Yesterday the Adoption Order was granted, and it prompted lots of emotions and feelings….
Yesterday we had news from our daughter’s social worker that our Adoption Order had been granted in court that morning. It was apparantly very straight forward and there were no contests. I am delighted that our daughter is finally officially and legally ours. I think it’s still sinking in, how did we get to here, through the process and out the other side? It was 2years and 1 day exactly since we attended our first adoption info evening, and now here we are, a real little happy family. I am relieved that no one could take her away from us. I am excited about moving forward as a family (all with the same surname), and starting the next phase of the rest of our lives together.
However, it also felt a bit strange, almost a bit like and anti-climax as it felt like nothing had happened, and actually it doesn’t change much about our everyday lives. We weren’t in court, and at the moment have nothing to prove she is ours (paperwork will be coming). Our experience of Social Services in her placing LA has been mostly great, and even though it will nice to be ‘free’, it also feels a bit daunting stepping out on our own. Our agency social worker has also been amazing, and we’ll be sad to say goodbye to her. However, they are a voluntary agency, and have said they’re there for us as long as we need them, which is reassuring.
Our daughter (just 3years old) is currently unaware of what a life changing day yesterday was for her. We decided not to tell her as we felt she wouldn’t understand what is actually quite a complex concept. We did however want to mark and celebrate the occasion in some way, so today we bought a special edible treat and said that it was because we wanted to celebrate the fact that she is ours and she will stay with Mummy and Daddy forever. She chose the doughnut with sprinkles on the top, and enjoyed eating them only, haha. We will celebrate more at the celebration hearing (to be held locally to us), and hopefully this occasion will enable us to explain to her about the significance of the Adoption Order a bit more.
One of the things I love most about the Adoption Order, is the fact that we got to name her. This is a right and and enjoyment that all parents have when they have children, and was something I was a bit unsure about before we adopted. What if I didn’t like my child’s name? will I feel they’re less mine if I didn’t name them? Anyway, our daughter’s original name is so made for her, so thats why we kept it. Also, she very much has a self identity with her name. We were fortunate to meet Birth Family who explained why she was named what she is, and so we felt it was very important to keep those names. She will learn later that her names have meaning, and hopefully will be grateful that we kept them. We did also add an additional name, Joy. It’s similar to my middle name, and I always thought that if I had a little girl, her middle name would be Joy. Yesterday my wish and dream came true, I have a little girl, and her middle name is Joy. Also, she so suits this name, and is (mostly) a total Joy, to us and many more. She has given us so much joy and purpose in life, and will continue to do so.
As usual, with anything significant and adoption related, my thoughts were with her Birth Family. Although it was a day of great celebration for us, I am aware that they will probably had very different emotions. I imagine it will have been a day of great sadness and loss for them. They didn’t contest, and we don’t know the reasons for this (as I’m told it is encouraged these days). As always, I hope they are reassured that this little girl is so loved by us. I hope that they are reassured that she will know about them. We will tell her how we met and what we discussed. We will continue to write to them as agreed.
We have started to talk to our daughter about how she came to be with us. I was dreading this as I want to get it right and say the right thing (hopefully life story book/later life letter will help). It’s heartbreaking watching her process it all and seeing how confused she is. It’s also reassuring that she appears very settled here and well attached to us. I hope that frequent informal chats will help to build a story and make the conversations more natural. I am adopted, and can’t remember a time when I didn’t know I was. I hope this will be the same for my girl.
So, now life continues with our little bundle of Joy, and we can start to look to plans in the future. I am so thankful that she is ours and that we get to have the privilege of being her parents.