Jane and Simon made the decision to adopt, rather than pursue fertility treatment, after trying for a baby for over five years. They felt that they could provide a loving, stable family home for a child that needed one.
We found the details for our local adoption service, made the call, and had a visit from a social worker who talked us through the process and what it involved. We then attended a preparing to adopt course which was invaluable for us in terms of information received and establishing an extended support network with other prospective adopters.
Our assessment was completed well within the time frame we’d been given. We found that although it was very detailed and included talking about a wide range of issues, some of which could be upsetting, having a good relationship with our social worker made it all a lot easier. There were times when we felt the process was going too slowly, but we soon realised that we needed time between appointments to fully process things and to have time to ourselves doing normal things - our whole life had become all about adoption!
Once the assessment was completed and we had been approved we then had to wait while our social worker undertook the matching process. This was possibly the hardest part for us as all we wanted was to be given a profile to say yes too. We found it was so hard not to keep pestering our social worker to see if there was any news!
Luckily we trusted our social worker fully to find us the perfect match, and she did. We were officially matched with our daughter who was nine months old at the time. We completed an introduction period and met her fantastic foster family who we are still in touch with a couple of times a year. Our little girl is now two years old and we are told daily how much she looks like us both. She has totally changed our world for the better and we cannot remember a time without her.
We are still learning as we go but we have an amazing support network of family and friends who are all as in love with her as we are and always know we can contact social services for additional support and advice should we ever need it. We attend the yearly Christmas party and the summer picnic and plan on continuing to do so
There have been a range of worries from things like: are we going to be good parents? Can we afford a child? Is our house big enough? To: will she like us? Will we be able to explain everything to her when she is older? Will we get along with the foster carers? And even: will we love her as if she was our own? What effects will her start in life have on her in later life? We are able to talk through these and a whole load of other random worries with our social worker, family and friends.
We can answer the majority of these worries already with very happy answers, our little girl is exactly that, ours! We couldn’t love her any more than we do. Our house is filled with love and laughter, the occasional terrible twos temper tantrum and more toys than we ever thought possible! If it was any bigger or smaller it would still be full. Finance priorities have changed, mummy doesn’t get as many new handbags or shoes as before but we have family days out, holidays and walks in the woods instead. We have a life story book from our daughter’s birth family to help us explain where she came from and how she came to be with us. There’s ongoing support from our social worker and our family too, so we’re well prepared to have that conversation when the time comes.