the country. But, I'm giving myself a rest and not worrying about planning anything ahead of time... for now anyway.

It is hard work exploring all of this open space!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Cheers to 2013!

This is my 2nd day back at work from a lovely 3 week holiday at our country cottage. There have been some very exciting developments (nothing on the adoption front though) which I will tell you about after I manage to get through the stack of work sitting on my desk.

Just quickly wanted to wish everybody a VERY HAPPY 2013 - May the year be filled with BLESSINGS and BABIES!