The Power of Words – South Africans Need Some Context

Context_Logo-04Sitting with a group of 16 students earlier today, I was amazed to find that no less than 11 cultures were represented. These ranged from Twsana, Zulu, British, Italian, Jewish, Afrikaans, American to name but a few. It was an energizing experience as we discussed some unique traditions and practices from the various backgrounds represented.

Last week we were treated to a barrage of racially inspired or fuelled incidences, from hair styles, babies compared to dogs to inappropriate words. South Africa never ceases to stretch the boundaries of what should be seen as ignorant/foolish comment. I sat listening to a radio show where one particular caller took it upon himself to vividly depict what mark Twain meant when he said “Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt” Continue reading

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Not An Issue Of Land, But Of Heart

878d3c13ae1c35f24f54aa487150679cRaising a blended family, brings certain perks. If I am honest, I love being slightly different, I love going to the shops and seeing that double take on a stranger’s face when they see me and then they see one of my brown people. I say “my brown people” because my son refers to people of similar colour that way, and seeing as he is mine, so are they.

I like thinking I am part of a solution, I like to think I am creating a bridge between pink and brown. I like to think my son’s and daughter will be better positioned because colour won’t matter to them, it won’t feature in their thought processes, it won’t inform their value judgements or influence their opinions. BUT, am I foolish in believing this, because it will matter to YOU?

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Not On My Radar

radar

I’m feeling a little despondent today! I’m sensing the enormity of the challenge and I’m weighed down by the reality of the need. I’m troubled that so many believe and have accepted our own adoption as sons’ and daughters’ into God’s family, and yet the idea of adoption for many is as far from them them as the East is from the West.

We have freely received and therefore should freely give, as Jesus says, but what does this mean? Continue reading

The Unsung Hero!

hero_SqaureWEBI remember several years ago, sitting in my first adoption class, learning, discovering, being challenged and without my knowing, having my path severely altered.

I also remember the group being asked to give our thoughts on birth moms. Quick as a cat I rememb shuffling my position to one of complete ignorance and judgement. The exact words escape me but my position was based on judging a mom who could give away her child because I could never do that. Thankfully, the lady leading us was skillfully able to highlight the errors in my position in a way that simultaneously  corrected my mindset and convicted me to be part of the solution.

Of course I couldn’t relate, of course I could never have given up my first-born, but then again, I never had to! I never stared into the dark only to have fear look back at me, I never viewed my wives pregnancy as anything other than a joy. I never had my dreams shattered over a period of 9 months, I never was abandoned to live out the consequences of my decisions, or perhaps abandoned to live out the consequences of someone elses choices on my body. I never endured ridicule at the possibility of having to drop out of school, to explain to people why I didn’t use protection or couldn’t say no. Continue reading

The Father Heart Fund

UntitledFor some years now, since starting on our journey of adoption, My wife and I have often wondered how we could do more to help the Fatherless. We have limited capacity, we have limited space, practically, the need is too great.

But what if we were to focus on our pond? What if we threw a pebble in our pond, and the people at the pond next door thought “We can do that” and so on. Very quickly we arrive at a place where we don’t have to feel like we are fighting the battle alone, all of a sudden the little I have takes on a new value because it is added to the little someone else has. Very soon, a trickle becomes a stream, becomes a river which becomes a body of water that can now affect massive change.

It is a sad irony that in a world of excess many exist with great need

This is where I find myself. In a world where excess is normal, we also find great lack existing. How do these two polar opposites exist juxtapose?

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Our Kids, a work in progress!

const1 Cup of affection;

3 Cups quality time;

2.5 Cups of Hard work;

1.5 Cups of discipline (Add more if the mixture requires)

5 tsp of guidance;

1 dozen quality friends and their families.

Mix the above in 1 large community , immerse and cover with affirmation. Leave to cure for 18 years and serve.

Wouldn’t it be nice if succesful parenting was as simple as following the steps of your favourite recipe, just add, mix, bake and enjoy!

For those of you without children (Parents, you know the sort, their eyes follow you with scornful disdain and stare you down with wisdom acquired through the ages from the careful studying of  movies, TV shows, second-hand opinion gathering and other useful practices) Sorry guys, this recipe doesn’t exist.

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#SOUTHAFRICAMUSTRISE

SA-Cloud2016 has reared it’s head, full of promise and opportunities. As 2015 left the harbour I looked back over the year and it’s challenges and must admit, the gains outweighed the losses, at least in my life.

We entered the new year celebrating the arrival of our beautiful little girl, aglow with smiles and covered with a sense of excitement. My house has never seen the colour pink, but it has certainly been attacked and bares the battle wounds of this stereotypical girlie colour.

So all is good? Well yes and no! As the HMS 2016 began her maiden voyage, it appeared that the waters would be filled with both adventure but certain danger as well. The danger, at least in the context of South Africa, came in the form of a social media storm that dared suggest that perhaps we haven’t come as far as we thought on the race front. Continue reading

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow – Adoption completes the circle

Every TuesScreen Shot 2015-10-27 at 16.22.13day our social worker meets to discuss our case, every Wednesday we wait by the phone anticipating the call that let’s us know our little girl is ready to come home. For the last 5 months we have waited by the phone, but it hasn’t rung, perhaps tomorrow will be different.

To make the waiting a little easier, I was blessed with an opportunity to see just how far adoption reaches to completely transform the orphan into a son/daughter. Continue reading