Our road to happiness has not been without its difficulties. When we first started this journey we never imagined how difficult it would be to adopt a child.
It all started 5 years ago when we tried to start a family which involved a heart-breaking series of unsuccessful IVF treatments both here in the UK and abroad. We then considered several options including surrogacy, but in the end, adoption seemed to be the most logical way in which to try and adopt a child and have our family.
Yes – we wanted a child simply because we wanted a child which we could love and provide a secure home and stable future.
And so it all began, after contacting several adoption agencies and local authorities we decided on Caritas Care. After the usual checks we were accepted to commence the assessment process. This preparation process was daunting at first but H our lovely social worker put us at ease as she visited us in our home over several months. We actually found it very interesting. We attended preparation training days where we had the opportunity to meet other prospective adopters and where we learned all about the background of children who are looked after, attachment problems and lots more.
Eventually, the assessment process led to us attended an adoption panel where we were given a unanimous yes as prospective adopters. We were absolutely over the moon and really began to believe that we would find our child.
We began our search and subscribed to various adoption websites and began our search in earnest. We were also eventually registered on the adoption register.
There followed a very long searching and waiting process, during which we enquired about several children. Unfortunately, on receiving further information we had to be realistic and decided that we wouldn’t be able to meet the particular child’s needs. Similarly, we too were turned down again and again as we didn’t meet the matching criteria for a particular child.
We also had a few close matches where we thought that the match might progress further, only to be informed that we weren’t deemed suitable after all. All of this was very disheartening, set against a changing adoption landscape whereby there seemed to be fewer and fewer children waiting to be adopted and more and more prospective adopters. This often resulted in a lot of competitive matching where some children were receiving numerous enquiries.
We attended activity days and found that most of the children’s profiles were those which we had already enquired about on the various websites.
However, determined as ever, we became very proactive and attended training courses which not only deepened our knowledge base but also made our personal profiles as prospective adopters more appealing. We also turned to our support network and realised how beneficial it was to talk with friends and family about our feelings of disappointment and frustration in not being successful in our adoption search.
Months passed where although we continued to search, we also tried to get on with our lives. However, we did seriously begin to wonder if it would ever happen. We even began to discuss the foster to adopt scheme with our social worker as we thought that might be a possible route to adoption.
Then out of the blue our social worker contacted us about D, a lovely 6-year-old little boy. We had felt immediately drawn to D when we had submitted our enquiry months previously. However, like many of our enquiries we never received a response and so had continued our search. Imagine our delight then when our social worker contacted us to say that D’s social worker and family finder wanted to visit us. We fell in love with D after viewing his DVD during the visit and loved his mischievousness and friendly manner. His social workers asked us lots of questions and we also did the same.
Eventually, we attended the matching panel which was not as daunting as we thought it was going to be as the panel members were very welcoming, friendly and seemed to be making sure that we were in possession of all of the facts. After a few questions and several minutes of anxious waiting outside the panel room, we were approved for the match and I remember that we both cried with joy.
We then started introductions shortly thereafter. I immediately felt drawn to D on first seeing him at his foster carer’s home. Although the introductions were exhausting as we were staying at a local hotel, the period was short and after the necessary approvals, we took our lovely little boy home.
And here we are today, with D, our lovely little boy. Although life has not been without its challenges, all I have to do is look at him and I realise that all of the struggles, heartaches, disappointments and waiting has been worth it. Although it seems a bit clichéd to say this, I truly believe that we had to wait to ensure that we were matched with D, as he is the one.
Derek & Mary