MOTHER OFFERS CHILD FOR ADOPTION IN EXCHANGE FOR EMPLOYMENT
They are her darlings, they are all she has in the world, but she can’t keep them both.
22-year-old Kedibonye has just given birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy. But even as the youngster suckles from her breast, the impoverished mum is prepared to let him go.
“I love my babies, but I cannot provide for both of them whilst I am unemployed.
I want them to have a better future so I am prepared to give up my new-born child for adoption to anyone who can give me a job.”
It is an offer that many will find disturbing.
But unless a miracle happens soon, the mother of two will be forced to give away her youngest son who is only a few weeks old.
The decision to part ways with herbabyin exchange for a job has not been taken lightly – it is just the last resort in a financial struggle for survival.
Without employment the 22-year-old cannot support her two young children, so to care and give her other son, two-year-old Veritas, a better life and future, she has offered baby Mason up for adoption.
“I know the young one will blame me some day and ask why I gave him away.
Why I did not keep him even though I’m poor,”explained Kedibonye as she looked with tears in her eyes at the child clinging to her breast.
“I am financially unable to look after them both. I am giving Mason away because I love him.
I know there is someone out there who will care and provide for him better than I can now,” she added.
Just a few months ago the young mother had a job as a peer-educator and had a stable relationship with the father of her children.
Since then she has been forced to quit her job and her 30-year-old boyfriend and work colleague,dumped her when she was four months pregnant.
“At first he was cool about it, but as time went on he suggested I abort. But I told him I was afraid. And what if I ended up dead?” she asked, shaking her head.
“I just couldn’t do it.”
Then as her tummy began to bulge, her boyfriend denied being the father of the unborn baby, even accusing Kedibonye of cheating on him.
“He told me it was over and wanted nothing to do with me,” she continued.
Even now she prays her former partner will have a change of heart. She still has a picture of him hanging on the wall of her small, P600 a month rented room, which she calls home until the day she fails to pay for it.
Since losing her job as a peer educator with one of the youth organisation’s in Francistown, Kedibonye has relied on her small savings and the meagre maintenance she gets for the upkeep of her eldest son.
Each day is a battle for survival.
“I am still owing the furniture shop that may come anytime to repossess these items,” she says pointing to the fridge, which stands unused in its plastic wrappings and television set obtained whilst in employment – her only material possessions.
Unable to go back to her former job she is desperate to find employment soon, but is not looking for a man to support her.
“I’ve gone through a lot with men. I want to be independent.
All I need is a job with a reasonable wage and someone to take my baby, then I will be back on track with my life.”
Watching her eldest son fast asleep on the floor, the former Letlhakane Senior Secondary student is fully aware the public may perceive her as careless and heartless – one who should have known better since her job as a peer-educator was to educate young people on the importance of using protection during sexual intercourse.
“I was using the pill as a contraceptive. But had unprotected sex with the father of these boys.
“My partner,” she giggles and corrects herself, “My ex-partner, did not believe in protected sex.
Each time I asked him to use a condom he would ask if I was cheating on him or what.
That’s how I fell pregnant with the second baby,” she explains candidly.
She believes her story will help other young girls.
“My message to young girls like me is they shouldn’t think of abortion.
They should ask for help not to dump their babies or do anything bad.
I believe there is help out there for me.
And those who will assist me out of this mess will definitely be blessed,” said the short, light complexioned, pretty young girl.
Intelligent and optimistic she knows this is a turning point in her life, but naturally she has regrets on how her situation has turned out.
“At times I regret why I had this one,” she sayspatting her eldest son’s head, whois now awake and huddled around her knees.
Some of my age mates are out there in school prospering, while I’m stuck with two kids at a young age with no job.
I do regret a lot,” she points outs honestly.
“ There are times I just need my mum.
If she were still alive at least she would give me adviceon how to tackle all this.”
Without any relative or family member for support, the situation is too difficult she admits.
“I am not mature enough to take care of a toddler and a new-born baby on my own.
Due to the stress I find myself losing my temper at the eldest boy unnecessarily.
Which is really not good for the child’s growth.”
With no one to turn to, Kedibonye is pinning the future of her little ones on the kindness of Batswana, and the prospect of employment.