Jenny and Carl’s adoption story
My husband and I came to adopt as we wanted a family and didn’t feel complete without one. Although, we went through a journey of loss and infertility treatments beforehand, adoption wasn’t a second choice, it was something we considered alongside our treatment and ultimately, we had more faith that we would become a family by adopting, for us it was not only about becoming a family to fulfil our dream, but to be able to offer a forever home and loving parents to a child (or children as we have now). We now firmly believe that we had to follow the journey of infertility and loss to get to where we are now and to be matched with our amazing boys.
We were allocated a social worker, who was the perfect social worker for us, she really "got us" and we built a really strong relationship with her, she supported us and was our advocate. Although the home interview stage was time consuming, we both enjoyed it and learnt along the way, both in terms of learning more about the long term effects of adoption but also more about ourselves and our attitude to parenting and how this would be very different.
The best parts of the whole process for us, was the support of our social workers (especially when I worry about things) and the perfect match of our boys – we couldn’t have asked for better; there are many similarities between us all and we have bonded quite well. The training provided was extremely useful and we have felt supported by the team as a family. Yes, there were frustrations along the way, but we knew they were in our corner and that helped to get through all the steps and challenges we faced. The assessment process, through to being approved as adopters, took about 8 months. In the end, 4 months later, our match to the boys was approved and our boys moved in a month after that. The adoption order was granted just over 6 months later. The adoption order is not the end though; we will continue to seek support and attend some of the training and events, as it is important we have a good network of adoptive families as friends, so the boys understand they are not the only ones with an adopted forever family, and we have made some great friendships along the way.
We chose to adopt an older sibling group of 2 brothers; something during assessment clicked and we felt we wanted to help keep siblings together and offer a home to an older pair of children who sometimes get left in the care system. This, combined with our ages and previous childcare experience, felt like the right route to take. We did always go in with an open mind and were never fixed on a particular age group. When we saw the boys’ profile our decision was made. There was more information to obtain which took time, but I think we both knew from the start these were the boys that would make our family. It was certainly the right decision for our boys to be placed together, as they have a close bond despite the usual sibling rivalry and have helped each other to settle into their new home. We have mixed feelings about the early years we have missed with both our boys, but we are making many new memories together as a family.
It is still early days (the boys have been home for nearly 7 months); the adoption order was granted a couple of weeks ago and so we are looking ahead to our life together. It is not easy adopting a sibling group (because of the different issues they have) and going from zero to two children overnight was more challenging than we expected, but the training and reading we did beforehand has given us a good grounding to help parent them in the therapeutic way they need.
Every day is different and you can go from having a really bad day because of challenging behaviour to a wonderful moment all at once; yes, that is part of being a parent, but it seems even more emphasised because of the journey we have all taken.
We know the future is uncertain and that there will be many challenges ahead, but we wouldn’t change a thing. We have been very lucky with our match and love our boys so very much. I would certainly recommend adoption to anyone.