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Julie’s story

"I always knew I wanted to be a mum and adoption felt like the right way to achieve this. As a single adopter I spent a lot of time thinking about how I would manage caring for and providing for a child."

Mother with Two Kids

Mother with Two Kids

From the beginning of my journey, I felt very strongly that I could consider parenting a child with additional needs. My thought process has always been that if I had given birth to a child there would have been no guarantees that the child would have been in good health or not have future additional learning needs.

When my Social Worker first told me about my daughter Sophie, I knew there was a chance she could have a genetic condition that could not be diagnosed at her young age. I purposefully didn’t concentrate my attention on the photo or other information about her because I wanted to make a careful decision about my ability to support her health needs. I researched the condition to see what the potential complications could be for Sophie and looked closely at the worst-case scenario.

After reading all I could I just knew that no matter what happened I would be able to provide the best future for Sophie. When I looked at her picture, I had an immediate sense that she was my daughter, and we would manage any future issues. I was supported continuously throughout this process by my Social Worker, the adoption team, and the medical advisor, who were able to answer any questions I had. There was never any pressure to continue with my application to become Sophie’s mum and I was given the time I needed to make decisions.

As soon as Sophie came home, I knew that my decision had been the right one. I have never dwelled on what could happen in the future as I felt this would have negative impacts on her health and development. For a long time, she had development delays and met her milestones later than the average child. Sophie was eventually diagnosed with the suspected medical condition, so we have several annual health appointments, but she is a very well child with no limitations on her activities.

A few years after Sophie came home, I decided to extend our family and adopt again. This time I was still open to consider children with additional needs but obviously needed to be aware of the impact a second child would have on Sophie and the amount of attention both would need.

This time I was drawn to a little boy who was undergoing tests for possible sight impairment. There was also the potential for health issues due to substance misuse during pregnancy. Again, I looked at the potential issues Harry may face and how this could impact him and our family. After more discussions with my Social Worker and family I knew that we could provide a loving family for Harry. Since Harry came home his temporary sight problems have improved and he is flourishing with me and Sophie.

It is now a couple of years since Harry joined our family and I feel like the luckiest woman ever to have these two beautiful, clever, courageous, and happy children call me Mummy. The future continues to hold some minor uncertainties for both children but if I hadn’t adopted them due to their health and development uncertainties, I would have missed out on knowing and loving two very special little people.

Both of my children are reaching their milestones and don’t let anything stand in their way. I believe that with love, support, and guidance all children can meet their full potential and just need a forever family to help them along the way.

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