Adoption, Age 3, Parenting

Gay Couple Adopting – The Mommy Question

 

Gay Couple Adopting - The Mommy Question

When hubby and I made the decision to embark on our adoption journey, we knew very well that at some point our new family would be asked the question ” Where’s mommy?”

We knew that the question would come from different sources.

As much as you think you will be ready for when the question pops up, from my personal experience I don’t think you will ever really be ready for it.

The question pulls at your heart.

Although the question is asked with no malice, usually, I felt at the time… Continue reading “Gay Couple Adopting – The Mommy Question”

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Adoption, Family, Father and Son

Letter to my hubby…YOU’RE AN AWESOME DADD!

Letter to my hubby

I don’t for a second believe you knew what you were getting into when I first approached you about becoming a dad. Even though without hesitation you agreed to join me on this adventure, somehow I doubt you actually knew what you were getting yourself into.

Although there were books that you had access to, quality time with my nephews, nieces, chats with mates and moms that shared their experiences with you, nothing prepares you for this journey called PARENTHOOD.

Fatherhood is a Continue reading “Letter to my hubby…YOU’RE AN AWESOME DADD!”

Adoption, Family, Legal, Parenting, Same Sex, Surrogacy

Pathway to Fatherhood, as a Gay man

Path to Gay ParentingYou’re a gay man.

You’re a gay couple.

You want to enter the world of fatherhood.

What are your options?

In South Africa, these are our options. Continue reading “Pathway to Fatherhood, as a Gay man”

Adoption, hylery, Love, Same Sex

World Adoption Day – Gay Dad Darren share’s his story

World Adoption Day
Our First World Adoption Day as a family 2014

Today 9th November 2016 is #WorldAdoptionDay celebrated worldwide, the wonderful blessing that adoption can be.

Adoption Statistics in South Africa based on a review of the Registry of Adoptable Children and Parents (RACAP) as at November 2013

  • 297 unmatched parents registered – 14 Black, 190 White and 43 Indian
  • Girls are preferred to Boys
  • 50 applicants would consider a child with special needs (HIV, Mental or Physical disabilities)
  • 29 possible parents for around 429 children registered on RACAP
  • 2013 only 1699 adoptions took place, down from 2840 in 2004

That said, today being World Adoption Day I thought I’d share with you our personal story. So here are Darren’s thoughts back in 2014…

The decision to adopt a baby was not our first option as we desperately wanted to father a child or two of our own. However having considered the exhaustive process as well as the reality that surrogacy would still not guarantee us a baby, we Continue reading “World Adoption Day – Gay Dad Darren share’s his story”

Adoption, Adoption Phases, hylery

Gay Couple Adopting – The Paperwork

Adoption Paperwork

Something we may have forgotten to ask our social worker and she may have forgotten to expand with us, was what “Placement” or the trip where we meet our new family member is all about.

We were under the impression that when we went to fetch our son and brought him home, that the hard part was over and he was forever ours. Well not quite. How mistaken we were. It was only at this point that we also learnt that for the first 24 months, that we could receive a call from our Social Worker informing us that our son’s birth parents wanted to meet to see how their birth child was doing. By law, you can’t say no. Continue reading “Gay Couple Adopting – The Paperwork”

Adoption, Adoption Phases, hylery

Gay Couple Adopting – The Application

Adoption as a gay couple

I recall that from the age of 16 I wanted to be a dad. I distinctly remember a conversation I had with my mother at the time, where I mentioned that I would one day become a dad and that I would have this child without a wife or girlfriend for that matter to help me raise him/her. At the time I was not out as a gay person to my family or friends. I still remember my mom asking me then how I intended to have this child then if I was not planning on having a wife or girlfriend. Continue reading “Gay Couple Adopting – The Application”

Adoption, Education, Experiences, Social Media

Facebook has changed adoption for us …

Missing Piece - sourced online
Missing Piece – sourced online

Over the last week or so, my Facebook page has more than once popped this article about how Facebook has changed adoption for everoriginally posted by the Guardian back on the 19th June 2010.

It covers a subject that I know both hubby and I are well aware of and that we will have to deal with at some point with our young man. It shares a reality, that I think many adoptive parents like us may or may have not thought of. Until social media platforms like Facebook became available, the process of reconnecting with your biological family as an adoptee was strictly managed by social workers. No malicious intentions, but more for the protection of both families. It’s has all changed now.

As humans we’re naturally curious beings. We’re never all satisfied with the “status quo”, we want to know more and understand why. The curiosity isn’t always from the child but from the biological parent(s) too. They have been known to want to find out where their biological child is, who they have become etc. It is all very normal, I believe. How you go about it, like the article mentions, is what is extremely important. It isn’t just two or three lives that are affected but many more if the process isn’t carefully managed.

Quote from Michael Ohers mom - sourced online
Quote from Michael Ohers mom – sourced online

For open adoptions, you will find that at least one biological parent is aware of who the adoptive parents are. They may receive regular updates, either from the adoptive parents directly or via the social worker. When the appropriate time comes, a meeting can be arranged for a reunions .. at least that’s what I’ve become familiar with.

With closed adoptions, the day the child is placed with the adoptive parents, the biological parents can request for regular updates for the next 24 months and even request to see the child within this period. These meetings are however all supervised by the social worker.

Social Media has now changed all this, whether we want to believe it or not .. it has. When we reach our teenage years we begin our search to find out who we are as individuals. Access to social media has made it all so easy. You know how you are when you first meet someone new, be it for business or pleasure, you search for them on the various social media platforms to see if you can find out more about them. It isn’t surprising that adopted children / biological parents, then seek to use the same platform to attempt to discover their biological family.

Personally, I don’t think we can avoid this scenario playing out. However, through an open relationship with your child and open conversations with them you can address these hurdles as they come. Allowing you to manage, to a point, these needs carefully along with the emotions that come with it. That said, not everyone follows through with their curiosity. For many it’s a “high-level” kind of curious, not something they would like to follow through to the point of making actual contact.

A quote from Faith Hill - sourced online
A quote from Faith Hill – sourced online

Whichever way our young man decides to follow, he will have our support. We can’t stop him from finding out more about his roots, but we can guide and be with him through that journey should he ever decide to embark on it. He will be made aware that it can be both a positive or a negative experience at the time, and that he should be mature enough to deal with either outcome.

We can protect him from getting hurt for so long.

It will also be a very emotional period for both hubby and I, should it happen, but one we can’t avoid but be supportive of our young man.

HKL

Adoption, Celebrations, Family, hylery, Mother's Day, Parenting

Mother’s Day 2014

All that I am or hope to be … I owe to my Angel Mother – Abraham Lincoln

Today Sunday 11th May, is Mother’s Day in many countries across the world. A role that is more often than not, lacked in recognition.

So, if you’re still blessed to have your mother around give her a call and just thank her for being the great woman that she is. For she worked hard in your formative years to give you all she could within her capabilities.

She smiled through your temper tantrums, because you didn’t get your way. Or finally got that toy or piece of clothing you kept nagging her for, but not appreciating what she endured to get it for you.

When she said “..she wasn’t hungry” .. just so you could enjoy a filling meal, it wasn’t because she wasn’t hungry! She was putting your needs first!

Now that you’re all grown up and living your own life, don’t forget to give her a call at least once a week…or message her during your “busy” schedule. You still her little baby, in her eyes and heart. She misses you more than she cares to admit.

To the birth mother of our son JJ,

you are our HERO!

It is because of your unselfish decision to give your birth son, now our adoptive son, a better future that you picked us to care for him.

Thank you! Thank YOU, for allowing my husband and I to experience the joys of parenthood.

JJ is growing up so fast. He is an intelligent young man, with guts and determination. No challenge for him, can’t be overcome.

He isn’t selfish, and is always willing to share.

He loves the outdoors, and exploring his surroundings.

Below our messages to the moms in our lives …

From hubby to our moms …

Happy Mother’s Day to the two mom’s in my life…you are both as close to Godliness as can be…thank you for your endless sacrifices and undying love. You have helped mould us into the men we are today, the fathers we are to JJ. We love you and appreciate you so much. Happy Mother’s Day!

… and to my mom I posted this …

Mãe querida que continuamos sempre os melhores amigos. Saudades do teu carinho. Falámos mais tarde. Beijos e abraços forte do filho que te muito adora, Mané, Darrren e neto Jeremy.

plus this video from us..

Love you mom!

HKL

Adoption, Beginnings

He impresses us everyday …

The month of February has been filled with so many emotions both good and bad. It hasn’t all been due to what’s been happening at home but rather life at the moment just seems to be offering lemons .. at least where work is concerned. You see, we’re experiencing some “restructuring” . As many of you may know it’s not the best of times for any company going through it, or rather for the people being affected by it.

We all love being in control and knowing the direction our lives are going. This period is trying for both those affected by the restructure and those in limbo .. the ones that don’t really know whether they are affected or not. Information is scarce or limited. No one really says too much in fear of saying the wrong thing. It’s a really sad period and we’re going through it at the office. Unfortunately, no, that isn’t really an apt word to clearly explain it .. but we’re not the only company going through it. Almost daily I am made aware of a new name affected by the changes, and I never really know how to react to it. I’m left feeling like an empty casket. How does one respond to being told that a colleague that you’ve known for over a few years has been … well … let go? Do companies even consider the impact these decisions have on those people and their families or is it all really about the “Shareholders” ? It really feels like 2008 all over again…

Crossing the bridge to a new life ...
Crossing the bridge to a new life …

Earlier this month hubby and I also looked at the possibility of extending our family. Who would have thought it would be just as daunting as the first time? The probing questions, the restrictions placed or the conditions imposed .. it all really begs the question “Do we really want to go through it all again?” I think of all the innocent lives out there, we’re given numbers of over 2 million abandoned lives in need of homes and wonder 1. why so many hurdles 2. surely if it’s to give one more child a home it is worth all the fuss?

On this same subject, as we’re considering using the same private agency we used before I was hoping that we could afford to be well …”fussy” for lack of a more politically correct word. Apparently not! You see, even in this day and age as a gay couple we’re still somewhat discriminated against. We’re at the “bottom of the barrel”. The discrimination is hidden behind the allegation that these mothers and their families do not believe two men can make good parents. For this reason as gay parents to be…again, two men only qualify for “abandoned” babies. Hearing these words again, really left me feeling extremely livid! How dare them I ask? It’s not fair … I think to myself… but then who ever said life was fair?

The blessing .. a child
The blessing .. a child

For a few days now I’ve toiled with these thoughts, praying for a clear direction, trying to figure it all. Today I received some directions from an unexpected place. You see today I came across a blog written by a birth mother. The blog shares her thoughts on giving up her child, the emotions she felt leading up to this decision and post handing over her baby. Sadly, these thought seldom cross ones mind as potential adopting parents. I think, we can be so caught up with the emotions of becoming parents, we spare but a second’s thought for the parents giving up their child in the hopes that they receive a more privileged life to what they could give them? It was while I read her story, that the answer I was seeking dawned on me. I am more at peace with the direction I’d like us to take. Much to look forward to …

JJ continues to overwhelm us with so much emotion. Ever since he turned 1, he seems to be on overdrive where his milestones are concerned. Short of actually speaking in a language we’re all able to understand he is communicating with us really well. The tantrums we were told would only happen when he turned two … “terrible twos” actually seem to have started plenty sooner! He is known to scream at the top of his lungs for no apparent reason, scream if he doesn’t have his way, if he isn’t receiving the attention he demands, or if we’re taking too long to give him his morning or evening milk bottle. Nothing though, beats watching him listen to us when we’re reading to him before bedtime, or how he joins in when we’re singing nursery rhymes on repeat or how he walks to his room when I announce that it’s bed time… all these little achievements are actually rather big. I’m so proud of the young man he is becoming.

Our Hero
Our Hero

I’ll take this opportunity to thank you for participating in the poll in my earlier about schools here . I can’t say we’ve decided on the way forward, but I am clear that when the time is right we will know what to do….

Love our young man!

HKL

Adoption, Beginnings, Celebrations, Family, Father and Son, Love, New Year, Teething

End of an AMAZING year is nigh …

Christmas 2013
Christmas 2013

It’s been an amazing year … so may blessings to be grateful for. I’m beyond excited and my heart filled with so much love I still can’t believe it!

This time last year we were on the waiting list, a tad anxious …but I’ll never admit that .. 🙂

Little did we know that our son to be was already a few miles away from us being lovingly looked after and prepped to join us in the new year.

JJ joined us towards the end of January 2013, it was like an adrenalin rush his arrival our getting ready for his imminent arrival.

The first 30 days were a huge adjustment for all of us. Fortunately my mom was around to guide us and assist when needed.

The early mornings and constant waking up of JJ every few hours, oh dear, that was NOT the best time … but I’d never turn back the clock and change it either!

The rest of the year has been a huge learning curve. Learning to be dads, and giving it out best and hoping it would be enough.

Falling, and learning to get up and try again for nothing is for certain.

Teething with JJ and appreciating that during these period he would need me more than any other time.

Forming a bond with our son that is beyond anything I’d ever imagined possible is incredible!

He has taught me unconditional love…

To love another person so much all you want is to be with them.

To look at another person and trust implicitly… that’s my Jeremy.

In these 11 months he has taught me so many life lessons.

To highlight some of his achievements thus far …:

He started teething at 4 months

He had his full 1 year set of teeth at 12 months

He took his time to crawl “normally” … that is forwards.

He started crawling backwards first. Once he had mastered it he was on full throttle all the time.

At 4 months he was “sleeping” through the night .. most nights.

He was standing on his own from around 8 months.

On his first birthday he still wasn’t walking .. I prayed he be walking either by Christmas or my birthday .. it was my Christmas present!

JJ showed us his parents he was taking a few steps on his own – I guess qualifies as walking – on the 16th December 2013

Since then, he motors around the house. Seldom crawling opting to pull himself up and walk everywhere.

It’s been an amazing year for our little man!

DadD, hubby although does seem to have enjoyed the ride with out son,

I don’t believe that same can be said for his career.

He is looking tired, feeling worse than that .. if there’s such a feeling.

Lately, besides my usual “nagging” – which I don’t unless you’re really not coming to my party 🙂

Hubby has been irate more than usual.

His behaviour has been … well not his normal in the lifetime we’ve shared together.

He has worked hard, most weekends have been filled with either Cycling or Rugby from Jan to Dec 2013!

Just typing that exhausts me 😦

So, I do hope that 2014 will bring him closer to his dreams ….

I received a promotion this year.

I was blessed with our baby boy Jeremy!

Until now it’s been fairly balanced.

There have been the ups as the ones mentioned above..

and downs too.

The year has ended as a bag of mixed emotions.

Not enough quality time with my own family – parents, sisters and their respective families.

I seem to have gotten myself into the bad books of some of my extended family members too.

All of these though, I still have yet to fully grasp what caused the drift.

After 2 years of planning and lack of a passport for our young man, we unfortunately were unable to travel for my uncles 50th birthday.

All that said and done, I have been blessed in 2013 and I pray that GOD continues to bless my family and I in 2014!

So to you and yours may 2014 be a year filled with much reward and blessings!

HKL