This interview with Mr E was first published in February 2020 when he and his wife are waiting to start introductions with their little one. He shares their experience of the assessment and matching process. You can follower their journey on Instagram @journey.to.three.es
Introduce yourself and your family
Hello! My name is Mr E. I have the pleasure of sharing my adoption journey with my wife, Mrs E. We have a large extended family who are very excited to be welcoming a new little person. The only other lifeform we currently share our house with is our cat, Molly.
What area of the UK do you live in?
We live in the East Midlands.
Is your agency a local authority or voluntary agency?
We used our Local Authority to sign up to the adoption process. At the time they were going through a transition to a Regional Agency. This happened just before we started Stage 1 and it’s now known as Adoption East Midlands.
Did you read any adoption stories before you started? If so where? (eg blog, Instagram, books)
I read “What to Expect When You’re Adopting”* written by Dr Ian Palmer before starting the adoption process. It was a great opening into the world of adoption and it opened my mind to a lot of things I wouldn’t have otherwise thought of. It helped cement in my mind that adoption was the right path for us.
What was your biggest worry before you started?
Mrs E and I have wanted to start a family together for many years and once we made the decision to start the adoption process I was all in. I was worried that I would try my hardest to show that Mrs E and I are committed and ready to share our lives with a little one but then not get approved at panel.
How long did the process take from the point of deciding you wanted to adopt to your child coming home?
We went to an adoption information evening in October 2018. We were in the midst of a house move at the time and were advised to wait until we’d settled in our new home before making contact again. In January 2019, we called to say we had moved and had our first home visit a couple of weeks later.
We officially started Stage 1 in March 2019. The process went well throughout Stage 1 and Stage 2 and we were approved unanimously as adopters in September 2019. In December 2019 we were officially linked with our little one, Matching Panel was January 2020 and we are currently awaiting a date to start introductions.
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 for 1-2 children aged 0-3. Our little one is currently 10 months old.
How did the matching process work? Did you look at lots of profiles?
We initially were quite keen to adopt a sibling group that we had been told about. But after getting more information we decided the match wasn’t right for them or us. We were advised to start using Link Maker about a month before Approval Panel, and our Stage 2 social worker told us about a little boy on there.
We were interested so the little boy’s social worker “showed interest” in us via Link Maker. The profile had no name or picture and although we browsed other profiles, we kept coming back to this little one’s profile. We were still certain that this was the right child for us. Turns out our gut feeling was right!
What has been the most difficult part about the process?
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?
Our little one isn’t home yet. I’m sure that should we need access to help from our Local Authority, we will be fully supported.
What has been your best memory since your child came home?
Our little one isn’t home yet – but we have met him on a “Bump Into” visit which was amazing!
If you could go back and have a conversation with yourself about the process before you started, what would you tell yourself?
I would tell myself to prepare as best as anyone can for a lot of uncertainty and long waits. The adoption process can be hard at times but it is very rewarding. You will need to look at yourself very closely and truly reflect on what you have to offer a little one. You need to be honest with your social workers. It’s difficult to be honest with others if you can’t be honest with yourself.
If you’d like to read more interviews with adopters, adoptees and birth parents, click here
*This is an affiliate link for the book. That means if you click on the link to the book and then buy it, I get paid a fee from Amazon.