Success stories: Single Mum

Great from the word ‘go’

I had always hoped to start my own family, but the right relationship had never come along. I held adoption in very high regard but wasn’t sure what my options would be. One of the first things my social worker told me was how many great single adopters she knew, which was a pretty good start. She was also very knowledgeable about ethnicity and adoption. She told me that not every adopter has to share the same race as their child, but they do need to support and value their children’s ethnic and cultural background in everyday life. The support and advice I got was just great from the word ‘go’.

What kind of parent would I be

When you’re adopting you prepare yourself by discussing your past, your personality and your lifestyle with your social worker. This is called your ‘home study’ and it helps you reflect on your own upbringing and what sort of parent you’d like to be. If you’re in a relationship you analyse how you interact with your partner in some detail, if you’re single then you think about how you’d balance looking after a child if a new partner came along. It was three months after I was approved to adopt that I got a phone call about a little girl called Jade…

My girl

Soon enough, I was in my social worker’s office with a picture of a determined looking five-year-old peering back at me. As I read about her, I just knew she was my girl. Like me, she was curious and strong-willed, like me, she could also be controlling and bossy! Jade’s mixed race and I’m white, so I knew I’d need to make sure she grew up feeling like she belonged. Jade had been in different foster placements for over a year and hadn’t been able to rely on many adults, but my social worker reassured me that she’d only ever be a phone call away. It was nerve racking but it was also an incredibly happy, emotional time.

‘It’s magic’

The first night she stayed over Jade was up all night with a vomiting bug she’d picked up in her foster home. I was so worried that I took my social worker up her offer and phoned her in the small hours. Luckily a dose of Calpol and a long sleep provided a remedy. She loved her new bedroom which I’d decorated with toys and dolls. She was nervous about school, but she quickly made friends. Jade can be quick to lose her temper and she’s easily upset, but every cuddle and kiss helps. She likes ballet and swimming and her granny even takes her horse riding! Our relationship is incredibly special and I feel a wave of pride every time I look at her. I think Jade summed it up best when she said, ‘Mummy, I think there’s an invisible thread between us, because you always know what I’m feeling and I always know what you’re feeling, even when we don’t say anything. I think it’s magic.’