My name is Desireé Opperman, I am a kangaroo mom and a qualified primary school teacher that owns a crèche. I am not involved in the day to day run of the business and therefor can be a “stay at home mom” for babies. We love and adore babies and wanted to do something of meaning to the community. To be registered as a Temporary Place of Safety felt right, because I could have a positive impact on someone’s life, but at the same time do something that I feel passionate about. We received a phone call to collect our first baby girl from the Maternity Hospital. One cannot describe the unconditional love you feel when you receive this precious gift and how privileged you feel to be chosen to have a part in this baby’s life. My son flew in from Kimberley the next day to meet her. We all instantly fell in love with her.
She developed in a sweet loving baby that light up a room when she enters it. She was now babbling, smiling and laughing at everything you say. It has been the most wonderful adventure watching her grow, learn and explore. We decided to make a photo album for her so that she can one day know how much she was loved, from the day she was born. Firstly her mom’s love to give her up, her kangaroo family (Temporary Place of Safety) and then her forever family (Adoptive parents). So many tears were shed while making this and choosing just the right photos. The three months that we cared for her went by so quickly and we received a date for her handover to her forever mommy.
While preparing her memory box the night before the handover, we received a phone call from her forever mommy. It was very emotional for me and her mommy, but I had peace of mind knowing that she would be in good hands. In your mind you know that it is not your child and that you are only a stepping stone to prepare her for the rest of her life, but still your heart is broken. You still love her as if she is your own child and no-one can prepare you for heartache you feel.
With handover day I felt privileged to be part of the process and to see the instant love and adoration the mommy felt for this precious little girl. I instantly knew that it was a perfect fit for her. When arriving home you immediately feel the void that her absence left. It was so precious to receive a text message from her mommy to say that all is going well and she is calm. After many tears that night I decided that it was too difficult and too sore to do it all over again. This was by far the hardest thing that we have ever done. But after receiving a phone call the next morning from her mommy, I know that I will do it over and over again. I also know that this will never be easy, but you must love enough to let go and let her have the amazing life that was set out for her. She will forever have a special place in our hearts.
I would like to thank the forever mommy from the bottom of my heart for all the text messages and photos we received, because that helped tremendously with our process of grief. Words cannot describe how much it means to hear that your baby was well prepared for the transition and that she was doing well at her new home.
With Kangaroo Mom, Desiree, is her son, Dewald and her daughter, Wilmari