Monday, March 30, 2015

Child-rearing

Child-rearing s a good reminder of what it’s like when the Father has made it clear to us what is right, and we willingly and stubbornly go the wrong way.

Another observation is that mothers tend to be quiet about the fact that their children aren’t perfect little angels. I have friends who suffer in silence because they fear their children are just too extremely misbehaved. Our problem is that we know what’s possible, we know what we want and what we have taught them, but they have minds of their own. And because we don’t share the challenges linked to parenting with other parents, we don’t realise that some of them face the same problems. And we end up thinking our situation is the worst out there, or that it will never change/improve.

As someone at church said as we were discussing our Adventist Home chapter a few weeks ago, “I encourage parents to keep working. Yes, the fruits might not always be visible right now, but they are working for time and eternity. When the children are older, they WILL remember the lessons they were faithfully taught.”

Having a child who does not do what you want, who does what you would never want, is a not a sign that you’re a poor parent. It’s not a sign that you’ve failed. It’s a reminder to stay on those knees, stay engaged and not to give up. Too many have given up their 8 year olds and said they were beyond redemption. For me, until a child is dead, there is always hope.

Friday, March 27, 2015

We ALMOST finished the adoption process today

Almost.

Let’s get the context. I have ALWAYS wanted a large family. 5 children was such a nice number. I pictured us singing together. I also always knew I would adopt. Then I met a man who wanted ZERO children. Uh oh! By the time we got married, we had agreed to one. By the time I was able to conceive (we underwent three rounds of fertility treatment plus one natural one after we decided synthetic was NOT the way to go) we had agreed to one biological child and one adopted.

God had other plans and gave us Eliora. By then, my body was in a terrible state. It was obvious that pregnancy and I were worst enemies. I am not sure if I ever mentioned why.

Then we realised that we were on a very small salary and we knew I would never go out for paid employment so adoption also fell away, just like the 5 children. Until last year…

Here we are. Wednesday we had the group session. For people like us who fully value and adhere to Phil 4:8, it was awful. The first session we went through each person’s most exciting thought about adoption, and their greatest fear. Then through bonding and attachment. What had been on my mind and was borne out during that section was the thing about babies in baby homes. They are used to many regular volunteers, and lots of volunteers like me who just pitch up once or twice, and volunteers from elsewhere. They are used to multiple faces and being fed and held by anyone. They need to learn that they now have parents who will always be there for them and love them and care for them.

On the other hand, there are the babies who are with kanga moms. There’s usually a husband and maybe children. These babies are used to these same regular faces. That happen to be WHITE! And now here, we are, a black family, wanting to take them from their comfort zone, looking very different. One very huge black guy- his baby would look at him and start screaming and crying, the day they went to bring her home! How will we teach the little one that she is safe and in permanent care?

After lunch-we were told where to go eat. This poor IBS soul that I am hadn’t spotted the salads and could eat nothing else except chips. Until the other members of the group (a white couple, a single lady, a mixed couple-coloured husband and white wife) noticed that I wasn’t eating much. I told them why, and mentioned that I hadn’t seen that there were salads available. The single lady quickly offered me hers, and the wife of the husband also shoved HIS salad at me. Very sweet.

After lunch, we went back for the “how and when to tell the baby that s/he is adopted” section. This was the hardest part to listen to for us who value honesty. We don’t do fairy tales, don’t do magic. But the way it was described, there were two options. Either talk about a magical king in “Baba Land” or God who has a whole lot of babies in heaven waiting for parents on earth…Then these babies comes down but are seeds and we have broken hooks in our tummies that don’t allow the doctor to hook the baby seed into our stomachs so a lady comes along whose hook is working and they then grew in “that lady’s’' (Don’t say “your mother’s”) tummy. There was lots more but yeah. It was a matter of, “Ok, if we argue, what if they decide not to let us adopt? We know how we will phrase it, let’s just listen to their version and find our own one.”

So after 4pm, we left. And had a very hard discussion in the car.

Firstly. While we were at the group session, things were going wrong with Clicks till slips. The team needed my husband to be able to try and find a solution. He usually needs to outsource and also get a team in Israel. Nothing moved, because we were unavailable. That made us feel bad because hey, we all want HAPPY CUSTOMERS!

Secondly, he got notification that there was important meeting with higher ups that was set for the exact time when we would be at our final and most important meeting-the Panel meeting where we would be declared “very pregnant” according to our social worker. I guess they know there is a baby available sooner than the 6 months my friend waited.

But, you cannot cancel that meeting. It is the type of meeting the rest of the team has to cancel their meetings for. And considering the current issues with the new rollout and ClubCard Reward and the bugs, dear husband had to be there.

I must admit, I got a bit teary when I realised this first part of the journey was not over. When we had decided to pursue adoption, it was the culmination of a dream I’d had for over a decade. It was already tough enough to find them in October but only be able to make the appointment for December-fitting in with his work schedule. So for me, it’s been wait after wait..and I’m not good with waiting and sudden changes that make the wait even longer.

BUT there’s another issue which will make the wait that much longer if our agency says, “no.”

We are VERY sure we want two babies. And because of how hard it has been trying to balance husband’s work schedule and all the meetings that adoption needs. And because when we had asked about unrelated siblings seeing as twins are not there and were told that we should wait a year then go through this all over again, it meant we were in a tough spot.

How do we get two babies at the same time or in one go if our Agency says no? While mulling this over, someone saw my post in the adoption group saying that we were going to attend Group then finish on Friday. (Yes, I did go give an update) She got in touch privately and said that her baby home had a 2 week old baby girl and she was wondering if we were seeking a girl or a boy. Ha ha ha. You know the answer to that question. I told her we would love a girl. She then asked for my social worker’s details so she could put her social worker in touch with her so that “maybe in a few week’s time if it’s God’s will you can come collect your baby girl and she can have a lovely Christian family.”

Shh, no-one else knows this, not even Mrs Z who has been my faithful and abused babysitter for the super long meetings.

So…Of course, adoptions fail for MANY reasons and we won’t assume anything will come of this. But in our email begging our agency to please allow us to have two at once, we suggested that maybe they could facilitate a second one with a different agency/ social worker. That was on Wednesday evening. Yesterday I know they were placing a baby with a very excited husband involved. Today they are doing ALL the panel meetings *SNIFF* So I don’t know that they’ll read my mail nor have time to discuss it.

So here’s the thing. If they say no, we have to start all over again. I already have formed from child welfare East London and IF our agency were to allow them to use the reports they’ve already compiled for us, then our fees would be less than a half of what we are currently paying. And the fee for a second placement-yes, at the same time-is even lower than the fee for an only child/twin/sibling set.

BUT

filling in those forms. Having to get new references and waiting for them to do their part. Having to get HIV tests which we didn’t need with the first agency. Having to get police affidavits, writing out reams of stuff about ourselves, certifying our children’s birth certificates, our marriage certificate, finding out all our insurance policy details and on and on..It’s not for the faint-hearted. And will take time.

It will increase our wait.

My daughter(s) and/or son are drifting away. But soon I’ll have them in my arms.

And when they’re both wanting attention and both crying in church or at night, I’ll ask myself, “What were we thinking!?”

Which is what I’ll ask myself when we are too poor to afford food and clothing! ;-)

But of this one thing we are sure. We feel two is better than one. Especially with our current family dynamic and her being outnumbered by the biological set that is much older than she will be. And so, the wait will be worth it. I know there are black babies needing loving families. We will be waiting to be that family for two of them. And we’ll make it somehow-in terms of finances and time and balancing everything!

(Need to post before the power goes so no time for looking for errors and editing. Sorry!!)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Stop the Snail Attack!!

Help! It was raining and the snails came out and feasted on some of my lettuce. We’re in competition. At least I happened to win the first round and they only got a few leaves.Any natural ideas of getting rid of them?

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The garden is doing great so far! Especially where we have used mulch. Ours is organic wood bark mulch. The veggies (aubergines, swiss chard, lettuce, spinach, green peppers, spring onion) in that section are plumper and fresher than the ones where I just haven’t had time to do it. (Homeschool, adoption meetings, housework, watering, picking plum tomatoes and trying to figure out why they’re growing so poorly…I just run out of time and I don’t like doing it in the evenings because of the bats. Did I mention that I hate bats!?

Some SDA knows of the so-called ‘Ellen White’ method of planting. It’s what we used for the trees. Whether there’s enough water for them, remains to be seen. Our water bill here as well as our electricity, are more expensive than in Cape Town..

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And yes, I still have flowers too. Food, beauty and lovely smells-lovely combination!

I Don’t Care!

I don't care about an inanimate statue.

I care about news presenters being mugged on live TV.

I care about a 5 year old little girl who needed an ambulance in Khayelitsha and while the paramedics were busy on her, they were being mugged at gun point.

I care about the crime that is increasing daily and makes you fear for your life and that of your loved ones.

I care about children in foster homes who wait and wait and no-one adopts them.

I care about black children of white parents who are told while in the queue, "No, THIS is not your mom." Whose mothers get told, "You did her such a favour. At least she'll be able to speak English properly. You saved her from living in a shack."

I care about a child who has no (allegedly real) mother but who gets told that the woman who changed her nappies, fed her, bathed her, clothed her, hugged her when she was said, treated her when she was sick, was up with her at night, went through the horrible and invasive process of adoption is "NOT" her mommy.

Those are the 'secular' issues I care about.

Statues don't kill.
Statues don't rape.
Statues don't fling human excrement around.
Statues don't mug.
Statues don't torture people.
Statues don't carry guns.
Statues don't wound.
Statues don't hurt the psyche of little children.
I don't care a jot about an inanimate statue. I was a student at UCT, it didn't even register.
You can care all you want. You can protest all you want if that's the way you feel.
Call me when there's a peaceful protest that will change the way the human mind works, or doesn't, as the case may be.
THEN I will protest.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dead People, the Devil, and Points to Ponder

1) Why is it that God says we should have nothing to do with seances, witches, witchdoctors, those who ‘talk to the spirits’ of the dead (all satanic stuff)…Yet when someone’s ‘spirit’ rises from the dead-as did Samuel’s with the witch of Endor-that only happens with witchcraft? How come it’s never recorded as happening with good people like Jesus or the disciples? Does the devil have power to pretend to be a loved one? A loved one who he observed from birth to death and whose mannerisms he knows very well?

2) Why is it that when the Shunammite’s son died, Elisha didn’t tell her, “It’s ok, he’s in a better place, why bring him here to die again?” Was he not in a better place?

3) Why is it that Jesus refers to death as sleep? Do our souls ‘also’ rise to heaven/hell/purgatory when we are asleep? Or are we just unconscious of what is going around us and that’s what He meant?

4) Why did Jesus keep raising people from the dead when heaven – where people say they are- is so wonderful? Why didn’t He rebuke the grieving for their selfishness?

5) Why did Jesus say He had not yet ascended to heaven after rising from the dead? Isn’t that where dead people ‘go?’

6) Why does Ecclesiastes 9 say that the dead know nothing? Aren’t they angels watching over us/ stars/ ghosts that are very aware?

7) Why is it that God says we should have nothing to do with seances, witches, witchdoctors, those who ‘talk to the spirits’ of the dead (all satanic stuff)…Yet when someone’s ‘spirit’ rises from the dead-as did Samuel’s with the witch of Endor-that only happens with witchcraft? How come it’s never recorded as happening with good people like Jesus or the disciples? Does the devil have power to pretend to be a loved one? A loved one who he observed from birth to death?Why did Paul say in 1 Thess 4, and Jesus Himself in John 5, say that the dead shall rise from the grave instead of saying that they will come down from heaven? Does God call sentient ‘souls’ from heaven back down into people’s corpses? Or is it really ‘breath’ that leaves people, and not some capable-of-thinking ‘soul?’

8) Why did Elisha breathe on the dead boy instead of asking God to bring his immortal soul back into Him?

9a) Why is it that the one time Jesus mentions a scene of someone ‘dead’ in heaven, it has absolutely no correlation to how Jesus Himself describes death, resurrection? Is it because it really WAS a common parable and His listeners knew it and therefore knew there’s no real rich man and Lazarus story going on?

b) Why is it that in the book of Revelation we find that hell will come after the second coming whereas in the above parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man is already in hell? Is it not maybe because it- once again-IS a parable and not true?

10) What about near death experiences? Are they fake? What I do know is that Stephen had one. He saw God and Jesus in heaven. But he himself wasn’t there when he saw them and we know he will rise at the second coming, he didn’t go to heaven when he had that “near death experience.”

11) What if dead people really did know nothing and were simply sleeping in peace and unaware of everything around them? Would it change who God is?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

As a Mother

I find my greatest pleasures in

- serving my husband

- praying with my children

- ironing their clothes

As a member of society

I find my greatest pleasure in

- keeping in touch with relatives

- helping my hurting sisters see that they can rise from the ashes

- caring

I love to care. I gain fulfilment from caring and knowing people know that I care.

As a woman

- I enjoy reading alone in quietness

- I enjoy reading the Bible

- I enjoy writing

I like peace. I like happiness…That’s me.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

And the timing is perfect!

Following onto THIS post…

Next week is the end of our part of the process.

Do you understand what that means?

Next week Wednesday we will have a whole day group session and on Friday will be the panel meeting at the end of which we shall be declared “WAITING” (Others say ‘paper pregnant’ but it sounds odd to me;-))

Friday will be the last day of our screening phase!!

After that, they’ll be working on matching us with a girl, (Probably done already because we handed in our profile so long ago and they now know our Form 30 is done so there’s nothing legally in the way) work on getting her ready and the next meeting we attend after next Friday will be to see photos of our precious girl and decide if we want her or if we want to wait for another little girl. Matching meeting. I cannot wait for that day but I know that the days till we actually meet her face to face will go by soooooooooooo sssssssslllllllllllllooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwllllllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Then the next Tuesday, we will go to court, (Court only happens on Tuesdays) meet the kanga mom who took care of her, maybe meet the birthmom if there is one and if she’s willing…And after Court, take our baby girl home with us!

But first. These next hurdles to jump over!