'This is our adoption story'
These parents wanted a baby and now, thanks to being able to adopt, they have one. This is their story.
My husband and I have both been married before and we each have a child from our previous marriage. My daughter is 10, and his son is 8. I tried for 5 years in my previous marriage to fall pregnant. I underwent fertility treatment but nothing worked.

My current husband and I started planning for another child. After 6 months we underwent fertility treatment, artificial insemination, acupuncture, reflexology, and I even went on a special diet. I've also been to two fertility specialists. Nothing worked.

What about adoption?

My husband came up with the idea of adoption, and I must admit, I was not too keen on it. Mid October of 2010 we started the adoption process at Cape Town Child Welfare as we could not afford the services of a private adoption agency. The processes we underwent were quite intense - credit checks, names clearances, application forms, referral letters, interviews, workshops, portfolios, home visits etc.

By the end of December 2010 our application was complete and Child Welfare had all our requirements. By mid March of 2011 we were advised that we were approved by the Board and officially on the waiting list.

That put our minds at ease, even though I knew we would probably wait 1 - 3 years. Child Welfare would first try to match us up with a baby that would fit in with us. We weren't picky though. We just wanted a baby, and didn't care about the race/religion.

The workshops and the questions they ask

Every month Child Welfare runs their workshop and we had 12 couples in our class. They also had a very long waiting list.

There are so many things they prepare you for that you wouldn't even have thought of, like: Would you accept a baby conceived through rape, incest, who's mother is HIV positive but the baby is HIV negative, who's mother is 10 years old, who has been abandoned, would you accept twins etc.

We were blown away by all the information and questions, but it was great that they prepared us for this, and the workshops were so informative. The social workers were also amazing. They are well trained and very approachable.

A baby at last!

On Thursday 24th March I received a call from my social worker. She called to confirm that we were in fact on the waiting list, and that they had a baby for us. I was in shock! After being on the waiting list for about 2 weeks, they had a baby for us?! She wanted my husband and I to go through immediately to give us more information and to meet our baby! Within the hour we were both sitting at the Child Welfare offices.

After not being ready for a baby, I was instantly ready! This just sounded too good to be true! Our baby was born on the 23 December 2010. Our social worker showed us a picture of her and we instantly fell in love. Soon afterwards we were on our way to Kangaroo Care to meet our baby. The first time I held our baby in my arms, I cried tears of joy and I was in love. The connection was so strong.

She was born to be my baby.

The birth mom had until Monday the 28th to change her mind and we could only take our baby home once we went to Children's court and the judge signed the documents. I was so anxious about the birth mom changing her mind over the weekend, but in my heart I knew this was my baby. I was her mother and nothing was going to happen to change that.

The big day

We went baby shopping, and we took our two kids with so that they could choose items and be a part of the process. We also fetched them early at school and took them with us to court. We waited for about an hour, we spoke to the very friendly judge, and then we were on our way to fetch our new edition to our family.

She was awake and waiting for us when we fetched her. We took lots of photos of the ladies that took care of her and the social worker. She sat in the car seat at the back with our two children and didn't cry at all. She stared at her surroundings, smiled and was just so perfect.

That Saturday we met the birth mom, and we thanked her and spoke to her and it went really well. There would be no further contact with her, only photos sent once a year to the social worker, and the birthmom would fetch them at Child Welfare.

Now I cannot picture my life without her. I couldn't love her more. She makes me laugh and smile so much! Our kids love her so much, and they don't see her as an adopted sister, but as their own sister. I have even been taking prescribed medication so that I can breastfeed and 3 weeks after taking it and using electric pump, the milk came in! She doesn't want to latch but I pump the milk and give it to her in a bottle. It's not ideal, but it's better than her not getting the precious breastmilk at all.

I can't thank Cape Town Child Welfare and the wonderful social workers enough for giving me this indescribable joy. Our baby is a true blessing.

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