My phone rang at work, and I scribbled down notes as a social worker spoke: “Girl, five years old; feisty, screams a lot, communication issues, charismatic, likes grapes, unidentified triggers, when can we see you?”. Two months later and there she stood – tiny – on my doormat; delivered unceremoniously along with three heartbreaking black bin bags full of stuff.
The journey adoption takes you on is extraordinary. It brings out the very best – and some of the worst – in me. Not only have I discovered skills and resources I never knew I had, but I have this amazing, tenacious child to inspire me every single day. Our family is a jam-packed adventure filled with love, challenge, tears – and triumph.
I first started thinking about adoption at age 14. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to have ‘my own’ kids, it’s just that I did want to ‘scoop up someone who had been through the wringer’. For me this was option one. I mulled it over for years, and when I finally made the call to Families for Children, I instantly knew they were the agency for me because of the services and support they provide; just as I knew Laura was the one the moment I took that call.
The whole process of assessment period, passing panel and finding Laura took just 15 months; a total whirlwind. I really got to know my family social worker, and this helped no end during the delicate matching process and beyond. She is our Guardian Angel, and together we make quite a formidable team.
The first day I met Laura there was an instant and profound unspoken promise between us, that whatever life had to throw at us, we would tackle it – together.
Adoption is a different kind of parenting, but as a family we are just the same. I see it as a privilege that she has learned to trust me, and follows my lead to help her discover the lightness and joy in her life, and to make sense of her difficult past. Watching her grow and blossom makes me realise with every day that this is the best thing I have ever done.
I can’t imagine my life without her.
Find us and hear more of our story at The Mumdrah Diaries