Our journey to become parents

Lianda Colquhoun and her husband Darran met eight years ago and were married in 2014. As all couples do, they discussed their possibilities of growing their family. Their story, however, is not that of the ‘ordinary couple’ planning a family – her husband is a quadriplegic (paralysed from midrib) and she was born with a heart defect. She shares their story …

Due to the heart defect that I was born with, my cardiologist advised me not to risk having our own children, but growing up playing “house house” with my sister and cousin, the thought of not being able to have children had never crossed my mind. Now, as an adult who eventually settled down with an amazing, positive and caring man, I felt broody. It was a lot to take in, feel, cry and think about, but our next decision came easily – adoption.

If only it was as easy as that! It was two years before we sent our application forms to a private adoption agency that was recommended by friends who had adopted through them. Six months later we received an email inviting us to an orientation session to discuss the process of adoption, including the cost. Before I even stepped into the office, I knew this was what I wanted – but my husband still had to think a bit about it before making his decision. We returned home with lots of forms and we still needed to apply for a Form 30, a police clearance certificate (hard copy), a doctor’s report, family and friends reference letters, financial statements, etc. It was daunting!

“Adoption requires a lot of understanding; it is not just something you can decide on a whim.”

Luckily, it didn’t take us too long to get all the necessary paperwork and I thank my motivation to become a mother for keeping me sane. We sent everything off and soon enough we were called in again for our assessment, parent workshop and panel meeting. We live quite far from the adoption agency office, so thankfully we could do all of this in one week. My new year’s resolution for 2018 was to get our names on the RACAP list as approved adoptive parents and after that gruelling week, my resolution was achieved.

When you go for orientation, they caution you to not start buying anything for the baby yet as there are no guarantees. If you’re approved, you could wait for two months or two years. I tried to heed their advice, but my conviction was just too strong – I just know we will get there. Our baby’s room is almost finished being decorated; we have a cot, lots of adorable baby clothes, cloth nappies and soft toys. This is a time of many mixed emotions: joy, fear, love and excitement.

Adoption requires a lot of understanding; it is not just something you can decide on a whim. Not only are you aware that another woman made the greatest sacrifice so that you could become a mother, but it becomes your responsibility to equip your adopted child with the tools to understand how and why they were adopted.

As I write this story, I’m sitting in our little boy’s (or girl’s) room with a sense of calm. I know that however long we might have to wait, the baby that is meant for us will come to us at the right time. We will be the best parents we could ever be to this amazing little human we already love!