Chaos from the beginning

A family of 4 on the beach. They have their backs to the camera and they are all holding hands

I met My Girl in 2012 and we were instantly best friends but this friendship grew very deep very quickly. We moved from my home in Yorkshire to her home in Merseyside in 2013 following homophobia in the workplace but this move made us stronger than ever. We spoke of marriage and a family almost from the start of our relationship. We both wanted to be mums but we weren’t sure how this would look. We quickly decided on adoption because it didn’t matter how our family came about as long as we could have one. Love doesn’t come from blood and genetics otherwise people wouldn’t fall in love with complete strangers! We spoke about our options but one thing we kept coming back to was that once we made our decision it was final, if we went for IVF we wouldn’t go for adoption because we didn’t want a backup plan. This was when we knew how we would grow our family.  

In June 2014 we submitted our initial enquiry to our local authority for adoption and boarded the rollercoaster that comes with the process. It was far from plain sailing and was very intrusive, but we worked through it. Our fur baby kept us going and after initially being asked to return for a second approval date we were approved as adopters in April 2015. In September of the same year we went on hold after being turned down for several profiles and not hearing back off several more, we took a few weeks for our wedding and then in December 2015 we viewed a profile and we knew that this was something that we had waited so long for. The meetings continued, social workers changed once again but in April 2016 we were officially matched with our little boy.  It was a crazy few weeks making preparations, we had a baby shower and put the finishing touches to Big Bears bedroom. We thought we were ready for the next journey of parenthood. We’d attended all of the training, we both worked in childcare and had many years of experience so how hard could it be to parent?!  

On 1st June 2016 we brought home our 16 month old Big Bear. It was like a dream come true. Transitions were textbook, we had a great relationship with his foster carers and we were ready to do this. After 4 short weeks My Girl returned to work and very quickly I became lonely. I went to a few play groups but it was hard being an outsider whilst everyone spoke of pregnancy and birth stories and healing I was a new parent in a different way. Everybody wanted to know his story but that wasn’t mine to tell. I stopped going to groups and looked forward to the evenings when My Girl would be home and the weekends when we could be a family together. I returned to work early, luckily Big Bear could come with me but I knew it was selfish of me. All I’d wanted was to be a mum and now I was letting other people care for my son. Together we got through it and Big Bear loved his time in nursery. He thrived around other children and continued to go from strength to strength. He was such a happy little boy and he loved life in all its glory.  

Once Big Bear was settled we moved house in preparation of a second adoption but we were very naïve, it would be two more house moves and 5 more years before we would per-sue our dream of growing our family again. In September 2019 we moved house and Big Bear started school. This was not the best mix but it needed to be done. We had a difficult time and fought for support for Big Bear in school and to get referrals for outside support and assessments. Then COVID-19 hit.  

It felt as though the world was stacked against us. How could we go into lockdown when we had just started moving forwards? Little did we know that our family needs this lockdown. We used the time to really support Big Bear and he went from strength to strength. As lockdown eased we began to explore the idea of adoption again but we had to think about Big Bear and how it would affect him. We went back and forth for months before broaching the subject with him. We needn’t have been so worried though as he was super excited from the beginning and in 2021 we submitted our interest to our LA. The assessment process was a little less daunting this time round and our social worker was amazing. Big Bear was at the centre of the process and his views and opinions mattered. He wanted a baby and that was all that mattered.  

In October 2022 we were shown a profile of a baby boy but there was lots of uncertainty surrounding his development and medical needs. In December we had a very informative meeting with several professionals and were told to think about our decision over the Christmas break. We went back and forth reading the paperwork and playing out different scenarios in our heads about how are life would look if things didn’t progress or medical needs became more severe but deep down we had already made our decision. We were keen to progress to matching panel. Things suddenly began moving very quickly and in February 2023 we brought home Little Bear. There was no time for adoption showers this time round but we very quickly needed to get everything together, family and friends really helped us out so we were ready to go. Transitions were very different this time and relationships were more strained with his Foster Carers but after 3 weeks of living in each others pockets we finally brought Little Bear home forever.  

Due to circumstances we did a foster to adopt placement so now we had 3 social workers doing visits, there were so many appointments with every possible department but within just a few short months Little Bear was making progress. He was pulling up to stand, he was eating well and professionals commented several times on how he was thriving. In June 2023 we went to matching panel one last time and were approved as a match to adopt, Panel was amazing, some members recognised us from previous meetings and conversations flowed freely, we received a unanimous yes and quickly submitted paperwork to court for the adoption order.  

We are now 12 months in to being a family of 4 and have just received our Celebration Date. Our family is complete (for now). Is it easy? Absolutely not but we wouldn’t have it any other way. With every challenge comes the feeling of achievement and success as we learn and grow together. Our life might be chaos but we follow and dreams and make the most of it.  

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The Queer Parenting Partnership was launched in 2020, in response to the shocking lack of birth and parenting support services for LGBTQ+ people in the UK.

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