National Adoption Week 2017 – Our Story

There are over 2000 children waiting to be adopted in England. 61% of these children waiting to be adopted are in sibling groups and desperately need a family to adopt them. During National Adoption Week First 4 Adoption will be working together with the Mirror to do just that.

This week I have been interviewing my beautiful friend Anne-Marie who, along with her husband, agreed to share their journey into adoption.

Hi Anne-Marie and Chris, thank you so much for agreeing to help raise awareness of adoption during National Adoption Week. Could you start by introducing yourself?

AMR – I am Anne-Marie, I am 39 (!!) and live in North Yorkshire with my husband Chris, 41, our 9 year old daughter Harriet and our 2 year old son Austin.

I guess we should start by talking about what led you to initially consider adopting?

CR  – When I was about 20 I watched a documentary about a couple with 3 children, aged 16 and over, who decided to adopt a young Peruvian boy. They happened to comment that the little boy had gained 5 parents n a way, as the older children doted on him. The idea of adopting a child after my own children had grown up seemed like a great thing to do. That’s not how it eventually happened, but it was that documentary which first got me seriously considering adopting.

AMR – I remember when we first got together and Chris mentioned this documentary and his thoughts on adoption. It really stuck in my head as I thought it was unusual for a young guy to feel this way.

We had lots of infertility issues prior to having our daughter and were told the chances of us conceiving naturally were 2%, this obviously hurt us both a lot. After a failed IVF whilst licking our wounds, we found out we were pregnant naturally…a miracle baby!

When our daughter was 2 we decided to try for a second baby but it never happened. We felt so blessed to have her that we never considered IVF again. When our daughter was 5 we started to discuss adopting and that’s how it came about.

How did you both feel about it, were you on the same page? Did you speak to Harriet about it before you started the process?

CR – I was actually the “driver” of our adoption, so was up for it from day one. We did quite a lot of research into what the process entailed before we spoke to Harriet as we didn’t want to mention it and potentially get her hopes up prior to having an idea that we would at least be eligible for adoption.

AMR – It was actually Chris who led it all, we talked about it and I felt if he wanted it that badly he would get the ball rolling. He did just that, we had agencies round within a week!

Did you have any concerns about adopting before you went into the process?

CR – Plenty! But the agency we chose to proceed with (Barnado’s) and particularly  our allocated case-worker were great at answering all of our countless questions. Nothing was off limits! 

AMR – Absolutely! I think you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t. I personally had concerns about our daughter bonding with the new child and how I would feel about the new child given I already had a child I’d given birth to.

What was the first step you took into adopting

CR – A lot of googling before speaking to a selection of agencies (you can only select one to proceed with).

AMR – As Chris said, we also went to an information evening which wasn’t that helpful to be honest so we got on the phone and met with 3 agencies.

Did you go into adoption knowing whether you wanted a son or daughter, or with a specific age in mind?

CR – We were open with regards to sex. Regulations dictate that you can’t adopt children older than any ‘birth children’ (their phrase not ours) you have. So as our daughter was 6 and they also insist on a 4 year age gap, we could only be considered for children 2 years and younger, but this suited us at the time.

AMR – In my heart I wanted a baby but I knew that the chances of that were slim, I didn’t care about the gender of the child. As Chris says, our daughters age dictated we could only really consider children under 2.

Was there any point in the process where you felt that perhaps this wasn’t the right path for your family

CR – Honestly, not for me. But that came as a surprise!

AMR – Yes, I had more reservations than Chris, I think more with my head then Chris, he is all heart. I was scared of the ‘what ifs’ but then if you live like that you’d do nothing. I also put a lot of trust in Chris and he was so positive about it all, I knew we would be OK.

Can you tell us a little about Austin and the first time that you met?

CR – Austin had been identified as being at risk and an order made by the courts that he would be placed for adoption before he was born. As such, he was placed into foster care at birth.

We met Austin for the very first time on day 1 of our ‘Intros Week’ and at the end of which he’d be coming home with us for good! Up until that point all we had were Social Services reports on him and his background and a few photocopied photographs. This initial meeting took place in his foster home, with his foster parents and a couple of social workers also present. It was all a bit surreal!

AMR – I was so nervous and excited all rolled into one that day, it went by in a flash! He was just as gorgeous as he appeared in the photos. It was weird having never met him before to him coming home with us after 7 days!

Did you instantly feel that he was your son, or was that something which came with time?

CR – I think it was different for each of us. I sat holding him that first morning and he fell asleep in my arms. That was it for me.

AMR – I didn’t, I have to be honest, and it’s good to be truthful as to not set unrealistic expectations for others. I was scared that I didn’t but then I didn’t with my daughter either. It took about 3 weeks for me to fully bond with him and see him as our son. It’s hard for me to admit this as I love him so much now!

(I asked a group of parent bloggers if they had any questions about adoption…)

How long can it take from start to finish in the adoption process? It seems there are a lot of myths that it can take years, is this an honest reflection?

CR – There are a whole host of factors to take into account – social services workload, your own circumstances, the amount of children currently in the system, etc.

In our case the “approval process” (us being approved as adopters) took 10 months and once we had been approved the “matching process” (us being matched and approved for a specific child) took at further 9 months.

AMR – It was about 18 months from start to finish, they have really streamlined the programme so children are not kept in care as long as they once were. I know they are still trying to get this down further.

I’d love to know if they considered long term fostering as opposed to adoption and what she thinks the differences are, aside from the legalities?

CR – We looked into “Fostering to Adopt” but as we had our daughter to consider we didn’t want to take the chance of fostering and forming strong bonds with a child whom ultimately could be returned to his or her “birth family”.

AMR – Yes, and also on a practical level you need to give up your job to become a full time foster carer, this is not something I could do at the time.

I would like to know what long term support is offered to adoptive parents and the child once the adoption has gone through?

CR – In our experience – lots! Barnado’s have a great post-adoption support system in place that is always be available to ourselves and Austin should we need them.

AMR – There is so much support – if you want it! We are not pestered by social workers through they are there should we need it. There are training courses, meet ups, family days, parties, so much support on offer!

Friends of mine have had to go through ridiculous rounds of questions, is it always like jumping through never ending hoops?

CR – There’s no denying that the approval process comes across as pretty intrusive. There really are no stones left unturned. However, we soon had an appreciation as to why the process is so thorough and learned not to take any of it personally, or at least that’s what we kept telling ourselves!

AMR – Oh yes, there are a lot of questions, but there needs to be. It’s all about safeguarding and we understood that. There are times when you get tired of the questioning but then you remember why you entered into this and you carry on.

I’d like to know if people’s backgrounds really do make a difference. A lady on an adoption panel once told me that because I came from a fostering environment and had previously had depression, I would be rejected for adopting?

CR – Of course backgrounds can make a difference (serial killers need not apply!), however I have personally met people who have suffered with mental health issues (including depression) who have been approved to adopt. It was raised in a group session we attended and the Social Worker hosting the group commented that the experience of such issues, and the process of managing them, can be seen as just as much as a positive in prospective adopters a the negative a lot of people expect.

AMR – They do dig into your background and rightly so, I have had issues in the past with my heath, these were brought up, discussed and handled with great care and compassion. I don’t think you can lump every health condition together, they need to be addressed on a case by case basis.

When is the best time to let your child know they are adopted? And how did you go about it?

AMR – You are advised to tell your child from an early age so it isn’t a shock when they find out. You receive a life story book to share with your child which contains pictures and stories about their first years. Austin is just getting got an age now where we are introducing these stories on a “drip fed” approach. Chris has started to tell him a bedtime story about how we wanted a little boy and how we chose him to be our son. We will add on to this story in an age appropriate manner as time goes by.

How can you best prepare your children for adopting a sibling?

CR – Our daughter had once commented on a single friend we have saying that she thought it was a shame that this friend lived alone and “hoped she had someone to look after her” (six year old logic!). We asked if she remembered talking about this and told her that sometimes there are children who perhaps need a family like ours to love and look after them. That was it as far as she was concerned, she was in!

AMR – We wanted to balance involving our daughter in the decision as early as possible with not getting her hopes up if we weren’t able to proceed. Once we were confident we met the basic criteria we decided to tell her. We chose to do it at the start of a 2 week holiday, that way we knew we would be on hand to answer any questions Harriet would have there and then rather than her thinking about it at school and having something on her mind all day before being able to get the answer. It worked really well.

Is it more difficult to adopt if you already have children?

AMR – I don’t think so, I think it’s encouraged. I don’t think people think they are allowed to do it but of course they can. You obviously have to consider your existing child but our daughter met our social worker on a number of occasions and did lots of learning through play to prepare her for what was to come.

Is there support offered to the adoptive grandparents on how to adjust to the growing family or is it just focused on the parents?

CR – Yes. Both Anne-Marie’s and my parents were visited by our case-workers and support was, and still is, available if needed.

I always get the impression it’s all about how much money you have? Can someone on a lower income adopt?

CR – Absolutely. Obviously Social Services have to be confident that you can provide for the child’s needs but they put just as much emphasis on what you can offer a child on an emotional level as they do on a material level.

AMR – I don’t believe this is true at all. In our classes mixed we mixed with people from all backgrounds, working class as well as middle class. We also trained with same sex couples, single people and people from all different religions.

What advice could you give me for finding the right agency, I have no idea where to start?

CR – We met with several local authority agencies before we approached Barnado’s. We found their approach to be far more “user friendly” and they really couldn’t have done any more for us. I recommend them highly!

AMR – I agree with Chris, Barnado’s were far more inclusive!

If things were to fall through, how close can this happen to the day the child actually comes home with you?

CR – You can only be matched with a child for whom an adoption order has been granted by the court and these orders aren’t reversed once granted. Once your match with a child has been approved, the only reason for it to fall through would be due to either the prospective adopters or the child’s social workers deciding that the match wasn’t progressing as they anticipated. I am led to believe that this is extremely rare.

Thank you so much to Anne-Marie and Chris for being so honest and open in their answers, and for educating me, and I’m sure many others, on adoption.

I am so happy that my beautiful friend has her two little miracles in her arms and that she and Chris have the family they always dreamt of.

 

Thank you to Lucy,  Holly, Emma, Laura, Ally, Pete, Emma, Susan, Vicki, Christy, Hollie, Kelly, Angela, and Emma, for your contributions. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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182 Comments

  1. hannah Wood
    October 22, 2017 / 1:54 pm

    This is so incredible to see people such as yourself do this ,we have thought about it but needs to be all right for us .

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:53 pm

      Yes I think it needs to be right for all the family, it’s a big decision to make! xx

  2. Steve G
    October 22, 2017 / 2:39 pm

    Smiled all way through reading this story x Ritchie family now complete x

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:52 pm

      Thank for reading Steve, they are an amazing family! xx

  3. October 22, 2017 / 4:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing. We really want to adopt but have been told by the social worker who interviewed us that told our income is too low. Although they say this should not be a factor I wonder if there was another problem and they just used money as an excuse! I need to look into other agency options.

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:47 pm

      Have you tried through Barnado’s Angela? Anne-Marie and Chris did say they felt Barnado’s were more incusive. I know they would both be more than happy to talk to you about it. xx

  4. October 22, 2017 / 7:11 pm

    Than you for this. It is such an eye opening read. My husband and I have always said that once our kids grow older, we shall aim to become foster carers. We have close friends who foster and are in inspiration.
    Your friend has such a beaitiful family and wish them all the happiness in the world x

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:39 pm

      Thank you Hazel, I’m really pleased that this has been of interest to so many people. Thank you for reading. xx

  5. October 22, 2017 / 8:04 pm

    What a fantastic story! I love that they were so honest about the process too – this will be such a help to parents who are thinking of adopting!

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:30 pm

      Thanks Erin, I think it really will help others! xx

  6. October 22, 2017 / 8:05 pm

    Wow! In the back of my head I have always wanted to adopt. I am blessed with our children but theres something in me that wants to give another a home. I am hoping that in time this is something that we can give some serious thought to x

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:30 pm

      I think more people feel that way than you might realise. We looked into years ago, even attended a few meetings about it, but ultimately it wasn’t something we were ready for and then as you know, my marriage ended. I think had we not had our youngest three we would totally have gone down this route. xx

  7. October 22, 2017 / 9:20 pm

    What a wonderful story and a lot of great information. My neighbours adopted their children and it’s so a long and hard process but they wouldn’t have it any other way. Love to your family.

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:28 pm

      I totally agree, I think adoption is such a wonderful, generous and selfless act of love, I admire those who do it. xx

  8. October 22, 2017 / 10:14 pm

    This is beautiful and heart warming. My friend adopted both their children and it is an incredible gift to be able to give to a child xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:27 pm

      It really is incredible, we looked into it years ago after losing Joseph but knew we weren’t in the right head space at the time. xx

  9. October 23, 2017 / 1:36 am

    Thank-you for bringing this beautiful family’s story to your readers. Austin is a lucky little boy to have gotten such kind and caring, parents. Did they happen to say why the agency wanted at least a four-year gap between the kids? I was so touched by the bedtime stories. Such a sweet way of letting him know early on how wanted (and loved) he truly is. x

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:22 pm

      No they didn’t Ali, that’s a really good question. I will ask Anne-Marie and let you know! xx

  10. October 23, 2017 / 1:57 am

    I am still in the age persuading my goals and career but I totally like the idea of adopting kids (maybe I will in the future!).

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:21 pm

      That’s great, it can be such a wonderful thing. xx

  11. October 23, 2017 / 4:00 am

    That was one of the most interesting and insightful interviews I have read recently. You did a very nice job and asked great questions,Laura.

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:21 pm

      Thanks Patrick! It’s an incredible story and such a happy ending. xx

  12. October 23, 2017 / 6:02 am

    What a beautiful story . I was actually hooked the whole way through. We have been talking about adoption for the last few years . I think it is one of the most amazing things a person could ever do x

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:20 pm

      Thank you Kira. It really is amazing and so heart warming to read other people’s stories too. xx

  13. October 23, 2017 / 6:18 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this Laura, I learnt so much about the adoption process. How absolutely gorgeous is Austin with his bright blonde hair?! So happy Anne Marie and Chris completed their family this way. Just lovely.

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:19 pm

      Thanks Nicola, he is adorable isn’t he? I think adoption is something that a lot of us don’t really know a lot about so this was really interesting for me too! xx

  14. October 23, 2017 / 6:38 am

    What a fantastic and inspiring post. I have often had questions about adoption and adoption is something that we have discussed in the past as a family. My grandma was a foster carer and she adopted my aunt, and my mother-in-law was adopted at birth, so we really believe in and appreciate the importance of the adoption system. I didn’t realise that you receive a life book with your child. I think that’s a brilliant idea as is the idea of drip-feeding the child so it’s not a shock. A brilliantly informative post.

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:18 pm

      Thanks Emma, I was really inspired hearing Anne-Marie and Chris’s story too. Although I have followed their journey there was so much I hadn’t realised or known about. If we didn’t have so many children (!!) it’s something I did consider at one point. xx

  15. October 23, 2017 / 8:07 am

    Really interesting post this. More and more people at my work place are adopting and there’s no doubt they have made the whole process much simpler and shorter than it was many years ago.

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:16 pm

      I totally agree, but I think a lot of people still assume that it’s something that can take years. Thank you for reading! xx

  16. Eloise
    October 23, 2017 / 8:31 am

    Thank you for sharing this positive experience. It’s very interesting. This little boy and his family look all very happy, that’s awesome!

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:14 pm

      Thanks Eloise, it was a real honour to share their story. xx

  17. October 23, 2017 / 8:36 am

    Thank you for sharing . we’ve been married for almost 6 years and don’t have children yet . In our culture and tradition to have a son is a must in order to continue our clan and taking care us when we are old . Adoption here in Indonesia is even more easier than in other country . By the way the kids on the pictures look gorgeous , congratulation

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:14 pm

      Oh really, I would love to read more about adoption in other countries, it’s something I’m really interested in! xx

  18. October 23, 2017 / 8:39 am

    This has made me a bit teary as we have spoken about the possibility of adopting in the future. Such a beautiful family and it’s so lovely to hear about other people’s experiences.

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:13 pm

      That’s amazing, it’s such a wonderful thing to do. They are a beautiful family aren’t they! xx

  19. October 23, 2017 / 8:43 am

    What a beautiful family. I found this very informative and interesting to read. Love that they answered the questions honestly.

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:13 pm

      Me too, I think it’s so important to be honest and not romanticise adoption. It’s a wonderful thing but it can be hard going I’m sure. xx

  20. October 23, 2017 / 9:22 am

    This is really interesting and something that we are in the early stages of talking about so very serendipitous!

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:12 pm

      That’s great! I really hope you found this helpful! xx

  21. October 23, 2017 / 10:07 am

    What an interesting and nice story! we are hoping to foster/adopt one day

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:11 pm

      Oh good luck with that! Thank you for reading. xx

  22. October 23, 2017 / 10:22 am

    How wonderful! Such a fantastic thing to be able to offer. We have two of our own and often thought about adopting a third. It’s something I hope will happen one day.

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:09 pm

      I think it’s a wonderful thing to do, there are so many children desperate for a home. xx

  23. October 23, 2017 / 11:04 am

    That’s such a wonderful gesture and initiative. In India, the adoption procedures are too cumbersome and that puts many potential parents from pursuing adoption. That needs to change here!

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 12:09 pm

      Yes definitely! I think people are put off here too because they assume the process will be too long and gruelling which isn’t always the case. xx

  24. October 23, 2017 / 12:07 pm

    This is such an interesting read and inspiring story. One of my very good friends has recently adopted and hearing the lengthy process only made the time when they finally got to adopt their daughter even more special 🙂

  25. October 23, 2017 / 1:29 pm

    This was a lovely insight. What a beautiful family too. My husband was adopted , he has always said how adoption was something we could consider , but with our eldest son condition , it’s unlikely. He feels like he was picked and that his parents loved him so much because they chose him.

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 4:41 pm

      That’s such a lovely way of looking at it, thank you for reading. xx

  26. October 23, 2017 / 2:11 pm

    What a wonderful thing to do – so inspiring! It’s so sad when you hear how many children there are that need a forever home, it’s lovely to read a successful story x

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 4:41 pm

      So sad, I love a happy ending though. xx

  27. October 23, 2017 / 3:07 pm

    Adoption has also been always on my mind too ever since we’ve been trying with no luck after T was born. Sadly, my husband isn’t open to it. But who knows, he might still change his mind. I think I’m going to send him a link to this! 😉

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 4:40 pm

      Oh you should! I think its hard when one of you isn’t on the same page but perhaps he is just taking longer to get his head around it. Good luck. xx

  28. October 23, 2017 / 3:09 pm

    What an amazing story, I have so much admiration for people who can offer a child a home as well as a new family. x

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 4:39 pm

      Me too Cathy, its an amazing thing to do. xx

  29. October 23, 2017 / 3:39 pm

    It’s hard to believe there are so many children waiting to be adopted around the world. What an inspiring post, this! Such good people!

    • Laura Dove
      October 23, 2017 / 4:38 pm

      Thank you Elizabeth, they are amazing aren’t they?! xx

  30. October 23, 2017 / 4:57 pm

    What an amazing story. Full of joy and positivity. Adoption was something I was considering if we weren’t lucky enough to fall pregnant. We did but I haven’t fully ruled it out for the future. Thanks to Anne-Marie and Chris for sharing their wonderful story.

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:46 pm

      Thank you for reading! xx

  31. October 23, 2017 / 5:16 pm

    Lovely post-Laura. I hate to think of children not having anyone close to them. Such an amazing thing to do. I have thought about it before but we have a large family.

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:45 pm

      I’m the same, we did look into it years ago but now we have so many children I’m really not sure I would ever have the time that an adopted time deserves. xx

  32. October 23, 2017 / 6:16 pm

    What a beautiful story of why they chose to adopt and I applaud them for their decison. I was long term fostered which is similar to adoption but she used to only look after kids that were aged between 0-5 and I was her first long term foster placement over the age of 5 (I was 10). I am so grateful because she took me out of an abusive home and those who adopt might be saving the children from a horrific environment too. It can be challenging at times but it is wonderful that you still adopted regardless of the obstacles you needed to overcome!

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:44 pm

      Ah Ana I am so glad that you found a loving home, I’m sure you know way more about adoption than I did. Sharing this was so insightful to me and hopefully others too. Thank you for reading. xx

  33. October 23, 2017 / 8:15 pm

    I absolutely loved reading this, thank you so much. Anne-Marie is so honest and that is wonderful, she made herself really vulnerable and I think that will be such a help to someone considering adopting. Mich x

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:43 pm

      Thanks Michelle, I am sure that will mean a lot to her. xx

  34. October 23, 2017 / 8:51 pm

    What a lovely story to share. So many children could benefit from adoption x

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:42 pm

      There are so many children in need of a loving home. xx

  35. October 23, 2017 / 8:54 pm

    Very insightful questions and answers. a lot of people out there want to adopt but they have doubts and this post has cleared most of them. Thank You for opening up to Us, You have a lovely family.

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:42 pm

      Thank you for reading! xx

  36. Hannah
    October 23, 2017 / 10:32 pm

    Ive never had any desire to have my own kids, but ive always had a desire to adopt

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:41 pm

      Yes I know others who have said the same! Good luck when you do! xx

  37. October 24, 2017 / 1:41 am

    Wow, what a beautiful story and such a great inspiration it shares across. I loved that they were honest about their feelings and yet agreed that it took close to 3 weeks to bond with their adopted son.

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:39 pm

      Yes I think honesty is so important isn’t it? xx

  38. October 24, 2017 / 7:09 am

    What a beautiful family. My friends has adopted and whilst it wasn’t straight forward at the time, they could not be happier now and still recieve help and support

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:38 pm

      Yes it can be tough but entirely worth it! xx

  39. October 24, 2017 / 7:50 am

    What a beautiful family. It was so interesting getting an insight into the whole process. It’s something I always wanted to do, but then we moved abroad and life took over. Maybe one day… x

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:36 pm

      I loved learning more about adoption, I think it’s something that we don’t hear enough about. xx

  40. October 24, 2017 / 8:32 am

    Such a lovely story of how they came to adopt, I bet his older sister loves him to bits x

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:35 pm

      He’s a lucky little boy that’s for sure! xx

  41. October 24, 2017 / 9:03 am

    Thank you for shedding light I this taboo but serious matter. I think Austin has the best possible parents and wish all kids that wait for a family be this lucky

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:35 pm

      Thank you so much for reading. xx

  42. October 24, 2017 / 10:10 am

    This was so interesting to read as I have no experience of adoption or how it all works. They sound like such a lovely family and I am glad things worked out for them x

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:31 pm

      I agree, I knew very little about it so it was so interesting to learn! xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:29 pm

      Don’t they? It’s so heart warming to see. xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:33 pm

      They really do, it’s a lovely story to share. xx

  43. October 24, 2017 / 12:12 pm

    Adoption is such an incredible gift both ways. A child gets a wonderful, loving forever home and the parents get a child to love. <3 xxx

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:29 pm

      Yes definitely, it’s the most wonderful gift you can give each other. xx

  44. October 24, 2017 / 12:26 pm

    What an amazing article to raise awareness around adoption – heart felt and so great to hear true stories 🙂 x

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:14 pm

      Thank you for reading Melanie. xx

  45. October 24, 2017 / 12:27 pm

    This is so inspirational! I think it is very realistic and sensible that the whole assimilation process took 3 weeks. You guys are lovely! Congratulations and enjoy! I

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:14 pm

      Thanks for reading as always! xx

  46. October 24, 2017 / 1:23 pm

    What an amazing post and an amazing family! I thought it was particularly interesting to see that some people fall in love with their adopted child immediately and others take a little while, and both are totally normal and natural reactions.

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:14 pm

      Yes I found that really interesting too! It’s great to hear an honest account. xx

  47. October 24, 2017 / 2:18 pm

    Wow, this brought tears to my eyes, what a lovely story about the real issues surrounding adoption. I loved reading this, so inspirational and what a gorgeous family.

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:12 pm

      Thank you for reading Nichola. xx

  48. October 24, 2017 / 3:34 pm

    I think this is a great post and I love their honesty in answering the questions. It looks like the family is now complete.

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:09 pm

      They really did get a happy ending didn’t they? xx

  49. October 24, 2017 / 4:20 pm

    What a blessing to both your family and the child! Congratulations. I would love to adopt.

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:08 pm

      Thank you for reading. xx

  50. October 24, 2017 / 6:04 pm

    This is such a beautiful story! Your children are so cute! I want to adopt a child someday soon!

    • Laura Dove
      October 24, 2017 / 7:07 pm

      Thanks Candice, this is my friends story but they are so gorgeous! xx

  51. October 24, 2017 / 7:19 pm

    What a lovely interview/chat. The only experience I have of adoption is very distant and I have always considered it but know that due to my sons special needs it will probably never be appropriate for him or a child to be matched with us but I guess only time will tell. Thank you for sharing such an honest account as there must be so many people out there who this gives them the final bit of confidence they need to go forward and apply. Children need forever homes and Austin has that now in what seems to be such a loving perfect family.

  52. October 24, 2017 / 7:40 pm

    What an inspiring story. It brought tears to my eyes! It is so lovely to see that Austin is so content and has such a wonderful family 🙂

    Fab interview Laura x

  53. October 24, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    Thankyou so much to your friends for sharing their story and beautiful photos. I have never really thought much about adoption or the process, but it is definitely interesting to learn about.

    • Laura Dove
      October 25, 2017 / 9:32 am

      It was interesting for me too, I thought I knew a lot about adoption but it turns out I knew very little! xx

  54. October 24, 2017 / 8:59 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing story, maybe it would make more people follow your friends’ path and offer some innocent baby a home, there are so many lovely kids that truly need it, and so many adults who need that warmth a child can offer ♥

    • Laura Dove
      October 25, 2017 / 9:31 am

      I agree, adoption is such an amazing thing and to give a child not just a home, but a family, is the most generous thing a person can do. xx

  55. October 24, 2017 / 10:40 pm

    How lovely of your friends to be so candid about their experience. It’s beautiful to read about such a hopeful and beautiful story. There is so much to learn and I truly believe that opening up about adoption can help others who may not have even considered it before.

    • Laura Dove
      October 25, 2017 / 9:30 am

      I totally agree. I think there are so many misconceptions about adoption, it’s important to share that it can be truly wonderful, and most times it really is! xx

  56. October 24, 2017 / 10:55 pm

    What a heart warming story to read. Thanks for sharing.

    • Laura Dove
      October 25, 2017 / 9:27 am

      Thank you for reading! xx

  57. October 25, 2017 / 4:16 am

    beautiful post. I think it is so important that there is information about adoption out there to help and assist others in the process

    • Laura Dove
      October 25, 2017 / 9:27 am

      I agree, I think that others will find this really helpful. xx

  58. October 25, 2017 / 5:32 am

    Lovely story – thanks so much for sharing with us all! I’m sure it’s also helped others, too 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      October 25, 2017 / 9:24 am

      Thank you for reading! xx

  59. October 25, 2017 / 9:30 am

    Aw, what a sweet little family- and they all look so happy! I have huge respect for those who adopt, and it was really interesting to learn more about the adoption process – things I’ve actually always wondered about actually, as I wouldn’t rule out adopting a child myself in the future. xxx

  60. October 25, 2017 / 1:42 pm

    What a beautiful story, I hope others that are considering adoption have some of their questions answered in this post. It honestly brought tears to my eyes, there are so many children who need a home and love, and this is beautifully honest and inspiring.

    • Laura Dove
      October 25, 2017 / 7:15 pm

      AHh thank you so much for reading. I know Anne-Marie and Chris are so touched by all of these lovely comments. xx

  61. October 25, 2017 / 6:57 pm

    It’s heartbreaking to think there are so many kids still in need of a loving home. It’s amazing that Austin has found a loving family, you should be so proud x

    • Laura Dove
      October 25, 2017 / 7:11 pm

      It really is shocking just how many children are in need of adoption. xx

  62. October 26, 2017 / 12:42 am

    I am thankful for giving me some education on the option of adoption. My husband and I have really considered adoption for our future and your post is really helpful to me. Thank you!

    • Laura Dove
      October 26, 2017 / 9:39 am

      Ah I’m so glad you find this helpful, thank you! xx

  63. October 26, 2017 / 7:11 am

    Adoption is such a wonderful thing, it is so important for the child to be placed with the right family. So many children are in need of good families.

    • Laura Dove
      October 26, 2017 / 9:38 am

      I agree, it’s an amazing thing to do! xx

  64. October 26, 2017 / 9:03 am

    What a beautiful story, and wonderful family. I am so glad they shared their experience, and they have shared some gorgeous photos too! #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Laura Dove
      October 26, 2017 / 9:37 am

      They are such a lovely family, it was an honour to share their story. xx

  65. October 26, 2017 / 9:34 am

    Wow, what a great post! Respect to the families to decide to offer a new chance to an adopted child! I can’t believe though how lengthy the process is??? I suppose there’s a lot at stake – a lot of procedures to do but 😮 wow.

    • Laura Dove
      October 26, 2017 / 9:35 am

      I know, I think that puts off a lot of potential adopters and yet I suppose it really does have to be thorough! xx

  66. Blair villanueva
    October 26, 2017 / 10:14 am

    Thank you for sharing this heart warming post. Me and amore is not yet rushing to build our own, we still believe on “come what may” situation. But if things have change, we will consider adoption!

    • Laura Dove
      October 26, 2017 / 9:13 pm

      I wish you well wherever your path takes you. xxx

  67. October 26, 2017 / 10:43 am

    What a lovely post and so much to learn from re adoption. I have so much respect for families who opt to adopt and to give a child a loving home and a bright future. I am so glad that your friend’s adoption process and story was a success. #dreamteam

    • Laura Dove
      October 26, 2017 / 9:10 pm

      Thank you Noleen, I know my friend was really pleased to share her story with a wider audience, it’s always great to know that others are learning a little about something close to your heart. xx

  68. October 26, 2017 / 1:54 pm

    Wow, this is really a lovely post, my sister adopts 3 years ago and she said it was an important thing happen to her.

    • Laura Dove
      October 26, 2017 / 9:04 pm

      Ahh that’s great, I have a lot of friends now who have done the same! xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 26, 2017 / 8:55 pm

      Thank you Sarah, it was so interesting for me to hear more about adoption too. xx

  69. Sarah Ann
    October 26, 2017 / 9:44 pm

    Barnardo’s sound fantastic through the adoption process. Nice to read they are being so inclusive because a good, stable family home doesn’t come down to finances or income and sometimes too much emphasis is put on the financial side of things.

    • Laura Dove
      October 29, 2017 / 3:58 pm

      I agree, I understand why there are some limitations but it’s great that agencies are inclusive where possible. xx

  70. October 26, 2017 / 11:18 pm

    My best friend adopted her son when he was 1 week old. She did the foster to adopt program. What these families do and go through is so inspiring!

    • Laura Dove
      October 29, 2017 / 3:57 pm

      I totally agree, it’s inspirational! xx

  71. October 27, 2017 / 9:04 am

    What a kind heart soul, glad there is a post about this, and you are so inspirational, keep it up. Happy candid photos!!

    • Laura Dove
      October 29, 2017 / 3:56 pm

      Thank you for reading. xx

  72. October 27, 2017 / 8:05 pm

    Oh this was so wonderful to read! I don’t really know much about the adoption process but it’s really interesting to hear a first-hand experience. Really made me smile!

    • Laura Dove
      October 29, 2017 / 3:51 pm

      Thank you so much for reading Katie. xx

  73. October 27, 2017 / 10:21 pm

    Anne-Marie and Chris sound like they have a lovely little family. Their children are very lucky to have them. Their honestly whilst sharing this story is heartwarming 💖 Truly inspiring.

    • Laura Dove
      October 29, 2017 / 3:49 pm

      Thank you so much for reading. xx

  74. October 28, 2017 / 7:15 am

    What a beautiful and honest story. Thank you very much for sharing. The bonding part, and how long it takes is particularly interesting to me. Even for birth parents it doesn’t happen instantly, yet people feel afraid to admit that.

    • Laura Dove
      October 29, 2017 / 3:47 pm

      I totally agree! I think it’s so important to be honest about that! xx

  75. October 28, 2017 / 9:11 am

    Adoption is something we have always talked about doing so reading this post was so informative and helpful. Thank you for sharing their story!

    • Laura Dove
      October 29, 2017 / 3:46 pm

      Ah that’s great, thank you for reading! xx

  76. October 28, 2017 / 11:42 am

    Oh what a lovely post . Thank you for sharing with us 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      October 29, 2017 / 3:40 pm

      Thank you for reading Kira. xx

  77. Michelle Ross
    October 28, 2017 / 3:08 pm

    Thanks for posting this, was a fantastic read! Adoption is such an amazing thing to do, so selfless x

    • Laura Dove
      October 29, 2017 / 3:37 pm

      Thank you for reading Michelle. xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 29, 2017 / 3:37 pm

      Ah thank you so much for reading. xx

  78. October 28, 2017 / 4:22 pm

    What a gorgeous family! Lovely of them to share their story to help others considering adoption.

    • Laura Dove
      October 29, 2017 / 3:35 pm

      Thank you for reading Laura. xx

  79. October 28, 2017 / 5:16 pm

    Lovely post. Really interesting for me as friends of mine are considering adoption so I’ll point them in the direction of this list for sure.

    • Laura Dove
      October 29, 2017 / 3:35 pm

      Ahh that’s great, thank you! xx

  80. October 28, 2017 / 5:51 pm

    What a beautiful story and family. Thank you so much for sharing the interview! I love how honest they are about the difficulties, whether emotional or through the process. It’s so helpful for other families going through the same.

    • Laura Dove
      October 29, 2017 / 3:34 pm

      Thank you for reading Stephanie, it’s a lovely story and so honest too. xx

  81. October 29, 2017 / 7:47 am

    I loved reading this. It’s fascinating to get an insight into the process and lovely to hear of how happy the family are together x

    • Laura Dove
      October 29, 2017 / 3:32 pm

      Thanks Rachel, appreciate you reading. xx

  82. October 29, 2017 / 9:55 am

    Thank you for this post, it was interesting and inspiring! What an amazing couple!

    • Laura Dove
      October 29, 2017 / 3:30 pm

      Thank you for reading Liza. xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 29, 2017 / 7:28 pm

      Thanks Jordan!

  83. October 29, 2017 / 7:59 pm

    What an informative and inspiring post, and a gorgeous little family! It often seems that the whole process is shrouded in mystery and can seem really off-putting, so it was really interesting to read such an open and honest account of it all. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Laura Dove
      November 3, 2017 / 9:31 pm

      I agree, and I love how honest Chris and Anne-Marie are in sharing their story. xx

  84. October 29, 2017 / 8:16 pm

    This is lovely! Such an eye opener on how the process works. #TriumphantTales

    • Laura Dove
      November 3, 2017 / 9:31 pm

      Thank you for reading Jo. xx

  85. October 30, 2017 / 12:49 pm

    What a lovely story! I bet it will so helpful and inspiring for families that want to adopt. And the photos look so cute, the kids are really rocking their pyjamas and fancy dress looks 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      November 3, 2017 / 9:25 pm

      Thank you for reading! xx

  86. October 30, 2017 / 7:34 pm

    Such an interesting and informative piece. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experiences with us. I have always liked the idea of adopting once my own children were a bit older but hubby is not so keen. We have friends who have really struggled with their adoptive kids which I think is putting him off even more. But I didn’t realise you have to have at least a 4 year age gap – that gives me some time to keep working on him! #sharingthebloglove

    • Laura Dove
      November 3, 2017 / 9:21 pm

      Ahh I hope that you both make a decision that is right for all of you. I love the idea of adopting but after five children I know we are definitely done! xx

  87. October 30, 2017 / 9:12 pm

    I love a happy ending and their children are so beautiful! the photo of them both on the bed looking into eachothers eye just shows a bond doesnt need to be from blood. It is clear how much they both adore eachother and I am so happy your friends got the family they’ve always dreamed of!
    Thank you for sharing their story with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back tomorrow!

    • Laura Dove
      November 3, 2017 / 9:18 pm

      Thank you so much for reading, I know that Anne-Marie and Chris have been so touched by all of these messages. xx

  88. November 1, 2017 / 8:11 pm

    This is such an amazing and wonderful story of adoption. Very inspiring and an interesting read into the process of what happens behind the scenes. You look like a perfect little family and it’s lovely to hear of your happy ending. Thanks so much for sharing Anne-Marie’s story Laura. #DreamTeam xx

    • Laura Dove
      November 3, 2017 / 8:59 pm

      Thank you for reading Annette, it was a real honour to share it. xx

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