Watching Jeremy Olivier serenade his lovely wife Nicole from the stage of MNET’s The Voice, it is hard to believe that it has been six short years since he almost lost her in a devastating miscarriage that cost them the lives of their twins, and threatened to end Nicole’s life too.

But she survived, and the intimate 2014 song Beautiful that the couple penned together, describes it as the event that “rearranged” their hearts; an event that made them open to adoption and to parenting their delightful son Noah, who joined the family the same year as they lost the twins.

First shared by Lead SA, this is Jeremy’s amazing story of love, loss, adoption and above all, fatherhood…

I’ll never forget Father’s Day 2009

That was the day my wife, Nicole, and our four children woke me up with big smiles and a cup of coffee, eager for me to open my presents.

I made my way through the biltong, chocolates and homemade cards until there was one left – a pregnancy test with two pink lines.

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Yup, we were having another baby.

The kids were delighted. A few weeks later we were shocked to found out that it was twins! Six children! We must be crazy!

Sadly, the excitement was short-lived because at twelve weeks, tragedy struck and Nicole began to miscarry. The miscarriage soon turned into an emergency, as she started haemorrhaging severely and had to be rushed to hospital.

We somehow knew that everything would be okay – that there was a bigger picture in all of it that we couldn’t yet see

Waiting outside the operating theatre, I tried to process what had just happened. The doctor came out and said the most sobering words I’d ever heard: “We nearly lost her and we’re not out of the woods yet.”

Nicole spent two days in ICU where she had multiple blood transfusions and slowly regained her strength.

As devastating as it was, we both felt profoundly changed by the experience and there was a strange sense of peace through it all.

Jeremy Oliver

We somehow knew that everything would be okay – that there was a bigger picture in all of it that we couldn’t yet see

A few weeks later Nicole received a call from a friend who had just heard about a baby that had been abandoned at birth. He had been found under a tree in a field outside a nearby township, wrapped in his mother’s jacket, and hidden inside a plastic bag.

His story overwhelmed us and we had to find out more about this miracle child who had survived such a tragic beginning to his life.

The moment we saw him, we both knew that it was meant to be. We brought him home at seven weeks old.

Now, more than six years later, our beautiful son, Noah Themba Olivier, is a perfectly healthy, happy little boy who brings light and joy to everyone he meets, and has made our family truly complete.

Being a musician and songwriter, I suppose it was inevitable that this story would find its way into a song

Nicole and I often write together, and I came home from a gig one evening to find her red-faced and puffy-eyed saying, “I think I’ve written the lyrics to this song”.  When I tried to play it, I couldn’t make it past the first few lines! And every time I perform it, from stages in South Africa to Europe, it has the same effect.

I think people can relate to the brokenness. And how it turned into something so beautiful – that gives them hope.

We have completed the music video and released the song in South Africa in 2014, and are currently working alongside UNICEF on their new campaign ‘Ending Violence Against Children and Women’ using this song and our story to bring awareness to the mounting abandonment problem and orphan crisis we have in South Africa at the moment.

Staggering statistics

  • It is estimated that there are 3.5 million orphans in South Africa at present – UNICEF South Africa
  • Abandonment is becoming more and more ‘popular’ because of ‘ancestral beliefs’ and has increased by 22% in the past four years. – The National Adoption Coalition of South Africa
  • Adoption has decreased by 59% in the past four years, mostly due to new legislation to 1 446 adoptions in 2014.
  • One newspaper reported in 2012: “Of the 200 abandoned babies found in Johannesburg and Soweto monthly, only 60 are found alive” ‘The National Adoption Coalition of South Africa

It’s time for South Africans to realise that the solution lies with us. We really can make a difference – one child at a time. If you want to find out more on how you can help, please contact Nicole – [email protected].

Article by Jeremy Olivier. First shared by Lead SA