Before I get into the story, I should explain something. During the parenting training we were told a bit about how government views family situations. If the biological parents of a child are willing to make an effort in rectifying their circumstances in order to get a child back, government will favour reconciliation with the biological family over placing the child in foster care or adoption.
As I said last time, we decided to pray and see what God would do with our hearts the next time we spent time with Amo. On our way to our second visit to the home, we again had some time in the car to talk and pray together. We prayed mostly for God to deal clearly with us regarding Amo.
We were less apprehensive this time as we knew what to expect. Looking back, I think I was trying really hard to be objective. I didn’t want to commit to Amo until we had spent time with all the children. While I may have been showing caution and restraint outwardly, inside I was intrigued by Amo and I was eager to see what God would do.
We arrived at the house and took some time to greet the house-moms. As we walked through the various rooms we greeted and played with the children, all the while keeping an eye out for Amo. It wasn’t long before I realised that she was nowhere to be seen. Eventually Liezl pointed out a coloured* lady on the other side of the playground. She was holding a little girl who looked like Amo.
I was devastated.
It was so unexpected. I immediately assumed the lady was Amo’s mom and that she was making an effort to reconcile with her baby. At the very least it looked like a positive move on the mom’s part. One of my criteria was an easy adoption. If the mom was involved, even in the slightest way, it would complicate the adoption a good deal more. It was a double-disappointment. On the one hand, I felt like we had lost Amo. On the other hand I was upset because, if there was a chance with Amo, it would now be a fight. Selfish, hey?
I was grumpy for the rest of the day – even after we found out it wasn’t Amo’s mom. It turned out that the lady was just another volunteer and that we had nothing to worry about. Liezl went and got Amo straight away and we spent the rest of our time there with her.
It was clear that God had done something in my heart. In those first moments, a few weeks before, she had made her way into my heart – without me realising it. It was almost like I had an arrogant mindset that said that this will happen on my terms. It didn’t. She wasn’t a boy, she wasn’t a young baby – she was already just over a year old, and she wasn’t a straight adoption case.
Needless to say from that day, our time spent at the home was focused on Amo. We visited Amo at the home a few times during that November and it wasn’t long before we were allowed to take her out for the day. Liezl and I were both on leave during that December, and we spent it traveling out to Krugersdorp every two or three days to visit or take Amo out for the day. These were special times because we got to know the joy that is Amo.
* Please note that in a South African context, the use of the term “coloured” is socially and culturally acceptable and describes a person of mixed race.