We had left mentioning this to my birth daughters until after the course as we wanted to be sure that this was for us. We had heard that a high percentage of prospective adopters dropped out after completing the course.
We sat the girls down and told them what we were going to do, my eldest was fine my youngest burst into tears and ran into her bedroom!
Just to explain a little background a year previously their father had a daughter and since that time he has treated the girls very differently and they struggled with it.
After a chat and after she had calmed down we explained that things would change but we would still treat them and love them the same.
We asked their opinion on what they would like a brother or a sister and what sort of age?
They said they would like a brother as they already had sisters and they didn’t want a baby. We took this on board and when filling out the paperwork we said we would like to be considered for a boy aged between 2 and 5 years old my only condition was I wanted to take him for his first day at school.
Our first step in the adoption journey we were asked to attend a 4-day adoption course. We arrived at the village hall quite nervous but signed in and we were given name tags and offered tea and coffee. There were 5 other couples on the course all from different set ups, a single mum who was a foster carer and looking to adopt the child and already had a birth son, a couple with no children, a couple that were foster carers and wanting the adopt the baby in their care and another two couple with grown up birth children.
We did an ice breaker and introduced ourselves. Over the course we met parents that had already adopted and listened to their stories, adults that had been adopted as children and their stories and a number of different social workers that talked us through each stage.
The most difficult and traumatic day for us was the talk on abuse physical, emotional and sexual, we knew we would have to hear this but found I very difficult to comprehend and take in. On the journey home that day I felt like I’d been hit by a bus, I remember going straight to Tesco’s and buying a bottle of wine and drinking it when we got in. We did the feedback form and talked it through but still agreed that this was what we wanted to do. The next day had a more positive approach with previous adopters telling us about how they felt when they passed panel and then got to meet their children it was so lovely to hear.
We then exchanged numbers and email addresses with the other prospective adopters
One of the questions I did ask was is there any literature on the affect adoption of a new child would have on our older birth children of which there was a lack of hence why I wanted to write this blog.
Myself and Mr G both have two daughters mine of which live with us when we started the journey they were 13 and 11. Coming from both difficult and complicated marriages we decided that we would like to bring a child up together in a happy loving relationship. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to have a child together, we considered both adoption and IVF. We decided to try IVF first, we found this whole process really impersonal and clinical and neither of us felt it was right so after one attempt that was unsuccessful we decided to look into adoption.
We rang our local social services and were invited to go to an adoption information evening. It was pouring with rain and we sat nervously in the car park eyeing up all the other adopters as they arrived. We walked in and it was an informal chat with social workers and an adopted parent that told his story. We sat and listened, all the time I was wondering what Mr G was thinking not sure if he would be prepared to follow this through while I was worrying if we would be at a disadvantage as we already had birth children.
At the end of the chat we waited to speak to the social worker, we told her about our situation and asked if we would still be considered, she was lovely and said yes of course there just needed to be at least a 7 year age gap and as we had girls the recommendation would be a boy!
In the car we had a chat and agreed that the whole evening just seemed right and we both wanted to go ahead, and neither of us had considered a boy as we had presumed having girls would mean they would recommend a girl we were both really excited.
So the whole adoption process roller coaster started!