Our story begins 18 years ago – the day my husband and I had our first date! We were carefree, young and generally loving life. 18 months later we were married. An amazing day loved by all. 16 years later we are still incredibly happy and have recently welcomed a little girl into our family. The yearn for a family was always something we wanted.
The reason I have started our story with the amount of years, is to demonstrate to anyone who feels like giving up extending your family – basically, don’t. We experienced heartache through the disappointment of not falling pregnant naturally. We then took on the emotional roller coaster of IVF (Twice) both times resulting in pregnancy but then a miscarriage. Then battling with ourselves whether to give it one more go! Finally, after a lot of heartache and soul searching, we took some time out. We allowed ourselves to just be a couple again.
Adoption is something we had always wanted to do, and 18 months ago, we took the leap and never looked back. The adoption process is tough, it’s emotionally draining, intense and can at times feel very intrusive. Why am I telling you this? It’s the truth! But honestly – go for it. Each question you are asked, each form you complete, will all make sense the further you get through the process. Just remember your Social Worker, support workers etc., are all there to guide you. They want you to succeed in being approved as adopters. Embrace the training and talk to each other and people around you. Try not to be intimidated by paperwork, look after yourself and literally take one step at a time. If you are like us – one thing that feared us the most was Panel! We literally had sleepless nights over this. The day of panel we were very nervous. However, the main points to remember are:
- A) The subject is you!
- B) They want to approve you
The members of panel will introduce themselves, and know you are going to be nervous. They will ask you a few key questions and then ask you to leave the room for a short while. You will then be told their decision. Is this daunting? – very! Would we do it again? Yes!
I’m sure like us, you will be told throughout the process, this is the easy bit. Once a child is placed with you then the real hard work starts. We never doubted that adopting would be hard, but now, we do agree, the first part in comparison (emotionally wise) was quite straightforward. Our little girl is now very happy, but at the beginning our hearts broke for the emotions she was experiencing.
She is too young to explain the process to, but old enough to recognise change. We had to remain strong in front of her, and positive. Keep telling ourselves, we are doing the right thing. On more than one occasion throughout her transfer, we got back in the car after leaving her foster family and I cried most of the way home! But please, do not be put off, you will get through it, but it’s hard. Although this was very hard, the transfer process also contained a lot of positives. We have some amazing memories of fun things we did with our little one, and have started a book for her to read when she is older. We also keep in touch with her foster family.
To anyone considering adopting or already going through the process, we wish you every success. There are times where it’s ok, not to be ok. Keep asking questions however trivial you think they maybe, and keep talking to family and friends.
Our little girl now calls us Mummy & Daddy, our hearts are full of love and happiness and our family is now complete.
Good luck! xx