My first call was to Action For Children where we arranged to meet Natalie for and initial chat and see how we felt following that. We had been left feeling very disillusioned after our fostering journey (that led to nothing) but were really lifted by Natalie's positive and can-do attitude.

We were so excited after meeting Natalie and couldn't wait to get started on our adoption journey.

Not long after our first meeting we were invited to start ‘training’. It was an emotional time and one we found mentally exhausting. You learn so much in such a short space of time but this experience is invaluable; even now we have our forever family I still use the tips and advice I received at the beginning of our journey.

I will never forget leaving the training room at the end of the fourth day and Debby shook my hand and said to me that the next time she saw me I would be a mummy - Oh, how I cried.

It was the first time I was really able to acknowledge that this might just happen.

Although there was a delay in beginning our assessment, we were kept up to date with things and Action for Children supported us fully throughout. Our assessing social worker was a fantastic man and assured us that this stage was not nearly as daunting or intrusive as I originally thought that it might be.

That being said I was still a nervous wreck when time came to meet the panel who decided whether or not we would be eligible or not to continue onto the ‘matching’ stage. We didn't have to wait very long before we had the decision and the panel said YES!

At this stage you see profiles of many children who are waiting to find their forever family and in your heart you want to adopt every single one of them but in the end, for whatever reason, your child finds you - and that's exactly what happened to us with our son. Our social worker saw his profile and was taken by how the little boy in the picture seemed a perfect match for us; not only could we meet his needs but he could also meet ours. 

It was at this point that I really had to pinch myself and fully accept that the time had finally come and was going to be somebody's mummy.

We had approximately 3 weeks from matching panel to the first meeting with our son and we had so much to do that this time flew and before we knew it, we were on our way to meet our son for the very first time. I can honestly say that I have no idea how I held it together on that first morning. 

We knocked the door and heard the foster carer ask "Who's at the door Jazz?" and he answered "It's my new Mummy and Daddy".
Susan

That was 3 and a half years ago and since that day, we've had our challenges, like any other family, but the rewards have far outweighed any negatives and we consider ourselves very lucky as we have a son who is loved by many and who has so much love to give.

He truly is our pride and joy.

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