PROCARE Adoptions

A blog about adoption experiences


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Our son is amazing.

Our journey to adoption is like quite a few others. We have been struggling with unexplained infertility for five years when we decided to adopt. Unfortunately not all adoption agencies are as professional and passionate at creating families as PROCARE. A wrong choice in agency added another four years to the wait but God’s timing is perfect and our son is amazing.

Having waited all together 9 years by now for a child, I decided to take the plunge, change jobs and pursue my career. Two months later we got a call from PROCARE to let us know our little boy is here at long last and waiting for us. On top of starting a new job and still being in my probation period, we just started major renovations to our house which made our home just about uninhabitable. We could only laugh at the timing of all this and dive in to the unknown.

The day that we went to pick up our son was the scariest day of my life. 10 days instead of 9 months to prepare for a little one is daunting but I would not change it for anything. So many thoughts run through your mind – will he bond with us, will our family and friends accept him as our own, how do you change a nappy. This is our 1st child and we had no idea what to expect. We were absolutely overwhelmed at the love, support, acceptance and joy from our friends and family from day one. On top of that my new employer gave me the grace of maternity leave and the option to return to work when I’m ready. There was just so much favor surrounding the arrival of our son.

Our son is almost a year now and every week is a new discovery both for him and for us.

Thank you PROCARE for help bringing our family together.

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Being Grandad

 

When I first heard that my daughter and her spouse plan to adopt a black baby boy, I had quite a number of concerns: “You have only been married for over a year is it not too soon to have children?” “You do not earn big salaries, how will you be able to cope financially?” “Who will look after the baby when you are at work?” “A black boy will have difficulties to be part of a white family, especially when he grows older.” “This is not the picture I had in mind for my grandchild.”

The process for adoption went ahead and all the relevant social work and statutory requirements were met. Everybody, including my wife, seemed to be very happy and excited. I, however, did not even talk about it because I was struggling to come to grips with the idea and my concerns remained.

Then the first day arrived when I saw him.  He was still very small and everyone was smiling and exited and wanted to hold him.  When they suggested that I should hold him I declined and said not for now. I normally do not like to hold small babies and normally do not get excited about babies.  In this instance, it was even worse for me.  I did feel somewhat guilty for not being happy and not holding him, but I realised that I was being honest with myself and family.  I did not judge or condemn my daughter for the adoption but it was quite difficult to come to grips with the reality thereof.  I must admit that although I am not a racist and have friends of colour, there still might have been some old deeply hidden paradigms that were challenged inside me.  Things that made me think, especially from my Christian perspective on life.  What did inspire me though was to see my daughter being overwhelmed with joy! I realised how much this moment meant to her.

Time went by.  I saw the baby more frequently and got to hold him.  I thought about the fact that God, in His infinite wisdom, allowed this young boy to end up in my daughter’s home and in our family, and not in the township where his natural mother lives.  And yes, although there will be challenges for a black boy in a white family, there will also be many benefits and opportunities for him.  At first, when my daughter referred to me as being his grandfather, it made me feel uncomfortable, but I became more accustomed to the idea.

As the baby grew older, I got very fond of the little one.  When he started walking and started to say his first words, I shared the exited with the other family members.  One day he was waggling down the passage and called out for me: “Oupa! Oupa!”.  Well, I think that was a defining moment in my relationship with him.

Eventually that what everyone predicted (and I might have doubted) became true – he crept into my heart and I started loving him.  The natural relationship between a grandson and grandfather started to develop and I started showing him things and telling him things and spending time with him when he visits.  I am discovering his unique personality and his amazing character, alertness and observation abilities.  I love playing with him and having fun with him.

 

Today I feel proud to introduce him to other people as my grandson and I am looking forward to seeing how he will develop in future.  I aim to be there for him as a granddad for as long as I am privileged to share the wonderful gift of life with him.  I thank God for letting him into my life and for enriching it.

Oupa Daniel

 

 

 


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We adopted siblings!

Our family was blessed with our second daughter from Procare and an amazing miracle happened that both of our children are biological siblings. We wanted to take the time to share the abridged version of our story with the Procare community. 

Following several years of disappointment, anguish and tears due to infertility my wife and I were given the extremely sad news that the chances of us conceiving our own children were below 1%. Diagnosed with incompatible DNA (a rare medical phenomenon where paternal and maternal DNA create unhealthy embryos) we approached Procare as a last hope of filling the void in our hearts and family.  

A few months after completing the screening process, by the grace of God and the power of Procare, we received the call that we were matched with a beautiful baby girl. We immediately fell in love with the angel that God and Procare had delivered to us and proceeded to introduce our daughter into our family. She quickly became the object of affection for the entire family and stole the hearts of everyone we encountered with the cutest smile imaginable to man. 

Three years after receiving the best miracle God could ever provide us with, we were contemplating how to complete our family and provide our daughter with a sibling. Seeing our eldest daughter play alone was heart breaking and we knew that she needed a sibling to share the joys of life with. The problem was that our first daughter fit our family profile so well that she does not look adopted! Our minds were filled with a million questions of how to ensure that a second child wouldn’t feel left out as everyone we met (whom don’t know she was adopted) commented that “she has daddy’s eyes” or that “she looks so much like mommy”. The perfect gift that Procare and God had given us now provided us with a seemingly impossible challenge. 

Then God, and I suspect someone from Procare, was listening. We received a phone call that our daughter’s biological sibling was available for adoption. Our prayers were answered once more and our only child would have her sister to not only grow alongside and share an identical background with but also DNA!  

We completed another very easy adoption with Procare and welcomed the arrival of our second daughter! And despite any fears we had around parenting two children we are loving life as a family of 4. Our eldest daughter is relishing the role of being a “big sister” to the point of running to fetch a dummy every time her baby sister cries. 

At this point I would like to share an image of a canvas that is hanging on the wall of our daughter’s bedroom. This canvas symbolises that if we had fallen pregnant with our own children we would have been denied the joy and privilege of parenting our two daughters (whom happen to be adopted). Both daughters will grow up knowing that they didn’t grow from our bodies but from our hearts.  

So to all those individuals who are struggling with the decision to adopt or not, battling to conceive naturally and feeling like there is no where to turn. Please take it from us who have been there. Make the choice whether you want to complete your family with a beautiful baby or do you want to be pregnant? The choice for us was simple as we longed for a baby so much that being pregnant was not an issue. And loving a child that doesn’t come from your body comes naturally as if born from you.   

As a final note we wanted to send a very sincere and honest thank you to the entire Procare organisation! Every single member of Procare that helped were not only professional and well organised but truly welcoming and supportive. If it had not been for Procare I shudder to think of the empty home that we would have without our daughters.Sisters

All our love the “A” Family.


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How’d we get this lucky?

My beautiful 6 month old daughter is rolling around next to me, after refusing to go to bed and sleep.  Instead, she looks at me and laughs. She’s awesome.  The thing is, even though my husband and I both knew from quite a young age we wanted to adopt one day, we never in our wildest dreams thought we’d be blessed with her. How’d we get this lucky?

Before I tell you about our adoption journey, let me tell you a bit about who we are.  My name is Tehillah, and together with my husband, Skillie, and our 3 year old daughter Malkah, we live in the Boland. Skillie and I met on Faecbook, which is pretty embarrassing to admit, but hey, it seems like that’s what the kids do these days.  We got married a year after we met, and expected Malkah two years after that.  Our dream was to have a big family, we even joked about having 8 kids. I can honestly say that after two kids we might have to adjust that number a bit! 

When Malkah turned 2, we started talking about our next step in bringing another baby into our family, and we both felt that adoption was the next step.  Its not a feeling we can explain, I mean, there were no sign saying we should adopt written in the sky, we just both knew. On my side of the family there is 3 adopted cousins, and seeing the way my aunt and uncle raised them to be the amazing people they are today, it just awoken something inside me to be open to adoption. After friends of ours adopted a year before us, they put us into contact with Procare and we had our first meeting in August 2016.  I still remember the feeling as we sat down with Eloise, our amazing social worker, and she started sharing with us what Procare is all about, and what the adoption process is like. As she spoke, it felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest, and peace about our choice to adopt came over me like a warm blanket. 

One thing that stood out to me was when she said they’re not trying to find the “perfect baby” that will suit us, but instead they’re trying to find the right parents for each child. We realised again how birth moms, and dad’s for that matter, are some of the strongest people you’ll ever meet. This is not the easy way out for them, they’re truly putting the baby’s needs above their own.  Its the most selfless and the biggest sacrifice, I believe, any parent can make.  How incredible are these women who make such a hard choice for their children? And how blessed are we to be trusted with this role as parents for these kids. 

Our adoption experience was such a positive one, and I can truly say that its because Procare took such amazing care of us AND the birth parents. We always knew exactly  what the next step would be, what we had to do to prepare and always felt fully informed.  

We had a few meetings with Procare, followed by a home visit, a group session and attended the Arise Adoption conference – all this really equipped us with a lot of information to prepare for what would soon change our lives. Like with any child, adopted or biological, nothing can really prepare you fully for what awaits, but having people with incredible knowledge, advice and blunt honestly talk you through what was about to happen, is so valuable. When we went in for our very last meeting early November, my husband was saying how he really thought that our daughter would only come home in the new year.  I agreed, but really hoped in my heart that it would happen sooner.  I felt so ready to be a mom again. We were told it was possible to be matched with a baby before the new year, but quite unlikely. We thought that seemed okay, because we had a crazy end of the year involving work. But it was proven, like time and time again that our timing is hardly ever the right timing. So they told us to go home, and be prepared to not hear again from them for a few months.  They assured us that they were hard at work trying to match us, but we had to take a deep breath and sit back. This was quite tough. I remember waking up one morning around 1am, and I just started crying. I send a sms to my friend saying, I miss my daughter so much, even though I’ve never met her, she’s so deep in my heart already. Those few days before we got the call were really tough, but also so important to talk Malkah through what was going to happen soon.  

Let me tell you a bit about Malkah. She’s beautiful and strong. I mean, have you ever met a 3 year old who will negotiate with you like she’s 13? I constantly find myself amazed at how strong willed she is, and blown away by her compassion and care for others. When we initially told her she was going to become a big sister, we explained to her that we were going to go see the ‘Procare tannies’ and they are helping us find our sister. We prayed for Mayah with Malkah often, and one day out of the blue, Malkah was telling her grandma how the ‘Procare tannies’ are going to go to heaven and God is going to give Mayah to them to bring down to us. Well, that is pretty much exactly happened. Gosh, I love how kids think! We also explained that sometimes brothers and sisters grow in the same tummy, but sometimes they grow in other lady’s tummies. She just accepted it, because this is the only reality she knows.  

On the 9th of November we were out having pizza with the family when my phone rang. It was after 6pm and I really thought – what was the chance that Eloise was phoning me?  When I missed the call I immediately phoned back, and after she said, “Hallo, Tehillah, its Eloise,”  I started crying.  She started saying that this was ‘the call’ and that we were matched with a baby girl. She kept talking and talking and I heard absolutely NOTHING.  After about 3 minutes she paused and said, “are you there?” I could barely say yes, and she asked if I wanted to phone her back.  It really was such a special thing to have my parents and brother there to share the moment.  Skillie and I couldn’t stop crying and Malkah was historical with joy when I told her, “Die Procare Tannie het gebel” – her sister was coming home! 

This all happened on the Wednesday, and we were able to go pick up Mayah the following Tuesday.  How were we ever going to sleep for 5 nights?! Every morning we would cut out one letter of her name and decorate it with Malkah, and stick it above our fireplace.  We printed out pictures of Mayah, and stuck them to the walls low enough for Malkah to see as she walked by. There were pictures everywhere, even in the bathroom, and we would chat about our little sister all the time. We dreamed with Malkah about what it was going to be like to have a new baby in the house. This really prepared her for what was happening, and she was counting down the days! 

On the Friday we went in to meet with Eloise, the social worker who put together a presentation for us. This had all the information they had of her and the birth parents and after sharing with us what our daughter was like, we were able to see a few pictures of her. I can’t really put into word what that day was like, the only thing I can say is – an indescribable joy totally overcame us.  

When Tuesday finally arrived, we really felt like we had no tears left to cry. We were all ‘cried out’ and we thought we were going to be able to keep it together pretty well the whole day. The 5 days we had to wait for her home coming was such a blessing because we felt like it prepared all of us. So anyway, we said goodbye to Malkah where she waited at home with her uncle and as we stopped at the house where we were suppose to meet, I felt completely paralysed. They had told us prior that both the biological mother and father wanted to meet us, and we had been praying that they would indeed show up. We walked past a room and through the window I saw two people sitting inside. I couldn’t make out their faces but my heart raced as I knew it was them.  We waited in a room for a little while and were told that our baby was on her way, and that once she arrived, she would spend a few minutes with the birth parents, before we would spend some time alone with them. The front door opened and the lady who took care of Mayah from birth walked in with a car seat.  From that moment, we were just complete wrecks. The 15 minutes we spent with the birth parents, were the some of the most incredible moments of my life. Yes, it was a bit awkward, yes, we felt like we really couldn’t say anything at all to explain how we were feeling and how much we would love that baby they just gave us.  It was incredibly hard and beautiful all at the same time.  The meeting with them went by quick, we spoke about our dreams as a family and they asked us some questions. We then prayed together and sat for a while just holding hands. I connected with the birth mom in a very special way, and I wish I was a better writer to explain to you exactly what my instant love for her felt like. I kept thinking, this day reminds me so much of the day Malkah was born, because you’re faced with feelings you’ve really never experienced before in your life, and its a feeling of being overjoyed and scared all at the same time.   

Our daughter was brought into the room, and the birth mom kissed her and then handed her over to me.  She was so tiny, all dressed up, and curiously looking at everyone in the room. I knew I loved her instantly, I didn’t feel bonded to her, but I knew that would come with time. That’s the thing, like with most things in life, it takes time. I’m so thankful to Procare and our amazing friends who kept reminding us to be patient and have grace with yourself and our new baby. When we got into the car and drove to the court where we had to get some paper work done, I just stared at this tiny little human, with a crazy amount of hair and chubby little cheeks, and my heart felt full. She’s my daughter. We might not share any genetics, but I hoped as I looked at her that she will one day understand just a little bit of how big my love for her truly is.  

Coming home, Malkah was waiting anxiously.  She embraced her sister immediately, and she’s been crazy about her ever since. We’ve really had it easy as Mayah is a very chilled baby, who slotted into our family so easily. We decided to do attachment parenting, like we did with Malkah. Mayah, now almost 4 months later, still naps every nap in our baby carrier and at night she sleeps in our bed with us. I pumped breastmilk for her the first few months as well, we bathed together every night and doing as much skin to skin really helped us to bond with her. It’s a daily commitment to invest time in our kids. Even when work is crazy and we’re sleep deprived, we always try, sometimes failing, to spend uninterrupted, technology free, time with them. 

I really hope that our story will inspire someone out there to consider going the adoption route. There are millions of babies out there, ready to be taken into a loving home. I do think that adoption is not for everyone, but if you have even the slightest desire, you’re not making a mistake in taking a leap of faith, because a child will bless you more than you do them. Our daughter has been home for almost 4 months now, and the journey has been incredibly rewarding for all of us. We’ve been humbled by her, realising again that this life and our own lives are not about us. We have to die in ourselves every day and try to get up every day knowing that it might be amazing and it might be a complete dog show. Still we have to strive to put them above ourselves. We’ve grown as parents, and individuals and we’ve seen Malkah totally blossom as a big sister. I’ve seen my husband get up 6 times in one night and then get up at 5:30 am to make oats and coffee. I’ve fallen in love with my kids and my husband all over again through this joyous, amazing, crazy journey called adoption. Parenting is not easy, its not something to be taken lightly or brushed off as “the next step in life” – parenting is life itself. And what a great life it is.


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That’s our boy!

My story is one of nearly 5yrs trying to conceive and 2 unsuccessful ivf’s 

I was by chance given PROCARE’s  number by my Dr and after long discussions with hubby, we gave them a call. We had always heard terrible stories of how difficult it is to adopt. The first day of orientation PROCARE put our fears to bed and explained in detail the steps of adopting.  

After loads of interviews we were finally told that we were successful as adoptive parents. We were spinning and excited. Our dream was becoming a reality. The wait for “the call” was honestly the most intense phase of the process. I decided 2016 probably wasn’t going to be the year and I planned a trip to Johannesburg with my hubby. I remember when we got back from trip I was super relaxed. That Monday evening I got “the call”. I was in shock and hubby and I just cried and laughed. All I heard was “it’s a boy”. The days after that was a blur. 

The following week we went for the matching meeting and they explained all to us. Finally the social worker showed the photo and I cried and cried.  

“That’s our boy ” I told my husband. The week after and with nerves and excitement we picked up our boy. I knew this was meant to be. He is the most amazing boy and has changed our life forever. 

 I’m a “mum” and I’m so happy I walk around smiling all day. “Pinch me” I sometimes think as maybe it’s a dream but when I look into that gorgeous boys eyes I know its true.   

I am eternally grateful to PROCARE and every team member  for making my dreams come true. PROCARE is nothing short of amazing. Professional , caring and efficient.  

I definitely recommend PROCARE to anybody wishing to adopt. 

 

Preston , mom and dad have never been happier.