Diaries Of A White Mother Raising A Black Baby’s Melinda shares below their journey to a family of 4:
According to my husband I am perfect. Except for my impatience, my stubbornness, my rather bullish ways and the fact that I make decisions with my heart and not with my head.
I’m thankful for these ‘shortcomings’ because without them I wouldn’t be the proud mother of two beautiful heaven-sent-God-blessed adopted children.
Fro us falling pregnant was an exercise in infertility. For 6 years I went to homeopaths, reflexologists, dietitians and witch doctors . Okay i didn’t really go see a witch doctor but Dr Babu’s pamphlet started to look tempting and for some of the advice I followed, I might as well have. I tried acupuncture and reiki. I rubbed bad smelling creams onto my stomach and snail mucous on my boobs. I tried stress management and breathing exercises.
Out of options and home remedies we made an appointment at Vitalab. A lot of poking, prodding and a laparoscopy later we were pregnant! Sadly at 11 weeks I lost the baby, along with all hope. IVF was an option but with age and weight against me there was about a 22% chance of the procedure been successful. Not great odds really.
Mark and I had discussed adoption before, almost as an aside, but the time had now come to look at it seriously, make appointments and consult with a SW.
Our first consult with a private social worker left me feeling deflated. It seemed fraught with paper work, red tape and bureaucracy. I wanted to be a mom and I wanted to be a mom now. I didn’t want to wait to wait on a waiting list to wait for a phone call. Surely there were baby girl out there who needed a home, who needed me. God knows I needed her.
A friend introduced me to the The Lighthouse Baby Shelter, a non profit haven for babies and toddlers, some abandoned, some removed from unsafe environments and some available for adoption. The shelter is run by the amazing Eleanor and her daughter Wanita. And what I love about it is that it’s a home where these lost little angels are loved and cherished and taken care of until they find their forever home.
Eleanor, in her 50′s, adopted one of the very first babies that arrived at the shelter. Wanita too has adopted a little girl from there.
We met Emma when she was 6 weeks old. A month later she came home. Don’t get me wrong. There was the stressful interview. We had our financials scrutinized and our home inspected. We had to advertise in newspapers for the biological father to come forward and we had to endure the 90 day waiting period in which the BM can change her mind.
I know with private adoptions families are chosen carefully and adoptive parents are also able to be very specific when looking for their baby. The non profit or governmental process is a bit different but even though we don’t match on paper, Emma matched in our hearts perfectly.
She has my funny toes. She has her dad’s strange forehead and she shares our sense of humour. At three years old she roars with laughter with the ‘pull my finger’ joke and her and Mark share a passion for music, for singing and dancing. Like me, she scrunches her nose up when she smiles and she’s sensitive and cares for others. Emma, like me, loves been silly. With faces, with words. Her latest is to tell us she loves us bigger than an elephant’s bum!
Adopting a second baby was on the cards but we didn’t have a timeline in mind. Mark wanted a baby boy and Emma wanted a baby brother. She had already decided his name would be ‘Sister’. I just wanted a baby
In February this year I got a call from the shelter asking if we were still keen to adopt a sibling. I said we were why and asked why. “We’ve got a seven day old baby boy. He’s mother has signed him over for adoption.”
That was Monday. We met him that night. Wednesday we decided he was our baby boy and by Monday he was home with us. We would have had him sooner but we needed the necessary court papers which weren’t available yet.
Going the non profit or government route worked for us. We weren’t particular about the colour of our baby and there’s a lot of little black babies already available needing loving homes. Both Emma and Ben are closed adoptions. Our privacy is protected and we have only ever seen the ID documents of their BM’s. Comparing ‘costs’ we did not have to do the following:
Adoption counselling and screening of the proposed adoptive parents
Adoption counselling with the biological parents
Consultations with relevant professionals and others
medical fees including doctors’ consultations, scans, hospital fees
We did however pay for:
Eight years after realizing I would never produce children I am blessed with two precious, precious bundles. They are our reason for being and the loves of our lives.
We chose this route. Emma and Ben chose us xxx