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Having waited a lifetime to have a child, the 15 months that it took to go through the adoption process and be matched with my child seemed pretty quick. I think I was very lucky to be matched so soon.
When I first started the adoption process, I was asked what sort of child I would be interested in adopting. After discussions with my Social Worker, we set my criteria as under 5 years of age but of either sex. We also discussed the extra needs that the child may have.
I must emphasise how great my Social Worker was and how helpful she was during the whole process. Each step was explained so clearly and although there was quite a bit of homework involved and lots of questions to be answered and discussed I recognise how necessary this was so that a full assessment could be made and we could both feel confident of how prepared I was to become a parent.
I found it really useful to meet with and talk to people who were going through/had gone through the same process as me and I’ve actually built up a great network of people I have met through the training courses and with another single adopter Family Adoption Links put me in touch with. As a single adopter, I suppose I could have felt a little alone during the process but this was far from the case. My Social Worker, the team, and my support network were with me every step of the way. After the adoption took place there is also support from the post-adoption service should you need it.
After I had been officially approved to adopt (such a wonderful day!), I didn’t hear anything for a few weeks then one day my Social Worker called me to say they had found a match. Words cannot express how scared yet totally excited how was at this stage. After getting more details, I instantly felt he was the right child for me and I agreed that I wanted to adopt him.
Even though I had seen photos of my son before I met him, the introduction week was the first time I actually met him. I had all these thoughts in my head and concerns of what it was going to be like? Would he like me? Would we get on? I have never been so nervous.
I will never forget the first moment I saw him. He gave me a beautiful smile and I instantly fell in love. Any insecurities I had lifted immediately.
On the first day, it was more a case of watching what the foster carer was doing and on the second day I started to feed him, change his nappy and play with him. As the week went on, we spent more and more time together, and eventually I could take him out on my own to the park.
It was the most surreal experience and I was happy, excited, anxious, and scared all at the same time. I actually couldn’t believe that I would be taking him home in a few days and becoming his Mummy. It really was the best feeling in the world!