Real life stories

Read a number of first-hand accounts of adopting and the change it has had on people's lives.

Sharon's story brothers.jpg

Sharon adopted brothers two years ago as a single parent through Northamptonshire Children's Trust. She says adopting her two children is the best thing she’s ever done.

 

The joys far outweigh the challenges of being a parent. I can’t even remember what life was like before I had my two boys.

I had been thinking about adopting since I was in my early 20s. For me, it was never about what I could get from being a mum, it was about what I had to offer.

I assumed that being a single person would be an issue but I was pleased that the trust was really supportive and really positive about what I could bring.

There have been challenges along the way, but becoming a family has been a wonderful experience and I have no regrets. I cannot explain the difference becoming a mother has made to my life.

I would encourage anyone who is thinking about adoption to contact the team to find out more.

 

Chris and ChrisTwo men laughing

Chris and Chris were ready for criticism and judgement when they decided to find out about adoption, but when they went along to an adoption information event and were welcomed by friendly faces, they realised they had nothing to worry about. 

   

 

 We both really enjoy being around children, so we always knew we would have children of our own at some point.  It took a lot of courage for us to make the next step and find out more, as being a married gay couple we thought we wouldn’t be welcomed, but thankfully we couldn’t have been more wrong, the team were great!

“The approval process went at the right speed for us, there was lots involved and it was very thorough but it has to be really.  It helped us evaluate our own lives to make sure adoption was the right decision for us and it helped us be matched with the right children for our family.

“We’ve been adoptive parents for two years now, we adopted our girls when they were five and seven years old.  We couldn’t wait to get started as parents and will never forget the day we picked the girls up.  Driving home, I turned to Chris and said ‘wow, we’re parents!’  It was very surreal! 

“We really can’t remember life without our girls, we’ve seen them blossom into happy, confident little people and know this is because of the support and love we give them.  They are doing really well at school and are reaching milestones sooner than we expected, we are so proud of them."

Chris tells us:

 

I’d say to anyone who is considering adoption or fostering to go for it!  Go to an open evening, these are so good as you will meet the team as well as foster carers and adoptive parents who will answer all your questions. 

“It really will be the best decision you ever make, and you will feel such pride knowing you have given a child a second chance."

Anna and Paul's storyfamily

Anna and her husband Paul, both in their early 30s, have adopted three siblings. Here, she explains how it has changed their lives for the better.

 

Adoption had always been an option for me. I had a friend at primary school who had been adopted and I saw the value of it. My husband, on the other hand, was never particularly keen on having a family, but he told me to get some more information about it.

I searched the web and contacted the Adoption Team at Northamptonshire Children's Trust to request more information. Following a fact-finding telephone conversation, we were sent out the information pack.

It arrived one Saturday morning and after reading the quotes from the children, my husband felt overwhelmed and decided then and there that this is what we needed to do. We need to provide a permanent and loving home to a child."

Taking on a sibling group

 

We started the application process and attended an initial preparation training class. We learnt about the number of sibling groups that are split up and the negative impact that has on them. We agreed that our house was big enough and we felt we had enough emotional capacity to deal with a sibling group.

We have kept a sibling group together and allowed them the childhood together that they deserve. And when you see them together, even during sibling squalls, you know they were meant to be together.

They support each other and by going through the process together, they have adjusted well, attached well and continue to thrive together.

Our children are the eldest three of six siblings and we are very fortunate that we have a solid relationship with their brothers’ adoptive parents. We share a strong belief that contact between the siblings needs to be maintained. Although the court order only stipulates contact once a year, we meet up on average once a month, for birthday celebrations, spontaneous trips to the park and shared Sunday dinners.

The children get on so well and it’s a delight to see them all together."

Help and support

 

From the point when we expressed an interest in adopting our children, we were assigned a social worker and the assessment process began. Thanks to having an experienced social worker – with a superb sense of humour – we actually enjoyed the assessment!

We went to all the training sessions to prepare us as much as possible. We’d also been put in contact with the children’s foster carers and school teachers who shared information about the children with us that brought them alive – their personalities, their likes, their dislikes and their challenges.

I now attend the local Adoption Support Group once a month and have developed relationships with other adopters through this. We share our experiences and try and make sense of behaviours we’re experiencing from the children (and that of our own!)."

A life-changing experience

 

The transition from being two career-driven individuals to parents has been frightening as well as fantastic. The journey has been emotional and the enormity of being responsible for three children has been overwhelming at times. We’ve changed as a couple, as well as individually. And we have so much more fun and smiles now!

We have already made memories that will last a life time. We have set up traditions that we all share. We have three very happy children."

  
Jordan's story sibling

Jordan, now 18, was given a fresh start when he was adopted by a new forever family.

Sibling support 

 

I was 5 and my sister was 8 when we were adopted. In my birth home it was quite difficult, and I had lots of flashbacks and trauma and had counselling to help support me and block out the memories.  

To begin with I struggled with the change from my birth family but over time I realised that being adopted was the best thing that could have happened.

Me and my sister were put into foster care together and I was excited about meeting my new family. I was quite nervous as well, but once I met my future adoptive parents I slowly became less nervous and trusted them more each time I saw them. I felt cared for and finally loved.

Being adopted has been fantastic for me. I’ve always thought if I had not been adopted I would have really struggled and I don’t think I would have done as well as I have. I am now 18 and doing an apprenticeship."

 

My sister has always been there for me and I’ve been there for her. Sharing history is important, it’s like a friendship because when the other is upset you know what to do to make them happy.

I tell people that I am adopted if I trust them enough. I don’t feel it is right to shy away from it and I don’t feel it’s anything to be ashamed of. To be honest I’m quite proud of it."

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