Belinda and Andrew
We started trying to have children when we were older and it just didn’t happen. Andrew suggested adoption but to begin with I wasn’t very keen. We went to an initial Devon County Council meeting which encouraged us to adopt.
We can’t pretend that it was an easy process, some parts of it were a real slog but other parts were a doddle. Like being pregnant, which isn’t easy for everyone either, we knew that it was worth it, as it would end with a good result.
Our social worker was “fab”, she supported us each step of the way and never made us feel like we were asking a stupid question or made us feel like failures.
I know that some people can be really choosy about the child they want but we genuinely didn’t mind, although we did want to end up eventually with two children. We assumed that we would adopt a school age child of 6 or 7 so felt extremely lucky to have been able to adopt Alex at 2 and a half and then eight months later, his brother, James at 8 months old.
The matching that was done by Devon County Council was spot on. Alex had been living on a farm and loved the outdoor life which suited us and our lifestyle perfectly.
The whole process, although gruelling at times, took just under a year. We started it in May 2010, in April 2011 we were approved. In July 2011, Alex came to live with us and in March 2012, James moved in. So we went from being a couple, to full on family of four, in eight months. It was a steep learning curve but also extremely rewarding. I was 46 and Andrew was 48, however, at no time were our ages an issue.
As an adopter you need to have staying power and roll with the punches. The whole process is like being on a roller coaster but it still has to be better than labour pains! My advice to potential adopters is to be completely honest with the social workers, they are there to help you. If you try to hide anything, there is no doubt that they will discover it.