Rebecca is a single adopter, who has adopted two little boys. She has kindly shared her experiences of adoption, telling us about how different her two experiences of adoption were, how she adjusted to life as a parent, and what advice she would offer anyone considering adoption.
I’d always known I wanted to be a parent and as I got older I started to think more about adoption.
I was 38 and I’d come out of a long-term relationship. I was realistic; I thought, ‘children come into the world in so many different circumstances’, and I considered my options.
The thought of trawling through dating apps wasn’t very appealing and I didn’t want to go down the IVF route.
I think adoption was always there in the back of my mind.
I didn’t know much about it, and I’d assumed it would take years to adopt a child.
The reality for me was very quick, it took around a year to adopt my first little boy.
Everyone at Together for Adoption was brilliant. The process can be difficult as it’s quite intense. You have to make lots of decisions and feel sure about your choices and I felt supported throughout. It just felt like everyone was on my side.
When my first little boy finally came to live with me, I’ll be honest, it was sometimes really difficult. He was very young and had been in foster care. He had some separation anxiety at first, so often got upset and didn’t respond to cuddles, it was a challenging time emotionally.
I’d also gone from being a single person to becoming a parent overnight, so I suddenly had a whole new level of responsibility. I remember my friends came round to my house one evening and suggested we have a glass of wine, but I couldn’t, as I felt like I needed to be on red alert in case he needed me.
Friends were giving me advice, but sometimes the advice was conflicting. The dynamic also changed between me and some of my friends, which was really interesting, as people reacted in unexpected ways. Some became more distant, and some were amazing, and it wasn’t always in line with how I’d imagined it might be.
Gradually, both my little boy and I began to settle as we got used to our new situation.
My mum was a great source of support and TfA put on an adopters’ meeting where we could meet other people who had also adopted. That was really, really, good. I would always advise anyone considering adoption to try and meet with other adopters if you can.
When my second little boy came to live with us, it could not have been a more different experience to my first, so it shows that you never quite know how it’s going to go.
He settled so quickly, it’s almost like he’s always been here. His foster carer was a very experienced carer, and she was brilliant, but he’s also a different personality to his brother, he’s just very self-assured and patient.
The boys have the same birth mum and I love that they have a common bond and a shared history. They don’t look like me, but they look just like each other and I love that they have that biological link.
They’re older now and can tell me how they’re feeling, and we do talk about our emotions, which I think helps everyone.
Of course, life is very hectic, as I work full time, but it’s also amazing.
My practical advice to other adopters would be to develop a routine, be organised, and find a strong support network who you can rely on to cover for you if you need it. My mum will often do one bedtime a week for me, just to give me a little break, as being a single adopter means I can’t even nip out to the shops in the evening if I need to, without that support.
There are loads of highlights. I love it when we all have a group hug before bed. I love watching my younger little boy trying to copy his older brother and how excited my older little boy is with his younger brother, how he tries to teach him to say difficult words, it’s brilliant.
To other people considering adoption I would say, just do it. There are challenges but life is full of challenges anyway. It changes your life but it will also change your children’s lives for the better. It’s been brilliant. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I feel so blessed to have them and to be their mum.
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 Wednesday 5th October 2022