Rachel was born in 2005 at a provincial hospital on the West Rand, weighing 2.2 kg. Her birth mother was HIV+, and already had another child. She was unemployed and unable to care for another baby. When she left the hospital she left her baby behind, where she stayed for a few weeks before being placed at Baby Haven. As her records named her only “Baby,” Amy (a Baby Haven volunteer) named her Rachel.
When Grant and Jean had their two daughters, Anne and Hayley, the name Rachel was, in both cases, the alternate choice. From about the time when Anne was born, both felt convicted about adopting an orphan, to follow the instruction in the biblical book of James to “look after the widows and orphans.” This feeling grew stronger over the next few years, until the beginning of 2005, when they felt they needed to pray it through seriously and decide once and for all if they were going to adopt or not. As they prayed and chatted to various people, it became clearer and clearer in their minds that this was God’s will for them and that there was a very special child waiting for them.
The decision was made. Grant and Jean would start looking for a baby girl. During this time of searching, they heard about the Baby Haven project - they would later work out that they first heard about Baby Haven on the very day that Rachel was born! Over the next few weeks, they met with David and Caroline Webb a few times. They had been concerned about how they would know which child was "theirs"? It was during this period, two little girls came into Baby Haven - Lydia… and the baby called Rachel! This was surely the baby for them! With a sure sense of peace that this was their baby, Grant and Jean, Anne and Hayley took Rachel home on Saturday 16 July.