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Dalene* and her husband battled to conceive a child for several years. They attempted fertility treatment six times without success and having faced one devastating disappointment after another, decided they had to consider another option to fulfil their immense desire to have a child. They approached an adoption agency and embarked on the process to become registered as adoptive parents. After three years of waiting, knowing that it was just a matter of time and their family would be complete, Dalene and her husband finally got the call they had been dreaming of. A birth mother had identified them as potential candidates to raise her child, and wanted to meet them. “We approached the meeting with mixed emotions. Would she like us? Would she misjudge us? We sat down and started to talk and immediately felt a connection. We asked each other lots of questions.”

Later, the birth mother said it was the baby who helped her choose the couple. She was in Berg en Dal, a home for expectant moms and was reviewing the couple profiles she had been given. When she picked up Dalene and her husband’s profile, the baby kicked. She picked up another. Nothing happened. She went back to Dalene’s profile and the baby kicked again. She knew this was the right choice.

Dalene was able to share the last few weeks of her pregnancy with the birth mother, accompanying her to her scans and being part of the process. They held hands when they discovered the baby was a boy. At the birth, Dalene was in the delivery room and was able to hold him right away. She reflects on the incredible moment when the paediatrician announced to her husband, ‘Mr *Kruger, here is your boy’. “My husband was so moved by the experience that he cried for six weeks. We had been married 17 years when our little boy came into our lives. For 17 years you dream, wonder, cry about this empty feeling and you know there is a space in your heart for a child yet there is no child. Then along comes this woman—a hero prepared to perform this act of love—who makes a decision to give us the opportunity to feel the love and fill the empty hole in our heart. It was amazing.”

“Adopted children are incredibly special. Of course all children are, but an adopted child is doubly loved and so wanted. He has changed our lives and every day the love grows more. We cannot express our feelings of love and admiration for his biological mother.”

*Names have been changed in the interests of privacy, but this is a true account shared by a woman who want to inspire and assist others facing crisis pregnancy or following the adoption pathway.