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Becoming a familyParentingPlacement

The Questions #1 A peek into how we do family.

Photo by Lili Gooch 

How and when does your child/children wake you in the morning?

Between 6.30 and 7am. Often he can be persuaded to jump into our bed for cuddle for anything from 30secs to 45min.

Why adoption?

I always wanted to adopt. Since I was a little girl. Only I thought I’d make a few myself first – you know, to try on.

Then we learned we couldn’t make our own. I was relieved to hear I didn’t qualify for IVF (oh the heart ache that could be avoided). Given my history of multiple miscarriages, I just could not entertain going through the loss that may well be involved in egg donation many other fertility treatments either. What is both egg donation and surrogacy if not adoption on an embryonic scale? Plenty of kids out there who needs a home. Why make one? Not that I have anything against people who go that route – I know lovely families that were made that way. It just wouldn’t be the right choice for me.

From start of assessment to bringing your child home how long did the process take?

Seven years..

How could it be improved?

Well, we were unlucky with how long everything took. First we tried the domestic route, but were discouraged – because we were white and not English. We then waited for a long time for a kid from overseas, but after some changes to the law and that particular avenue practically drying up, our agency persuaded us to go through the domestic. And then it was quick: 8 months start to finish. I understand that under the current system the preparation courses are much shorter. I think that is a mistake. The more prep the better I’d say.

What has been the biggest surprise?

The love. For my son. And for my husband, who I loved before of course, but now love so much more after we became a family. It is marvellous to see him as a dad. To enjoy that they have something together, that is just theirs.

Oh, and the self development. Gotta work at yourself (and your own childhood I might add) to become a better parent. I owe that to my son. Somehow I hadn’t quite expect just how much work was needed…

How was the assessment process?

Because of our long and winding road as prospective adopters, we ended up doing three home studies. I often compare assessment to going to the gynecologist. Something you just grin and bear. That said I enjoyed the last one. The one that led to our son. Our social worker was fantastic and everything was very smooth.

I also really really enjoyed the four-week prep group. Made some very good friends there too.

What’s your favorite thing to do together?

As long as we are together, it’ll be good.

What makes you and your family laugh?

Oh, what doesn’t?! My son is very expressive and says the quirkest things. He cracks me up several times a day. I try hard to make him laugh too. His laughter is the best sound in the world.

The best thing about being a parent?

The Love! Feeling, showing and receiving it. Cuddles, hugs, kisses. Thousands. I just can’t get enough.

And the new focus. Focusing on someone else than myself has been great. As an older parent, work seems a million years off. And unimportant – I have no ambitions in that department anyone. I enjoy the slower pace too.

The hardest thing about being a parent?

Being the parent I really want to be. Keeping my patience can be very trying.

I am not great on little sleep. Cranky in fact. My husband and son can vouch for that.

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child?

Be yourself – ‘cause you are wonderful. It is impossible not to love you.

What time do you go to bed?

I should be in bed by 10pm, but I love the peace and quiet between 10 and 12. That’s when I catch up with my husband. And those darn box sets…

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