TWO Dutch families are over the moon after adopting children from the Beautiful Gate Lesotho children’s home.
Each of the families adopted a girl. The adoptions were facilitated by the Child Protection Services, a department which falls under the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Social Development.
Speaking at an emotional farewell ceremony for the children ahead of their departure, one of the adopting parents, Marloes Sjerps, thanked Beautiful Gate for raising their child.
“We would like to thank you all very much for raising our sweet and cheerful daughter,” Ms Sjerps said.
“We understand that today is a difficult but special day for you to say goodbye to the girl. You have lovingly cared for her for a long time. We are honoured that we can take over the care from you,” she said.
On her part, Beautiful Gate Operating Director, Lindiwe Kirstein, said the children had been given a place to grow and thrive in a nurturing and safe environment filled with the love and support of the staff.
“With the help of the government, many children have been reunited with their biological families or adopted locally and internationally into loving families who provide them with love and a place to belong
“It is a pleasure and honour to have a double adoption, it is extra special. When this happens we rejoice. Thank you,” Ms Kirstein said.
The adopting families are expected to leave the country on 16 December for Pretoria to apply for visas before proceeding to their home country, Holland.
Beautiful Gate is home to orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children. The centre was established in 2001 by a Zimbabwean couple, Ray and Sue Haakonsen. It started with seven abandoned babies and has since cared for over 600 children. More than 250 of these have been adopted in Lesotho while others have found new homes in the Netherlands, United States of America, Sweden and Canada. About 150 were reunited with their biological families.
The centre currently provides shelter, food, clothing, education, medical care, and psychosocial support to 75 children aged up to 10 years.