I’ve always wanted to be a parent. I tried to be a birth mother for many years and eventually as I approached 40 I realised that if I actually wanted to be an actual parent I would need to take the adoption route.
As a single ‘older’ mother to be, I wanted to adopt my whole family in one go so got myself approved for a sibling group of two. The approval process did involve some personal and occasionally uncomfortable questions, but as any adopter knows, it is better to be prepared. Spending some time really thinking through your motivations, strengths and weaknesses, planning a support network and working out your boundaries and limitations, is all worthwhile in the long run.
I found my social worker from Families That Last to be the appropriate mix of support, information and challenge. As they become your advocate when it comes to placements, it’s good to have them on your side. I had always wanted a large family so older siblings were the obvious route for me.
Once approved, I started looking for my children and eventually adopted two girls, aged 9 and 6.
As an unexpected bonus, they had a younger brother (aged 4) who was also up for adoption separately, and my very good friend (also approved with Families That Last), had already enquired about adopting him.
In a marvellous coincidence of timing and intent, negotiated by Families That Last, she adopted the 4 year old brother at the same time and together we made a solemn promise to the children that we would honour and respect their sibling bond as they grew older, despite the fact they would now grow up in separate families with different surnames. We have kept up monthly sleepovers and occasional weekends away ever since, and I truly think that maintaining this sibling bond has contributed to the personal development of the three amazing young people that they are now.
Certainly my older daughter said to me recently that if I hadn’t let her carry on seeing her brother, she wouldn’t have settled and learnt to trust me as she did. In the end ‘love conquers all’ as any of the ups and downs of the adoption process, the first 6 months for example can be tricky and exhausting, have been smoothed out with the happiness and joy of finally being a real Mum. My daughters have matured into wonderful young women, destined for university.
Children and families depicted in these stories are not real children or adopters but are developed using the experiences of staff working on adoption to demonstrate real situations.
Thank you to After Adoption for providing us with this case study from their website: www.afteradoption.org.uk/