Stevan’s Voice

Stevan’s Voice

“am I your baby now?” Stevan shares his 100 Voices story!

Stevan, on the right, with husband Denis.

My husband and I spoke about having children early on in our relationship and as time went on we knew that adoption was the right choice for us. We reached out to several agencies and felt that Scottish Adoption was the one agency that we felt at home with. We had our initial interview and before we knew it we were invited onto prep group which fuelled our fire to continue our journey.

We went into the adoption process with the mindset of ‘we want one child, as young as possible with no contact with birth family’, prep group really opened our eyes and we came away saying we wanted a sibling group of any age and were keen to have the birth family contact. This was down to learning in prep group just how important each child’s story is to them.

We began our home study with our social worker who gave us the opportunity to learn what type of family we could be and how that would look. The in depth process really helped us personally as it made us look at our strengths and weaknesses as a couple as well as individuals. The home study was also a personal favourite part of mine as I used each visit with our social worker as time to reflect on my own life and experiences. It helped that she made each visit a happy session filled with laughter even though we were discussing some hard life experiences. We then were invited to panel to be approved as adoptive parents which thankfully was a very relaxed meeting and made us feel we were ready for the next steps as the unanimous yes came straight away. The next stage was the one that I genuinely found the hardest, the search for our children. Our search meant receiving different profiles of sibling groups, being invited to exchange days and looking through an online platform of children needing homes around the UK.

We finally matched with a sibling group made up of two brothers and the rest as they say is history. We were quickly rushed to matching panel and before we knew it the process of meeting our sons became a reality. We sent them photos and videos introducing ourselves before our initial first meeting so they already knew us as dad and daddy. The first day of introductions is one I cannot remember fully as the emotions we felt were something I have never experienced before. Two things I do remember is stepping out of the car and hearing “it’s dad and daddy” being screamed at the top of our younger sons voice and later in that same meeting my younger son climbing into my arms like a baby and asking “am I your baby now?” These are two moments I will cherish for the rest of my life.

The boys returned home to live with us after ten days of introductions and life quickly became normal, that is not to say we didn’t have low points; the boys had bouts of regression where they struggled to live with us and us with them. There were difficult times within the family and ultimately and rightly we had to reach out for support. I felt a lot of shame and guilt having to ask for help, however our social worker worked through everything with us and it made our family even stronger.

One year on and the adoption order was granted and the boys were officially part of our family which helped them settle into life more than we knew possible. They began growing and putting on weight, they had blossoming red cheeks and they told everyone in school they never have to move again!

The days have since turned into years and now seven years on we haven’t regretted a single decision even with a turbulent few days, weeks or months throughout the years. Through it all we are a happy family and I can’t imagine the boys not being in our lives. 

After a few years of the boys being with us my husband and I felt we had to give back to Scottish Adoption so volunteered to speak at information events about our journey, this then lead to me taking up a role as a parent practitioner within the team. This would see me support newly adoptive families in the early days of placement and allow them to have a listening ear through some of the highs and lows of the process. During this time I was asked to train up in Theraplay which is a technique used to help build attachment and engagement with the parents and children, this then saw me applying to become a support worker with Scottish Adoption in the after adoption team. I now get to work more closely with families and children through various groups and one to one sessions. I honestly can say this is one of the best jobs I have ever had as not only am I supported amazingly well by all of the team, we work closely together to ensure the best possible support is available to new and older families throughout the agency and every day I learn something new from the fantastic team.

We have more recently been approved as foster carers and are currently taking in children for short breaks which has been a massively rewarding experience not only for us but our sons as well. The boys are getting to meet children from similar backgrounds and this helps the foster children feel safe and are able to communicate their own stories as they feel secure enough with our boys sharing their own stories of foster care. I never expected life as an adoptive parent and foster carer to be as rewarding and exciting as it has been so far. 

Also a very happy 100th Birthday to Scottish Adoption & Fostering, without you all I wouldn’t be sitting here writing any of this!