So our family is a little different from most. For all our new followers – here is a little introduction. Sorry to the “Old faithfuls” who know us well… here goes.
We are a blessed family with lots of diversity and love which makes us resilient. Our children are blessed with a Gangan and Papa who live on our property too and they play an important role in everyone’s lives.
Daddy is Gary who is a semi retired UKCA and CASA and full time founder and operator of the baby home which is located in our house. Mommy is me and I am a scientist who runs a small consulting business will the help of Daddy to generate funds for our family that changes all the time.
Our two oldest children are 21 (Samuel) and 18 (Rebecca) already and we are so lucky to have them both home at the moment. Everyone of our family members loves babies so its all good. We also have my amazing sister with us for lockdown to keep everyone exercising and helping Gangan and Papa with the tiny babbas. Samuels girlfriend is also becomming a dap hand at all things baby.
Then we have Sma – our little 11 year old super star. She is the energiser bunny of the family and is adored by all. She is the most sociable person in the family but is also amazing with her baby brothers and sisters who adore her.
After Sma we have our babies. Right now our 4 oldest are about 14 months old and were due to be adopted this month and this has sadly been delayed due to the Covid 19 Virus out break. Then we have little Lillie pie who is 10 months old and baby Jakeq is 8 months old. Our not so little Phoebe (Beebee for short) is 2 months old and our newest little man is a little premmie who is still fighting in hospital NICU. We pray everyday that he gets a little stronger so that we can bring him home. We know with lots of love and cuddles he will thrive just like the rest of our crew.
So the babies will change from time to time as perfect families are found for them but the feeling in the home stays the same. We embrace individuality and value what each little person brings to our family. If you are with us for 1 day or 2 years – you are part of us for ever. Gary and I had totally underestimated the love we would have for each and every one of our children. We see how they develop so uniquely even though they grow up here in the same home. Our three older children all have huge hearts and care deeply and we hope that the time spent here by the other children will give them the same foundation for life. What is a life without love?
We have ups and downs like every family but at the end of the day we go to sleep feeling like the luckiest people on earth.
“Georgie Peorgie pudding and pie
Has kissed us all and made us cry
When the others learned not to stray
Georgie Peorgie did things her way….
This is our George. She is a little pocket rocket of note. She is still so tiny and although she wears 6- 12 months clothes she can still fit in 3-6 months tops. Georgie will steal your heart then run away with it for ever. She pushes you to the edge then with the cutest smile has you right back in the palm of her hand.
She loves the tiny babies and is definitely the affectionate type but will just as easily walk past another baby and for no reason at all just push them over or pull their hair.
She likes to scream twice a day and will do this regardless of the circumstances but can also sit for an hour or two on your lap and cuddle like a new born.
Georgie likes to feed herself and does not like stodgy food at all. Her absolute best is steamed broccoli and cauliflower but she passes on pasta and potatoes. That been said – she loves fried chips.
She is as pretty as a flower our Georgie Peorgie and is loved by many. When she enters your home just know that things are done her way or not at all.
We are actually all doing ok in lockdown. The staff have been fabulous and stayed here to keep the babies safe. It is clear that the bigger babies are looking for more. They want to stay at their parents side day and night. The nursery is not quite doing it for them anymore. They would rather be playing in a Tupperware cupboard while you cook or helping you wash the car. They love to help with putting on your make up or brushing your hair. They like to unpack cupboards and generally just learn by observation. Soon, soon my babies you will watching your new families favourite TV programmes cuddled on the sofa with your Mummy and Daddy. You will have your own place that will belong just to you and your home will be forever. You will be going on more outings to the shops and playing with new friends (we are sure you will miss all of your brothers and sisters here but the friends you will make in these early years will help shape your future). We are treasuring the extra time we have with the big 4 due to the lockdown and realising that we will probably never have babies of this age in the home again as they are usually adopted before this age. We are just loving how much they are growing and developing every day. They are following instructions very well and have mastered names of basic body parts and that socks and shoes go on your feet and not on your head!
A year in – and wow it has gone super fast. Allie, Ella, Gabe, Faith, Lillie (1) Georgie, Tobi, Mia, Sonnie, Lizzie, Lillie (2), Jakey, Luna and Phoebe all through our doors. We have excellent staff and over 70 volunteers of which at least 25 are regular and committed to helping the babies every day.
We have laughed and cried and grown every day with our gorgeous babas. They are part and parcel of the Stanton clan and love their big sisters and brother endlessly – not to mention Gangan and Pappa who are on the property and often called on to help isolate a new born from colds or provide one on one attention for someone in need. 90% of the babies’ sugar intake is directly attributed to Gangan!!!!
We learnt about fundraising and we worked hard with people who care to make Mandela Day a success and build our beautiful indoor/outdoor undercover play area and build up bath and new born bath – not to mention a kitchen overall for the babies and volunteers. Thank you to everyone who contributed. We had a wonderful Wine Not Wednesday evening that also produced a much needed financial contribution to the baby home.
Out Adopt a cot programme did not take off as we had hoped but we are so grateful to the people who contribute monthly and this has been greatly appreciated. We hope to extend this in 2020 with more success.
Our focus this year is to get our funding in place to ensure the sustainability of the baby home. To these ends a Fund Raising committee has been set up and we are excited to see what comes of this.
We have an extremely successful community service programme and students are welcome everyday to learn about babies and baby care not to mention the state of abandonment and adoption in South Africa. We welcomed many students and had a number of students doing over 100 hours of community service for the President’s Award.
Our babies have developed wonderfully – all ahead of their milestones. They are definitely mostly happy and healthy but poor Tobi had two hospital admissions and he is a chronic asthmatic and little Mimmie also had a few days in hospital when she got a terrible sinus and bronchitis infection. We work had to keep the babies healthy and they are on Creche Guard and Zinplex as well. Thank you so much Sr. Sharon Buckle and Dr Narsai and Busamed Hillcrest Private Hospital for their care. Thanks also to volunteers who stay by baby’s side when they are in hospital so that they know they are loved and limit their anxiety.
Three of our babies were reunited with family and Gabe, Lillie and Faith went back to Hope House and have since been adopted. Ella was adopted into a lovely family in Durban and Mimmie is with her lovely mum. Lizzie went to her granny and Luna is with her mommy. Allie, Tobi, Georgie and Sonnie were to be adopted in April but these have been suspended due to the Covid – 19 virus and leaving us to be with their forever families. This is such a bittersweet time and we will never forget the babies of 2019 – you were our first and will hold a special piece of our hearts forever.
We cant believe our first three months with our babies has gone so fast. We are currently taking our first break from the babies and it feels very strange. We miss them terribly and have to hold ourselves back from approaching strangers in the streets of CT with their own babies.
We talk constantly about their unique little mannerisms and how quickly and beautifully they are developing. The UHBH is so much more than we ever expected. We quickly received 5 babies and it really feels like we have quintuplets. We have so many new friends and are eternally grateful to the volunteers who arrive everyday to do their bit.
Just so you have some idea of the scale of this. We have a core team that manages the home and our board has been established. People all over the country collect goods for us and others help raise awareness. We have another 40 or so people that want and need to spend time with the babies and someone, namely Skyla, has to schedule all of this. Other committed people help with getting our website sorted, raising much needed finds, collecting donations, doing reflexology, seeing to the babies medical needs, getting emergency supplies etc. It’s a lot but we could not be happier.
We miss the babies everyday and we will be back home soon with them. Our other children Sam (20), Becky (17) and Sma (10) have taken the transition in their stride and it is such a blessing to be able to spend these few days with them without the more pressing needs of the babies. At home the babies always come first because they are so small and have very basic needs that require fulfillment. We keep the nursery seperate from the house but the babies are always with us. There is always someone who needs a little extra love when they are supposed to have gone down for the night. We have had one colicky baby but the others feed and sleep well. They are thriving – some more than they should be 🙈and we are busy transforming into a stricter routines as they all approach the three month mark.
On a daily basis we reflect on the paradox that is our life. It is crazy but calming, joyful and sad, extremely busy but always time for a cuddle, trying and easy at the same time. We know this sounds unreal and for us it is – it is like everything we dreamt of and feared at the same time – yet feels perfectly right. When something feels so right we know we are doing what we are meant to. We will run a blog to keep everyone updated. Please continue to apporach us when you see us in the shops or around the Upper Highway Area – one of the most rewarding aspects has been meeting all the new faces who are loving the UHBH and our precious little souls that form the basis of what we do.
Much love and many thanks
The Stanton Family
She joined us, and from the start we knew we would only have her for 2 weeks. She had been placed in a home with her biological brother and her new family were busy making preparations for her sudden arrival.
She settled so nicely with us and was soon in a good sleeping and feeding routine. The days passed and we prepared for her departure, excited for her to be united with her forever family and a bit sad that we would not be apart of her little world anymore.The day arrived and Mom, Dad, big brother and sister as well as her auntie came to meet their new bundle of joy. There was such excitement, and a few tears witnessing this union. After a feed and change, Princess E was scooped up by her new family and set off.
As our first official adoption, this little one will always hold a special place in our hearts and we feel privileged to have played a small part in her life.