Adoption Diary 2 : The Adoption Order

The first Adoption Diary appeared in the September Webmag. We introduced you to Caroline and Roger, adoptive parents through voluntary adoption agency Parents And Children Together, or PACT. Telling it “warts and all”, they hope to inspire others to consider adopting one of the 5000 children annually who are looked after by local authorities.

The Adoption Order – the legal paperwork – doesn’t magic away difficulties in the child’s past, nor guarantee an idyllic life in the new family, free of problems, as Roger explains, “It takes time to get to know each other – deep love only comes with time and everyone needs moulding together: each person in the new family remains themselves, but it is time which pulls you together”. 

That’s a sentiment with which little Jon, Roger and Caroline’s son, knows to be true with all his heart. He remembers hiding himself away at his foster carer’s when Roger and Caroline first came to visit. He remembers being perturbed that, when he went to their home for his sleepover introduction, they lived in a bungalow, not a house. He remembers the gifts Caroline and Roger took to his foster home when they first met him and the Paddington Bear who was waiting to meet him on his new bed.

But, most poignantly, he remembers that it took a good six months before he felt able to refer to the new grown-ups in his life as “Mummy” and “Daddy” to their faces. (He’d tried talking about “Mum” and “Dad” to his schoolfriends first). But he concludes passionately, “It was so good to have a home for ever, with an actual Mummy and Daddy.  I didn’t have to move home any more.” This is a heartfelt comment, as, by the time he moved to his final home area, Jon had already moved five times, the Care Order for him and his siblings having originally been made because his Mum was neglecting her young family.

“I went to live with Caroline and Roger on a Tuesday and on Wednesday we went to visit my new school. Mummy wondered whether I should go back immediately, but I loved it and started right away! Everybody thought I was especially brave, because my first day was only a month or so before the end of the school year and so I went into the class of my next year’s teacher right away.”

Apart from having a permanent roof over his head, Jon recounts his other new experiences since leaving care, “Rugby, playing the guitar, doing recorder, French lessons, reading loads of books, wearing nice clothes, going on lovely holidays and swimming, and having friends.”  Friends round after school and friends to invite him to their houses – a more perfect and instantaneous change of life and fortunes can hardly be imagined, yet adoptive families have challenges to overcome which others don’t … as the third instalment of the six Adoption Diaries in a couple of months’ time will make clear.

This article was first published in The Door in November 2005. If you want to know more about PACT, look at .

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