Wednesday, 27 February 2013


Today we give thanks. It has been exactly one year since we held our son in our arms for the first time. Today a year ago was the day we became parents. Today we give thanks. We have proclaimed the 27th of February as Thanksgiving Day.

Today I give thanks for having the most amazing husband. Thank you for excepting me as I am, for your support and for always being there.
Today we thank God for intrusting His child to us as his parents.
Today we thank Loïc for choosing us as his parents.
Today we thank God for choosing 2012 to be the year that we become parents.
Today we are thankful for meeting Terri Lailvaux. Thank you Terri for taking us under your wing when we thought that the world was against us. Thank you for guiding us and for becoming our friend.
Today we are thankful for ProCare for inviting us for a cup of tea and taking the time to meet us.
Today we are thankful meeting our Social Worker. Thank you is not enough to describe how much you have changed our lives. Words can never express our gratitude. Thank you for becoming our friend, not just our social worker.
Today we thank our parents for loving Loïc and us unconditionally.
Today we give thanks to our parents for standing by us.
Today we give thanks to our family for their support and unconditional acceptance.
Today we give thanks to Gabriella, Loïc’s “sister”, for all the love you show to your brother.
Today we give thanks to our very dear and loving friends for being part of our lives and joining in our joys.
Today we give thanks to everyone that has been a part of our lives, whether it was though Facebook, a SMS, an email or a phone call.
Most importantly we are thankful for having the most amazing son in the whole wide world.
This morning we celebrated with a little gift to Loïc. We also sent cupcakes to school for a celebration with his friends.

Jusqu'à la prochaine fois ...

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

We Meet Our Son!!!

The alarm clock went off at 05:00. We might as well not have set it. The excitement kept as slumbering. Not sleeping. There was no chance that we would miss this flight. It was just too important. Everything was planned to the T. Wake up at five, leave the house at six, be at the airport at 7. Meet or SW. Book in. Have breakfast at a restaurant. Get on the flight on time. Arrive in Cape Town.

Further then that we could not plan. We had to play it by ear. As long as we got to Cape Town we did not give a damn. We were close to our son and having him in our arms was all that mattered.
As Mornè and I were packing the car, we checked, checked and re-checked that we had everything. Bottles? Check. Nappies? Check. The Coming-Home-Outfit? Check. Baby toiletries? Check. Receiving blankets? Check. Car seat? Check. In times like these I don’t know a thing about doing anything in moderation. Rather too much then too little I always say.

We got into the car and off we went.

Mornè and I arrived at the airport. Luggage in hand we made our way to the Domestic Terminal. We met up with our SW and booked in. At the Mugg & Bean we ordered our morning coffee and breakfast.
At about 10:20 we boarded the plane, our SW in the window seat, me in the middle and Mornè in the aisle seat. I dreaded the flight. Two hours standing between us and our son. The three of us got so caught up in conversation that we completely missed the captains announcement that we were about to land and that we needed to fasten our seat belts.
Upon arrival at the Cape Town International Airport, Mornè went off to collect our hired car and car seat while our SW and I waited for the luggage. With the car packed (again…) we made our way to Bellville where we would spend the night at an awesome guesthouse called Old Oak.
With an entire day to kill, the three of us set off to go and have lunch in Franschhoek and afterwards we strolled around in the little shops. On the spur of the moment, we decided that an ice-cream on Camps Bay will round off the lunch perfectly… And off we went.
In between all the gallivanting we got to chat to our SW about everything. What to expect at the court, what to expect when we go to meet our son and everything else that we wanted to know about everything and anything. It goes without saying that 90% of all our questions were about Loïc. It being summer and Cape Town being on the west coast we were not use to the sun setting so late. It was 19:30 when we got back to the guest house, the sun still high in the sky. This day was over and we were only a few hours away from meeting our son.
I’m sure it goes without saying that falling asleep and staying asleep was a nightmare. The excitement was overwhelming. We were up at 06:00 this Monday morning. Lounging around in the room and slowly starting to get ready for the big day. At just after 08:00 we made our way to the communal lounge area where our SW met us minutes later. We sat down for breakfast. I can clearly remember what we had: Muesli & strawberry yogurt, coffee, orange juice, a croissant, sausages and a fried egg… medium done.
At 08:45 the three of us made our way to the Bellville court as our appointment was at 09:00. On arrival we followed our SW as she led the way. Up the stairs and left into a corridor where we were shown to a wooden bench in front of an office. She finalised all the paperwork and formalities while we waited. In the days leading up to our ‘court appearance’ I could not help but imagine that scene from “Fiela se Kind”. The day she appeared in front of the magistrate pleading to him to give Benjamin back to her.
At 09:25 it was all over. The paperwork was done and the adoption was legalised. This was a technicality that did not faze me or Mornè in the least.
We got back into the car and our SW directed us a few streets up to a ‘House of Safety’. This is where we were about to meet our son. On our arrival we got shown to the lounge where a Procare colleague (Eloise) from their Cape Town offices greeted us. Loïc was staying at a house of safety in Swellendam and they haven’t arrived yet by the time we got there. Eloise phoned them to find out where they were. They were minutes away.
As we sat in the lounge we had a view of the gate that led into the yard. As we anxiously stared at the gate we saw them pull up. They removed the car seat from the vehicle with its back facing us. We could not see Loïc. They took him up to the second floor of the house to change his nappy before he had to meet his dads.
And then they made their way to us. Our SW grabbed our camera to take a picture. On her way out she closed the lounge door. We were staring at the door knob… Waiting for it to turn.
In came the most beautiful boy in the entire universe. He was full of smiles and SO tiny. We held him, kissed him and we were happy. We were a family.

Jusqu'à la prochaine fois ...

Monday, 25 February 2013

And So The Preparation Begins

I always wondered how I would go about sharing the news with my parents that they were going to become grandparents. Would I phone them, get them both on the line and break the news to them that way? If not, how do I avoid being biased and telling the one parent first and not the other? How do I avoid hurting one’s feelings and sparing the other’s?

Luckily for me my parents decided to take a trip to Zambia to go and see the Victoria Falls. They flew out of O.R. Tambo the Monday after my birthday party. So naturally they had to return to Johannesburg before catching a flight back to Port Elizabeth. On their return they decided to spend a night or two with us before going home.
I fetched them form the Gautrain Station in Sandton on Monday the 5th of December 2011. This was the perfect time to tell them both the news. We were leaving the car park, when I turned to them and said:

“You are becoming grandparents!!”

Their first response was: “From whom?”

“Us of course!!” I said and filled them in on the little detail we had. I have two younger siblings and that caused a bit of confusion. In their defence, none of us thought that we would get ‘That Call’ so quickly.
We were notified of our son’s birth very early compared to how it should happen. Usually you only get the call at day 56/57 of the 60 days. We got ours at day 17 of 60. There was still that risk that the birth mom could change her mind. This however, did not stop us from going on a shopping spree. We started off with a bag of nappies and a set of bottles. Soon we bought clothes and then it just spiralled out of control. The weeks felt like they were dragging by.
Soon it was Christmas. The tree was up and the gifts were bought. We decided that, when Loïc came home, we would celebrate with him and only then would the tree come down. The festive season of 2011 was a quiet one. Mornè and I celebrated Christmas low-key with a Christmas lunch for two.
New Year’s Eve arrived and soon it was 2012. Eagerly waiting for the 13th of January to arrive. The day that the 60-days would expire. For some reason we weren’t worried at all. We trusted or SW completely and knew that she would not put us in a situation where the birth mom could possibly retract he decision.
In the weeks to follow Mornè and I were blessed with three baby showers. We each had one at the office with our colleagues and one that was thrown by our friends. We were showered with gifts and truly spoilt. Loïc was not going to need anything. We were ready for his arrival.
Close to the end of January, I got a call from or SW. She discussed with me the final details of the placement that was going to take place in February. The very next morning Mornè and I booked the flights, accommodation and arranged a rental car with baby seat and all.

The reality was starting to sink in. With the baby’s room ready, travel arrangements in place and (P/M)aternity leave booked, we counted the days to the 26th of February.


Jusqu'à la prochaine fois ...


Thursday, 7 February 2013

You Got Mail

The weekend kicked-off with family arriving from all over the country to join in celebrating my big 3-0. I planned a dinner at a quaint little French themed restaurant in Parkhurst with thirty of my closest family and friends.

If celebrating your birthday wasn’t eventful enough for one weekend, my Gran decided to land up in hospital after fainting in the restaurant’s restrooms. We still joke about the fact that she stole the limelight from me that night.
Earlier that same day, we took our cat to the vet as she wasn’t looking well at all. We left her there over night as the doctor wanted to do some tests. We returned that Sunday morning to fetch her. The doctor had bad news… She had leukaemia. The vet did not say much, but we gathered the obvious. It was heartbreaking and we cried all the way home.
In between all of this we had my Gran still in hospital. Luckily she was given a clean bill of health and she was discharged.
The Monday arrived with the weekend’s events still very fresh in my memory. At least I still had my actual birthday to look forward to.
The big day arrived and it was official… I was thirty!! The day was filled with wishes, cake, presents and a standing tradition. A dinner for two… Just me and Mornè.
The 30th of November started off like any other work day. The birthday had come and gone and the countdown to the December leave has now taken priority. At around 11:00 in the morning, my boss and I popped out of the office for an early lunch. On my return I found this email in my Inbox:

From: Our Social Worker


Bel my bietjie as jy 'n kans kry asb, het nuus vir jou!



Phone me if you when you get a change, have news for you!


I grabbed my phone as fast as I could, dialled her from my phone book and waited for her to answer.
Me: Hi … How are you? I just got your email.

Her: Your guy’s baby was born earlier this month.

Me: WHAT!!!??? (Trying to contain myself)

Her: Ja! (Giggling)

Me: This is the biggest birthday present I could ever ask for!! Is it a boy or a girl?

Her: Is it your birthday?

Me: It was yesterday.

Her: Congratulations!! It’s a boy… The 60 days expires on the 13th of January and placement will take place early February. I will send you pictures of him as soon as I get them from my colleagues in the Cape. Congratulations!

Me: Thank you. Bye!

Her: Bye

I dropped the call and dialled Mornè. For a moment I could not remember where “M” was in the alphabet. I scrolled up and down by phone book and remembered I stored it under L for “Liefie”. I dialled:

Him: Hallo

Me: Our son is born. I just got off the phone with the social worker. He was born earlier this month! She says he is beautiful!! The 60 days expires on the 13th of January and placement will happen early February!!

Him: Are you serious?!

Me: Yes!!

There was silence. It started to sink in. We're becoming going to be Dads!!

Him: Ok, see you at home! (Ecstatic)

Me: See you now-now! (Ecstatic)

The rest of this day passed in a haze. We could not believe it!!


Jusqu'à la prochaine fois ...