My husband and I tried to have a baby through IVF but sadly it didn’t work. We spent a lot of time looking after our nephew and niece and knew that we could love someone else’s children. We decided to go for adoption and went through the charity, Families for Children. They were very thorough in taking us through the process. We had to tell them about our childhoods, our family backgrounds, our siblings and our significant relationships. Although some of it felt invasive and intrusive we did feel as though we were in a safe pair of hands and the whole counselling process was very supportive.
We were lucky enough to be matched with Shah when he was three years old. He was ten weeks old when he went into foster care in London and was nearly three when he came to Devon to live with us. He remembers pulling his suitcase behind him and being told to say good bye to his foster parents. Shah has been extremely happy in Devon and has fitted in well with the local community.
Sadly my marriage broke up but I knew that I didn’t want Shah to be an only child so I went back to Families for Children and started the whole process again. This time I was a divorced single parent adopter but this didn’t seem to make any difference. As they already knew me I didn’t have to go through the entire process again. Tiannah came to live with Shah and me when she was 4. She had been in a foster family for a long time and had found it difficult with all the comings and goings of the other children. Again she has settled well into family life in Devon.
Families For Children had to make the match right for me, Shah and Tiannah but it is right and although, like all siblings they bicker, generally they do get on well and have a lot of similar interests.
I don’t need much post adoption support from Families for Children but I probably will when both Shah and Tiannah start to question their identities and ask questions about their birth families. I don’t know either of their birth families so will have to refer back to Families for Children to help me with the answers.
My advice to potential adopters would be that you are gold dust, let the social workers guide you throughout the process, be prepared and make sure that you have a supportive network. No one has had a perfect life. The hurdles you have been through in life and how you have survived them will help you deal with the baggage that adopted children sometimes bring with them.