Celebrity singer and TV judge Carrie Grant shares why they adopted their son and the implications on their family.
The Big Decision
The decision to adopt is never made lightly. For many it comes after years of trying for a birth child and for others it comes from a conviction that all children should be brought up within the safety and emotional security of a family. David and I talked about adoption when we first met back in the 80’s but life got busy and we had three birth children so it went off the agenda for a while. A friend of ours is a foster carer and was taking care of a little boy when she came to us and asked if we would consider adopting him. David and I felt positive about the prospect but we knew it could only work with the approval of our children. We spoke to each child individually and it was a unanimous YES!
One thing is for certain ……. nothing can fully prepare you for the journey ahead. No matter how many books you read or courses you attend, each child is unique and each parent is unique so every journey is different. We were very well trained by the social workers, who gave us a lot of teaching around the issue of attachment. We thought as parents to three children (with special needs) we knew how to be parents but parenting an adopted child is different and we had a lot to learn.
Being assessed by the social workers and judged by the panel was worse than any talent show audition! You begin to question who you are and how you behave and analyse everything. What if they think we’re rubbish parents? What if they think I’m still affected by my parents divorce etc etc? And ultimately, what if I’m not good enough and they say “no”? Contrary to what most people probably think, the social workers do want it to work out. They want to see children placed in families but as our social worker said, “We’re looking for those mega-parents who we know will be able to deal with what may be ahead.”
And finally, our little boy arrived – beautiful, chatty and very lively! Our family embraced the change so well and after a few months we had all adapted. He is now a total Grant, a fully flourishing member of the family.
The hardest part is for our little boy to work out how and why he came to be in our family. Why was he taken from his mother? Why was he taken from his foster carer, who he loved? Why is he different to other children? When Mummy tells him off does it mean he may be sent to the next Mummy along the line? Convincing him that this is it and this is forever is very hard. The trauma he has been through in the first two years of his life is more than most of us would face in a lifetime. There is hope though. Love always wins! This is our belief and as long as we are committed to loving this beautiful boy intensely and consistently there is a hope he will eventually fully believe that love can last forever.
Ó Carrie Grant May 2014