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Natalie & Phil’s adoption story

May 07, 2021


Natalie and Phil* became parents when they adopted two brothers with the help of SFCS.  We’re very grateful to them for sharing their adoption journey with us for the #YouCanAdopt siblings campaign…

* Names have been changed for reasons of confidentiality

 

We have always wanted to adopt, ever since our teen years.  We both felt adoption was our preferred choice to start a family, and we were so excited to submit the application as soon as we were married!

We’re so thankful we chose to adopt with St. Francis’ Children’s Society (SFCS). Our social worker became like a very close friend. We made our new best friends through other adopters we met through SFCS. We felt completely supported and had very good advice from the very beginning and this has continued well after our adoption was finalised. We also love the reassurance that post adoption training and support continues for life.

We personally really enjoyed the process of exploration and training to becoming approved adopters. What worried us more were some of the online forums, which we found to be very negative. We loved meeting other adopters at the training sessions which reassured us that we had made the decision. The training was thorough, and we felt very well prepared.

There’s an awful lot to work through, but I thought there would be more paperwork! I also assumed that the interviews with our social worker would be difficult and judgemental. But we soon realised that our social worker was working with us and preparing us to make this adoption a success.

Finding our children

Once we had been approved by the SFCS panel, the process of finding our children could begin. We were a little overwhelmed at the sheer volume of profiles that fit our ‘requirements’. We were worried that we’d never be able to choose one profile over another.

We were impatient to find a perfect match, and had so many profiles and links to consider; we did feel a bit guilty turning down profiles that were not a completely perfect fit for us. But funnily enough, when we saw our boys’ profile, it was just an instant feeling that they belonged in our family.

All in all, our matching process only took one month, no time at all really. It just felt very intense at the time!  We know this process can take longer for many people, so we felt very lucky.  The hardest part was then waiting for introductions to start once the match was confirmed.

Meeting our sons

The day we met our sons for the first time was incredible and hugely emotional. The foster carers did a great job in preparing the boys to meet us, putting pictures of us at eye level throughout the house and referring to us as ‘mummy and daddy’. We were ‘mummy and daddy’ from the first minute we saw them. We were so nervous, and it was emotionally exhausting, but it was so wonderful to finally be able to meet them!

When the boys finally moved in with us, they were 2½ years and 16 months old.

Family life

It’s easy to forget that adoption is just becoming new parents, and life does dramatically change for any new parents. The first few months were a massive culture shock for us and we did find things difficult. We bonded more quickly with the older child than we did with the baby, and we felt so much guilt over this.

We weren’t prepared for feeling quite so tired, to function on little sleep and to need to be ‘switched on’ all day, every day to meet the children’s needs. In hindsight, going from no children to two children overnight was a little crazy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We now feel like a normal, happy and complete family.

If I were asked to offer any advice to others who may be considering adoption, I’d just say – do it! Whenever someone asks me, ‘Why did you adopt?’, I reply, ‘Why wouldn’t you?’.

We are a completely normal family just like any other, except I don’t imagine I could have created children that turned out as wonderful as these two! It is the best thing we have ever done, and I just wish more people could see what an obvious first choice adoption should be for people who want to build a family.


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