Being chosen and having our beautiful son Alec at home with us is something I’m still pinching myself about. Is it all real? Can this be true? I often find myself staring into his gorgeous face, taking in every tiny detail … and if I’m not staring lovingly at him, I’m photographing him, or kissing him. Call me an obsessive mother , but then again I think I’ve paid my dues, so I should be allowed my idiosyncrasies!
The reality is that close of business (courts) on 25th November was a HUGE milestone for us as it marked the end of the 60 day period during which time our baby’s Birth Mom (BM) could change her mind and claim our son Alec back. In terms of the South African law, we (LH and I) would have had to comply and hand him over.
How does one deal with that looming over you for a period of 60 days? A number of people commented on how it must interfere with the bonding process. The truth is it can … but only if you allow it to. We were given the option of waiting the 60 days, during which Alec would have been in foster care, or taking the plunge. LH and I decided to take the plunge as we didn’t want to miss out on 2 months of our son’s life. So when it came to the 60 days LH and I chose to (try) ignore it … not think about it. We chose to ‘bury our heads in sand’ when it came to those 60 days, whilst glancing at the calendar to see ‘if we were there yet’. Obsessing about it would have driven us insane with worry, which would have potentially stood in the way of us being able to wholeheartedly throw ourselves into parenthood and loving our son Alec unconditionally from the moment we knew about him. This was our only and best option, firstly for our son’s benefit and also for our own sanity. So my big girl broekies got a lot of wear and tear during those 60 days, all whilst our son received more love than he could ever imagine from both LH and I!!
Truth be told, I hadn’t realised how heavily those 60 days were weighing on me, until the evening of 25th November, when I confirmed with our social worker that we were indeed in the clear with our BM. The tears of joy, as that weight which I had been unknowingly carrying lifted from my shoulders and pushed away from my subconscious, flowed freely … It was one of my uglier cries, but in a good way … an awesome way. LH’s face beamed with absolute joy, pride and love as he popped a bottle of bubbly in celebration, whilst our son slept on peacefully, completely and blissfully oblivious of the significance of that day.
… But we’re not out of the woods just yet. We’re saving the really big celebration (and extra special bottle of bubbly) for close of business (courts) on 10th January, as that marks the end of the 90 days from placement of the advertisement for the Birth Father (BF) to come forward. Despite his giving consent verbally over the phone, because he was a no show at all of the meetings, he didn’t get to sign any consent papers. In terms of the law, the BF is therefore considered ‘unknown’, but still needs to be given the opportunity to step forward. An advert was therefore placed in the newspaper by our social workers and he has 90 days from placement of that advert to step forward … which is up until 10th January.
So till then, we will continue to stick our heads in the sand and carry on with our lives as normal – planning ahead – with our gorgeous son Alec, who brings us so much joy each and every day with his dazzling smiles and delicious giggles.