Adoption real life stories - life changing!

Alison and her husband had their lives changed forever when they adopted with us. Here's their story…

After about a year of preparation and training and then approval by Panel to become an adoptive parent, our social worker shared with my husband and I a profile of a nearly two year old boy that it was suggested we might adopt. We instantly felt a connection with the paper version of this boy, who could become our son………yes, a weird and wonderful feeling.

Various meetings, Christmas, Matching Panel, then one day there we were parking outside the foster carers house feeling very excited but honestly with a surreal edge to that. (Am I REALLY here??). I will never forget ringing the bell at a glass door, then seeing a gorgeous toddler running down the corridor towards us and inviting us into the house. It was a heart stoppingly beautiful moment. My husband and I left day one of introductions feeling a sense that we had found our son. Introductions are intense, but that sense of connection grew and grew and actually, we had a lot of fun that week.

Our son has lived with us for just over seven months now. He is now 2 and 8 months and has already changed and grown so much. The first few weeks of him living here felt very natural. My overriding sense was always how well he handled such a huge change. What trust! He got used to us, to our house, to family members and to some of our friends. We kept routines that he'd had with his foster carers, and let them evolve as we all got used to each other. The first 6 weeks were pretty smooth (if tiring) then it felt like we hit a patch of turbulence. Perhaps the realisation that this change was not just temporary really hit him? Some strong emotions came through, while the fun and adventure continued we also had some tough tantrums, difficult bedtimes etc. My tendency is to analyse what has triggered this? And then I realise that whether I get the right analysis or not, the answer is the same: show love, support, maintain boundaries and routine. We had some great support at this time from various people and I have to say we needed it. We also kept a focus on the positive and let the moods blow in and blow out, and then get on with fun/play.

The general advice from training of ensuring that our son received a lot of one on one time/family time with the three of us, was what we kept returning to. I quickly favoured a walk over a playgroup. Keep it simple, make him the centre of focus. It seems to have really paid off and made him very secure with us. I have taken a whole year of adoption leave, and my husband works from home so has been able to spend heaps of time with him. And here we are, a very happy family.

As an insight of a typical day this is what happened in our house today:

Awoke 6.15 to our son padding into our room wanting milk and 'beebies' on the ipad. Family snuggle and playfight follows for around 40 minutes.

Downstairs to the lounge: a game of chase round the lounge, some TV, breakfast, some train play, get dressed. Daddy and I both around in the morning, its fun and easier.

I take him to nursery, (he now attends weekly sessions to get play time with other children). My heart bursts with pride as he is happy saying goodbye but when I pick him up he runs towards me "Mummy!!" and I get a HUGE cuddle that lasts ages. We leave with a painting he's made and the proofs of his nursery official photographer photo that was taken two weeks ago.

Home to lunch with daddy. We try on the new minion goggles that I couldn't resist out shopping, and take smartphone photos to show him, we all try to sing a Minion song as we wear the goggles.

It's a dry day, we leave for a wander on paths near the house with a mini digger and a red truck. He loves the outdoors, we are out for two hours.

At home he's very tired and a bit tantrum like. We navigate through dinner. Still it's lovely. He can say 'pie' now he knows what he's being given.

We are all around for bathtime, then pyjama time (he does a mini crazy 10 minutes before he puts jamas on, at the moment the craze is hiding in an ikea box/drawer and we have to find him). He has milk, a story plus a short programme on the ipad and then bed.

Having our son in our lives has changed everything, and it's a massive delight. Being a parent is as busy, fun, emotional, joyful and sometimes exhausting as everyone told us it would be! I think our son is an inspiration in how he's handled such a life change. I know he will continue to inspire us.

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