WHEN Natalie and Ian Henman decided to start a family nearly 10 years ago, they did not realise the road they would take, starting with four gruelling – and unsuccessful – years of fertility treatment but ending up with both a daughter and a son, their “amazing and miracle children”.
Today, baby Kyle has just had his six-week check up – his big sister is thrilled – and the Henman family are in full bloom. Natalie, a marketing co-ordinator for a private hospital group, and Ian, in the short-term insurance industry, were married in May 2004 and started fertility treatment later that year at the Port Elizabeth Fertility Clinic.
When it became clear that being a biological mother was not on the cards for Natalie, the couple turned to Abba Adoptions in Pretoria.
“We were matched with Hannah in May 2008, she was nine months old and had been in a place of safety since birth. We didn’t specify a gender in our portfolio and requested that we adopted a baby under the age of one,” said Natalie.
“We have always been open and honest with Hannah regarding her adoption. We use age appropriate explanations, not words she can’t understand or that are too grown up for her to repeat.
“It is important to us that Hannah knows she was never ‘not wanted’ or ‘unloved’ by her birth mother. Her birth mother loved her enough to make the decision to ask for help and have Hannah adopted.
Due to their medical history, the Henmans enquired about adopting a second child, “we always thought we would give Hannah a sibling”.
However early last year Natalie fell pregnant “which was very unexpected!” A miscarriage dashed the Henman’s hopes but then nearly a year later the unthinkable happened a second time: Natalie fell pregnant again – and this time there were no complications.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my pregnancy and Kyle was born via caesarean section on September 18. I had the most amazing team (doctors and nurses) in theatre and it is thanks to them that his birth was so special.
“Ian fetched Hannah from school and brought her to hospital to meet her brother. The smile on her face was priceless and all she wanted to do was hold him, touch him and take his clothes off to see what he really looks like!”
“The day I held Hannah for the first time, nothing else mattered except that she is my daughter, and we had a happy ending after a very long and hard journey.
“My friends told me when I was pregnant that your heart grows with love as you have more children. I couldn’t understand it until I had a second child, Natalie said.
“When I heard Kyle cry for the first time it was surreal. I couldn’t believe that this tiny person came out of my belly.”
He is the cherry on top!”
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