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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow and when does your child/children wake you in the morning?

Our boys are early to bed so it’s always an early start for us. On a good day it’s 6am or soon after, on a bad one – especially Birthdays, Father’s Day (we have two to celebrate) or some such event it can be pre 5am. One of our first Xmas days it was 2.10 – less than two hrs after we had dragged ourselves into bed, we learnt a lot from that experience and have adapted accordingly.

The good news is that it’s always a gentle start to the day, I am usually already up and they come sit with me for an early morning cuddle. So no complaints.

Why adoption?

The simple answer – we were inspired by friends.

The moment we met the wonderful new family we knew we wanted to do the same.
Adoption is a little more of an obvious choice for gay couples. However, we had previously tried for a birth child – to co parent – with a friend, but that decision had been led by our friend.
When that hadn’t worked naturally (well as naturally as when a turkey baster is involved) there was no desire from us to go on a long journey of ‘treatment’ to try to resolve the issues and after one round of IVF (which had very discouraging results), we brought it to an end.

From start of assessment to bringing your child home how long did the process take?
Nearly 3 years.

We had a major hurdle to overcome when somebody in our lives tried to derail us with a vicious email to our agency declaring us to be unfit – and listing varying reasons why. Our agency were fantastic and worked with us to overcome the problems raised.
It did however all go into our report and when our agency had no siblings and we needed to look around other agencies we met with a lot of silence and immediate rejection which caused big delays.

How could it be improved?
We have no issues with the process, we feel speeding it up is a mistake, it’s a huge undertaking and time gives you a chance to assess and re assess your decision.

What has been the biggest surprise?
The immediacy and intensity of the love and the fact that we have never considered them anything other than our sons – 100% our sons – from Day 1. We had really expected to have to grow into that.

How was the assessment process?

Understandably intrusive and surprisingly emotional.

What’s your favourite thing to do together?
Holiday. That may be a little obvious, but having time to be together makes anything we do feel special.

However, If you ask the boys they would no doubt say going to the cinema – as much as I love the cinema (although I am rapidly reaching saturation point with ‘kids’ movies) sitting in the dark, staring at a screen doesn’t exactly feel like ‘family time’.

What makes you and your family laugh?
Silliness – usually me clowning around.

However, If you ask the boys I am sure they would say something terrible to do with willies, bums or passing wind (somebody please reassure me they grow out of that).

The best thing about being a parent?
The love and being so completely needed.

The hardest thing about being a parent?
Realising that you are not as good at it as you expected.

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child?
Be generous. With your time, with your love and with your understanding.

What time do you go to bed?
We aim for 10.00, but are often asleep on the sofa before that.