We are very proud of all our adoption successes and would love to share some of the stories with you to show first hand how adoption really does change lives, for everyone involved. Check out our stories below.
Harry's Adoption Story
“We’ve been put forwards for a baby. His social workers want to meet us.”
It was 6 months since we’d been approved as adopters. We knew that it might take a while for the right little person to come along. However, after an intense period of visits, interviews and training we’d started to feel a little isolated.
We’d always believed that it was better for our social worker to lead the matching process. By the time we went to panel she knew us as well as anyone. Moreover, she knew the children and could decipher the more ‘ambiguous’ profiles. Despite this we were starting to wonder whether there was more that we could do. Our concerns were unfounded.
Harry’s profile arrived the next day and we had to quickly decide whether we wanted to proceed. Despite everything we’d been through we found ourselves questioning whether it was the right thing to do.
When faced with the reality of physically taking care of a child, it’s scary. We read and re-read his profile, talked, avoided talking and eventually took a leap of faith.
He sounded perfect.
We met with Harry’s social workers the following week. We treated the interview like one of the visits we’d become so used to. It’s only now that we look back and realise just how important that meeting was. We’d hear whether our lives were about to change forever the next day.
After a sleepless night, we headed off to work. Preparing ourselves for bad news but hoping for the best. Mid-morning an email popped into my in-box. “Call me.” It was good news.
From that moment things happened quickly. The matching panel unanimously approved us and a date was set for us to meet our son.
The day was highly emotional. We met his birth parents and then drove to meet Harry. The meeting with his birth parents highlighted their vulnerability and their humanity. They loved Harry but sadly didn’t have the social skills to keep him safe. We used the time to find out the things they’d like in his life and now do our best to nurture those interests.
When we arrived at his foster carer’s home Harry was immediately placed into his daddy’s arms. His foster carer was, and continues to be amazing. She gave our son the best start in life and we’ll be eternally grateful to her family.
Just five days later Harry was dropped off with three suitcases. He quickly adapted to his new home and continued to be the happy little boy we’d heard so much about.
We didn’t cope so well. We were emotionally and physically exhausted, operating in survival mode. Our world felt as though it was being turned upside down when we should have been on cloud nine.
We were lucky to have a big support network and fantastic social workers to help us through this time. We’re sure that some of the emotions we felt were the same as
those many new parents face. With adoption we had the added complexity of worrying whether we’d bond with Harry and him with us.
As the weeks passed we grew in confidence as parents and grew together as a family. We transformed from ‘carers’ to mummy and daddy. We experienced the rush of unconditional love a parent feels for their child. Harry became our son.
Now we can’t imagine life without our little dude. He’s a happy, healthy little boy who charms everyone he meets. Our family absolutely adores Harry and he adores them.
We went on a long journey to become a family. We’ll never know why things turned out as they did but if fate played a hand he/she definitely got it right. We couldn’t have a more perfect little boy.
Lisa's Adoption Story
We had an email from our social worker containing brief details of a six-month-old little girl in foster placement. She had just become eligible for an early permanence placement (AKA foster-to-adopt). This was something we had discussed in depth before our approval, and having weighed up potential risks against benefits, decided we would be prepared to do. Within three days, our social worker and the baby’s social worker were in our living room with photos and a video of her! We decided immediately to go ahead, and as it was an early permanence placement, introductions were booked in for the following week!
For four to six hours a day we would be in the foster carer’s house, under her feet, overstimulating the poor baby. She showed us how and when the baby liked to eat, sleep and poop. We asked what felt like a million silly questions. She had to take us out for walks and show us how the pram worked. She cooked for us and washed up after us and knew when to step out of the room and let us be alone (and terrified) with the baby. She never once made us feel bad, or silly, or like we weren’t going to be the perfect parents. We took our little one home with us on a Sunday morning in early July and I have never experienced a more emotional day – her foster family had loved and cared for her so well, it was very difficult to see them say goodbye, although we have stayed in touch.
There were some marked ups and downs during the first few months of the baby’s placement with us, the time when we were legally fostering her, as her case was batted around the legal system. We were totally prepared for some hiccups along the way but it was still hard emotionally. Ultimately it became an adoptive placement after she had been with us for three months, and after that it was smooth sailing.
From the first moment we met our little girl and saw her smiling at her toy frog, we knew she was the one for us. It took her a little while to get used to us and her new home, but she is now a loving, cuddly, fun little eighteen-month-old who is totally secure in her forever home. The privilege of having had her live with us three months earlier than would have been possible in the traditional adoption system was absolutely worth it. She changed and developed so much in those months and we were honoured to have been with her to see it happen.
Our experience of being assessed for adoption was overwhelmingly positive – yes, there was a lot of paperwork, and there was a lot of talking about ourselves – but ultimately we felt it was all done so that your social worker can get a handle on who you really are as a person or a couple, and the kinds of challenges you would be able to face, the kind of child you would find the most joy in parenting. The process was well managed, communication was excellent, and we felt in safe hands throughout.
Mark & Steve's Adoption Story
We often hear or read of people describing life changing events and it made us wonder how many of those we have had in our own lives. Upon
This is very much like the adoption process, the most vivid memory was seeing our daughter for the very first time, as the door to the foster carers home opened, she was sat playing on the floor and looked up to us and nothing was ever the same again. We can both recall the colours, smells and the anticipation we felt, and then there are moments, such as making the first call to the adoption team or meeting our social worker, they feel less significant at the time, yet they alter the course of your life is so many ways.
That first call, seemingly insignificant at the time as we were ringing to make some enquires led to the most amazing and unexpected journey that has changed our lives forever. Don’t get me wrong, at times it was not the easiest of processes. The paperwork at the start can seem daunting and overwhelming and also intrusive. A question we were asked by family and friends constantly was why we should have to answer all these questions when biological parents are asked none. In time though and with the support of our social worker we came to have a greater understating of the reasons behind the assessment process and it helped us identify our strengths as a couple and areas that we needed to work on.
The training that we undertook was invaluable. Not only did it give us an insight into the needs of the children in care but it also dealt with attachment issues and so much more. What also made a real impact on us were the speakers that came along to tell us their stories. To hear from people who had been on the same journey as us, knowing the roller coaster ride we were about to embark on and knowing that you are not alone.
The network of support throughout our journey was incredible. The foster carers were so well prepared and made the introduction week seamless for our daughter and offered us so much advice and support. The amazing adoption team that we met during the process, they all played a part in helping us understand the needs of looked after children and encouraged us throughout the process, yet they also kept us grounded and to be realistic in our expectations. Then there was our own case worker who without her support and kindness the journey would have been a lot more daunting.
When we look back we can tend to forget some of the hurdles we have overcome especially when the end result is more than you could have ever have hoped for. So a chance phone call or meeting with a social worker may not seem life changing but it’s those events that help you along your journey to your final destination.
Sarah's Adoption Story
Every day is a learning experience when you adopt a child. It can feel like being on a rollercoaster, learning new behaviours and adapting to changes and challenges, but ultimately you have to remain resilient, reflective, and above all – never give up.
We’d always wanted to be parents, and after being knocked back in 2007, we tried to adopt again in 2012 when the rules changed.
Our initial rejection was due to my weight, but in 2012 my BMI was no longer an issue for our eligibility and we re-explored the whole process.
We completed training, assessments and were ready to go to panel, however due to personal circumstances we were advised to defer our application. We had more terrible news in 2013 when my partner suffered a heart attack and I was diagnosed with cancer.
The shock of this caused us to re-evaluate our lives and focus on what we thought was important. Children had always been, and always will be a big part of our lives, so we decided we should try once again for a successful adoption outcome.
We knew that adoption came with challenges; that it would be tiring and difficult – sometimes thankless and emotional, but we also knew it would be rewarding and exciting.
We had an amazing social worker who ensured we were always grounded. Plenty of guidance and support was given and we could pick up the phone for advice at any time.
It was a long process – we had a delay of six months and I was on a weight loss journey as well, but we used this time to to reflect and build upon our experiences.
We wanted our child to enjoy doing the things that we did, but we didn’t mind whether we were matched with a boy or a girl.
When the long-awaited news came that we finally had a match we couldn’t have been more excited. We met all the key people in our new daughter’s life, nursery workers, foster carer, doctor and social workers.
It finally started to feel real, we were going to adopt this little girl with blonde hair and blue eyes and she was going to be ours to treasure for ever. It was clear all was not going to be plain sailing, but that it would be rewarding.
We created a special introduction book for our new daughter and when I handed over the bag with this and some toys in, I knew she was going to see a picture of her mummy and daddy for the first time that night, and I felt so overwhelmed.
After an intervening period, the day to meet her finally arrived – a moment that will be forever etched in my brain.
She was anxious, but she came and give us both a hug. She called us Mummy and Daddy. It was amazing. It all went so well over the next few days, completing her bath time and bed time routine. And the foster carer said she would be ready to move a week sooner than planned.
The morning after she moved in, she woke happy and we started the rest of our lives as a family of three.
There were challenges and moments where we felt lost… but they were only moments and with the support from the social workers and foster carer we have overcome them and have moved on. The overall feeling we have is one of happiness – when you have a daughter say, “love you mummy, love you daddy.”
There is always more to learn, and we have a way to go, but we have taken advice from everyone and we are building on our plans for the future to benefit us as a family.
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