Real Stories

Changing the  lives of abandoned babies through adoption

Every year hundreds of babies are abandoned in Kampala but with more and more families adopting, children face a bright future loved and cherished in a Ugandan family than growing up as an orphan statistic in an orphanage. Meet three remarkable families who have transformed an abandoned child’s life for the better:

 

George and Desire Barugahare: Adoptive parents

George and Desire were the first adoptive parents to adopt a child from Malaika Babies Home.They adopted Joey a t two months old and Joey who is four years now began attending school in February 2013.

They have two biological children, and two adopted children.

What has your experience of adoption been?
“We have 2 adopted children that come after our two biological children.  The experience has been extremely rewarding. We look at the hurting world and know that we are not able to make change for all children hurting but instead of shying away from the whole hurt, we decided it was worth adding value to humanity and God. Loving these children has taken us from just looking at the world as a place where we care for just our own to a world where humanity cares for each other.

We have built up friendships and relationships that would never have come our way if we had not loved on behalf of God. The most exciting thing has been getting to know our children, who are now 5 and 2 years respectively. We see them play, and grow and have attitudes… We’ve watched their personalities develop and be our loving little angels. You clearly know that you have everything to do with that. It’s incredibly rewarding!

Were your family happy with your decision to adopt a child? 
George’s family was very supportive because of their hurts towards helping little children. Desire’s family was not too keen at first but now is fully supportive. All four children are treated equally and because of this, there is a chance that other members of the family will soon adopt.

How did your other children take to the adoptive child?
Danielle was 4 and Gabriel 2 when Kayla graced us with her presence. We had been to visit her several times at the orphanage before she came home. I don’t think then, they had an opinion because they were little and were excited to go shopping for their soon to be baby sister. Joey came when they had already gone through this with Kayla and Gabriel was happy to have a little brother. Now 9 and 7 years respectively, they have known Kayla as their sister and Joey as their brother. They know they are adopted but more especially they are loved tremendously. Their reaction is purely what they see us doing. Our adopted children have settled in very well

 

 

Amelo and Sasha

A Management Consultant, Ms. Amelo  Ejalu has been an adoptive parent since March 2012.

 How is your adoption experience so far, has the experience been a good one?

I must say the adoption experience was not as traumatic as I thought it would be. This was because of Malaika Babies Home’s efficient structured approach to the process – assignment of social worker, brief of the process, assessment for adoption approval, follow up and assistance in the legal process, pre-bonding month with baby at Malaika Babies Home and a couple of day and sleep-over outings, handover of the baby and periodic follow-ups to check on baby and mother progress. It may sound like a long process; however, with all the requirements ready from my side, it took less than two months to complete the process.

 Was your family happy with your decision to adopt a child?

Yes, my family and friends were happy with my decision to adopt and have been very supportive in all ways.

How did the other siblings (if you have children) take to the new adopted child.

Sasha Mayowale Oluka came home at 3 months old, she has settled in well and is a very happy child. It is now one year since she came home. She was given the name ‘Mayowale’ by one of my friends and it means ‘you bring joy home’ in Yoruba language and living up to her name!

 In what ways has your social worker been helpful? Do you feel well supported by your social worker?

My social worker has been very, very, very supportive. I now see them as friends and not as ‘the people with stern faces on the other side of adoption paperwork’. I appreciate the time they have taken to attend Mayowale’s 1 year Birthday party and her Christening Celebration, outside the formal adoption visits.

What advice/tips would you give to other people who are thinking of adopting a child?

Adopting is a personal decision.

While you seek advice from family and friends, look for it outside family and friends, in order to get a balanced view, and help in making your decision.

 

Alice’s Family

Adopted in August 2012

Nb: Alice’s husband works upcountry she is a teacher by profession and they live in Bweyogerere. At the the time of this interview her husband was at work

How is your adoption experience so far, has the experience been a good one?

Adoption has changed our lives for the better. It has been an amazing, rewarding and fulfilling experience. It is going well; we are blessed because our son is doing well. He is a healthy boy

 Was your family happy with your decision to adopt a child?

Our relatives love our son. We took him to the village over Christmas last year, they were so happy. They welcomed him. They have accepted him as part of our family and love him because he is family.

The community around us is wonderful; our son is a friend to most of them and their childre

Have they been supportive to you? Please give a few examples

We are so blessed we have instances where our relatives have come all the way to just visit our son. He has brought so much joy to our home which has spilled over to our relatives.

In what ways has your social worker been helpful? Do you feel well supported by your social worker?

Our Social worker from Malaika Babies home conducts follow-up visits which have been very helpful. My social worker calls regularly to find how our son is doing. When we need information or guidance it is comforting to know that she is just a call away. She checks up on us frequently and in fact only recently she paid us a visit.

What advice/tips would you give to other people who are thinking of adopting a child?

Adoption is life long experience which with the support of your social worker it is worth pursuing. If you are thinking of adopting and have doubts please talk to a social worker they will guide you. If you are thinking of adoption, then you already have the good seed sown, the next step is taking the decision to bring the child into your home

A friend of ours who has been observing our journey with our son has decided to adopt. We encourage her in every way we can and she will soon be making her first trip to Malaika Babies Home in Mengo.

 

 

 

Christine  and Tessa

How is your adoption experience so far, has the experience been a good one?

Tessa is a delight to have in my home. We have bonded totally with her and she is part and parcel of my family. Tessa has gone through her various stages of growth passing each milestone early and without any trouble at all. She is a very happy and very child. This year she has joined a play group which she is enjoying very much.

The visits from the social worker, Maria have been regular and very encouraging

 Was your family happy with your decision to adopt a child?

Yes my family was happy that I adopted a child. Tessa gets on well with my nieces and nephews and is invited to all birthday parties and she participates in all family events for that age group

Have they been supportive of you? Please give a few examples

Yes they are very supportive like I said earlier. They share toys and clothes with her as she also shares with them.

How did the other siblings (if you have children) take to your new adopted child?

My daughters are very happy with the adoption and love Tessa to bits. They enjoy teaching her rhymes, games and just being around her. She lights up our home and it is very quiet and boring when we are at home and she is at school. My daughters take lots of pictures of Tessa and she is close to both of them and to the rest of the young people in my home.

 How did your community react when you adopted a child? Did you feel supported by them? If so, share some of the ways they have been supportive

My friends at church are very supportive and they love to help out anyway they can. One friend who works in South Sudan regularly sends me milk for Tessa.

Tessa was dedicated in our church and she goes to Sunday School with the young children.

How well has your adopted child settled into your family?

She is completely settled in my family. She knows that I am her mother and that she has sisters, uncles, aunts and a grandfather.

In what ways has your social worker been helpful? Do you feel well supported by your social worker?

She makes regular visits, and regularly calls to check on us. She answers any questions I have. For example she provided guidance when I inquired about getting a birth certificate for my daughter

What advice/tips would you give to other people who are thinking of adopting a child?

Prepare yourself for the new child and prepare your family and your friends. Go into it wholeheartedly just as you do when you give birth to a child. This child may be adopted but she is the same in your family as a child that you give birth to.

When I gave birth to my first child, my mother told me that this child is totally dependent on me for everything. When you adopt a child know that the child is totally dependent on you for everything and they are yours for ever just like the children you give birth to.

It is important to remember that children are a gift from God and that we have a responsibility to God to take care of them and give them the best foundation that we are able to, so that they can have a bright and productive future.

Children are a blessing and little angels in our homes.

 

Joy’s * Gift

Tell us about your adoption experience so far?

It has been a great experience; my little girl has brought a lot of joy and laughter into the house.

How did your family react to your decision to adopt?

My family was happy with my decision to adopt. The first person I told of my decision was mum, even before I visited Malaika Babies Home in Mengo. And she called me a few days later, and when she found out I hadn’t yet visited the home, she urged me to go ASAP.

In what ways has your family been supportive of you?

My sister and my mother have on many occasions baby sat for me; my nephews, who are far older than my daughter keep her company when they are on holiday, they even include her in their football games. Now they are back at school, she keeps calling for them. My aunt organized her baptism in her house a month after I brought her home. My sisters and friends buy her toys, clothes, snacks, etc whenever they can. My girl can comfortably go anywhere with my mum. Sisters, nephews, etc.

How did your family react to your daughter?

I have no other children but have 3 nephews in the house. They took to her immediately. As I said when they are around, she likes to hang around them (play with them, have them carry her around, and join in their conversations even if her conversation is baby talk + a few words that she has already picked

How has your daughter adjusted to your family?

She is well settled. She will be making 2 years later this month, but recently we were looking at photos that had been taken when she first arrived, and she pointed at my mum (who stays upcountry) squealing “Jaja”. Mum was so pleased when I told her on phone. She loves to sing and some of the rhymes she sings are, “Baby Jeyus, I wuv woo’, “see blind mice”, “twinkle twinkle little star”, etc.

How helpful has your social worker been during your adoption experience?

My social worker, Maria, had been very supportive and helpful, right from the time I was considering adoption

What would you say to someone who is thinking of adopting a child?

All children are children, and deserve loving parents, biological or adopted.

If you are thinking of adoption, then you already have the good seed sown, the next step is taking the decision to bring the child into your home

Do as much research about adoption as you can. There are many online resources; discussions and advice on adoption that can help you make the decision

Adopted Children are a gift from God; they have a way they bring blessings into the home. I feel that my family grew more loving and closer since I brought my daughter home. Every day I thank God for bringing my girl into my life. She has made me a better person.

 * Name has been changed to protect her identity.