This weeks interview is with Helen who’s a single adopter living in the South West of England.
Introduce yourself and your family
I’m Helen. I live with my 11 year old daughter who came to live with me when she was five years old.
Was your agency a local authority or voluntary agency?
Did you read any adoption stories before you started? If so where? (eg blog, Instagram, books)
It was pre-Instagram when I started the process but I did look at some forums. I found them all quite negative. Instagram has been a much more positive experience for reading adoption stories.
What was your biggest worry before you started?
That I wouldn’t be able to meet my child’s needs. That I might end up having to give up work (I work part-time) and then we would struggle financially as a family.
How long did the process take from the point of deciding you wanted to adopt to your child coming home?
How did the matching process work? Did you look at lots of profiles?
I looked at profiles on Be My Parent and my social worker brought me profiles of children. These were ones from their authority and also from other authorities they had reciprocal agreements with for matching. I was shown pen profiles and if I expressed an interest, I got to see the child’s full CPR. Photos came later. I saw several pen profiles – my daughter’s was the one I saw the whole CPR for.
What has been the most difficult part about the process?
Managing letterbox contact and helping my daughter understand why she couldn’t be with her siblings.
Have you needed to access additional help and support from your agency since your child came home? If so, what and did it meet your needs?
I’ve maintained contact with Post Adoption Support. I took up the offer of a therapeutic parenting course and have attended support groups. I have also made a great network of friends.
What has been your best memory since your child came home?
So many. It’s been a joy and a privilege to see how far my daughter has come since she came home six years ago.