Friday, March 13, 2009

About Simmi's Mom

As I mentioned in my previous post, there is more to the story of Simmi's mom.

The Welfare had to do an investigation of the mom's circumstances when processing my foster care application. They brought the report to my house for me to read before it is presented in court, and I was shocked.

I've visited Sibongile (Simmi's mom) in jail a few times, and she's been talking to me. I felt so sorry for her, and believed everything she told me. According to her, she fled Zimbabwe 14 years ago and came to South Africa with nothing. She met up with Simmi's father, and fell pregnant with her first baby. He was married. Sibogile gave birth to a boy, and because the father's wife had only had girls, he came and took the little boy away from Sibongile and gave him to his wife to care for. Sibongile hasn't seen the child since. I asked her why on earth she kept on seeing this man after he did this to her, and she said that sometimes he gave her money. I felt so sorry for her, because she told me she knew nobody in this country except him.

Then there was the investigation:

It turns out that Sibongile has 5 children - yes, 5! She left 3 children behind in Zimbabwe when she decided to come to South Africa. After abandoning them, she then proceeded to have 2 more, Simmi being her youngest. She gave Simmi's brother to the father because she didn't want to take care of him (this story has been confirmed by her brother-in-law who also lives here - so much for not knowing anybody in SA). Her sister and brother-in-law took Simmi in for a while because Sibongile was neglecting her, and leaving her with whoever was around and going out for days at a time, but they couldn't keep her permanently. When interviewed, the brother-in-law expressed horror at the conditions Simmi was being kept in, saying that Sibongile was living in squalour.

When I first got Simmi she was sick, dirty and she never cried or even made a sound. Now I know why I feel so sad. I'm so very glad that God brought her to me so I could give her the love, security and care she so desperately needed.

I know I shouldn't judge this woman as I have never been in such desperate circumstances, but I can't help wondering how she could have left those 3 children behind and then had more when she knew she couldn't afford to take care of them. Birth control in this country is free. I just keep thinking the famous Dr Phil phrase, "What were you thinking?".

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