How Is My Baby?

Those are forms I asked for from Department of Social Development when we were going to adopt again. I’d chosen the new social workers -Wilna and Amorè Malherbe and had already discussed the possibility of…

Ok, let’s start from the beginning. Firstly, with most adoption placements, you have to wait a minimum of 60 days. That’s how long the birth mom has before the adoption plan is final. Thereafter, she can’t change her mind. But if the dad has gone missing, then it’s 90 days, which gives time for an ad to be placed in a newspaper sold where he was last seen. Gives him a chance to come claim the baby. But also, if you want a HIV/AIDS negative baby, you wait for three tests (if mom is known to be positive) to be negative, and the last one they do is at 14 weeks old. We must then do our own one I think when the child is 18 months old or something. You can tell that I didn’t do it. Though I did when our one child wouldn’t gain weight. I mentioned that we never did that last test. It too came back negative.

I don’t like this. Our child’s birth mom also didn’t like this. Because during this time, the child is in a baby home or temporary foster care. We both want baby to bond with his or her new parents immediately. I know that others fear falling for the baby and then having birth mom decide to take the baby back after 20 days or 59 days… That DID happen to someone. Worse yet, she was left with millions of rands in debt as they’d paid for the baby to be in ICU!💔Bought everything, then mom decided she couldn’t say goodbye to her baby after all. Which meant the adoptive mom had to. As did her son.

It was traumatic for them.

But I’d rather the risk of that trauma than to traumatise a baby by sending them to multiple people before finally settling down. I’d rather my heart were broken by losing them to their first mother than to wonder what kind of care they had while in foster care. With our son’s multiple challenges, the fact that he was one of six babies cared for by a normal family was a big deal flr the professionals we spoke to. They all wondered if he wasn’t neglected for those four and a half months he was in foster care. His first neurologist was adamant that he was neglected. If he’d been with ME, I’d know for sure that he wasn’t. And I’d know for sure he was only dealing with one loss, not the loss of birth mom then the loss of foster mom.

So, we’d discussed this with the social workers. I told them I was ok with the risk of heartbreak and would prepare my children for a temporary baby. I had their fees too… And I’d written to Department of Social Development for that all important form. The one that shows that you’re not a registered sex offender or child abuser.

But by time the forms arrived, my husband had decided we should try three more times to conceive, THEN adopt. This is my secondly, considering above I’d written “firstly.”😉) I’d already named the daughter we were going to adopt. The baby we would receive either at birth, or very soon after.

I was planning on five children. But I ended up with six.😅

And every now and then I wonder. I wonder what the baby we’d have adopted would have looked like. I wonder how old she is now. And pray that all the baby girls of that year found parents and aren’t in children’s homes. But given how few adoptions there are, I know it’s a vain hope.

I feel sad.

Because I conceived, a little girl does not have a mommy, a daddy, brothers and sisters.

Which is STUPID because I’m not the reason there are children who don’t have parents parenting them. But love doesn’t always make sense, does it? I loved her already. We were going to start the process that following month. The month after the forms finally arrived.

Instead, I went back to a fertility specialist and after having tried and failed for two years, that year was the year. That attempt, the attempt!I couldn’t give any of the girls my adopted baby’s name. We once (When we were expecting the twins) thought we’d adopt an older child once our eldest left the house. But with our children’s special needs and with how expensive university education is, I think that too remains just a dream. It’s just a “we almost…”

And it too, makes me sad.

My husband was right. “If she was rich, she’d adopt a kombi load of children.”

(A Kombi is a 14-16 passenger van.)

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