Saying ‘goodbye’ to people we love is always sad but when the staff and children of Indlela’s Fairhavens Babies’ Home waved farewell to little Nomfundo* and Mandla* this month their sorrow was far outweighed by their delight that these special children were going to loving families.
Nomfundo was Fairhavens’ longest-standing resident, having arrived in 2008. Hers is a tragic but all-too-common story in South Africa. She was living on the streets with her family when disaster struck, leaving her with no parents and only an uncle to look after her. In 2008, her uncle fell ill and could no longer care for her; he handed her over to Child Welfare and she was placed in protective care at Fairhavens Babies’ Home. Nomfundo thrived in the nurturing environment and after a few months she was placed in foster care, with the prospect of being adopted. Unfortunately, the adoption fell through in 2009 and Nomfundo found herself back in the familiar surroundings of Fairhavens.
By this stage she had turned four, so Indlela sent Nomfundo to pre-school for the two years before beginning her formal schooling through a private educator. Despite being on both the government and private adoption services’ lists no adoptive parents were found for Nomfundo, so application was made for her to join the LIV village. This month, after almost four years at Fairhavens, Nomfundo finally found her family. The entire LIV village turned out to welcome her home with songs of joy and she has settled in quickly with new friends, a loving house mother, and a strong community to guide and guard her in the years ahead.
Baby Mandla arrived at Fairhavens in November 2010. Her mother had abandoned her with a neighbour, whose own circumstances made it impossible for her to take on the care of an extra child. She took the baby to the local police station, where arrangements were made to hand Mandla to Child Welfare. Mandla was placed at Fairhavens where she spent the next few months adjusting to her new environment. There was great excitement when a potential adoptive family came to spend a day playing and bonding with the little girl. Adoption proceedings were instituted and the prospective parents spent extended time with Mandla at Fairhavens, taking care of her and laying the foundation of a strong bond between them. There were tears of joy when baby Mandla went home with her new parents, ready to begin her ‘happy ever after’.
Not all families share common blood; the best families are bound together by unbreakable ties of love and mutual concern. Nomfundo and Mandla have finally been given their chance to grow up in the best kind of families, where love is the tie that binds and caring conquers all obstacles.
*Names have been changed to protect the children’s identities