Adopting a child is a life-long commitment that raises many questions in the mind, especially for someone that is considering doing it. We are delighted to have a real-life adoptive mother attempt to provide answers to some of these questions from her personal experience.
Nearly three years ago, Ugandan celebrity TV personality Rukh Shana Namuyimba took the first step towards realizing her dream of adopting a child. She was overwhelmed with joy and fulfillment when she finally held her daughter Laura for the very first time, then only four months old. Rukh Shana has confessed that becoming a parent is her greatest achievement in life so far, and her life is evidently transformed daily as she watches her little angel grow. In this video, Rukh Shana answers common questions on the adoption process to give an insight into what it takes.
You too can transform your life and more importantly, that of a Ugandan child today by opening your heart and home to them. Contact us on email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +256 (0)776110304
We asked Rukh-Shana, adoptive mother and Ugandans Adopt heroine, to give us an update on her adoption journey. In her own words, she tells us how Twinkletoes is keeping her on her toes:
KEEPING UP WITH MY TWINKLETOES-RUKH-SHANA
The date is 30th March 2015. It’s 10:30am and I should be dashing for my morning cup of tea but I am stuck at my desk neck deep in routine stuff attempting to pull together a report that should have been submitted the night before. Even as I am propped up behind my desk, my mind racing a mile a minute with all the things I need to get done before the new month, my mind wanders off to a happy place. It is my little girl’s birthday today and we had a tantrum-free morning, can’t quite recall what that felt like, so I am delighted with her. My mind wanders further off to what seems like a distant time. A time when I prided myself in being nimble and swift on my feet, a busy body with never a dull moment in my life, always colliding with time…then came Twinkletoes, and in the blink of an eye I was a snail dragging my shell on the race track of life alongside this toddler who was suddenly in an insane rush to go places; to see the big beautiful world through her twinkling eyes. I have since then been trying to keep up with my Twinkletoes.
And speaking of the world, my rather controlled world has never been the same since she flung the doors wide open and came waltzing in. Twinkletoes was just four months when we met on that beautiful Monday evening. Well I think it was a Monday because on a Friday I dressed up for my big day with the adoption panel-all butterflies in my belly and with knees of jelly. My prayer was simple that morning, “Lord may Your will be done!” I still muse at just how our plans can take a twist for the better. Now, when I set on out on my adoption journey in 2012, I had it all figured out. She had to be between 8 and 12months old – young enough to bond quite easily and old enough to fit it into my crazy work schedule. My life needed to maintain a semblance of sane balance as I knew it…I suppose I was simply being ME – in control. But in came Twinkletoes, a sparkly sunshine, a voluble wind turning my structured world sweetly topsy-turvy. One moment I was grounded and the next, I was knocked off- balance falling flat on my face in a fit of joy with outbursts of tears and the momentary tittering on the brink of insanity.
Three years on, ours has been a beautiful journey of watching her grow from this shy, thumb- sucking child to a very persuasive, independent and absolutely crazy thumb-sucking toddler who decided at the age of two that she mostly preferred to wear little dresses instead of the shorts and tees her over bearing mother had filled her closet with. Yes, I was a tom boy after all and I didn’t quite have the luxury of defiantly pouting at my mother if she suggested I wear some hand-me-down boyish shorts. So I was quite taken aback when my Twinkletoes proved to be tenacious in getting what she wanted. My mother says I may not have been a tenacious tot but I most definitely turned out to be as tenacious as they come later in life so I should cut Twinkle some slack. So for the most part I have cut her some slack, perhaps too much, and as a result she does mostly get what she wants. I suppose she has found a soft spot and is quite intent on milking it for what it’s worth.
Speaking of soft spots Ma Petite, as I sometimes refer to her has a soft spot for hurting people. I have watched as she has, through the years, blossomed into an expressive and caring little girl especially around other children; quick to offer hugs if that is what it takes to make someone else feel better.
This morning, as I reflect on the year gone by, my heart swells with pride at the little milestones of awesomeness we have reached together. The day we went shopping for nursery schools and when we finally settled for her current school she was a fit of delight. Every day till the first day of term we fought over her insistence that she wear her uniform at home and carry her little rucksack to the door as I left for work. This would almost always end with a tantrum that quietened down with me promising she would start school the next day (yes I lied but what do you do with a tenacious 2 plus year old who will not take ‘wait a little longer’ for an answer?) …and when we finally showed up on the first day of school, I was a weeping mess and she was only too delighted to mix and mingle with the other little kids. Then came the first time she randomly said, “I love you mummy”. We had just had a ‘fight’ so that totally threw me off balance and I could not hold back the tears, her response was a shocker: “Mummy you’re kwaying (read crying) for nothing.” That was the beginning of my transformation into a crying mummy.
I have since shed a tear or two during her first swimming lesson; her first mumbled prayer with a resounding AMEN; her first Sunday school session; her first attempt at brushing her own teeth; her first bicycle ride. But the most treasured of our milestones is her learning my full name, probably from watching TV and her daddy’s name. She still cannot say her daddy’s without almost biting her tongue but whenever she does it is with such a sweetness like nothing else really matters in her little world. And perhaps nothing really does to my Twinkletoes and many like her. Nothing really matters but that they have unconditional love and a family to call their own.
To wrap up this heart warming story, Rukh-Shana talks about her adoption experience and why more Ugandans should consider opening their hearts and homes to Ugandan children in the video below:
Could you be the next Rukh-shana? We would love to hear from yo. Call us on 0776110304/0776110316 or send us an email @ email@example.com
On Friday the 5th of July we told you that we had a new arrival at Malaika Babies’ Home, a beautiful little girl called Fiona. We received a call from the police station asking us for help and Maria, one of our social workers, went straight away. On that same Friday evening, NTV Uganda broke Fiona’s story on the evening news : Fiona’s story on NTV Uganda.
When children are abandoned it’s often in harrowing circumstances. We’ve had babies found in pit latrines, a bush on the side of the road, or even hidden in a plastic bag. Their mothers are usually in desperate circumstances and it’s heartbreaking these women feel they have no other choice.
When Maria arrived at the police station it soon became apparent that Fiona’s circumstances were very different – and even more shocking.
Fiona was rescued by a local night guard after he heard a disturbance at the housing development he was working at. In a half built house, he saw a man kneeling over a body and reached into his jacket pocket to pull out a flash light. The man heard the noise, grabbed the child and tried to make a run for it. The night guard screamed loudly, calling out for help and instinctively hit him on the back with a stick. He dropped the child and fled.
The night guard initially tried to chase after him but he panicked that someone else might return for the child and hurried back to the house. He rescued Fiona, who was naked and scared, and travelled with her to the local police station. The night guard initially reported attempted murder and rape but when he returned to the site the next day he noticed local herbs on the ground where Fiona had been, deliberately arranged. These herbs are commonly used for witchcraft in the area, more specifically for child sacrifice rituals. The police later found a wallet containing more herbs as well as African charms and talisman.
Fiona is estimated to be around 18 months old. She is healthy, strong and looks to have been cared for well up until the incident. It’s likely that she was kidnapped. Efforts so far to trace her family have been unsuccessful but our social work team is working closely with the police to aid the investigation and reunite Fiona with her family.
When we found Fiona she was frightened and confused. She became instantly very attached to Maria, and now follows her carer, Edith, around everywhere.
She is traumatised by her experience, scared of people she doesn’t recognise and will only play by herself. Now she’s safe at Malaika, we’re going to nurture and care for her – helping her learn to trust again – while we search for her family.
Although this is the first case like this at Malaika Babies Home, child sacrifice is not uncommon in some areas of Uganda. Below we bring you of Fiona’s journey at Malaika Babies Home.
Last week the Adoption Panel met to vet prospective Ugandan adoptive families. The panel comprises of Nandi Ketty from the Ugandan Police Child Protection Unit, Caroline Bankusha, consultant, Rogers Mbazira from Families For Children, Christine Sempebwa , an adoptive parent, Ruth Matoya, a child psychologist from Healing Talk, Stella Ogwang and Mark Riley from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and Sue Allan from Child’s i Foundation. Jenette Davies, an experienced adoption panelist from Cumbria, UK came to observe the session.
Currently at Malaika Babies Home we have 21 children in our care out of which one baby boy is available for adoption . The social work team are in the process of working with families to resettle or find permanent foster care families for the rest of the children.
We are reaching out to other childcare institutions in Uganda to invite them to attend Panel if they have children who are available for adoption so the Panel can match them with our waiting list of Ugandan adoptive parents. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org you would like further information.
Together we can place more children into loving families in Uganda.