Georgina and Spencer
Georgina and her husband Spencer, a WO2 in the Army (retiring June 2016), have been together 20 years. They adopted their daughter Mollie*, now seven, 18 months ago.
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Georgie said: “We have been together a long time and found out quite early on that we could not have children naturally but it wasn’t until I turned 30 that we started to think about children seriously. We went through fertility treatment over five years and I was just so disappointed and sad about the whole thing. I had thought about adopting even before the fertility treatment but it was a good couple of years after the last attempt that we started to talk about adoption again.
“I was aware that SSAFA did adoption so they were my first port-of-call because they support military families. I also contacted two local authorities but neither of them was interested because we were military.
"We were based in Germany at the time and our SSAFA social worker Clair interviewed us there and booked us onto the prep course. The course does make you think but that’s a good thing because I think you do go in there with slightly rose-tinted glasses thinking you will just get a perfect little child. I did an awful lot of reading about it all and Clair put me in touch with a couple who had adopted a little boy and were also based in Germany and they were able to chat about their experiences which was really helpful.
We always imagined we would end up with a little toddler but just found ourselves drawn to the older children. We saw Mollie’s profile and spoke to her social worker. The social worker thought we were a good match and we felt that she was the one for us. It’s a weird process to go through because obviously it’s not the most natural thing to be doing but when my dad saw her he said he felt like she was meant to be part of the family too. SSAFA encouraged us to put together a big book which not a lot of adoption agencies do – it was like a fact-finding exercise and it was a really positive thing for us to do and I have gone back to it myself occasionally.
“When it happens it’s all so wonderful but it’s also a real shock to the system. I read loads but it’s not until your child arrives that all the information starts coming to the forefront of your mind and really does serve you well.
“The first few months go quickly and I can’t really remember them but then you start getting into a routine which is great because you really start getting to know each other. They say you have a honeymoon period and I think for us that was about three weeks. Mollie was just the perfect child. When her behaviour did start to change I found myself thinking is this normal seven-year-old behaviour or is it because she is adopted? Elaine, our second SSAFA social worker was brilliant because she managed our expectations and really helped us to be realistic about adoption which is really important.
“We meet up with Mollie’s siblings’ families, maybe three times a year. It’s nice to have someone who you can talk to, especially in the early days. We fell in love with Mollie very quickly and connected with her very quickly. We have been so lucky.”
- Name has been changed