The one about Rachel and Dutch Courage ….

Yesterday I saw a forum posting that was asking for assistance at an Orphanage in Hermanus – they had a set of twins who were 8 months and a tiny baby that they needed assistance with for either fostering or adoption.  I nearly wept, who am I kidding, I really did have a little cry at work hiding behind my monitor (I also just got a new monitor that is one of those large flat big screen numbers, so it allows me to duck down and not be seen – handy that.)

One of the side effects of having your own children, is that you become this emotional vessel that can be tapped in to by all other children.  You can happily watch a man been mowed down by a bus and feel very little, but when you see a child hurt or abandoned, your urge is to go over there and pick that baby up and just smother them in love and care.

We had dinner with friend last night and our one friend Rachel is one of those Godsend-good-people.  She is sweet and lovely, and generous of spirit, and she makes the best baked goods as gifts.  She is also a nurse – and her last job was working at an organization that deals with HIV-POSITIVE babies and children.  Many are abandoned, or do not have parents so the organization she worked for cares for these children and does all sorts of other things i.e medical care, counseling etc.

I was telling her about this forum post I saw, and I wanted to know what was involved in being able to adopt – I didn’t understand the process, and if anyone knew she would.  Rachel explained the process, and really it comes down to a social worker who is so overloaded with cases, that they often are not able to work effectively.  One of their roles is to research and check that the baby/child does not have any living relatives and then they start with the adoption process with the prospective parents.

Unfortunately being overloaded and having limited resources means that they can’t always do it.  Rachel said that sometimes the prospective parents do the “detective work” and then present it to the case worker to speed up the process, which makes sense.  Of course this does make it sad to think that there are these kids sitting in limbo because the “investigation” is taking a long time.

Kennith felt I was being way-way-way too interested in adopting anyone or anything, and gave me a few loud glances to ensure that I understood that he was not so keen on adding more off-spring to our already cramped car.

While we got home, I had a bit of dutch courage (probably brought on by the two or more bottles of Chenin Blanc) and was able to say what had been ticking on in my head for some time. I knew it was there, but thought if I told Kennith, he would be so vehemently against it that I would feel this conflict – because I was not sure what I wanted, but I did not want him to stand and tell me that I could not have it.  I wanted to feel that I could explore this until I was sure what I wanted.

What I said, was that I feel that I am not finished with children.  I do realize that I can’t cope with the three I have, I realize that I may soon be institutionalized, and I realize I often want to run away.  But something in my heart tells me that there is a possibility that I might want a fourth child! 

I can’t really fathom where this is coming from, or what is driving this.  I have had many soul-searching wanderings in my head regarding this topic.  It is just this urge, this little push that I feel inside me. 

I am also about to be 38, so if I am planning on having a fourth I do not have much time – if I haven’t already shot over the time allowed.  But at the same time I am not one hundred percent sure that I want to go through a pregnancy, and risk the stress, anxiety and the risk that at my “advanced age” maybe my eggs are a little old to work properly. I may decide to have a child join us through an adoption process.  I just don’t know.

Before I get the “how crazy are you” comments – I do know how insane this sounds.  I can stand and argue with you, why it is probably not the best idea I have had.  I can help you list the reasons of why it is a really really bad idea. 

But on the other hand .. there is this little tap-tap-tapping inside me, and right now I am just going to sit and listen to it and see where we go.

Leave a comment


  1. Love the blog.

    Above post made me think of an incert by a female comedian (can’t recall name). She said her and her husband have 5 kids…. they have taken a vow that they would keep having kids until they had one they actually liked

  2. May

     /  February 16, 2010

    That’s the thing with becoming a mom… suddenly all the world’s children become yours… and you feel their pain and suffering as if it was happening to you.

    I’m expecting my third and I am making plans to be an emergency mother once the dust has settled. I don’t think I could deal with it now and we would have to finish building onto our house… I’d have to talk my husband into it. He was adopted himself but he thinks I’m mad wanting to take this on.

    But I still want to do it, I want to make a real difference in some small way.

    A colleague who adopted two very sick little girls told me a few painful truths though: I need to consider the effect that having someone join the family on a temporary basis will have on my kids. The loss they will experience when this child becomes adopted, fostered or returns to their home. You will be asked to take more and more, and people will approach you in the street and beg you to take their child. And then there is the painful loss of the child leaving or dying, the anguish of not having a say when a child is returned to an abusive home situation..

    Despite this I’d still do it. But for now I’ll continue to support Child Welfare here in Cape Town and the Home of Hope for abandoned and abused babies. Every time the feeling gets unbearable and I sob over another news story of abuse I make a donation and then go sit and watch my babies sleep.

  3. I understand this. My kids are 5 and 7 and are with their dad every second weekend but I still barely cope with it all BUT I want another!

    Maybe it is different because my boyfriend doesnt have kids and really would like at least one.

    Even though the thought of pregnancy makes me want to vomit and the site of newborns send me running in the opposite direction – I do want another child!

    • reluctantmom

       /  February 15, 2010

      I am not sure whether to run screaming in to the bush, or embark on extensive therapy myself. I can’t quite quantify my reason for feeling this way – but I have always wondered how moms decide it is “enough” children. I guess that same thing of “how do you know you are with the right person … how do you know!”

  4. Tania

     /  February 15, 2010

    get a cuddly new baby pet… c how that goes first… he he he

    • reluctantmom

       /  February 15, 2010

      Probably right – I think I just want to feel that I have the choice. Trust me, I know how insane it sounds!!! I can barely copes as is.


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