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My husband and I had always discussed adoption and the fact that we would like to adopt a child at some point in our lives. To be able to change a child’s life from one of despair to one of hope and life was an opportunity we wanted to take. We started trying for a family, but after a year without falling pregnant we found out I had poly cystic ovaries. This means that it can be more difficult to fall pregnant. We had to make a decision; keep trying to conceive, or adopt first and have biological children later? We decided to look more seriously into adoption. We were honest with each other and shared concerns we had: what if we loved a biological child more than an adopted child? What if race was an issue? What if our child had issues because of being adopted? What if our friends or family didn’t support our decision? But we talked through these issues and realized that giving a child a chance at a new life was more important than any worries we had.

So we contacted an adoption agency and went through the screening process. We were matched with a 9 month baby girland we had to go fetch her from the home she was in. What an amazing moment! Seeing her for the first time was surreal. We were worried about not feeling a ‘connection’, but those fears were gone when we saw her. We felt it straight away, this was our child and we were proud to be called her parents. We were in awe that this little being would be a part of our family, and so excited to start life with her. We brought her home and since that day we have had two wonderful months with her.

Being an adoptive parent is a challenging and worthwhile journey. It is hard being a mother, ask any mother you know! But what joy it is to get to know your little one; to figure out their wants and needs, to grow a bond with each other, to work for smiles and giggles until they come freely. I do not know what it is like to be a biological mother, but I cannot imagine loving and caring for a child any differently to the way I love and care for my daughter. Our girl arrived quiet and wide eyed; she is now chatty, happy, and peaceful in her home.

Our daughter is Sotho, and looks different to us, her white parents. But I don’t see the colour of her skin. I see her bright eyes, her full lips, her soft cheeks. She is not a colour; she is a little person to us, an angel given by God. We are so honoured to be her parents. People often say, “You are so good to adopt”. I can tell you, we have been blessed beyond all belief in adopting this child; our daughter has changed our lives, making them full of life, love and laughter.

Adopting Rachel has been the best decision I have ever made. Every day I thank God for giving her to me, the best gift in the world. I love being her mother, I love knowing and loving her, and I love seeing her start to love me back. I don’t know what the future holds. I know a time will come when she is asked why she looks ‘different’ to her parents, but I hope we will equip her early on with her adoption story so she can share proudly how she came into our family. All I know is that she is my daughter, I love her unconditionally, and I am so grateful that she is in my life.

Jane and Mike Hampton