Published on
18 October 2021
Woman hugging girl

My boys had grown up and I knew I had the time, love and space to care for another child and add to my forever family. As I work in the education sector with child protection and looked-after children, I had seen first-hand some of the terrible situations children can experience, and I also saw the huge difference that adoption can have on a child. I knew that I would be able to make a difference in a child’s life.  

I started my adoption journey with Barnardo's with a telephone call to them the week before Christmas, having seen online that there was going to be an open evening for potential adopters. From that first conversation on the phone, I really felt that I mattered and was important to Barnardo's. 

Over the next 18 months I had lots of meetings with my fantastic allocated social worker and attended several face-to-face group meetings where we were given ‘warts and all’ information about what we were letting ourselves in for.  

The biggest challenge was the frustration at having to wait so long, I was always eager to get to the next step! Completing my questions and attending meetings, going to the panel, being approved, finding a match, meeting my daughter – it all took time. But in hindsight it gave me chance to process the huge changes that were happening and enabled me to get the perfect match with my daughter.   

The rewards are endless, she brings me so much joy and is a happy, helpful, kind and empathetic person. She has blossomed from a little girl into an amazing, confident and independent young lady that I am so proud to call my daughter.
Woman hugging girl on sofa

In the early days I was in regular contact with my Barnardo’s social worker while she got to know me, either for 1-to-1 meetings where I had to answer lots of questions or attending support groups and information-sharing meetings. This all helped to prepare me for the journey I was about to take.  

After my daughter was placed with me, I had regular follow-up meetings and phone calls to check we were both okay. 

My daughter is amazing and has brought me immense joy. She really is a ray of sunshine and has made a quiet house full of life again. She has an amazing relationship with my family, and I can't imagine a life before having her. 

From that first phone call I became part of the Barnardo’s family, nothing is too much trouble for them. I had the same social worker for the entire process and nearly five years on I still have the same support from them if I need it.

The regular get-togethers have enabled me to build great friendships with other adopters. My daughter also found these invaluable in the early days. They helped her realise that she wasn’t the only person in the world who was adopted!  

Do your research and make sure you are in the right place emotionally, but do it! I can't put into words the difference it has made to my life. In the words of my daughter:  

Mummy, I think I am going to adopt when I am grown-up because then I can change someone’s life, just like you did.

If you’re interested in adopting with us, the first thing to do is fill in our online enquiry form below and one of our expert advisors will be in contact. 

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