I met my partner when I was 22 and soon afterwards started talking to him about adopting children.
When I was 26/27, I started considering adoption more seriously, gathering information from websites and by talking to people who knew more about it and had even adopted themselves. After hearing the stories of several adoptive parents and how their decisions were life-changing, my partner and I reached the decision to adopt and embark in this marvellous adventure.
We eventually applied to adopt in Germany (where we were living at the time), but it didn’t work out, neither through state social services, nor through private agencies.
We then moved to the UK where we applied through Manchester City Council in 2007 and, after a short period of training, we carried out the interview and assessment procedure.
In 2011 we finally met our children, a two-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl, siblings who were placed with us for adoption in September 2011. The court adoption orders were issued in June 2012.
We cannot say it’s been a completely smooth process, but it has surely been a worthwhile one. The assessment is a time-consuming exercise, but it also offered us the opportunity to reflect about our lives, where we come from, who we are, and what we still wish to accomplish in life.
Meeting our children and then starting to live with them and forming a family has not been problem-free either. It requires a lot of patience and preparation, and a strong commitment and willingness to change one’s lifestyle and priorities.
Yet, having children undoubtedly gives a new and better meaning to our lives, and no matter if our children are biological or adopted, one is bound to have to deal with challenging moments. I would, therefore, encourage anyone thinking about having children to strongly consider adopting!
The amount of bureaucracy and the time the whole process takes is rather exhausting and trying, but I now consider it necessary to test one’s determination. If one isn’t willing to go through that, then one isn’t probably prepared to deal with what comes afterwards!
Emotionally it’s been very exhausting too. The whole adoption process requires plenty of self-reflection and compromising with one’s partner. Once the children arrive, patience and energy levels are constantly put to the test. One’s relationship is also strained to the limit.
Our experience has showed me that all the training and interview process definitely needs to be taken seriously. No matter how much one prepares, one will always be taken to one’s limits, so it’s better to invest a lot during the preparation stage.
All the paperwork and emotional difficulties were overcome with plenty of energy, patience, determination and communication with my partner: adopting requires plenty of all of these.
Make sure this is really for you, because the more you get into it, the harder it is to get out afterwards. If this is really what you want, don’t give up, it’s all worth it at the end. Get ready for a bumpy ride.