Greetings in this New Year and here’s to new chapters in all of our lives!
2013 is going to one of our most exciting years to date in our marriage as we have decided to pursue the adoption option. I am so excited about it that the whole trauma and heartache with fertility treatments feels like a memory of another lifetime. There is something so pure and special about the prospect of adopting a child and I just know it makes God smile.
It should be noted that adoption has always been something we had wanted to pursue. We had hoped to do a combo of having a biological child and adopting a child – in that order. Perhaps God prefers it the other way around 🙂
I really started hearting after adoption in October 2012 – around the time that I received the most gorgeous necklace from my brother and sister-in-law for my birthday. It is made from paper spun to form beads and crafted by local women in Botswana (my brother and his family live in Gaborone). The women, who make these, sell them to support orphaned children. I just wept at the little information card that came with it – see it here –
The other side of the card showed this –
I immediately wanted to rush out and adopt from Botswana!!! Out of interest, I did conduct a little research and discovered that adopting from Botswana was not going to be an option for us as you can only adopt if you reside there or plan to spend around 2 years there to complete the adoption process – ouch! The point, though, is that this wee gift put adoption back firmly on the cards for me and (a little more slowly) for Gary (I am naturally more impulsive and spontaneous, Gary is a slow and steady kinda guy). So we’ve been mulling it over since and decided to give it a go in the New Year of 2013.
We weighed up our options – we could either seek a baby through local children’s homes / child welfare or we could go the private route of adopting from a birth mom. Here are the facts:
Sourcing our baby from local children’s homes / child welfare – we spoke to the head of a local baby home who informed us of two shocking things with this option: (1) We would not get a newborn baby! Apparently there is a 6 month wait after the baby/child comes to the Home – 3 months are spent seeking any family members who may wish to take the child (they do this by advertising Nationally in newspapers) and then 3 months are spent seeking adoptive parents of the same race as the baby/children (so for a black baby they seek a black couple to adopt the child). The latter 3 months was a big shock for us and is apparently a new law that came into effect in January 2012. So we would only be eligible for a baby or child a full 6 months after he/she arrives at the Home. (2) The second fact that threw us completely is that the waiting list for babies is horrendously long. Who knew?! We had thought that with so many abandoned babies in this country that it would not be hard to adopt. We were informed of one couple (an Indian couple) who had waited 11 years and are only now getting their baby! I figured that their long wait was because there aren’t many Indian babies available but I was told that they were not particular about race and adopted a little black boy. If we have to wait 11 years Gary will be in his 50’s and thinking about retirement coming up. We cannot chance waiting this long.
Approaching private social workers for a private adoption from a birth-mom – this is the route we are taking. The idea behind this is that we adopt a baby from a mom-to-be who is placing her baby up for adoption on birth. We approached two private agencies and decided to go with one agency for now – Procare based in Hatrfield, Pretoria. You can check out the Procare website here: http://www.procare.co.za/adoptions.html We first heard about Procare from our friend and neighbour, Robyn. She told us of Procare and how they are a great organisation that stems from an anti-abortion group (ProLife). She has two sets of friends who adopted through this organisation and they highly recommend it. From what we understand, a profile of us will go to the birth-moms who get to choose from the profiles who they would like their baby to go to. Once the baby is born, they baby stays in the Home or with a “kangaroo-mom” for 60 days (the time given the birth-mom to change her mind about the adoption) after which time the baby then comes to us and there is then no going back 🙂 . We really like Procare’s values and all the work that they do and so we submitted our Adoption Application forms to them a week ago. Within a couple of days we were telephoned and asked to come in for an Adoption Orientation session with them. So next week Friday, 18 January 2013, we fly to Johannesburg to take the first step towards making the Midlands McDowells the Midlands McDowell FAMILY! We don’t know all the ins and outs right now, but we will definitely know more after our session at Procare.
As always, we are seeking God’s direction in all of this. As I like to say – we will put a door out there with Procare and wait to see if He opens it and if He leads us through it. Keep praying for our precious little child to be made available to us at the right time and please pray too for our birth-mom, whoever she may be, pray for all that she will be going through and the tough decision to place her baby into adoption – we cannot imagine how difficult it must be for her.
“He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will” Ephesians 1: 5