“…Baby Lindah… baby Lindah…baby baby Lindah …” It is singing time in Jackie’s home, something that has become somewhat of a ritual every Saturday morning. Jackie holds Lindah as they, together, clap and sing to their favourite song. “…Baby Lindah… baby Lindah…baby baby Lindah …” the tune goes.
“I gave birth to her from my heart,” Jackie says “It is the best thing I have ever done. It was my bold step.” She stops mid-sentence and sings a few more lines of the song.“Sorry, I really like that song.” She sighs deeply and continues, “I have always wanted to adopt, I wanted to give thanks to God for giving me children.”
Jackie has two other children. Ashley who is 10 and Alvin who is 7. “I wanted to give another child a sense of belonging.” She takes another deep sigh.This allows my thoughts to wonder as well. Humanity, at it’s very essence, is knowing that someone cares for you and loves you. We thrive when we are surrounded by people whom we can trust, the people who can gift us a loving smile, an understanding hug, lend us a supportive hand. Now imagine being a one-year-old and have no one to shower you in unconditional love… Thankfully, Lindah found her forever mum Jackie when she needed her the most.
Lindah was found on the day she was born. After our social workers searched for her family with no success, she was approved for adoption. “When I received a call that I had been matched with a child, I was very excited, but, at the same time, incredibly anxious. Would she bond with my children and I? Would she be accepted by my extended family? It was a flurry of emotions but in my heart, it felt right. And three years later, here we are. We are inseparable!”
We are interrupted by a ball that rolls into the living room. Jackie picks it up and heads outside. The kids are giggling.“It is amazing that she’s part of us,” Jackie says as she plays with the ball, and then throws it to her children. “Now I see why every child needs to grow up in a family and not an orphanage. It teaches them how to love and be loved.”
Today, we celebrate all adoptive parents and families in Uganda. Whether through birth, adoption, foster care or friendship, love is the foundation of every child’s story.