Thursday, August 13, 2009

First Official Visitation - Assignment Fm Mama Kat

My baby's getting big! Actually, she's getting bigger than I thought because I've recently found her correct date of birth and she's two months older than her mother originally told me. Honestly, how can you not remember your baby's birthday? Anyway, she's now 20 months old (and not 18 months old as I originally thought). This brings her first steps into the normal range (10 1/2 months and not 8 1/2 months), and I feel quite sad that she's not actually the genius I thought she was - although I must point out that she is still incredibly clever and advanced for her age - mother's perogative!

Monday afternoon was to be our first official visitation with her mother. It's been a long time since I last blogged, and things with Simmi and her mother have been unbelievably complicated, so I'll try catch up quickly. Simmi's mom was released from prison in June. She was due to be deported, and possibly Simmi along with her, which of course sent me into a tailspin of despair. As it turns out, Correctional Services took the law into their own hands and released her without deportation. She is now living with relatives somewhere, with no identity papers whatsoever, and therefore with no hope of ever legally becoming employed in this country.

I saw her in court a few months ago because Simmi still has no birth certificate, and the Department of Social Development refuses to give me the social grant I'm entitled to without a birth certificate, I also can't put her on our Medical Aid (very important in this country where state hospitals are only for the desperate), and a host of other problems. Anyway, I digress... When I saw Simmi's mom I offered to spend some extra time at the Welfare offices so she could visit with Simmi. What a waste of time. Picture it if you can:

Me (extra happy face): Come Simmi, say hello to your other mama!

Simmi (sucking finger furiously): ................ (signifies silence)

Simmi's Mom (Sibongile): ................

Simmi: Mama (holding arms out to me)

Me (smile starting to look strained): No Simmi, your other Mama. Come Simmi give your other Mama a big hug.

Simmi (clining to my leg): Come Mama, car (indicating she wants to leave).

Sibongile: .........................

Me (hysteria setting in): Simmi, come on let's play with your other Mama (trying to drag her off my leg).


Sibongile: ................................

I'm sure you get the picture.

Anyway, as I said in the begining of this post, Monday was our first official visitation with Simmi's mom since the above incident. Sibongile had contacted the Social Worker on Sunday night and requested the visit. I rushed home from work, dropped off the other 3 kids, made a juice bottle, printed some more photos of Simmi to give to Sibongile, grabbed Barney and the blanky and off we raced to get there by 14h30.

She didn't arrive! Can you believe it? No explanation, no phone call, she just never arrived. We waited 20 minutes and then I left. Relieved and irritated at the same time.

Can you imagine someone disappointing this little face? Praise God that Simmi doesn't even realise what happened. I'm so thankful.

Not an encouraging first for sure!