Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Saga of Simmi

Assignment for Mama Kat is the post below this one

It’s almost 7 weeks now since Simmi came into our lives. Today we meet once more with Child Welfare to hear what they have decided about Simmi’s future. There was a committee meeting held on Tuesday to discuss Simmi because her case is so complicated. They have investigated the possibility of Simmi’s mom being granted asylum in South Africa, but because she now has a criminal record this is not going to happen. She will definitely be deported to Zimbabwe to serve out whatever prison sentence is handed down. Apparently Welfare’s options are as follows:

1. When the mother is deported, to deport Simmi as well. Not with her mother, but separately to a children’s home or orphanage as her mother will still be incarcerated. They would try to find a home close to the jail so that the mother would be able to find her easily when she is released, and there would be a possibility of visitation.

2. Keep Simmi here in South Africa in foster care where at least she is safe and well-cared for. However, there is then the probability that she will never see her mother again.

3. Convince the mother to allow Simmi to be adopted.

4. Grant the father (who doesn't want her) custody. Simmi is the product of an extra-marital affair and her father’s wife doesn’t know she exists. This would mean that the wife would then have to bring up the product of her husband’s unfaithfulness, and the chances are that she will resent Simmi and mistreat her as a result.

Now I am very nervous. At 15h00 today I will find out what they have decided to recommend. What huge controversy surrounds this precious little person. She doesn’t even have a birth certificate because her mother couldn’t register her as she is here illegally. I can’t bear the thought of her being sent to an orphanage. The situation in Zimbabwe is grim, and I can’t imagine her being well cared for, or even fed if they send her there.

On the other hand, what about her mother? How will she feel about never being able to see her baby girl again? I can imagine the heartache because now I’m facing it too. How will she feel if her baby is sent to Zimbabwe, knowing what is waiting for her there – why did she come to South Africa illegally in the first place – desperation to get away from there. Apparently, the mother has no rights here at all because of the circumstances.

As I write this post, I am listening to Simmi playing outside with the other children, screeching with delight and clapping her little hands. She loves school, and she’s so happy here. I’m praying & holding my breath ……….


Caren said...

I came to read your writing assignment from Mama Kat which I will comment on later but I just wanted to say that Simmi is just beautiful and I hope that everything works out OK for you and especially for her. I'll definitely be back to read your blog because I must know what happens to that sweet child. Best wishes...

Diane said...

Now I'm praying and holding my breath. I hope this works out for Simmi... and for you. She's so lucky to have you.