Anna and Matt share their honest experiences of the adoption process, offer advice on how best to prepare, and talk about how they are finding life following the adoption of their little girl.
Matt and I were a little older when we got together. We knew we wanted a child, Matt already had a teenage daughter from a previous relationship, and we did try IVF at one point, but I think adoption was always in our thoughts.
We were in our 40’s when we started the adoption process. I’d had an older mum myself, so I knew that our age wouldn’t be an issue, the important thing was how much we wanted a child.
I’d advise anyone starting the adoption process to do your research first so that you know what to expect. I have friends who have adopted, so that was really useful as we already had a support system of people who really understood what we were going through.
Our process took a little while, but we had two incredible, very experienced, social workers and really felt listened to.
The process itself can feel intense as you are asked personal things so if you’re adopting as a couple being able to communicate well with each other is key.
It can feel very strange when talking about the types of children you are prepared to consider adopting, as part of you feels like you want to adopt every child, but it’s really important to think about what will be realistic for you.
Matt and I both work and we also had to consider Matt’s daughter, who is very much part of our family, so you have to be honest and open about what will be right for you, as this will help you be matched with the right child for your family.
When our little girl came to live with us, I couldn’t believe the day was finally here. Her foster carers were very experienced and had helped to prepare her for the transition, so she did settle quite quickly.
I was quite anxious at first as I think I’d put a lot of pressure on myself and wanted everything to go well.
It helped that Matt and I had very similar parenting styles and of course I’d supported him with his teenage daughter for years, so I knew I needed to have confidence in my experience.
I’d asked the foster carers about things such as her sleep routine, so that we could try to maintain that at first, but eventually you relax and adapt and form your own routines.
I have so many nice memories already. The first time we went swimming together as a family, our first Fathers’ Day and Mothers’ Day, going to the park, ballet classes, and watching our little girl developing skills, confidence and forming friendships.
We’re looking ahead to the future now, researching nurseries and planning holidays.
As an adopter you can sometimes feel a little left out, if you go along to parenting groups for example, so meet other adopters if you can.
It’s important to remember that every family is different, and I love being all together with mine.
If you’re thinking about adoption and want to know more, contact our team by completing our online enquiry form or call 01942 487272.
You can also find out about the adoption process at our monthly virtual information sessions.
Posted on Thursday 8th December 2022