Three years ago we were sitting in our hire car outside the foster carers house taking in the gravity of what was about to happen.
Up until then we had been living the full DINKY lifestyle: good jobs, good house, great holidays, great friends, a now seemingly endless amount of free time to while away. But deep down I had this feeling that this self-indulgent life-style, great as it was, left me unfulfilled.
It had taken us almost three years to become approved adopters. Our first attempt had come to an abrupt end when we were informed that there would be no children to match our Asian / Christian (though non-practising) heritage therefore advised not proceed.
Our second attempt, led us to TACT, our adoption agency, who thankfully saw us as potential parents, rather than a series of tick boxes to fulfil their ethnic minority quota. It took us a year to be approved as adopters, and in the summer the search for our children began.
Searching for your future children is a curious process. Our profiles were sent to potential children’s social workers, children’s profiles sent to us. It’s not unlike online dating. We sifted through the profiles deciding which children we would like to be considered for. I remember when the profiles of Wonder Boy and Super Girl dropped into my inbox. Wow! A potential match! These two seem like a cute, lively, cheeky pair of kids.
These two children met our desired requirements:
Boy and girl. Check.
Full siblings. Check.
Both under the age of six. Check.
No serious health or social issues. Check.
We liked the kids, our social worker liked the kids, the kids’ social worker liked us. We were successfully matched and then approved to be their adoptive parents.
We drove up the night before we were first due to meet our children. That next morning, sitting in the car, I knew once we stepped over the threshold there would be no turning back. No backing out. This was it. We would be leaving the foster carer’s house a week later with two children.
Did I think about turning back? Sure I did. Just for a millisecond. You see, up until this moment our two children were just a series of facts and figures: height, weight, eye and hair colour, medical history, school reports. Of course we knew their back story, why they were in foster care. But who were they? What were their personalities like? What did they like? Dislike? We hardly knew a thing? We only had fragments of information gleaned from the family finding social worker – a photo, and a few minutes of video footage of Wonder Boy on his bike and Super Girl shouting about spiders. This was truly a blind date that would, no had to, last a life-time.
On that cold, cloudy January morning I pressed the door bell at the foster carer’s house and the first thing we heard were two little voices calling out: “Mummy! Daddy! Mummy! Daddy!” That was it. I was now a mummy.
(First published 26/04/15)