We had been asked by Tanya and Gloria, the children’s social workers, if we would consider meeting with Lauren, their birth mum. Having already discussed this with Denise, our social worker, we knew it would be in the children’s best interest, and actually of all of ours, so we immediately said yes.
It was one of the most heartbreaking experiences of my life.
Lauren was tiny and clearly devastated by what was happening. She was wearing a lovely dress and a necklace and had clearly made an effort in how she looked – I suppose this image is how we’ll describe her to the children in the future.
We asked questions of each other. Ours were about the children’s past – where their names came from, their birth stories, and any special stories from their early years. It was great hearing all this as it would enable us to give them a much clearer idea of their past.
Lauren asked us about how we, as two men, would look after BG’s needs, what kind of house we lived in, the contact arrangements, and how we’d look after the children in general. We were able, with the social workers’ help, to reassure her that we would love them and look after them.
Throughout the meeting she kept saying thank you which must have been an awful thing for her to have to say, but it felt like she had begun to make some peace with what was happening – I hope so.
We promised to send her letters each year and ensured her that we wouldn’t let the children forget her or, as she was worried about, hate her.
Lauren has promised to keep up with the contact arrangements and has said she’s going to pass on the children’s scan photos, early photographs, and other mementos from their time with her, which will be amazing for the children.
The meeting was over in about twenty minutes and after a lot of tears from everyone we had our picture taken with Lauren for the life story book, had a big hug and said goodbye.
I came away from the meeting knowing that Lauren loved her children more than anything in the world – but unfortunately she was unable to look after them in a safe, nurturing and appropriate way. Seeing that love with my own eyes and being able to tell that to the children in the future will hopefully be of huge benefit for them.
I can’t imagine the pain Lauren was in when we left her behind with the social workers, but I hope that meeting us has given her some solace knowing that the children will grow up in a loving, safe and secure home.
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...