Becoming an adoptive parent
6. Adopters share their experiences
We asked our adoptive parents to share their key insights on their journey with us. Here’s what four of our adoptive couples had to share with people considering adoption with Bucks.
How Bucks assisted us in approval, match and post placement
“We found Bucks really helpful, from first enquiry, to our social worker coming to the celebration party we held after the adoption order. I loved our social worker visits and found them therapeutic and supportive. I still miss them now! We went to extra workshops run by Bucks such as a life story workshop and therapeutic play workshops which were helpful.”
“Our adoption journey started during March 2015 at an information event at Amersham town hall where we received a broad overview of fostering, adoption and the care process in general. After a period of time we then called the adoption team and began an 18 month journey to adopt our then one year old son.”
“We were lucky to have a very immediate and strong relationship with our Social Worker, and also with another social worker who believed in us and assisted us, particularly when we were having doubts about whether we should adopt. She had faith and belief in us but she always allowed us space to let our confidence grow. She presented things very equally. When the girls arrived, we were presented with their beautiful life story books. The lady who prepared these was very sweet and worked hard to personalise them to the girls. She had a lovely manner, particularly with our eldest child, who was more at an age to appreciate these things.”
“Post adoption, our social worker arranged for us to meet the birth mother of our two children. This was a very positive experience. It was a warm, honest, heartfelt, genuine meeting. Further support has come from another worker, who arranges the letterbox contact for Bucks”.
“Bucks Adoption team and specifically our social worker were professional, efficient and really encouraging through our approval process and also when we were matched with our little boy.”
The qualities and attributes needed to make a great adopter
“A lot of energy, a bag of snacks, forgiveness (my youngest just wiped bogey on the wall, my eldest once used bogeys as an effective form of what she called, ‘fairy glue,’), more energy, acceptance of the fact that felt tip pens won’t have lids on them for a number of years, imagination, stamina, inventiveness. Keep snacks to hand, for you as well as the kids!”
“You need patience and empathy and to be prepared to deal with conflicting emotions. The day the child or children move in with you is so exciting for parents but is also another loss/ move for the child or children. You need to be prepared to put your children first and we took time off work - I took eight months, husband gave up completely and is only thinking of going back this time next year when the children will have been home for five years - to help you all adjust as a family. You don't need lots of money but lots of love.”
“To have a sense of humour! Adopting is serious it could be so easy to get ‘bogged down in it. Try to remain ‘light’ with it. Although, it is by far the biggest thing that you are ever likely to do in your life - it is also the absolute very best and the most rewarding !!”
The Joys come every day!
“Little joys are cuddles first thing in the morning, seeing the children enjoy playing, hearing them say they love you, reading bedtime stories. And bigger joys - going on an aeroplane for the first time, seeing them ride their bike without support, watching their love of dinosaurs/ princesses grow. Seeing the wonder on their faces when you take them somewhere like the natural history museum or Disneyland! The biggest joy of all is when the adoption order comes through and attending the celebration hearing.”
“In our experience the joys of adopting have over and above exceeded our expectations and so the ‘joys’ are many. Our little boy has completed our family perfectly and he is totally the ‘right match’ for us. He has an amazing sense of humour, an infectious personality and is somebody that is great fun to be around. He is an incredibly loving little boy”.
The Challenges also come every day
“Most are challenges you would have with a birth child, such as dealing with two itchy children with chickenpox, combing nits out of hair or staying calm whilst an exhausted child has a meltdown at bedtime! But challenges also include explaining that they didn't grow in my tummy, dealing with the extreme grief and loss they felt for their foster carer - although we meet up with them regularly and they love seeing how the children are developing. Dealing with other people can also be a challenge, such as those who ask about their 'real' parents.”
“Once approved being ‘matched’ to the right child can take time and more questions will need to be asked and answered to make sure that you understand the realities of what the future may hold in years to come.”
“The most important fact is that adopting our two children is the best thing we have ever done.”
Interested in exploring adoption further?
Come along to one of our information evenings and then have a chat with a social worker. If you would like to speak to someone before coming to one of our information evenings, please call 01494 586 349.
Last updated: 9 April 2019