Thursday, 6 December 2012

1 June 2011

With me in the passenger seat, Morne steered the car towards Arcadia, the radio blurring in the background. We were feeling nervous and excited, unsure of what to expect from this meeting.

I don’t know about you, but I never had any dealings with a social worker before and the only thing I knew about “their kind” was what I saw in movies. They show-up unannounced and at the most inconvenient times. They are always the bearer of bad news.  Their unexpected visits make you nervous and stutter, obvious signs that you are trying to hide something. Their supernatural sights don’t miss a spectacle of dust making you look like a slob.
Nervous and Excitement was fighting the battling against Scared… Scared was winning!
We pulled up to ProCare’s offices and parked in the bay right in front of the pedestrian gate. Without a word we got out of the car and made our way to the intercom. The buzzer went and we pushed the gate open. At reception we got a warm and friendly welcome from Miemie. I good sign… Or so we hoped…  We got showed to the reception area and were offered a cup of tea. Jacaranda FM was playing in the background and the smell of filter coffee made these offices feel more like a home.
The office door on our left opened and out came a lady, dressed cosy and warm. She walked up to us, stuck out her hand and introduced herself, in Afrikaans: “Hi, ek is julle Maatskaplike Werkster. Kom saam met my.”
She walked us to her office and offered us a seat on her couch. She introduced herself as our Social Worker and asked us a couple of questions. You know… The basics: “Tell me a little about yourself?”
She then proceeded by telling us about the process, what we can expect from her and what she will need from us. She handed us a stack of papers and explained to us, in detail, what she would require from us and by what time. She then handed us a couple of those VERY important profiles so that we could get an idea of what ours needed to contain. She gave us the opportunity to ask her all the questions that we felt needed some answers.  And she answered every single one of them.
After saying our goodbyes, we left her office and exited the building. We left Anxious, Nervous and Scared behind. We were now bursting with excitement. I phoned Teri and gave her an update on our first meeting. “The verdict?” she asked… “It went very well!” I replied.
We walked out of ProCare with a completely different perception of a Social Worker. “Their kind” was friendly, warm, kind, caring, loving and nurturing. They were not what I thought they were.
Morne and I could not wait to get home and get stuck in the paperwork…

Jusqu'à la prochaine fois ...

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The BIG Celebration

When I started my blog, I had every intention of keeping everything in chronological order. From beginning the adoption process all the way through to placement. And then I thought about it... Why should I?! I want to share our life as it happens. And if that means I deviate a bit, then so be it.

Our son celebrated his first birthday last week. A whole one year old! This called for a big celebration that had to involve a cake, balloons, family, friends and copious amounts of candy. And let's not forget a good dozen or two of toddlers running around. The Animal Farm themed party went down this past Saturday.

The birthday cake

We decided to use his first birthday as a "Let's Give Back" campaign in honour of all the Kangaroo Moms taking care of our child in those very important 60 days. We asked all the guests to please contribute nappies, formula or clothes for ages 0 to 3 months. Everyone donated generously and for that we say THANK YOU!! You will never know how much we appreciate it!! I will be delivering the goodies to our Social Worker in the week for distribution.

I've been to a couple of kiddies parties, but never realised that so much energy goes into planning one. None the less, all the kids and parents had an absolute blast and that is all that matters. The pool was crowded with children enjoying the cool water on this hot summer's day. Loïc (our son) was overwhelmed at first with all the attention ad gifts, but soon got into the swing of things. With a fizzer in each hand he soon became the life of the party! His party outfit lasted a whole five minutes before I had to change him into something more appropriate... his swimming costume.


We are so grateful for everyone that attended and for making our boy's first birthday so special.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Jusqu'à la prochaine fois...

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Let's start at the very beginning

In 2007 Mornè (my husband who you will still get to know) and I decided that we felt it was time to become parents. Fortunately for us, we new that biologically it was impossible for the two of us to conceive a child. Yet, the process of adoption was something we had no clue about. We did not know as to who to contact and what questions to ask. What we were very aware of was how a selected few in society felt about same-sex couples adopting a child.

So I started by Googling adoption agencies. I don't know about you, but I felt more comfortable being rejected via e-mail then over the phone. So I composed a standard e-mail that I sent out to every possible agency that offered a glimmer of hope. We paid a lot of attention as to what was said on these websites, looking for any religious undertones that could hinder our chances of being accommodated. Thinking back, we were more considerate to the feelings and views of these agencies than that of our own.

If we were lucky we got a response and the response would be standard: "No." Sometimes politely and sometimes not so politely. We ended up getting a response from the local Welfare inviting us to a Adoption Information Session they were hosting. We confirmed the time and date and off we went.

The whole adoption route faded slowly into the background after this very insightful information session. For most part, we were to blame. But today we call it fate.

During 2007 through to 2011 Mornè and I focused on our careers and travelled the world. Until one day in May 2011...

Mornè and I were on our way back from Woolies when while in our driveway he turned to me and said... "Let's adopt."

We started doing our research again, but taking a different approach this time around. We came across Adoptmom's website and the phenomenal lady behind it...Terri. Terri and us starting chatting via e-mail and within 24 hours we arranged a counselling session with her.

Me and Mornè were not sure what to expect, because this was the first time we had made it this far with anyone dealing with private adoption agencies. The person on the other side of the telephone was warm, welcoming, understanding, nurturing and she listened. Whether it was our concerns or our aspirations of becoming a family. We asked her question after question and by the end of the session we had a couple of names of adoption agencies that could assist us. There was one agency in particular that spoke to us... Procare in Pretoria.

The following Monday I sent ProCare that standard e-mail, just in case we had to face another rejection. Within hours I received a response with a one pager to complete and a date confirmed for our first appointment with a social worker. We were overcome with excitement!! We had a breakthrough!!

And on the 1st of June 2011 our journey was set to begin.

Jusqu'à la prochaine fois...

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The First Post

And so I begin...

Welcome to "Two and a Half (and still growing) Men". I have many reasons for creating this blog. Most importantly, to share our family moments with you. Two proud dads and our son.

I have Googled and read many blogs, but have failed to come across one where a same-sex couple share their experiences with adoption. I'm sure there are, I maybe just failed to find them. And this is exactly what I am setting out to achieve.

I have often been asked to share our journey with discouraged gay and lesbian couples. Couples that have lost faith.

I look forward to sharing our journey with you. From beginning to end and beyond. And if there is one thing I love, it's photos. They speak a thousand words, so I will make sure to include a lot of them.

Jusqu'à la prochaine fois...