A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Our Adoption Story

I have always thought I would be a mother and I know my husband, Ricky, felt the same about being a father. When we got married we started trying for a baby almost immediately. We would think of the things we would like to pass down to our children, the experiences, the memories we would like to create with them, our faith, my husband’s love of Star Wars and my love of the performing arts. The one thing that never crossed our minds was adoption.  In all those dreams it was always assumed that the child would be ours.  We would imagine what they looked like whenever there were family gatherings and we would see our nieces and nephews.

After trying for two years it became evident that we had some infertility issues.  Our dreams of becoming parents were slipping away. We spent years and money trying to have a child of our own.  This time was filled with pain and disappointment, tears and heartache. I knew that I was meant to be a mother; I had such a deep longing in my heart. Ricky and I were both trying to be strong for each other and because it had become so painful, we decided to stop trying and place our trust in God.  We both had great faith but realised that we were trying to do this on our own, instead of handing it over to our loving father. Once we did this, we felt an overwhelming peace.Family Life In'tl

Not long after this, a student of mine confided in me that she was pregnant and that she could not keep the baby. She wanted us to adopt her baby. This was the first time we thought seriously about adoption. We met with her mother and then with our lawyers. I could feel the excitement bubbling in my belly.   We threw caution to the wind and rushed in with open trusting hearts, never doubting that this would come to pass. Her lawyer told her that she needed to contact Child Youth and Families (CYFs) and we were to do the same in order to complete the adoption workshops and process. She spent a lot of time with her appointed social worker and about a month or so before she was to give birth, she told us she had changed her mind and was going to keep her baby. We were devastated. How could an all-knowing and all-powerful God not give us a child? Yet it seemed with every step we took forward we would take ten back.  I cannot describe to you the anguish this caused us. I can’t tell you how many times I shouted at God “Why are you doing this to us? What did we do to deserve this?” Our family and friends rallied around us. As we had completed the adoption process with CYF and were in the pool for adoption, one of our close friends suggested we send our portfolio to Colleen Bayer at Family Life International as they have helped people before.

Slowly we began to climb out of the pit of despair and turn our hopes to adoption. After being in the pool for two years we were told by our social worker that we needed to update our portfolio if we wanted to stay in the pool for another two years. She also told us that our chances to adopt were slim as we are South Africans and would only be eligible for a European or African baby.  Ricky had had enough and decided that we should not update our profile as this journey had become too difficult and we needed to protect our hearts. I sat up alone that night and cried as I updated our profile. I just had to take one more chance. If there was just a sliver of hope, I needed to hold onto it. I submitted the profile and decided not to say anything to Ricky in case nothing came of this. A week later, my friend Ben Gorman told me that he had received a message from FLI and Colleen wanted to get in touch with us.



From here things moved rapidly. Before I knew it, Colleen asked if she could meet with us. l convinced Ricky to come with me, no commitment necessary. Then we were asked to meet a young girl who was thinking about adoption as an option. The meeting went well and in fact this brave young girl clicked with my husband and I stood back and let them connect. She was a lovely, open, intelligent young girl and we were later told that she had decided that she wanted us to be the parents of her unborn child. We tried not to get too excited, as we had been down this road before. Instead, we prayed and took one day at a time. We were told that it was a baby boy and that the due date was 20 June. We discussed having an open adoption as it was the healthiest option for both the mother and the child. The form that this would take we would discuss at a later date. We continued to meet and I knew that if we were to adopt, the birth mother would need to be brave.  We would need to be brave. This child would be brave.  It was still a journey for us but it was a divine journey.

Not long after this the Holy Spirit directed me to the scripture reading of the angel Gabriel appearing to Elizabeth announcing that she will have a child. She says, “How is this possible?” and Gabriel says, “Nothing is impossible for God.” The name Gabriel, the bringer of good news, was placed on my heart. I sat with Ricky one evening and told him that I knew the name of our son. He interrupted me saying that he had a dream some time ago and he was told the name of our son was Gabriel. I could not believe it. When I told him what name I was given, we both sat in silent awe. This was the moment when our faith was completely reignited.

When we laid eyes on him for the first time we fell in love. We went on this journey for a reason. It was for him. Our beautiful son is two years old now and is the love of our lives. He is a confident, beautiful, happy toddler, who brings us constant joy. He is our little miracle and we thank God every day for blessing us with this precious gift. If we had a choice, we would do it all again. In fact, our prayer now is that we are blessed with a sibling for our lovely son so that he has someone to share his experiences with as he grows.  He has someone who would keep him from being lonely, and who would be his brother or sister, and his best friend. This will complete our family.

God has stayed faithful even when we doubted and did not understand. Everything that he does is beautiful and His time is perfect time.

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