Harriet and Dan's story

For Harriet and Dan starting a family wasn’t easy. After losing their two birth children due to a genetic disorder they revisited the idea of adoption. 

This is their story: 

We had a long phone call with a social worker and were instantly put at ease, our fears about adoption were put to rest as we were told the facts about the process, that it wasn’t complicated but that it could be lengthy, but suitably so.

Honestly, the process is fine, we had 18 one-to-one’s with our social worker, it was a positive experience. You just talk about life and can’t help but feel better after. You have to have a social worker that you are comfortable with and have to be honest and open about how you feel.

We were worried about whether the service would feel that we were pursuing adoption too soon after losing our little ones but they said, ‘only you know when you’re ready, and if you need extra time, you can take it’. It doesn’t feel like once you’re on the train you have to roll with it, it goes at an appropriate pace.

They put our profile together and I cried when I read it, it was so sensitive to the loss of my kids. The support provided is all positive, even the panel put us at ease, they didn’t ask anything intrusive. We were approved and started our search.

We didn’t look ourselves because we thought, ‘how could you chose’. Our social worker came back with profiles of ten children. We didn’t want to reject any child but our social worker helped us see it in a different light. She said, ‘you are looking to see if your needs best match the needs of the child and vice versa.’

I was reading about one little girl and started seeing all these little things that I could identify with. When we asked about her the social worker said she had some news, that this girl had a two month old baby sister. They weren’t local girls and their mother had put them through a lot which had had an effect on the kids. We had already decided that we wanted to two kids and that we didn’t want to base our decision on their experiences so we set up a day where we would ‘bump into’ them, introduce ourselves and invite them to spend some time with us.

After meeting them we knew in our bones that this was meant to be. There were more meetings, and a matching panel which approved us, we made them videos and took photos to introduce them to our home. They wanted to know little things that you wouldn’t think about, that the house was warm, and that there was food in the fridge. The support and preparation for bringing them home was really good. When they came to move in with us, it just felt like the natural next step, and they settled in straight away.

Adoption is the best thing we’ve ever done. The day when they took our last names is a day of celebration for us and always will be. I know a lot of parents say this but I think that we are the perfect family. Not every day is glossy and amazing, it’s hard work but it’s amazing how quickly you fall in love.

 

The stories featured are from interviews with adopters, some details have been changed and stock images are used to protect identities.

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