On Human Rights Day I was invited to be a guest on The Taxi Radio Show with Rolene Sher. She’d invited 5 women: one had a child when she was 14, one was 7 month pregnant with her 5th child (she and her husband would have 8 children by then), another lady had just given birth to her 2nd child whereas she hadn’t been able to conceive for about 7 years, there was a lady from Marie Stopes which is a clinic for termination of pregnancies and then there was me: single woman who would like to adopt.

We talked about the freedom of choice we have in life and that there’s no one who can keep us from making the choices that are good for us. Sometimes the choices are difficult and family is not always supportive but especially when it comes to having a child, it’s a very personal choice. Yes, we can ask for advice, yes, we can get advice, sometimes maybe ‘unsolicited’ but a woman in South Africa should have the freedom of choice.

I felt a bit controversial when sitting in the studio and talking about this because at the moment I don’t know what to choose anymore. At the moment I’m very insecure about adopting. Things, like not having the grandparents around are starting to worry me. Grandparents are often a very important support system and mine are in The Netherlands so they will not be around. I’m a bit concerned about becoming isolated, me and my baby on the couch. I’m concerned about doing it all on my own. I had a chat to a married friend who is also at the age that she should have kids now, well, at least if she would like her own, biological kids. She and her husband decided that they don’t feel ready now and that they rather opt for adoption in about 5 years time when they’re both 45. The freedom of choice… It got me thinking again. I’m starting to consider if there’s not a better way, as a single person, of making a contribution to a child’s life. I used to volunteer at The Shine Centre, help primary school kids catch up with the English language. Maybe I should start doing that again? But then there’s still that fear of never having a family and becoming a bit bitter about it…

I have to say that it is quite amazing the conversations I have when I talk openly about my doubts and fears. Yesterday I ran into a lovely couple with 2 gorgeous kids. I told her my plans but then also my fears. And she told me that even when she was pregnant with the 2nd child that she had the same fears as I’m having now: becoming isolating, always being able to provide, losing your freedom. It was quite a relief to find out my fears are not so unusual. For the moment I’ve decided that I’m not ready so this morning I’ve written an email to Child Welfare to ask if I can put my adoption process ‘on hold’. To be continued…