Julie Kynaston’s children didn’t grow in her belly. She calls herself a ‘heart mama’ – a reference to where her love for them burgeoned.
When Kynaston and her husband, Ryan, decided to start a family, they were determined to adopt. But during the process, they encountered a distinct lack of information online. It didn’t deter Kynaston from making the fulfilling choice.
Now, she’s using her words to close the gaps and help other South Africans.
With Heart Mama Blog, Kynaston speaks openly about the joys and difficulties of having an adoptive family and being a parent. Here, people can share their stories of what it’s like to adopt, or to have been adopted.
“It’s also become a platform for a family like mine to be represented online,” Kynaston says. Adoption, especially multi-racial adoption, comes with a slew of challenges.
Her site includes useful resources for those interested in adopting within South Africa. As Kynaston creates a safe space to educate, she’s changing perceptions.
For many children, adoption can be rooted in trauma or loss. “That’s not where the story ends nor what defines them,” Kynaston says.
Her own family is testament to the love that comes with adoption. With her kids Ilan, Kira and Judah, they show there’s no one way of being a family.
“Adoption isn’t perfect, but we are created to be in family,” Kynaston says, “and family is a beautiful thing.”