COLOURS OF LIFE With Koko Kalango
When Roger Clinton adopted his wife’s son, he did not know that boy would become the 42nd president of the most powerful nation in the world. Interestingly, it is his name that has gone down in history, not that of William Jefferson Blythe, Bill Clinton’s biological father.
Rolihlahla was only nine when he lost his father. His mother took him back to his native Thembu where he was adopted by his uncle, the Regent of the land, Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo. In the palace, he was raised alongside the children of the Regent. This Rolihlahla was Nelson Mandela, one of the greatest leaders of our time.
Joanne Schieble and Abdulfattah Jandali were both 23 and graduate students when Joanne got pregnant. The couple gave the baby up for adoption. His adoptive parents, Paul and Clara Jobs lived in an area of California that would later become known as Silicon Valley. The young Steve spent considerable time fixing electronics in the family garage with his father. At the age of 21 Steve Jobs began APPLE with Steve Wozniak in the Jobs’ family garage.
Gabrielle Bonheure Chanel was born out of wedlock and ended up being moved from one orphanage to another. She was adopted by Catholic nuns and raised in a convent. She became ‘Coco’ the style icon and founder of the CHANEL brand.
In cultures like ours where having children is very important, many families come under tremendous pressure and some even break up for the lack of children. Many childless couples resort to absurd practices in search of children. ‘Baby factories’are lucrative business; here young girls get pregnant and sell their children to desperate women. The more straightforward, god-fearing childless folks can be found in long prayer lines seeking divine intervention. This all-consuming need has led to many being exploited by so called men of God who are nothing but wolves in sheep clothing.
Of course we know that God gives children miraculously but sometimes we do not get the children and that does not make God unfaithful.
Can we, for a moment, look beyond ourselves to a bigger purpose when it comes to parenthood? What would have happened to the young William or Nelson, Steve or Coco if they never got adopted?
Let’s take the conversation a notch higher. How about the God factor in adoption? Ever paused to think there may be a divine purpose at play here? The scripture says, ‘God sets the lonely in families’ (Psalm 68:6).
Could there be a potential world leader, inventor, luxury brand creator out there in need of a family where they would be nurtured to fulfill destiny? Could some lonely child benefit from the extra room in your home, the spare cash in your account? Many adopted children have grown up to be a blessing not just to those who adopted them but to the world.
Adoption should not be a taboo. It should not be an option for those looking for children, a good luck charm to keep them busy until their biological children come. Adoption should be a social responsibility that we all respond to joyfully.
This was the essence of the maiden conference of the Heritage Adoption Support and Advocacy Group (HASAAG) which held on October 28 under the chairmanship of Her Excellency Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo. According to the Managing Trustee and project coordinator of HASAAG, Eme Akenzua, “The aim of this conference is to change the negative perception associated with adoption and thereby make it more acceptable to childless couples and any responsible and God-fearing adult that has the heart and resource to adopt. By so doing, we would achieve our aim of getting all abandoned and needy children into responsible, God-fearing homes.”