Tracing Families

I was born in Edinburgh in 1980, and it is probably fair to say that my initial start to life was not the greatest.

My Story

I was born in Edinburgh in 1980, and it is probably fair to say that my initial start to life was not the greatest. As a baby, I was ill quite a lot, and my biological mother; who was very young at the time, was not well enough equipped to deal with herself, her family, and the task of raising an infant.

After about 8 or 9 months I was taken into foster care by a very kind and loving family who doted on me. Apparently, I was exceptionally bright yet mischievous at the same time. Some things do not change.

I was formally adopted just before my 2nd birthday and since that day I’ve always been thankful that my parents chose me, I couldn’t have picked better parents myself.

The fact I was adopted was never hidden from me. I was given two photo albums that had pictures and little paragraphs outlining every detail from my birth right up until I was 7 years old when my parents gave me the albums. I found it interesting and humbled that people had gone to the time and effort in order to do that. I felt it was a good way for me to get my head around it personally. There were no tantrums or questions that I really felt I had to ask, as far as I was concerned my parents were my parents and I was happy.

When I was 20, I looked into the possibility of trying to find my birth mother. I have never held a grudge or anything in regards to being put up for adoption regardless of what went on in the past, one day the idea simply came to me. I did some research and met with an adoption counsellor who advised me how to proceed further if I wanted to. After pondering about it for a couple of weeks, I decided to leave it. I honestly cannot remember why I did not pursue the matter then, though maybe deep down I felt maybe, someone might come looking for me instead. Funnily enough, they did…

Getting in Touch with Scottish Adoption

Nearly two years ago, I phoned my parents about visiting with my Fiancée on my birthday. While on the phone my mum told me that I had had a letter from Scottish Adoption enquiring as to my identity and if I was the correct person they were looking for. I just had a funny feeling I knew what was coming, but I left it until I came home to visit and gave Scottish Adoption a call. I spoke to Julie the counsellor, who told me that I had a half sister called Fiona who wanted to get in contact with me.

After a short period we arranged to write letters to each other, a good way of breaking the ice. It became obvious quite quickly that we shared quite a bit in common, despite me finding out she was nearly 13 years younger than me. Our sense of humour was one thing in common, facially to it was obvious after swapping pictures, and I am normally rubbish at spotting that type of stuff.

It freaked her out a bit before we swapped photos when Fiona asked what I looked like as I jokingly told her I was a 5 foot 6 inch Ginger haired sibling, when in fact we are both dark haired with freckles, and I’m actually 6 feet tall. I found that quite funny at the time when I was writing to her and I knew she would get the joke… eventually! We had other things in common, things like music, jobs I had done, Fiona liked the same music and was doing the similar types of jobs.

Even College courses were similar as we are both interested in sports. I think the decisive factor for me was when I found out that both Fiona and her family supported the same football team as me. Her mum was already having kittens at the other coincidences as it was!

From Letters to Email

Our letters continued back and forward for about a year, and then moved onto emailing. Trying to find a date to meet was quite tricky due to different things going on in both our lives, but we got there. We met recently in Edinburgh, firstly at the Scottish Adoption offices with Julie and Fiona’s mum both present. We chatted for a couple of hours and swapped photos etc. Then we both went into town for lunch, to get to know each other a bit better away from it all, just the two of us.

It was a weird day in that I was not nervous at all. I was more concerned that she would be ok with everything rather than my own personal feelings. It all went great, Fiona said so too and I do not think she was lying…

I think the fact that it had taken nearly two years from first contact, to actually meeting, helped us too. The age difference was one thing that could have been an issue. Rushing into a meeting might have left us both a bit, not disappointed, but maybe a little unsure. Getting to know each other’s sense of humour and things, eased all that. She will probably go all shy at me for putting this down on paper! She is funny, just not quite as much as me and she definitely got the looks out of us both.

I am her big brother and have grown quite protective of her already… in a good way. She is my little sister and I would not change that for anything.

Our Social Worker’s perspective

Fiona had been in touch a few times through her teenage years.  Initially looking for more information about her adoptive story and as she got older looking for her older birth sibling.  Her adoptive parents were supportive and involved each step of the way.

We did not locate David the first few times that we looked for him but two years ago when I did another search, I found an address that was potentially his parents.  Fiona and I met and we agreed that I would send them a letter for David and ask them to forward it onto him.

Fiona knew that it might be the wrong address and that even if we did find him he might not want to have contact.  We were also sure that he was unaware of her existence.

David rang and I explained that he had a younger sister who would like to have contact with him.  He had not known he had a sister and whilst excited, he took time to discuss it with his Fiancée and parents before committing to having contact.  It was important that David had the same information about his birth family that Fiona had before they started getting in touch with each other.  Therefore, time was taken to share information about his birth mother who had died many years previously and to share his adoption records with him.

We then started the business of letters going back and forth between David and Fiona – to keep everyone’s confidentiality all correspondence comes through Scottish Adoption.

Fiona was heading off overseas for a while so we moved to e-mail correspondence still through myself.

After about eighteen months, we started to talk about when David and Fiona would meet.  A lot of thought and chat went into this first meeting, which happened here at Scottish Adoption.  Fiona brought her Mum along for support while David came alone.  Everyone was very nervous (even David) but they quickly relaxed and chatted for a couple of hours, sharing photos and stories from their childhoods.  The meeting went so well that Fiona and David felt comfortable to head off to lunch together.  My role in their relationship is over now as they continue their contact independently although I am always here if they want to make contact with me in future.

The time taken for Fiona and David to get to know each other through letters and e-mails was invaluable as it allowed them to build the beginnings of a relationship in a safe and supported way.  When they finally met, it was at a time that both felt ready for this step.   By taking things slowly and with support they have begun what will be a positive relationship through the rest of their lives.  Their families and David’s partner were also on this journey with them, and the time taken to get to know each other prior to the meeting also allowed them to adjust to the idea of their child/partner having a sibling, and making space for this person in all their lives.

Scottish Adoption Experience

It is hard to summarise the support given to us by Scottish Adoption into a few paragraphs, given that they have offered us such varied and tailored support over the years.

It is hard to summarise the support given to us by Scottish Adoption into a few paragraphs, given that they have offered us such varied and tailored support over the years, but here goes:

Scottish Adoption, and particularly our social worker, have taken the time to get to know us and our needs, both as a couple and laterally as a family. The support they offer is always thoughtful and tailored towards our needs. We have attended Theraplay sessions, which helped us to focus on using fun to help us meet our son’s attachment needs. These sessions provided us with new ideas and games to engage with our child at a time when things were proving difficult for him. They also offered us the opportunity to engage with other parents and develop further support networks.

Approachable

We have always felt it possible to approach Scottish Adoption when in times of difficulty. Post adoption, we’ve always felt that our social worker knew us well, and we’ve felt trust in her. As a result, whenever in times of crisis we have felt no qualms about lifting the telephone and asking for support. Knowing us well she has always been able to spot when we need to see her and has managed to take the time to come out and talk with us. She’s always had insight and great ideas to circumvent the most varied of behaviours from our son and has also been able to help us explore why certain behaviours may be challenging for us as parents. Above all, she’s listened non-judgementally and offered us support.

With the support of Scottish Adoption we have been able to parent our child therapeutically, to help him develop from an anxious, frightened child, to a loving, caring, funny and charming young man. He is still only very young, but thanks to the support we have received, we now realise that we, as parents, have what it takes to support him on his journey to greatness.

Adoption has been far more challenging than we ever could have realised when sitting in the room at that first information meeting, but by far, the best thing that we have ever done in our lives.

Pre Placement Preparation Group

We recently held a Pre-Placement Preparation Group and asked if someone would be able to write about their experience of the group so we could share their experiences online with everyone.

We recently held a Pre-Placement Preparation Group and asked if someone would be able to write about their experience of the group so we could share their experiences online with everyone.

Why we have a Pre-Placement Day:

The Pre-placement Day arose out of recognition that the early days and weeks of a child coming home to its adoptive parents are both

(a)    really important in helping children start to build attachments, safe and security to their parents

(b)   can feel totally overwhelming for adoptive parents.

Up to the point of panel whilst there will have been talk about the needs of the children being placed for adoption and the type of parenting they might require.  The focus is naturally on completing the home study and getting approved.  However, after approval there is the opportunity to breathe and relax as the waiting period begins.  This felt like an ideal opportunity for us to meet with adopters and revisit the needs of the child and the different parenting that they might require. Both Introductions and the early days of a child coming home can be very stressful and difficult.  The purpose of the day is to help approved adopters really think about the task ahead and to hopefully equip them with a bag of useful tools. Below is one persons account of the group.

Our First Experience of the Pre-Placement Preparation Group

The invite to the session arrived a few weeks before we went to the approval panel. A tingle of excitement – this was real, something was going happen after all those months of home study. Having attended the evening prep classes over 8 weeks, we wondered how a full day, 9.30am to 4.30pm, would be filled, who would be there, what else could we learn?

There were 10 of us in the group that day – a reunion with one person we’d attended prep classes with – and a real mix of couples and single adopters. Everyone was at slightly different stages in the post-panel approval process. One woman was about to go to a matching panel, one second-time adopter was taking enquiries further with a couple of children, and reassuringly for us just 3 weeks post-approval, a few couples who hadn’t had any profiles sent to them yet.

After an icebreaker exercise to discuss in pairs how we thought a child we each already knew would feel being moved to live with complete strangers, we were fired up and the day flew by.

With plenty opportunity for questions and discussion (which there was a lot of!) Giles and Julie expertly took us through an agenda that included a reflection on how we cope with change and stress ourselves, so we can recognise the impact of placement on us as well as the child, and what our key worries are around placement overall.

We also looked in detail at the next steps of the process including introductions, what to expect and how best to cope, working with foster carers, plus a discussion around the legal process and the varying levels of uncertainty this stage can bring.

There was a group exercise on matching child behaviours with different types of attachment (secure, insecure, ambivalent, avoidant and disorganised), with instruction on achieving the first steps of security for your child, so that they can relax with you and go on to thrive. I thought Giles was particularly helpful in giving verbal examples of what you might actually say to your child in certain situations.

For example, we learned that quite natural and widely accepted forms of discipline that are effective with securely attached children, like the naughty step, where you’re saying to the child “I’m going to withdraw my contact or attention until you behave”, are not constructive with newly adopted children, whatever their age. To sever your newly formed connection or bond in this way sends out the wrong signal, making the child feel completely rejected when they might not yet have the resources to know that this is just a passing behaviour from you.

What we learned to do is say “no” firmly but then immediately reinforce this with warmth and encouragement by saying something like “but we’re fine, me and you, come on – let’s go and do something else”. In this way, we keep the child safe, keep them within our boundaries, but also go a long way to strengthen the bonding between us.

The session on funnelling was also very valuable in how you can get your family and friends to really help this work towards successful and early attachment. We feel much more confident about this aspect now, where before our family thought they may not meet the child for a long time. It’s also reassuring to know that social workers are happy to go out and meet family and friends to help explain the funnelling process and how they can be a part of it.

After the session on legalities, we broke for lunch and went to a nearby café as a group, giving us further opportunity to catch up on each other’s stories. And there were plenty breaks for tea, coffee and too many chocolate biscuits.

The day finished with Julie demonstrating different games that we can play to help with attachment in the early days, but to also help children catch up on developmental stages they may have missed from inconsistent or negligent care. For example, playing peek-a-boo helps children learn permanence: that their parents still exist even when they can’t see them, which is crucial for children to settle in nursery or school, and be relaxed and open to learning.

Again, Julie was great at getting down on the floor and actually showing us the games and talking through their function, so that you could really imagine doing this with your own child.

We found the day really helpful as preparation for placement. It was the usual roller-coaster of emotions, just like the prep classes, but it was reassuring to learn more about the extent of future support that we’ll have access to, like Theraplay, toddler groups, starting school workshops, right up to when our children are teenagers and need to check in again for security around their bigger life decisions.

All we can say is thank you – and bring it on!

Reflections of an Adult Adoptee

One January morning, five years ago, I woke up knowing the time had arrived to search into my past.

One January morning, five years ago, I woke up knowing the time had arrived to search into my past. The prompt seemed to come from a voice inside my head. Purposefully, I leapt out of bed aware that there was no time to waste, since, in a matter of months, I would turn sixty. Not that I considered sixty to be a particularly old age, but because time might be running out to track down my birth mother.

For the previous few years I’d come to doubt that what I’d been told as a child might actually be true. Instead of taking action, I stalled, since I didn’t want to have to acknowledge that my parents had, most likely, lied to me, even though I guessed that it would have been for my protection. My ‘real’ mummy had died, they said, when I asked what happened to her. And even if they had told me the full truth, instead of the explanation designed to put an end to the matter, I hadn’t wanted to start delving until my adoptive mother, who outlived my father by twenty eight years, passed away.

I’d also stalled because I had no real idea where to begin. A few years earlier, a friend who was into ancestry research, suggested that I start with the Citizens’ Advice Bureau. Halfheartedly I lifted the phone and dialled a local number. The ring tone lasted for ages until I replaced the receiver, concluding that it was not meant to be and feeling just a tad relieved. But, on the morning of my epiphany, there was no more excuse as the internet was now at my disposal, I was computer savvy and all I had to do was conduct a google search. I was taken to the website of the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) – an institution which, sadly, no longer exists – filled in an email template and within a short space of time received a hopeful reply.

The wheels were set in motion and a request sent to the Government Registry Office in Southport, Lancashire, because, even though I was living in Edinburgh, my adoption, as a six month old baby, took place in England. I was informed that the details would be sent to a local adoption charity. I have to confess that I was more than a little miffed to discover that there was an apparent snag. It was due to the fact that I was adopted before 1976, the year in which a change in the law came into being, enabling adoptees to obtain details of their birth identity. In order to be given the information I sought, a counsellor would have to assigned to me. Those that were born after that date had a choice in the matter. How wrong I was to consider this a stumbling block, as though the counsellor would somehow stand in my way. Soon I received a reassuring phone call from the person allocated to my case at Scottish Adoption, and I knew then I was in safe hands. It was absolutely essential to be in the presence of an empathetic, well trained and highly skilled professional, since to read my name at birth and that of my birth mother, presented a monumental trauma and was not to be experienced in isolation.

And it didn’t just stop there, as I was to discover that, indeed, my birth mother was still alive, and I desired to find her before it was too late. My counsellor was at the end of the line whenever I needed her to help me come to terms with the gradually unfolding revelations, and to act as an intermediary when required. Close friends said they admired my courage when I announced my intention to search, and while I recognised that it wouldn’t be easy, I had seriously underestimated just how much the information I garnered over time would rock me to the very core of my being. I had no idea just what damage takes place when a child is exposed to prenatal tensions, thoughts of possible abortion and separation from the biological mother, which recent research has revealed. To see a photograph of my birth mother for the very first time, navigate my way through the emotionally turbulent waters of my adoption file, and attempt to integrate with the birth family is not a journey I could have realised, much less undergone safely, without my counsellor being at the helm.

The act of procuring information which was rightfully mine: namely accessing the missing puzzle piece of my infancy as well as my biological heritage, was far from straightforward. The stumbling blocks lay with other institutions and authority figures who might well have denied me this complicated still further by the fact that I was born in England and my counsellor was able to address each issue as it came along. Thanks to her persistence at the time, and her support of mine since then, a highly pleasing result has been achieved. I appreciate, of course, that the ending might not have been a happy one, that my birth mother and also those close to her could well have not wanted any contact with me. It was, then, even more reason to have this back up.

Certainly there have been many ups and downs and moments when I’d wished I’d never gone ahead with my search. But I soldiered on, and only last month did I realise a dream I thought would simply remain that way. Although I had met and stayed with my ninety one year old birth mother a few times, I was finally able to sit down at a pre Christmas meal table with her, also in the company of the younger full sister I never knew I had, and my adoptive cousins. Everyone was happy and interacted well. However, the best part for me was being able to celebrate this achievement by way of a phone call and the sharing of a photograph of the occasion with the person who has accompanied me along the often tortuous way, during which, at times, all seemed lost. My counsellor at Scottish Adoption.

Kirsty and Mark

Kirsty and Mark very kindly took up our offer of doing a video blog instead of writing everything down, and we couldn’t be happier with the result.

Kirsty and Mark are the first to take the Preparation Group Blog to new heights! They very kindly took up our offer of doing a video Blog instead of writing everything down, and we couldn’t be happier with the result. So see for yourself, watch and enjoy!

Week 1 & 2

Week 3

 

Pre School Groups

One of the best thing about becoming a parent through adoption is that you are never really alone.

One of the best thing about becoming a parent through adoption is that you are never really alone. As well as two lovely children, we have also gained new friends and a wonderful support work that we access whenever we need help (much to the envy of some parents we know).

“We have shared the highs, lows and several glasses of wine with the friends we have made through our initial study and whenever we needed professional input Scottish Adoption have been on hand.”

Pre-School Groups

The pre-school toddler groups are a great example of this. These sessions offer a real opportunity for parent and toddler to bond in a safe, dedicated and loving environment. This means laughing together and playing games that are both gentle but stimulating for all participants. Bonding is often an initial “stumbling block” in many adoption placements and these sessions can help promote attachment between child and parent.

The sessions themselves are simple and small (about three or four children with their Mums or Dads and a couple of Scottish Adoption workers to support). We meet, play, sing and have tea and cake and play some more over the course of an hour or two. Of course there is loads of chit-chat and sharing experiences of parenting and adoption, which can be a real relief to talk with people who understand the additional dimension that adoption brings to being a parent.

Games

The games themselves include (my favourite) singing and acting the “Go-so-Fast” song, playing “peek-a-boo”, parent-and-child wrapping each other up in loo roll and then bursting free, drawing pictures, doing body outlines of parent and then drawing outline of child in the parent’s outline (our kids really loved this one), “Find the Cotton Wool Ball”, and many more. All of which help your child to develop and your attachment to grow.

During the group sessions not only did we get time to focus on our children in an appropriate and distraction-free environment (we have two children and finding one-on-one time is very important but quite hard to find – we always go with only one child and one parent), but there are numerous opportunities to network and swap stories with peers in adoption. This can put things in perspective and re-assures us. At the same time our children can play in a way that will reinforce adoption lessons and be creative in an unconditionally loving and familiar environment.

Adoption is a shared adventure for parents and children, and the toddler sessions are a really good way to start out with some fun, play and cake!

Groups

Our son attended the P1 Transition Group and our daughter attended the Girls Group.

Our son attended the P1 Transition Group and our daughter attended the Girls Group.

Girls Group

“It helped me understand that being adopted wasn’t scary or so different. It helped me feel it was a better place to be. And I enjoyed the girls’ group – it was fun!”

Our daughter is quite introspective so the Girls Group allowed her to see that she wasn’t the only girl in her situation and to see that it was fine to talk about her feelings about adoption. She could say things, if she wanted, in a place where she didn’t have to worry about hurting our feelings as parents. While the girls were in the group the parents got a chance to chat with each other which was brilliant. We were really happy that our daughter had some other adopted girls to talk to and be with and she seemed to really enjoy it.

Primary 1 Transition Group

“I absolutely LOVED it, ‘cos you got to sing and do ‘motorboat, motorboat’ and I made nice friends. They were adopted too. You also got to play games”

My son loved his P1 Transition Group. Although he was only a little aware of the reason for the group, I think he really felt connected to the other children. During the week he’d ask “when are we going to Scottish Adoption?” He saw it as a kind of club for children just like him. It did really help him realise that school was something that happened to all children like him and there wasn’t too much to worry about. For us parents it was even more important. We all had worries about our children starting school so it was really brilliant to share our concerns and to discuss things that we hadn’t even thought of. Even without that common link, it was really good to connect with other adoptive parents.

Sharing My Story

From pretty much entering this world, I have always known that that I was adopted.

From pretty much entering this world, I have always known that that I was adopted. Now I am not saying as a little baby I understood this, but what I mean is that my parents have never kept my adoption a secret and nor have they turned it into this major drama. Unlike the way it is portrayed in the movies or in the media when the newest celebrity has adopted from a third world country, I have what technically could be classed as an average “normal” life. Like the features I hold and the physical appearance of my body, being adopted is simply a part of who I am and I for one am very proud to be able to say that. My birth mum was a young Irish Catholic woman who fell pregnant out of wed-lock (which was highly frowned upon) and so faced complete shunning from her family. If she had kept me within those circumstances, then it would have meant that she most certainly could never have given me the life which I have now.

What if?

For me, I have not lived my life with many questions or ever felt a sense of “not belonging” or questioning “who I am” and nor do I have any desire to find my birth parents. The way that adoption can often be perceived, is that all adoptive people must go on a journey of finding out who they are and where they have come from. I for one would just call this a fact of life anyway right? We are all trying to find our way in this world. Don’t get me wrong, I have often thought about what could have been if I hadn’t been adopted. Who would have been my friends? Would I have gotten an education? Would I have been able to see any of the world? What would my family have looked like? But all of these questions simply make me even more grateful for having the family, friends and overall life that I do have and only further secures my identity.

Now don’t get me wrong, although I have this amazing life with an extraordinary family, there are some aspects of adoption which I have found a little difficult and they have occurred at different stages of my life. As a child I was very lucky to be surrounded by friends and children who accepted me for who I was and they were often just inquisitive about what adoption actually was. I never used to shy away and answered all the questions that I could or at least understood at that age.

Difficulties

What did become a little more difficult is when children used to ask and compare what member of their family they looked like, where did they get their height from, their hair colour, who looked more like their siblings etc. I of course could never answer this and as a young child in the playground, when all you want to do is join and fit in, could be a little more difficult. But what I did come to understand is that just because you do not necessarily look like someone physically, there are so many other traits which you will have personality and values wise which accounts for a lot more.  Heading into teenage and adolescent years were perhaps some of the more difficult years as it became evident that the subject of adoption was often a lot more taboo. Telling an adult about being adopted was very different to telling a child; where a child was merely curious, often adults acted embarrassed and awkward, unsure of how to answer and in my experience many people apologising. This led me to feel that I couldn’t be as open with sharing this kind of information with just anyone I met, not to protect me, but to more spare the feelings of others. It was only until I felt I could fully trust someone that I would share my story.

Adoption is Amazing!

As I have become older though and now that I am in my late 20s, I realise that this shouldn’t be the case and in part is the reason why I am writing my story. I want people to know exactly how amazing adoption can be, not only are the parents getting the child that they have always wanted, they are giving a child the gift of life. I have often heard people say the reason why they would be put off adoption is because they worry they may not love the child as much as it isn’t “a part of them”, but I actually believe that they would love them so much more. For anyone who can have a child biologically means that anyone can be a mother or a father, but it takes someone extra special to be a mum and dad. I count my blessings every day that I was adopted, I feel so privileged and blessed for the family that I have.

From my experience, the one piece of advice that I would share with any prospective adoptive parent is always be open and honest.

From my experience, the one piece of advice that I would share with any prospective adoptive parent is always be open and honest. Do not shy away from telling you son or daughter where they have come from and instead celebrate in the fact that they are even more special to you. Adoption should not be a taboo subject and in order to make sure that it is not, it must first come from within.

Adopted Young Adult

Sometimes I wonder if many other people have gone through what I have gone through, have felt the same emotions and feelings I have felt…

Belonging

Sometimes I wonder if many other people have gone through what I have gone through, have felt the same emotions and feelings I have felt, shed the tears that I have shed and experienced the joys and happiness that I have experienced, asked the many questions I have asked, had the arguments that I have had, thought about the future like I have thought, and had to endure the daunting thought that your life could have turned out to be something completely different, with different people, different faces, different holidays, different home. That is the adventure of being adopted.

From the moment that I was born, “a little bundle of joy”, I was destined to lead a life different from others. My birth mother was young, un-married, had no career prospects or a supportive family; circumstance’s really, she could never have been able to offer me a life as I have now

Adoption, it’s not like you see in the movies, nothing like it at all, in fact, being adopted is something really special and in my case was not confusing or hectic, I don’t have this whole past life story full of traumatic events, and so far I have led a completely “normal” life. However being adopted has most definitely had an impact on my life in more ways than one. Despairing times and amazing times. I feel blessed that I was adopted. There is no knowing where I could have ended up, Paris living on the Champs Elysees, daughter of an artist, or even living a superstar lifestyle in California who knows I could have ended up with celebrity parents such as Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, older sister to their adopted bi-racial son, Connor. I feel fortunate I wasn’t as they are now divorced and I would have been a child of a broken marriage!

Holiday Confusion

However there was a time in my life, when on what should have been an amazing holiday in Australia, sailing around the Great Barrier Reef on a beautiful yacht with friends, at the age of ten, the questions started to rush around my brain, all the, Why’s, the When’s and the How’s. I was bombarded with them. I felt heart heavy, heartbroken, heartsick to think that, this wasn’t my “real” family. These emotions of rage, sadness and confusion led to me taking it out on my mum. The black beast of hate in my breast filled me with a resentment and loathing for my adopted mother. I felt like Jekyll and Hyde, two different people, two split emotions fighting within me. I know I loved my mum but still there was a nagging feeling of guilt that my love should only lie with my birth mum. Grief, pain and melancholy over came me, was my life a living lie?

Assaulted by the Why’s, the When’s and the How’s, I had to have answers. I could not bring myself to ask my mum, she had told me why I was adopted, but I needed a thorough and deeper understanding and although she had provided me with all the essentials I needed, she could not provide me with this and I didn’t want her to.

Mum Knows Best

Fortunately for me, my Mum saw how troubled and lost I was feeling at this time, she looked for help and found it by getting in touch with the Scottish Adoption Services, that’s when I met Kathryn. I felt that I could say things to Kathryn that I couldn’t express to my Mum without the fear of hurting her feelings, through talking and asking questions with Kathryn slowly over time I began to feel happier and gained a greater understanding about my adoption that allowed me to feel at peace. On the up side of this process I met four other girls that had been adopted. I had never met another adopted person before apart from my brother! This experience showed me that there were others out there who had been in my shoes; I found that these girls I befriended each had a completely different adoption story.

I am now glowing inside to know that I have such a caring and loving family. I have resolved my questions and fears and look to the future with an optimistic heart and being adopted is not going to stop me or change anything. From a young girl who felt displaced and confused, I look now at all the amazing people I have met and the wonderful friendships I hold so deeply in my heart. My cousin  always tells me “how weird it would be without [me]”.

I am adopted. I belong. I am a part of my family.

Single Adopter

I approached Scottish Adoption after having researched various agencies and the local authority.

I approached Scottish Adoption after having researched various agencies and the local authority. I had an initial meeting before being warmly invited onto a Prospective Adopters Preperation Group which was followed by the 6 month Home Study process. The approval panel followed the home study and it was an unanimous YES! I was now approved and the family finding porcess started. Not long after my approval panel I was linked and then matched with a lovely little boy.

I have received great support from Scottish Adoption throughout the process whom I found to be very friendly, professional and approachable.

“Adoption has been both rewarding and challenging in equal measure and I’m very grateful to Scottish Adoption for its ongoing help and assistance”

I have also enjoyed various networking opportunities to meet with other adoptive parents and children. Just today, I was able to help contribute to refining the agency processes and procedures for future parents by taking part in a focus group – I would certainly have no hesitation in recommending Scottish Adoption for those looking to build their families through adoption.