I have two children – one came from my under my heart and the other came from within it. Adoption was the answer to our hearts desire to provide a child that was already ‘here’ with a family that would love her as if she had been born into it. And in many ways she was – she was longed for, prayed for, dreamed about and wanted just as my biological son was. The adoption process is not an easy one for an adoptive parent. In the case of a pregnancy, you can work out the date of the expected arrival almost to the day. In the case of adoption, your dreams are at the mercy of a fairly impersonal process that can seem like it is taking decades! Our experience of the adoption process was that even though it seemed to take forever – actually it took just less than ten months – it always had the future of the orphan at its core. Every question, every piece of paperwork, every meeting with the social workers was to make sure that the life of this vulnerable child, who had already lost so much, would now be given the right to be nurtured and loved within a family structure.
And at that moment on the 18th March 2010 her Place of Safety mom placed Kayla, a new-born baby abandoned at birth, in my arms and she became a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a grandchild… She is the reason that I am blessed to be called ‘Mom’ again, she is the reason that I have learnt so much about love, and she is the reason that I see a miracle unfolding before my eyes every day.
And so it is worth it all – the mounds of paperwork; the challenging questions; the medical tests; the waiting, without knowing what is happening; the meetings – because she, like every other orphan, is worth fighting for, dreaming for, hoping for… Without the dedication of her social workers that made sure we were suitable parents, able to give her a life of love, she would not be ours today. Yes, the adoption process is challenging, frustrating at times, and a minefield of emotional ups and downs, but at the end there is a prize worth the journey – a child, once without a family, is welcomed home as a precious son or daughter.
Michael – a lost soul at only 10 years old
**Michael and his sister spent the first years of their lives in the Kleinfontein Squatter Camp near Cullinan.
They lived in a caravan and had no water; no electricity. Money was scarce and the little they had was used by their parents to buy drugs. His mother was an addict – to the point where she would do anything to get money to buy the substances. Sadly, her children were neglected as a result of this.
They were left alone often and had to take care of themselves. Already at this young age they had to cope with rejection and lost all faith in adults.
These two children never had loving arms to tuck them in at night or the soothing voice of a mother reading them a story. In fact, they were such a burden to her, that she gave them away to a family member. However, due to their disrupted early childhood years they could not adapt to family life, resulting in the ill treatment of especially Michael. He was locked-up in a room to contain him and this has severely damaged his already bruised sprit! He suffers from separation anxiety and has serious attachment issues.
Today, he is a tender boy with the body of a 7-year old and the emotional developmental level of a pre-schooler. And he is already 10 years old! He is struggling in school despite being a very intelligent child – purely because of all the trauma he has suffered. He is taking medication for his condition to calm him down and help him focus in school but there is something in his life that no medication can fix: the hunger and need for adult care and nurturing.
If you are touched by this and feel that you want to make a difference in his life, please contact Caren Malherbe on 012-4609236. Maybe you have the financial capacity to support him in terms of clothes and psychological treatment. Maybe you have a time capacity to spend time with him once a week – reading to him or visiting him. It will not be easy to establish a relationship with him at first as he has been let down so often that he will show little signs on bonding with someone. However, we believe that with the right approach he will learn how to trust, appreciate someone that cares for him and will blossom in this loving relationship.
We need your help to give this boy a change of changing his future! Sometimes a small thing, like an hour of your time per week, can make a world of difference.
If you want to support Michael’s treatment financially, you can donate securely online on http://bit.ly/35bdDTu (select ‘Support Michael’s Treatment’ from drop-down); EFT donations to Child Welfare Tshwane, FNB Brooklyn, ACC 62457249392, Ref: Michael, your name & surname.