I am mother to two teenagers, adopted as infants. I do have another life, but this blog is about the adoption bit of it. The names used are not our real ones, so as to protect the family’s privacy. We adopted two boys (not biologically related) two years apart. Both joined our family around one year of age. They are domestically adopted from the UK, and both have some mixed (grand) parentage. Billy is now 16 (born 1998) and Jo 14 (born 2000). Jo is transgender and now lives as a girl. Jo, like the rest of her siblings on her mother’s side, was born with alcohol related neurological disorder (ARND), also known as foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). The effects of this common but preventable form of brain injury are both physical and behavioural, and life-long. The progress she has made is, however, remarkable and a joy to see. Billy shows all the symptoms of reactive attachment disorder (RAD) and neurological and behavioural problems associated with early trauma and neglect. He too moves forward with considerable courage and determination. We are proud to be the parents of two very special children.
I am married to Tony, my friend, companion and working partner of over thirty years. We met in college, never dreaming that after years of both wanting and trying to start a family that our ability to work as a team would turn out to be so crucial. It did not come easily to us, but we have grown in the process. When not working or looking after the family, I relax by walking the dogs and keeping chickens in the back garden. The other people who feature prominently in our adoption adventure are the birth families of the children. We have worked hard (well, I have) at building good relationships with as many birth relatives as possible. It was important to the children that we do this, and to us. It has been one of the most rewarding aspects of adoptive parenting. We are confident that when the children are grown up they will be able to continue to feel part of both their adoptive and birth families if they so choose. We were fortunate in that the reasons for their coming into the care of the local authorities were not such that there was any good reason to prevent these contacts taking place.