Signing Up

A few days after my daughter’s 1st birthday, my husband and I went to an adoption information event, to find out more about how to adopt a child. We were the only prospective adopters there, so ended up moving to a little office where we sat on arm chairs and spoke to a social worker. I was terrified that my husband would hear the warnings about how tough adoption is and decide that he didn’t want to do it. The social worker told us tragic tales of traumatised children, and asked us about our reasons for adopting. I talked about the scary time we had been through, worrying that my blood was putting her health at risk. We hadn’t left our daughter with anyone else before, so I was already quite emotional, and it wasn’t long before I turned into a sobbing mess. The social worker kindly passed me some tissues and told us to come back in a year if we still wanted to adopt. Her parting words to us were “In a way, I hope I never see you again, because I hope you make peace with your life as it is.” I wondered if I seemed like I didn’t have what it took to be an adoptive Mum.

We actually ended up leaving it for 2 more years, mostly because we moved house. We were happy, enjoying our busy life with our wonderful daughter, but I kept thinking about adoption. I really wanted to. I had more love to give. And I kept looking at my incredible family. My husband is amazing with children, and my daughter has so much love to give, and is so full of joy and kindness, I kept thinking how much they would enrich the life of a child.

So 2 years after our initial meeting, I phoned the adoption agency we had originally visited. A friendly gentleman advised me to try a different one, because they were only placing children over 4 years old, which would rule us out as adopters, because the adopted child has to be at least 18 months younger than any children already in the family. I looked up the one that he had pointed me to and saw that it had a good Ofsted report and was apparently very good at supporting the birth family. At the time, I hadn’t really learned enough about adoption to understand how important that would later become to me. Now, having this gorgeous child in my life, it is so important to me that his birth parents are OK.

Caring Goose, Social Worker character in “Delly Duck: Why A Little Chick Couldn’t Stay With His Birth Mother”