One of the wonderful things about our adoption journey so far has been meeting so many people who have been willing to support and guide Tom and me. Most of these meetings have been virtual, having ‘met’ people through Twitter, blog posts and forums.
But we have also met some in real life too. Last month we went to a New Family Social event at a bar in London and met up with around six other LGBT couples – all of whom are at very different stages of the adoption process. There was one couple who were considering adoption and wanted to find out more, us in stage two, a few couples who were approved and waiting for a match, a couple who were about to start introductions, and one half of a couple who have had their children for about a year (the other half was at home with the kids).
It was great for us as we had so many people ahead of us in the process so we were able to quiz them on what more to expect, and what their experience had been like with different agencies and local authorities. Crucially, we were able to ask about any challenges that might be particular to LGBT parents. Thankfully no-one had encountered any issues or bigotry whatsoever and, most importantly, that the children were totally unfazed by having two dads. This seems to be the case with most of the LGBT parents we’ve spoken to.
If I’m honest, neither Tom or I were particularly looking forward to the event as we really didn’t know what to expect and we aren’t that into the gay scene anymore. We agreed to stay for one drink and arranged a code word that would enable a swift exit. But by the end, we’d stayed for four drinks (on a school night!) and had a really nice evening. We’ve since been in touch with one of the couples and Tom has received a few Facebook friend requests.
New Family Social organises a whole host of events throughout the year including play dates, summer camps and day trips, as well occasional drinks for the adults. Knowing that there are other families out there going through the same experiences as us and our future children really makes us feel safe.
We’re really looking forward to the next event. And if it is drinks again, we’ll take the following morning off.
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...