Rachel and Ben told us they were so blessed to have their family completed with beautiful Chloe; it has been an immense journey but it was well worth all of the ups and downs.
Rachel shares their adoption story.
When we were first approached about the foster to adopt programme, before being approved as adopters, we said no. This was mainly because of the risk of the child possibly going back to the birth parents – it was a purely selfish decision as we felt that we could not deal with the disappointment and devastation of losing a child we had bonded and attached to.
We’d had so many disappointments in our lives up to this point, finally culminating in being told that we would not have children naturally and having to have a hysterectomy.
As time went on, and we had been approved as adopters, we began to think differently. We tried to put our own feelings aside and think of the benefits of foster to adopt from the child’s point of view, the consistency and stability of having just one home.
We then passed on our views to our social worker who changed our profile to reflect our wish to be considered for the foster to adopt scheme.
Two weeks later we had the phone call. There was a baby who needed a placement! I, as usual, was my typical ‘bull in a china shop’ self and wanted to say yes straight away, my partner, on the other hand, (the most sensible of the two of us) said we needed to think about things carefully.
Foster to adopt does not tend to give you very much notice, we only had two weeks to sort out the house, work and our lives. Our social worker was fantastic, and she supported us all of the way. We had a lot of contact with her and our child’s social worker.
We had three social workers in total, one for us, one for Chloe, and one for the fostering programme. They all worked to take in turns to do the visits and then cascade info to each other about our progress so that we would not be overwhelmed by visits from them all.
We all worked together brilliantly and the social workers ensured that we were not overwhelmed with visits as they shared them out.
We couldn’t believe it when Chloe was delivered to us, we felt like millionaires; it was everything we ever wanted. My partner had been brilliant, and in the two weeks notice we had gone out and bought everything we needed, plus some!
The first night was the best and the scariest night of my life. We were in charge of the most precious entity in the world. We took some time to bond, just the three of us, before we started to introduce others.
We did struggle with the fact that at any point Chloe could have gone back to her birth parents. We struggled with having to call ourselves foster mummy and foster daddy and not just mummy and daddy.
We also found it quite upsetting when Chloe went for her first visit to her birth parents. However, these were all things that we had to deal with, and we did together. We had always been a strong couple but this has made us even stronger.
Foster to adopt is by no means an easy option, there are a lot of hurdles to jump. That said, it has all worked out brilliantly for us. We even met her birth parents, which was surreal yet so important in our journey, as we now feel we can tell Chloe her life story.
For Chloe, we think foster to adopt has been brilliant, she has lived with us and we have provided the best home we possibly can for her.
For us and potential parents, we would recommend foster to adopt to people who are resilient, adaptable and open.