What Can I Expect as an Adopter?

One of our adopter's has kindly shared their experience with us.

P4

Our Adoption Story

"The assessment was more detailed and intrusive than we expected, and it was emotional at times. It opened our eyes to our own childhoods. We already knew about each other's pasts but seeing it on paper brought us closer together. It also gave us a further insight to our own and each other's behaviours which gave us a perspective about why we behave as we do (i.e., I do not drink because of my upbringing). We were excited to get it finished.

We felt really prepared for panel as we had spoken at length about it with our worker. However, as it approached, we got more and more nervous. We did not sleep at all the night before. On the day we were so nervous waiting for our time, we had knots in our stomachs and have never sweated as much in our lives. The panel were welcoming and reassuring. We felt so emotional when we were recommended and cried when we got off the camera.

Waiting for the Agency Decision Maker's decision was hard we started to image all sorts of reasons that they would find not to sign it off. When we got the letter, we kept reading it we were ecstatic we had done it, got through the process at least. There was a high and then a low set in as we waited. I became a bit obsessed with my phone and kept calling my worker if I had a missed call with a withheld caller if to see if her was. It was a hard period and we just had to focus through it.

Once we were placed on the Scottish Adoption Register, we were very excited, however when we accessed and saw how many children there were it was heart-breaking. We had not realised that there was going to be so many. We started looking and felt attached to them all. We really had to check ourselves and stop getting drawn into reading lots of profiles. We used the filter process, and this helped us stay more focused. We saw a wee boy who we were drawn to. And after a few days we asked our worker to note an interest however we were told he was still in the permanence process. We started looking at other children but were drawn back to this child's cheeky smile and character every time. We decided to wait for him.

We got a phone call from our worker a few months later to say that he was now a child suitable for adoption. We were over the moon, however there was another couple also interested in him. Our worker had to go to a linking meeting with the other couple's worker and we had to wait over the weekend to find out who had been chosen. Thankfully this went in our favour. We then had to go to a matching panel and again had to wait for the decision. The whole process at this stage was an emotional roller coaster. When we were told we had been matched it was like a big weight had been lifted from us. We celebrated with our families; it was a memorable time. The following few weeks were filled with lots of meeting and organisation it was very exciting.

We had a bump into meeting, arranged prior to introductions starting, where we would meet with the carer and our child in a neutral place and be introduced as the carer's friends. Neither of us had slept well the night before and had found ourselves making up negative scenarios about the meeting like he won't like us, or we won't like him. The meeting was meant to be short but lasted four hours it was amazing, we got the opportunity to see our child and play with him at the park. He was unaware of who we were currently. He was told the following day and he was over the moon that he was to get two dads, this was a worry that had been in the back of our minds.

We were to meet our child officially two days later.  We had booked into a holiday let for the week we were to be there. We felt anxious about being in someone's house and about how our child would be with us. However, after a few hours we felt like we had known him all our lives we felt emotional saying good night to him and could not wait for the mornings. Our relationship got stronger and stronger. On day six the carer brought him to our home for the day. When we saw him in his room, we both got emotional, it was hard to believe that our child was here with us. We took him home later that day. He got upset as he wanted to stay and had a major melt down. We explained that he had to go back to his carers and that we would come to see him the next day and that he would then have a leaving celebration with the family then we would get him the next day.

He was up at 5am, waiting for us and he told us off for being late. We were worried that he would be upset leaving his carer, but he was fine, I think by his point we were all emotionally and physically exhausted, he fell asleep soon after we left. Bringing our child home that day is the best thing we have done, even our wedding day does not compare with that.

Since then, it's been fantastic!! It is the best thing we have done. It has its moments and can be hard especially when you feel like you cannot take away all the hurt your child has experienced, but we do not regret it for a minute. It is lovely to be a family and we cannot wait for it all to be finalised."