This week’s interview is with Lynsay telling us all about her family’s journey to meeting their boys. You can follow her on Instagram @Lynsayc87
Introduce yourself and your family
Hi everyone my names Lynsay and my little beautiful little family is made up of my wonderful wife Kelly and are two little boys B and O.
What area of the UK do you live in?
We live in Yorkshire.
Was your agency a local authority or voluntary agency?
We chose to use our local authority as other family members used them as well.
Did you read any adoption stories before you started? If so where? (eg blog, Instagram, books)
We didn’t really read too many things prior to starting the adoption process. There are adopted children within the family so we were lucky enough to witness and be part of the process before we began our own journey.
I do remember googling stuff along the way looking for advice before our first home visit and what types of questions would be asked. But like anything in life, you can’t really prepare so we just went with it and tried to be as open and honest as possible.
I recently started my own blog so I could document our process from start to finish. I’m trying to be as honest as possible to allow people to get a real feel for the process. However no two adoption journeys are the same.
What was your biggest worry before you started?
I think my biggest worry was whether we would actually get through the process and find our family. We made many changes before going into this including trying to live a healthier lifestyle, I vowed to learn to drive and I also needed minor surgery.
At a few different points during our process, I did wonder whether any of the above would stop us from finding a match.
How long did the process take from the point of deciding you wanted to adopt to your children coming home?
We decided to adopt whilst on honeymoon in September 2017. We officially began the process in November 2017 after going to an open evening and having our initial home visit. Our boys came home on 26th March 2019.
What age and number of children were you approved for? Were you matched to a different age or number of children from this
We were approved at panel to adopt one child under the age of two. We were also approved for EPP (Early Permanence Placement) or Foster to Adopt as it was also known.
In the end, we were matched with two children under the age of two. Having siblings was the best decision we’ve ever made. We’ll be forever grateful to our social worker for sending their profiles over for us to read.
How did the matching process work? Did you look at lots of profiles?
We were initially very keen on EPP so we didn’t really look at profiles. The information we were given was about birth mum and the unborn baby. We were matched back in July 2018 with EPP. However once the baby was born, the judge decided it was safe for the baby to stay with birth mum.
It was at this point that we decided we wanted to look at the traditional route as well and started to view profiles. We were sent over about eight profiles in total over a period of a few days, both boys and girls.
The information is quite brief on profiles, with a main focus on personality. Any heath concerns are mentioned but again we found the profiles weren’t really designed to overload you.
We were on holiday in Mexico (taking a break after EPP match fell through) when our social worker sent us an email with the subject line “curve ball”. Attached was the profile for two brothers.
This was the first sibling profile we’d read. As corny as it sounds, we genuinely read the information and both said that those were our boys.
What has been the most difficult part about the process?
The whole process is quite emotionally taxing. Going into it I would say make sure you and your wife/husband/partner are open and honest with each other at all times. If you’re entering the process on your own then have a close friend by your side who you can offload on when needed.
The hardest part for my wife and I was the waiting. Once you get through approval panel you find yourself on cloud nine but then things go a bit quiet for a week or two. There is also the wait from the initial match meeting to panel and then introductions was also quite lengthy. This is where having your other half to vent and rant to really helps!!
Have you needed to access additional help and support from your agency since your children came home? If so, what and did it meet your needs?
Our boys have been home for eight months and so far, we haven’t had to access any additional support from our agency. We’ve had our final social worker visit and the adoption order has been granted. We’ve had our Celebration hearing at the local family court and very recently received the adoption certificates in the post.
What has been your best memory since your children came home?
To pinpoint one memory would be very difficult.
We’ve been lucky enough to witness both our boys take their firsts steps and also witness them both learn the word mama. As an adoptive parent we can miss a few firsts but having our first Mother’s Day was so wonderful. Having our first family Christmas this year is going to be amazing.
If you could go back and have a conversation with yourself about the process before you started, what would you tell yourself?
I think I would tell myself to just relax and stay open minded.
Right back at the beginning of our process we filled in paperwork saying what we felt able to manage as a family. This included additional needs and the health of prospective children and at this time we only felt able to look after a relatively healthy child with minimal additional needs.
It was highlighted in the boys profile that one of the brothers had a serious medical condition. So our days are filled with medications, physio therapy and appointments. But they’re also filled with laughter, joy and so many kisses and cuddles.
I would definitely go back and tell myself not to close ourselves off because we wouldn’t change our little family for the world.