Monthly Archives: January 2013

Trying not to stress

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Currently, I am trying to take things one day at a time and trying not to let any of adoption struggles stress me out.  There is so much that could be a  bother during this whole adoption process.

Of particular concern is the fact that our Social Worker keeps reminding us that our baby girl, Lindiwe (her name is Lindelwe but we kinda prefer the shorter, easier on the tongue version of Lindiwe), is nowhere near ready for adoption.  There seem to be so many obstacles in getting her to that point – if I give it too much thought I will become a bundle of nerves. 

So for now, I keep trusting in the Lord.  If this little lass is meant for our family, then this is all part of our Lord’s BIG PLAN for us.  This delay may well be in place to give us the time we need to get all our papers in order and get onto the Register of Adoptive Parents.  God will make a way, I do believe this.  Amazingly, I am not too worried at this point – usually I am a stress bucket in situations which are out of my control.  However, I can almost feel God’s hand at play in all this.

As today’s scripture reads –

‘I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.’ John 12:24

I need to make sure I die to worry, let it go, let Lindiwe go in a sense, releasing her to the Lord.  How does that saying go? – “If you love someone, set them free, if it is meant to be they will come back to you”.  Part of me has released Lindiwe to our Lord, into His care.  Naturally, we are not giving up on her, we are still down to pursue adopting her as and when we can and I still long for her, eagerly wanting to visit with her again.  But for now, we wait and watch (a recurring step along this infertility journey) and ensure that we keep on top of all of our adoption paperwork, filling it in and submitting it as speedily as possible!

What’s next?  Tomorrow is the second of our eight sessions with our Social Worker to get our paperwork in order.  Can’t wait, each session is one step closer to becoming a family.

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All will be right and good for you. No one over you will make it hard for you, and you will not be afraid. You will be far from trouble, for it will not come near you. Isaiah 54:14

His Word…

Adoption – a bumpy start

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Yesterday evening I got a call from Annemarie, our Social Worker, to advise us that Lindelwe is no where near ready for adoption or placement into our care. 

While we knew this, the concern in Annemarie’s voice had me worried.  It seems they know who the mother is and even have a cell phone number for Lindelwe’s biological father.  However, the biological parents may not want to sign Lindelwe over as yet as they could (at least the mother might) be claiming social support money from the government.  The mother apparently took Lindelwe’s birth documents from the Safe House’s file before disappearing and this is apparently a classic sign of wanting to use the document to claim money.  Signing Lindelwe over for adoption will end that access to funds.

Additionally, our social worker cannot assist in getting little Lindelwe ready for adoption as this is to be handled by either Child Welfare or by CMD (Christian Social Services).  She can only assist us in the adoption process once Lindelwe is legally declared adoptable.  Unfortunately, both of these organisations are SWAMPED with work and seem unable to take Lindelwe’s case on.  Annemarie forecasts a 6 to 9 month process 😦

I was wild with disappointment and frustration.  I ranted and raved most of the evening at this unjust system of bending over backwards to uphold the rights of a birth mother who clearly wants nothing to do with her baby and even abandoned her and is possibly defrauding the government – that should at the very least constitute child abuse!!!

I mourned for what felt alredy like the loss of Lindelwe.

In my Bible readings this morning I came across this reading and loved how it seemed to speak of Lindelwe in her Safe House:

Psalm 31: 19-20

How wonderful are the good things
    you keep for those who honor you!
Everyone knows how good you are,
    how securely you protect those who trust you.
 You hide them in the safety of your presence
    from the plots of others;
in a safe shelter you hide them
    from the insults of their enemies. 

We are praying that God keeps little Lindelwe safe in her Safe House, safe in His arms.  We are not giving up on her.

One hugely positive view of all this is that it gives us time to get onto the National Register of Adoptable Parents.  This takes weeks to arrange, it is a very lengthy process.  I think I would have been more worried if she was ready now for adoption and we weren’t at a place that we could take her.  Her not being ready for adoption also means that no one else can take her (I don’t mean this in a selfish way) – it is just that we are so taken with her we would be heartbroken if she were to go to someone else.

One beacon of hope is that Annemarie emailed us today to advise that she has secured a meeting with CMD to address this and see if there is a way to get the ball rolling towards our dream of her being available for placement in our home.  We are so grateful to have such a devoted and passionate lady on our side.

We ask continued prayers for God’s hand in all this.  For he knows the plans he has for ALL of us, plans to prosper, not to harm us. Jeremiah 29: 11.

Starting the Adoption Process

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We struggled to say goodbye to Lindelwe so by the next day (yesterday) we had an appointment with a recommended local social worker to get the ball rolling – ASAP!  A sense of urgency abounded as another couple (two ladies) had also seen Lindelwe that day, before we met her, and were also considering fostering/adopting her.  So in a sense, the race is on.  I was panicking at the thought of this couple starting adoption procedures and we weren’t even screened as adoption parents.

We were put in touch with Annemarie (our now Social Worker), a private Social Worker who is just wonderful, a motherly but no nonsense, Christian lady who is eager to help us.  We sat in her office and told her everything, right from our visit to Procare to meeting Lindelwe.  Annemarie assured us that she is going to do everything in her power to secure little Lindelwe for us.  There are no guarantees but we are so relieved to know that someone is handling this, someone who looks to the Lord for guidance too. 

Tuesday morning I was struck by two verses in my Bible readings for the day, here they are:

Psalm 27

10 My father and mother may abandon me,
    but the Lord will take care of me.

14 Trust in the Lord.
    Have faith, do not despair.
Trust in the Lord.

Later that day when we met Lindelwe, I noticed the safe house’s logo, it is verse 10 EXACTLY – I think we are on the right road 🙂 Please pray.

Meeting Lindelwe

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I am smitten! 

Her lips were the 1st thing I noticed, they are perfectly formed into what I call little, rosebud lips.  She has big, dark eyes, a mop of soft hair, a deep forehead and pretty eyebrows.  She is petite with a caramel-coloured skin on her face and arms but a darker colour brown on her legs.  Her skin is smooth and perfect, like a doll’s, softer than anything I’ve felt before.  She has ten fingers and ten toes – her name is Lindelwe.

Going Local – exploring (again) adoption options in our home town

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On returning from Pretoria, my Mum insisted that I call one more person locally to find out if what we heard from a local baby home is really true and that adopting locally is as difficult for a white couple, like us, as we were told it is. 

We were hesitant to do this again – we had called a local baby home earlier this month only to be told so much negativity that we were adamant that we were not going this route.  However my Dad encouraged us to do this and I always listen to my Dad (well almost always)!  So…we called a local lady (referred to us by a colleague of my Mum’s) who is a “networker” of all things adoption/fostering.  We told her our story and she was very disappointed to hear all the negative feedback we were given by the local baby home.  She confirmed that much of what we were told is true but that it was a little OTT (over the top).  She said she would ask around and let us know what she thought best. 

The very next day she called to let us know that there was an 8 week old, black, baby girl at a safe house nearby and that we could call the house to discuss our options.  Eeek!  I nearly had heart palpitations.  I immediately called and by 5pm that afternoon we were there holding her in our arms and admiring her beautiful face.

Private Adoption Option – Orientation

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Okay, so I am WAY overdue for an update.  Friday 18 January saw us up at 3am to make tracks for our early morning flight to Pretoria, and walking back through our front door close on 10pm that night.  What a whirlwind!  One of things I was so excited to try was the Gautrain…

gautrain

It swished (literally it sounded like that, not the usual clattering sound of a train on tracks) past suburbs so quickly that within half an hour of landing at the airport we were in Hatfield, Pretoria!!!  We had a midday appointment with the Social Worker from Procare – an orientation session as they call it.

The Social Worker is a lovely lady by the name of Letitia.  She explained the whole process, costs involved and what we can expect.  It seems that on average, this form of adoption takes between 9 months to a year from the time you meet with her for orientation to the time the baby is in your arms.  It was hugely informative and exciting but also somewhat intimidating, to tell the truth.  There is sooo much work that goes into adoptions and so much paperwork to be done.  We left with a file the size of China to go through – made for good reading material on the flight back! 

While we were way excited to get the ball rolling, we did have a couple of small, niggling, concerns. The first being the cost – it is wildly expensive and while we have the backing of family and friends we still felt embarrassed to disclose the amount needed to them.  Looking through the profiles of other families who have gone this route we felt like we were rubbing shoulders with some very wealthy people, how could we compete?  Were we financially ok enough to go this route?  The other concern was that once we have baby, the mother can request photos and updates on the child over the years (all directed through the social worker I’ll grant you) and this is something I am not sure that we are comfortable with.

We needed to digest it all over the weekend.