“Since we adopted our two boys I’ve never felt as though we were struggling more than any parents do – the sleepless nights have been the hardest, but it’s the same for all parents and you deal with it the best you can,” said James, who lives with his partner Andrea and their two sons in Newcastle.
James and Andrea’s adoption story began more than two years ago when they were approved as adopters, following unsuccessful IVF treatment.
“Everyone has their own route into adoption, but for us we thought, why not see if there are kids out there who we can give a break to,” said James.
The couple had researched how the adoption process works and found it to be very similar to what they were expecting, although the emotions involved took them by surprise.
Andrea said: “I wasn’t prepared for how emotional I’d feel the whole way through the process. You’re on a rollercoaster but you have to put your trust in the fostering and adoption team as they wouldn’t match you with a child if they weren’t confident it was the right match.”
“When we first saw our oldest son we fell for him there and then and we both knew straight away that we wanted to adopt him,” said James.
The couple not only adopted Finn but also his sibling Alex, who came to them at just three days old as a foster child before being adopted into the family when he was aged 15 months.
“We agreed to adopt Alex too before he was even born,” said James. “Although going through the fostering and adoption processes with two children was difficult at times, I personally found that the support we were given was good – we and the boys had regular contact from social workers and it was made clear that we could call at any point if we had a problem.”
“Now we have two sons aged three and two and we couldn’t be happier. The highlights have been watching them develop and I still remember the first time Finn, our oldest boy, ran towards me in town shouting ‘Daddy!’”
Andrea added: “It’s been amazing to watch them grow day by day. They make us laugh and being a family is fabulous. We just utterly adored them instantly and I’d say to anyone who’s considering adoption, it’s the best thing you’ll ever do.”
James agrees – “Without a doubt it’s the best thing we’ve done, just beware the lack of sleep.”
James and Andrea worked with the Fostering to Adopt service at Newcastle City Council, allowing the children to be placed in a safe, secure family as soon as possible.