Home > IVF & Fertility > Pregnancy > TMC Talks > Real Life Stories: What It’s Really Like To Adopt

A TMC reader reveals the process she went through and what it feels like to finally have her happy ending. My husband and I have always had a relaxed attitude to life. After all, it took us 11 years to get married. And as many people do, we assumed that we’d try and have a baby, and it would just happen. However, after eighteen months of trying, we grew to realise that IVF might be our only option. But two cycles and a frozen embryo later, we reached a point where my body, emotions, and bank balance, couldn’t take it anymore, and we decided to stop the process and grieve for what could have been.

But what if it wasn’t over? What if we adopted?

After great consideration, we found ourselves at an open evening for potential adoptive parents. The talk seemed to be designed to scare a few people off, but it did the reverse for us. And even my slightly hesitant husband was now incredibly keen. So, on we went.

Our first big step was to have a one-to-one meeting with a social worker to assess if they felt it was suitable for us and to give us a chance to ask questions. At the end of the meeting, we were told that we were the type of couple they were looking for.

At last! Our first positive outcome on the road to parenthood!

That evening we reflected on everything and agreed that if there were ever a point one of us changed our minds, we would have to walk away from the process. We were either both 100% in, or not in it at all.   

After completing application forms, a full medical, submitting references and DBS checks, we were ready to begin stage 1 of the approval process. Stage 1 involved completing quite a bit of homework and attending training sessions over several evenings with other potential adoptive parents. The stuff we learnt, was emotional to say the least.

Fortunately, we passed through this and moved on to stage two. This consisted of eight meetings over three months, where everything and anything you can think of was discussed. And, before we knew it, we were sat in front of a panel of ten people who would decide if we could be parents.

After a few simple questions and a short interlude, we were given a unanimous YES!

I immediately burst into tears. At last! We were finally getting closer to what we’d always wanted. That evening, bubbles were popped, and glasses were clinked. But little did we know that the hard part was just about to start.  

Initially, there was a flurry of children presented to us, but we had to be realistic about the type of child we could support and sadly, none fit our criteria. We even tried using a site called Link Maker, which helps parents find a better match, but the competition was huge, and as time passed by, it began to feel like this would never happen for us.

That was until we met our fairy godmother, aka our new social worker. We told her that we’d recently shown interest in a little boy, but we hadn’t heard anything back. So, she got straight on the phone and convinced his social worker to read our profile. After that, it just snowballed. Both sides agreed it was a great match, and before we knew it, we were attending the adoption panel meeting.

I couldn’t hold back the tears. All the emotion of the past six years came flooding out. The answer we’d been waiting so long for. We were a match! And we were about to become a family. It was the best gift I’ve ever received.

Now all we needed to get through was the longest wait to meet our beautiful boy.

Finally, the day came, and as soon as I walked into the lounge at his foster parents’ house and saw him in person for the first time, I knew he was our boy. I didn’t have time to cry because he was in my arms. It was as if he’d been waiting for us too. Over the next ten days, we spent more and more time together. Until the final day. Moving in day!! The start of life as a family of three. The date was Friday the 13th but it the luckiest day of our lives.

I hope this helps anyone who is considering adoption, going through the approval process or waiting for their little one. To this day, we still think about the children we said no to and hope they have now found a forever family. I have only scraped the surface of our experience, as it is a challenging journey and not one to be taken lightly.

It will test you but don’t give up and it will happen for you. There were times when I didn’t believe it would for us, BUT it did! 

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