A couple from Derry have described the “incredibly rewarding” experience of adoption as they encouraged others to consider becoming adoptive parents.
Denise and Eoin said they always wanted a bigger family, as did their son who longed for a brother or sister.
Denise said: “Throughout the years we used to discuss the option of adoption but never did anything about it. But little over five years ago we decided to go for it and made the call to the adoption team in the Western Trust to find out more. The adoption team sent us out information to look through and we spoke on several occasions to our social worker before starting a three-day training course and the assessment progress.
“The assessment, although exhausting, really opened our eyes as to what to expect, but ultimately really made us realise that adoption was for us. Our social worker was fantastic and kept us in the loop about expectations and potential problems that could arise along the way. She also ensured that our son was included in the process. We continued doing courses and research and decided we wanted to be considered for the Home on Time Project.”
Home on Time is an innovative concurrent care project which aims to speed up the process for young looked after children to either return home to their parents, or to be adopted by their carers.
Denise continued: “When we were approved as adoptive parents, we were shocked and excited to be formally matched very quickly – we nearly fell through the floor. The social worker asked if we would consider twins which we responded to say, ‘how could we say no’. When we brought our twin boys home for the first time it was like every dream we ever had come true! Although things were difficult at the start, especially because the twins were born prematurely, we were enjoying every moment as a busy family. Fast forward some time and we had become aware that the twins were going to have a new sibling. Their sibling became available for adoption and it was a no brainer that we expressed an interest in keeping the siblings together and we look forward to working through this ongoing process.
“We feel so blessed and we look forward to every day creating many memories as a family.”
Denise added: “We would encourage everyone thinking of adopting to go for it. It is definitely a journey, but a very worthwhile one. The support you get from social workers is incredible. Make that first call to find out more information. Once that door opens it will be the best thing you ever did.”