PROCARE Adoptions

A blog about adoption experiences


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The power of love

22 December will forever be engraved in our hearts ,  thoughts and memories. It will always be the day that we will celebrate and rejoice as our lives changed forever after fetching our Madi on that special day! She was an early Christmas gift and indeed the best gift one can ever ask for! Also fitting her name, MADISON, meaning “Gift from God”!

Before starting the process at Procare we knew that we were signing up for what probably would be one of the biggest challenges of our lives. We went to our special place in the forest and prayed for that special soul that needed to come home. We sent our prayers out there into the Universe, and knew that whenever the time was ready and if it was meant to be, that soul would join us, and become part of our family! We never doubted that when and if it would happen, that it would be the one that was ALWAYS meant to be the ONE!!!

This would absolutely not be complete without mentioning the Professional services of Procare. From the first appointment to the last,  we knew we were in good hands, capable hands and caring hands! We can never thank Procare enough for the way in which they handled everything. Everyone in the chain helped to ensure that everything ran smoothly! Thank you so much!!!!

We will ALWAYS be grateful to the foster parents that took such good  care of our Madi! They are angels with wings and we will always make sure that Madi knows how wonderful they are! Their dedication, LOVE and commitment is a rare find! We have no words to thank them enough for looking after and caring for Madi in a way that is better than you can imagine.

Madi is a little socialite! She is like a magnet, she draws the crowds with her personality, her beautiful smile and her big big eyes are always the talking point of any conversation.  She has orchestrated a few miracles in her short life with us, and we know there are many more to come. She is an old soul, people have mentioned when they look into her big eyes that she radiates a sense of wisdom and a calmness that is difficult for the hardest person to miss!

Days after fetching Madi, we looked at her and said to her that it felt like she always knew that she was coming to us, and then she gave us the biggest smile ever!! That was a confirmation of what we always knew!!!

Madi is blessed to have so many people in her life, she has been spoiled, and LOVED beyond our expectations!!!  It took a little baby to remind us of the goodness of humankind! This experience has left us humbled and we are filled with gratitude that we have been chosen to be Madi’s parents!! She has come to live with us, however we feel we have to share this special little person with our friends and family,  as she has already won so many hearts! We remind ourselves often that she is on her own journey, part of ours and she has come to teach us and everyone around us about LOVE and the power of LOVE!!!!         

 


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Welcoming Max into our hearts and home

Before Max, we were a family of 3  – My husband, our (then) 5 year old daughter and I.  

We had always wanted a big family and after many fertility struggles over the last 3 years,  we started discussing adoption. And once, we had made the decision that this was what we wanted to do,  we wanted it to happen straight away!! We contacted Procare in October  (we decided to go with procare because we were familiar with them following the adoption of my niece and nephew through procare). After our initial contact, I was a bit deflated to hear that childless couples were given preference and started to think that yet another door was closing on us. However, after some persistence from my side, we had our first appointment to meet with Eloise at the beginning of the year.

From then on, the process was seamless and, looking back now, actually quite quick!! (although, when in the throes of it, it feels like forever!). After all the checks, home visits, meetings, etc we had our final panel meeting scheduled for 24 June. As the date approached, it filled me with a deep sadness. I was excited about the appointment but couldn’t ignore the fact that throughout the process I always had the “next date” to look forward to, to hold onto – something to symbolise that we were on this journey and that there would be a baby for us at the end of it. I knew that after this appointment, we would have nothing and that all we would be able to do is wait…… so, it was bitter sweet for me. 

But then the day arrived and in the middle of our session, our social worker asks us the question that would change our lives forever…. “How ready are you?” I remember us both looking at each other and saying “we are very ready, we are ready now”. We were told to go home and think about it, but there was really nothing to think about; and on the 5th of July, 11 days later – we got to bring our baby boy home. 

The days leading up to placement were the most overwhelming days of my life. I remember feeling sick to my stomach and thinking of all the “what-ifs”…. What if he doesn’t like us….. what if we don’t have a connection or bond with him…. What if I can’t love him like I love my daughter…. What if my daughter has no bond with him…. What if we have made a mistake!! 

But then, then I saw him!!!! And I knew, I knew instantly that all my fears were unnecessary…… this boy, this perfect, beautiful boy was ours and we loved him from the minute we saw him. Having a biological child and an adopted child, I can honestly say that the love is no different – they are both my kids who I would do and give up anything for – and though “how” they got to be my kids may be different, that really is the only difference. 

Max has now been home for almost 3 months, but it feels as if he has always been a part of our lives. He is the sweetest little boy with the cutest little personality – a constant ball of laughter and energy. The bond between our 2 kids are already so evident and it makes my heart so happy. 

Thank you Procare for making our dreams come true and thank you to our boys birth mom for trusting us – you will always be in our hearts.

 

Charne and family


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LOVE NEVER FAILS

I’ve always had a special bond with my mother. She has been a constant example of sacrificial self-sharing throughout my life. I recall her helping me with so many late night projects … last minute errand runs … even just sitting by my side in support or bringing me fuel (tea / food) while I finished working. I always thought my exponential appreciation for her was somehow linked to my age: the older I’d get, the more I’d realise the extent to which she loves me.   Just when I thought I knew it fully, we had our first child. I was completely overcome by what I felt – because I realised that, this whole time, I actually hadn’t even begin to grasp the half of it … I was a mom! I could now start to understand exactly what a mother’s love is. The length & breadth of it. I had a renewed sense of appreciation for my mom. For everything I knew I would still have to learn about giving up and letting go … because, I loved someone else more than myself. Because I had never experienced anything else, I assumed that what I felt might have been due to the fact that I had given birth to our daughter. I didn’t question it … I just kind of presumed that having shared genetics was playing a part in causing this new bond …  And then our second daughter came home … in a very different way to the journey we had experienced with our first daughter. And again, I felt an increased sense of admiration for my mother … I have heard a couple of people say that having their second child was like discovering a whole new chamber in their heart – which they didn’t realise was there before … an enlarged capacity to love.  The love I feel for both of our children has nothing to do with being biologically ‘linked’.  It is something that is ‘alive’ and keeps growing and is bigger than I ever knew it could be.  We are knit together in this journey because love never fails.  Biology is insignificant because true love isn’t conditional. It isn’t bound by what we can wrap our natural minds around.  “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Thank you PROCARE for making this possible

Love


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Our Little Miracle

Our Little Miracle

Our adoption story began on the day we went for our orientation meeting at Procare. My husband and I had gone through almost 8 years of trying to conceive. After many fertility treatments and 2 heartbreaking miscarriages, our dream of having a family seemed so far out of reach.

We had both discussed adoption and we thought that this was our last chance to have the family we yearned for. We had to take this chance and see where this journey takes us.

After so many years of trying to have a child and being unable to have what seemed to come so naturally to everyone else, we felt very vulnerable and so nervous to even get our hopes up. Fortunately for us, we chose Procare to take us through this journey and from the moment we walked into their offices, Elsabe, Elize and the rest of the staff made us feel so welcome and so at ease.  Even though we were still anxious, they made us feel that all our feelings were valid, answered all our questions and were very open and honest with us.

Their advice and guidance was comforting and their professionalism was amazing, but of course, we were still apprehensive as to whether this journey would have a happy ending. It was after 5 months of paperwork, police clearances, interviews, questionnaires, medicals and all the rest of the exhausting work we had to put in, that we were declared “paper pregnant” and Elize said to me, “Pam, at the end of this journey, you WILL have your baby!”  Only at this point did we allow ourselves to be hopeful and cautiously excited that our dreams may actually come true!

And just like a fairytale, exactly 9 months after being declared “paper pregnant”, we got the call that they found a match for us!  Saying we were excited was the biggest understatement…we were completely over the moon! I screamed so loud when I got the news that everyone at work immediately knew that it had something to do with the adoption. We went to our matching meeting, beaming from ear to ear and couldn’t wait to hear all about this little miracle that would soon be ours.

We saw his little face and heard his story and we already loved him. Seeing him and knowing he belongs with us made us feel like a giant weight was lifted off our shoulders and we just cried with relief that we had finally found our beautiful baby. I may not have carried him in my womb, but we carried him in our hearts for so long and we were finally going to meet him. Words cannot describe the joy of going into the shops and buying baby stuff for OUR baby! Something as ordinary as baby clothes hanging on the line for us was the most incredible sight. I never saw a more gorgeous sight in our back yard and my heart felt so full of love!

We were so anxious about meeting our little boy, that we arrived 45 minutes early for the meeting. We sat quietly in the lounge watching the clock tick away and it felt like hours! Finally the time had come and meeting our little bundle of joy and holding him in our arms for the first time was like feeling God put his hand on my shoulder to reassure me that all was right with the world now.

Our world has been turned upside down with the arrival of our precious Jordan, but the view from this side has never looked more beautiful or satisfying. We love our son so much and never realised how much space in your heart such a little person could take up. We cannot imagine how we lived our lives before Jordan came into ours. He is the light in our lives and has brought so much happiness into our home.

Thank you Elsabe, Elize, Sunette, Eloise, Mienie and the rest of Procare for bringing our beautiful boy home to us.

Thank you to Jordan’s kangaroo parents for taking such good care of him and loving him so much. God bless you both and your family for being his angels on earth.

We are eternally grateful and blessed.

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Our gorgeous children

Hi Beautiful Procare Family.

Always still thinking of you all…and ever so grateful for you playing a part in the work of The Almighty to deliver our beautiful children to us.  Dankie Dankie Dankie!!!

Zainab turned 3 in September. We didn’t get to do big party as it was EID the day after…but we managed to celebrate and it was nice…

Attached a picture of our gorgeous children

Ismail and Nabu


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BREASTFEEDING OUR ADOPTED DAUGHTER

BREASTFEEDING OUR ADOPTED DAUGHTER I’ve been meaning to sit down and write this blog post for months now … and I have kept putting it off, telling myself that it’s because I’m so busy and there simply aren’t enough hours in the day … but the truth is that I’ve been hesitant to do it because: in my experience – when you presume to know better or have any ‘one and only’ answer which can be applied as a golden rule … you often end up either hurting other people … or being proven wrong about the very thing you felt so overzealous about defending. This is why so many mothers are left feeling guilty / jealous / inadequate: they read what other moms are doing & start comparing their own ‘behind the scenes’ to someone else’s (often styled) public image. Any journey has ups & downs, and anyone who is, or has ever been in different stages of the adoption process will be able to testify to this. I certainly can. And so here I am … writing about my experience … Not claiming that it’s the ONLY way … but it is A way … and if, in reading this, you identify something which helps you on your journey then you’re the reason why sharing this story is worth it … not as a comparison … but simply an encouragement. DECIDING TO ADOPT AND THE LONGING TO BREASTFEED OUR BABY: We had been speaking and dreaming and praying about adoption for a while (almost a year to be exact) before finally filling in the initial documents and going to see ProCare. I always knew that breastfeeding was something I was strongly in favour of – as I had previously breastfed our biological daughter for about 17 months – and had experienced the health benefits, as well as the bonding it fosters between mother and child, first-hand. Because of the waiting period in South Africa (where the birth mother has an opportunity to change her mind about the adoption) I realised that our daughter would probably only come home when she was about 3 months old. Not being with her from birth made my heart ache to be with her even more and I was determined to connect with her in whichever way I could, as soon as we were able to. I had mentioned the desire to breastfeed our new baby to a midwife friend, who put me in contact with a fellow-adoptive mom. I remember being so overwhelmed by the fact that this stranger agreed to have coffee with me and tell me all about her experience. This was the start of a long list of woman who would eventually walk the road alongside me … helping me move forward one (often tearful) step at a time. I then met with Jean Ridler, a lactation specialist, who talked me through the entire process of inducing lactation and started the protocol about 2 weeks later. It’s important to mention that there are different protocols and speaking to a professional about which route is best for you is essential. It is possible to induce lactation without taking traditional medication. STEPS TOWARD SUCCESSFUL LACTATION: I followed the protocol where you take the birth control pill (taken without the week of placebo) to simulate a ‘pregnant state’ (no period) before stimulating milk production. This basically means you are tricking your body into thinking that it is pregnant. Birth control is taken in conjunction with a drug (I used Domperidone and Motilium) which increases your prolactin level. After about 11 weeks I stopped taking the birth control pill (all the while continuing with the Domperidone), which caused me to have my period once again, making my body believe I had given birth. I could now start expressing milk! This started off very slowly. Literally a couple of drops at a time. But I persevered (expressing every 3 -4 hours) – thanks to the encouragement of friends who listened, wiped my tears, and sent me articles about other adoptive moms who had gone through the same thing. I remember a conversation with a friend who let me cry in her ear on the phone and responded with: “the thing that is so amazing to me – is that you haven’t met this child yet … you don’t even know if she’s been born … and you love her so much already that you’re willing to go through this for her”. This gave me such a helpful extra measure of encouragement! And after some time … THERE IT WAS! 20ml of breastmilk. My very own breastmilk! For my very own baby! Once I could express a significant amount I started saving all the expressed milk in an ice tray in our freezer … Once I had filled an entire zip-lock bag full of milk cubes I sent a picture to friends in delight (I still couldn’t believe it was real!). I froze milk in this manner for about 3 months. We went from one bag … to two entire filled trays of breastmilk! I even travelled to two different provinces with my cooler bag full of frozen milk in hand at one point. An incredible generous friend of mine (who was weaning her child off of the breast at the time) expressed some additional milk which she froze and donated to help me stock up. And then … WE GOT THE CALL! Our baby girl was ready to come home! On the day she came home – she latched. I was in constant floods of tears. SO happy. SO astonished. SO grateful. And then … nothing … she wouldn’t latch after the second day … I felt very discouraged, but remembered that Jean had told me in our very first meeting how important support would be. So I reached out to her once again and through her loving and kind guidance we were able to put into motion a plan which introduced my daughter to my breast, rather than the bottle she had been used to for the last 3 months. And … IT WORKED! She latched (cue some more crying from both my husband and myself!). She started drinking fast & furiously and these moments with her are ones I feel so incredibly thankful for. I am humbled by all the amazing women (and my husband) who supported me so incredibly during this time.   I breastfed our daughter for 6 months. Was it hard: YES! Would I do it again: ABSOLUTELY!

MYTHS ASSOCIATED WITH BREASTFEEDING YOUR ADOPTED CHILD: – You have to give birth  or have been pregnant in the past in order to breastfeed – A woman must be fertile in order to breastfeed – Older babies cannot learn to breastfeed – In order to breastfeed, a mother must know when her baby is arriving HELPFUL RESOURCES:

– Jean Ridler (The Lactation Consultancy):  082 6681 082 / jridler@telkomsa.net  www.breastfeedingwithoutbirthing.com

www.facebook.com/lalecheleaguesouthafrica

www.sweetpeabreastfeeding.com/the-basics-of-inducing-lactation

 


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Our perfect little family.

From as far back as I can remember I dreamt of being a mom. I had this plan that I was going to be married by a certain age and then have kids by a certain age, I always wanted to be a young mommy. I knew how many kids we were going to have and what age gap and it was all planned out. These plans were obviously thought out when I was still young and naïve.

Anyway, I met my wonderful husband slightly before my planned age and because we were still young we decided to travel and wait a little before having the kids we were so desperate to have. All this time we were naïve enough to think when we were ready then 9 months later we would have our beautiful baby.

So finally we were ready to start a family.  We moved into our first family home and we were so desperate to become parents.

3 months later I was pregnant! We were over the moon to finally have a baby on the way. This pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage and was followed by a roller coaster ride which I would not wish upon anyone.

My husband and I were absolutely broken by this very unexpected curve ball we had been thrown. We didn’t know of many people suffering from infertility and we never had any idea it would happen to us. We kept saying why does this happen to people who so desperately want children? And then we found the answer to that.

After loosing patience with failed hopes from doctors and being on the verge of depression. We began doing some research and speaking to people about adoption. Something about it just felt right. We were then introduced to Procare who put all our concerns at ease. This was it, we were so excited but at the same time nervous. It’s a strange feeling after all the doubt to finally hear you WILL get a baby, it’s just a matter of when.

The day we met our baby I knew why we had been thrown that curve ball and I would not change a single thing about it. I would go through every tear and heartache to end up where we are today.

When we were ready for our second child we discussed trying naturally but decided to rather adopt again. We have learnt that adoption was definitely a calling for us and this was how we were meant to become parents all along, we just had to wait until the little souls destined to be our children were ready for us.

We have two happy healthy boys and we are so grateful for how our life worked out. In fact if life works the way we wish we will hopefully adopt one last little girl to balance our crazy, busy, happy home.

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