Tom has suddenly, and inexplicably out of the blue, agreed that we should start our own family. This is big news and we start to discuss how we might make it happen - surrogacy, adoption, or sleeping with one of our lesbian friends… I’m glad to say we quickly (and definitively) ruled out option three without much deliberation, and although both of us would have liked to have had a biological ‘link’ to the child it somehow felt weird that one of us would be ‘more linked’ than the other.
Adoption felt right to both of us as the way in which to proceed. So we started to do some research into the process of adoption. How long it would take? What would be expected of us? Where would we start? When would the kids arrive?
I’d heard a story about a couple not being able to adopt because their house wasn’t big enough. Tom and I had made the decision that we’d like to try for a sibling group and were pretty sure that our lovely, but small, two-bed house in London wasn’t going to cut the mustard.
One of our first ports of call was First4Adoption* who spoke to us about the housing issue. They pointed out the children might need separate rooms depending on their age and sex but also that they should have enough room to play and sleep. They also told us that we couldn’t start the process until we were living in the house that the children would live with us in.
And so began a nine-month long process of selling and buying a house. If ever I had any doubts about Tom truly wanting children they were put to rest one day when we were house-hunting. After viewing what felt like a million houses, all with the same pros and cons, we were in a house that had way more pros. I really liked it and thought we’d found the one when Tom turned to me and said “I just can’t see our kids running about in that garden”. Wow! This was a breakthrough and lovely to hear.
Thankfully, the following weekend we found a house that ticked every box and had a lovely huge garden with lots of other families in the area and wasn’t too far from where we were currently living. So in November 2014 we moved into our new house in suburbia.
Our original plan was to start the adoption process in February 2015 but after going to a number of welcome meetings (more about these in a later post) we discovered that the process could potentially take far less time than we had expected. If everything went to plan we could have two children living with us by the end of the year and neither of us are quite ready for that just yet.
So we decided after the stress of moving house, builders working around us at home, and time on our side to have the summer to ourselves.
* First 4 Adoption (www.first4adoption.org.uk) is funded by the DfE and offers impartial advice on adoption in England. They are able to answer questions and put you in touch with other agencies that might be able to help you further.
My husband and I have adopted two wonderful children. Duckling is 5 and Gosling, her little brother, is 3. I'll be keeping track of our journey here...