Adopting Amo – Part 5: We’re Keen, but Pick ‘n Pay is All Out of Orphans

One of our outings was to the Monte Bird Show. She was obviously amazed.

Having made a commitment to adopt, it was time to get the ball rolling. I must be honest and say that my involvement at this stage was mostly an advisory one – Liezl was the one doing the real investigation. She would do all the hard work and discuss the options and implications with me. It proved to be a frustrating task for her.

At  first, the experience was disappointing; in the space of a week, we had spoken to a few organisations involved with orphaned and abandoned children and we found them to be quite unhelpful. Were we naïve to think that those involved would be bending over backwards to find good homes for their kids? We encountered apathetic social workers, unresponsive homes and prohibitively expensive organisations. It seemed to us that doors weren’t opening and it was frustrating. We knew the need was great and couldn’t understand why the process was so cumbersome and inaccessible.

In amongst all of the research, we chatted to my brother-in-law, Martin. We told him about wanting to adopt and how tricky it had been up to that point. He told us that there was a couple in his church running a children’s home in Krugersdorp and that we should chat to them. Initially, I thought that Krugersdorp was far away and that we should be able to find someone closer to home that we could work with. After Liezl and I chatted it through, however, we decided to find out more about them. Martin gave us the number and we gave them a call. Immediately there was a significant difference. For the first time we felt like we were dealing with people who wanted to help the kids (a harsh assessment, I know, but that’s how we felt).

The real bonus for us with this home was that they were overt Christians who wanted to build strong godly values into the children. What was important to me was the language they used. They didn’t use phrases like “We want to raise good little Christian boys and girls.”, but rather they would say things like, “We want to raise children who love Jesus and know they are loved by Him”, “Children filled with the Holy Spirit” and “Raising them in a Christ-centred environment”. Some may not see much of a difference, but it made all the difference to me. There was a heart in these people that I could recognise. It was the heart of Jesus.

The home explained to us that, being a private home, they work differently to other homes. With other institutions, be they government or private, you will usually hand them a set of criteria and they will try to find you a child that matches as closely as possible. With this home, however, there was a different process, and a very good one, I might add.

I’ll take you through this process in my next post because it needs some attention. Stay tuned.

Prev: Adopting Amo – Part 4: Counting the Cost

Next: Adopting Amo – Poll: Do You Think…

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6 thoughts on “Adopting Amo – Part 5: We’re Keen, but Pick ‘n Pay is All Out of Orphans

  1. Feli says:

    Why do you think there are so many places that are so unhelpful? You would hope that there were more places out there with the childrens best interests at heart.
    I know you’re talking about your journey in adopting Amo, but I can’t help but feel saddened by the fact that there are so many places that were unresponsive and expensive, meaning that there are so many children possibly losing out because of it.

    • nick says:

      It’s interesting. I think there are three possible factors. This is not something I’ve looked into, but they are rather my perceptions.

      1. In South Africa we’re not ignorant of a sense of apathy which is common in the workplace – especially at government level. It seems like people are just happy to have jobs and very little work is actually necessary to keep them. So the minimum is done.

      2. To be fair, I think part of the problem is the very fact that the issue is so big in SA. It must be disheartening to look at the mountain and stay motivated.

      3. It must be an emotionally draining thing to be involved in. It is work that requires emotion and compassion. I wouldn’t surprised if those involved burn out emotionally and have very little to offer otherwise.

      Thanks for asking Feli, anyone else have any thoughts?

      • Feli says:

        I can totally agree with how you get to your opinions, and I could imagine that it is a disheartening thing working with orphans – as you find a home for one, seven more arrive on your doorstep.

        I often look at this situation of orphans (and, truthfully, of other things in South Africa) and wonder how such a big problem can ever be resolved by one single person or organisation (it’s like swimming against the unending tide). I suppose, though it is indeed about the heart of the organisation – as you said about the place you contacted to get Amo. It’s just such a pity there are so few of those kinds of places.

        I guess the other issue really, for me personally, is that I am not in the place where I could ever adopt, and I almost feel helpless – I feel for these children, but also feel like I cannot do anything.

        A little off topic – but relevant, I think

      • nick says:

        Yeah, we live in such a beautiful country but some things are really hard to come to terms with.

        Incidentally, there are ways you could help orphaned and abandoned kids without adopting them. 😉

  2. Pops says:

    Notwithstanding you comments, I’m glad that you and Lie were eventually pointed in the right direction and able to adopt Amo, who is more that a blessing to you both, to our immediate and extended family and everyone else in her environment.

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