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The importance of support – don’t underestimate it

As we are flying through the last few days before introductions start  next week, already the importance of our support network is being realised even more than ever.

Since starting this process we have been fortunate enough to meet some amazing people in our stage one adopters training course and we have remained in contact and supporting each other since.  All coming with different reasons into this process, all coming from different professions but all with the same goal – to provide children with the love and homes they need and deserve.

We try and meet once a month and catch up, share stories, frustrations, updates and happy news.  As we come into this new year many of us are reaching the next important part of the journey, whether this be approval, matching and placement.  One couple have had a young daughter placed with them, another have been matched with two amazing boys and another person on the group is all approved and starting matching.

Going through this journey together has been great as we know what each other is going through and we can share the highs and lows without judgement.  It’s so great that we have kept in contact and I know this will continue once we have all hopefully been placed with children.  In fact, I can already fast forward to us all meeting up in parks and on days out – allowing our children to play together and to allow us all to share the wisdom and woe’s of parenthood.

The connection is strong and I feel very lucky to have built such a network and friends. The  force is strong with this one.

In addition to this, from the moment we started this process our immediate support network of close friends, family and neighbours have been such a solid rock of support and love.  Having friends of varying ages, all with different experiences of parenthood as well as children ranging from 1 year to 21 years – we have been so lucky to have such strong support.  We know we are lucky that at any time we can call on them for help, advice or simply to just catch up and feel normal.  In the times when we have been emotional they have been there.  In the times when we have been frustrated they have been there.  I know this will be even more critical once the boys are placed with us.

I can’t stress enough just how important building this trust and support has been to us.

Family members have also been so supportive.  Reading books and materials that assist their understanding of the process and children in care and Sally Donovan’s book, “No Matter What” has certainly done the rounds.  It has helped different generations understand what we now face and how it differs from ‘traditional’ families.  The course run by our agency to help relatives and friends of adopters really helped them come to terms with this process and the trials and tribulations it will throw up.

My work have been amazing .  Last Friday, before most of my team jetted off to the USA for our annual Sales Kickoff, they presented me with the most thoughtful gift.  A survival kit for new parents, with some amazing and beautiful gifts. From walkie talkies for the boys, to hand sanitiser, ( ‘for when you don’t know if it’s chocolate or poop’,) and wine, books, toys, games, water bottles and so forth.  Each part with it’s own tag and funny tagline.

I kept it together during the presentation, determined not to cry in front of 30 people but only at the end when one person turned on the nostalgia did the tears flow.  The support from our whole company, colleagues in the USA, Europe and my close friends in Europe has been overwhelming.  It feels strange to be out for so long but I know I have left the place in good hands and I also know they have my back.

So this post is a massive THANK YOU.  To everyone who has supported us so far, to the adoption training group members we have built a close relationship with, to our close friends for their ongoing support and love and to our family members for riding this roller-coaster with us and to my team and work for being so amazing.

We know we are lucky and we know we will need you even more when this journey continues x

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