We received this wonderful story from Lynne and Darren* who adopted their son through Faith in Families. They have kindly shared their experiences with us, but we have changed the names of those involved and some of the details in order to protect their privacy. This is written from Lynne’s perspective:
After several miscarriages, I couldn’t face trying again. I had always been interested in adoption but my husband had been less keen. When we arrived at Faith in Families’ First Thursday open evening in January, I didn’t know what to expect, but I was apprehensive. My husband can be shy and would feel awkward in a situation like this.
We needn’t have worried. I’ve rarely felt so welcomed. Each member of staff made sure they came and said hello. They were warm but also sensitive to how we might be feeling. This has continued throughout the process, from phone calls to letters. Every attempt has been made to make the process less overwhelming. Within months, we were approved adopters and a few months later we met our wonderful boy.
The matching process was challenging and very emotional. At the time, many of the children waiting to be adopted had additional needs and most adopters, including ourselves, decided that their needs were just too great. However, I felt constantly drawn back to these children who seemed to be waiting endlessly for forever homes.
We attended several events without success when our social worker suggested we go to an activity day for children with additional needs, as meeting these children would give us a better idea of the practicalities and see beyond their often overwhelming profiles that can deter you from finding out more.
Within minutes of arriving at the Adoption Activity Day, we had completely fallen in love with the boy who was to become our son. Yes, we had to make sure we could manage his needs and find out a lot more, but meeting and playing with him in person made it easier to imagine him in our lives.
We met with the health professionals involved in our boy’s life. This was vital to help us make a considered decision. Every effort was made to ensure we knew as much as we could about our son’s health needs. It was very important to Faith in Families that we weren’t rushing into anything blindly.
There were additional meetings to ensure we weren’t making the decision without thinking it through, but also lots of support. From pairing us with adoption buddies, who already had adopted children with additional needs, to support groups and websites. Faith in Families advocated for financial help for us and insisted that the health professionals involved started work on the transfers.
Since our boy has been placed with us, the support has felt like a steady stream. When we have asked for support for the smallest thing, Faith in Families have made it their mission to provide the advice or point us in the right direction.
We have our family and every moment is exhausting, wonderful, crazy and precious.
*Names have been changed to protect identities
Every First Thursday of the month we have an adoption information evening where we invite an adoptive parent or parents to come and talk about their experiences. It really is recommended you come along to one of these as you’ll be able to talk to the adopters directly as well as find out about the process.