Louise and John’s story

Louise and John knew that they would not be able to conceive naturally. Both agreed that it was never so important to have their own biological children, it was just important to have a family. So adoption became a rather natural conclusion for them.

Our social worker gave us the questions in advance of each meeting for us to discuss and consider and then went over them with us during her visits. We had nothing to hide, and it didn’t feel inappropriately intrusive which is what a lot of people worry about.

A couple of months after our approval our social worker gave us some information and photographs of our children to consider. A boy aged 16 months and a girl aged 8 months. She was born four months premature and there was quite a lot of uncertainty about her future, but we were not put off.

When the children first came to live with us we were completely shell shocked. At the end of our first evening when we sat down we realised that we had not eaten! It was full on. I remember standing in the middle of the table, one spoon in each hand, feeding them from both sides, and how my arm hurt from carrying the children around on my hip!

For the first two weeks my mother in-law and my sister in-law stayed with us. They knew what they were doing around children and it was really very helpful having that support.

Our son already had his own little personality, so it took awhile for us to bond. Whereas my daughter was still a baby and so we found it easier to make a connection with her.

Socialising at toddler groups at that age can be quite tricky, because you can’t talk about your pregnancy or birth. So we had our cover stories, which we used when we didn’t want to tell everyone about our story.

By the time the children were school age, both had been identified as having a lot of needs. Our son was then diagnosed with Hemiplegia and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), and our daughter had ADHD, an attachment disorder and Asperger’s.

Shortly after this, we were approached by social services to consider one of the children’s siblings. Despite our busy lives and the children’s difficulties, we felt we would be able to manage, and so we said yes.

It has been an incredible journey. At times, it has been challenging due to their mental health conditions, and you never know what else is round the corner. But then do you ever, even with your own birth children!

Next: Joshua’s story