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.