“Meeting your adoptive baby is like being set up on a blind date with someone you will have to spend the next eighteen years with. You care about looks, because you desperately want to fall in love with the stranger who will be your child.” ― Jana WolffSecret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother

I was reminded of this quote when I witnessed Tsepang, one of our oldest children, meeting his mum for the first time last week Tuesday (01/03/2016). It was so sweet observing them approach each other with those anxious, questioning faces: ‘will he/she like me?’, ‘What should I do, should I run to him/her?’, ‘Should I give him/her a kiss or a hug?’ ‘Will she/he reject me if I do/say this?’. In just a little while, it was such a glorious thing to witness the child’s anxious face, break into a big, happy, shy smile, to see him bubble over with joy when he realizes “this is it, she’s really my mum and she has come to get me and take me HOME. She has brought me toys that are MINE to play with and KEEP! My mum is also cool, she let’s me rummage in her bag, find cool things like sunglasses, and SHE LETS ME WEAR THEM”.  I think for both it was love at first site. I believe this is a day they will never forget.

Then the child’s anxiety slowly fades away and about an hour later he’s playing with the cool toys with mum, the smile has turned into joyful laughter and giggles. Then a few minutes later the Social Worker announces, “This child is ready to go with mummy”. The child is told in Sesotho: “Ke nako ea ho tsamaea joale Tsepang” (It is now time to go Tsepang), he quickly jumps up from the chair, takes mum’s hand and holds on for dear life. The trip to the car is very short as he is literally almost running and dragging mum along. He gets to the car and is the first to jump in. We try to say ‘goodbye’ but he is so looking forward to getting out of here that he doesn’t even respond to us. WHAT A JOY WITNESSING A CHILD BEING ADOPTED TO A FOREVER HOME!!!

Yesterday was the Adoption Ceremony where Tsepang was officially handed over to his mum. This is always a sad-happy occasion.  Sad for the house-mothers, volunteers and staff who have loved and cared for this boy for the past four years. Happy for everyone to experience a child going to a forever-family, where he will be loved, nurtured and have a sense of belonging. WHAT A JOYOUS CELEBRATION!