This year I participated as a volunteer at the CANSA SHAVATHON. As causes go, this is one I support wholeheartedly. I’ve lost a few friends and family members to that dreaded illness, so it’s PERSONAL. It was humbling experience that I got to share with my son. We had such a great time that we’ve decided to make it an annual occasion.
You’ll be amazed to know how many people came to the stand that day who had no idea what the initiative was about. I found myself wondering “What rock did you climb out of?” a few times as I happily explained it to those individuals. I just didn’t get it until I realised that many people are not enlightened about issues until it hits close to home. Nothing wrong with it. It’s life. Right?
In my neighbourhood I see kids fighting and doing wrong all the time. I’ve become one of the ‘aunties’ who break up fights and reprimand kids when I notice them stepping out of line. Not because I like interfering but because I care enough to not turn a blind eye and allow them to self destruct. And believe me, it’s easy for them to go down dark paths here. Do I have that kind of hassle with my own kids? Fortunately God has blessed me with peaceful kids. Yeah, yeah, I hear people saying “Yes her kids are still young…” Blah blah. Not listening though. I pray for and with my kids and trust God to order their steps. The kids in my neighbourhood though are close to home. Literally. Figuratively I’m not really supposed to bend over backwards right? Not my kids, not my problem? It’s not just life. Our youth are our future. We have a responsibility towards them.
Today I read about My Issues With Maternity Leave In South Africa – From An Adoptive Parent’s Perspective. This article was my first form of enlightenment in this regard. I had no idea that there is no law stipulating that adoptive parent are entitled to maternity leave. My mind is actually still reeling. Has no one EVER thought about it before? Point is it hasn’t affected me nor anyone that I know so I didn’t ever think about it. Which rock have I just climbed out of? It’s life, right? Kind of.
You see it hasn’t hit close to home and I don’t know Shell Shocked Mummy personally but what I do know is that we have something in common. Not our brand of toothpaste or the way we drink our coffee, although we may just coincidentally have that in common too. I take mine black with 2 sugar, by the way 🙂 We’re both moms! Oh and we both blog. That’s 2 things actually.
The thing with enlightenment is what you choose to do with that knowledge. You can go on with your life and ignore the fact that adoptive parents do not enjoy the same privileges that biological parents do or you can do something about it and show your support by signing the Adoption Leave Petition. I’ve done so already and would like to urge you, my dear readers, to do the same.
What I would like to do, is challenge you to show camaraderie and not wait for things to hit close to home before you take action. Be proactive. About this cause and other causes too. We don’t have to wait for the next life altering situation to empathize or sympathize. Life still continues whether we do or don’t but wouldn’t it be awesome knowing you had a part, however insignificant it may seem, in someone’s life?