Grace Wanunda is no stranger to this site. We published her story in 2017 when we sought to know about the child adoption landscape in Kenya.
We followed up with her again to know if her family expanded and guess what? It has and now baby Timothy Jabali has joined the family that previously comprised of Angel Faraja and Grace. While declaring adoption ‘addictive,’ she shares these pointers with us.
AfroMum: Please enlighten us on any legal hurdles for a parent seeking to adopt a second child.
Grace: The process is the same. My second adoption to me was the easiest, from application to matching/placement. It took only 2 months and my son was home, younger (2 months 3 weeks) than I expected.
This was due to the fact that I had done a lot of adoption awareness, my relationship with my Agency was built and it was one of the best having adopted and completed my first process. I am in the legal process, a bit slow but I’m comforted the baby is home.
How do you prepare the other children for the coming of subsequent children?
I kept telling my daughter we are having a small baby boy soon. We named him before he came, every day we talked about him and he was part of us even though absent.
How can you prepare financially for their arrival?
I made arrangements with ICEA for an education/investment policy way before my son came home. We sealed the deal and were just waiting for the documents and the arrival of the baby to sign the policy. When he came, I opened a Junior savings account with my Sacco for him.
How do you prepare yourself psychologically?
My mind was made up to go for the second child. I didn’t consult much. It was a walk in the park for me. Unlike my first adoption, my 2nd adoption was easy and smooth. There was no pressure nor anxiety. This was because my first adoption was very successful and quite fulfilling.
Did you get any challenges in your journey to get another child?
NO. The support was overwhelming from the Agency, home, friends, colleagues, everyone!
Why did you decide to go ahead with adopting the second time?
The transformation I saw in my girl, and the fulfillment she brought thereafter blew my mind and I just thought I can bring another child home if that’s what adoption can do to a child and to a parent. Adoption is beautiful and addictive!
What were the cost implications?
The total cost of my second adoption was Kshs. 60,750/-
The breakdown is as follows >>
Agency – 19,000/= (has been brought down to 12,500)
Medical test – 750/=
Certificate of good conduct – 1000/=
Legal fee – 40,000/=
Are you planning to get more?
YES – If God enables me. I am also considering fostering, to help needy mothers raise their children as they get back on their feet.
When it comes to nutrition what were the most important considerations?
I did exclusive formula (Cow and Gate) up to 6 months. We weaned him at 6 months, incorporated puree and porridge. We currently do baby food, working with what is available in the markets. We make sure it’s balanced. We still do formula, fruits, and yoghurt.
How much time did it take you to bring the little angel home?
Only 2 months.
Do you have any strategy to ensure seamless cohesion between the children?
I have involved my daughter in everything we do with her brother, we feed together, we bath together, I send her for the milk, diapers, clothes etc. Actually, she knows that bringing baby items is her duty. They bond by playing around and she is very proud of him. She calls him “my Timo”
Adoptive parents and kids face a lot of stigma, how do you withstand this?
I can confidently say I have never experienced stigma at all. I have gone out of my way to talk openly about adoption. I have realised that most of the stigma is self-imposed. Most parents shy off from talking about adoption leaving room for guesswork and speculation. I have changed and been made better by adoption and it’s evident. Therefore, stigma has no chance in my life at all.
How will you teach the children to face the stigma?
By letting them know and understand that adoption is just another normal way of establishing a family. That it doesn’t matter how we become family, what matters is the love we have for each other.
What advice do you have for parents planning to adopt more children?
I plead with them to do it now! It’s worth it. No child wants to be abandoned/orphaned etc. So they should not wait longer. A child belongs to a family.
Who is your biggest support in this journey?
My friends, colleagues, and relatives.
Tell us about your support group in relation to this.
Adoption is Beautiful – Kenya has given us a platform to air our views, fears, and challenges. Information on Adoption has been made readily available. The support is overwhelming. The freedom of speech on matters adoption has reduced stigma.
The parents are willing to walk with each other and support where necessary. So many children have found families through this page. We look forward to more adoption and a stigma-free nation.