After almost 5 years of infertility struggles, failed IVF’s and 2 miscarriages, my husband and I had made peace with the fact that we will not have children. Although this was a tough journey for us; as Christians, we both believe that God is in control and if it was not in his plan for our lives to have a child or children, then we will accept it.
We are blessed to have always had a very strong marriage we never allowed our desire to be parents become and obsession and put pressure on our relationship. In fact, we believe that the hardships we went through, only made us stronger and prepared us for something so much bigger and better than either of us could ever imagine.
Adoption has always been in the back of our minds, even before we knew we would not be able to have children (the “normal” way ). But it was, and I am embarrassed to say, at that time, it was more of a backup plan.
We met a couple who invited us to go to their church. After the service, we were introduced to another couple who had recently adopted. My Husband just started asking questions and details of how they went about the adoption “as it is something we have always considered”. But at the time, we had not spoken about children, let alone thought about adoption for MONTHS. Yet when my husband spoke those words, it was like someone turned on the lights.
In the car on the way home, we made the decision (very casually) to start looking into the adoption process. There is a stigma around adoption; or more so, the process of adoption in South Africa, which made us very cautiously optimistic about this decision.
I started doing research. I read up about the process and where to start. Finding an agency or social worker that you are comfortable with was on top of the list. I researched a list of adoption agencies and I was about 3 agencies down on my list when the Adoption secretary from PROCARE answered the phone.
I am not sure exactly what was more striking about this introduction; the genuine passion in her voice, the fact that she was actually willing and interested in answering my questions and gave me more information that I even knew to ask for; or the mere fact that she was so honest about what we can and should expect; should we make the decision to go ahead. Long story short, I was sold on PROCARE after 2 minutes on the phone with them. If we were to do this thing, we would do it with them.
The first available date to meet with the Adoption social worker was in October. It was explained as an orientation session where after we would be able to make an informed decision if we wanted to go ahead. Again, because of the stigma around adoption; the red tape, the jumping through hoops, unresponsive social workers, long waiting periods, cost implications etc. etc.; we went into this meeting with NO expectations. But when we walked out… boy oh boy, we walked out with a re-ignited hope and realization, that we may very well one day have the family we’ve always dreamed of.
We powered through the paperwork and had our next appointment in November. With each step, the excitement grew stronger. We “graduated” at the end of January. We were officially on the waiting list!!! But somehow it still seemed like something very far away and thinking back, I failed to realize the reality of what was happening.
One day at work I saw a missed a call on my phone from a number I was not familiar with. I phoned back and realized who had phoned. It was PROCARE. My heart started beating so fast, but I kept saying to myself that they probably wanted to clarify something on our paperwork – there is no way this could be, “The Call”. I was put through to the social worker and by this time my heart was beating in my throat and I could physically hear the blood rush in my ears.
It was, “The Call”. There was a baby for us, a perfect little baby girl. But how is this possible?
The emotion I went through in that moment was pure disbelief. Then doubt, fear and then more disbelief. We were set to move into our new house in 10 days. Everything was packed up. We had no nursery. Never mind the nursery, we did not have a single nappy or little baby grow. NOTHING.
My Husband was sitting in a meeting in JHB and could not take my call when I phoned him. I sent him a message to phone me as soon as he could, without giving anything away. But when he phoned me back, somehow, he already knew. All he said was, we have a baby, don’t we? He was so calm and together and sure, and he made all my panic disappear like only he can. And the excitement and overwhelming joy started setting in. (I later learned that his calm demeanor was just a front and that he was freaking out as much as I was, but that he could hear he needed to be calm for me )
Since this moment, there was never any doubt in our minds. Our daughter was coming home. We did not want to wait to say yes to our baby girl, no matter what, this is the baby God has chosen for us. She was already ours. The presentation the very next day was just a formality and we were to meet our precious girl in only 5 days’ time.
Needless to say; the days that followed are a complete blur. Somehow, in a very short time we had everything we needed to welcome our precious baby home.
Leia has just turned ONE. This little lady has just exceeded our expectations in every way. She is strong willed and brave and beautiful. Never in our lives could we ever have imagined the overwhelming love we have for this little girl today. If we had the opportunity to rewrite our story, we would not change a single detail. This is how it was supposed to be. She was always destined to be our daughter. God chose her for us and led us to her. We have unequivocally and irrevocably fallen in love with her. We praise God for our unique story and we truly feel blessed and special about the way that our daughter was chosen for us.
The social worker and every single person we dealt with at PROCARE; You are all Angels! You’ve managed to eliminate all the doubts around this process we ever had. We were seamlessly guided and supported, every step of the way. We never felt lost or alone or unsure. Your passion and love for each baby, adoptive parents and Birth Mom is evident in everything you do. We are forever grateful for what you have done. Thank you for being so invested in our story. Thank you for helping us find our baby girl and for bringing her home to us!