The Questions #12 A peek into how we do family

Photo by Lili Gooch

Photo by Lili Gooch

How and when does your child/children wake you in the morning

Daughter shouts “mum, mummy, MUM, MUUUUUMMMMYYYYY”. Son babbles to himself or cries if his babbles aren’t responded to in time.
Why adoption?

We had a still born baby girl following IVF and wanted to do something worthwhile instead. Also my husband is adopted.
Mainly we wanted a family.
From start of assessment to bringing your child home how long did the process take?

16 months
How could it be improved?

We started the new short assessment but due to lack of resources it still took nearly a year to be approved despite us being described as straight forward adopters.
What has been the biggest surprise?

How much I’m enjoying it. And how supportive others have been.
How was the assessment process?

Good, interesting and reassuring.
What’s your favourite thing to do together?

Outdoor play in a park.
What makes you and your family laugh?

Playing together. Tickling and rolling around cuddling.
The best thing about being a parent?

Rewards of seeing how the children have progressed. Meeting new people.
The hardest thing about being a parent?

Frustration that we do everything we can to make them happy and they don’t understand that and have tantrums.
The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child?

Just to let them be. For them to be honest in asking for what they want.
What time do you go to bed?

10.45 – 11.00 but it’s too late and we are always tired.

The Questions #11 A peek into how we do family.

Photo by Lili Gooch

Photo by Lili Gooch

How and when does your child/children wake you in the morning
Children 2 & 4 wake 7-7.30am

Why adoption?
After years of IVF then a break of 4 years we moved to adoption.

From start of assessment to bringing your child home how long did the process take?
12 months from start of stage 1 preparation / assessment

How could it be improved?
Better communication and feedback re child finding. More easily accessible support during introductions and before/ after ao.

What has been the biggest surprise?
Expecting the worst case scenarios having heard all the negatives during prep and then finding we have thankfully not experienced any in the year our children have been with us as well as they children settling fast and easily.

How was the assessment process? 
Blessed with a meticulous, professional and flexible social worker who made the process excellent. Since we have had serious issues with our children’s SW/ LA which are on-going despite being 6 months post AO being granted.

What’s your favourite thing to do together? 
Outing to the park, beach, playing together or cuddled watching a movie.

What makes you and your family laugh?
So much. Our children are very funny and come out with endless things that make us laugh, plus the terrible toilet humour. Watching Wallace & Grommet together.

The best thing about being a parent? 
The joy of seeing your children doing the simplest things and be so proud of their achievements. The cuddles, the hugs, the kisses and fun.

The hardest thing about being a parent?
The feeling of guilt that you could have handled a situation better, the tiredness and the feeling of being powerless when your child is in pain and all you can do to help is offer comfort when you just wish you could take their pain away.

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child?
That there is no perfect childhood/ life and not to let childhood difficulties become a barrier to having a good life/ future and not to let it be an excuse not to move on and do your best at anything you enjoy and that you happy.
What time do you go to bed? 
kids 7pm us 11/12pm

The Questions #10 A peek into how we do family.

Photo by Lili Gooch

Photo by Lili Gooch

How and when does your child/children wake you in the morning
Our LO is woken by our alarm and is normally grumpy about it. Sleeps on air bed next to our bed.
Why adoption?
birth children did not work, mostly Mum’s age
From start of assessment to bringing your child home how long did the process take?
Assessment started half a year after first enquiry and then it took just over 1.5 years
How could it be improved?
Hope new process is better, assessment to approval was less than a year and then we were looking for the “right” child. At the moment key improvement seems to be availability of children, judges need to make permanence decisions.
What has been the biggest surprise?
We found out loads of things about us.
After half a year with us it feels like we’ve always had our LO.
How was the assessment process?
Good, we felt it was sensible, appropriate and professional.
What’s your favourite thing to do together?
Eat
What makes you and your family laugh?
LO’s enthusiasm
The best thing about being a parent?
How happy our LO is
The hardest thing about being a parent?
When LO is not happy and we can’t understand why and repetition.
The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child?
Slow down
What time do you go to bed?
By midnight

The Questions #9 A peek into how we do family.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow and when does your child/children wake you in the morning?

usually around 8pm if I don’t set his alarm. He runs in with his ‘by’ his big fleece blanket bundles into bed in between my husband and I and demands the duvet on him. If it is early he will fall back asleep. He is a 12 hour kid sleep wise.

Why adoption?

we always had thought about it and liked the idea. Surrogacy wasn’t an option for us.

From start of assessment to bringing your child home how long did the process take?

1 year, very quick, thank goodness

How could it be improved?

Our process was so straight forward and we realise how lucky we are having now met lots of families. We were matched just before we went to panel so that part was so quick.

My son settled very well, a few ups and down, he was incredibly easy and so loving. I heard of a therapy service that provides therapy work during those first few months of placement, which are key, I think this would be so helpful to help families bond and children to settle.

What has been the biggest surprise?

Suddenly realising this little person solely relied on me to look after him and fulfil his needs constantly, every day.

How was the assessment process?

easy, straight forward. Great social worker. Can’t complain

What’s your favourite thing to do together?

Everything really. I think laughing, he is great at it and so am I. Making silly faces, chatting, cooking together. Just being together. I will miss him a lot when he starts school.

What makes you and your family laugh?

one another

The best thing about being a parent?

watching this little person grow, change, experience new things and giving my son a family that love him to the moon and back. We feel truly blessed.

The hardest thing about being a parent?

worrying if you are doing saying the right thing. Always weighing up whether certain behaviours or phases are adoption related or just simply ‘normal’

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child?

laugh, be happy, have fun, be wise, explore the world

What time do you go to bed?

11pm, too late for us! but bed time routine is taking several hours at the moment so our evening ends up starting much later and we need down time.

Questions #8 A peek into how we do family.

Photo by Lili Gooch

Photo by Lili Gooch

How and when does your child/children wake you in the morning?
If we are lucky, we wake him.
Why adoption?
Because of personal circumstance and we wanted to have a family.
Because it is great to be able to give a child a safe, loving, stable
home they might not otherwise have had. Because it is a fascinating
journey and one that makes you understand and appreciate life more
fully.
From start of assessment to bringing your child home how long did the
process take?
2 years.
How could it be improved?

It is less about the speed and more about the right match. Permanency plans should be (continued to be) considered for any child considered at risk as early as possible.
What has been the biggest surprise?
The physical challenge.

How was the assessment process?
Long. At times difficult and frustrating. Thorough.
What’s your favourite thing to do together?
Read. Play. Sitting on a beach with child between us, having a snack.
What makes you and your family laugh?
A lot of little things.
The best thing about being a parent?
Getting a spontaneous kiss or cuddle.
The hardest thing about being a parent?
Lack of sleep.
The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child?
Don’t judge your parents too harshly until you have children of your own.
What time do you go to bed?
11pm.

The Questions #7 A peek into how we do family.

Photo by Lili Gooch

Photo by Lili Gooch

How and when does your child/children wake you in the morning?

Our oldest has always been an early riser so averages 5.30, thankfully the baby sleeps in a bit and this morning he had a lie in until 7.30 am !!
Why adoption?

I always knew I wanted to adopt after many years working in the voluntary sector with vulnerable children and I just knew it was something I wanted to do. When I met Hubbie we talked about it and he agreed that our family would include adopted children. We now have a birth child and an adopted child, both are much loved and very much our children.
From start of assessment to bringing your child home how long did the process take?

The long answer is it started some years ago, but was interrupted by the birth of our son. The short answer is it took 2 years from when we approached our local authority to when we were matched.

How could it be improved?

The process has been made quicker, but it does appear that it’s missing some scrutiny and consistency. We have had a number of social workers and they’ve given us conflicting information. We also had to keep asking for additional support post match which we had expected would be available to us anyway.

What has been the biggest surprise?

How well our son has adapted to our family and how we feel he is one of us.

How was the assessment process?

It was ok, but did cause some consternation when we were made to repeat ourselves and the process how involves a lot more input from prospective adopters which means the social workers are not overseeing the content as much. Overall as we had been through the process before we were familiar with it, but if we were new to it I think we’d have felt quite alone in the process.

What’s your favourite thing to do together?

We love to play outside in the garden and eat together and we have just started to take him swimming as he loves his baths so much.
What makes you and your family laugh?

We love to sing and dance together and we joke and laugh all the time – mostly at each other.

The best thing about being a parent?

I love seeing my children laughing, playing and hearing their funny comments on life. It’s wonderful seeing the joy on one of my son’s faces when they do something for the first time.

The hardest thing about being a parent?

Letting them do things that might hurt or upset them. I want to protect my children from anything that might harm them, but I know I can’t always do that.

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child?

Kindness is a very important quality to have – one that will do well for you in life.

What time do you go to bed?

I try to go to bed around 10pm, but often it runs later than that and I always regret it when my sons wake up at an unearthly hour.

The Questions #6 A peek into how we do family.

Photo by Lili Gooch

Photo by Lili Gooch

How and when does your child/children wake you in the morning?

Our son usually gets up between 6 and 6.30 and brings duvet,pillows and all soft toys off his bed and then turns into the spin cycle of the washing machine as soon as he gets on our bed. The joys!

From start of assessment to bringing your child home how long did the process take?

The process was 3 long years from start to littley coming home.

What has been the biggest surprise?

The biggest surprise to me was how much I resented my me time disappearin

 

How was the assessment process?

The process was fine but took forever it seemed.

What’s your favourite thing to do together?

Cuddles together watching a DVD and going for walks as a family are the favs. My husband makes us laugh when I get too serious he can always lighten the situation.

Best thing about parenting?

Watching the changes happen over the years. How little man is becoming more confident to try things and to now be more affectionate to us both. He couldn’t show affection before and it was upsetting to see him.
The hardest thing about being a parent?

Never stopping worrying about him when he isn’t by my side.Loving him so much( sometimes it brings me to tears).Being older parents means we get more tired than we thought we would.

What time do you go to bed?

Usually fall asleep on sofa around 10ish for an hour then wake and go to bed.

The Questions #5 A peek into how we do family.

Photo by Lili Gooch

Photo by Lili Gooch

How and when does your child/children wake you in the morning?

Our 18 month old sleeps in her own room. We used to wake to her chatting to herself in her cot bed, but more recently she has been less patient or possibly more anxious. In any case, she now tends to cry out for us in the morning. We go to get her up and either get up for breakfast or, if it’s still too early, bring her into our bed for snuggles and sometimes a bit more sleep before we all get up.

Why adoption?

For us adoption seemed right for a number of reasons. Firstly, as a same sex couple we would not be able to conceive a child naturally and if one of us were to have insemination then we felt this may create an imbalance with the non-biological parent in the couple. Neither of us have ever felt a strong urge to be pregnant or to pass on our genes. We did, however, really want a family and we felt we could love a child who is not biologically ours. With so many children needing a loving home in this country, it seemed a good choice.

From start of assessment to bringing your child home how long did the process take?

2 years

How could it be improved?

So many ways!! We had four different social workers and there were a lot of delays and very poor communication from our agency throughout. More coherent management of our ‘case’ would certainly have reduced the delays and reduced our stress.

What has been the biggest surprise?

I guess how easily we have bonded as a family.

How was the assessment process?

Fine. Could have been a bit quicker and more coherent but was ok.

What’s your favourite thing to do together?

Explore the outdoors!

What makes you and your family laugh?

Chasing, tickling, dancing, being silly in general.

The best thing about being a parent?

Innocence and wonder.

The hardest thing about being a parent?

Backache!

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child?

Be yourself.

What time do you go to bed?

Between 10-11pm.

The Questions #4 A peek into how we do family.

Photo by Lili Gooch

Photo by Lili Gooch

How and when does your child/children wake you in the morning?

Both girls wake at 7am. On the dot. Without fail. Whichever one wakes first usually starts calling ‘daddy’ louder and louder until one of us goes in to them but sometimes they will amuse themselves by jumping up and down in their cots.

Why adoption?

Being a gay couple it was either adoption or surrogacy. There are so many children needing adoption we felt that surrogacy wasn’t for us.

From start of assessment to bringing your child home how long did the process take?

18 months from going to the open day to the girls arriving.

 

How could it be improved?

It could be better joined up around the country, with more consistency across agencies and more joint working to ensure that children do not wait in care unnecessarily.

What has been the biggest surprise?

How overcome with happiness (and tears) I can get when doing simple things like reading a story, or playing houses with the girls or watching them play with each other.

How was the assessment process?

Some of it felt necessarily long and there was a fair amount of duplication. The problem is that during the process one puts up with it as one wants to have a happy ending. Afterwards one is too busy with ones new family life to help change the system.

What’s your favourite thing to do together?

Singing songs together and cuddling.

What makes you and your family laugh?

Tickling each other and doing silly dances.

The best thing about being a parent?

Seeing a little personality develop.

The hardest thing about being a parent?

It’s relentlessness.

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child?

The world is your oyster.

What time do you go to bed?

I absolutely refuse to go to bed before 11pm, which generally means I am asleep on the sofa by about 10pm

The Questions #3 A peek into how we do family.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow and when does your child/children wake you in the morning?

We have 2 children, 7 & 3, I imagine you can guess who wakes us up before 7am every single morning! Our 7 year old is more than happy sleeping in or playing quietly in her bedroom, just need the 3 year old to learn this skill now.

Why adoption?

I was volunteering in an orphanage (we adopted from Russia) and simply fell head over heels for one of the babies. Hadn’t thought about it before, was definitely not part of the plans my then fiancé and I had talked about but when it happened out of the blue and so completely we just knew it was the only thing we wanted to do.

 

From start of assessment to bringing your child home how long did the process take?

Just under 2 years.

What has been the biggest surprise?

How amazing our little girl is, the way she has adapted and flourished after such a tough start and how much like me she looks!

How was the assessment process?

Long and stressful as many people (including adoption professionals) told us it couldn’t be done. We adopted independently with no agency or lawyer so we did a lot of it ourselves with few previous cases or experienced people to talk to.

What’s your favourite thing to do together?

Be out as a family exploring new places. Camping. Going to the beach and generally being active.

What makes you and your family laugh?

The kids love doing ‘shows’ for us, which usually involve more rehearsals than actual performance time but there’s always some great moves and made up songs.

The best thing about being a parent?

Knowing that my children are happy. Cuddles and being Mummy.

The hardest thing about being a parent?

Not losing my patience over silly things because of the pressures of daily routine. Refereeing!

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child?

Give everything a go and enjoy whatever happens.

What time do you go to bed?
Depending on husbands shifts and what book I’m reading between 10 and 11pm.