Friday, December 19, 2014

Boy, or Girl?

When you are adopting, you have the luxury of choice. Are you willing to take in a disabled baby? Special needs? HIV positive? HIV affected? Twins? 2 months old? Older than 6 months? Health problems?

And the one that is fun to think about-do you want a boy or girl or any?

I wanted a girl. Just because girls’ clothes are so much more fun! I love the bright colours, the cuteness of it all. And I found my girl easier to potty train as she doesn’t have any extra bits I have to think about. All very light reasons to PREFER a girl. And not to be taken seriously at all.

Dear husband on the other hand, wouldn’t mind a boy. Why? “Then we have another preacher!” He he he. Yeah. Our son retorted with, “Well, girls can teach!”

So when we got to the orientation meeting last week (We went last Friday) and the social worker asked what we’d prefer, we looked at each other, laughed, and said, “WHATEVER!! ANYTHING!”

And so, while I read others who started preparing for a specific gender, we wait to get clothes once we get the news that in a week’s time we will receive a little one. We were told you have a matching meeting where you will meet the social worker. She will then give you all info regarding the child’s background, birth parents’ background-usually the mothers because the dads are…Yeah.. You know. You get to see pictures of the little one and medical info too.) With our son we didn’t find out his gender. With our daughter, we found out. So I guess we’re back to option 1. Surprise when s/he comes.

And so, we continue to wait. But I do know that once the process gets going, it takes about 4 months. So the wait will be short. As I’ve mentioned a few posts ago.

(I’ll delineate the actual process THIS particular agency uses in a later post. This post was inspired as I read the blog of someone who had chosen a girl and so had bought very specific colours for the cot, was able to buy clothing and receive gender-specific gifts before they knew when the little one was coming.)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I’m not a good waiter

He he he. Ok, I didn’t mean that. I meant, I’m not good at this waiting thing.’ Yep, I’ve waited decades for certain things to happen. Didn’t enjoy the wait, though I appreciated that things could be worse. And this isn’t even a long wait! But hey, at least I know my failings. In my answer regarding my negative points I did say that when I want something, I want it “NOW!” Instant gratification.

So now, here I am…Waiting. And this isn’t even THE wait! You know, the one when you’re declared “paper pregnant” and it’s now a matter of when, not if? I’m not even there yet! We handed in our personal questionnaires on Monday, together with proof that we applied for our crimiinal record checks, proof that we sent in our application to the Dept. of Social Development to prove that we aren’t on the child protection and sex offenders’ list and other documentation-ID, marriage certificates, proof of income and the all important family profile. (I did a scrapbook.)

It’s been silent since Monday. Only 5 days. But it feels like an eternity. I don’t mind waiting if I have a definite date. But now I don’t even know when our references will be contacted. I don’t know if our references will check their emails. I don’t know when they’ll respond. i don’t know when our next appointment will be-with the social worker who will do individual interviews and psych tests as well as a couple interview. I know nothing. I don’t know how long others wait between handing everything in and getting a call regarding the rest of the screening process. What I do know is that they’re closing on the 22nd and opening on the 2nd. The rest…I don’t know.

*sigh*

Ignorance is NOT bliss.

And another thing I don’t like? Not knowing the gender of the child we will get. Makes it hard to picture him/her, choose names, choose clothing. But that’s a story for another day. Yes, we left it open on purpose. But I don’t think we’ll have 9 months in which to slowly prepare for the baby. And in the same way I found out the sex of our second born, I would do so for this coming in-IF WE GET APPROVED- too!

So..we wait. But hey, I know that ultimately (IF WE GET APPROVED) there’ll be son or daughter who will feel loved and nurtured and will never know the ache of being in a children’s institution and wondering if they’ll ever get a “forever family.’' Yeah, I’m not yet a fan of these catch phrases like “grown in my heart” or “forever family” etc. Maybe they’ll grow on me.

We can’t change every child’s world, but we can change one child’s world. And we certainly have a lot of love to make the little one’s world go round. And that is something I DO know!

And what I do know is that I’ll keep blogging, even if I’m only talking with Tsietsi, Mercy and Mrs Z. Oh, and Big Sis George ;-) Yeah, I’m looking at all the lurkers who don’t speak up. You, I’m talking TO, not ‘with.’ Teehee.

(Oh, how I know there aren’t 9 months to wait? There are sadly MANY black babies who need black parents. So…It wouldn’t take very long to match us. I know for white parents who want to parent white children..it can take years. Can-doesn’t always. And there are some mixed race babies and coloured. Much more than the white and Indian group. But not as many as –obviously-the general black population. And no, not all white prospective adoptive parents wait for a child with skin like theirs. Others choose to parent any child, as long as they can parent. I can’t fault either group. Each has its negatives on the child and parent-no condemnation from me!)

Monday, December 15, 2014

I fell in love all over again

Well, not really because I never fell out of love!

One of the questions we had to answer in the forms we were given on Friday asked us to detail our spouse’s worst qualities.

My dear beloved’s one about me was, “Her inability to take a rest and relax even though I plead with her to just let things be for a day around the house. I fear it will be at the expense of her health.”

Awww, the fact that my worst quality is not exactly a ‘bad’ thing…If you see what I mean. How sweet!

Mine was that he is headstrong. If we agree about something, he has then made up his mind. This means that if he agrees with some silly idea of mine, even if I realise it was silly, he will still go ahead with it anyway.

Sorry! Nothing sweet and warm from this lady! (Oops!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I Caved…

Remember when I said that Unisa had changed the direction for the Honours degree I had started? And that I had started that degree precisely for that direction and therefore I was taking a break? Yeah, I took a break for a year then re-registered this year. Then decided I couldn’t handle all the subjects and assignments if I were to continue with my priorities which were Bible study, wife, mother, church work, health, rest so I quit.

But I couldn’t de-register from one so I just ignored it and pretended it didn’t exist. Until September when I felt bad that we’d paid all that money and I was wasting it. So I went off for 2 days to prepare for an October exam while hubby took leave just for my sake. (Isn’t he caring?)

I spotted the questions I thought might appear. Learnt about 13 essays and prayed hard that the ones that would be chosen would come from there. And they did! And I passed. Then we came to the next decision… “Hmm, we’ve come half way, it would be pointless not to at least try finish off, even though the university has written to tell you you have to work faster than you had been all along and you know your life is about to go through a major and time-consuming ‘disruption’ this coming year. What about the money you’d paid that’s already in credit? R1335 is a lot of money to just give away to Unisa!”

So after much to-ing and fro-ing, I decided that this year would be the last year. If I fail anything, or if I fail the majority of the subjects, that’s it, I’m done. I think.I know what it’s like to try study round a baby’s nonexistent schedule and if all goes to plan, I’ll have to go back to that while navigating through homeschooling two junior school pupils too. Won’t be easy. And this time I don’t have the luxury of going to my husband’s old workplace for peace and quiet each Sunday. But you know, with the winds of change that are blowing the homeschool world, I feel I need to have more than my general BA in Psych and Sociology. And I believe the skills I’ll learn (and have already learnt) in this Psychological Counselling area are valuable for our ministry anyway. Especially seeing as its focus is, you know..counselling!

And so here I am, registered already. After having quit in a huff and only withstood the pressure for a year. Hey, an Honours would be a boost if the worst happened and dear husband couldn’t work. An edge would be helpful, especially with my not having been in any job market (except for IT-related things here and there with dear husband)  for a DECADE!

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Dogs

In this little town, there are dogs galore. They bark a lot. You always know when someone is walking past a certain house because the dogs will bark their lungs out. Some dogs come out onto the road and chase the walkers or cyclists. Mostly small dogs whose bark is bigger than their nonexistent bite.

There’s one little dachshund close to our home that loves to do the ‘running out its yard barking’ thing. Last week as we were walking home, it came out running and barking. My son decided, “Hmm, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, “ and off he went (without telling me his idea) running TOWARDS it with his arms stretched out like an aeroplane. The dog kept barking and running..but he was now running back home. It was funny because he kept his little bark, just that he was now reversing.

It was funny.

But of course, being a responsible mother, I told him the neighbours might not take kindly to him running towards their dogs and maybe terrorising them.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Where were we?

This time last weekend we were in Port Elizabeth, about 750km away from here. Yep, nice long drive. My husband had taken leave from work. We weren’t on holiday, we weren’t attending a funeral or a wedding, we weren’t even able to see the friends we had wanted to see…So why were we there?

At our church, we like to encourage people to use the old way of doing things. This includes how to court, beginning with getting permission from the girl’s parents BEFORE you even get close to the young lady. And so, when one of our most earnest young men had his eye caught by a young lady, he came seeking advice. I got to interview the young lady, tried to see if she herself would even want her parents to give approval-it would be silly to make all that effort and it turns out the young lady herself would not be interested at all. She had good things to say about what she has learnt about him while on mission trips, visiting our church (She’s a student at one of the Western Cape universities) and most importantly, she seems to be interested in doing things the right way. Just praying she will continue to grow spiritually, and that he will too.

So, that was done. She definitely didn’t think he was gross. What next? I –with MUCH trepidation-made a phone call to the mother all the way in the Eastern Cape and told her about the young man’s feelings and asked if it would be possible for us to visit the family the next month so he could come formally to seek their approval. Talk about an awkward conversation. Doesn’t help that like a stereotypical introvert, I DON’T LIKE SPEAKING ON THE PHONE!  He he he. So to talk to a stranger, to try and not mess things up for the young man…whew, was hectic! Long story short, our visit was approved.

And so last week, we made the 8 hour drive from here to pick up the young man in Cape Town then to Port Elizabeth (PE) We attended their church where the mother was so welcoming and loving. Sunday was D-Day… Who was going to say what? How would the parents react? It was interesting! We sent the children to go play with the young lady’s siblings-her little brother is the same age as our son. And they all got on so well. It was great!We could all tell the young lady was listening, even while she was in the kitchen. The young man was very polite and respectful. When the mom stated her fears and worries, I answered some, hubby answered some and the others were just so easy that we let the young man answer them. It was lovely though, because you could see what a wonderful mother she is. She is a blessing to that family. And the palpable relief when the father said they give permission for their courtship to go ahead!! Whew!!!

Boy was there rejoicing. Not only from us, but from his family-they had been checking on him via whatsapp, via phonecalls. His mother is in Zimbabwe, his brothers in the Western Cape and in Gauteng…They all were super excited. It was like we were celebrating an engagement! The brothers even called us to say that they were praying for us before everything happened, the mother also said the same thing, and afterwards they called to thank us, the one brother even begged to at least meet us on our way home so he could see us face to face to thank us and congratulate his brother. It was just such an awesome feeling!

So, that was our journey. LONG. TIRING. But oh so worth it. And so we pray for them and with them. We (hubby and I) promised the parents that in the same way we were involved, we will keep on being involved. That we will love and nurture them-and try keep them on the strait and narrow ;-) By God’s grace, all will be done in a decent and moral manner.

I’m such a hopeless romantic!

Monday, December 1, 2014

This Close

When the surgeon was done with the not very successful operation last week, he told the mother, “If you had waited just a little while longer, your child would have died without warning. The tumour was so wrapped around her vessels and important veins and organs that…”

Talk about sobering.

And so the journey continues. No end in sight right now.